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Child, daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, Saint.

My therapist made another recommendation. It’s called a doula. I have never heard of such a thing. They are unlicensed, unregulated labor and delivery coaches.

Kara arrives at my house at three o’clock p.m. She is about five feet ten inches, has blazing red hair, and a huge bosom on which might as well hang a flashing neon sign that reads “GOT MILK?” The sun is beaming in through the huge Victorian paned windows, and I ask Kara to have a seat in the living room. I lumber into an overstuffed, burnt orange chair and summon Buddy to sit with me. I think about offering Kara tea, but I am so sick of tea.

“Make …

“Runners, take your mark,” the referee shouted, lifting his gun. I took one final look at the finish line before kneeling down to face the black track pavement. This was it. This was the moment I had been waiting for.

“Set.”

My running spikes pushed firmly against the starting blocks as I leaned forward, shifting my body weight onto my hands. My mind flashed back to the journey that brought me here, from my first day in the locker room to the daily warm-up laps to the exhausting ride home after grueling practices every day.

I was a sophomore in high school, and it was my first time on the track team. I pushed my body to its limit at …

I was always a "normal girl." I was in the "popular group" in my school, and at six-eigth grade, I thought that my friends were perfect, I was perfect, and unlike my "besties" or "bffs" applying way too much strawberry tinted lipgloss in the bathroom, I would probably think that you were perfect too.

This was quite the facade I was portraying at school, with my perfect hair, outgoing personality, and pearly whites to match. Noone knew the real me: the girl that would pace around the kitchen island as her parents fought. The girl that heard her father scream to her mother that she would dissapear one day and noone would find her. The girl that secretly thought in the shower …

I have always had trouble meeting people. I will admit I can be socially awkward sometimes. This was obviously my biggest fear going to college, what if I didn’t make friends? There was no way I wanted to be the kid who couldn’t make friends and would have to be a loser stuck in his room all the time.

Sadly, my time at UConn actually was something like that. I struggled to meet people and my roommate really didn’t help the situation.

‘When a small man feels the need to out do a normal size man in order to feel bigger then he is.’ – Little Man Syndrome as defined by UrbanDictionary.com

The top of …

I’ve been taking myself seriously long enough to get a feel for my own process. Didn’t have that so I didn’t know what I needed from outside. Of course I learn about my own writing by writing. It’s the stuff I choose to write–and more importantly the stuff I choose not to write–that lets me see myself as a writer.

One thing I’ve noticed about my writerly self is my punctuation. Yep, that’s right. I choose to write only the kinds of sentences I can be punctuationally sure of on first draft. It has the effect, of course, of setting a functional limit on my Voice. It checks the pace of sentences. Keeps them relatively short. …

I have always had trouble meeting people. I will admit I can be socially awkward sometimes. This was obviously my biggest fear going to college, what if I didn’t make friends? There was no way I wanted to be the kid who couldn’t make friends and would have to be a loser stuck in his room all the time.

Sadly, my time at UConn actually was something like that. I struggled to meet people and my roommate really didn’t help the situation.

‘When a small man feels the need to out do a normal size man in order to feel bigger then he is.’ – Little Man Syndrome as defined by UrbanDictionary.com

The top of …

I believe the bridal bouquet toss, like capers in salad dressing or advertising in restroom stalls, is perfectly ridiculous and should be done away with immediately.

Last week at my cousin’s elegant and boisterous wedding, I was bantering with an acquaintance when I felt a tap on my shoulder. It was a family friend’s mom, donned in a sky blue suit that offset her ash gray hair.

“Hi, Mrs. Karras,” I said and kissed her on the cheek. “You look pretty tonight.”

“Not now,” she said and recoiled. Her manner implied she had discovered a live grenade in the courtyard, or that the caterer was low on baklava.

“Your cousin’s about to toss the bouquet,” she said and pointed to …

I was on the playground, standing on the wooden platform near my favorite slide. It was red, with an orange tint. It was spiraled and had a cover on it. It always seemed to collect puddles at the bottom, and kids who forgot to check for them first would walk around for the rest of day, their shame soaking through the butt of their pants.

I had been waiting in line for a couple minutes, dreaming about something fantastic that only the mind of a ten-year-old could concoct. I was taken abruptly out of my dream world when a little boy of the opposite race loudly shoved past me and dove into the slide. I remember his face was sweaty, and he smelled …

CHAPTER 1 - HOW IT ALL BEGAN

Monday morning, 10 am. I slowly climb the stairs to the illegal massage parlour that I work in. The entrance is dimly lit, seedy as you would expect an establishment like this to be. With keys in hand, ready to start the day’s work, I unlock the door and shut it firmly behind me, making sure that nobody can get in from outside. The smell of cheap baby oil and day old semen fills my nostrils as I dump my heavy bag filled with sexy outfits, stilettos and makeup on the old beaten up couch.

