The Freest Man Alive

Chapter from High in the Streets

My whole life I’ve thought myself defective or at least peculiar. As a boy, I could do what the others did—with some effort I managed algebra, chemistry experiments, and reading Conrad. In this way I was not strange. However, there was one thing I simply could not suffer—foreseeing a future for myself, an attainable goal, something to strive for—as all my friends and classmates did. They saw themselves becoming doctors, teachers, engineers, and judges, and planned accordingly. Take this set of courses, get this certification, intern for this many years, keep your head down, work hard, and you’ll reach your aims. read more

In the Realms of the Unreal

The vastness of their connection, their love (or at least his love for her) is so big, that it causes the earth to open. All of the other humans on earth die and some of the animals die. But somehow everyone knew this would happen.

The Little Red Chairs by Edna O’Brien

What if a war criminal appeared in your town and passed himself off as a poet and holistic healer? What if your town was a small isolated place and the man is handsome in a brooding mysterious way? It could happen that he would be secretly sought after by women with private troubles and conned into trusting him to the point of intimacy. So does the incredible Edna O’Brien imagine how this would play out. read more


But my Pa is getting old, worked up and about to die. Everyday he lies on the raffia-woven lounge in the patio, beckoning on death to come. When the frightened voice of my sister; Ada, begs him to come into the main house he would say; “Death is coming for me, I don’t want to give it a hard time finding me when it comes.” read more

At the Bend in the Old Highway

The old highway stretched relentlessly in both directions from the bend, disappearing into the heat haze–not that it did Howie any good. He hated both the damn highway and the lousy filling station, but he was stuck there, like the monster centipede he’d once run through with the tip of his hunting knife, nailing it to the back porch floorboard, its legs wriggling like hell but going nowhere. read more