Almost God

New York City was a life of constant instruction. That place had something to teach me–something new to show me–everyday. Just before I moved there for school, I remember picturing a concrete jungle, all shadows and no sun. I remember remembering visiting as a kid with my family, my aunt, uncle and cousins, and beingContinue reading “Almost God”


She took me shopping for school clothes, before fifth grade, before my family left for Germany. Her black hair was way short. The cancer. She was Greek, adopted by a new Greek-American family when her mother died of the same cancer that would take her, aged 24. In the mall, under fluorescent lights, sifting throughContinue reading “Melody”


I can’t remember if his fist was open or closed. I think I was eight. I stepped out of my bedroom and was walking down the hall, as my brother approached. We were about to pass; he pulled his hand back, and hit me hard. I don’t recall where. My face? My stomach? I rememberContinue reading “Learning”

A Fundamental Disagreement

This was the moment, if I had any agency as a toddler, I would have walked away from my family. I disagreed with my father–I mean really locked horns. Our farmer friend had given me a lamb to keep as a pet. Maybe he was even the same lamb I cradled as a newborn thatContinue reading “A Fundamental Disagreement”

Auf Deutsch

Sydney, Australia. On the bus, riding into work in the nightclub district, in my chambermaid’s uniform. I cleaned rooms in a towering hotel. Two German men sitting across the aisle kept sneaking glances. At me. I could feel it. It could not longer be ignored. I turned my head and watched them watching me. TheyContinue reading “Auf Deutsch”


Somewhere in New Zealand. We were befriended by a farmer and his wife when the Volvo broke down in front of their farm. They insisted we stay, not just for dinner, the whole night. I was little. Three, maybe four. In the morning, the farmer invited me to accompany him on his rounds. Just me.Continue reading “Everything”

The Cutest Boy in the Class

First grade, Oakland, California. Kids were kids in New Zealand; we played house and oversaw menageries of stuffed animals. Here, kids were mini-adults. They asked me what my father did for a job. What kind of car we drove. Whether or not I had a boyfriend. I had a hard time getting across all this.Continue reading “The Cutest Boy in the Class”