It’s hot. I’m wearing an old tye-dye dress and sneakers, my bangs stuck to my sweaty forehead. Photographs will later reveal I have the sort of bowl haircut stylists default to when you’re too young to know what you want, and your parents just want something cheap that won’t get gum stuck in it. I’ve come to a standstill on the sidewalk to watch a mosquito bite my bare calf.Read More
I never felt comfortable saying “my body” or “the body”; it never felt like mine, yet it also seemed more personal than “the.” Growing up, it was commented on: you’re so skinny, so petite, what a tiny peanut, you should really eat more, better hang on to that figure. No one ever said anything about my 4.0 Grade Point Average, the poetry contests I won, or the dreams I had of escaping the life of expected bodily perfection. The taut form of my body was the accomplishment that mattered most. I was nothing more than a skinny girl who happened to be smart. Rewards came from my body, not from my mind. Compliments were paid to my tiny waist, not my intellectual pursuits. I wrapped my identity tightly in others' recognition.Read More
Even in the musty Catskills cottage my parents rented during the summer I was coming of age, their bed was the place we went to heal. Even as tiny satin ballet slippers hung from the mahogany headboard and a pink chenille spread covered it, like a sticky sweet frosting, this lumpy mattress was where we found succor.Read More
Cameron, my boyfriend of six months, sits across from me in the cheap Canton Chinese restaurant we always eat at. The white-walled empty space fills with light through the windows and wood tables are vacantly spread out throughout. We look at each other blankly. The only sounds that come out our mouths are loud chews and slurps of stir-fry noodles hitting our lips with a long, hungry uncomfortableness.Read More
Modern love doesn’t mean that it is a type of love we haven’t seen before, but it does mean that it’s a love that is still seen as radical by those it encounters. It makes people look twice when they see you walking down the street. It makes your friends comment “I’m so happy for you!” on your Instagram pics. It both surprises and entangles everyone it meets, creating an aura that they begin to crave as well. It’s the type of love they should really be making potions for.Read More
“I think you’re better off without me.” I blubbered, my hair thick in oily residue from being unwashed. My clothes, more suitable for sleeping than for wearing out, a mess. As I heard myself say those words, I almost didn’t recognize myself.Read More
Let’s be honest: you’re not going to make collages or collect lucky pennies. That seems like a waste of time. You do, however, eat a weed brownie and read Claudia Rankine’s Citizen in one sitting at a bar. You wear high heels every day you teach so your students know what’s up. You get a birth control device implanted in your arm so you don’t have to remember to take pills.Read More
My mother’s treats have always been unexpected precious morsels,
savored as much for their surprise as for their flavor—
a summer lunch of a lobster roll and coffee frappe at Gulf Hill creamery,
I am difficult to love. I know that. And I’m pretty impossible to live with. Trust me, I recognize that too. I’m stubborn, have high expectations, and I can be a smart ass. Luckily for me, I fell in love with someone with the exact same qualities.Read More
It is said that everyone has a chapter that they don't read out loud. The Why is different for everyone. Why don't they talk about it? Why they choose to not share that chapter can root in many things. Sometimes, it is feelings of shame, guilt, regret, pain, or loss.Read More
I still get pangs of guilt when I go by a hospital
and I remember the 3am, 7am, 11pm or Saturday 1pm calls
beckoning me to reach into myself and pull out some sort of aid for another person.
I laid all my clothes out the night before my big day, a light blue top with ironed dress pants. I spent the previous three years wearing yoga pants and a black T shirt to work. I was finally leaving food service and getting a desk job. No more slinging sandwiches. No more smelling like eggs and cheese after a long day.Read More
Two days after my fifteenth birthday
I walked proudly into Newman Costumiers
to begin my first job.
The letter opener.
A humble, but truly magical office staple.
One swipe against an unruly letter, and presto -- your letter is open and you’re forever hailed as the resident entry-level administrative goddess.Read More
"No!” I said as Angie, my coworker approached. She didn’t have to say a word. It was evident by the clear bowl in her hand what she wanted. She opened her mouth to speak but again I said, “No!” I raised one hand to let her know just how serious I was about the answer to the question which she hadn’t even asked.Read More
Trimming the tree was a Christmas Eve ritual
in my family.
Each year my cousin would come to help my mum.
They would carefully take the glass baubles from the box
that used to hold her big doll called Topsy.
Then they would put them all in their special place
in my family.
My water broke as I climbed out of bed on Christmas morning. I'd stayed up late the previous evening, listening to a reading of Dylan Thomas' “A Child's Christmas in Wales” on the radio. Afterward, I lumbered to bed and collapsed onto the mattress like a sinking ship. Less than six hours later, I was suddenly in labor with my first child.Read More
me to buy a
new tree. Buy 8
sets of LED lights,
buy shopping carts full
of ornaments, some glass,
some plastic, for the little ones
to pull and throw.
My shins felt like sponges. My ankles were tree trunks. I was exhausted. My fucking maternity jeans refused to stay up; it was a constant game of tug-o-war to get them to stay up over the tender, stretched out skin of my stomach.Read More
You always hear people say that you grow closer to your partner when you have children, or when you get married, or go through a life crisis. For my money, over the course of this year, I’ve learned that you grow closer to your partner when you travel. Well, you either grow closer or you end up hating them, it’s really a crap shoot.Read More