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Deception by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Honesty

/ Stories

The lies we told each other—and ourselves.
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Missing Out on Aruba by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Spring Break

/ Stories

Spring break on Aruba? Oh yeah! There was only one problem.
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The Gumdrop Tree, by Myron Unger by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By New Beginnings

/ Stories

But little hands lifted the top of the garbage pail, and discovered the resting place of the gumdrop tree.
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Grace by
50
(79 Stories)

/ Stories

Written in response to How We Like Our Eggs
We did not relish listening to praise and platitudes about a woman who was, to put it charitably, hard to get along with.
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Klearance Sale by
50
(79 Stories)

/ Stories

The flyer—featuring a jolly Santa and offering floor models, repossessions, and a choice of linings—was in spectacularly bad taste.
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Aftermath by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Parties

/ Stories

I walk out in a daze, music ringing in my ears, the girls in their party dresses still twirling across my eyes.
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Tornado Warning by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Disasters

/ Stories

Neither rain, snow, sleet, nor gloom of night was going to deter us from our planned movie date.
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In Vino Communitas by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By The Garden

/ Stories

How can I convey the childish joy of wading around the tubs as the grapes squished and squirted between our toes?
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Black Magic by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By The Social Network

/ Stories

Each time I respond to a post, Facebook uses it to categorize and phenotype me, to slice and dice my likes and comments and sell them to the highest bidder.
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The Baths at Esalen by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Nudity

/ Stories

No one is self-conscious about the nudity, and from our attitude and bearing you would think we were all decked out in our Sunday best, headed for church.
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Cream Cheese Crack Cake by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Diets

/ Stories

I could give you the recipe, but you'll have to sign a release form.
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Family of Friends by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Vintage Photos

/ Stories

We were as close as family without the drama or angst.
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Le Monstre de la Mer by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By The Twilight Zone

/ Stories

“When will we ever get another chance to see a sea monster?” Patti urged, sealing the deal.
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True Love and High Adventure by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By What We Read

/ Stories

The thrilling tale of the Dread Pirate Roberts and Rodents Of Unusual Size and the Cliffs of Insanity and the Zoo of Death.
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Rocky on the Second Ballot by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Student Activism

/ Stories

Hey kids, let's put on a convention!
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Just Pizza by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Restaurants

/ Stories

Patti and I simultaneously glanced up a side street, spotted a pizzeria, and nodded knowingly at each other.
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Expats in London: Summer of ’74 by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Watergate

/ Stories

Nixon's address would go down at 3:00 in the morning, London time. But this was history and we were not going to miss it.
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Roommate Poker by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Roommates

/ Stories

The stakes were sky high: the corner single.
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Yokohama Item Nancy by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Technology

/ Stories

“What does CQ stand for?” I asked. “It doesn’t stand for anything,” he answered. “It means ‘Seek you.‘”
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The Car That Smelled Like California by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By My First Car

/ Stories

The case of wine slid across the carpet and the bottles fell out. With a crash, one broke.
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Androgyny by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Gender Roles

/ Stories

We all thought equality was a great idea, but it was not easy to translate into the day-to-day work of being married.
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Trading Places by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Halloween

/ Stories

I wore no wig, no makeup, no heels—just the dress, set off by the full beard I wore at the time.
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Cohabitation by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Generation Gap

/ Stories

I devised an ingenious way to break the arrangement to my mom. Or so I thought.
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Bounceback by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By 9/11

/ Stories

We watched the events of 9/11 with a kind of detached horror, since we didn’t personally know any of the victims. Or did we?
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The Electoral College, Redux by
50
(79 Stories)

/ Stories

Written in response to Article II, Section 1
It’s not just the outcome I’m unhappy with. It's also undemocratic.
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Secret Sauce by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Drive-Ins

/ Stories

Written in response to Forbidden Fruit
The sauce was a perfect blend of mayonnaise, summer vacation, Tom Terrific, rainbows, and ambrosia.
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It Doesn’t Have a Name Yet by
50
(79 Stories)

