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Showing posts from June, 2014

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Time to slay your own dragons, ladies.

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My first kiss was an unwanted one. I was seven years old when a boy named David pushed me up against the wall outside our apartment building. Forcing his mouth on mine, his breath, hot and fusty, something sickly sweet like apple juice and milk gone sour in his gut that made me squirm. I don’t remember seeing him as I ran with my brother and the other neighborhood kids through the empty lot next door, scrabbling over the toppled trees, slick with moss, tripping over the bramble of twigs and woodsy decay, but he must have been there, his knees as scratched and muddied as ours, before he caught up with me in the driveway that ran alongside and behind the apartment building. 
As usual I’d tagged along in my older brother’s shadow. Tag, hide and seek, cowboys and indians, the games kids used to play. Outdoors, up and down the streets, no watchful mommies on red alert. Ignoring our mothers’ warnings—don’t go into the woods, don’t go into the woods—we went into the woods, woods that in fact …

Swept Away

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I thought he was God. Or Robert Young on Father Knows Best. Take your pick. Except that in my eyes my father was even more glamorous than Robert Young. I didn't know about God.

He and my mother met at the tail end of World War II when he was home on leave in England. He wooed her in French, Italian, Spanish, and Arabic and he danced like a movie star. They fell in love and then he went away again, back to the western desert, back to the end of the war. Her family, her friends, all warned her about him. He was no good. He'd been around. She was only twenty. He was thirty. Forget him, he was too old. At thirty, her grandmother pronounced, he would have done everything already. He would be jaded, world-weary, they'd have little to share together. Forget him.

She couldn't forget him. He sent stockings, Italian shoes, and letter after letter from the prisoner of war camp in North Africa where he was coaching the Italian prisoner's football team. He came home and three yea…

Graduation Day Redux: A Familiar Trip

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I'm deep into my high school head space right now - the last bit of memoir I wrote and posted this past week, " I Was Just 17 " takes place the summer before my senior year, and since it's June I've got Graduation Day on my mind. I wrote this almost twenty years ago with the class of '95 in mind; it's painful to see that the essay, published in the Daily Breeze in 1995, shows that the issues I struggled with back in high school are the same issues I struggle with to this day. What a waste of time. It's possible that if I spent less time flailing with self-doubt and spent more time honing my skills I might have not have given up, I might have something to show beyond a handful of old publishing credits. Again, I say, what a waste of time! Do yourself a favor, don't waste yours. 




A Familiar Trip


We were the class of '71 and believed that graduation day (now over 40 Junes ago), really was the threshold. Bold new worlds to conquer. Exciting new vist…