Lovella June felt betrayed; she railed, accused my grandfather of cutting off her breast to get back at her for her adultery. I know very little about my grandmother; she passed away when I was young. Lovella June had a temper; she smoked; and she drank. One story that’s recycled is the time June’s sister and husband, my grandfather, had to lock her in a camper. She’d been drinking all night, fought with my grandfather—really fought, bloodied his face, and threatened to set t
“You look just like my mother.” I’m sure this statement is pronounced on a regular basis to daughters throughout the world. It was a phrase I never heard until recently. My aunts and my mom started to tell me I looked like their mother, Ruth. Ruth and I never had the pleasure of meeting, she died three years before I was born. I was told she wanted to be called Nana. All my other grandmothers were called Grammy. So Nana doesn’t fall from my tongue, nor does it have any emotio
Its inspiration was from the ripped Polaroid found in the back of the grey 1991 Beretta, used as a bookmark in Nana’s weathered Bible. It was the only picture Nana and Poe had taken together during their courtship. After his death, we were nearly destitute. Nana had to go back to work. She read scripture on her lunch breaks and smoked nearly a pack a day until her death. The painting was of her and Poe. “Like the author,” he would say. Then he guzzled a Budweiser and turned o
“THE VISION OF CHRIST that thou dost see
Is my vision’s greatest enemy.
Thine has a great hook nose like thine;
Mine has a snub nose like to mine.
Thine is the Friend of all Mankind;
Mine speaks in parables to the blind.
Thine loves the same world that mine hates;
Thy heaven doors are my hell gates.
Socrates taught what Meletus
Loath’d as a nation’s bitterest curse,
And Caiaphas was in his own mind
A benefactor to mankind.
Both read the Bible day and night,
Grammy was so happy on our family trips to the Finger Lakes. She’d bravely come canoeing with us, and stay up late to watch movies with us – my mom would ask her “do you want to go to bed” and she’d keep saying no, not wanting to go before the rest of us. And then she’d end up napping in the daytime right in the middle of all of us talking and playing guitar and cooking and laughing around her. On our last day at the lake last May, as we were all busy running around packing u
It was a Tuesday night that my heart started beating differently. Do you know that cliché, the one with the sound of cracking and the heart breaking into a million pieces and never being able to get it back together? It’s not much of a lie, you really can feel like that, only it’s much more awful and you can’t really describe it. That Tuesday night I only heard a strange noise in my ear, and no matter how hard I tried, it didn’t stop. I’ve been hearing that noise ever since.
When I was 23 I went on a date with a guy in law school. That’s how I remember him.The guy in law school. He was visiting the East from California, his parents were local. We had polar lives. He went to private school and later Duke. Told me he sold insurance for a while before he enrolled in law school in San Francisco. Through a few signifiers he learned I grew up much differently. We’d met while I was out with my friend in a weakly lit nightspot with indoor outdoor patio f