The Nice Thing About Strangers

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

Two Cheers for Staying Cheerful

He crawls on the elliptical next to mine. He summons a huge breath and sends out a slow, I’d-love-to-seem-determined-but-I’m-here-against-my-will exhale. “Well,” he says it to himself, but doesn’t mind when … Continue reading

May 4, 2015 · 5 Comments

A Free Spirit

The plane is nearly full when the family boards. Bringing up the end of the line, the father wears an Armani Exchange t-shirt that reads not only the brand name, … Continue reading

April 27, 2015 · 5 Comments

Saints and Selfies

Every few minutes the caretaker shushes the visitors. They go quiet for a moment, then keep on talking. It doesn’t disturb me as I kneel, watching young men walking cautiously … Continue reading

April 20, 2015 · 3 Comments

Spring Reverie

It’s finally and officially warm in Vermont. I think Wednesday there could be snow, but everyone I’ve seen has been seizing the day. People are wearing t-shirts. Scarves have gone … Continue reading

April 13, 2015 · 8 Comments

A Happy and Beautiful Solitude (For Now)

I felt happy and grateful and kept thinking an old thought: I wished that all my friends who I love so much could see and feel what I see and … Continue reading

April 3, 2015 · 15 Comments

The Light in the Fridge

Of course, I’m chatting with the driver of the shuttle from the parking lot to the Boston airport terminals. The minute I walked up to the bus he said, “Look … Continue reading

April 1, 2015 · 6 Comments

Black and Gray

His set is winding down, but the guy with the guitar has a few more songs in him. The women who were singing along with his 90s rock covers have … Continue reading

March 27, 2015 · 15 Comments

Hey, Hi, Nice to See You Again

Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows which giant cookie has your name on it. The old man in a baseball cap shuffles in and waits patiently behind the … Continue reading

March 25, 2015 · 7 Comments

Bundles

The family of four will be the last out of the bus and they are taking their merry time departing. Dad exits first with the clunky stroller, but he can’t … Continue reading

March 16, 2015 · 2 Comments

Hana and Sarajevo

I hope you won’t mind a poem. This tale is attached to the photo from Wednesday’s post, but I couldn’t find a better way to explain the scene than in … Continue reading

March 13, 2015 · 6 Comments

Every Meal

With this feast I drank most of a bottle of Muscadet out of my modest ‘cellar’. I ate and drank slowly as one should (cook fast, eat slowly) and without … Continue reading

March 11, 2015 · 7 Comments

Livin’ on a Prayer

He doesn’t speak English, but he speaks Bon Jovi. He wears a black button-up shirt with the sleeves rolled up and a necklace with some sort of animal tooth or … Continue reading

February 27, 2015 · 10 Comments

Just Say It

These winter stories are starting to bother me, because there’s only so much interaction anyone wants to do in the snow. I am bundled with a scarf over my chin … Continue reading

February 16, 2015 · 2 Comments

Layla La La La

There are only four of us in the bus. The driver and I smile as I show him my pass, and I take a seat on the left side and … Continue reading

February 9, 2015 · 5 Comments

A New Season

“See that tree?” he said. I nodded “What color is it?” I knew he was leading me to an obvious answer that I couldn’t yet see. “Green” I said. “It’s … Continue reading

February 4, 2015 · 9 Comments

Super

For a 6 am flight, there is a nice camaraderie in the airport. People seem too groggy to have their defenses up. We trade bleary-eyed glances. We stifle or release … Continue reading

February 2, 2015 · 4 Comments

Watching the Watcher

“If you don’t like the weather, wait a few minutes,” the lady says conspiratorially when she approaches me at a crosswalk. I chuckle as a sign of pedestrian solidarity. I’ve … Continue reading

January 28, 2015 · 3 Comments

The Tightrope Retiree

She’s tiny under her fuzzy red hat and scarf. She’s come out into the chilly weather to inspect her sidewalk. She steps like she’s on a high wire, one foot … Continue reading

January 23, 2015 · 10 Comments

It’s Not So Very Cold Here

The young man is sheepish about the avocados he’s placed at the check out. He’s looking at the cashier as she finishes the prior transaction. As soon as she turns … Continue reading

January 16, 2015 · 7 Comments

Red Light

Stopped in traffic, I may or may not be listening to 80s music and dancing in my seat. (Okay, I am.) I glance around for witnesses and find a bulldog … Continue reading

January 7, 2015 · 5 Comments

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