Three stories of youthful indiscretions… In “Yo, Karl,” a young man’s dark reputation controls his fate. In “The Soul of the Sea” a boy walks a beach full of wonder and despair. In “Best Served Cold,” a grim choice in the heat of the moment has lifelong consequences.
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He had crazy eyes…
I’m not one to speak ill of the dead, but Karl Hansen was capital-T Trouble. He was my friend, sure, and he was also the one guy my mom didn’t want me hanging around. Not to say she was wrong. I knew he was bad news. I smoked my first cigarette with Karl, drank my first beer, looked at my first dirty magazine. Karl was as likely as not to show up at school with cherry bombs or spray paint, when he bothered to show up at all. He grew pot behind his Uncle Mert’s compost heap, sugared in the principal’s gas tank, and got arrested when he was twelve years old for burning down his neighbor’s barn.
The Soul of the Sea
Dwight is gone—he’s dead…
I don’t know. I guess it’s music. I can’t hear too well. It sounds like a jazz piano, you know? Down the beach. Miami beach is wild at night. The hotels and condos are all lit up, but the light doesn’t get down to the beach much. Just enough to see where the water starts. I don’t know.
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Best Served Cold
Sometimes, you get exactly what you ask for.
He told me to call him Black. I assumed the name was an alias, worn for effect, like his dark Wayfarers, van Dyke beard, and black homburg. We met in a nondescript hotel room in Cleveland. Out of the way.