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I moved toward the roof of South America with the tiny, shuffling steps of an old man, looking down at the bootprints my so-called friends had left in the snow. The sight filled me with gloom. Yet it was more appetizing than what loomed above: an old volcano about 100 stories tall, the summit of Mt. Aconcagua, the object of my sweaty desire for the last two weeks, a brutal thumb of rock that was my only hope of saving face.

The only sound was the uneven rasping of my breath and a faint, chilly breeze off the Andes. Then, clank! The steel crampons of my right boot hit stone. I had reached the rock. For an hour I’d aimed for this resting …

Any one who tells you that rape does not damage the soul
Has not been raped
You lose your soul, you body, your peace of mind
Your sense of righteous existence
I can’t even make connection with my own flesh and blood

I should have died that day
Nine years old, perhaps God would let me have a do-over.
I think I survived for a reason
My daughter loves me, but like most, she doesn’t like me very much
My husband doesn’t trust me or like me very much
My son is too young to have decided, I hope.

It is tough to be different from everyone
Somewhere there must be people like me.
Kate says THERAPY, GROUP, and COUNSELING
I …

I'm afraid one day I will look in the mirror and see someone that I don't recognize.

Will I remember where I came from?

Flip flops, scraped knees, rehearsal til 9:15.

Grandma says love comes to those that wait..I wonder what is a good wait time.

My ex says I get bored to easily...I'm destined to be discontent?

I hate that thought...it's not that I am discontent with everything...I was just discontent with you

I long for comfortability...but want to experience spontaneity....

When someone says forever...I wonder if their forever is different from mine.

I am overly underexposed...

I spent most of my life pissing people off. Always wondering why people were angry at me, even strangers. Could it be my knack for seeing through them, knowing when they lied, or just an air of confidence? Maybe it is the touch of John Nash syndrome, slightly affected brilliance combined with contempt for petty emotional gestures. Who can really answer any questions about why humans do what they do and with whom.

From the day I could see and speak, I was extremely independent, stubborn, unwilling to bend in my opinions. By the time I was 5 my mother and sister hated me, dad was neutral, unconnected to any emotional expression. He turned to bourbon, mom to amphetamines, sis to boys and escape. …

So baby was a month behind growth, and they told me I had to go to Cooper hospital in Camden. Scott and I get there, and they say they have no idea what’s wrong with me, but that I’ll be there a few days for tests. Tests come back negative, but I’m dropping a gram of protein in my urine. That means probably preeclampsia. Which means bedrest until the baby’s born. Hospital says, you’re in here for the long haul.
Scott buys me a Nintendo DS and Zelda. Brings me clothes, books, food that doesn’t suck as hard as the hospital food. I think he doesn’t know what to do, so he spends money.
The doctors were never …
Gettin old aint for sissies.

My father always liked the “idea” of camping, which was bewildering to me. My folks were not outdoor enthusiasts by any stretch of the imagination. They were hobby-less homebodies; more comfortable camped out in front of the TV than any raging campfire. The family recreational portrait was void of wild wilderness scenes: no snapshots of Dad with a leg up on the back of a surprised bull moose, surrounded by mugging sons with rifles raised above our heads; no sing-a-long moments around the campfire with Ma and sis in buckskin frying up a batch of freshly caught trout. Strangely, every summer when we traveled, it was the camping route we took. Our sedate and pampered lifestyle was suddenly abandoned in favor of a dust-bowl family …

My mother worked at a hamburger stand on the outskirts of an East Texas town that nobody ever heard of. Daddy owned the place. It was a small, white box of a building with a screen door imprinted with the words: “Rainbo is good bread.” Built in the days before drive-thru windows were commonplace, customers parked out front and went inside to place their orders at the counter where my mother would sweetly ask, “Can I ‘hep’ you?” The ‘L’ in help was always conspicuously absent.

I can still see my mother frying ground beef patties on the large, flat grill, liberally salting and then peppering the meat as it sizzled. She wore a nurse-like uniform consisting of a white dress, white stockings, and, …

Probably the most fun part of any family reunion is that one glorious moment when a relative you haven’t seen in years does a double take when he sees you and lets you know in no uncertain terms just how fat you’ve gotten since the last family reunion.

“Whoa! I guess they’ve been keeping you well fed back home, huh?!?”

My great Uncle Rocky was the DiGiorgio relative who most loved to inform people just how poorly they were doing on his personal fitness barometer. As it happened, Rocky was always in solid physical shape, so it was hard to find a good rejoinder whenever he zinged you. It was always easier to get back at my mom’s friend Mario, who would …

Dorri Olds
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9 Lives for a Weeble
Wish I could blame nuclear weapons, a mutant virus or Hitler for the malformation in my Russian Jewish bloodline, but my theory is a suicide gene, coupled with an inability to pull close during difficult times. We held our sorrow separately, a silent pact—if we didn’t put words to it, nothing was awry. With a child’s vocabulary I tried to convey the dark storms in my head, but felt my efforts swept aside. “What the hell does that kid have to be depressed about?” I was unglued and my family found me exhausting.
June 1973. My sister Jenny was fifteen. I was twelve. …

It started with a dripping faucet.

