I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)

Writing about loved ones is touchy, to say the very least. I’ve discussed this dilemma with many writer-friends, have read sections of craft books and whole interviews dedicated to the topic, and the same questions always seem to pop up: Who am I allowed to write about? Is this story mine to tellWhat if someone with whom I shared this experience disagrees with my interpretation? Is the possible damage to my relationship(s) worth the risk? In response to these questions, there doesn’t seem to be any general consensus, and every writer has a different set of past circumstances and complex relationships and specific fears that color their individual answers. What do I think? Well, here’s a story. Continue reading

So Human It Hurts

I’ve been in a lot of relationships with an array of different men. My first boyfriend was freshman year of high school: Ben—a James Van Der Beek (circa Dawson’s Creek) look-a-like who didn’t recognize his need for antiperspirant and used to leave damp circles of B.O. on my shoulder when he put his arm around me. He told me he loved me over the phone, but I couldn’t say it back, the ever-so-cliché “thank you” slipping out instead. He continued saying it during subsequent phone calls, at my locker in between classes, during the play rehearsals he came to watch after football practice (one of very few football players to ever give me the time of day—ha!). I went over to his house once for dinner, and his petite blonde mother served everyone pot roast and mashed potatoes on cafeteria trays in the family room where we were watching O Brother, Where Art Thou? After the movie ended he showed me his bedroom where he had a poster over his bed of a dozen women standing with arms linked, their asses (barely) clad in French-cut bikini bottoms, the photo, of course, taken from behind. He said his father brought it back for him from a business trip in Vegas, how apparently these posters were everywhere and men would rub the asses for good luck, how they had to keep the posters behind glass so the asses wouldn’t wear off—nothing lucky about stroking the white stripe where asses used to be. Continue reading

“Mistakes are beautiful, baby. Mistakes are part of the fun.”

I thought it might be fun to do a little series telling the stories behind my tattoos, but first, a little bit about my colorful journey. I call my tattoos my scrapbook, as each one represents some memory or facet of myself, and while many of them hold a deeper personal significance, some I got simply because I wanted to—the red maple leaf on my forearm, for example. The story? I love fall. That’s it. Some take issue with the idea of getting a tattoo “just because”; some get irritated when they think people take their tattoos too seriously. Here’s what I think: We should do whatever the fuck we want with our bodies because we’re never going to please everyone. We’re probably not even going to please most people half the time, so let’s stop trying.

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The Kids Are Not All Right

“But to me, the lack of desire to have a child is innate. It exists outside of my control. It is simply who I am and I can take neither credit nor blame for all that it may or may not signify. But the decision to honor that desire, to find a way to be whole on my own terms even if it means facing the judgment, scorn, and even pity of mainstream society, is a victory. It’s a victory I celebrate every day.”

Danielle Henderson, “Save Yourself”
from Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed

Inaugural

The other afternoon I went on a bike ride to Presque Isle Park. There’s a smooth, well-maintained path that leads all the way out to it that begins just downhill from my apartment. I biked past beaches and playgrounds and the bike shop, Lake Superior always in view, but my favorite part of the short trip, whether biking or driving, is passing the rock seawall with the breakwater light in the distance. It isn’t the rocks’ haphazard formation or rugged complexion I find most alluring, but the pyramid stacks of smaller rocks atop them on that stretch of street. The first time I saw one—my brain often initially devoid of common sense—I thought, “That can’t be something that occurs naturally… Is that something that occurs naturally?,” and was immediately embarrassed by the thought (so I’m not sure why I’m sharing it with you now). But I was amazed by the quantity of the pyramids all along the shore—clearly a local tradition of sorts. A week or so ago I tried my hand at one; I need practice.

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