Our landlady on Ash Street was Mrs Morvic who I remember as having flaming orange hair, bright red lips, and unnaturally surprised eyebrows. One day she tried to teach me to say “Fred” which was the name of her boyfriend who was home on leave from the U.S. Navy. I knew without a doubt that Mrs Morvic was saying his name incorrectly because my step-mother had a basket filled with a million spools of thread in many colors which she used to sew and mend my droopy cotton dresses. My step-mother had shared with me the secret that tiny gremlins lived in a silver cubby-hole directly under the stitching plate of the old treadle Singer, which cubby-hole some people called a bobbin case. … Read more »
It sounded better in my head.
“In my hungry fatigue, and shopping for images,
I went into the neon fruit supermarket”
Supermarket In California, Allen Ginsberg
The day I took off my clothes in the supermarket was hot and muggy, though that’s not my excuse.
I was sitting on my verandah with the view of red rooftops and the suburban skyline thinking about how heavy the silence felt in the heat, how much buzzing there was in the air. I had my little yellow pack of Champion Ruby. I was smoking cigarettes slowly, nervously savouring the nicotine. The ritual of picking the dry leaves, arranging them into a thin trail on the paper, flipping the lighter through my fingers, smoking and watching my smoke, was something to … Read more »
My wife and I have lost 12 relatives and near relative in a period of 3 years. I have heard about grieving but I do not understand it. How do you know you are grieving or have grieved? What are the signs or are there any? Does it get easier? Why are there more questions than answers? Are there guidelines or rules? How long does it last?
More questions and not enough or any answers.
I love my tattoos; I have over twenty. I regret only one, and I had it reworked into something I am very fond of (NOTE TO EVERYONE: Think very carefully before having someone's name tattooed on your person). Many people today have love/hate relationships with tattoos. Some think they are trashy (What was once sexy on a woman is now a "tramp stamp"). Athletes sport so-called "tribal" tattoos (What tribe? Or are these creative adolescent tracings of the old drafting French curve?). There's enough bicep barbed wire out there to fence the Old West. Religious tats are popular in some circles. What better way to convince others that you love Christ than to have a fish or a cross carved into a conspicuous place?
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The man was not yet a Pulitzer Prize-winner. Had not yet been discovered by Broadway. Had only just completed the play that would make him famous. No… then, in the very early years of the Reagan Administration, he was still only the Dean of the Drama Department at an unremarkable University, lost on a map, somewhere in the Great American Southwest. He also held my fate in his hands.
I had been discovered, by him, to be an undesirable. Making money to pay for my tuition and books by cashing in on the desperation of professional men. Some, like the professor in question, a friend of the man sitting before me, were married with kids. They were also miserable, lonely and on the verge … Read more »
There was a time when, if someone tapped me on the shoulder, I would instantly whirl around wondering (if not demanding), "What?" Sometimes I would get a phone call, and, not recognizing the voice, I would let the talker chat until I could figure out who he or she was. I reasoned that it would embarrass the caller should he or she realize that I didn't immediately recognize his or her voice.
I don't remember exactly when things changed. Now when I feel a tap on my shoulder, I make a conscious choice to turn around. In those brief seconds, I calmly and rationally think things through. Who could this be? What do they want? … Read more »
About a week ago, I was letting myself into my house after a particularly tiring day at work, and while standing on my little porch all-thumbing it through my ring of keys (I need them all; really!), I heard a soft noise. Right off the left edge of the porch a baby bird softly peeped from a bed of moss. And I mean baby bird. I looked up into the evergreen that towers above my house and spied a nest some fifteen feet or so above me. I could see the tail feathers of the mother bird sticking out of the nest in an indifferent manner that suggested she'd turned her back on her tiny charge. There had been no … Read more »
When I was in high school, my youngest sister (9 years my senior) began a longtime love affair with citizens' band radio—the CB. Truckers and cowboys, urban or otherwise, were celebrated in story and song, and CB radio—certainly the social precursor to the relative anonymity the Internet (e.g. MySpace, Facebook, etc.)—paved the way for chat rooms, text messages, and IMs. Thus began a faceless social network complete with Gordian knots of affairs, both platonic and prurient.
Always on the vanguard of communications technology, my sister handled a CB with élan and sangfroid. What fascinated me most were the names the CB enthusiasts adopted—"handles": "Sexy Lady," "Tennessee Stud," "Rough Rider," "Sexy Mama." Behind the sweetness and hubris lay, apparently, an electronic local universe of … Read more »
My parents were not huggers. And that was okay. Really. Hugs came into my life in a big way around 1973 when I joined a large Baptist church in my neighborhood. They had a dynamic youth group, and it seemed everyone was hugging. I liked it.
It is not the same anymore. Oh, my remaining family members like to hug, particularly my sisters, but I am pretty choosy nowadays. Maybe it is because I am over fifty, and people find it creepy hugging an "old guy."
