Cover

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pp. 1-9

Contents

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pp. ix-11

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The Lousy Adult

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pp. 1-28

Joel Wind is gallery curator for the Taos Art Institute, and although he would have once considered this a dream job he hates it, actually. He loves art, but he’s come to believe that most artists are at best troubled misfits and at worst vicious egotists. Based in New...

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The Sea Horse

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pp. 29-42

Because the Murdos lived in 17 for over eight months now and that was so long in the transient world of The Sea Horse that they had become part of the atmosphere, like the drunken seadog fog that drifted in autumn nights from the bay across Pelican Avenue or...

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Playboys

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pp. 43-59

“The highest mountain in the western hemisphere is down there. It’s huge.” He stretches one arm over his head. “Really. Over twenty-two thousand feet.” A quilt is draped over the window to darken the room. Jennifer fluffs her short hair with her fingertips,...

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Warsaw, 1984

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pp. 60-77

After the first day, when we moved into the apartment in Warsaw, I seldom saw Tomasz. While he was visiting family and friends I was stranded, afraid to go out on my own, afraid I’d be murdered by one of the drunken factory workers who weaved on the sidewalk...

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This Whatever We Have

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pp. 78-101

It was the kind of day the kind of moment the kind of embarrassing incident that you later wish you could take back you wince groan kick yourself ask stupidly what was I thinking? But the moment occurred, someone saw something—not that those allegations could...

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The Next Worst Thing

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pp. 102-120

The worst thing about fights and I when I say fights I don’t mean disagreements I mean someone slamming a crowbar against your windshield because you’ve got the doors locked you keep trying to start the car dropping the keys scrabbling for them on the floorboards...

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What Happens to Rain?

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pp. 121-135

What happened then was not a noble thing or a brave thing or an event that might some day be described on a plaque forged by the fat hands of a Chamber of Commerce. What happened then was more like a mistake wrapped in a bloody bundle of paper towels...

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That Night at the Café

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pp. 136-166

That night at the Café du Coeur there was some discussion about whether the moon was full or not. It was close but perhaps not quite. One of the Americans was said to have checked the calendar and to have announced that it would not be full until the day...

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Next Stop Palookaville

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pp. 167-181

Gil Fieri, president and CEO of The Goal Line, Inc., a chain of athletic wear shops based in Dallas, was sitting in a field of black mud, cross-legged, in a circle three feet in diameter. He had drawn the circle in the mud himself, with a branch he’d found in the field....

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The Hidden Jesus

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pp. 182-202

That wasn’t good enough. That wasn’t part of the plan. He had to speak. They made him do it. They said, Tell us about your life. Tell us how it feels. Shegog, the Pain & Suffering Workshop leader, said they could wait. We can wait as long as it takes, he added. Redemption...

Acknowledgments

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pp. 203-216