The Nice Thing About Strangers

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

Big Sister

The morning bus is packed, and I am standing in the baby-carriage corral near the front. There aren’t many parents rolling their babies on board at this hour, so it has … Continue reading

November 4, 2015 · 9 Comments

The Humbling Scenes: Part II

So I knew I couldn’t walk to my Turkish class, and would need another plan. I stared at a map and felt some vague hope that if I went to a … Continue reading

October 28, 2015 · 8 Comments

The Humbling Scenes: Part I

If you have a good sense of direction, please never forget that this is a gift. Like those who can sleep in airplanes, you have been granted something very beautiful. … Continue reading

October 26, 2015 · 9 Comments

Seek and You Will Find

The grandson at full height comes to his grandfather’s knees, but he speaks looking straight up as though it’s the most ordinary way to hold a conversation. Baba smiles down at … Continue reading

October 19, 2015 · 2 Comments

Whatever Will Be Will Be

The tram lurches at stops and the morning riders open their eyes briefly, then return to snoozing while standing. I’ve just arrived so I am jet lagged and full of … Continue reading

October 16, 2015 · Leave a comment

Super Süpürgeci

He’s sweeping while others are sleeping. I know the Turkish word “to sweep”–süpürüyor–so I am conjugating his every move, his plan for tomorrow, and yesterday’s business. I must admit it was … Continue reading

August 24, 2015 · 2 Comments

Brotherly Love

It’s such an early shuttle to the airport. Two brothers wear green plaid shirts, grey sandals, black cargo pants in larger and smaller sizes, respectively. Groggy as they board, their mother … Continue reading

August 12, 2015 · 5 Comments

Serenade for the Sheepish

From the moment she and her husband are seated, they eat and drink in silence. They don’t discuss the menu. They order by pointing. He looks through photos on his … Continue reading

June 10, 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

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

My Journey Home

TSA airport security in O’Hare is making me cry. I receive glares, short-tempered orders, eye rolls, and blank stares. After twenty hours of travel, I have tears in my eyes … Continue reading

December 19, 2014 · 21 Comments

A Heartening Tip for Homebodies

Travel? One need only exist to travel. I go from day to day, as from station to station, in the train of my body or my destiny, leaning out over … Continue reading

November 28, 2014 · 7 Comments

You’re a Stray and That’s Okay

The woman proudly marches with a designer purse and sunglasses, but she also totes a plastic bag of cat food. She stops along the sidewalk to give a handful of … Continue reading

November 19, 2014 · 7 Comments

Traffic Dynamics

I like to imagine the shuttle bus from the airport to Taksim Square is a tour bus for my band. Of course, I’m in this band with about 40 people … Continue reading

November 10, 2014 · 10 Comments

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