Author: Alison Fields

Chompers

Personal History

I don’t remember how old I was when someone first told me I had a weird mouth. Maybe three or four. My dentist, at the time had habit of filling the awkward, sometimes painful silences with aggressive UNC sports boosterism. I was neither Tarheel born, nor particularly Tarheel bred, and when I died I hoped I would be less Tarheel dead and  more “suite at Cannes, at twilight, surrounded by doting admirers.”  So the dentist […]

Plague Diary: June 15, 2021

Plague Diaries / Uncategorized

It is a known fact that I am not very good at ending things. I stay at jobs for way too long and habits for longer. My tendency is to forgive, but hounded by memory, I rarely forget. I can get sentimentally attached to almost any object if I think about it for a moment or two. And on the narrative front, I have written many stories, plays and otherwise; every single one of them […]

Admissions

Music / Personal History

In the beginning, I was not Generation X.  I thought perhaps I wanted to be, because they all seemed to have seen The Replacements play live, but my birthdate but me outside the range agreed upon by the authorities on the topic—journalists, Canadian novelist Douglas Coupland, advertising executives, Billy Idol. Time Magazine and Coupland put the Gen X cut-off birthdate at around 1972. Of the two, I  suspected Coupland was more credible, even if his […]

The Last Chapter

Personal History

Twenty-five years ago this month my roommate and I received word from the Academic Advising office at our non-flagship state university that we’d both been placed on Academic Probation. They cited our poor showings over the last two semesters and poor showings they were indeed. Having enrolled full-time, we’d each managed to complete exactly two classes (both ones we shared—an art history survey on Renaissance and Baroque painting and a symposium on Oscar Wilde and […]

Eternal Flame

Music / Nostalgia / Personal History / Uncategorized

It was maybe the second dance of the eighth grade, early enough in the school year that I didn’t wear a coat, early enough in my career as a teenager that I hadn’t yet learned I could skip the dance. Mom dropped me off outside the gym l and I entered in through a chorus of nervous mothers squeeching out last minute instructions from minivan windows. Be careful. Don’t leave the school grounds. Be sure […]

Summer Jams

Nostalgia / Personal History / Pirate Necessities

In early 1989, at pirate camp, I let a bossy, chain-smoking, fourteen-year-old liar from Atlanta cut my hair during a tornado. This seemed like a good idea at the time. She was kind of mean and definitely full of shit, but she was the only one of the cool older girls in my cabin that didn’t talk to me like I was a child. She’d been hassling me for days about my look, and I, […]

Plague Diary: April 9, 2021

COVID / Plague Diaries

My first vaccine dose happened on St. Patrick’s Day. I was scheduled in at a family health clinic one county and about thirty-five miles away. I left about an hour and a half early, terrified some unforeseen circumstance might stand between me and my fresh antibodies. I listened to disco in the car, hopeful the songs might lighten the mood, and quell any last minute “oh shit, does my throat hurt? Does that mean I […]

Traditional Fields Family Easter Protocols: 1985

Family History / Nostalgia / Personal History

5:30 am: Wake from dream about playing mini-golf with friendly monsters. Tremble at the sound of the “creepy bird,” whose song signals the arrival of the evil zombie Easter Bunny doppelganger who rises from the dead every Easter Sunday to abduct over-eager, non-sleeping children and fly them away to a dusty fairground populated by the dead. Quiver under the covers, as terrified of being discovered by the evil rabbit as you are terrified of being […]

Past Lives

Nostalgia / Personal History / Women

In my favorite episode  (4) of my favorite season (2) of one of my Desert Island Top 5 favorite televisions shows (“Fleabag”)an acknowledged Hot Priest stops on a meander through a drunken crisis of faith to ask the protagonist if she’s a nostalgic person. He admits that he can hardly encounter Winnie the Pooh in the wild without turning into a sobbing wreck, and they share a moment of heartfelt reverence for Piglet. It’s hardly […]

Artifacts

Family History

Nana had a little three drawer chest by her bed that she used as a nightstand. On top she kept and ashtray and a little dish full of hair pins that she used to secure her sleep scarves. These were always chiffon, usually pink, yellow or lavender and lived in the drop drawer of the chest. The other drawers were also full of scarves, but silk, the kind  you wore with a sweater or blouse. […]