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It was a balmy Saturday in Honolulu, the evening after I was born. Poker Night at my Uncle Danny's house, and my old man was passing out cigars to the guys.

"Becoming a father has been the best moment of my life," he said. "Deal 'um!"

My old man had promised her he wouldn't gamble again, but special occasions call for exceptions. After all, he was a new …

I've never been an emotionally strong person. I try to be but it's safe to say that in my sixteen years of life, I tend to fail quite miserably.

I was diagnosed with Scoliosis at the age of 14. I did hold in the tears for a week but ultimately I ended up crying my eyeballs out. I knew that compared to others who were less fortunate, I certainly …

As I slipped my boots off and settled in for an overnight flight from New York to Moscow in April 1998, the young man sitting across the aisle asked an attendant, "What’s the holdup? I have a party to go to." The flight would take roughly 11 hours. At that point, we'd been delayed for only 30 minutes. This guy was either a poor planner or a real jet-setter. I …

The lobby of the Overture Center was crowded as more than 2,000 people made their way to their cars. Like me, I guessed many were headed home to bed, as it was a weeknight.

For once I wasn’t in any particular hurry, letting the last few images of Wicked circle in my head. I had to work the next morning but took my time leaving, as much as …

Right around the time I reached my goal weight, I met the man who would become my husband. I was living in New York and working in Los Angeles as a producer; he was my editor. My goal weight was just shy of 100 pounds, but I’m a former ballerina, so - different rules.
I looked fucking fabulous and while my holocaust bod might not have been the …

My persistent shyness originated at my awkward, embarrassing, and totally nude birth. Never quite gotten over it.

My seventh grade catechism teacher, Miss Godswrath*, knew what evil was. For forty minutes each day she impressed upon us the evilness of every song, movie, and magazine created since the Bible. She fortified us with stories of saints (virgins like Maria Goretti) who, rather than surrender their virginities, were burned, stoned, or stabbed to death. That was virtue. Evil, she assured us, lurked under every desk: in the hemlines …

When my first "Nunsense" show opened off-Broadway in 1985 at a historic little theatre on a charming but rarely traveled street in Greenwich Village, I had no idea how important walk-up business was to the success of a show. Audiences came and loved the show, but not in sizable numbers. By the end of the first month we were running in the "red" and the theatre rescinded our lease. We …

Surrounded by a bumper crop of bright yellow dandelions during a late spring morning in 1983, I sat on the edge of my front lawn listening to a black and silver metallic radio. Fiddling with the giant dial tuner, a mish-moshed mix of music droned from one tinny speaker.

A few months past 12 and completing the last weeks of 6th grade, come September I’d be …

I am 8 years old and visiting my mom at work, which isn't an office or a store, it's Candlestick Park, where she has been building the backdrop for the upcoming Rolling Stones tour, Tattoo You. It's hot out in the parking lot where they are painting the largest set of red lips and tongue I will ever see.

It's the size of two cars easy and …

The first English Lit class I took in college was a small freshman seminar on "The 20th-Century Novel." We read a remarkable string of books, all written by dead white European men. One day, in response to a question from the professor, an exasperated young woman said, "I don't know. How can you expect me to understand or relate to any of this? I'm young, I'm a woman, this is …

Years ago, I was flicking through the channels and saw this film in HBO featuring this tough-looking tattooed girl and her girl gang. Despite some cringe-worthy scenes, the story had feminist undertones (which I loved) and I was hooked. I was mesmerized by this rebellious gang leader, with her swagger and devil-may-care attitude. It was love at first sight. I didn't know the title of the movie and I really …

I am fourteen.

She is seventeen.

I am young and unsure.

She's young and equally unsure.

Dark, danky bathroom of a Catholic all girls school.

Oppression heavy between us.

Slowly we move.

Lips tenatively meet.

Her's are soft and satiny and taste like sugar.

Mine are chapped and cracked and taste like coffee.

She wraps an arm around …
It was two thirty in the afternoon. Hiding in the bathroom from my eighth grade English teacher and her judgment had become an art form. She had told me that my dream was stupid, that I could never be a writer. Biting back a sob and swallowing the bile in my throat, I went over how many days I had left in my own personal hell on Earth. How many …

We had arranged to meet on the steps of the courthouse… We were halfway to breakfast, when it started to rain. You insisted on running back to your office for an umbrella. I told you that a man who places any faith at all in an umbrella is a damned fool. Besides, isn’t a sun-shower the perfect wedding for the foxes to be married? But, you missed the reference, unusually. …

I am where I am today because of a 17 second scene when I was 13.

I was on an exchange program outside of Mexico City; the first time I'd been out of the US. I was packed in the back of a dusty van with a handful of other pubescent teens complaining about the heat and poor radio station selection. We were crusin' down a six-lane highway when …

I was an obedient child. I did what I was told to do. Touched this, sucked that, moved this way or that and, most importantly, kept my mouth shut when everything was over. I took care of the adults’ needs at night, carried out my domestic duties after school, and watched my siblings on the week-ends so that my parents could have ‘their time together,’ away from the kids. I …

The Present Moment

I was always told, “you take things too literally”. Well, this time, I certainly did. I never went on vacation alone before. “It will be an adventure,” does not begin to explain just what happened…

Being a fitness enthusiast and having experimented with homeopathic and naturopathic medicine, I decided to go to New Age Health Spa in Upper New York State for my …

It was just before 7am on a Sunday morning. My fiance had just turned 28 and we were beginning our recovery from the party the night before.

The phone rang.
I was the only one who woke up so I rolled over and answered the phone.
It was one of our best friends.
Him, "Cosmo was in a car accident last night"
Me, "He's alright though right?"
Him, "No. …

I had just woken up from a six-week coma, and those were the words that kept echoing in my head while I lay in the hospital bed trying to make sense of what had happened to me. "I must be still dreaming." I thought and over and over. Inside, deep inside, I knew I was wide awake.

Those six words related a fact: Over …
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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

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