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Julian and I had been traveling side by side almost 24 hours a day. So it wasn't until two weeks into the trip that I started to notice this awkward thing about Vietnam. The first time it happened it was dusk. Julian was at a tiny copy shop on the side of a busy road in Hanoi; he was making 30 copies of our workshop packet and it was taking forever.
I had to pee, and I was bored so I went for a walk in search of a bathroom. I stood at the edge of the road watching the cars weave and whiz by me. I couldn't find the courage to cross the street. The week before, a Vietnamese friend had told me … Read more »
I don’t remember losing any of my teeth, or learning how to ride a bike. I don’t know what theme my seventh birthday party was. I remember when my best friend’s little brother was hit by a car. He died the same day even though they sent a helicopter. My best friend called me and I told her that she shouldn’t joke like that but she wasn’t joking. I don’t remember how old we were. Third grade, maybe. The last time I ever saw him he was jumping on the couch telling me how excited he was to go to the first grade. I don’t remember my first day of school.
I remember the first time I learned about the word “fuck.” I … Read more »
The following is a piece I was asked to write about what it feels like to be the father of an autistic child.
When I wake, I am curled up under a somber and overcast sky. It is the same colored heaven that I lived under yesterday and the countless days that have come before it. I stretch out on the brown grass for a moment to piece together my reality. It only takes me a few brief moments to remember my job. I have to walk the wall…just like I have done the past 11 years.
I sit up and take a deep breath. I hold it for a moment while I close my eyes. This is one … Read more »
The first time it ever happened was when I was 7. Too young to know that what he was doing was wrong, and too scared to tell anyone. I had been beat. Struck across the face with the ferocity of a wild animal. Sometimes it would just be a smack, and others it would be a kick to the ribs or a bruised windpipe. Nobody saw the bruises. He forced me to wear long sleeves and high neck blouses. Mother paid no attention to it whatsoever. She thought it was just a fashion phase I was going though. I only wish it was so simple.
We were a family of three. My mother, myself, and the monster. My mother had been with the monster … Read more »
October 16, 2008 was my father’s 56th birthday. The date is forever etched in my memory but not for that reason. In fact, celebrating is the last thing I could even think about. My life as I knew it was going to change forever and life was good. I had just finished my master’s thesis and had been teaching English in Japan for about five years. While the economy back home was in free fall I had settled into a comfortable if not predictable job and had developed a close group of friends. I figured I could spend another year or two in Japan living the good life, making decent money and taking exciting vacations around Asia before eventually heading home. However, I would soon … Read more »
If you are someone who feels like no guy, or girl, will ever like you. Well boy do I know how you feel. Then one day a friend came to me when I was feeling down and said," Imagine the world is a big tree and we are all apples and the bad fruit is at the bottom and the good fruit is at the top. The bad fruit is all the girls, or guys, that are easy to get and not as much fun to be in a relationship with. The good fruit at the top are the girls, or guys, that are unnoticed of hard to get. Many guys , or girls, will reach for the easy to get fruit at the bottom … Read more »
I am living large, at least in my head, and am surrounded by amazing friends.Schools sucks but only intil lunch. To many books, to little time. But I still have my whole life ahead of me.
I'm fifty years old but people guess me to be in my thirties all the time, so I'm blessed with good genes and a daughter who colors my hair well. I'm trying very hard to revise a book to be published but making myself sit down and revise every day is getting to be a monumental task. Everything else seems to "need" to be done instead. Groceries, laundry, taxes, rehearsing for opera. Always something. Yet, I've been working on it fairly consistently and have forty-one chapters of a "creative nonfiction" story. What does that mean? The story is based on my life, but I can't say it's my life because the almighty "someone" won't like it.
The rain's pouring out there. The window is … Read more »
My memory of my father’s accident is faulty. I don’t remember the time or what I was wearing or where exactly it happened. I remember bits of it from the day, like the fact that I was sitting and doing some math problems while my tutor stepped outside our little library for a smoke. I remember him telling me that my father had had an accident and I remember laughing a laugh of disbelief because my father was superman. Superman barely gets hurt on krypton, let alone earth.
What my mother was going through that day or months afterwards, I have no clue. She was there around us, managing things, figuring out how to get my father to a hospital without worsening his spinal … Read more »
A house in my neighborhood had a basket of assorted small toys hanging on the garden gate, with a sign inviting passersby to take a toy or donate one to the collection. I often passed this house on my walks and enjoyed looking in to see the changing array of toys in the basket, which was always full. One day a blue tambourine caught my eye. I wanted it right away but didn't think a grown-up should take a kid's toy. I left the tambourine alone. Days went by as I continued to walk past the basket while keeping an eye on its contents. The blue tambourine was still there.
