All posts by Erika Raskin

 Being Seen by Kathleen McKitty Harris

People looking at art in museum
 

On the one-year anniversary of the Covid lockdown, my husband and I decided to visit the recently-reopened Museum of Modern Art (while double-masked and socially-distanced) in midtown Manhattan, and have dinner afterwards in a private outdoor hut in the West Village. When I had my temperature check before entering the MOMA yesterday, the attendant made eye contact with me and said—you have beautiful eyes and I love your glasses. We looked at each other for a few more seconds, and I said thank you and his eyes crinkled above his mask. We really saw each other for … Continue reading  Being Seen by Kathleen McKitty Harris

Going Up by Andrea Lynn Koohi

Photo of spire on tower
 

The summer I worked as a tour guide at the CN Tower, it was the tallest free-standing structure in the world. One thousand, eight hundred and fifteen feet tall. On my first day there, I shadowed a colleague as he delivered the elevator speech I’d soon be memorizing—perfectly timed for the fifty-eight second ride. Halfway through, a blonde woman knelt by the boy at her side and gestured toward my colleague with a snarky smile. “You see,” she interrupted. “This is why you stay in school.” My colleague gaped at her while the rest of … Continue reading Going Up by Andrea Lynn Koohi

His Words Were Smiles by Erika Raskin

Photo of a child's writing
 

“Please forgive me. My illness won today. Please look after each other, the animals, and the global poor for me.” Some people are born with a different level of grace and goodness than the rest of us. My nephew, Tommy, was one of them. The middle child of my brother Jamie and his wife Sarah, Thomas Bloom Raskin was extraordinary from the jump. Even as a small child he could glide into any set of arms, any conversation, any group. He was born kind. And intuitive. And piercingly sensitive to the needs of others. At … Continue reading His Words Were Smiles by Erika Raskin

Totality by Rigel Oliveri

Photo of sunset in clouds
 

They knew exactly when it would happen. Not just the day and the hour, but the minute. The very second. Even before they knew it, it was still destined to happen at that precise moment because it had been—quite literally—written in the stars. Like god had wound up a big clock a million years ago and all people needed was to learn to tell time . . . Mrs. Robbenault talked like this because she was excited. The whole town was excited. There were t-shirts for sale and signs in the store windows. Every morning … Continue reading Totality by Rigel Oliveri

Sunday Afternoons by Sean Grogan

Photo of train tracks
 

I was walking our dog this evening, around six o’clock, when I heard the low rumble of an approaching train. I live in Silver Spring, Md., a few blocks from where the tracks cross over Georgia Ave. When walking down our street, we can see the trains passing at our level, giving the illusion that there is a crossing up ahead. Actually, Georgia dips down below the tracks at that point. But I always look, for I’m reminded of the times my father would take me to watch trains on Sunday afternoons. Sometimes we’d go … Continue reading Sunday Afternoons by Sean Grogan

Collection Day Winton Place 1995 by Rachel Lippolis

Old photo of slide
 

Sylvia wished she saw anything but houses when she looked out her bedroom window. A field, a lake, or the foggy moors of Wuthering Heights. Or if there must be houses, let them be stately. Like Pemberley or Brideshead. Misselthwaite Manor, with its secret garden. Not the plain cape cod homes that filled her street. Only a narrow driveway separated the postage-stamp yards. These houses were like her own: two bedrooms, one bathroom, and low ceilings. Sylvia preferred reading books about faraway places, about people whose names were exotic like Helmer and Katrina. Of times … Continue reading Collection Day Winton Place 1995 by Rachel Lippolis

Regarding Your Time-Off Request by Sean-Taro Nishi

Silhouettes of people walking
 

To: Team Members From: Jill Valentine, MENTOR Re: Time-Off Requests Dear Team, First off, how lucky we are to still be thriving in this economy! Because not everyone’s so lucky. Some people are out there sleeping under bridges and rubbing sticks for warmth. Does this mean the world is rigged? Absolutely not. The world is fair, and if you Googled the word fair, you’d see that we’re the leading pioneer in fairness. And yet, some of us don’t realize how lucky we are! Now, we’ve always given you a lot of leeway because we’ve found … Continue reading Regarding Your Time-Off Request by Sean-Taro Nishi

Eternally, Me by Erika Raskin

Crazy collection of accoutrements
 

I’ve written before about the upside of long-term ditziness (mostly having to do with the silver-lining aspect of it not being a new, and therefore alarming, decline.) And I’m glad that I’ve documented it. The other day I got back inside from a brisk (because it was so freaking cold, not for any exercise benefit) stroll and removed the shades from my face—and was confused that it was still quite dark. I put my hand back up and found another pair. Think: The 500 Hats of Bartholemew Cubbins. I asked my supportive spouse why he … Continue reading Eternally, Me by Erika Raskin

The Chair by Sue Allison

Abstract photo of chair with part of arm hanging over it
 

My mother had a chair that when she sat in it, she was invisible. At first she put it in a corner where she would be unseen and could not be found and where she would hide from our rambunctiousness and our needs and our growing for hours. But then she put the chair in the middle of the living room or the dining room or the hall; we never knew where it might be. It was her Christmas chair. It was blue. When she was in it, we couldn’t talk to her, and though … Continue reading The Chair by Sue Allison

Another Plastic Buddha by James William Gardner

Streams of headlights along highway
 

The truck stop parking lot reverberated with idling big diesel engines. The air smelled like sour urine. Randal Whitley stood by the open door of his cab smoking a cigarette and drinking his morning coffee. A stick of beef jerky and two chocolate donuts was all he’d had for breakfast, but that was usual. He seldom sat down to eat in the mornings. When he awakened he was wired and anxious to hit the road. It was drizzling rain in Tuscaloosa, a cool morning for the time of year. Usually it was already hot in … Continue reading Another Plastic Buddha by James William Gardner