Flower Food

My dad began to add a second story and a garage onto our house, but never finished the project. Now, coffee tins full of nails line the driveway. Chunks of lumber are strewn across the lawn. A permanent construction zone, this chaotic house is the perfect metaphor for my chaotic life.[…]

The Shaving Cream of the Month Club

Ron says men are allowed to give themselves hugs, and even to hug other men. That that’s the whole point of all those cowboy movies, and it doesn’t make you a wussy, it makes you a full-hearted man. Mom says this is one of the great things about Ron.[…]

Lazarus and the Rich

When Michael arrived, there were no flames licking up the building, but he could still feel the heat waves emanating from below. The fire had started low and restricted itself to one floor, the bottom floor where Michael and his mother lived. He took a breath and tried to sniff out the burnt scent of his room and all its used furniture.[…]

Maggie Quart’s Guide to Unpopularity

Sometimes we’d be sitting on the floor, with our backs against the wall and our hands would get so close that our pinkies would touch. When that happened, it was like my body received an infusion of electricity and I’d have enough energy to run a marathon three times over. […]

Green Light

She is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. Fine art, I think, worthy of the masters; no, better than the masters. Da Vinci couldn’t have painted her better than this traffic light. Donatello would’ve messed up her nose. Botticelli doesn’t even bear mentioning.[…]