Good Narrative Principles

April 16, 2024
by Lee Eiferman

Letter to My Future Self

Hi there! It’s me, writing you a note from one week in the future. First things first. Do not thaw out the four pieces of cod. Don’t be so ambitious. You’ll never get around to cooking it and by the time you face that harsh truth, your refrigerator, then your kitchen garbage can will stink to high heaven. It’ll take you a week to get rid of the smell.
Next. Do not sign up for a free one-week trial with BritBrox. Your future self watched that show and it wasn’t that good. Furthermore, you will forget to cancel in time and then you’ll waste stupid hours trolling for new shows to watch.
And finally, that cute person you met at the climbing gym (you know the one I’m talking about, the one you exchanged numbers with) really was in Montreal last week on a job. So, when they call, be nice even though you’re not feeling it.

April 11, 2024
by Lee Eiferman

Gym Sauna

We were sitting in the sauna trying to soak up the enfeebled heat which had been turned on full blast then lowered by someone after they had exited. Perhaps to save money? We were understandably sensitive to the door opening and closing allowing the heat to “escape” like a convict making a break for it.

A mother and her two wet shivering daughters showed up. The light was off in the sauna and the girls were reluctant to enter. Mom, advocating for her daughters, asked if she could turn the light on. But all we could register was the door being open. We asked her to close the door. She asked us if she could turn on the lights. We never did arrive at a consensus. After she and her daughters retreated, we had a hearty conversation about sauna etiquette.

Later, while I was dressing, I heard us being described as “rude”.

April 8, 2024
by Lee Eiferman

You Never Can Tell

We had just started dating. Nothing exclusive. We hadn’t exchanged the “L” word. Not yet. We laughed at each other’s jokes and formed deep and meaningful connections over a shared love of Emerson, Proust and Gertrude Stein.

I hadn’t met his friends nor he mine until two weeks ago Saturday when we went to his friend’s house party. The theme of the evening was “bring a dip.” The music was pumping. A few souls took to the dance floor but most congregating in the kitchen around bowls of hummus, guacamole and salsa. I took a tour of our hosts library while he remained by the table. When next we met, the dips had been pushed to the side, and he was doing card tricks. “Pick a card, any card.” The whole nine yards.

Turns out he was something of a showman. Who knew? Wonder if he also drives a flashy car.

April 6, 2024
by Lee Eiferman

How I Roll

I admit it. I love my bubble. My sweet self-reflecting world. I play by the rules. Keep my thoughts clean. Pure. In turn the world showers me with blessings. I might be curious about how the other half lives. I might be tempted by June, in Accounting, who brings me that expensive bone broth they sell at her local Farmer’s Market. But, the important thing is, I keep everything in check. Buttoned up. So today when I found a dollar at the base of the driveway, I knew the world had noticed my sacrifices and was sending me an “atta boy.”

(Photo: Tim Duch)

April 5, 2024
by Lee Eiferman

See How/Notice How

See how she turns away as she talks to that tall guy. Like she knows him. See how he bends down. Parks his ear near her mouth. Betcha he lost his hearing in high school. He could have been a basketball star. All those young girls screaming his name…stomping their feet in the bleachers. All those sound waves ricocheting off hard surfaces.
Maybe he was a dependable point guard.
Point guard? Is that a thing?
Notice how the couple there, in the corner stand shoulder to shoulder. Yeah, the one with that high ponytail which would totally give me a headache. See how one corner of his shirt lurches below the other. He must have missed a button.
Wonder if they notice me staring at them?

April 2, 2024
by Lee Eiferman


Picture a standard issue scene in a “Bible Thumping” film. The crippled child hobbles towards the Minister/Preacher. Their eyes growing milky wide as the Minister/Preacher summons the Holy Spirit and then…lo! The child tosses aside the crutches. Takes a wobbly first step. Then another. The congregation, witnessing a genuine miracle, gasps in unison.
We chose science. We took our deepest fears, wrapped them in a bow and tried hard to forget them, thinking, she will beat the odds. She’s got to.

Turns out what we needed was a miracle.

September 14, 2023
by Lee Eiferman

Ghost Story: Cheater!

There should absolutely be a warning on Airbnb. Make it a category.  Caution: this property might be haunted. Granted, it was only for a week. But, what a week! What a sneaky, angry spirit! On the other hand, maybe there wasn’t a spirit at all. Maybe I was just imagining the whole thing?

I’m not, let me repeat it, NOT a fan of horror films. I watched ”The Shining” which was more than enough for me.

It all started on the first night. Got in. Was relieved when the special combination worked. It doesn’t always and then you have to figure out how to contact your host. Never fun. We’re unpacking our major haul from Costco. We bought stuff like ten avocados. Thirty nectarines. A case of tonic. Insane shopping. Did a tour. Realized the place was just fine. It had a grill and blender, just like they promised. The magical view of the harbor reflecting the moonlight made me weak in the knees.

I go inside to snag dessert. Take a quick pee. And there, in the mirror, scrawled in lipstick was one word.


That, my friends, was just the beginning.

September 14, 2023
by Lee Eiferman

Adventure Story: A Lifetime of Grudges

Hard to think when I’m in screaming pain. Another gunshot sounds. This guy must have ammo to spare or else he is so furious at having squandered his chance to what…kill me? Throttle me? Tell me how I destroyed his what…his life? His chance at greatness?

I haven’t a clue.

I’ll admit I haven’t been exactly a star human. I have my faults. I can be small minded. Manipulative. But trying to imagine who this guy is, let alone why he’s so pissed off at me, is getting me nowhere.

What would Sarah Connor do? Probably stay and fight it out. I have zero fighting skills. Instead, I wrap my ankle with both socks, lean on a sturdy limb and hobble towards a thicket of downed trees.

A perfect hide out for me and probably many generations of ticks.

September 14, 2023
by Lee Eiferman

Adventure Story: I’m a Sitting Duck

Thing is…I mean, in my defense, I wasn’t prepared to go sailing through the air. I was in the middle of a meditation. You could say that’s the perfect state to be in when circumstances demand you stay flexible. Resilient. Alert.

My body cuts through the tree canopy. I fall hard on my left ankle. I’m missing a shoe.

First thing I do is try to stand. Realize my ankle won’t support my weight. Could be broken. It hurts like a son of a bitch.

Gunshots sound in the distance. They draw closer as if this guy is proudly announcing his location. I figure I bought myself like a five, ten minute advantage.

He calls out my name. How does he know me? Do I know him?

Think, Lee.


September 14, 2023
by Lee Eiferman

Adventure Story: On a Morning Just Like This

Woke up crazy early this morning. Sun wasn’t officially up and I’m on the road in quest of my 10K steps. Walked beyond my ordinary route, up the hill, into the woods for no other reason than I didn’t feel like turning around. It had been a tough night.
Thinking it might be a good idea to squeeze in a meditation before heading back, I sat on a log. Took a breath. The customary thrum of anxiety quieted. An image of a tick, worst yet, a spider creeping up my back seemed to dissolve with my next exhale.
I was almost reaching stasis, the point at which indifference outweighs nervous anticipation when I heard the unmistakable sound of footsteps. A voice shouted, HEY YOU!
I register the vague glint of metal. I’m on the run. I can hear him…it’s got to be a him…drawing closer. He’s waving the butt of his rifle…IT’S A RIFLE!!
Which is when I veer off the trail. Jump straight into the deep marsh below.