All in Paul Teodo


Eriksen liked to stand out in red short-sleeve scrubs and extra-long gloves, blasting ZZ Top as he sawed, hammered and sewed on the orthopedically damaged suburbanites hoping to improve their less than stellar golf or tennis games. On occasion, especially in summer, I’d catch him in shorts. “Bjorn,” I’d scold him like a recalcitrant kindergartner, “put your pants on, Infection Control.”


My son Paul was starting to come through. His cocky smugness began to vanish. The good kid I knew that was deep down inside him was starting to peek out from behind his veneer of twelve-year-old arrogance.

Natural Causes — Part III

The visitor’s eyebrows arched at the sound of his name and he entered the room. He took Mary’s hand from C, then turned his head upwards exhaling blue smoke to the ceiling. And with great fanfare Massimo kissed her hand, precisely on the wedding ring she still wore. 

Natural Causes — Part II

On the ninth month after Joe had died of natural causes, Mary was in St. Francis reciting her novena for the dead, quiet like, lips moving, nothing coming out, holding her rosary. A shadow crossed her sightline to Jesus. She looked up, lips still moving, thumbing the beads.

"God bless you."

Gorski and The Goat

On a urine-stained olive green cot in the back room of Rosalda’s Cantina in Ciudad Juarez, I came to. Blacked out. Again. A smell I couldn’t quite put a finger on. Rank breath, a muffled gurgle and what felt like whiskers. I hope not our hostess, or worse, one of her chicas.

The Ace

The door slammed. A photograph of the woman smiling surrounded by sons forcing theirs, fell to the floor. Glass shattered.

“He’ll be fine.”

“I’m not the guy.”

“He doesn’t know that.”

“He should.”