January 1, 2015

To: Sophia

From: Paolo

Cara Sophia – I send you warmest greetings. Unfortunately I have bad news. There was a fire in the guest cottage in Agrigento and all was lost. I know the idea of moving to Sicily permanently was very appealing to you but you were understandably undecided. Now, sadly, the decision has been made for you because the house is gone. Fortunately you still have your lovely house in New York. I hope some time in the future you will visit us for a few weeks at our home in Palermo. Ciao cara – Paolo 


January 1, 2015

To: Paolo

From: Sophia

My dearest Paolo – After much thought and soul-searching, I have decided to accept your kind offer to move into your guest cottage in Agrigento. The New York winters are getting progressively worse and I can not stand another day here. I desperately need a change of scenery and I’m ready to become a permanent resident of Sicily. Luckily, I was able to sell my house quickly. The buyers would like to move in in two weeks which will give me enough time to pack my clothes and a few treasured possessions. This evening I’ll check with the airlines and book a flight to Agrigento. As soon as I know my schedule I’ll contact you. Thank you again, my dear cousin. I look forward to seeing you very soon in sunny Sicily. Ciao caro– Sophia 


January 1, 2015

To: Sophia


Hi Soph – How’s my favorite sister? I’ve got exciting news! I landed that great job I was angling for….the one at the music school near you. I know it’s been a while since you offered your guest room to me and I’m hoping the offer still stands. You haven’t turned it into a shrine to John Lennon, have you? Anyway, I sold my condo here in Boston and all I need to do is to pack my stuff and buy tickets to NY. I’ll be there in about two weeks. Can’t wait to see you! It’ll be like old times when we were teenagers. Talk to you soon. Love, your favorite sister Angie 

PS: Brad and I broke up. He’s such a jerk! Oh well, life goes on. 


January 1, 2015

To: Angie

From: Brad

Babe, I’m an ass! Forgive me, please!! Brad xx

NAR © 2018


February 27, 2003

My dear daughter:

If you are reading this, I am no longer with you. There’s so much I wanted to tell you when I was alive, so many things I needed to explain but the words failed me. Now I find myself in the early stages of dementia and know this is my last chance to say the words you needed to hear. 

You know my life was not an easy one and I learned at an early age to keep my emotions in check. I was always the  practical one .. doing my duty for the family. How I now regret those missed mother/daughter times – never reading bedtime stories, going to the playground or snuggling with you on the couch. I was too embarrassed to tell you the facts of life and can only imagine the horror you felt waking up with your first period and thinking you were bleeding to death. 

I never worried about you because you were the defiant and rebellious daughter, unlike your sister who is too much like me. I think I always knew you would become your own woman, doing everything you could to be nothing like me. Having seen you with your own children, I know I’m right. 

Please know I did the best I could. I loved you even though I never could bring myself to say it. I hope you can forgive me.

Love – Mom 

August 18, 2009

Dear Mom –

I’m writing this letter knowing it will never be sent. You’re gone now so who can I send it to? But some words need to be said. It was rough growing up thinking I was unloved and there were times I hated you for that. For a long time I thought it was something I had done. 

My teens years were the turning point for me because I got out of the house and away from you. You know my mother-in-law was very different than you; we formed a bond and I found in her a mother’s love I desperately needed. 

How I resented you and your aloofness! What a shame … so many years wasted. Now as I look back I feel sorry for you. Deep down I believe you loved us. You just didn’t know how to show it. I forgive you, Mom, and I’m happy I didn’t turn out like you. Rest In peace.

Affectionately, your daughter 

NAR © 2018


I have a burning question. How many of us can honestly say we’ve seen God … not just seen Him but had a full-blown conversation – a religious experience replete with images and epiphanies? Ten, twenty, fifty, one hundred perhaps unless, of course, while under the influence of mind-expanding, hallucination-inducing psychedelic drugs the number would increase exponentially.

That is exactly what happened one night when my fiancé emerged from the bedroom after an hours-long LSD trip and announced to all in the living room, “I have just seen God and I now know there’s no such thing as everlasting death.”

Being in various stages of synthetic delusion, our reactions ran the gamut from “Heavy, dude!” to “What-the-fuckedness?!” to fits of hysterical laughter. Undeterred, although somewhat unsteady and quite high, my friancé wound his way through the mass of pillows strewn about the room and situated himself in the middle of the floor like the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

Fifteen pairs of glazed-over eyes watched while he went on to explain how God revealed to him that the followers of Pythagoras were extremely superstitious and mystical. They believed that the human soul was trapped in a continuous cycle of death and reincarnation. Although the body dies, the soul lives on, lying dormant in a constantly spinning dimension of the universe where it patiently waits to be catapulted back to earth, implanted into one form or another of the female species, and is reborn. And this cycle of death and reincarnation can be experienced by an individual an infinite number of times.

Minds officially blown, we all agreed this new-found knowledge was indeed “heavy” and required more contemplation while listening … again … to Dark Side Of The Moon. But I, who was always somewhat preoccupied and frightened by the thought of dying and ceasing to exist for all eternity, wanted to learn more about this amazing concept. I found it calming, hopeful and profound. So my future husband and I discussed this astounding, all-encompassing theory which I took fully to heart. Suddenly I was filled with a warm peace, a confirmation that the soul lives on, returning after mortal death. How ineffably comforting.

Soon I found myself drifting off to sleep in Bill’s arms as Pink Floyd played softly in the background:

“I am not frightened of dying. Any time will do, I don’t mind.”

NAR © 2018

Reposted for C.E. Ayrs MinMin challenge Rock n Roll – Min Min Challenge.


“Well done? You call this well done? Not one single seam is sewn straight. Sloppy! Now rip it out and start again.” 

More anger and ridicule rained down on me by my mother. Living with her was not all shits and giggles, as the saying goes. 

A rigid, controlling, aloof perfectionist who never let her emotions show or her guard down .. which is why what happened that ordinary day in August left both me and my sister bewildered .. squinting our eyes and scratching our heads much like the Pythagoreans trying to decipher that damn theorem. 

Suddenly the sky parted, a brilliant stream of light landed on the envelope in my mother’s hand, angels sang and my sister and I hugged each other, jumping up and down, screaming and crying tears of joy .. for peeking out of that envelope were three yellow tickets which read:

Sid Bernstein Presents


Sunday, August 15, 1965
Shea Stadium, Flushing NY

Three passes into a world we only dreamed of, a fantasy land more majestic than any national treasure in the universe, tickets more precious than gold, frankincense and myrrh. 

Clapping her hands, mother brought us back down to earth. “Hurry and get dressed. The show starts in four hours and traffic will be a nightmare. Dresses only, girls. No blue jeans and no shorts!” 

Sacred tickets in hand, we jumped into our 1957 Ford Fairlane 500. It seemed to take forever to arrive and we sang one Beatles song after another. In the distance we caught our first glimpse of Shea Stadium … glimmering in the sunset like the Land of Oz .. and the four wizards were there waiting to play just for us. Well, us and approximately 56,000 crying, screaming, hyperventilating and fainting fans.

My sister and I grabbed the binoculars and ran to the bottom of our tier to get a closer look. Hearing anything over the cacophony of squealing girls was almost impossible and we screamed and cried right along with them. At one point I looked back to see my mother singing and dancing in the aisle. Unbelievable! 

That night my greatest dream came true. I had reached Mecca, climbed Everest and walked on the moon. Being there was beyond surreal. It was the most electrifying and exhilarating experience of my life. That night remains etched in my mind and my heart for all eternity. 

Well done, Mother. Well done. 

NAR © 2018