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Bob and I had dated for over two years. I was already madly in love and had been for well over a year. He was holding back saying those three little words and I was starting to get impatient. After all, I was nearing forty and had been a single mom for sixteen years. I was ready for a new chapter in my life. I knew he was the one …

I knew my mom well enough to know that, once the time was right, her fearless spirit would throw two fingers up to the degenerative disease crippling her.

Living with such an affliction meant her time was limited (more so than most), but Jules was adamant she wanted everyone to carry on as normal. Fawning and placating was equivalent to beating her with a stick.

This …

For ten years I didn’t visit the cemetery where my best friend Dan was buried. It was a car accident. Dan was 18. His younger brother was 13. They died instantaneously. I used to be able to count on one hand how many times I had said that out loud.
When Dan and Mike vanished it should have been like an action movie where the government mobilizes every unit …

The carpet was worn and fraying near some of its seams, in doorways and along the baseboards. On a lucky day one could find a dirty penny nestled innocently into the camouflage yarns of the old beige-brown carpet, which was a popular pick of the times. It was the summer of 1986.

Brown wicker plates and baskets were mounted on the wall behind the dining room table. …

I approached the office with her fear more than my own. The room was a milky green, the chair, a huge leather form on a pedestal. She told me this visit was something I wouldn't like, like liver or dates, two things she hated.
It was difficult to climb onto the chair, and I soon realized it might be harder to climb off. …

This is your first. And your last. As much as you love your five year old daughter, you just don't have enough energy to take on another, if another is to be anything like this one. Never a nap. Never a loss for words. Never satisfied with a vague answer to a question. Whatever it takes to rear a child with such stamina and …

Florence will work for a dentist on Arthur Avenue. He will be a tyrant and she will hate him, but she will have to pay the bills. With a baby and no husband, she will be a young mother alone, after Bill dies in Korea.
A little girl will come to the office with her mother. Her hair will be full and long, her eyes, …

This slight story was a turning point in my life. I’m not asking for sympathy. I’m giving you the facts.

I was sitting in the bar at the ICA with Inge and we had been to see a film.
I can’t remember the name of the film. It was probably something very obscure, underground video art or extreme art house as this was the …

My wife was ready to have a baby. I was not. Sure, I supported the idea in a vague, abstract way—I want to have kids— just like—I want to retire to a house on a lake. Someday.

But now? Why now? Not now, dear.

Eventually she convinced me, and here’s how: it’s not that easy. Many couples try for years before they have kids. If we want …

I sat in the window seat of the airplane on the eve of my 25th birthday, clutching a pill bottle and waiting for death to take over. That feeling of impending doom which left me paralyzed with fear or sent me into a full blown panic attack whenever I stepped foot in a small, confined space. We were taxiing to the runway for takeoff. The feeling should have hit me …

I was a sophomore in high school and I'd always wanted to be part of a book club, so when I saw that one of my favorite bands, Panic! at the Disco, had started one...I had to join.

-I learned to read outside my comfort zone
-I made wonderful friends
-I even became one of the book club's moderators
-I met a girl who helped me start an online …

July 5th -- apparently, a very hot day by California standards -- no air conditioning.
I pushed open the windows and twisted the wand controlling the slats of the metal mini blinds. The air inside the apartment was the same as outside: sizzling.
Boxes created floor-to-ceiling sculptures throughout the apartment. In between unpacking, I threw a few loads of dirty clothes in the washer and hand washed …

A waning, mid-winter sun.
A late-afternoon snowfall icing a winding mountain road dotted with ski houses.
A woman at the top of a driveway putting a four-year-old boy on a sled with a gentle push and a man at the bottom catching him. (Or was it the other way around? We never got the real story.)
A line of SUV’s, confident in their snow tires’ traction, driving along …

While I walk to the bus stop, I read. This worries my mother. My nickname may be Crash, but I have faith in my peripheral sensibility. It amazes me how reading can eat time, whole hours of it. It erases the monotony of car trips and waiting rooms, time reserved for anticipation, worry, the ease into sleep. The world disappears. I never tire of it, …

“Sure,” Nice-Guy Sean says. “You’re welcome to try before you buy.” He has brought a backpack full of pure, pink crystal meth to our party. Nice-Guy Sean works in Harvard Square like me, and often comes into the Algerian café where I waitress to smoke cloves, eat hummus, and read his battered copy of Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot, which he never seems to finish. The way he stares …

My boyfriend broke up with me via email, with the subject line, "It was a special time!" Honestly, with a subject line like that, the message is irrelevant.

I woke next to my mother. I’d asked her to come in for an early morning cuddle and we had both fallen asleep again. The sun was rising and I felt an acute sense of death, though I was unsure why this feeling was suddenly presented to me. Perhaps it was due to a recent pet death in the family. Our house was a myriad of small creatures— rats, turtles, …

Rejected by Princeton, accepted at Cornell.

My first husband’s friends had been living with us for six months without a mention of paying rent or reimbursement of grocery bills. As a thank you, they offered to take us on a trip to Las Vegas. Deep down, I knew this wasn’t exactly their idea. My inner voice told me they weren’t paying for the trip either.

I should have known what a …

I was depressed. I was tired of living this day to day life, feeling like a zombie. And I have only been living for 17 years, so what was the point of spending the other 70 years feeling like this? I was always described as somebody who is always smiling, always laughing, always happy. But the darkness engulfed me, and I didn't know why, I didn't know why I was …
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The Moment Book

Moments from the SMITH Community

Tomorrowland "Daisy, F3," my son Archer says as we pull into our parking spot. Disneyland’s about to open and we've arrived, just the two of us, our last hoorah before school starts. *** The alarm goes off and I pull the pillow tightly over my head. My husband, Hal, offers to wake the kids so I roll over, fall back asleep until Archer's voice wakes me, this time for good. "Hi, Mommy. It's …
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With Both Hands Whenever I think of my mother, my mind flips to this story. Not to the whole story, but right to the middle of it, the worst moments of it. For me, that's where the story always starts. My mother was beating the hell out of me. The first few blows seemed to come from every direction as I grabbed my nightgown and pulled it over my head, not …
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Reasons to be Thankful By Robert Israel They scraped me off the street, my bicycle in a heap nearby, and ever so gingerly placed me on the gurney. A crowd of curious onlookers watched intently, thankful they were not being loaded onto the ambulance. The nurses at the hospital were calming as nurses are wont to be, and administered an intravenous tube of morphine, and soon everything around me became fuzzy and numb, and the …
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Read More Community Moments →
 
SMITH Magazine

SMITH Magazine is a home for storytelling.
We believe everyone has a story, and everyone
should have a place to tell it.
We're the creators and home of the
Six-Word Memoir® project.