The Moment Home Readings Buy the Book About The Moments

Submissions 11 - 20

You spot him some hundred feet away. Even though your eyes are weak and your glasses prescription needs changing, you can still see him. It’s almost laughable how many people you've almost mistook for him, because there could never be anyone else who looks like that.

You could turn onto a different sidewalk right now and avoid him completely, it's the faster way back anyway. Your feet carry you past your escape route unfalteringly, and you don't look back. In fact, you don't look anywhere at all.

You've anticipated this moment for months. You've talked about it, dreamed Read more
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Whenever I think of my mother, my mind flips to this story. Not to the whole story, but right to the middle of it, the worst moments of it. For me, that's where the story always starts.

My mother was beating the hell out of me. The first few blows seemed to come from every direction as I grabbed my nightgown and pulled it over my head, not wanting to be naked while being hit. From the beginning my back was to her and the heavy oak hairbrush struck me everywhere: on my back, my Read more
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By Robert Israel
They scraped me off the street, my bicycle in a heap nearby, and ever so gingerly placed me on the gurney. A crowd of curious onlookers watched intently, thankful they were not being loaded onto the ambulance.

The nurses at the hospital were calming as nurses are wont to be, and administered an intravenous tube of morphine, and soon everything around me became fuzzy and numb, and the florescent lights above the gurney where I lay no longer hurt my eyes. Another tube pumped fluids into me. The emergency room doctor slowly unraveled the gauze Read more
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My daughter's third grade class was recently given a homework assignment. The assignment called for each student to write an essay about a significant moment that had occured in their life.

This homework assignment triggered much discussion and introspection around our family dinner table at night. It allowed us to ponder which singular moment from our life we each deemed most significant and life changing. For my wife, it was very hard for her to narrow it down to just one moment. The birth of her daughter? The death of her mother? Passing the bar exam? All significant Read more
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1963, a nice sunny day in Long Beach, California. Uncle Tony (Tony Knobs as he’s known by his crew) has persuaded me to help him steal a pistol from a department store on the boulevard. The store, an old wooden behemoth, was a four alarm fire waiting to happen. I’m up on the second floor in the sporting goods department, pretending to be interested in fishing gear in an isle next to the gun display. The clerk is showing Tony different pistols from the long L shaped glass counter. After looking at three or four pistols Tony asks the clerk Read more
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By Robert Israel
His father appeared before bedtime, disappeared into the back bedroom and the next morning he was gone. Harold, his two sisters and his mother, were alone.

Harold trundled off to school, ate food scraps from the deli where his mother waitressed. He contracted tuberculosis a week after waiting with burlap sacks for an allotment of coal alongside other families on relief.
He noted these milestones in his diary, beside pasted photos, clippings from the Gazette, United Press drawings of an impending total eclipse of the sun, reports of violent outbreaks in Europe.

After high Read more
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One day I've joined the not-very-exclusive club of those who know from experience that main stream media lies.
Details don't matter: I went to a demonstration, stuff happened, got back home, media told a completely different story.
Many people know exactly what I'm talking about because they had a similar "moment". No matter what their beliefs are: occupy/tea-party, Palestinians/settlers, Rohingya/Whiratu, etc. When you're "out there", you find out that TV and press are internal entertainment for some "civilization" theme park (Putin recently said that reporters shouldn't stay in Syria for long periods so that they don't "lose contact with reality").
Read more
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Drunk with the light that flooded the sky at four-thirty in the morning, he soaked in its richness. The sky was at first a pale blue and by mid-morning it became a deeper blue, and, finally, when the sunset, the light was lingering, high above, although the harbor was dark and the boats, making their way past the airport, seemed like so many busy acquatic fireflies.

He had met Viola the night before and now he was meeting Francine and, soon, Paula. Always outdoor meetings, at outdoor cafes, with crowds passing by. It felt like the set of a Read more
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All small children are weathermen. They may not know much but they know good and bad, scary and safe, and when they're checking the weather of their world the sky they look into is their parent's face. If you're the parent, no matter what kind of tornado is coming, it's your job to act like everything is okay.

The day of our appointment, nothing was okay, but I was pretending like it was. We took a bus there, my son sitting beside me, and an aging hippie sat in front of us. He turned around, Read more
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I am not a dog person. Why? Because sometimes I forget to get myself dinner. Because I never walk myself daily. Because I don’t play catch with myself and because I won’t change all that for a dog. That was my opinion anyhow before Canter came to stay.

Don’t think I would have let him in easy--he is a golden retriever, which is to say he is a dog. But it was one of those awkward family favors that at the time was grossly underestimated and which in the end will never be Read more
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The Moment Book

Moments from the SMITH Community

Tomorrowland "Daisy, F3," my son Archer says as we pull into our parking spot. Disneyland’s about to open and we've arrived, just the two of us, our last hoorah before school starts. *** The alarm goes off and I pull the pillow tightly over my head. My husband, Hal, offers to wake the kids so I roll over, fall back asleep until Archer's voice wakes me, this time for good. "Hi, Mommy. It's …
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With Both Hands Whenever I think of my mother, my mind flips to this story. Not to the whole story, but right to the middle of it, the worst moments of it. For me, that's where the story always starts. My mother was beating the hell out of me. The first few blows seemed to come from every direction as I grabbed my nightgown and pulled it over my head, not …
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Reasons to be Thankful By Robert Israel They scraped me off the street, my bicycle in a heap nearby, and ever so gingerly placed me on the gurney. A crowd of curious onlookers watched intently, thankful they were not being loaded onto the ambulance. The nurses at the hospital were calming as nurses are wont to be, and administered an intravenous tube of morphine, and soon everything around me became fuzzy and numb, and the …
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Read More Community Moments →
 
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