Stranger than Fiction - A Short Story Series

Snoopy's Tale

911 Operator: “What’s your emergency?”

Me:  “I hope you can help me. I think my cat injured a mouse in my apartment and the mouse is running around squirting blood everywhere. I don’t know what to do. Can you please send help?”

This was a lie, but I didn’t know what else to do. There was blood everywhere. My apartment looked like a murder scene. I was scared.

911 Operator: “Okay, we will send someone over. What’s your location?”

Ten minutes later two uniformed policemen arrived at my door…

Prior to calling 911, I had called all over Manhattan for an ambulatory medical service for animals. There were none. This was unbelievable. In a city where almost anything can be delivered — groceries, laundry — there was no service to help transport pets to the veterinary hospital. I was beside myself with angst; and despite my relentless efforts, I could not get Snoopy —my treasured cat — into his carry box.

When I was on the phone with the Animal Medical Center, pleading for assistance, the woman...

Stranger than Fiction - A Short Story Series

The Right Hook

“Helppp!” I screamed as I was running into the seemingly vacant convenience store. My heart was pounding and my arms flailing as I whipped open the glass door; I was so petrified that I had left my car door open and the keys in the ignition. I was shaking as I entered the store when an awkwardly thin man stood out from behind the cash register and offered his assistance. His lanky body and fragile stature left me anxiously questioning how he was going to help me. It was then, during our brief exchange at 4am, and surrounded by the murky darkness of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, that I felt as if I entered the Twilight Zone; the experience was so incredulous it felt surreal. I heard echoes of Rod Serling (Twilight Zone narrator) chronicling the scene: “There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the...

Stranger than Fiction - A Short Story Series

A Date with Andrew Cunanan

There are certain occasions when call-stalking is appropriate, perhaps even warranted. One steamy July morning I found myself in one such instance…

It was a sultry summer morning on South Beach and I was running down Ocean Drive. Some mornings it was so hot when I headed out for my morning runs that it felt like steam was being released into the air; the humidity in South Florida made the air feel very heavy. I was in training for the New York City Marathon at the time. It was tough training in that weather, but I pushed through; and surviving those summer mornings put me in peak running condition; I was in the best shape of my life.

This particular morning, I was about two miles into a grueling 6 mile speed workout; I was just hitting my zone when in my periphery I noticed something. I turned my head slightly to...

Breaking Through My Stride: Running as Being

In discovering self-consciousness Descartes proclaimed “I think, therefore I am.” To explain the experience of self-consciousness in such a manner presupposes that the mind and body are separate. This however, remains to be seen and is a constant debate within philosophical circles. Are the mind and body separate and does the existence of one preclude the experience of the other? Are they unique amalgamates clearly combined into one entity which is existence itself?

I propose this ontological question in relation to the experience of exercise and athleticism. I have been running for about twenty-years and when people ask me how it is that I can discipline myself to wake up every morning at the crack of dawn and run no matter what — I again re-evaluate the meaning my running has on the essence of my existence. I sometimes wonder myself what motivates me as I put my running shorts on in the morning and head to the track for an intense speed work-out. I know I am walking out the door and that in fifteen minutes, after my warm-up, I will be battling and pushing myself in the...

Soaring to Our Potentials

I am the human embodiment of Jonathan Livingston Seagull. We even have the same initials—JLS (Jacqueline Lisa Simon—before I was married).

When I read about Jonathan’s life in Richard Bach’s bestselling book, I imagine how freeing it would be to have wings that can fly. I could literally pick up and go anywhere I wanted. No gas tank to fill, no traffic to navigate, no baggage claim lines, no other people rushing to get somewhere, just me soaring freely, journeying through the skies for the pure pleasure of flying or to proceed on to my destination without the obstacles we as humans have when traveling.

I cannot think of any archetypal image that is more symbolic of freedom than a bird flying. But as I read about Jonathan’s plights, I realize that even a bird, a seagull, in Jonathan’s case, has limits. As humans, we are, in Heideggerian idiom, “thrown” into our world without choice. We are here, and in our everydayness, as humans, we have a real dilemma—we are bound by mortal limits, and yet, simultaneously desire to surpass them. We want to become our potentials. This is Jonathan’s story. Although able to fly, he confronts...

The Dynamic Self Searching for Growth and Authenticity:

Karen Horney’s Contribution to Humanistic Psychology

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