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About the Author: Edward Palumbo is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island (1982). His fiction, poems, shorts, and journalism have appeared in numerous periodicals, journals, e-journals and anthologies including Rough Places Plain, Flush Fiction, Tertulia Magazine, Epiphany, The Poet’s Page, Reader’s Digest, Baseball Bard and Dark Matter. Ed is a prize-winning poet and playwright. Ed’s literary credo is: if you fall off the horse, get right back on the bicycle.

On the Way to Dinner

Early Evening

Andrea waited while I visited the cash machine. I took out one hundred dollars, hoping that she wasn’t all that hungry. Andrea was a good eater, really good—she was a plus-sized young lady, if you will, better than a minus-sized young lady, you can lose one of those in your shirt pocket. We drove in silence. Andrea asked if she could turn on the radio. I shook my head, my car, my rules. I saw the sign off Hamilton Street, The Generally Contented Moose Steakhouse, our destination, the best ribs this side of The Rockies and I don’t worry about what’s on the other side of The Rockies.

“What’s the plan?” Andrea asked.

“You cozy up to the waiter, find out whatever you can.”

“What if it’s a waitress this, time?”

“Then you cozy up to her. Use your charm. The charm you used to land me.”

“Right, like you were a challenge,” she replied, “you practically begged me to go out with you. You are a good beggar.”

“I learned it from my dog.”

Andrea and I were seated. I knew the waiter, Doug, we had been served by him in the past. Douglas Fitch-Ulna was a slick sort, devious, too. Oh, he put forth a smile and he was always attentive and he was always well-kempt in his black vest and cranberry shirt and thin, black, leather tie, but he was not fooling me. Doug had a secret, a secret he held tight. A young man with a secret is as dangerous as a hungry grizzly bear, if less furry. Doug placed the honey wheat loaf on the table before us. He also left menus, but, no need, we always ordered the same thing, St. Louis Baby Back Ribs.

A Small Coffee Shop

157 Plymouth Avenue,

Cranston, RI

A lot of women can claim to be the daughters of Cranston, RI bakers, not just Ali Macgraw, or better said, her character, Jenny Cavilleri.

“Did Love Story make you cry?” Brittney asked.

“I haven’t cried like that since Caddyshack,” I replied.

Caddyshack came after Love Story.”

“Not for me,” I promised.

“Why did you want to see me?”

“Just to talk,” I replied.

“How old are you?” Brittney asked

“It is not like that,” I insisted.

“How old?” she insisted back. 


 “I’m twenty-four,” she promised, with a blink of her green eyes.

“I told you, it’s not like that.”

“Well, you must want something,” she replied.

And I told her what I wanted and she told me what she wanted and her price was very, very high. I sipped the butterscotch-flavored coffee, odd thing, too, as I had ordered the mountain blueberry.


My Kitchen

Such as it Was

   “Well?” Andrea asked, after I had swallowed the bite of bread.

“Not awful,” I answered, “but not nearly as good.”

“It’s my grandmother’s recipe,” she promised.

“I thought you said your grandmother was dead.”

“She is dead,” Andrea replied, “but they didn’t bury her bread recipes with her.”

“Fine,” I said, “anyway, thanks for the effort.”

“You have to let this thing go.”

“That’s what she said.” I responded.

“Please don’t say that’s what she said after my sentences.”

“That’s what she—”

“You are obsessed with this honey wheat loaf,” Andrea interrupted.

“I do my best work, when I am obsessed.”

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This story appears in our NOV 2017 Issue
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