Bigger and Gentler

When we first started dating, the ten-year age difference was really difficult for Dev, as was the fact that I was married. “Hey, don’t mention your in-laws around Maria, okay?” Dev made me promise the week before she arrived from New York for a conference. He wanted to ask her to collaborate on a project and didn’t want her thinking he was “a shitty guy.” Read more →

Everyone Keeps Me

I’m six years old when I’m propped up on a stool and covered in a barber’s cape in front of my entire elementary school for my first haircut. Volunteers for a charity carry large bristol boards into the gymnasium, all wearing matching white tee shirts with logos involving scissors and hair and hearts. The gym fills with rows of kids, and a choice few are taken to sit in a row near the front: two girls from kindergarten, one other from grade one, another in grade three, a boy from grade eight. I offer my permission slip, and a volunteer—herself with short hair and bangs—pumps the chair up with a lever, raising me high enough so the kids in the back can see. Read more →

The Burn

I found myself travelling to South Australia as a buyer for Mark Anthony Wine Merchants—nice work if you can get it, as the song goes.
The position with Mark Anthony’s, which I no longer hold, was acquired partially thanks to a Wine Lovers Magnetic Poetry kit I picked up at a yard sale along with a croquet mallet and the game Operation that incredibly had almost all the tiny plastic body parts except for the funny bone. During my interview I mixed and matched the words I’d spent the weekend making haikus with on my fridge Read more →

The Emergency Exit Is Closed: Find Another Way Out

The first fire escape was developed in 1784 by Englishman Daniel Maseres: a rope, attached to a window, anchored to the ground with a heavy wooden platform from which one flee from a burning ledge. In 1877, R.H. Houghton created knots tied into a rope to create a flimsy mock ladder. Then Philadelphian Anna Connelly invented the iron fire escape bridge in 1887, which connected buildings to each other, allowing those in a burning structure to safely hop over to the next. Read more →