Salinas

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Carlos and I were in our usual lunchtime hiding spot underneath the bleachers by the football field. The only place we could get away from the “bro” haunted hallways of Washington Middle School. My lunch consisted of yogurt and strawberries, which the maid somehow thought I loved. I traded them to Carlos for his tortilla,More

The Miller Position

The Miller Position

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Sometimes a guy will do the unthinkable in order to improve his employment opportunities.More

Hindsight

Hindsight

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Tim’s new step dad owned a Cadillac.  His name was Bob and he looked like Corbon Bernsen.  Bob had a daughter named Bonnie and I loved her.  Bonnie smelled like coconut and wore bikinis at the beach.  When Bonnie walked along the ocean, strands of her long blonde hair pinched off in the clasp onMore

A Crash on the Highway

A Crash on the Highway

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Souls were supposed to rise. That was the whole idea of souls. They were supposed to take flight once a person “passed,” but instead Javi felt the pickup truck driver’s soul fall out of the helicopter. More

Crusher

Crusher

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Balloons lined the curb beside the dumpster there, a festive splash of color to coronate the grand opening of the new supermarket down the block. I found it cute, so cute that I was like the guy who missed the UFO over the splendor of an aurora borealis. When sunsets do fun things in Jersey,More

Love Will Beat Your Brains Out

Love Will Beat Your Brains Out

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Don’t expect valet service, she says. You better carjack my ass like a man.More

Male Bonding

Male Bonding

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Switching lanes at eighty without a signal, you bite the Baby Ruth to the wrapper, snap fingers, press play and shout, “Yeah! I don’t care what people say—Nugent’s got balls!” Raising your voice to compete with “Cat Scratch Fever” you ask, “Did you hear what that cocksucker Davis said to me? God, he jerks me.”More

Trophies

Trophies

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The beast grinned in a display case beside the six-shooter that’d killed him, not scaring nobody but a boy who couldn’t go to the pisser without his momma in hand. “He ain’t nothing,” Curly said and gave the case a smooch. The kid’s face crinkled.More

The Mountain That Eats Men

The Mountain That Eats Men

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“Without the mine we would have no Potosi, nothing to eat. We have a saying ‘we eat the mine, and the mine eats us.'” More

Peter

Peter

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I don’t believe what they said happened in that Burger King, in that motel room. Whatever was, there must have been a moment when a word, a breath’s work, would have mattered.More

The Time Lassie Let One of the Boys Die

The Time Lassie Let One of the Boys Die

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One afternoon, the summer before I started junior high, I left my younger brother to die frozen and alone in the English countryside. I’m speaking metaphorically, of course. The nature of this metaphor will become clear to you very soon. Not metaphorically, my younger brother and I rode our bikes to the local Aldi groceryMore

Missing Saint

Missing Saint

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The scraping sound of the pencil against the wall is like a whisper, like the wall is reciting the prayer. More

It May Be Your Sabbath But It’s Our 3rd Grade Championship

It May Be Your Sabbath But It’s Our 3rd Grade Championship

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Dear Ben, I totally respect that your particular religion requires you to abstain from sports on Sundays. But Sunday is our 3rd grade championship game, and the fact is we can’t win without your son, Jonah.  We have seven boys who are fair-to-middling at best, and then my son Coop who can’t dribble twice withoutMore

To Need Me and Not Know

To Need Me and Not Know

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I’m staring at a door. It’s Mike and me, and the two of us are sitting in his crappy little car staring at the door of a crappy little house in Nordeast Minneapolis on the coldest night of the year. We’re staring at this particular door because inside is a guy named Neil Batteau. WeMore

Hate the Game

Hate the Game

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“Here’s what I saw: Stars that burned like I imagine only gods could, presenting themselves in such a way that it was me being presentedMore

Seven Drums

Seven Drums

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When Buck bent to the ground to better see the stains in the dirt, I saw him favor his right leg. It was surely broken. Likely nothing more than a greenstick fracture, but broken all the same. And now wasn’t the time to have a broken leg.More

“The car had been through a reconstructed transmission, a busted carburetor, and was an absolute lush for Valvoline.” – Jordan Farmer, “Brothers”