The 19th Century Gets Old

So, I’m nearly 37. Which…isn’t quite true. I’ve seen 37. They were my teachers and my friend’s moms. Even some of the women I know right now are a proper 37, with large grown up homes, ordered finances and…I don’t know. Whatever 37 year olds like. Wine? So, lean into the fear, or it can’t…

The stupid pig wears a coonskin hat

  Flight. Feel danger or pain approaching and retreat. Unless you’re evolutionary defective. Then you just lean right on into that pain. It’s a compulsion. Nearly out of my control. I feel it in my gut, a force tugging me from my center, off my feet and into the sharp end of whatever bad situation points at me. Especially…

Like the girl with the cape

  My phone died, and when I plugged it into charge,  I got texts from months ago. I don’t know what that’s all about. Where were they lingering? Inside a cord, stacked inside a cell tower, or embedded in the light? No matter. Point is, one of them was a piece of bad feelings from an…

‘Bullshit’ isn’t a real swear.

  Older ladies, who still color and set their hair and know how to email, sure they’re fine. Whatever. But the Bills of the world, they do something to me. Cowboy shirt, faded, not worn ironically. Khaki shorts showing the white scars of his knee surgeries, and clean white socks pulled up the calf. Straw…

Pews and Pantyhose. And Lentils.

  I only went because I thought I might be able to still see my parent’s house on the hill from the parking lot. Also I thought maybe the doors would be unlocked. And maybe I could sit alone in familiar stifled silence, rubbing my finger pads over those same those burnt orange- carpeted pews,…

Carnies and “Piss Off” Bonnets

  I live in a town called Independence. Actually I live in the town next to it…but you know how old small towns bleed together over the century, connected by spattered little strip malls and one-story office buildings? We’ve got that going on. If my name were “Christmas Oneill,” I wouldn’t make a big deal…

Go clean yourself up

  I Friended a sweet woman on Facebook who had gone to school with me in our tiny two-room schoolhouse. She’s a teacher now. “He inspired me to go into teaching.” I knew who she was talking about, and found it hard to believe. “How?” I asked. “Because I didn’t think teachers should be like…

Blue Gatorade and Goodbye

I wrote this once before, a long time ago. I took it down. I’m ready to rewrite it now. It’s long, but it has to be. Settle in. When I ask my seven year old how much she remembers about grandma, who died when she was four, she always tries to please me with memories.…

The Heartbreak of 19th Century Masturbation

I spent three hours early this morning researching 19th century masturbation for my next article, until I was just so goddamn sad that I had to stop. I have been doing a series for The Week where I look at the outrageous hygiene and social advice given to people 100 years ago. It’s fun, funny.…

What a Lady Knows

A kid’s birthday party today, one where I didn’t really know anyone. So I took extra pains, as I have learned is necessary if I don’t want to lay the groundwork as a total outcast and then have to dig myself out. An outfit both slimming, feminine and casual. (I think. I don’t know. It…