Outside it is a warm and sunny day and I wish I was out there mingling …

Some would say I have the perfect life. But something has changed in me and I want to have my OWN Life. A life where I can be independent, self-sufficient, answer to no one but myself. Is it crazy to want to leave a 31 year marriage? Leave a beautiful home where I have lived for 28 years? Be alone and responsible for myself for the first time in 53 years? What would it feel like? Is this freedom I crave worth what I will be giving up? Is this independence I want attainable? I'm afraid, but motivated. I feel that I have crossed the line to where I can't feel the same ever again. I must go forward. I must have patience. I must …

The sun was shining brightly overhead, birds chirping harmoniously when we first met. I cracked jokes with him, and we talked nonstop. We were inseperable; we had convinced everyone in school that we were made for each other. He brought in a heat wave, a hot stride, overpassing all of the other participants in the race to be the best friend. However, when he glided across the track and cut through the yellow tape, he set off a spark, and clouds appeared in the west. He approached me, telling me he knew I loved him. He told outlandish tales of how I was unconditionally and inexorably in love with him. I hated his guts for it. I hated how he thought he was so fabulous. …

The Lost Girl

This girl she sits and waits.
For someone to be her play date.
Loney cold ,so pretty alone.
She waits for her play date.

The lost boy who means so much.
Is lost ,lonely,hungry and cold.
her faith is fading so much lust,
To see that soul again would be too much.

That lost boy who has always been there.
is gone once more without a care.
Now This girl who seems so lost.
She waits again for her lust.

The lost girl now in two.
Left broken, shamed to name a few.
Never see that young boys face.
This lost girls ever so weak.
Here she still waits for her play date.

I was going to say that I couldn't have predicted how important she would become to me--the 96 year-old woman whose home I now call my own. But that's not true. I could have predicted it. It's what I'm like.

A few years ago my husband and I bought a house whose previous owner had made it her home for over 60 years. She and her husband raised twelve children there. I was one of twelve children. Even the realtor said she was one of twelve children. Although that last part was a little too "meant to be" for my taste, I felt drawn to the house, humbled by its history, and connected to the woman who was at its center. …

On a hot summer's day in 1994 ,Tuesday the 19th of July to be exact, two people, Joost and Lillian, were made very happy at approximately seven o'clock at night. Their daughter Nicole Eveline was born in their home in Venray, a town in the south of the Netherlands. Everyone came to visit ; the new grandparents, the new uncle's , neighbors, everyone.
So much enthusiasm that they forgot that their new fridge was going to be delivered the next day. They were surprised by the delivery guy, but he understood.
Sometime in 1995 Joost's boss said that the company he was working for, was going to move to France. Everyone that worked there had 2 options: Move to France or be …

For two years after college I rented an apartment in The Gables, a cheaply-constructed condo community where budding yuppies flock to breed. The Gables is famous for its pool: Throughout the summer young singles gather there like mosquitoes in a birdbath. A few swim laps, but mostly they wade. In the shallow end.

That the entire Gables neighborhood is painted in shades of beige is a perfect metaphor -- or a beacon of warning, depending how you see it -- for the homogeneous hell that lies within.

At the time I was living the prescribed life of a young Potomac Jew. It never occurred to me to question my fate; In a year or so I'd meet a Jewish doctor/lawyer/consultant and float down …

Not long ago I was ribbing a friend with my typical knowitallism -- "Duh, don't you know you need a sponge to seal grout?" "It's nook-lee-ur, not nook-you-lur!" -- when he sighed deeply and said, "Sheesh, girl, you're not easy to impress."

Really, not true. Smart people -- like this friend -- dazzle me all the time; It's actually me who wants to impress. I have this awful habit of trying to prove I'm as intelligent as the company I keep. I'm afraid if I relax too much in conversation, if I let my A Game slide, someone might think me stupid.

Yeah, I know I'm neurotic, but in this case there's an explanation: Until I was 18 or so I didn't realize …

Last night after dinner my family lit yahrtzeit candles in memory of my departed grandparents, all three of whom died in the month of June over the past 10 years. Each of us said a few words, replayed a warm and fuzzy memory or two; As usual my mother did most of the talking.

"Your Grampa was always kind," she said. "You wouldn't think so, grumpy as he was in his old age. But when I was little and I had a bad dream, I always went to his side of the bed. Grandma could be vicious if I woke her up in the middle of the night, but Grampa always made room for me, and let me stay with him until I fell …

I closed my eyes and could see it so vividly, so clearly- it was more like reality and less like a dream. The beautiful white sand, untouched this morning by human hands-the water as it crept out of the sea and kissed the sand good morning. The crisp ocean air tickled my nose and reminded me of all the days I had spent with her.
I plunge my feet into the sand and giggle as the damp warm earth dances between my toes. I pick up a handful and the sand slips through my fingers. Tiny grains of sand -once mighty rocks tumbled by the ebb and flow of the tide-rough edges gently smoothed away. Polished until any resemblance …

I closed my eyes and could see it so vividly, so clearly- it was more like reality and less like a dream. The beautiful white sand, untouched this morning by human hands-the water as it crept out of the sea and kissed the sand good morning. The crisp ocean air tickled my nose and reminded me of all the days I had spent with her.
I plunge my feet into the sand and giggle as the damp warm earth dances between my toes. I pick up a handful and the sand slips through my fingers. Tiny grains of sand -once mighty rocks tumbled by the ebb and flow of the tide-rough edges gently smoothed away. Polished until any resemblance …
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