In Jami Attenberg’s second novel, Catherine Madison is in her truck heading to Las Vegas. She’s leaving her small Nebraska town, her husband and her dysfunctional family. What she’s keeping is a suitcase full of money. From the start, we realize Catherine is running from something. She’s paying for motel and hotel rooms in cash and signs her maiden name in an attempt to cover her tracks.
I can’t say I know this person. She’s really just an acquaintance I run into every now and then. but apparently she feels like she knows me well enough — or more likely had enough drinks in her — to send me some text messages.
Walking up Sixth Street in downtown Cincinnati on a cloudy January afternoon, I saw her standing there on the sidewalk. I was rushing to the bus stop while she was talking to a man I didn't know. I wasn't sure if she had noticed me or not, but a text message on my cell phone later that night told me she did. Her message saying "I miss you" hurt a little, but the reality is I don't miss her. I'm the one who walked away from the friendship.
Jan. 6: The first major snowfall of the winter season is predicted for tomorrow, and I'm ready. I tell myself I live in the Midwest because I like the change of the seasons and snow can be beautiful. When the snow comes, I'll build a snowman. I always liked doing that when I was a kid. Jan. 8: Alright, it can stop now.
Springfield, Ohio, is on my mind, and I don't know where Erin is. In the fall of 1993, I moved to Springfield. This was a location transfer from my employer, and in my head I thought it was going to work out fine. I was separating from my wife and looked at Springfield as a fresh start. Erin helped me start again.
Hell, it seems like only 52 weeks ago I was writing “Living It in 2008” for this column. Time really does fly when you’re having fun. Just like in 2008, you’ve gotten my always excellent, often brilliant columns just about every other week in 2009 while the rest of the time I’ve recruited (or begged) other writers to fill in this space
At the end of October, when we were getting ready to move our clocks back an hour, I vented about what I go through during this time of year — especially the holidays. Forgive me, but I have a few more things to work through. I hope you don’t mind playing my therapist.
For the past 20 years, author Barb Johnson has been a carpenter in New Orleans. Luckily for us, the reader, she’s put down her carpenter tools and has picked up pen and paper. In More of This World or Maybe Another, the Bubble Laundromat in mid-city New Orleans serves as a backdrop for nine astonishing stories.
My friend and former co-worker Jim has invited me back to his hometown of Apollo, Pa., for Thanksgiving many times in the past, but I’ve always declined. Understand, I’m a smoker and none of his family smokes — but this year I decided, what the hell, I’ll go.
If I were a betting man, I'd bet the approval of Issue 3 on Nov. 3 points Cincinnati in a new direction. I'd bet that a gambling casino at Broadway Commons makes this city a bit more progressive. And I'd bet Citizens for Community Values will try to keep us from using the casino.