One of the great joys I have as a writer is to meet other writers. Typically a writer meet up is filled with quotable quips, hair-pin turns of phrases, and good humored word-wise one-upmanship. It’s the literary equivalent of dogs sniffing one another’s behinds.
I meet her in the elevator and she says she recently moved to Costa Rica. I ask the Costa Rican ex-patriot for a story and she tells me that she is not a very interesting, story-rich person. I whine, “Come on, you live in Costa Rica! Haven’t…
“You have to travel with people who want to explore
otherwise everything is constructed,”
She pauses to nibble on her pickle,
and contemplate those frequent trips
she has made to visit her family in Barbados.
The last time she went down there with non-explorers
they whined every…
Sean runs a trivia company out of Minnesota
called “Trivia Mafia.”
Currently there is only one bar
in all of Milwaukee
(the city with more bars than grocery stores)
where you can play Trivia Mafia
and that bar is Vintage.
Here is why Sean and his dad came down for…
Sisters came in from New York
to attend the wedding and to show off their Wedding Dance.
They are choreographing their piece right now
on the exquisite carpet that urges all who come here
to at least sashay at least slightly
even if it is so slight that no one…
named Shannon and Michaela
want me to write them love letters for their boyfriends.
Shannon lovingingly describes her boyfriend, Ryan, as
“a sarcastic ass always picking on me and my big head!”
She goes on to say she met him at…
A few months into my job at the Pfister I learned something very interesting:
If you want, the spa will give you a bowl of clay to go with a hot steam shower. Yes, with this spa offering, you can temporarily remake yourself as an exquisite porcine figure, steamed…
When I first discovered Coke’s name
to be Coke,
I admit, I was taken aback
with the fact that it is the unusual title
for this amiable human
I often see in the lobby.
But Coke is used to the awe
of people discovering his name,
and ups the…
My term as Pfister narrator is almost up, so yesterday I finally booked a room. My best friend Jessie drove in from Ann Arbor for the occasion. Jessie promptly plopped on the plush puff bed as soon as we had entered and perused our room, #332.
She then jumped to…
The shop window on Wisconsin Avenue is empty. Inside the glass room is a door that leads to the darkness. The combination of this darkness door, the street lights reflected in the glass and the promise that the blank space will be filled up one day again, instills in me…
A guest in the lobby told the following story that took place over thirty years ago. He told me four other stories similar to this in the period of an hour.
I get a phone call from Short Man, he wants to see me. We were best friends in…
The following people shared their Thanksgiving Plans:
Location: Artist studio
Context: One Pfister Artist Niki’s interns, Arianna spent her day crocheting condoms into upholstery for Niki’s fainting couch.
“I’m going to my fake aunt’s house. I actually met her on the bus…
Right now in the Mystery that is the Pfistery,
there is a basket out in the lobby
a tisket, a tasket of apples,
all sized small
to keep inside my blazer pocket
my pocket’s apple is named King David
cause I’m told these are King David…
One day I’m typing in the lobby when a man approaches me. He has a kind face, one that appears illuminated from within by what I’d guess to be a gentle, prolonged love relationship. He just looks easeful and friendly. He inquires as to what I’m doing…
Mauriah has asymmetrical green bangs,
but you can’t see them too well
in the shady nighttime of Blu.
She orders a moscow mule and tells me
that she felt really safe when she lived in Taiwan.
Sure, scooters and bicycles got stolen
but even then the thieves were only…
The following story was copied only by memory. Bob requested that there be no pictures taken of him or recordings of his voice. I did not have a pad to write on. This is not how I usually do things, but I liked the challenge.
Bob and his lady…
Ilda became an American Citizen today in the courthouse across the street from the Pfister. She had to pledge her allegiance to the flag, swear an oath and then was given an envelope that contained her official paperwork along with a letter signed by the President. It is 6:30…
“My biggest bugaboo is blue jeans, sweatshirts, flat shoes.
I can’t stand it.
Every time I get on an airplane,
I’m over in Italy,
I’m over in Paris,
I’m over London,
I can tell without even asking which gate I’m supposed to go to
Harold & Laura came into town to visit their son Michael who is graduating from the Milwaukee School of Engineering’s mechanical engineering program. The three of them took advantage of Doors Open Milwaukee to tour the tallest skyscraper in Milwaukee, then the Groehmann Museum where they met the real…
Sophia and her mom live in Seattle, but every year they come visit with grandma for a few weeks because she lives here in Milwaukee. Julie, Sophia’s mom says that today she found out that her mother was elected high school secretary. Her mother, Eunice confesses, “I’m 90…
A box with twenty hats were left for me at the front desk the other day.
Miraculously, all of them fit my head. I would like to end this story here and imply that I have a secret admirer, but I know who gave me the hats. I was introduced…
wears red roses today
when I meet Caroline
from South Carolina.
Tomorrow Carolina’s Caroline will
toss plant pluckings on the floor
as flower girl for a wedding.
She tells me
I will get to wear tights
she tells me
there will be champagne!
Who told this kid…
I am walking outside along the outdoor customers of the Mason Street Grill when I witness a woman in her thirties fly up from her seat to stand before her friends and wildly gesture with her whole body. Her four friends shriek and howl with laughter so I stop to…
One suited man sees another suited man.
“Come here you big lug.” Exclaims the other man, “What do you mean ‘a big lug?!’”
The two of them proceed to do the manly anti-hug where they grab each other’s arms and smack each other on the back. The smack…
A yoga instructor and a fashion designer walk into the Pfister. They are from Portland. This is not a joke. Well, maybe it is. Kimberlee and Ashley pose with baby Quinn in front of the painting of kittens in a basket. Quinn wants to hold my hand (and her mother…