Issue 367 | The Sun Magazine

July 2006

Readers Write

Waking Up

Without cancer, from an overdose, to the truth of a marriage

By Our Readers
Sy Safransky's Notebook

July 2006

When I went running this morning, I thought to myself, Not bad for a man my age. Then, as clearly as if she were running beside me, I heard a recently departed friend whisper: Enough already. The body is just an address. Nice house. Lovely neighborhood. Congratulations. Just an address.

By Sy Safransky


Every civilization reaches a moment of crisis. . . . This crisis presents its challenge: smash or go on to higher things. So far no civilization has ever met this challenge successfully. History is the study of the bones of civilizations that failed, as the pterodactyl and the dinosaur failed.

Colin Wilson

The Sun Interview

Peak Experience

The Age Of Oil Is Coming To An End: An Interview With Richard Heinberg

We’re on the verge of an infrastructural shift as profound as any in human history, on the scale of the Industrial Revolution. You might say we’re going to be seeing the other side of that revolution, and it will change our political system, our ideologies, and our beliefs.

By Arnie Cooper
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Island Of The Damned

Oh, and there is one other problem — the elephant sitting in the room, and certainly the most profound explanation for Nauru’s contemporary interest in money laundering: a century of phosphate mining has denuded roughly 80 percent of the island.

By Jack Hitt
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Sweet Rolls And Vodka

At sunrise you climbed through your bedroom window at the recovery home and found a note waiting on your untouched pillow: “This was your final warning. Pack today.”

By Victoria Patterson
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

You’re In Here, Too

It’s morning but still dark out. It’s also raining and cold. I’m walking out of the twenty-four-hour fitness center, on my way to the all-night Waffle House, when a woman hails me from her car. She has just run away from her husband, she says, and needs gas money to get to her mother’s.

By Jim Ralston
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Cry In The Wilderness

Unless I tell people about the voices, they don’t know. I’m not sure how this can be: that they don’t hear them, too. It’s suspicious, in fact. I want to crawl inside their heads and listen, see for myself where their thoughts come from.

By Carroll Ann Susco
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Good Enough

What can I trust my mother to do? She will usually come when I need her. She will love my children as fiercely as I do, but in an older, less-complicated way. She will frequently enrage me.

By Beth Mayer


When he was very young, he waved his arms, snapped his massive jaws, and tromped around the house so that the dishes trembled in the china cabinet. “Oh, for goodness’ sake,” his mother said. “You are not a dinosaur!

By Bruce Holland Rogers

John Lennon Is Dead And It Really Bothers Me

My Aunt Maggie had actually gone to see the Beatles (my Uncle Peter had taken her when the band had come to Houston), and we would beg Maggie to tell us about the concert. When she consented, it was as though we were in catechism on Sunday, learning about the saints.

By J.R. Helton

Selected Poems

Wounded like me, willing to talk, knowing / What a scarecrow cancer is, how people don’t / Want to linger near that kind of news, including / Friends who mean well, look away, act as if / They can’t hear, humming in their ear, “You’re / Human, human, human, you poor thing,

from “Fellows”

By Mark Smith-Soto

Walking In An Old Forest With Our Young Son On My Back, I See The Fates Of My Friends In Every Tree

Little one, do you see how this thin tree grows in the shade / of its father? Don’t do that. Do you see how this trunk / turns around, always looking over its shoulder at the others? / That’s hard.

By Kim Stafford