Mr. Lin’s Family

Also made it in the latest issue of the Sagebrush Review.


Mr. Lin awoke before sunrise, jabbed his arms through the sleeves of his stitched-up winter coat, slung his burlap rice sack over his shoulder, and opened his front door to the cold rush of air and the sound of cars whisking over the Manhattan bridge.  A spark of moonlight lingered in the sky basking in the urban glow.  Fall had been unseasonably temperate, but luckily, on this day the wind was from the north, blowing the stench of rotten garbage and excrement back towards the East River.  When Mr. Lin arrived to New York City a few years before from the humid climate of Guandong, China, he found the winds irritating and more nimble than even the rats at burrowing through unseen openings and interrupting sleep, but now he welcomed the fresh air with open arms and smiled at his good fortune.

His home was the marvel of the Canal Street shantytown.  He had built it without the traditional tools of nails, hammers, hinges, and saws.  Mr. Lin’s specialty was knots.  Discarded packing cords held together the mattresses and bedsprings that made up his walls while dusty rugs and sheets of canvas tied over wooden pallets formed his roof.  On the outer walls, hanging along streamers of bright florist ribbon were fresh oranges elegantly secured in yellow plastic bows labeled “CAUTION.” 

Read the rest in the latest issue!