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Category Archives: Autotrephination


In transit.

After I saw it a few months ago, just floating there in the sky, everything started to change. I spent almost the entire year before that in relative unhappiness. I had nuked my entire life flat and moved to California with a guy I had known for four weeks. I did this because I didn’t […]

The Divorce Tourniquet: First Aid for the Freshly Wounded

I’ve written about divorce — oh, have I! — and a heartbreakingly common message I get in my inbox is something along the lines of, “You don’t know me, but my life is falling apart right now. Thanks for writing about your experiences and making me feel like someday I’m going to be okay.” And […]

I’ve been stuck at Stage 2.5 for like … twenty years now.

STAGE ONE I will be happy when I’m not so cursed. Why does the universe insist on subjecting me to my own individual laws of thermodynamics in which my life is empirically more difficult than everyone else’s? I don’t understand why I had to be born into this particular body, with this particular life, in […]

How to Win at Arguments

BEGINNER First things first: Criticize the timing of the argument. This clever ploy distracts your opponent by forcing them to focus on something they can do nothing about, instead of the problem they initially complained about. The trusty standby is “Why didn’t you tell me sooner?” or “Why am I just hearing about this now?” […]

The Poverty Perspective, Part 2: I want to be more.

To celebrate my boyfriend’s birthday, I surprised him with boarding passes to a bedroom on a train. Once we had explored our little room and giggled and marveled, I made him wait in the coffin-sized bathroom while I unfurled an entire soiree from my suitcase. I strung white lanterns, draped fancy fabric over the seats, […]

The Poverty Perspective, Part 1: Growing Up Ghetto

I kind of grew up in the hood. Sometimes people think I’m exaggerating when I say this, but it’s true. It wasn’t the worst neighborhood in town (that honor went to a place called, appropriately enough, The Bottoms), but some houses didn’t have, you know, front doors. I always thought this was the creepiest house, […]

My Cinematic Year, Part 7: In which the protagonist gets her groove back with a little freakonomics.

If you like, see also: Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5. Part 6. In dating, you’re considering candidates and choosing the best one you can. In job interviews, the exact same thing is happening. But only in the business world are the economics of this endeavor routinely considered. There’s an anecdote […]

My cinematic year, part 2: The setting.

A few days after my new roller-derby league’s first practice at the rink, I moved into my new apartment, a decrepit studio roosted atop the tiny row of shops on Main Street. My mother had been right: it was exactly the sort of outdated decor I’d find endearing, complete with hideous linoleum. (Floral and geometric? […]

No Children Were Harmed in the Writing of this Poem

When a small child you have never met picks up her foot to step off a curb and into rush-hour traffic approximately thirty feet from where you are sitting, right now, idly drinking your iced coffee and letting the pattern of the metal patio chair beneath you imprint itself onto your thighs, and you look […]

We Are Here

Jeff and I are in Madrid. Yes, my ex-husband and I went to Madrid together. Many potentially fascinating theories could explain this odd development, but here, let me save you the trouble: we are in Spain together simply because we both wanted to go to Spain. I don’t know that I’ve ever been as overcome […]