Frigid Fluid

It was the fluid that was used to embalm bodies back in the day. I’ll never forget the smell. It clung to my husband’s clothes, it emanated from his lungs when he breathed. It was strong, not garlic strong, but more metallic, cold, citrus, and floral at the same time like you took a room full of flowers and sliced it with steel through and through.

Cabbage Stories: Food and Punishment.

The first showcases my brilliance at mimicry. I was observant, I was quiet and watched things. In my little Nelson central school, I had a teacher named Mrs. Savage. Her husband was the headmaster. She had dark short curly hair and was a little soft and round. Her remarkable attribute was a wide and round bottom, spanning east to west and north to south with equal measure. It was fascinating to watch the roll to the side, and then the compensatory vertical drop.

Yesterday I cried for the water.

The water is my escape, it’s the place between the heavy, solid every day and the spirit world. It’s where I float and glide, it’s where I become part of the bigger world, the fish, the rocks, the low-hanging trees, and the sand made of millions of sea shells. It’s the element that would heal me, or let me forget pain and anxiety.  The ocean heals, the lake and river balances, and pools let me swim with abandon knowing I won’t hit rocks or be swept out to sea. 

Little Andie: Konini street. Fish and Chips or Pasties?

When I had a shilling to spend for food, I chose between pasties or fish and chips. The shops were almost next to each other. One was a bakery that made the pasties, the other a fish and chip shop. They were both across the street from my Nelson Central School. I love fish and…

Little Andie: Nile Street. The Neighbors.

Behind our house, the house we lived in was Mrs. Turtin. Her front started where the river bent, next to where the eels lived. Her house was closer to the street and full of flowers. The back of her house was full of flowers too, I could see them across the river from our back lawn. Their houses were painted white too, but they were much brighter inside. 

Little Andie: Nile Street 2. The Gypsy told me.

Someday I’ll tell you how I lost my voice, but I’m thinking, not today. I always knew he had a soft hold on the world from the minute he was born. So I watched over him better than anyone else. Even better than our mother, who loved to tell trash like “A gypsy told me…

Teen Andie: In the Flow & Fried Chicken

Fried anything is good.  Fried chicken is irresistible. Add the announcement, coupled with plates piled high with three big pieces, a glob of creamy mashed potatoes with a well of gravy in the middle, more dribbling down the sides of the crater into a side of corn. Three plates stacked on my left arm, one in my right, moving within inches past these greedy noses quivering in my wake…

Ken & Andie Story 8/9

October 6th, we drove around and ended up with fried chicken. This time it wasn’t so nice. Around O’hare airport were lots of clubs, all kinds, some beautiful hotels and restaurants, and many seedy strip clubs. There was a section of north Irving Park road, where the flight crews rented and sublet their pads. Couldn’t…

Ken & Andie Story 4/9

Ken & Andie (part 4) It was a two day wake and visitation. Hundreds of people came, so many from our school, work friends and customers. Some because they cared. Some who fed on the macabre, hoping to see a mangled body. Some who fed on other peoples sorrow and drank their tears like nectar….

Ken & Andie Story 2/9

I went to work at the insurance agency. It was a nice office, but very small. Just two private spaces, three desks, back to front like school desks. Behind them was the bank of black file cabinets. There were two ways to enter the office, from the side entrance after descending a long stairway, or…


Two hands are required. One to hold it to your mouth, the other to hold the tail end as you eat your way through it.  Usually, the first ones off the pan never make it to the rolling plate, we would just hold the transparent circle of cooked dough and peel pieces from it. The crunchier edges, give way to the softer, springier middle. My brother and I were like little birds, waiting for morsels from the mother bird.