Meet Cutes and Meet Uglies


Meet Cute #20: Unappreciated Rock Star X and I / Feb 28

Note: This is an early draft of a personal essay. The final meet cute in my month-long experiment! Thanks for reading. For about half of my 20s, I worked as a news researcher and then a reporter for The Associated Press in New York. I loved the arts. So I often asked for assignments to […]



Meet Cute #19: Gavalier and the Dragon / Feb 27

Gavalier had never been more afraid. He snaked toward the dragon cave on his armor-clad belly, sword at the ready. A huge boulder lay at the cave entrance. From around its edges tendrils of steam escaped. The steam was the breath of Fluvé, the dragon that had tormented Gavalier’s town of Rouen for decades. Other […]



Meet Cute #18: The Hamster and The Chair of Freedom / Feb 26

Whiskers the Hamster clung to the top rung of her cage, her front claws and legs trembling with effort. The view through the cage’s side wall was a familiar one. It was of The Child’s bedroom, done up in frilly pinks and pastel greens. There were a bed, and a desk, and several chairs. Whiskers […]



Meet Cute #17: Weetabix and Milk / Feb 25

Weetabix felt so impossibly dry, a crackling sensation in her whole-grain wheat threads. She was sitting, alone, in a bowl on a kitchen counter in a Midwestern home. It was a winter morning, the thirsty air sucking up all moisture. She longed for the moderate humidity of the Weetabix box, where her former companions remained. […]



Meet Cute #16: Betsy and Trader Joe’s / Feb 24

Betsy pulled into the parking lot of Trader Joe’s. She turned to her boyfriend, Carl, who was humming a pop song — that one by Daft Punk, she thought — in the passenger seat. “Well, we’re here,” she said. “Excited?” “I am! Thanks, babe.” Betsy aimed her Toyota Yaris down a row of cars, looking […]



Meet Cute #15: The Ice Dancers / Feb 21

I met Lisa only a few years after my memories begin. I was seven, and she was eight. Before that I remember only a few things. The train set I got for Christmas when I was six, or pouting about going to Sunday school. At the time I met her, I had vague notions, fueled […]



Meet Cute #14: The Banker and the Femme Fatale / Feb 20

The hotel clerk didn’t have my reservation. Nor did she have an empty room. “I am sorry, sir,” she said. “We are completely booked. I am happy to make some phone calls –” “But it’s high season!” I said. “Everywhere’s booked!” “Perhaps someone made a cancellation.” “It’s the snowiest January on the East Coast since […]



Meet Cute #13: Valerie Harper and Rhoda Morgenstern / Feb 19

Note: This is a fictional story written in the style of a news article, not an actual interview. Valerie Harper, 74, settles into her plush sofa with a steaming mug of green tea. “I’m nervous,” she says. “Is it normal to be nervous?” On a television screen in front of her is footage of herself […]



Meet Cute #12: The Monk and the Nun / Feb 18

It was still dark out when Brother Phap Vien woke at 5:15 a.m. for seated meditation. Still night, really. Fingers freezing, he shrugged on his brown robes and his brown hooded sweatshirt. Outside his room, in the pre-dawn, other figures moved around him. Slow shadows, barely visible in the dark. Their shapes were all the […]



Meet Cute #11: Bruno and the Goldfish / Feb 17

The pink balloon exploded against the corkboard, a dart vibrating in the space that had been its center. Bruno stared, stunned. Had he really hit the balloon? It had been his fifth and final try, and he’d all but given up hope. The man running the booth glanced up, then returned to counting dollar bills. […]



Meet Cute #10: Zeus and Hera / Feb 14

I had a crush on my older sister the first time I saw her. I know it’s creepy. But creepy is relative when you consider that I had to cut her from my father’s stomach along with four of my other siblings. So if there’s a real perv in this story, it’s Dad, not me. […]


working with computer

Meet Cute #9: Kyle and Richie Before the Conference / Feb 13

Hi! This is the beginning of a longer short story I’m working on. Kyle had first communicated with Richie on the “ride share” board for FREDA, the journalism conference they were both attending. “Arriving SEA 4:25 p.m.,” read Kyle’s original post. “Looking to share cab to campus.” He’d posted because he didn’t want to pay […]