The Man with a Thousand Voices: A Short Story (4)

This is the final installment in a tale that begins with a first, second, and third part.

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The Ocean Always Moves

Shall I part my hair behind?   Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.”

–T.S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”

My father stood about a stone’s throw away, ankle-deep in the ocean’s tide. The wind whipped my hair around and my voice was carried off along the beach, tumbling out of ear shot; he probably hadn’t heard me. I sat farther back on the shore, on a beach towel spread out on dry sand. As I tucked a lock of hair that was flitting around my face behind my ear, I saw my father turn around.

“You remind me of that guy who walked along the shore with his trousers rolled,” I called.

Frowning, he barked, “Huh?” Continue reading “The Ocean Always Moves”

An East-Facing Window


The little boy put his hand on the second-story window, palm flat and fingers spread apart.

“No Baby, don’t!” his mother cried, shuffling over to him, scooping him up from behind, his legs swinging as she lifted him. She had the seat of his pants (or overalls, actually) in one hand and steadied him with the other.

His hand had left behind the ideal of handprints, the most iconic of handprint images in secondhand pineapple juice residue. Smack-dab in the middle of that 28 Hanover Lane second-story window.

Continue reading “An East-Facing Window”