Issue 17 Nonfiction
A Widow's Story: A Memoir
by Joyce Carol Oates
nothing is so wonderful in my posthumous life as retiring to my nest!
Even to die here—especially to die here—will be wonderful, I think.
This “nest”—in our bed—on my side of the bed—is a swirl of pillows, bedclothes, a rainbow-hued quilt crocheted by my mother—books, bound galleys, copyedited manuscripts and page proofs, drafts of things I am working on—whatever I am working on, or trying to work on, each night. And now, in the nest, I am reading—rereading—all that I can find of Ray’s published work.
Driving To Waldorf
by Marilyn Martin
the first time I saw the Waldorf School, my friend, Monica, drove me. I sat in the passenger seat as we inched down the entrance ramp and merged into the left lane of the Eisenhower Expressway among the stalled cars of commuting bankers, construction workers, and computer programmers. I could see harried women staring into their rear-view mirrors while they applied mascara and dipped plastic spoons into cartons of Dannon yogurt. Later, we left the Eisenhower and got onto the Kennedy. Huge trucks hauling milk and gasoline thundered by in the adjacent lanes.
What I Did Not Do at the Mosque This Time
by Joanna Robinson
this time i did not slip into a cab at Piazza del Popolo in front of Bar Canova where waiters in black bow ties shooed sparrows off tables. I did not see the driver regard me oddly in the rear view mirror when I told him “la moschea.” I did not ask him whether he had noticed the proliferation of Chinese vendors selling plastic gewgaws south of the train station. I did not feel my teeth rattle in my head as the driver ripped over cobblestones. I did not inquire about pending taxi strikes.
by J.W. Young
apparently there's a racket going on in the Dustbowl—it will cost Mom a $1600 deposit to get a water line hooked up to her recently purchased Oklahoma home. $1600 for someone to flip a switch. The former homeowners didn’t pay their bill for several months prior to eviction, and the water co-op used their deposit for the funds. When Mom discovers this, she’s furious, indignant. “Can you believe this?” she says to me over the phone. “These people are nuts. They won’t even let me pay it off in installments on the bill. They need it all up front, they say, because people just quit paying. Who would do that?”