Posts tagged "love/relationships"
On the Eve of My Mother’s Dying

On the Eve of My Mother’s Dying

What hospice people do is coordinate. They coordinate my mother’s move from the hospital where she was taken unresponsive to the assisted living facility where she remains unresponsive. They coordinate the ambulance personnel who transfer her from the stretcher to the hospital bed whose rental and delivery they have also coordinated. They coordinate the schedule...

Paynes Gray: When Watercolors Become Words

I’d gone and fallen in love with the wrong man. Said my mother. She hadn’t met him yet, but there were facts. He was Salvadoran (not my country), Catholic (not my religion), a subway-tunnel singer (I shouldn’t have mentioned that), an architect who would rather be an artist. (What sensible daughter marries a rather-be artist?)...
Simple

Simple

When I was seventeen, I spent a lot of time in another family’s home. We slept on futon mattresses back then, covered in flannel, with thick dark fabric over the windows. The beige carpet was scorched and melted dark where the frying pan of cigarette butts had tipped over to smolder. That summer, I lived...
Twofold

Twofold

“The world is twofold for man in accordance with his twofold attitude.” — Martin Buber, from I and Thou One thing my grandfather did when he was alive: he wrote commentaries on the Bible. Another thing he did was fall asleep sitting up in a chair. Sometimes these two activities would blur and blend, and,...
Ha Ling

Ha Ling

I live away from him, in Canmore, Alberta, a small town at the base of the towering Canadian Rockies and along the shores of the Bow River. My job is to take tourists on vacation in national parks like Banff and Jasper. I cater to the whims of the wealthy. We bike along the Icefields...
Logophobia

Logophobia

One morning I watched—through our ground-level bedroom window—the steps of his work boots, back not thirty minutes after he had left for a new job in town. Fired. I never knew why, and he claimed not to know. He lumbered around unsettled, rewiring our bedroom or checking mystery switches, wrapped in his tool belt, eyebrows...
Good Faith

Good Faith

A house wren is making a nest in the wreath on our front door. When my wife and I want to go out on the porch, we make sure to knock on the inside of the door just in case the wren is there—just a little knock to warn her. We’re only six months married,...
Anniversary Disease

Anniversary Disease

Every day is the anniversary of something. May 26th is the anniversary of my mom pulling out half her hair while giving birth to me. It is also the anniversary of the public hanging of Alse Young, the first person executed for witchcraft in the American colonies. May 27th is the anniversary of my unquenchable...
Gradient

Gradient

This morning a man jumped his car over a curb and emerged—silent, stoic, a phantom, someone said, he was so ghostlike as he moved—to stab eleven people with a cleaver. The man I love more than any other sat in his Yiddish Literature classroom, one building over from the stabbings, where just a week before...
Leili in the Doorway

Leili in the Doorway

Light from Leili’s bedroom illumined the far end of the dormitory hallway. I hesitated. She would be waiting, just as she was each Thursday night, my duty night at Beau Soleil, a boarding school in the Swiss Alps, where I taught English and my husband taught mathematics. “Malinka,” Leili called me. “Little one.” She grinned...
Letter to Marjorie

Letter to Marjorie

Dear Marjorie, I’m on the floor in our spot by the window playing cards with your ghost. I had such nightmares about us last night. Buildings all over the earth were shedding their clothes. It kept raining metal and glass, drywall and bricks, until all that was left was a skeletal world of I-beam steal....
Are Now All That Remain

Are Now All That Remain

The way he slid Dylan from its cover and fingered the vinyl onto the platter. The way he picked up the needle, more than once, to make sure we heard the sizzle before the song. The way he shuffled into the kitchen in his socks. The hardwood floor of his living room dull and dark....
Holy

Holy

My mother worries about my soul. She tells me so at her kitchen table, 6 a.m. We’re making nut-roll, even though it’s not a holiday, nothing to celebrate. My mother believes bread rises only in the morning. I’m not good with mornings. Last night I stayed up late, reading, worrying. “Ruining your eyes,” my mother...
A Nice Person

A Nice Person

Steven’s father couldn’t stop talking that day about the weather (windy, cold) and the Lennon Sisters who’d stolen his wife’s singing career. At one point, he clutched my hand with his own cold bone fingers. A wadded wet tissue passed between us. Steven was there, of course, it was his mother dying in the room....
Letting It Be

Letting It Be

My Papa loves to watch the news. He has a chair, angled so that he and the television can be in a line. He plugs his computer in beside him, his lamp above him, the cords hanging within a hairy arm’s length. I think he feels safe there, huddled among the pictures of my mother...
Pieces Dad Mails Me Before He Moves Away: A List

Pieces Dad Mails Me Before He Moves Away: A List

1.  A manila envelope. Our names: “Annalise” and “Dad.” Usually he writes “Annalise Mabe,” and “Logan Mabe.” Usually Dad’s script is rushed, informal, as the pen misses its mark with a hurried pressure. 2. A clear, cubed box with a crystallized lock of my ash brown hair from the summer we traveled to Louisville for...

Writing the Truth in Memoir: Don’t Skimp on Objectivity

My ex-husband didn’t love me. He was mean and selfish, and sometimes even cruel. The day he left, I found dating profiles on his computer along with e-mails from other women. He didn’t work for longer than a year at a time, and he drank like he deserved to. He spent most of our three-year...
Night

Night

On Sunday I crawled under a ladder while trying to hang curtains with a drill, in an old house that was newly mine, during a winter that just wouldn’t quit. One of the thin iron rods had fallen from my grasp, its hardware scattering like marbles beneath the bed. On my knees, pawing like a...