Author: Alison Fields

Early Decision

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I’m not now nor have I ever been a rich person. But I’ve spent enough of my life rich person adjacent to know that the whole College Admissions scam is only surprising in that someone actually got busted for it. The whole story is hilarious–almost hilarious enough that we forget about the still-acceptable legacies, the “here’s this new wing for the library” beneficiaries, or (more modestly) the kids (and I knew many of them) whose […]

Passers-by

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The first thing I saw out my bedroom window was the car—black with a long nose and curved where most cars were squared, so shiny it reflected the rosy summer dusk. I was eleven, not the kind of kid interested in cars, but that car was something else. I skittered down the stairs in my nightgown, through the cocktail party melee and haze of their cigarette smoke, out the front door, across the green lawn. […]

In The Canyons

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My first little sister got married in September of 2017. It was a a prolonged rosy gold twilight at a Lowcountry beach resort and a masterclass in production. Every piece of the event was at peak photogenic, but even without the scrapbook, the whole wedding weekend lingered in the collective memory like a slightly salty confection in Maxfield Parrish colors, something close enough to perfect that it would probably pass the blindfold taste test. Second […]

Fake News

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My last semester in college, I took a creative non-fiction workshop on Wednesday nights in a class of all women, taught by a woman scarcely older than I was at the time. There was some odd symmetry to it. I started college at a Women’s College. I finished in a classroom without men. I had a hard time taking the class seriously. I joked a lot, which was at odds with my earnest classmates, all […]

A Brief Word on Melon Balls

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After college, my little sister planned events at a historic mansion in the state capitol. The house sat at the center of a lush city park in the center of a once-shabby, since-gentrified historic neighborhood blocks from the Governor’s Mansion, the capitol building itself, and the shiny, unmemorable skyscrapers familiar to any city with a banking presence and a hankering to call itself New South. Local preservation groups had, over the years, collected a village […]

A Thief’s Journal

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To begin with, I didn’t steal The Shirt. I got it for Christmas from my Nana, which meant my mother bought it and signed Nana’s name to the card, because lord, shopping takes so much out of you and just go ahead and add that to my account, honey. The Shirt itself was nothing to write home about. It was silver and velvet and fitted with one of those non-functional, Liliputian-scaled breast pockets that were […]

Lake Monsters

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I hadn’t cleared the Governor’s School Audition and my parents couldn’t afford a fancy performing arts program. I didn’t have a car. I couldn’t find a job walking distance from the house. And so, I accepted an exile to Virginia the summer before senior year, where instead of traditional teenage things, I loitered around the antique shop reading Faulkner novels, eating Twizzlers, and smoking right out in the open because Nana wanted someone to smoke […]