The muffler could be heard from down the street and I knew he was here. It was a little past midnight when I snuck out of my house. Matthew picks me up in his jet-black 1965 Mustang Convertible. I snap on my seatbelt, ready for our next adventure, and he asks me, “Do you cruise?” Cruise? I had to take a second to think, Hmmm…do I “cruise”? Matt was 27 and I was 17 because I don’t know, daddy issues, but […]
I hope Nicole is okay. I hope the weight of being this age at this time doesn’t crush her. I hope her life is easy (much easier than mine) and that she is ascending. Because me, her doppelgänger, was descending, and quickly. “You look really familiar,” people tell me when I’m in public. The longer I live within city limits, the more often I hear this. Whereas at first I assumed it was something white people said to black people […]
I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri with my mom, dad, three brothers, and two sisters. My parents wanted nothing less than the Midwestern dream for their Irish-Catholic brood: quarterbacks and prom kings for sons, dance team captains and homecoming queens for daughters. They dreamed of future lawyers, soccer moms, grandchildren galore. And who’s to blame them? Who wouldn’t want what’s best for their kids? Unfortunately for my mom, I didn’t fit into her idea of Midwest perfection. While my […]
It was a typical Saturday night: I was on the couch eating peanut M&Ms and watching a show about murder. I stared at my open laptop, anxiously gnawing through a thin candy shell as I hovered over the cheery green button in front of me that oh-so-innocuously encouraged me to “Join!” I took a deep breath and clicked. I began to fill out my OkCupid profile.
In 1995, an unknown writer published a book of self-help musings. This book contained 365 entries–one for each day of the year–and promised to “transform your life and help you excavate your authentic self.” It extolled the joys of simple pleasures, like “the smell of fresh laundry” and “porridge with warm apple sauce.” It promised that by appreciating the simple things in life, you would have “more.” The author doesn’t say more what. Just more.
My freshman year really sucked. My only friend switched schools, so I faced the Catholic high school alone. Without that automatic Best Friend confidence, I prayed to just be ignored, lest I say the wrong, weird thing. I was nervous and bookish and also 6’1”. I wore black pants and a black sweater and never raised my hand. I did not care that my quiet, detached attitude just seemed stuck-up; it kept me from having to talk to people. I […]
On the nights I feel most in control of my gender, I wear thick eyeliner and paint my nails and let my blue mane down. I sit in a dive bar and watch the men stare. I listen to whispered what-is-thats and don’t-they-know-this-isn’t-a-gay-bars. Sometimes, a man will put his drink near mine and look at me for an uncomfortable amount of time, like how a dog looks at food when it hits the floor, before I say, “YOOOOO—are you gonna […]
One Fourth of July a few years back, my dad invited me over to his friend Jean Anderson’s house for her party. I guess I could’ve said no, but I probably would have felt bad, so I went. I knew it would most likely be lame. Actually, I knew it would be lame. There was zero chance it wouldn’t suck.