I’m pleased to be able to share my story “The Stories You Tell”, which was originally published in Washington Square this past summer. The story is now available for online reading: you can read it here. Here’s a sample:
Getting to know you: write about what brought you here and anything we should know about you. 500 words.
When I was thirty, my mother started going to meetings again because it had gotten bad lately. Worse than I’d ever seen. I came home again to Boston, broke and stuck and unsure of my trajectory, and I fell desperately in love with this girl, who I met in AA. I wasn’t in AA, but my mother was. I started taking the train up the North Shore to see my mother and she introduced us. I’d just moved from New York and messed up plenty while I was there, but I was still in possession of my arms and legs and more or less my faculties.
I was living in a studio in Somerville, teaching night classes at the local community college. The 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. slot for introductory writing can turn your life into something you hardly recognize. I drank coffee at hours that you shouldn’t and had a sour ache in my stomach that wouldn’t go away until it was time to drink more. I climbed into bed by about 3 a.m. and the shadows of cars passing on the walls became hideous monsters from my childhood, the ones that used to grab my ankles from under the bed, the ones that could slip under the crack of the door, that had skittering hands and too many fingers like daddy long legs. In my 3 a.m. daze, the monsters I knew, the ones I was so familiar with, scuttled over my body and grabbed me up in their arms. At first they were gentle, cradling me. Then they swallowed me whole.