The Walrus

Yolanda walked unsteadily down Madison Avenue, watching her red, kid-leather boots with golden buckles plow through thick snow. Ken called them her fancy-pants boots. Her feet were soaked through and so cold she could hardly feel them. There was something she was trying to remember. What was it? A smell of some kind. She might have walked this way earlier. The snow had been whiter the first time, she was pretty sure, though not totally sure. Now it was mostly smashed down and dirty and wet. A cab shot in front of her—toast! That was it: the smell of burnt toast. Getting a fix on that forgotten smell was one tiny thing she could hold in place on this out-of-place Christmas Eve Day. read more

The Recovery of Marcus Ray

Marcus Ray is convinced that it’s a man’s obligation to take full control, and that’s paid off for him: married to the same woman for forty-two years, employed by SunCertain his entire adult life, mortgage paid, money in the till. He retired four years ago at age sixty-six, studied the market and invested well, put his son through Boston College and Fordham Law, supplied the funds his daughter needed to open her own gallery in Tucson. read more