Finally the day arrived when I … Read more »
She walked around the floor not exactly as if she owned the place, but more as if it existed solely for her benefit. She seemed unaware of the forest, but focused instead on the trees--each pair of shoes was given its due attention. She carefully scrutinized them, mentally discarding those lacking character or oozing practicality. The ones in vibrant colors were the draw, particularly reds and yellows, and high heels appeared to be a must. At each of the various tables a favorite would be chosen, and she would pick them up, bring them down to the floor, and slide her small feet in (whose feet actually fit the floor models, I wondered to myself). She would glance down for … Read more »
I am typing this feeling better than I have in a very long time. I am sitting on the porch of our cabin with only the moon lighting the woods in front of me. I am a little freaked out that Bigfoot might come bounding out of the dark and play the popular monster game called “Make The Little Man Wear His Lungs Like A Hat”. Other then that fear I am as peaceful as my soul has been since before Scott Baio was a reality star.
In many ways I worry way to much. I am not just a “glass half empty guy“. I am a “glass half empty, and the other half is filled with anthrax” kind of guy. I jump to … Read more »
"Here, take this," he said, slipping a five dollar bill into my small hand. I hesitated, not sure if it was alright.
It was 1977, when five dollars went a lot further and it seemed like an awful lot of money to the five year-old me. The man handing me the fin was my father's friend, Bishop, on account of his name being John Bishop. He had one of the most distinctive voices I have heard in my life, his laugh as distinctly hearty and husky.
"No, it's alright. Take it. Get those guys some street clothes," said the tall, black Bishop, bent down on one knee, reassuring me, so that I might take the money.
While I did end up taking … Read more »
Get up at extremely early times, just to go to school. Joke around during class and getting in trouble no matter what i do. Teachers should mean pain in my brain. I laugh with friends and act like a stupid head, because I love it. i write songs cause my parents feel the need to scream at each other, as if that will get their point across. People keep telling me I'll be a hobo on the street unless I go to college. I don't want to waste two to four years of my life at a school. I'll start a punk rock band and get drunk in my tour bus. Don't worry, you'll see me on TV and you'll love me to. See … Read more »
It's been three weeks and two days since he asked me out. I said yes. On the second week and six day he kissed me. Three times that day. It was sweet. Lately he's all I think about. Does this mean love? But the butterflies. The fireworks. I get some butterflies. I get no fireworks. What happened to the fireworks. Do people get those. Is it just a fantasy made up by lonely dreamers? If so, why say it. Why make me believe I am suppose to feel something that I can not physically feel. Now I am left with confusion. Do I love him? Do I just like him. I don't know. The situation of fireworks has left me complicated. It has left me … Read more »
My Mom died of Alzheimer’s disease, and my Dad followed her out of this world fairly quickly. As she progressed through the stages of the disease, we (my father, brother and I) became her auxiliary memory. First, Dad helped her keep appointments with the various organizations where she volunteered and with friends. As the disease progressed and she lost more of herself, we helped her remember who she was, and helped her forget who she would be at the end of the disease.
My Dad, my brother and I told her stories about our lives together. This is just the beginning of one of our stories – my own – and a few of my memories of family and home.
Read more »
Recently I left a position that was really a nice fit in that it only required 3 days of work and minimum amount of effort to do. I could have stayed there for a long time if it were not for my sense of propriety m a worker who has no tolerance for fellow workers who do not pull their weight. I always strive to do the job to the best of my ability (and that's considerable) and beyond when possible. This recent episode left me thinking , who is really responsible for my departure? To put the situation in perspective: the person who created this situation is of a type who thinks they are owed something by everyone, whose idea of voting … Read more »
What comes after
Thats not what im afraid of.
Im afraid of what comes after.
Is there really an after life based on gods.
Or is it darkness, with no sense of anything.
Should we really believe in one so powerfull,
Or his he just like santa clause, made up to bring
Us a sense of happiness and comfort that we oh so long for.
Or should we believe the scientists, the ones with the facts,
The ones who base their knowledge not on comfort,
But on the so called truth.
It’s a battle many say they can fight for.
But is it worth it.
Should we let people believe in something not based on fact
But based on beleif.
Should we … Read more »
Tears Are Falling
He held my hand while I cried. We sat in the common room of a dirty little apartment building, sitting close in separate and uncomfortable chairs. Looking down, I saw where one of his tears had hit my hand as well, he so closely felt my pain and anger and sadness. I couldn't bare to look him in the eye at first-to see him share my weakness-so instead I stared at the cold cream colored tiles as they swirled in lakes of yet unshed tears.
Bright and early that morning my group on the mission trip had made an excursion to a different apartment complex, it looked dangerous and dirty. Us girls never went far without a guy … Read more »
Hi, nice to meet you. You probably might not know this just from this first casual meeting, but I've been known to break a heart or two (I mean, really cause some damage... the type where you are as a disappointing as the writer from Closer-- I'm also a writer, go figure). Not that I'm proud of it, but there where times were I lost my temper, turned physical and left bruises. You might not tell just by chatting with me for a few minutes, or even hanging out constantly, but my sexual exploits have led me to experience a wide variety of scenarios that would be frowned upon by many (envied by others). I'm no better lover thanks to it.
Like I said, … Read more »
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