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Showing posts from 2018

How to Get to West Virginia

In the fall of 2005, you will apply to a local coffee shop. You will get the job and work there for close to five years. Almost four years after you’ve been working at the coffee shop, you will decide you want more. You will decide you no longer want to make low-fat-sugar-free-no-foam beverages for wealthy white women. You start looking into the AmeriCorps program and decide volunteering for a year could possibly redeem your customer service inflicted soul.
In the spring of 2009, you will be sitting outside on the back patio of a bar with a group of your co-workers. You will be drinking a gin and tonic when you see your ex-lover walk outside onto the patio. Your face will become frozen and pale because the last time you had spoken to him was three years ago when he got married while he was on spring break in a different country. You remember this because you found out the night of your twenty-first birthday.
You will continue to keep drinking gin and tonics. Eventually, you will say he…

Mutual Friend

It is about to rain when you walk into the bar where you are meeting an ex-lover for drinks. You will both drink cheap beer, get tipsy and later, he will apologize to you for how he treated you in the past. You remember this because he is the only man you’ve been with who has ever apologized to you. He has recently broken up with the girl he began dating right after he told you he needed to be single. The rain will be pouring down when the two of you leave the bar and get into your car. You will drive to his apartment, park and go inside with him.
The apartment is mostly empty. There are hardwood floors and boxes ready to be moved. There is a back room filled with boxes and someone else’s memories. You will be reminded of this when you pick up a pair of handmade leather shoes that are not your size.
He will ask if you want to watch a movie. You will both sit on the couch that is soft and green. You will sit at opposite ends of the couch and try not to think about having sex. After midn…

There's Nothing Wrong With Being Alone

Confession: I’ve never been able to trust anyone who can’t be alone. It’s never made much sense to me. The first movie I saw by myself was Jim Jarmusch’s Coffee and Cigarettes, which came out in 2003. The same year I graduated from high school. Being able to take myself to the movies made me feel full of possibilities. What can’t I do for myself? In college, I began taking myself out to lunch or dinner, typically accompanied by a book I was reading at the time. Chuck Klosterman and I became very close.
Truth: There is a popular question in Louisville, Kentucky: Where did you go to high school? We live in a city that refuses to give up the ghosts of hallways past.
Confession: I’ve always loved popular culture, especially the television shows or movies that center around a group or ‘gang’ of friends. Dawson’s Creek. The OC. Gossip Girl. Friends.The Big Chill. I have spent some quality time in these worlds because I’ve always wanted to know what attracts me to this dynamic.
Truth: We all…

How to Lose Your Virginity

It is your senior year of high school. Become friends with the guy your best friend is dating. Your friend graduated early and is currently in her first semester in college an hour and a half away. Drive to Indiana to pick up this guy, who is three years older and doesn’t have a car. You’re driving him to see your friend because you think you want to see her. You’ll get to her dorm room and watch them embrace each other. You will sit awkwardly while they’re snuggling on her bed. Eventually, you step outside and sit by yourself on the concrete steps.
When they break up you will continue to talk to him on AOL Instant Messenger. You’ll discover that you’ve started to like each other. You’ll ask your friend for permission to date him, and she is surprisingly okay with it. She will ask you not to sleep with him. You tell her that hadn’t crossed your mind, that you want to wait. In three months, you no longer want to wait.
Your best friend will call you one day after school and she will tel…