I set the table while Mom faffed about the kitchen, mashing potatoes, carving turkey, and stirring the gravy, licking it off of the wooden spoon and muttering to herself, “more pepper.” I joined Dad in the living room. He was watching Family Feud reruns, casting his gaze occasionally out the…

Joe hung in the line to Bourbon & Toulouse for 15 minutes before making it to the register to order. He had just lost his job waiting tables at a restaurant downtown and fancied treating himself. His manager had sat him down, told him that she was cutting his shifts. “Last in, first out,…

Ursula had been in the stacks looking through books about Ernest Hemingway for an essay when Irene texted her that the snow was really bucketing down and that she was on her way. They’d reduced themselves to just the one car recently and Ursula was happy to have herself a chauffeur, she thou…

The night before the wedding, we ate at a deserted Mexican restaurant. I coached the groom’s parents through the menu of tamales and empanadas. Street food I informed them. After dinner the bride-to-be and her friends left for naughtier horizons.