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    Ben Greenman

    23. To Kill the Pink

    By Ben Greenman

    I’m going to Malawi. I’m writing that down on a single sheet of paper, folding it into thirds, putting it into an envelope, and leaving it on the kitchen table leaning up against the sugar bowl. When I go, I don’t want you to have any outstanding questions about where I’ve gone. Though most of your questions are outstanding. Pause. Get it? Remember when I used to do that, make a joke and then wait a minute before announcing it back to you like you were blind or deaf or dumb? I’ve been doing that to you ever since we were kids, ever since I nicknamed you Tails on account of your pigtails and it stuck. Fifteen years later you are a grown woman with a fine shape, top-shelf and bottom-drawer both, and it’s that bottom drawer that lets the nickname live, even though I had to take off the s. I call you Tail sometimes because it makes you laugh and sometimes also makes you hot, but usually not in public, where you’re Angie.

    Last year I made a mistake in this regard, and I apologize. We were out for a walk, talking, and Lee Johnson who joined the seminary overheard our conversation and told me he thought the name was disrespectful to one of our beautiful sisters. I explained to him that it wasn’t at all, that I was honoring one of the most divine aspects of you or any other sister, the woman’s form, and that he could see how it was intended if he watched me when I bent down in the morning to kiss you good-bye before I went off to the radio station for my shift. You are a beautiful sleeper. You are beautiful awake, too, except when you try to be funny, which is why you shouldn’t try to be. You look good, like I said. You’re morally certain. You notice things about people and comment upon them in a manner that almost always leads to improvement. You’re full of more love than hate. Why bother with funny? Leave that to me. You can come visit me in Malawi. . . . Read More.

    8. The House as Rita Sees It

    By Ben Greenman


    . . . Read More.

    39. On the Weekends Sometimes

    By Ben Greenman

    He was Boyd.

    He worked in hospital administration.

    He played hockey on the weekends sometimes.

    He was twenty-nine.

    Each summer he took a trip.

    One year he went to Cyprus, where, by coincidence, a friend of a friend was getting married.

    Boyd did not attend the wedding though he did drink with his friend Panos and the groom whose name was Eugene.

    “Eugene,” Boyd said. “That’s an old-fashioned name.”

    “Boyd is, too,” Panos said.

    “Panos isn’t,” Boyd said.

    The air was not thick with wit.

    *

    Panos was rich.

    He was an heir.

    He managed some of his family’s companies.

    He was also a musician.

    His band was called Wracked.

    . . . Read More.

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