Short Stories and Tiny Blissful Moments

Short Stories and Tiny Blissful Moments

How are we doing these days? Holding up? Hanging in there? I hope so. If you're reading this, I hope you're doing so during a brief pause from doing nice things for yourself like reading books, making art, drinking beers, and eating some really incredible food. Tiny blissful moments are a big deal. Everything that's going on in the world constantly draws me in and I feel compelled to read the news and dive into my Twitter feed, but lately, I'm suffering from information fatigue. Mostly, it's Trump fatigue. I don't need to experience a daily bombardment of voices each day telling me that he said an awful thing. Both sides harbor their own set of obsessions that tend to weigh heavy on everyone. Too much of that shit and I start to morph into Rust Cohle from the first season of True Detective. There's a lot of scared people. Angry people. And people who think none of this matters, or...
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Break Through These Times of Trouble

Break Through These Times of Trouble

This is a love story. It is not unique. I've lived others like it, and so have you. Like many love stories, this one ends with tears, confusion, and a lot of reminiscing about its beginning. Where it began was 1991, a time in my memory that is strange, dark, and forever distorted by a thick layer of time and smoke. It was an unhappy time, immersed in anger, abuse, and large amounts of cheap booze. My mother and my boyfriend at the time had a weird and wildly inappropriate thing going on together. When I'd catch them in the act, they responded by telling me I was crazy. I felt crazy. This was compounded by the fact that we three lived in the same house. I wanted him to leave. She did not. Every day, I was furious and frustrated. But, one day, just as 1991 was nearly at an end, on a not so very special day in...
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Here’s a Story About How to Stop Eating Bullshit

Here’s a Story About How to Stop Eating Bullshit

Passports are amazing. In 1998, when I received my first passport, it was as though I had a golden ticket that could take me anywhere. I flipped through the pages, dreaming of all the stamps that would one day fill this little blue-covered book. I was an insecure twenty-something who graduated from high school two years late and had just been fired from my low-paying factory job. People like me didn't travel. People like me only visited far away places in books and movie screens. That's what I believed. So, it was funny that I had a round-trip ticket to London, a packed bag, and a Let's Go! guide to Britain under my arm. Other countries were an intimidating and weird magic. I wanted to experience that. During that adventure, I explored various parts of England and Scotland. I took the Eurostar to Paris. I rode the métro. I made an ass of myself. I talked with strangers, got lost, rained on,...
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You Can’t Outrun the Uncertain Future

You Can’t Outrun the Uncertain Future

A few months ago, life was normal. The future was uncertain, but I slept better than I do now. My husband Olivier and I were enjoying our first year of living in England. After ten years in France, it was a welcome and exciting change. We often had conversations about what the next big leap might be. Maybe back home to the States, depending on the election. Or, maybe elsewhere in the U.K., depending on how the whole Brexit thing goes. The threat of Brexit cast a shadow over everything, but it didn't feel menacing. Hell, it probably wouldn't actually happen. That'd be crazy. Then came the morning that we woke up and found ourselves living in fucking crazytown. My husband, a European working in England, had to go to work immediately afterward, all the while wondering if everyone he looked at had just voted for him to leave. Luckily, working in an office with a colorful international mix softened the blow....
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How to Find Closure When Your Bullies are Dead

How to Find Closure When Your Bullies are Dead

I wore the dress because it was Halloween. One day where we can dress up and pretend to be something that we're not. Something we don't get to be every day. Something more wild. Cooler. Louder. My dress had a newspaper print pattern splashed with neon pink and green. My mom wasn't crazy about it, but I loved it. It was cheap, so I was allowed to buy it when we were shopping for new clothes a couple months before. However, she hardly ever let me wear it. It was too "tacky" and too "loud." But then, Halloween approached and I had a last minute idea. I was now 12 years old and adult enough to dress my own self up for Halloween, thank you very much. I put on the dress. I slipped into my neon green jelly shoes. I sprayed red and black and glitter into my hair, which I curled and teased and sprayed and poofed. I did my...
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Lessons From a Dollhouse: Longing For a Smaller Life

Lessons From a Dollhouse: Longing For a Smaller Life

My grandfather gave me the dollhouse right about the time my brain began to form lasting memories. He'd built the entire thing himself, with his own two hands. My mother, the oldest of four children, was the first to give her parents a grandchild, so I was a big deal. My grandparents spoiled me in the usual ways, but the dollhouse held the most meaning. Within each piece of tiny furniture there existed a universe of adoration. Every small human figure and carefully cut piece of fabric, another echo of love from my grandfather to me. A few years later, my mother and I moved halfway across the country. I could only take with me a few things that would fit in the car. The dollhouse, with most of our other possessions, remained in my grandparents' garage. "We'll come back for that stuff later," my mother said. "We'll rent a U-haul and move it all into our new house when we find...
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