Rafael’s job in Philadelphia was simple: keep water glasses filled, put bread on tables, bring forks, clean messes, clear plates. But his unstated job, the one that no one spoke of but everyone understood, was the most important: be invisible
I am the first child my mother never wanted.
I didn’t have anywhere else to go. Jillian had left me. I was living in a basement apartment in Bensonhurst whose only window looked out to a dry cleaner’s vent.
You smell the scent.
It’s happened before. The first time, when you and your wife Claire cut through the cosmetics department at the mall, your heartbeat soared with such trepidation that you clutched at your chest, startling her
When your sister calls from Johannesburg and says, “I’m in the hospital,” say, “Hold on a sec,” then point to your phone and mouth important to the hostess, whose jeans are too tight and lipstick too bright for a five-year-old’s birthday.
Nature trumps nurture. Ellen believed it even before science arrived at the same conclusion, believed it even after science changed its mind again. Believes it now.
Arrive to the morning team meeting twenty-three minutes late, balancing multiple aspects of your life – papers, raincoat, laptop, handbag, umbrella, breakfast, gym clothes, lunch – so that you look like a circus performer.
Ackerman traced the fiber optic cable leading from the control unit under the customized sofa-lounger to the I/O port in the side of Mrs. Frimmel’s skull.
I was the new girl at Coltrane’s. I’d come down from Jersey for my grandfather’s stupid-ass wedding and couldn’t figure a reason to go back—Mom gone, my brothers all married and cheating, just like every guy I’d been involved with.
For days afterward Leo’s life was like a dream. He thought about Julie and Mario driving across the country. In his head they were always whooping it up. He wished them dead in the desert, their bodies black and bloated. The image so disturbed him he wished them back to life.