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I am haunted by the 80’s. Maybe that is because it was the decade where so much happened in such a short period of time in my life, although it may as well have been an eternity while I was living it.

I was only 8 years old on the dark December day in 1980 when John Lennon was killed by the deranged Mark David Chapman. I vaguely remember hearing about it on the Nightly news one evening as I sat beside my mother on the couch bogged down in homework. I don’t think I really knew who John Lennon…


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With 2020 nearing a close one thing at least most of us can agree on is that it has not been a good year for much. A lot of tragedy. A lot of civil unrest. Loss of lives and livelihoods. A lot of bad politics. If there has been a silver lining anywhere to be found it is perhaps that we have had a chance to slow down a little and more carefully evaluate what is truly important to us and what is not.

It has been a highly profitable year for streaming platforms with so many people in lock…


Photo by Mark Alden

Each time she returns to the same spot near the end of the gravel drive, under the maple tree.

At a distant glance (and it’s never more than that) she doesn’t appear to have aged a single day in what has been nearly twenty-seven years.

I’ve always been a bit skeptical, perhaps, too cynical, to believe in the supernatural, so the first shadowy glimpse of her I quickly dismissed as a combination of eye strain and an overworked mind playing tricks on me. Then it happened again. And again, soon after that. Over the span of a month or so…


How Much Of What We Think We Remember Actually Happened?

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The 400,000 plus-year-old human brain, still by far the greatest supercomputer in the history of the planet, might even be more expansive than originally thought, including where it pertains to information storage capacity according to a 2016 article published in Scientific American. The article estimates the human brain to be somewhere in the vicinity of a quadrillion bytes. In other words, the libraries of the mind are well stocked.

It has been estimated that the human brain on average has around 50,000 thoughts per day. Is it any wonder then why we have such a hard time staying focused on…


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Everything.

He gave everything he had in the world,

amounting to so much more than he knew.

Seems my father’s whole later life was about giving.

How is it then that I never fully understood this until after he was gone?

With just an eighth grade education –

an only son in a family of four –

he was, on the surface, a simple man,

yet not without principles.

Not without contradictions.

Not without dreams.

Not without stories and hard won advice to pass on.

Always the handyman, my father,

worked with his hands, callous steady hands,

liked to be…


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No one ever told me I’d wake up one morning, stumble to the bathroom, look in the mirror, and suddenly realize that this was it. I had finally arrived. Not that I wasn’t expecting it sooner or later. I’m not a fool. I had been expecting it, yet I was still unprepared for such a revelation, especially at 7 a.m.

That morning was yesterday, or… was it the day before? Shit, is my short-term memory already slipping too? …


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Once in a great while (usually around this time of year) I’m reminded of my first taste of actual freedom — the first time I laid claim to my own little piece of the road, and hey, who doesn’t have a story or two about their first car. Maybe you have a lot of them. Maybe if you’re like me there is one that stands out from all the others.

Whenever I think of mine I can’t help feeling a little sentimental and reflective. I can’t help but wonder what fates might’ve befallen it or where it may be after…

Mark Alden

Writer and bookseller. I write for my sanity and to try to make some sort sense out of the chaos.

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