Resolutions and Recorrelations: On Becoming an Ex-Suicide

“The difference between a non-suicide and an ex-suicide leaving the house for work, at eight o’clock on an ordinary morning:
The non-suicide is a little traveling suck of care, sucking care with him from the past and being sucked toward care in the future. His breath is high in his chest.
The ex-suicide opens his front door, sits down on the steps, and laughs. Since he has the option of being dead, he has nothing to lose by being alive. It is good to be alive. He goes to work because he doesn’t have to.”

-Walker Percy, “Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book”

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What We Carry: Some Thoughts on Miscarriage

I have composed iterations of this little essay in my head at least a hundred times over the past month, but somehow, I haven’t been able to bring myself to sit down and write it out loud. To make it real. I feel, now, that it is finally time to come clean.

For me, writer’s block is a bodily sensation – Sometimes, I literally cannot physically bring myself to sit down in front of my computer and release the words that are tangled up inside of me. I want to. I am loath to. I need to. But I just … can’t. Like, at all.

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Under His Spell: In Scrabble as in Love, it’s the Little Words that Count

 Deep down, I think, what most writers really want is to be loved with words.

Forget the short-shrift gestures, the achy-breaky looks, the profound silences. Forget ever, ever leaving anything unsaid.

But, ah! The hand-penned poem, the stumblingly sincere email missive, the drunken, napkin-back confessional. These are the mightily longed-for asseverations of a writer’s native tongue. They are ardently imperfect. And they are beautiful.

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Can we please stop referring to our television marathons as “binge-watching”? It’s making me sad and sick to my stomach

Sitting in an airport terminal a few weeks back, I found myself drawn – more by sheer proximity than by particular interest – into a conversation playing out between two women reclining against a row of seats a few feet to my right.

“I’m trying not to binge,” the brown-haired woman was telling the gray-haired woman with a hint of sheepish self-recrimination in her voice. “But it’s so hard!”

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… That No Alarm Can Destroy

When I was a kid, we had this green plastic cup in our kitchen cupboard that my sisters and I shunned, entirely and summarily. It was ugly and puke-colored and it had a line melted into its side from when the dishwasher rack got too hot once.

We fought like banshees over who had to drink out of the green cup whenever my mom served us a round of apple juice or milk. Ending up with that cup in hand represented a failure of will. It meant that you hadn’t fought hard enough.

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Moonstruck

At 2 p.m. on Valentine’s Day of this year, I am sitting in a coffeeshop in Milwaukie, Oregon. I am doing some writing. I am watching the world go by.

A tweaker stumbles in the door. He’s carrying a small, crumpled bouquet of flowers. He orders a very large cup of coffee and then he twitches his way to a table near mine. He sits down, but he can’t hold still. He’s jumping and wiggling all about and slurping at his coffee. He keeps clearing his throat, and so violently that I develop sympathetic neck pains.

The Tweaker is clearly feeling the love this holiday. He cries out “Happy Valentine’s Day!” to every person who walks past. He strikes up a conversation with the wall.

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Lydia

But dreaming just comes natural / Like the first breath from a baby /

Like sunshine feeding daisies / Like the love hidden deep in your heart

-John Prine

I.

When I think of you, it’s always summer. It’s always strawberry wine and convenience store coffee and forbidden cigarettes and sad songs too loud on the radio some forgetful afternoon.

It’s a day that summer after my junior year and your and Ryann’s senior year when Ryann bought a picture frame.

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