by Joshua James Amberson
In fourth grade, my aging teacher’s neat handwriting began to morph into a series of arcane, jumbled symbols, their formerly straight lines and perfect circles turning wavy and uneven. I wondered if Mr. Youngren was getting shaky as time went by, or if it was an issue with the chalk, or even the board itself. My confusion continued for weeks, maybe even months, unable to interpret the words in front of me and not understanding why.
The Back of the Box
by Rachel Ann Brickner
I almost became a pop star from the back of a cereal box. It was 1998. I was twelve. Britney Spears’ “…Baby One More Time” was at the top of the charts and her bare belly covered the United States. Every boy wanted her. Every girl wanted to be her. It was a difficult time for us all.
by Linnie Greene
I needed some serotonin, so I bought a $35 nosebleed seat in Madison Square Garden. That spring, my main association with Harry Styles had been antagonizing basic men at bars—declaring his genius, and then watching them go catatonic referencing Elliott Smith or Bowie’s Berlin years. I liked him enough that I could recognize the opening bars of “Sign of the Times” when it came on in a comic book shop, but could not tell you his hometown or a favorite One Direction single. I imagined June, months away, channeling my mother as she carted me to skeevy amphitheaters in Raleigh all those years ago.
Optative Bop: Ping-Pong in Life and Literature
by Henry Stimpson
Years ago my friend David came down from Vermont to go to a Celtics game with me and his 16-year-old son, who was hanging around with a druggy crowd and close to flunking out. David feared the weekend might not go well; they weren’t getting along. But they played ping-pong in my basement, and David soon had a big grin on his face, and so did Jake: he was beating his old man.
The Newspaper Clippings
by Susan Harlan
Last June, I cleared out my childhood bedroom in Sacramento. My parents were selling the house that my sisters and I grew up in, and although I had claimed most of the things I wanted over the last 22 years, there were still a number of boxes in my closet. I had never thrown the boxes away because they were filled with pictures, letters, postcards, notebooks, matchbooks, ticket stubs, coins, and all manner of souvenirs of youth, but I also had never moved them to any of my post-college homes: Seattle, London, New York City, and North Carolina.
by Brandon Caro
I like to ride my bike at night. It’s not too cold out, usually, and there are fewer cars on the road. If I wait long enough to ride, there are no cars at all. And it’s not really my bike, but a bicycle from the Austin City Bikeshare which I borrow and ride for a time, returning and checking it out again periodically at various stations along my route to avoid any unnecessary overages.
Inventory of my Bag
by Alice Riddell
‘Make an inventory of your pockets, of your bag. Ask yourself about the provenance, the use, what will become of each of the objects you take out.’
George Perec, Species of Space and Other Pieces
My handbag (as stands at 13.05 on Monday 14th May 2018):
Black wallet (containing x2 ID cards (UK driving license & UK discount railcard), x3 debit cards, magicians business card, x3 metro cards, laundry card, Chase business card, political party membership card, NYU health information card with brand and model of glasses written on it, British Airways bronze membership card, Guggenheim dual member card…
Methods of Transport by Sarah Van Bonn Car. A car is a privacy that stacks itself upon the privacies of others like blocks, like the wooden blocks of that endless tower game—you know the one. The tower isn’t endless, but it also never really ends, even after it falls; that is the point of the game. My childhood was car-based. It had to be. I was born near where the car was invented. If not the physical object of […]