When Death Comes

Death is a strange thing the first time we encounter it. Of course there had been distant relatives, a great-grandmother, someone’s elderly uncle. And the pets that had preceded me in my parents’ lives and towards which, as a small child, I had always felt a vague competition. But when I was nine or tenContinue reading “When Death Comes”

Life Goes On: Trauma Revisited

TRIGGER WARNING So I don’t talk much about trauma on this blog anymore. And you know what? It’s a relief. I started to face the abuse and assaults I survived when I was 25. Last month I turned 39. I’ve been at this 14 years. And I don’t expect it’s a journey that’s ever reallyContinue reading “Life Goes On: Trauma Revisited”

Reconnection

One morning I woke up, and my teeth were not clenched anymore. My face wasn’t twisted by nightmares. I had grieved for more than a year, and I felt cleansed. I could shelve books beside men in the stacks, and I no longer wanted to punch them. I no longer imagined a knife in myContinue reading “Reconnection”

On Father’s Day Weekend

My father kept an old Yamaha acoustic guitar in his bedroom. Sometimes I ran my child-round fingertips over the strings just to see if it was still in tune. It was, then. I whispered secrets into the sound hole, and it always whispered back. It smelled of dust and spruce and something metallic, like aContinue reading “On Father’s Day Weekend”

Grandma

Out of all the places I’ve lived, only one has ever meant home. My grandparents’ house on South Fruitland Street. It’s not much to look at. Built in 1949, the house is a three-bedroom ranch. A white gable spans the front door and the bay window. My grandmother had the clapboard painted a powder puffContinue reading “Grandma”

The Gentleness of Contentment

It tiptoes in so lightly you hardly notice it. Not if you’re accustomed to gyrating mosh pits and rock stars screaming into sound systems that boom through stadiums. Not even if you’ve simply learned to read a paperback novel over friends shouting about Jane’s breakup across city streets or have learned to carry on conversationsContinue reading “The Gentleness of Contentment”

On Seeing My Father’s Face for the First Time in Nine Years

I can’t say for sure exactly why, but two days ago, I sat down at my computer, opened Google, and typed in my parents’ names. I was overcome with longing to find out what had ever happened to them. We haven’t spoken in nine years. I hadn’t felt the least bit curious before in allContinue reading “On Seeing My Father’s Face for the First Time in Nine Years”

Home Has Magnetic Pull

When I was living on my own, it didn’t matter what time I got home. Or whether I came home at all. I took bus rides just for the fun of it and hopped off when I felt like it, boots slapping against the pavement of some new street in an unfamiliar city. I wandered.Continue reading “Home Has Magnetic Pull”

How the LGBTQ Community Helped a Straight Girl Heal

I’m not saying that’s the point of the LGBTQ community. Hardly. But it’s a fact that throughout history, rights movements driven by one group inadvertently benefit others. The Civil Rights Movement empowered more than just blacks. The ADA improved accessibility for more than just the differently abled. So yes, even as a privileged straight whiteContinue reading “How the LGBTQ Community Helped a Straight Girl Heal”