"The Sorry-Making Machines" Issue

Lois Greene Stone

14 karat

Euphemism. Whether
it's passed-away for
dead, or sanitation
engineer for trash
collector, society
seems to need to
pretty-up for its
own benefit.
Golden years,
golden agers,
golden opportunity,
we see gold as
glittery and valued.
I suspect, when her
body was invaded
by incurable cancer,
my senior-citizen sister
quietly expressed:
"the golden years
are tarnished."


Invited to a house party
I wondered why the hostess
was so specific about my
presence. Pleased to
possibly have acquaintances
in this town that disliked
outsiders, as I'd been
born and raised hundreds
of miles away, I still had
a cautious distrust of persons
here. Having inclusion before
moving from familiar, finding
exclusion merely because
my roots were not from this
area, made me think about
the invitation. Maybe the
hostess was also an outsider?
Maybe this could be a beginning?
I rang the doorbell. Entering
the living room, the hostess
showed a phony smile, uttered:
I needed a real writer
to round out my guest list."