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The Sewing Machine

When my wife moved into my apartment three and a half years ago I said to my mother, “If we survive this process we’ll probably get married.” Whenever two people begin the nitty-gritty of becoming a couple the sparks will fly. Over the years Annie

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The Tree of Life

“The answer is no.” “What’s your problem?” my wife said, exasperated. “This house is great!” “The oil tank’s rusted, the yard will flood, the layout is weird, and the kitchen’s from the 70’s. Besides the school system sucks.” The realtor trailing us, a flaky fiftyish

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A Man’s Got to Know His Limitations

I’m at the Laundromat with my daughter washing her clothes. As Natalie sits in her car seat playing with her doll, I think for the hundredth time how I have to buy a house. My own washer and dryer would be nice. “Hey lady,” a

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Tightrope

I’m driving to work when my wife calls me on my cellphone. Answering using the hands free gizmo my car is immediately filled with the wails of a crying baby. “Natalie burned herself,” my wife says, choking back tears. “How?” “I was in the kitchen,”

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Burn and Rave

I’ve been floated up to the geriatric psych ward and I’m not happy. When I was younger I didn’t sweat working with old people. Back then old age and death seemed impossibly far away. Now, with my fiftieth birthday in sight, the demented elderly chattering

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Mean Little Spaces

It’s five-thirty and I’ve just finished the lovely sandwich my wife made for me when Hakim sticks his head in the break room. “Can you do me a favor?” the young nurse asks. “Sure.” “You know that new patient in 308?” “He’s been in bed

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Zombies and Tacos

If you’ve ever waited tables, at some point in your nocturnal life, you’ve had a “waiter dream.” These nightmares usually share common thematic elements; you’ve got a hundred customers who all hate you, the restaurant’s layout is bizarrely different, the menu’s a hundred pages, written

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Halloween Isn’t What It Used To Be

Having a baby has made 2014 a year of firsts so, when Halloween rolls around, my wife and I get into gear. After dressing Natalie up as Snow White we run over to an arts and crafts store, hit up Target for candy and go

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Mischief Night

I’m on the checkout line in the supermarket when a teenaged boy comes up to me with an extra large carton of eggs. “Excuse me, sir.” he says. “Could you buy these eggs for me?” My shopping cart is loaded with stuff. “You have one

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The Fires of Hell

“Stephen, dear,” Connie says. “Please refill my ice water.” I don’t even look up from my chart.  “Connie, the water machine is right over there. You’re perfectly capable of getting it.” “I’m too old. Be a nice young man and get me my water. A