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Chicken Soup

By Mark Barkawitz He broke their date Saturday night.  Told her he wasn’t feeling well.  She had offered to come by his place to play nurse.  But he’d turned down her offer.  So he stayed home alone and brooded by… Read More »Chicken Soup

200 Meters

When she draws the outside lane, I mumble my displeasure, then look my daughter in the eyes. “It’s the toughest lane to win from.  You’ll think you’re leading, then as you come out of the turn, the entire field makes… Read More »200 Meters

A Reasonable Explanation

It was late afternoon when I got off work.  I’d powered through lunch—pipe-fitting an overhead water main with another retirement-age construction worker—so I was hungry and my arms and shoulders ached.  But I’d been working-out regularly—mostly bench press and dumbbells—so… Read More »A Reasonable Explanation

Fab Forum

When I was in my late-twenties, a young lady invited me to a rock concert at the Fabulous Forum for which she had complimentary (she worked for a writers’ agent), back-stage passes.  I wore a tailored sport jacket, white collared… Read More »Fab Forum

Sick as a Dog

Back when I was really sick—down to 122 lbs. with a broken back, propped up on a four-wheeled walker with hand brakes—my dogs still wanted to walk.  And I wanted to walk, too.  Hell, I wasn’t dead.  Not yet anyway. … Read More »Sick as a Dog

Fight or Flight

My wife and I were on our way to the 99 Cents Store on Colorado Boulevard.  A lanky, twenty-something, homeless guy in a soiled hoodie, skinny jeans, and sockless high-top sneakers sat on the sidewalk near the automatic front doors.  … Read More »Fight or Flight


Back when I was still an impetuous, young man, I had a starter wife.  After we split-up, I moved to a one-bedroom rental near Pasadena City College. As I was unpacking, I found a paperback novel, Breakfast of Champions by… Read More »Vonnegut


Nature tends to inspire me.  I’ve spent a lot of time alone with her.  Running in the nearby foothills and on the shorelines of beaches. Surfing solitary waves—if you know where to find them—crashing in, washing over me on the… Read More »Nature