The phone is lost. My mother is finally dead.

A man thrust his way past Clarissa onto the escalator in Grand Central, she rifled frantically through her bag for her phone. Shaking her head, she went to a booth where a police officer was sitting and emptied the bag’s contents onto the counter: hand cream, lipstick, a coin purse, a MetroCard holder, a dozen pennies, chewing gum, a Virgin Mary scapul…

This post is for paying subscribers