I was 12 years old, playing tag with my two sisters at home in the backyard. When I talk about my sisters I am referring to my biological sister who was one year older than me, and my cousin who had been living with us for about five years, who we considered not our cousin, but our sister. Suddenly, our game of tag was interrupted by loud voices coming from inside the house. Then the noises turned to screams – […]
1. The most exciting game of your life. You live in a basement apartment. They call it a garden apartment. When it comes down to it, it’s a fucking basement. It feels very Freudian// in a bad way//to be living in a basement. You don’t know this yet//About Freud. About basements. This is not your first garden apartment. Since she’s died – you’ve had three. It is the most lovely garden apartment you’ve had. It has a tub and a […]
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 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 […]
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.
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 […]
I was eight years old when I entered politics. I ran for Class Delegate to the Student Activity Committee. On Election Day, I wore a dress shirt and put gel in my hair. In a two-way race I came in second, which made me the Alternate. I thought of it like being the Vice President. In the event that the Delegate could not carry out his duties, I would assume office. Coming in second did not disappoint me. It was […]
It is so hot. I am crying on a pay phone in the burning sun on the corner of 18th and Columbia Road, the center of the Adams Morgan neighborhood in Washington DC; I am eating a McDonald’s cheeseburger and telling my friend back in Chicago my world is falling apart. I can still smell the mustard that is running down my arm. I am feeding quarters like mad into the phone to keep the call alive. I had just […]