Author: Alison Fields

Maple, Part One: 2004-2005

Houses

Maple is a hidden street, a dead-end spit of old mill village wedged between three parking lots and a pastel suburban maze of cul-de-sacs that popped up on the hillside sometime in the 1990s. I’m not sure when I first drove down—like most I was probably foiled trying to use it as a shortcut to beat traffic on Main Street—but I remember thinking that I’d stumbled upon something wondrous: a collection of cottages with ample […]

Estes, 2002-2004

Houses / Nostalgia / Personal History

(This is part ten of a series. Part nine is here.) We knew the ice storm was coming. Sort of. Cranberries went to work at the coffeeshop that wasn’t really a coffeeshop around the time the rain started to freeze out, around the time the rain froze. Apollo was worried about her driving home, so he asked me to drive her to and after her shift, we went to fetch her over the icy roads […]

Cumberland, 2000-2002

Uncategorized

(This is part nine of a series. Part eight is here.) In fall of 2000, days before the election, Jordan told me she was moving to New York. “My old friend and her brother have rented a place in the East Village,” she said. “I feel like New York is maybe a thing I should do.” I felt like New York was maybe a thing I should do, and that I was endlessly squandering my […]

The Park, 1996-?

Family History / Houses / Nostalgia / Personal History / Uncategorized

(This is Part 8 of a series, Part 7 is here) You never expect the Deep Suburbs. Not when you’re a young person inclined believe they are dystopias, whose bookshelves are packed with searing indictments of, whose politics are starkly aligned against, whose internal jukebox comes programmed with so many songs decrying, whose family (you believed) were absolutely committed to the revitalization of the urban core and strictly anti- the interests, ideologies and infrastructure that […]

Elm, 1995-1999

Uncategorized

Let me tell you how writing used to be. When I was eighteen, twenty, twenty-two years old, I could sit with a notebook, at a keyboard, in the margins of a textbook, and words would pour out without hesitation. I could do 5000 words in a couple of hours, 10000 in a night, hopped up on nothing but diner coffee and Camel Lights. It felt so natural, that I’d unlocked this superpower. I could turn […]

Randolph, 1994-1995

Houses / Nostalgia / Personal History

(This is Part Seven of series. Part Six is here.) Let’s get this out of the way: I hated college. Maybe I was destined to. I’ve spent an adult life (and nearly twenty years, post college living in a college town) trying to work out whether the problem is me or the institution. Probably me. Like most of life’s great disappointments, it wasn’t supposed to be that way. College was supposed to be the best […]

Sherwood, 1991-?

Family History / Houses / Nostalgia / Personal History / Uncategorized

(This is Part Six of a series. Part Five is here.) At some point in the last three decades, my sister and I became fixated on the geography of Dad’s basement. We know where it starts, at least in a material sort of way, but we’re not entirely sure of where it ends “Across the street? A couple of miles away? Canada?” It’s a joke, of course, but one rooted in the peculiar reality of […]