The Figures of Tellico Lake

I love to go at dawn to the edge of Tellico Lake. On the way, I can see the blue haze of Smoky Mountains. However, it is the gathering sight down on the east Tennessee water that I seek. As the sun sneaks upward over those soft-looking Smoky Mountains, fog figures rise from Tellico Lake. […]

Summer’s Winter

In his mind she was still an infant who would drool all over his shoulder every time he’d pick her up. Her frequent throwing up that would ensue after he’d feed her would ruin every sweater and shirt he had on, ensuring that the smell of baby vomit was deeply embedded in all of his […]

The Art of Shutting Your Unsolicited Pie-hole

It is your first Monday after landing that “big kid” job you have been waiting to hear back from weeks after a third interview two weeks out of grad school. This is it. You are a grown up… by definition. You have your willingness to impress accompanying your desperation to validate the six plus years […]

Confessions of An Egg Candler

In the summer of my tenth year, circa 1963, I decided I needed a job. DC Comics had published more 10-cent superhero issues than coin prospecting under the sofa, riffling through Dad’s trousers, or keeping the change from grocery runs could support. Even if I tacked on a surcharge for embarrassing items like Modess or […]

Surrendering to My Next Step

Surrender. This term beleaguers the weak-willed and strongly defines the hard stop at the end of a warrior’s battle. Warriors are strong, and we know in war and in life they all have a moment when they simply cannot move at a forward pace any longer. When we surrender, we may close a door behind […]

We Should All be More Like Kevin…

We should all be more like Kevin. Do you know him, by any chance? No? Then let me tell you a little bit about him. He’s another English teacher that I’ve met here in Bao’an District in Shenzhen, China. Kevin isn’t like some of us, and he especially isn’t like me. He is a very […]

The Last Bus Ride

THE LAST BUS-RIDE (the last 30 minutes of a member of BOKO HARAM) As he stepped out of the dilapidated Toyota corolla, the dewy salient morning air caressed his face. The rousing orchestra of dawn tickled his senses and sent his mind into a heightened state. There every subtle detail seemed to have an in […]

An Opossum in the Grass

One night, I buried a dead baby opossum behind my father’s hammock in the backyard with a heavy, rusty digging shovel. The only plausible murder suspect was my luckless cat, Ernest. Mom had always wanted a dog – a Great Dane or some other kind-hearted, monstrous mutt. But our backyard was too small for a […]

Please, Just Listen

The tension was undeniable. Each tick of the minute hand, each tock of the hour hand, seemed to ring off the plain white walls around me. I wet my lips, wringed my hands together once again, and unbuttoned the top button of my blouse, already succumbing to the humidity trapped inside the office. Other than […]