The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

The Anticipation of Memory

To a certain extent he took comfort in the inevitable and when they sat down to dinner he could already, a little, look upon her as a lovely fragment of … Continue reading

May 14, 2014 · 7 Comments

Shoulder to Shoulder

Originally posted on The Nice Thing About Strangers:
On the winding road down the Croatian coast, a couple gazes toward the turquoise sea one usually only glimpses in movies. She…

May 9, 2014 · Leave a comment


A stranger: the word meant nothing to her; there was no place in the world where she felt a stranger. She circulated the dregs of the cheap port in her … Continue reading

May 5, 2014 · 4 Comments

Get It Back

“Happiness, that’s what life’s about, it’s your job to be happy, not to spread gloom and despair all round. Don’t be so selfish. Get your courage back, get your narcissism … Continue reading

April 30, 2014 · 7 Comments

The 400th Post: Something So Perfect.

The fact that I am publishing the 400th blog post is totally amazing to me. This all started as a way to sort through notes from my travels. Since then, … Continue reading

April 25, 2014 · 23 Comments

The City of Strangers

He had this voice so deep it rumbled along the back beams of the bench we were sharing. I arrived very early for an appointment and thought I should sit … Continue reading

April 16, 2014 · 12 Comments

So, Thank You.

Originally posted on The Nice Thing About Strangers:
Flirting with the narrator was a sure way into the story. He must have known this, though certainly half her age. He…

April 14, 2014 · 1 Comment

Office Decoration and The Pencil

Pnin purchased for three dollars a faded, once Turkish rug. With the help of the janitor he screwed onto the side of the desk a pencil-sharpener–that highly satisfying, highly philosophical … Continue reading

April 11, 2014 · 5 Comments

There’s No Crying in the Vienna Airport

I’m crying in the airport. Just returning from a trip, feeling a bit overwhelmed with heartbreak and worry, it is nice to be back in familiar Vienna. I know how … Continue reading

April 9, 2014 · 14 Comments

The Opportunity of Everyone

For the time being, by reflecting on what exactly the culture of human cooperation is, a culture that has, at its foundation, the idea that the other person has much … Continue reading

April 2, 2014 · 20 Comments

Finding Your Field

—Life is whatever we conceive it to be. For the farmer who considers his field to be everything, the field is an empire. For a Caesar whose empire is never … Continue reading

March 19, 2014 · 1 Comment

En Garde

Runaways from a political rally, two helium balloons clap together. They are entangled above an intersection, caught in a wire on the side of an apartment. A man in a … Continue reading

March 10, 2014 · 12 Comments

On The (This Isn’t A) Road

Trying to get back to the chapel, I find a sign that points vaguely at two different roads. Perhaps it’s Robert Frost’s eyebrow-raise that points me to the red rocky … Continue reading

March 5, 2014 · 14 Comments

This Seeing of the World

But he went on to reflect that he had done very wisely to pull up stakes and come abroad; this seeing of the world was a very interesting thing. He … Continue reading

March 3, 2014 · 9 Comments

Love Your Neighbor (Coffee Helps)

The man in the seat in front of her is restless during the flight. Watching movies, shifting in his seat, opening a book, closing it, writing something, stopping. She’s just … Continue reading

February 26, 2014 · 7 Comments

Out with the Girls

I feel that I am growing old, I feel lonely and in need of the support of old friends, in which (in my case) rather small battalion I certainly count … Continue reading

February 24, 2014 · 14 Comments

The Beloved

Originally posted on The Nice Thing About Strangers:
It’s an ordinary stoplight. Everyone waiting for permission to move on. And the blonde dog shivers, always nervous to ride in the…

February 19, 2014 · 7 Comments

For Harisa.

Five years ago, I met a beautiful woman from Bosnia on a flight. We spotted each other before we boarded, and since the plane wasn’t totally full, she came over … Continue reading

February 17, 2014 · 13 Comments

Thinking About Tomorrow…

People were always getting ready for tomorrow. I didn’t believe in that. Tomorrow wasn’t ready for them. It didn’t even know they were there. –Cormac McCarthy. The Road. (This quotation … Continue reading

February 14, 2014 · 13 Comments

On Gratitude

It is an intensely long line at passport control. Flights keep arriving and people keep cutting. A tall man and I are both determined to stick to the vaguely orderly … Continue reading

February 3, 2014 · 13 Comments

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