People & Places articles

The Gelato Vendor

It is an unusually humid weekend in Annapolis, a former capitol of the United States and still the seat of government for the state of Maryland. Rain clouds have gathered on the horizon, the outer edges of a hurricane coming to shore further south along the coast.

It Comes in Threes

Since ancient times the number “3” has held a particular fascination in society. A three sided triangle is considered the most durable shape possible, the universe has three spatial dimensions – length, width, and depth, Plato split the soul into three parts – the appetitive, the spirited, and the rational, while Aristotle had the principle of the three unities of time, place and action. Let’s not forget Freud’s id, ego and superego. The Chinese consider “3” to be a lucky number while the Vietnamese think it bad luck to take a photo with three people. We use the number to set things in motion – on the count of three, or stop them – three strikes. We prime our children with stories, nursery rhymes and fairy tales like The Three Musketeers, Three Blind Mice and The Three Little Pig. We also believe in the Holy Trinity – the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, that the third time’s a charm and that death comes in threes – remember Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson and Ed McMahon all died within twenty four hours.

The Centenarian

The old man sits in the corner watching the activity all around him. People walk up and say hello in a voice loud enough to penetrate his growing deafness. He greets all of them with the same enthusiasm but doesn’t get up from his seat. It’s a privilege he’s earned. His tanned weathered face with its smooth scalp does not give away his true age which is a couple of decades more than one would assume – an impression reinforced by the firm grip of his handshake.

People & Places: The Freshman

“This show has been watched by more people than any other,” proclaims Alek. Although eighteen years old, he is mesmerized by the cartoon show on the screen. On his way to Washington D.C. a few days before his freshmen semester, his nervousness and excitement are palpable even though he’s trying his best to exude a calm and cool exterior. Slender and tall, Alek is handsome with chiseled features and athletes body. for the first time he will be living away from home and embarking on the adventure that will be the start of his future.

The Public Servant

No matter how well we know someone they still possess aspects of their character or personality that will surprise us. In this case, Ardy managed to do just. It wasn’t so much the announcement of his engagement and the manner in which he went about it but the convictions behind it

People & Places: A Day at the Beach

“Are we there yet?” asks Narek plaintively from the last row of the minivan that is ensnared in traffic on its way to the beach. “Not yet,” replies his mother, Azniv. “How much longer?” “Soon.” The vague response doesn’t satisfy his impatience. “Can we go back home?” he asks.

People & Places: Two Guys and a Girl

“So you’ve given up on the i-a-n?” Rouben asks, referring to the unspoken pre-requisite of all Armenians wishing to find a mate. “I’m surprised women stick to it for as long as they do,” Dickran interjects before Talar has a chance to respond. She’s surprised by Dickran’s candor and says, “Odars (non-Armenians) appreciate us more than Armenian men do.”