LeeWords

Good Narrative Principles

February 2, 2012
by Lee Eiferman
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Snowbound

He plans on flying in for Christmas simply because that’s the only day he has off. On Christmas there’s no expectations that he should be answering emails or field emergency calls. He wants more than anything else a clear window of time to negotiate his freedom once and for all. His co-workers at the office Christmas party point out the evident flaws of his plan not the least of which is that he works too hard to deny himself this one day off. He declines the numerous and generous invitations to Christmas dinner. Instead he continues to perfect “the speech” that he’s been working since late October, probably since Halloween when daylight retreats and kids taunt the encroaching darkness. Each day he fine-tunes the speech on his drive to work. He turns off the radio when he’s working particularly hard on it. There’s been roadwork on his way in. He’s used that extra time to sculpt his argument and the particular set of words he’ll employ like arrows to initiate the sale of their co-op, housing market be damned. He imagines that they’ll sort through the books, the silly VHS fil  Read more...

October 30, 2009
by Lee Eiferman
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Shotgun Al

Unless you have a big flair for the dramatic, you’d be hard pressed to call it incest. But it was something like that on an emotional level, that’s for sure. Of all his stepchildren, I was the one he singled out for deep, long heart-to-hearts at way too early an age. Al met my Mom at a forties and older singles event, sponsored by Hillel I believe. See, I’ve heard this story a million times and still I can’t retain the details. I can’t seem to make them fix in place. Maybe it’s because when my Mom or Al tell the story there’s a quality of inevitability about the whole evening that rubs me the wrong way. Al always starts the story with the classic chestnut of how he noticed her from across the room. (no duh. What kind of story would it be if it begins with the bridegroom claiming he didn’t notice his future wife until he tripped over her on his way to the bathroom?) Then he slips in a zinger, sounding a note of incontrovertible truth. And you find yourself giving him all your “I believe you’ cards without a backwards glance. This is typical Al. “On the night I met your mother  Read more...

July 11, 2005
by Lee Eiferman
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10:11 am

Wed: This is what I see this morning. A black and orange/red butterfly. Mostly black with a ribbon of orange/red running across both wings. The same color as a matter of fact that Jonah and I had discussed/argued about this morning as we chose the t-shirt for his school picture. The picture that undoubtedly will live in our life in some fashion with the strained smile, smiling at nothing in particular, that is the world of school pictures. See here is your child. See how he looks just like all other children. A dose of reassurance and removal all in moment. The butterfly until a second ago was fluttering its wings slowly open and close. He/she rests and then hobbles along again across the aggregate surface that is my patio, more like a landing, that leads to the driveway. The minute hills and valleys. Naturally, in this moment, it all is now. The butterfly’s motions. The dappled play of light on the surface of the aggregate (I’m using the word aggregate. Throwing it around with the confidence of a contractor ordering supplies   Read more...