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    First Luv of My Life by William Turbyfill

    My first serious relationship with a member of the opposite sex was back in the 2nd grade. This was before I ever got nervous in front of girls.  They were not yet the threat that they would one day become.  Don’t get me wrong, of course I kissed a few girls before that point. Yeah, that mountain got climbed way back in kindergarten during nap time. But 2nd grade was when I took the next step and plunged into a committed relationship. I don’t remember too much about that whirlwind romance which took place in the halls of Madison Cross Roads Elementary, but what I do remember was incredible. She…

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    Date Night by Titus Burley

    So maybe she should have chosen a more recent photo for her dating profile. It wasn’t a flagrant misrepresentation necessarily but people do change over six years. A sedentary thirty-seven year old may lack the – oh what was the phrase she was looking for? – skin elasticity of an active and exercise obsessed thirty-one year old.               Glad I got past that phase, thought Dana. Talk about self absorbed. The money one could blow through on a healthy kick differed not a great deal from the dough one could squander on a destructive vice. In fact the occasional pack of cigarettes and fifth of vodka cost a lot less…

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    Finding Miller by Gregory Knight Miskin

    We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us. — Joseph Campbell Rummaging under a stack of papers in my office I ran across a thin book purchased weeks before then set aside as the reason for it faded. Less than 120 pages, I decided to run through it quickly and be done. Alice Miller’s The Drama of the Gifted Child had been an online recommendation to someone else but I thought I might uncover a nugget or two for myself. I settled into my office chair at home to zip through as much as possible…

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    Falling Down by Kevin Munley

    Maybe mom was right. Maybe he had damaged his brain with beer and destroyed his heart with cigarettes. After watching him sleep like a suckling pig for hours and then throwing up all kinds of bright greens and yellows into our toilet like a bewildered beast, I never touched the stuff. My childhood was shit because of it. You wouldn’t touch the stuff either if you saw your old man falling down the stairs screaming at invisible demons. Sure, it was difficult for me when I first got to school. Everyone wanted to know why I didn’t drink. Some guys in particular can be pushy. You know how those jock…

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    A Pocketful of Second Chances by James Nordlund

    Anne-Marie shifted the weight off of her sleeping arm, letting the tingles subside as it hung over the side of the couch. The faded yellow and maroon paisley patterned couch had been her asylum for about a week now. Rebecca would let her stay on that thrift store purchase as long as she wanted to. The tiny apartment in Tacoma, Washington smelled of ash and body odor. Anne-Marie lit up a cigarette. “So, you think you’re going to get off that thing before noon today?” Rebecca teased from the kitchenette, pouring herself a cup of coffee. “I don’t got shit to get up for,” Anne-Marie said in a held breath,…

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    When in Doubt Suck Your Thumb by Brad Myers

    It was 1975 when I used to watch television lying on my stomach with my head perched on my hands. My elbows always got sore so I would shuffle or cross my arms and rest my chin on them…Then my chin would get sore. Eventually, I’d be lying on my side or sitting cross-legged until I could go back to my tummy. Sometimes I would be lucky to have a throw pillow thrown at me. But I do remember the smell of our 1970’s shag carpet and picking our dogs hair out my mouth at times. I can’t describe the smell but the main ingredient was cigarette smoke. But I…