Grasping at Straws

Grasping at Straws “The thing is, unless you change, nothing changes.”— Jose Mujica Cordano “It’s easy,” you tell your niece, showing her how to managethe simplest task, baby steps and all that, perhaps how to formher first question, her first double-u, perhaps how to maintainthe fire in the grate, perhaps later to count out her […]

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Mother Hands

“You have a mother’s hands,” My husband said to me when our son was a few weeks old. I was holding a whimpering newborn, cooing and shushing in his ear, while gently stroking his back in a clockwise motion. “Do I?” I smiled, amused that I was now a mother. With mom hands. When do […]

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Responding to Ortberg Responding to Ellen: On Child Perpetrators of Sexual Harm

This is an essay in response to an essay in response to an essay. Mallory Ortberg of the Toast thoroughly picked apart and criticized Elizabeth Ellen’s “Open Letter to the Internet,” in which Ellen defends a few high profile alt literary men facing rape accusations because she thinks the accusers’ ways of saying “no” were […]

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In the Jungle

My mother is deep in her bed with her socks on, sticking out. She never wore socks, so I remember it surprised me. Her heels were always cracked, like mine are now, and though she perpetually tried to soften them, with creams and socks and special razors, in the summer they immediately toughened up, calloused […]

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Snapshot: Franklin Park, 1950s

Both my father, Dave, and his younger brother, Keith, are storytellers.  They live across the country from each other, Keith in Oregon and Dave in Illinois. If I could have, I would have gotten them in a room together, given them a beer, and pushed, “Record.” As it is, I asked them to write to […]

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Dear Maytag

Dear Maytag, It was the summer of 1996. I was twelve. It was a good year. My summers were unending, my parents had regular poker night at their house on Sundays where they filled the main area with cigarette smoke, and I was just starting to shave my legs. I had dyed purple streaks into my […]

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