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#27: Last Dance : Inspired by my own father.

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First Dance image by Jacqueline Osborn Last Dance I wrote this short story after my dad died in 1992. It was published in SKYLARK, Purdue University's literary journal; I was so thrilled I framed the acceptance letter. I still have that letter hanging around someplace. Not literally hanging anymore, I packed it away in storage during one of our moves. Like my memories, it's in there somewhere. I wish I could give you this stuff in order, begin at the beginning. If I could do that, I'd write a book. Instead I have to grab at what glimpses I can. It's as though all the places and people stuffed inside my head are like yards and yards of once beautiful fabrics, ripped from their bolts and shoved into one large bin. Velvets, jewel-toned satins, richly-textured tapestries, billowy silks. Cotton, denim, gingham and chintz. They're all jammed in there together, some faded now, some in tatters, a loose thread here, a trace of a connection there. A smell, a smi

An Undying Love ... just an old love story.

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You know those couples who say they can’t live without each other? Sometimes they mean it. Undying Love The Coleus under Bob and Helen’s front porch window look a little scraggly, nothing but tall leggy stems bending in their bed of dry cracked earth. The gardener would never let them go like that if Bob hadn’t been so sick. If Bob had been up and around, standing tall the way he used to, those plants would be standing tall too, their leaves firm and perky, the ground blanketed with a soft, moist layer of mulch. Well tended, that was the best way to describe Bob’s garden, and come to think of it, Bob too. I try to remember if I saw the gardener this past Wednesday, his usual day to mow and blow. Who will notice if Bob’s plants die now? Not Bob who is sick in bed. Not Helen who uses a walker and rarely ventures outside. Bob told me once that Helen wouldn’t allow him to get her a wheelchair. She couldn’t stand the idea of looking like an invalid. That sounds like Helen, the kind of w

Smuggled Beer, Stolen Kisses [Memoir—Listen on iTunes and SoundCloud]

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The Improv is a fairly famous LA comedy club on Melrose here in L.A. where hundreds—thousands—of comics have sometimes bombed and sometimes soared to new heights on its' stage over the years. I've been to the Improv countless times, but rarely for the laughs. For me, The Improv belongs to that period in the mid-eighties when I was in the last stages of a long, flagging relationship with an old boyfriend. For once, the nomenclature fits; I was twenty seven when we met, Ben was twenty five years older than me. Hardly a 'boy' friend, some might say. We were living together, fast approaching the suffocating, seven year itch mark, and I was twitchy, longing to find a way out, but lacking the guts to get out. Telling myself staying was the more noble course, that I didn't want to hurt him, that I couldn't leave after everything I'd done to get there, that he deserved better. What a load of crap. I was just a little coward. A passive aggressive whiner.