You Hear the Splash, then the Screams

“I think of it every day; I never go over that bridge without thinking about it,” says Pati Gallagher. Her residence is as close as any in Portland to the Sellwood Bridge, her patio a three good strides from the river, and where she was sitting when she heard the children hit the water...

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On Re-Reading SLOUCHING TOWARDS BETHLEHEM

Dear Michael –

I write to you this morning via someone you knew when you were a very little boy. I do not expect you remember her, though perhaps you remember more from that time than most three year-olds. Habit can create memory, and you had little of that, but so can trauma. Perhaps people told you about the fire and it’s become part of your history, though that would require people to pass along history, and the people you knew then I don’t imagine were around very long...

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Thirteen Minutes with Paula Fox

Fox tells me she will be receiving the Hadada Award from the Paris Review on April 6, that she is “the eighth writer to get it,” others include Norman Mailer, Williams Styron, Philip Roth, John Berryman and Joan Didion. I ask her how this feels.

“It feels good,” she says, to be recognized. “But it’s only for a short time. Time swallows us all.”

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40 Bucks and a Dream

Published in the LA Weekly

Been to Hollywood in the past ten, twenty, forty years? Has it changed? Did you recently, as I did, marvel that in front of Grauman's Chinese every morning they roll a life-size, worse-for-the-wear plaster statue of Marilyn Monroe to the curb so that the tourists may gawk? Read on.

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Who She Took With Her - The Husband, the Son, the Boyfriend: A Drunk's Tale

On December 12, 1948, Nancy Schorn was born into privilege. Her father was the chief financial officer of the plumbing conglomerate American Standard. The family lived on a five-acre estate on Long Island’s North Shore, in Cold Spring Harbor, a town not unlike Daisy Buchanan‘s West Egg: Nancy was a member of three yacht and country clubs, and, like Daisy, was considered by one admirer to have been “the most beautiful person I had ever seen . . . "

Published in the LA Weekly

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Three Sets of Keys

We have watched two others die, they wizened like apples; I flew across the country for the first death, to be at Dave’s bedside. I watched him die. I had seen someone die before but not like this. There was so much beauty at the moment of death, near audible like a sip through a straw rushing into the night, the skin on his face going taut in an instant, and the color of beeswax.

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The Sociopath's Voracity

Watching the RNC and DNC conventions, those mixing the Kool-Aid and those drinking it was clear. This made me think of the first sociopath I was obliged to try to make sense of. Here, a clip from Destination Gacy, the story of when I drove cross-country with Rick Gaez, a pen pal of John Wayne Gacy, to visit the serial killer shortly before his execution.

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