Chicken in the Sky

When Deb’s mother died we inherited a house full of art – all of it beautiful. One of my favorite paintings we already owned, though. It is one we bought ourselves; it’s called Chicken in the Sky. It’s an oil painting on canvas done from the perspective of a passenger in the front seat of a car on a highway in the countryside. The road ahead has the kind of gentle hill you get on…
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Fall Risks

As I said in “Back to Myself,” one of the effects of the overdose of medication that I experienced recently was hallucinations. Among those was the personification of inanimate objects that I saw around me. For instance, when I was in the hospital I was on the neurology floor, so there were many “fall risk” signs within my line of vision. In my hallucinations those became tiny animated figures whose purpose was to help me…
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Genealogy, Or Fictions We Tell Ourselves

All my life I was close to my paternal grandfather, especially as I got older. As a matter of fact, for the last six or seven years of his life I talked to him almost every night. My grandmother had dementia and was unable to carry on a conversation with my grandfather, who was an extremely sociable person, so he had grown terribly lonely. Though I have to admit that he was terribly racist and…
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What We Leave Behind

During my first year of teaching at the University of Cincinnati, the father of one of my students appeared at my office door one day. It was Ash Wednesday and he wore the requisite symbol of the occasion on his forehead. Initially, I was unsure why he had come, but once he began to talk I realized that he simply wanted me to know that his son had not always been the young man whose…
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