An Excerpt from “The Weil Conjectures” by Karen Olsson
I think part of what I liked about math was simply that it seemed like a sure thing, as sure as a thing could be, a solid mass of true and rigorous and irreproachable knowledge that I could grab like a pole on a bus.
I felt as if I were glimpsing the making of a movie I had seen a thousand times before—the boom microphone crowding into the frame for an instant, the wide canvas of blue sky suddenly wheeled into the wings. I peered through the doorway to the living room and found Mario seated on his reclining chair, absorbed in the copy of Clarín splayed before him, his glasses clinging to the tip of his nose.
Golden Boys and Girls
Oh, we went to the movies every Saturday afternoon and devoured Modern Screen Magazine, but how could you compare a Debbie Reynolds with a Julie Harris? We belonged to the legitimate theater and we would never sell out. We were Performing Artists.
Neighborhood Watch by Cheston Knapp
What bubbles there were that floated and shimmered wet and oily and then blipped out of existence under the funeral parlor’s fluorescent lights were really quite something to behold. I’m even tempted to go for the cliché here and say you couldn’t have written it better, so well did the scene appear to encapsulate the end.
Gutter Cat by Michelle Donahue
Somewhere there is a cat, a mother readying the world for the arrival of her babies. The kittens—slick and blind creatures—slip from her body. They blink and blink, little voices crooning high-pitched cries of I’m ready.
From the Front Porch Archive: A Good Laugh
Here’s what I loved about doing stand-up: you stand on a stage and get to say things that, under ordinary circumstances, would cost you friendships, your job, or even a few teeth. In fact, you don’t just get to say these things; you’re supposed to. That’s why people go to comedy shows—to hear things about the world that can only be said in that particular context. If the late comic Richard Jeni is to be believed, comics are the only people on earth with license to tell the absolute truth.
From the Front Porch Archive: It Started With a Centerfold
Here, in the center pages of Cosmo, was my mother’s celebrity crush, lying on a bear skin rug, a slender cigar dangling from his mouth, bad boy smile in full effect. In 1972 Burt was in his mid-thirties, and held a reputation for being a ladies’ man. At the time of the centerfold, Burt had been in a two-year relationship with singer/actress Dinah Shore, twenty years his senior, something unheard of in those days.