The Binge

Leaving cardiac rehab, I don’t know yet that I will binge today.  It’s after the binge that I realize it was a shadow clinging to my heel since I opened my eyes and stumbled to the bathroom to pee and brush my teeth.  

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Julia NusbaumComment
The Real Lesson

I was always working hard to keep up appearances with family, friends and anyone who I thought I needed to impress. In high school, I experienced fear. It was a fear of being caught-out for not understanding what was being taught in the classroom. In no time at all, I became good at acting. I possessed all the skills necessary to give a convincing performance and I was very believable.

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A Waitress' Tale

It never happened at Isaly’s ice cream joint, the first place I waitressed.  

Well, waitressing is probably not the right word for what I did. It was more like order-taking, burger-flipping, shake-making, and plopping-on-the-counter-for-the-customer work. That demanding all-in-one food industry post that so many have as their first or second or forever job. 

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October Dark

It was almost three years ago when I went over to his house. He was a sophomore in college that already lived off campus and that was kind of cool. He was into anime and when I had been the desk manager at the dorm he had lived in the year before that was how we became friends. Kind of. 

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Health Class Didn't Teach Me About Rape

It was over a year later that I realized what had happened. It may sound strange to you that I didn’t know it had. Wouldn’t you know if that kind of thing had happened to you? I wasn’t unconscious or inebriated. I remembered that evening, those moments in that room, but I didn’t realize it had happened. Because it wasn’t the kind of thing I was taught about in health class. Instead, I was taught about herpes and genital warts and obesity.

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Seventeen

Train station toilets and hospital rooms, especially bed seven, smell the same. Like chlorine and baking soda and coercion and cold. I’m seventeen and I wear my school uniform. No - she wears her school uniform, three layers of khaki and stockings. He wears a suit and carries an umbrella. 

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The Myth of the Nice Guy: And Why You Don't Owe Anyone Anything

Over a decade ago, I had a best guy friend with whom I shared a great deal of my life. He was the picture perfect, textbook “nice guy.” Unfortunately, as is common, when someone seems nearly too good to be true, they often are. This guy was my best friend. And I his. I had always suspected that he wanted more than my friendship, but I wasn’t interested in taking our relationship to that place. I thought this was something that he would respect. I was wrong.

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Choices

On an August day in 1988 I walked home from my summer job at the Farish Street YMCA. I was fifteen and a freshman in the Lanier High School band. Dressed in shorts and a t-shirt I moved along the sidewalk of Monument Street quick and unresponsive to the honking horns and catcalls from the fluid noon traffic. A man in torn blue jeans walked towards me with a brown bag in hand.  He brought the bag to his lips then howled when he returned it to his side. He looked at me then said,” GOOD STUFF!”

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Dear Love

Dear Melinda,

It’s been a while. A lot has changed since we were in second grade. I’ve fallen in love a few times, in different ways. I’ve said some “I love you” and said some “I love you too” and also kept some of them silently to myself. You know how it goes.

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Dear Old Flame

Dear Old Flame, 

Do you remember how we first met? It was an impromptu double date. One of your roommates was trying to hook up with one of my best friends, and my apartment was off campus. I pierced my nose that night, just for the fun of it, and you stopped by for an hour or so.

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Dear Papa

When the breeze blew cold, the sun shined bright and the room was filled with tears of happiness, you were holding a little girl in your arms. Your arms that were warm enough to cuddle her in that rainy and chilling July. Your fingers that lingered over her head and a kiss you planted on her forehead.

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Dear Francois

Dear Francois,

I’m using the names we picked for ourselves in French class all those years ago because technically I’m not even supposed to be thinking about you. It’s been nearly two decades after all, and I’m supposed to have grown up, moved on, and all that jazz. Well. I am married – happily, I promise.

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