How to Cover Your Shame

      I don’t even know what you’d call it. I called myself a “humorist” in the program but that was because my vocabulary is lacking. In a talent show, where does, “Making witty observations while wildly gesticulating in front of a slide show of 19th century underwear” fall? My friend Sonja, who is…

The stupid pig wears a coonskin hat

  Flight. Feel danger or pain approaching and retreat. Unless you’re evolutionary defective. Then you just lean right on into that pain. It’s a compulsion. Nearly out of my control. I feel it in my gut, a force tugging me from my center, off my feet and into the sharp end of whatever bad situation points at me. Especially…

‘Bullshit’ isn’t a real swear.

  Older ladies, who still color and set their hair and know how to email, sure they’re fine. Whatever. But the Bills of the world, they do something to me. Cowboy shirt, faded, not worn ironically. Khaki shorts showing the white scars of his knee surgeries, and clean white socks pulled up the calf. Straw…

Belay ON

Every summer I sit in the damp heat of the glassed in “Parent Aquarium” at the University’s pool and watch my daughter learn to swim. This year, as I was signing her up at the Fitness Center, I couldn’t stop looking at their rock wall. Brand new, forty feet high, weird little pockets and pinches…

Carnies and “Piss Off” Bonnets

  I live in a town called Independence. Actually I live in the town next to it…but you know how old small towns bleed together over the century, connected by spattered little strip malls and one-story office buildings? We’ve got that going on. If my name were “Christmas Oneill,” I wouldn’t make a big deal…

The Festering House is Lanced

  I used to joke with my husband that when I reached a certain level of success in my writing, I wanted help with the housecleaning. Because I have tried for 15 years now, to keep a house. To keep the dirty dishes pile low enough in the sink to allow access to the water…