Essays from an American mutt

This is our home

The kid’s shot to right field was the kind that made you gasp. It came off the bat like a laser, and it didn’t matter that little leaguer was barely 70 pounds. The ball...

Marriage and the power of luck

She nibbled, and I didn’t understand why. I came from a family of people who took fresh bites of their food before fully swallowing what they’d just chewed. Michelle, a petite girl who played...

Mistakes

This is a story of two mistakes with eternal consequences. They happened almost exactly three years ago, but I’ve never written about them publicly. There are a lot of things that happen when somebody...

Threadbare troubadour

Getting old is easy. It happens without your permission. It happens on its own. It’s literally effortless. The hard part is finding any good in it happening. Something happened last night, and it made...

My dog swallowed what?

I learned a new word this weekend: radiopaque. It’s not the kind of word you just throw out over coffee, or really, in most polite conversation, but it is the kind of word you’ll...

Carry me home

Jason Shelton, an American soldier, was on my plane to Greenville last night. I hadn’t slept in two days. I’d left my hotel 22 hours before. My back and neck were knotted up. I...

Notes on fear

The note read, “If I die.” Nothing else. There was no last will and testament. There were no instructions. There was only a flower blossom picked from somewhere else. I was soaked with sweat...

To catch a fish

I was beginning to wish we’d never seen the fish. I wished that the sun had set, dirty faces has been washed, and I was drinking a cold one on the back porch. I...