"The Brimley/Cocoon Line"

Another story that began with a title. I read an article somewhere that referred to "the Brimley/Cocoon Line," which the author defined as being Cocoon costar Wilford Brimley's exact age on June 21, 1985, the day the movie was released: fifty years, nine months, and six days. The way my mind works, "The Brimley/Cocoon Line" was an obvious title for a short story, so I wrote one.

I set the story in Ann Arbor, where I went to the U of Michigan for both undergraduate (1969-73) and graduate (1974-76) school, and there are a number of Ann Arbor Easter eggs hidden here and there. The two most prominent of them are (a) the narrator's best friend's last name, Midgley, is the last name of a family I was friendly with when I taught at AA's Community High School half-time while working on my master's, and (b) the narrator's house on Second is the home of Larry and Nancy Goldstein. Larry was one of my favorite professors, and I housesat for him and Nancy during my second year of grad school, while he and Nancy spent the year in Pittsburgh.

Mystery Magazine ran the story in its February 2022 issue.

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