I once read in an essay called “The Futile Pursuit of Happiness” that if you let all the little things build up, they will eventually lead to more distress than the major problems.

Drip, drip, drip.

The bathroom crumbled apart, along with my life.
First the faucet started dripping, soft drops, hardly noticeable. Then it became steadier, an annoyance.

My mother told my father to fix it. He would sigh loudly and say I’m doing work.
All he wanted to do was be outside, in the grass, with the birds and the trees, away from my mother, from us, from the criticism and yelling that was really just talking. He was …

There are true stories that are unfortunate. Then there are true stories that are really really unfortunate. I was kidnapped, tortured, robbed and released while traveling on business in Shenzhen, China, exactly 5 years, 21 days and 14.5 hours ago but who’s counting. At this pt in time feels like it happened to somebody else.

I’m a bona fide New Yorker with street smarts so it is embarrassing to say I was mugged in China where muggings are rare. Anyway, on my 2nd day in Shenzhen, a city of 12 million, I was casually walking down a side street when four guys jumped me, dragged me into a dimly lit apartment, stripped me of my clothes, shredded my wallet, and …

She told me a story one day I was feeling down and if you know her she talks your ear off. One day she stayed with her aunt when she was a child, a big woman who made a fuss about her but was a controlling woman she said with a laugh. Her mom would put some change in her little purse and send her to her aunts for a little while. Her aunt had two step daughters from the marriage and they had a room up in the attic. Gram had used one of her cousins brush and broke it and instead of telling her she walked herself up to the strip mall and bought a new one and replaced it before it was …

Charlie’s Sister-In-Law’s

I have a friend. He is not like any other friend a person could have. He lives a little on the dark side. His patterns of sleep are varied and disturbed. He likes to get drunk and regrets it in his own private way in the morning. He sidesteps morality and certainly has his own book of laws. This is not to imply he is not a good man. But is always in some sort of crisis and being around him, you can find yourself caught up in his storms. I give you Charley Tanner, player of pianos, shrugger of responsibility, dreamer and frequent loser in this world of imperfect players. His hold on me is long standing and powerful. …

WHEN YELLOWSTONE HAD BEARS


I will never be able to forget that bright green summer in Indiana. All was right with the

world and everyone I loved was still alive and we were going to California. My mom had

wanderlust and she passed her love of travel on to me. Since I snuck in under the wire

when she was 40 years old it slowed her travels considerably...but once a year we planned

the Big Trip, out west to California, where my grandparents put up with us for about a

week.

.
The adventurers for this trip were the chief driver, my step-dad Don, and sitting in the …

GOOSELAKE

It was a time. Damn it was wonderful time to live. Yeah, "Fuckin A, number one tweety bird!" If I could go back...for maybe just a day or three, it would be to Goose Lake...that miserable little swamp located just off I-94 outside of Jackson, Michigan in the year 1970....and the month of August, yeah, it was that hottest of fucking months, for three days of music and 350,000 friends listening to what some believed was the continued blossoming of a new, more youthful world, where peace and love was all we needed. We never thought it would degenerate, in just a few years, to the hedonistic scream of "Let's PARTY." We almost had it right. I assure …

WORRY


My mom was an inspired worrier. She got up in the morning and got right to it...no procrastinating on her part. It's a good day to worry...I could see it on her face. She passed it on to me. Not all people are worrier's. They seem to think the most important thing they do is not worry. I get tired of all these people thinking they are gifted because they do not worry.

Probably even more irritating is their feeling that they should turn us worriers into non-worrier's. "Don't worry about it." Thats one of their main comments. I guess they think they are trying to help...but they do not realize we are content being ever vigilant.Read more »

Twelve feet tall, cloaked in black, with a giant black feathered span on its back, the angel held me over the ledge of a skyscraper and told me not to fear. I woke up and laid there for a moment wondering where I was until someone walked in. I couldn’t move. I looked down and her hands were between my legs. I couldn’t speak.

“Am I awake,” I thought. “If this is a dream, it’s going pretty well.”
“…Like a Band-Aid….” her voice was under water.
“O, Yeah! Baaaaaby,” I yelled, as the nurse pulled the catheter out.

I was definitely awake, though it felt more like Thorazine than pain. I thought about Iraq as I stumbled from the hospital …

The patrol car bounced hard as we hit the intersection. Its been a long time since I did a search warrant. I had been teaching drug education for the past three years and working as an SRO. I was referred to by street officers as a kiddie cop or semi retired on duty. I was riding bitch with Ike, a public informations officer for the pd. The pair of us did not receive much respect from other officers. Our duties were not seen as being real police work.

Today we would be going in first, most of the other officers were narcotics officers and wore blue jeans and tee shirts. Uniforms go in first so if the bad …

House arrest led me to a new career—collecting yawns. The best yawns, rare as pearls, are kept in Petri dishes and studied by experts on yawn anatomy. The most valuable yawns explode unexpectedly like corks from bottles of wine. When we collect a specimen like that, we break open the champagne and yawn wildly!
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