Desktop Lessons by sean dietrich

We finally bought Jamie’s mother a new computer. Not just a computer, a top-of-the-line desktop packed with enough memory to cure Alzheimer’s. We mortgaged our washing machine to buy it. The saleswoman asked if we wanted to add a two hundred dollar protection plan. I asked if they sold a twenty dollar plan. The saleswoman handed […]

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Working on a Clothesline by Sean dietrich

My very first fight was over laundry. As a boy, my mother used a clothesline like anyone else. It was my job to fold clean laundry, but I was worthless as a can of pumpkin. Not much has changed. You could set your watch by Mother’s weekly laundering schedule. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Never Mondays, […]

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Lilith by sean dietrich

Sister Lilith. That was my great aunt’s name. I didn’t know her by any other title. What I did know, is she’d been a nun since nineteen. Sister Lilith shocked my family when she left her convent at the age of forty-four. She moved in with her partner, Sister Maria. Together, they bought a small […]

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Baby-Doll by sean dietrich

The elderly waitress called me baby-doll when she brought my plate of eggs. It made me smile. I’ve always liked being called baby-doll. But not by anyone. I only like being called such names by older women. If pet names come from the wrong mouth, it’s awkward. For instance: a few nights ago, our server […]

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Katherine by sean dietrich

I wanted to be a concert violinist,” Miss Katherine said. “I’ve been playing since I was three.” Katherine Clark is ninety-one, but her Italian violin is much older. It dates back to Moses. It looks good for a relic, but not half as good as Katherine. She got the violin when she was a young woman. […]

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Crickets by sean dietrich

I started raising crickets in ’97,” said Jimbo. “Back when I’s still a truck driver for Publix, in Jacksonville. Sold crickets on the weekends.” He shrugged. “Just for fun.” Jimbo swatted a gnat from his face. The Florida gnats were relentless. Judging by the amount of them on old Jimbo, he must’ve tasted better than […]

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’79 Chevettes by sean dietrich

I met Phillip in the parking lot. He was crawling into a 1979 Chevette. Red. My uncle had one just like it. I learned how to drive a stick in that thing. Phillip must’ve been eighteen – he didn’t look a day over eight. A clean shaven kid, skinny as my forearm. He was traveling east, […]

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A Peck of Pickles by sean dietrich

I tried to make pickles last week. They came out tasting like cumbers soaked in rubbing alcohol. I don’t have the knack my mother had. She could’ve pickled boot leather and it would’ve been fit to serve company. Pickling was her thing. Compared to hers, store-bought pickles were a joke. Mother also claimed her pickle brine […]

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Highway 127 Yard Sale by sean dietrich

The Highway 127 Yard Sale is a seven-hundred-mile junk-extravaganza. The event starts in Gadsden, Alabama, and hikes straight up the crotch of Godless Michigan. Thirteen years ago my wife and I went, armed with a map and a clunky Oldsmobile. We stayed the first night near Mentone, Alabama. An old woman opened her farmhouse to yard-salers for […]

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Cooking Up Trouble by sean dietrich

As a young man, I worked as a cook for Waffle House. It was an easy job, except for all the work.There, I learned to clean a flat top, to fry eggs, and to wear a paper wedge hat. We called that hat the Confidence Killer. If you want to know why, go serve breakfast […]

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