/ Stories

We wore multiple hats because we had to, but we also thought we could do anything and no one was there to tell us we couldn’t.
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Sharpshooter by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Camp

/ Stories

I owned my share of toy guns as a kid, but when it came to the real thing I was chickenshit.
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The Pixies Three by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Concerts

/ Stories

The drab, cavernous room reeked of sweat and hormones. Then the DJ mounted the steps to the stage.
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Catching the Waves by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Aunts & Uncles

/ Stories

"It's really a blast," I wrote in my travel diary. That was high praise in 1966.
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Upon Reaching the Age of Three, by Myron Unger by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Father's Day

/ Stories

Upon reaching the age of three, what does a little boy expect from his dad?
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Surfin’ Safari by
50
(79 Stories)

/ Stories

In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, all of them ending with a tumble into the surf.
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Appetite by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Altered States

/ Stories

He took a bite and chewed it, slowly and deliberately, as the rest of us talked. Then another.
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Jackson’s Third Birthday by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Toys & Games

/ Stories

We know your passion for trucks, and so / We come to the park bearing trucks.
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Stop the ERA by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Women's Lib

/ Stories

We asked just two questions. The first was whether they supported or opposed the ERA. The second ...
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Disco Inferno by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Dance Crazes

/ Stories

There were men dancing with men, women with women. Aaron had brought us to a gay club—our first.
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Self-Control by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By The First Time

/ Stories

Close your eyes and think of baseball.
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Mr. Meat Guy by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Cooking

/ Stories

My father employed the same grilling method as every other suburban Michigan father in the ‘50s: incineration.
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Moloka’i Dream by
50
(79 Stories)

/ Stories

You could relax there, she thinks. You could get away from it all.
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The Mouse and Me by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By What We Watched

/ Stories

As an added bonus, Jiminy Cricket taught me how to spell "encyclopedia."
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Life and Death in Bali by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By The Great Beyond

/ Stories

It is an auspicious day for a cremation There will be no tears today Tears would drag your spirit back to earth Your pallbearers wear earrings and black shirts Sporting logos of Harley-Davidson, Heavy Metal; On your wreath, a banner Advertises the Sheraton Nusa Dua The cremation tower, sunny white and yellow, Adorned with your…
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Grace by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By The Great Beyond

/ Stories

Remember how, in her 70s, she walked four extra blocks in a snowstorm to save a few pennies on toilet paper?
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Cowboys and Kings by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Halloween

/ Stories

Superman was cool. With superpowers and all. And nobody ever asked who I was supposed to be.
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Harmony by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By In the Band

/ Stories

Under no circumstances, Kodaly told our conductor, will you rehearse anything but my Te Deum between now and the performance.
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What We Didn’t Eat by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By What We Ate

/ Stories

Half of what’s in our fridge today, I hadn’t even heard of in 1965!
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The Middle of Nowhere by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Something Wild

/ Stories

Rob says, okay John, you get to lead the way back, and I smile and giggle and I say are you sure, and he says sure.
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No Marketable Skills by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Working

/ Stories

“What are you going to do?” they asked. “You’re an academic!"
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Bankers’ Hours by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Good Riddance

/ Stories

Weekend hours? Don’t make me laugh.
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Little GTO by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By My First Car

/ Stories

Turn it on, wind it up, blow it out, GTO. Yeah, that was me.
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Klondike Day by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Camp

/ Stories

We could get credit for the golden boulder—if we could somehow transport it to the assayer’s office without getting robbed.
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Jerusalem by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Travel

/ Stories

We spotted three girls across the street. When they saw us they giggled, whispered among themselves, and waved shyly.
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1776 by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Independence

/ Stories

Don't miss the show-stopper, "Molasses to Rum to Slaves," about Northern complicity in the slave trade. Seriously.
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The Elvis Wedding by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Weddings

/ Stories

We wrote our own vows, read from Sandburg, Saint-Exupéry, and Gibran, and sang songs by Jacques Brel and John Lennon.
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It’s a Book by
50
(79 Stories)

/ Stories

“You understand, we can’t mention this again,” I told him. I felt like a criminal conspirator.
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The Graduate by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Graduation

