The birthday dinner party is a success. Noel and Lydia have catered it all from a local restaurant, complete with an extravagantly-decorated cake and quart containers of ice cream in four different flavors. All of the others, including the children, made their choices in advance, so you end up with fried chicken tenders, mashed potatoes, and gravy. You can imagine Elly’s reaction, but in fact you enjoy every bite of the carb-laden entrée and, after leading the company in singing “Happy Birthday” to Emily, you manage to put away a sizable hunk of birthday cake and two scoops of caramel fudge ripple ice cream. Life seems, indeed, back to normal.
Arnold Johnston's poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and translations have appeared widely in literary journals and anthologies. His plays, and others written in collaboration with his wife, Deborah Ann Percy, have won over 300 productions and readings, and they’ve written, co-written, edited, or translated over twenty books. Arnie’s latest projects are The Infernal Now (poetry, Kelsay Books, 2022); Where We’re Going, Where We’ve Been, (poetry, FutureCycle Press, 2020); Swept Away (novel, Atmosphere Press, 2021), and Mr. Robert Monkey Returns to New York (a collaborative children's book with Debby, Brandylane Publishers, 2021). A performer-singer, Arnie has played many solo concerts and over 100 roles on stage, screen, and radio. He was chairman of the English Department (1997-2007) and taught for many years at Western Michigan University.