Rochelle Ratner

Man's best friend sniffs out brain tumor

Even better, perhaps, is the man with canine instincts. The man who's welcomed her into his bed every night for nearly five years. The man whose arms envelop her and who, often just before he falls asleep, cradles her head in one arm, the fingers of the other hand stroking her forehead, spreading out the day's pain. When, during a week of record-breaking heat, he asks her to marry him, it is because he senses something might be wrong but knows, without a wedding in the offing, she won't seek treatment.

Microwave played role in woman's death

It says here that the woman refused to heat up his sandwich. Butterflies run up and down her spine. Their first week together he knew she couldn't cook. Or wouldn't cook. Or never really tried very hard. Fine with him. They lived in a space-age city surrounded by restaurants open 24 hours. Five years later, when they married, his sister gave them a microwave. She's used it for popcorn a few times, when they rented movies. They made a rule that they'd never have children and never ask for a doggy bag. The last thing in the world he could stomach would be a heated-up sandwich. And he'd certainly never pick up the damn box and hurl it at her. She probably wouldn't even give this incident a second thought except it's Easter and they're in Florida with his family.

Pennsylvania man demands damages from ex-girlfriend who glued genitals

She starts by gluing one castor that keeps falling out from the base of his expensive leather desk chair. Crazy Glue. With just a drop on the tip, it should bond smoothly. She bought it, actually, for the vase that accidentally broke when he threw it at her. She's not certain the castor will hold, but six months later it's still in there tightly, allowing the wheel itself to spin. Seven months after that he dumps her for a girl barely out of her teens who knows how to bat her eyes at him and never interrupts. She keeps the chair. Two years later the castor's still firmly in place and he calls, wanting to see her again. After sex, he sits in that chair and begins a litany of her faults. She only half listens. But at least she held onto that Crazy Glue. She places the small tube on the nightstand next to her alarm clock and a single red rose she bought to make the evening romantic. Everything's perfectly aligned, all she has to do is lure him to bed one more time, tell him how perfect he is, prove how much she wants this night to last.

Anti-rape condom aims to stop attacks

She sits beside him in the emergency room, gently stroking his arm. They both know the nurses are back there laughing their heads off. She doesn't suppose it would help much to say she's sorry. Six years living with him, and she still doesn't feel comfortable walking on Amsterdam Ave. Men hanging out near the bars or auto parts stores have more than once made comments about her breasts. Probably harmless, but she can never be sure. So this little tampon-like condom that hooks onto the prick's skin, tiny nails clamping and piercing every time he breathes, seemed a good idea. Then she thought someone had followed her into the building so she ran up the stairs and was breathless when she got in the door and didn't expect him to be waiting up for her.

Rochelle Ratner's books include two novels: Bobby's Girl (Coffee House Press, 1986) and The Lion's Share (Coffee House Press, 1991)and sixteen poetry books, including House and Home (Marsh Hawk Press,2003) and Beggars at the Wall (Ikon, Spring 2006). An anthology she edited, Bearing Life: Women's Writings on Childlessness, was published in January 2000 by The Feminist Press. A former Executive Editor for American Book Review, she reviews regularly for Library Journal and was on the board of the National Book Critics Circle from 1994-2000. More information and links to her writing on the Internet can be found on her homepage: www.rochelleratner.com.

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