|The Scariest Place
|by John Lehr|
This woman I used to know left her husband. She went off to some artist colony, met a guy, and ran off with him to Florida. I didn’t know what an artist colony was then, but you can bet I remembered this incident when my wife was accepted to Yaddo—the famous artist colony in upstate New York.
|The Light Switch
|by Jennifer Lehr|
Ten minutes into my stay at Yaddo and I was wondering, What could I possibly have done to deserve this beautiful, this perfect a salvation? Peace, quiet, nice, intelligent, talented people, my own charming writing studio. All of my meals made. A pool. A forest. A rose garden. I didn’t recognize myself for a little while. No husband. No bills to avoid. No job hunting. No TV. No couples therapy.
|Getting Yourself Home
||by Brenda Miller|
You’re in the bed of a stranger. Well, not a stranger, really—he’s your boyfriend, after all, you agreed to this designation just the other day, both of you content from an afternoon of careful courtship, the binoculars passed from hand to hand as you watched the trumpeter swans and the snow geese sharing a field in the Skagit River plains. But now his face, when you glimpse it sidelong, looks so rigid, the mouth shut tight, the head tilted up and away. Even those creases around his ear, those lines you once found endearing, now seem a deformation.
|Armadillo Hunting with an Old Man
||by Joby Bass|
Glenwood, Arkansas probably sounds rural to you. It is. The hillbilly half of Arkansas is kind of Southern—sweet tea comes with supper (maybe fried chicken, squash, and okra) and mistrust, a three-syllable word, is what folks do to outsiders. It's also kind of Appalachian hillbilly. A geographer who grew up in Arkansas says that the state is culturally split, a diagonal divide running from northeast to southwest. He says the two parts are (1) hick—the hill-less half in the southeast that once grew tons of southern plantation cotton, and (2) hillbilly—the other half.
||by Andrea Coombes|
A man and I made a person. Earlier, much earlier, the man and I—his name is Lee—are simply another couple. We're in our mid-20s. We ride Muni buses together through San Francisco's rain-slicked streets. We buy platters of ham and cheese and French bread and return to his refrigerator-sized apartment and eat in front of the Monday night football game.
|The Snake Pit
||by Mary Jo Pehl|
Lately people have been asking me, quite innocently enough, "How are you, Mary Jo?" Let's see ... I don't have a job and I'm broke and I'm living in my parents' basement in the suburbs without a car and I'm going to be 41 in two weeks. I want to shriek, HOW THE HELL DO YOU THINK I AM?!?!