/ Stories

I had hair; my grandfather didn't. So it was only fair to let him wear the mortarboard.
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Reading to Bill by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Those We Miss

/ Stories

Written in response to Something is Missing
The words rolled lyrically off my lips. Each sentence had a rhythm, a cadence.
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The Typewriter by
50
(79 Stories)

/ Stories

I loved how the keys plunked and the typebars clattered, the ping of the bell and the thwack of the carriage return.
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Laughter by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Those We Miss

/ Stories

Michigan seems like a dream to me now. —Simon & Garfunkel, "America"
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Telephone Exchanges by
50
(79 Stories)

/ Stories

UNiversity, BUtterfield, KLondike, WOodward, YUkon—those old phone numbers were so easy to remember.
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You Can’t Tell the Players Without a Scorecard by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Big Fan

/ Stories

I told them I was only eight, but I promised the announcers that when I was older I would drink Stroh’s beer and use Speedway 79 gasoline.
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Top Forty by
50
(79 Stories)

/ Stories

Then came a series of questions about rock music, meant, I'm sure, to be my downfall.
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The Chaney Clocks by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By My First Paycheck

/ Stories

Was the song meant to instill a false sense of pride in his students, or a fever dream of a school where he’d really like to teach?
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Remembering Keith Emerson by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Vacations

/ Stories

Written in response to The Great Sea Rescue
Would you destroy a piano to make a music video? Keith Emerson would.
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Truffle by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Pets

/ Stories

They were all cute, a mix of golden retriever and German shepherd, but she was the cutest, a fluffy round ball of fur.
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Have Guitars, Will Travel by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Vacations

/ Stories

Then someone said, "You guys get up there." Bud and I looked at each other. Why the hell not?
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Saying Kaddish by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Faith

/ Stories

The words roll off my tongue despite years of disuse, their rhythm like music, like chant; like Ginsberg, like Dylan.
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Conscientious Objector by
50
(79 Stories)

/ Stories

The wait seemed interminable, but the later our birthday was called, the less chance we had of being drafted.
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Scarlett O’Hara and Me by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Teenager in Love

/ Stories

Even by tenth grade, Amy had developed, like Scarlett, the ability to dangle young men from her fingertips. I dangled gladly.
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Roger and His Calvins by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By What We Wore

/ Stories

Craig gained additional notoriety in 1990 when he appeared in newspaper ads modeling Calvin Klein briefs—and nothing else.
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Art Lessons by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Lessons

/ Stories

Only now does the sheer phallic audacity of that picture make me chuckle.
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Confessions of a Sci-Fi Nerd by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Lost in Space

/ Stories

This guy Heinlein could really tell a story.
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Comics at Tony’s by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Hair

/ Stories

My family had a rule: No comic books.
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Dorm Rules by
50
(79 Stories)

/ Stories

No drugs. No alcohol, even if we were over 21. (We weren't.) No female visitors after 11 on weekdays or midnight on weekends.
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What We Learned from the Roosters by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Lessons

/ Stories

You know how roosters crow in the morning to greet the dawn? That’s a myth, we learned when we moved in.
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Visits from My Grandfather by
50
(79 Stories)

/ Stories

It is his scent that comes back to me most strongly: a mixture of leather, Barbasol shaving cream, and cigars.
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Cash by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Best Advice: Money

/ Stories

My grandfather loved horses and gambling more than he loved my grandmother, so he spent a lot of time at the racetrack.
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Cheap Thrills by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Prom

/ Stories

“What’s this?” asked Wendy. “Chocolate cream pie,” I answered helpfully. “It’s like soup,” said Jean.
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A Coney Island of the Soul by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By What We Ate

/ Stories

We cram sweaty into a booth, raising scarcely an eyebrow in rented tuxedos and spaghetti-strap gowns.
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The Conservative by
50
(79 Stories)

Prompted By Politics

/ Stories

Joe's hat sported not only a Nixon-Agnew campaign button but, beside it, a Goldwater button from four years earlier.
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