The Stories That Save Us

pills

The Stories That Save Us
by Claire Phillips

“Don’t worry Claire, you have my genes.” This said by my British astrophysicist father when I called to ask why he had failed to disclose my mother’s actual mental health diagnosis for several years A man so reticent I didn’t even know he held the John D. MacArthur professorship at Caltech until I did a bit of sleuthing for my memoir, A Room with a Darker View: Chronicles of My Mother and Schizophrenia

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Clothing I Have Loved and Lost

clothespins

Clothing I Have Loved and Lost
by Jenna Kunze

I like clothes best when theyre not my own. Its like a shirt is only just a shirt until its on the body of someone I love, or even just moderately like, then its The Shirt and I need it now. 

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Home

home

Home
by Jeehan Quijano

Home means different things to each one of us.  It could be the yellow door of your childhood home, the tread of your father’s boots as he left for work, or how your kitchen smelled of roasted chicken or lentils or apple pudding.  Home could be the red brick wall building on the corner of the street, or a distinct sound, say the way the church bell rang or how your neighbor’s rooster crowed early morning.  Home could be the crisp air of autumn whose particular scent you have not smelled in any other city you have lived or visited.  Home could be a feeling, a state of being, or a city far from the place of your origin, far from a past that evokes longing or dread or ambivalence.

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All the Daemons in Paradise

"Please Touch"

All the Daemons in Paradise
by Mary Burger

I had a skein of yarn—it was nice yarn, a silk-linen blend, hand dyed a deep orange-gold—that I’d mishandled and tangled into a mess. It was a rookie mistake. I’m not a knitter or a seasoned yarn wrangler. I was in the midst of a fiber arts project, and I’d bought the yarn to embroider a piece of wool felt that I’d made. I unwrapped the skein and pulled the loose end, and almost immediately had a snarled mess.

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Thoughts in Waiting

Stopwatch

Thoughts in Waiting
by Ró Stack 

I check my phone for the umpteenth time. As each hour passes I think I’m probably not sick at all and shouldn’t have brought this situation upon myself. I make a plan to go to the shop, then remember that I cannot go to the shop. Within a day or so,  the lady said, as I recovered from the sensation of having a new part of my skull tickled, my left eye watering, the sensation of an almost-sneeze looming. 

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But then I started to drink with strangers

pint glass

But then I started to drink with strangers
by Flávia Monteiro

Sao Paulo, 08:40 PM, Sagarana Bar.

“Do you believe we are living in the Anthropocene?” asks the white-haired guy sitting next to me at the bar on this warm weekday evening. I’ve never seen him before in my life, and this is only the third sentence we’ve exchanged — the previous ones being unremarkable comments on the beer and the weather. 

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How to Break Even

Notepad

How to Break Even
by Kristen Millares Young

I lost my best friend a few years ago. 

It was unexpected. 

I know what you’re thinking.  

No, she didn’t die, but our friendship did.

I thought we would become old in each other’s company. 

We used to talk about it.

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Sittin’ in the Back of My Memory: My Father and His Musical Commandments

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Sittin’ in the Back of My Memory: My Father and His Musical Commandments
by Genevieve Sachs

While I was growing up, my Jewish father could barely keep track of Hanukkah. When he would remember, the holiday would most likely be halfway through already and we probably wouldn’t have any candles. Therefore, at my mother’s behest and my father’s defenseless surrender, I landed in Catholic School, enduring plaid skirts and mass twice a week for the first thirteen years of my life. However my dad, Lloyd, was the one who passed down the religion that stuck. Not Judaism—although I definitely have his nose—but the religion instilled by growing up under a music critic’s roof.

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