the eleventh of october

When I finally earned a decent paycheck – seven bucks an hour, used bookstore clerk, Seattle, 1996 – I started buying my mother flowers on my birthday. Once cheap celebratory sheet cake grew tired and presents could only disappoint – cue the Fugazi, the Cobain – I decided October 11th was about her, not me. […]

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Mine started somewhere in the inbetween of December and January, but I don’t have a name for it yet. Science calls it a blepharospasm. The Chinese say it’s a sign of coming good fortune. A flicking one morning, a tugging that afternoon, the pulling took root swiftly. I envisioned little worker mites trotting across the […]

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The Bell

I’m in a waiting room at an oncology clinic. Fluorescents in the drop ceiling hover, unscrewed by someone some time before. Tacky nicotine-tinted sconces push a dull haze on the fabrics of the room, patterns just to the right of paisley, all murky and mustard. The room is full and we all wait together, here, […]

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Peanuts in My Coke

1981. Miss W loved compliance and I loved to comply. She taught me spelling, grammar, how to diagram sentences. Timeliness, structure, order. My blond-haired feyness a perfect complement to her brawny thickness. She was an unmarried woman over thirty, which did not go unnoticed in a Christian school environment. Women like Miss W were received […]

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