The Slows | Litro Lab Podcast

Picture credit: Ben Moreland

He crawled on all fours across the kitchen floor.

Full circle back to babyhood. The Slows. This time they had arrived with stealth, catching him mid-pour.

The coffee he’d been yearning for was almost ready. He’d conquered the swaying and the trembling, had managed to splash the boiling water over the grounds.

Nothing had spilled, a small miracle. He clanged the pot back onto the stove. It wobbled and then sat awkwardly balanced on the burner. An accusation. A notice that the disorder in his brain, the shaking, and the wild lurching from side to side as he walked were inevitably disrupting the routines, understandings, and silent pacts that he and Catherine had long shared in their life together: the coffee stain on his sweater, last night’s spill on the chair cushion, his sleeping bag still spread on the living room floor.

He’d intended to clean and organize this morning, before the medical student came to take him for a walk. Mornings were his good time, when the meds were effective on an empty stomach. He, who knew the city so well, and had been able to climb up and down its steep and winding streets for hours, needed to be taken for a walk. Like a child or a puppy. He was filled with quiet rage.

Larry Burns

It’s National Parkinson’s Awareness Month in the U.S. and our latest piece also raises the theme of Parkinson’s disease. Although the specific condition is not mentioned, the main character has Parkinson’s and often suffers from the “Slows” – so-called because sometimes the protagonist’s body movements become so slow and incremental, he can barely move. Full of thoughts, memories, and reminisces of a life well-lived, our latest Podcast is “The Slows”, by Larry Burns.

You can listen to the podcast on the player below, or subscribe to “Litro Lab” on Spotify or iTunes.

Did you like this podcast? Listen to “Hive Mind”, by Jennifer Weigel, next.

To subscribe to our membership packs, which includes all print issues delivered to your door, full online access to all short fiction, old issues and archives: click here.


Larry Burns writes stories strongly based on the geography of specific locations and the characters who inhabit them. He grew up in southern California, and made his way to Vermont where he has lived for the last 45 years. The contrasting geography and culture of California and Vermont have had a big impact on his plays, songs, and stories.

About Larry Burns

Larry Burns is lives in central Vermont, and writes plays, songs, and stories.

Larry Burns is lives in central Vermont, and writes plays, songs, and stories.

Leave a Comment