My latest short story at Eclectica:
“Three extensions, all usable both as telephone and intercom. Two rings mean, “I’m going to the bathroom,” so I don’t inconvenience her and am not myself interrupted. Three rings means I took my blood-thinner. Three rings from her means I should do so if I’ve forgot. One ring means, “I’m going to bed,” though neither of us bothers with that one much. If one of us is going for a walk, we say so face-to-face, usually as we’re on our way out the door.
“I have my room, she has hers. We used to share a king-size mattress before she hit menopause. Hot flashes, frequent urinations, night sweats, insomnia. I couldn’t get two hours sleep without interruption, and once I’m awake, I’m up for hours. I started sleeping in the spare room, the one Jerry grew up in. It still has the Minnesota State comforter on the bed. It was supposed to be a temporary arrangement. My wife was apologetic about the menopause. Can’t be helped, I said the night I picked up my pillow and headed into the boy’s room. It will pass, I said. God, I hope so, she said….”
To read the rest:
My new short story in Eclectica:
We grew up together, Mack and I. Or at least we shared the same classrooms from Sister Mary Margaret’s kindergarten through Father John Patrick Denning’s 12th-grade history class. But it was only later, after my wife and I divorced and Mack was just getting engaged, that we became friends.
Mack was the name he preferred. His real name is Judah Maccabeus O’Flaherty. It should have been “Judas” Maccabeus, of course, but his mother was afraid the other kids would tease him for having the name of the apostle who betrayed Christ—an odd scruple on her part, given the handles she actually did burden him with. But parents are like that. They rarely consider what it’ll be like for their offspring to wear a sandwich board of weird monickers for an entire lifetime. I should know. My parents called me Christopher Aloysius Lifkovitz….
(c) Thomas J. Hubschman
My father died with a big question mark over his head like the one in the bubble over a cartoon character who can’t make up his mind. No one saw it but me. I had been sitting for two days at his bedside watching him slip from semi-consciousness into coma. I had brought The Brothers Karamazov with me to the hospital, which I had started rereading after many years when my sister called to tell me pop had had a second stroke and wasn’t expected to last long.
It seemed odd, spending those hours by his bedside in the company of both the comatose man who had begot me and with Papa Karamazov. One, my father, was about as curious and tentative a human being as I’ve ever known. The other was a self-absorbed narcissist who cared about nothing but his own pleasure. And yet, because they were both fathers, they shared something universal on that account: an unhealthy influence on their sons’ amour propre. I found the two men getting confused in my mind—lecherous, single-minded Karamazov and my own one-woman, ever-questioning parent—as the hours dragged on and I got little sleep except for cat naps on a cushioned chair a nurse kindly provided….
My new story “Pigeons” now live at: http://thefeatheredflounder.com/2012/12/pigeons/
He was a tall man in perhaps his late sixties, not especially handsome. After her initial unremarkable impression, the next thing that struck her was that she should find such a man interesting at all. She was married to someone three years younger than herself who looked like he had not yet seen fifty. She rarely noticed other men, much less found them intriguing. Why, then, was she following this one past overnights for toddlers, past analgesics and into a part of the pharmacy she had never had reason to visit before?…
More additions: a short story, “The Checkout,” and an essay, “The Top.”
The story is a first-person narrative by an old hand (an old hand) at the art of female seduction…or thinks he is. The essay is a rumination on living at top-of-the-tree level, in more ways than one.
Enjoy. Let me know if you do.
I’m making available some of the short stories and essays I’ve published. To start things off I’ve uploaded a short story, “The Move” and an essay, “The Color of Evil.” The story was recently published, the essay a couple years back.
From time to time I will add more, drawing from published short stories, essays and reviews along with excerpts from my novels. Please let me know if you enjoy them…or not. I’d be especially interested in getting a discussion started on topics and opinions expressed in the essays (which include a wide variety of forms within that wide category). Controversy is not a dirty word in my lexicon.
Good reading to you!
“An Elders Manifesto” (essay) and “The Move” (short story) in the new issue of Eclectica. The essay (no, I didn’t forget the apostrophe) is just what the title implies. The short story is a more concrete artifact that touches on the same theme.
The confluence is accidental. I’ve had the short story on my hard drive for a few years. The essay is more recent. I contribute an essay to each new issue of the publication (you can read previous ones as well as other stories of mine they’ve published here) . But getting a short story published in Eclectica means taking your chances with the rest of the writing world–Eclectica is a premier online publication that almost always garners the lion’s share of fiction awards each year.
Any feedback, especially from the over-sixty crowd, would be of great interest to me and, hopefully, to others as well.