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She was hunched over a worn diner plate at the Country Kitchen, tearing apart pancakes with her fingers, dipping them into syrup, then hurriedly stuffing the pieces into her mouth.

She was about 17, the age when most people are fairly self-conscious. But she held my gaze when she caught me staring, mouth agape, at her ripping into her short stack.

Her gray Arctic Cat sweatshirt hung loosely over her slightly padded body and she twittered excitedly, with her mouth stuffed full, to her elderly companions about the black stocking cap she wore. “Big Rigs” screamed out in blood red letters from its front. It was clearly a Christmas gift, and it made her happy. Her bovine eyes shone behind outdated wire-rimmed glasses as she spoke of it.

Let me heinously misquote Diablo Cody — I’m in the motherland and don’t have the book with me:
“I have what’s been called a ‘staring problem.’”
(from Candy Girl)


“Hello, Chippewa County 911.”

“Hi, I’m on Highway 29 headed east, near …”

“Near Frazier Road?”

“I dunno … I guess.”

“If you’re calling about the car in the ditch, we’re on our way.”


Are you a lyrics person or a music person?

I’m such a sucker for poetry – for words that burn an image into my brain. If that happens once, I’m hooked. Of course, if the music sucks, none of that matters.

“If I could through myself set your spirit free, I’d lead your heart away. See you break, break away, into the light and to the day.”

— U2 

“Daddy, do you know what my score is?”




“Are we even close to Grandma and Grandpa’s?”

“NO. And you asking that every five minutes doesn’t get us any closer.”

Ed shows me his watch. It’s 3:58 p.m.

“What?” I say.

“Couple minutes till my mom calls.” 

“Did you tell her to call at 4?”

“Nope. I’m just expecting a 4:00 call.”