The sky was the color of a healing bruise when we set foot on the shivering New Jersey beach. This sunset is the only time I can remember actually watching the night take hold of the horizon. Sky murmured in indigo and maroon like the tender skin of my knees. I had slipped perching on the shore rocks the day before.
A graduation and therefore a menu. How else to memorialize a monumental event if not a meal? We’ll start with fresh figs and goat cheese canapés and we’ll adjourn over a 1995 Jurançon. That sweet and nutty nectar of my birth year. Marker of milestones. A bottle when you turn eighteen, another for your twenty-first, he said and then delivered.
The first time I opened my mouth and spoke, he was taken aback. He was not expecting it. “So how come you speak English so well?” he asked me.
It was my first week of university and the two of us were crowded by the back doorway of the 95 B-line.
I took a deep breath in and a deep breath out, before replying, “Uh, school? I guess?”
Five-hundred-and-twenty-five years ago, confused Europeans “discovered” the “New World”. Heaps of broken brown bodies marked this great achievement as the Europeans congratulated one another. Brave explorers, selfless men of God, and devout Pilgrims soon began pillaging, raping, and slaughtering their way from sea to sea. They rename our homelands “North America.” Their descendants tell us that those men were seeking their fortunes, trying to save souls, hoping to find simple freedom for themselves.
Colored blocks on the floor. Childrens’ voices rising and falling. Alphabet posters on the walls. The boy is stimulated by all this newness. He marvels at Rebecca’s platinum blonde hair, the blue of David’s eyes, the pigmentation of Abigail’s skin. These are not the children of his neighborhood. Read more →
I began to decipher the fragments of Schizophrene from a state of disjointed volatility, having just been informed, by external forces, if there is such a thing—lab coats, stethoscopes that see inside the mind, surveys involving rankings between 1 and 10, a sphinx disguised as a mental health professional asking: has there ever been a time when you were not your usual self? a question designed to cause existential grief. Read more →
It’s 3:30 p.m. and the fidgety Korean nine-year-old girl across the desk is telling me that when she grows older she wants to wash dishes because she likes the task. The next second, she tells me she doesn’t like school because her teacher is mean. She tells me this every week. Her English is just like any other young Canadian kid’s, marked by the occasional extra third-person s on first person verbs and things like ‘boughten’ and ‘goed’. Read more →
A couple: a man, a woman
Age: Elderly. Both have white hair
Clothing: Him – we can see a white collar under his jacket.
Her – dark slacks and blazer. Glasses. Comfortable, brown walking shoes. A purse on her lap.
If you hold this sentence in your mind, does it spark joy? Or irritation? Or fatigue? How about a particular simile or prepositional phrase? Can Marie Kondo’s method of tidying up help de-clutter our prose as well?