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12 page comic about a trip:


Another mis-diagnosis, sour grapes story. Who in their right mind would marry somebody called schitzophrenic? Who in their right mind would hire somebody called schitzophrenic? These were the two horrifying questions that took no longer than 2 seconds to materialize in my head the day the police came to take me away 20 or so years ago.....I was the "man" of the house-in my mind- from age …

Took the suitcase I’d secretly packed.

It was great to be stranded in the back of a beat-up Civic on a May night in Boston in white crepe and pearls. Finally, I felt, my life was unpredictable. My friend Judy and I talked animatedly while we waited for my boyfriend to return with a full gas can. I was living out the fantasy of romance and sophistication that college had promised. We had come from a …

My heart stopped, tears sprang to my eyes, my hands shook and I silently gasped “Oh my God!” with the last breath I would take for what seemed like an eternity. The voice on the other end of the line excitedly said, “This is Joy O’Neill.” I don't know what she said next. We had been corresponding for years, but she had never called before. I heard her name …

So I get this call one day from the Los Angeles County Morgue. I lived in Florida and was about ten years old, and the only one home. The woman on the other end asked for the next of kin for one Rodney O'Connor, a man whom I had never met, but he was my father. The true next of kin would have been my older brother but he was …

It was April 24th, 2009. I sat at my computer and browsed around, bored as ever. I stumbled onto an animal rights website and a video popped up without warning. There was a racoon in a cage, scared, making the saddest noises. This small animal was picked up by a human hand and smashed on the ground repeatedly. The racoon was then hung on a hook and skinned. I couldn't …

The day before Thanksgiving, my otherwise upbeat husband turned grumpy about the exhaustive holiday travel ahead of us. Childless and petless, we are the designated schleppers in both our families. This year we'd be hauling first to my mother's on Long Island, then turning around and heading all the way up to Cooperstown, to Brian's family.

Brian's pre-holiday weariness was palpable, contagious. After sending him off to work Wednesday …

I could barely read but my brother thought I was the perfect candidate to pawn his Christmas present off on: a book. He was never a reader and with his blessing of 'it's the most boring book ever. I fell asleep reading the first chapter' I was off for four hours in the car reading and listening along.
I flew through one Harry Potter book and into the next three …

It was such a hot July day that I made an exception and wore short pants, something I rarely do, since I don’t think my skinny white legs are very flattering. Wendy noticed a lump on my outer right shin. I dismissed it as a bruise and didn’t give it another thought until three months later when it hadn’t gone away and a neighbor told me how a massage therapist …

Over the years, I have collected aluminum Christmas trees and color wheels from garage sales, but they’re getting harder to find.

It was 1961 when my father moved our family from a small rental house at the corner of East Mountain Lane and Graysville Road to a couple of undeveloped acres on a dead-end dirt lane called Heaton Drive off East Brainerd Road in the shadow of …
I overheard, "I want a divorce.".

My wife was five months pregnant. I awoke one morning to her first words: “I have something to tell you.”

That was thirty years ago. She is no longer my wife, hasn’t been for almost thirty years. It was an exciting and stressful time for us as young, expectant parents. Priorities were shifting, living space had to be upgraded, finances became strained, sacrifices were in order. All of …

After years of the unanswerable question "When will you finally leave ?", I could place a date to it. October 6th 2009. The day when a metal pipe shattered the windshields of my car and if it not for the police, perhaps would have shattered my skull.
After over 20 years of being married to a controlling, abusive man chaos was the norm. I …

Sister Barbara stands before the blackboard,
diagrams a compound sentence. Static
from the box above the door
stops her mid-verb. She turns and slips

her hands beneath her bib,
embracing herself. She’s almost folk
art--straight, shrouded in crepe,
white wimple at her temples, no stray
hair exposed. I watch her lift her face
to listen, and when Father’s booming voiceRead more »

I first glimpsed the Island of Spice, or rather the cloud above it's volcanoes, from the deck of a tall ship built in the mid-1800s. Before joining the ancient Baltic trader's crew, I'd sailed north from Brazil, aboard a sleek new racing yacht. Compared with the humbling expanse of South Atlantic waters, the Caribbean seemed a playground in winter - its stepping stone isles seductively arranged to welcome seafarers. Old …

It must have been around 1960. I was about 10 years old and hungry, waiting impatiently for dinner. But my mother wasn’t cooking. She wasn’t even in the kitchen. She was in the living room reading Leon Uris’ new novel, Exodus, about the SS Exodus, a ship full of concentration camp survivors that tried to dock in Palestine in 1947, but was turned away by the British authorities.
Read more »

Flirty introductions were followed by invitations into warm and loving hosts
Joy lasts for moments untold
Laughter echos off the walls
Light whispers in the dark
Cigarette smoke, perfume and body scents filled the air
A coupling for a time
Your eyes always flittered across the landscape of your surroundings
More prettiness to gaze upon and pursue
Mutual attraction was duplicated on many occasions
You were a magnet for those …

The first time I was within 3 feet of Eddie Vedder, I tripped and fell on my ass. My daughter yelled out, "Ed, my Mom fell for you!".

Ever since I could remember, I always felt sad. It's been in recent years of my teenage life that it has gotten worse and interfered with my life. I first noticed I was far too depressed when I became suicidal. I first noticed I was sick when I had panic attack all the time. I first noticed I had a problem when I tried killing myself. I first noticed I …
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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 →
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