Monthly Archives: May 2011

Punch and Judy

I have been trying to figure out a way to tell him that your compassion can be used against you. That sometimes we go into our early relationships thinking, I love you, and I see the best in you, and I know you’re struggling. I Read more

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Breasts

I woke thinking of Susan Sontag in the photo after her mastectomy. I woke thinking of mercy. After 9/11, I became obsessed with having a child. I picked names, and imagined conversations and parenting techniques. I planned vacations. It wasn’t a family I saw, I … Read more

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Power differentials

It worked like this: I’d have a long-term girlfriend, and a series of affairs (with guys and girls) on the side. The girls always knew about everyone else, and the boys didn’t. Or, if the boys knew, they didn’t hear it from me. Why did … Read more

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False intimacies

I used to believe people could smell it. That my perversion was this palpable thing, this tag. I was trying to understand masochism and as I wrote my process, people would read it and think they knew me. They could see inside me. I had … Read more

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Smartypants

Mary’s the first person I’ve ever dated who’s as smart as I am. I’m not supposed to say shit like that. I’m not supposed to say that I’m smart, and I’m not supposed to rank the intelligence of others. It’s bad manners to acknowledge our … Read more

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Fake plastic trees

And if I could be who you wanted
If I could be who you wanted
All the time, All the time.

Like isn’t the same as love. Like is sugar substitute. Like is we have a lot in common but most of the time I’ll … Read more

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The year of tantrums

I don’t intend to tell her, but she’s easy to talk to, and I’m confessional by nature.

“My parents don’t really speak to me right now.”

She switches from my right shoulder to my left, laughing, and says, “I remember every word from the severance … Read more

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Heathen prayers

When I first met Mary, she wore dozens of jelly bracelets on one wrist, and a leather band on the other. She’d had mourning tattoos inked on each wrist, but they had faded to pale impressions in the night while she slept. You could make … Read more

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Personal

If you aren’t from around here, you may not have heard the news about the Washington State Patrol officer who shot the unarmed pregnant woman in the back last fall. If you haven’t followed the story, you may not know that the officer has been … Read more

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Guest Blog with Bett Norris

In 2007, at my first Saints & Sinners Festival in New Orleans, I found myself seated behind two women. One was murmuring to the other that it was going to be perfect and not to worry. Awhile later, the one woman got up with her … Read more

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