You know what I find creepy? "Bro' hugs" and "side hugs." Instead of an embrace, many man clasp hands and lean in with their forearms shielding … Read more »
Despite this rich, luxurious, and frayed tapestry that is America, we are, still at heart, greedy and sanctimonious – a trick we have accomplished for nearly 400 years. Before the rich cultural influx of immigrants from around the globe, America was defined by either those who sought a religious utopia based on a way of life free from the worldly trappings of wealth, power, and property or those who craved the adventure and monetary gain the New World could offer. Tragically, these groups completely overshadowed the Native Americans whose seminal influence we have all but razed. What the world now sees is the paradoxical melding of the sacred and the secular, the pious and the prosperous, the abstemious and the adventuresome.
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It seemed surreal. I didn’t know that this actually happened to real people in real life. I’d seen it happen to characters--usually played by Christina Ricci or Mary Kate Olsen--in movies that you later mock and criticize with your friends. But those bitches are rich and spoiled and have too much time on their hands. They are not me-- a Jewish Ivy League-bound straight-A student from suburban New Jersey. Or, rather, they are not what I used to be.
The airline deemed me too frail to walk alone and therefore a liability. After I steadfastly refused to sit in a wheelchair, they provided me with an escort to prevent me from collapsing in the aisles as I exited the airplane. I grabbed … Read more »
The walls were a mauve color. I wondered why they had chosen mauve, if they thought it had some therapeutic benefits or if it was just the cheapest or the one they thought looked the best. My mom sat down, I wondered if I should sit down too, but the receptionist kept looking at me expectantly. I told her I was there for my intake evaluation, she smiled gave me a chart to fill out and I calmly sat down, like I was having a regular check up with my doctor.
I filled the chart out. Then I picked up a year old tattered copy of Seventeen magazine that was strewn across the side table next to … Read more »
When I come home from school,and look into the fridge only to find that you had a twelve pack,now eleven pack of beer in the fridge,it makes me want to cry.
You don't have a job,yet you can buy beer,play the lotto and party with your girlfriend. you can drive to the casino a half hour away but make me take the city bus to school,that's only 15 minutes away.
You yell at me when I don't call you,but I don't have a phone. ( you do.)
You're more worried about you,then you are about me....and you're my mother.
Don't you just wish you could go back and edit certain parts of your life to make them more appealing and what you wanted to happen in the first place? Sometimes I find myself thinking about things that have happened or things that will happen and wonder if just for one day if I could change the way everything happens. I think about things in my past... like when I first started dating my ex... there 's a real winner. He was so devoted to work and money that I was just an extra in his life that was a distraction. It was like we were in a movie and he was the director and I was the extra hanging out, … Read more »
I am your complete lack of control eating you up from the inside.
Lick, lap, bite.
I have no reasons; I have no knowledge, all I have is the innate desire to destroy. So I destroy.
And it just continues on and on.
I try to write to understand why, but I have no point of reference so I can't understand why, because this is all there is.
I go from person to person searching for something to complete me, but every single person cannot live up to my idealized expectations, so they fail.
I think I make them fail purposely.
But I really don't know.
Bang. … Read more »
Crazy Cat Lady, here I come, I keep thinking. Almost immediately adding, Of course, I’d actually have dogs—I’m allergic to cats. Though I am not yet a Cat Lady, I am already crazy.
I’m at a dinner party with my best college friend and my best gay friend and their significant others. Jeani is rattling off the details of her white wedding while clutching her fiancé, Nate. I’ve tuned them out because, as a bridesmaid in their wedding I’ve heard it a million times, been updated constantly by email, and stalked down for fittings and catering appointments. I smile and nod at all the right places, a happy smile plastered on my face. Eric oohs and ahhs over Jeani’s plans while darting surreptitious … Read more »
Where am I?
Oh yeah. On my mom's couch.
Been here for a few nights now.
She's too nice to tell me she'd rather I wasn't in her house, too kind to tell me to get off my depressed ass and get a job, too lonely to kick me out in the warm Georgia summer.
I look desperately on about a dozen sites advertising their ability to find me a job. Each job found is looking for a college degree or relevant work experience.
I know that they mean both, but I press submit on each form again and again and again.
Only a few of them will respond to my … Read more »
The truths of college: You'll spend hours upon hours studying while retaining absolutely nothing. Sleep is no longer a word in your vocabulary. Textbooks will set you back between two-hundred and eight-hundred dollars (if you're lucky). Dorm rooms are small, cramped, claustrophobia-inducing "living" spaces meant to keep the light of day out and all your frustration in. You will develop an unhealthy relationship with the local coffee shop. Ramen noodles are your one and only defense against weekend hunger cravings. There are not enough library hours in the world to keep you on task and sane at the same time. Your computer/laptop will crash at least once during the year (most likely just as you finish an important thirty-page paper that is due the next … Read more »
I grabbed a luggage trolley and trundled it towards my car. After bellowing, assaulting a bus-stop, and faking a mid-road heart-attack, this was the last thing I could think of to make the Omni security guards call the police. Thirty minutes later I was handcuffed in the back of a cruiser. This was not how I’d pictured my day when I woke up in Ben’s arms at our house in the Hollywood Hills that morning.
It had been three months since I’d emerged, seemingly miraculously, out of an adulthood-long depression. I was beginning to believe I was capable of more than I ever imagined, and had developed an almost messianic view of my own destiny.
Ben correctly recognized that I was, … Read more »
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