Category Archives: semi-fiction

THE TASTE OF PIG by Peter Nolan Smith

My great-grandaunt Bert circumnavigated the world on her father?s whaling ship in the 1870s. In 1960 National Geographic published a story about her childhood travels and at her 101st birthday the old Yankee lady related tales of seeing the black-toothed betel-nut chewers of Indonesia and joining tiger hunts on Java. The only two other family […]

KOSHER PIG by Peter Nolan Smith

Ten years ago business in the Diamond District was almost non-existent during the high holidays of Rosh Shananah and Yom Kippur. The Hassidim disappeared to the various shetls scattered around New York and tourists entered our diamond exchange to gawk at the diamonds and jewelry. At least twice a day out-of-towners asked in complete seriousness, […]

BURN CHELSEA BURN

In the early 1970s Chelsea, Massachusetts on the north bank of the Mystic River exemplified a failed post-industrial city. The Expressway split the city in two and thousands of people had moved out of the working-class community throughout the 50s and 60s. The coffin was nailed shut on October 14, 1973, when the rag shop […]

THE CURSE OF A NE’ER-DO-WELL by Peter Nolan Smith

Back in 1974 I was going out with a blonde high school student from Brookline. Hilde’s father was separated from her mother. Ann was a loving mother of six troubled by demons, but capable of living a normal existence most of the time. Her new husband believed in New Age cures, but one winter night […]

Noblesse Ne’er-Do-Wells

Ten years ago Thaksin’s red shirts of targeted Bangkok’s luxury shopping malls of their political rivals, the elite yellow shirts. The riotous schism between the two classes was a mystery to most foreigners who regarded their adopted country as the land of Smiles, but a restrictive way of life to the majority of Thais. I […]