All posts filed under: Personal History

Haywood, 1990-91

Family History / Houses / Nostalgia / Personal History

(This is the third part of a series, part two is here) It was a big deal when the condos were finished. The building was one of the first fully-renovated, maybe the first fully-renovated residential building downtown. In those days, downtown was a millimeter removed from ghost town, and probably still read that way to most people, save my mother, who’d spent the last five years running a non-profit to convince people otherwise. When she’d […]

Into the Woods

Personal History

The thing about the required three-day camping trip was that I knew it was coming. We’d been informed at admission to boarding school that one day, quite without notice, the spiteful gods of sodden sleeping bags would demand their tribute, and no foul weather, no cunningly worded doctor’s note, no comprehensive catalog of outdoors-related psychic trauma would save you. I’d been dreading the trip since matriculation and found reminders of its incipient horror everywhere, from […]

The Ladies

Family History / Nostalgia / Personal History / Women

The first doll in the doll collection was a baby doll. A hideous oft-bodied thing with a hard-molded plastic head, about  the size and shape of a small sack of Irish potatoes. The doll’s official name was Baby Precious, which struck me as inordinately stupid. “I think Baby Precious is a such a sweet doll,” my mother would say. I thought Baby Precious looked like Marlon Brando stuffed with one of those embedded noisemakers that […]

Women in Rock

Music / Personal History

Summer 2001, late night, at a sidewalk café in my hometown with a table of friends, one of whom was then dating the bass player of one of my favorite bands. The bass player was nice, genuinely so, and funny, and we were all a little drunk, I think, and somehow I got to talking to him about writing. I’d finished a draft of novel, a deeply adolescent relic full of punk rock teenagers in […]

Last Gasp

Personal History

A few weeks into the 21st century, I woke up one morning unable to breathe. Or rather, I could breathe, but not correctly, not easily. My chest felt strange. My pulse labored. The act of taking in air and expelling it did not come without effort. I thought it might pass. It didn’t. I went to the doctor. She prescribed me an antibiotic and an asthma drug. She sent me to the radiologist, where the […]

Nana at Twilight

Personal History

I went to spend most of July with my grandmother when I was ten, which was great because this big fancy new mall (much bigger and fancier than the one in Asheville) had recently opened and They. Had. Everything there . Nana took me out there a few days after July 4, and we spent almost the whole day shopping. I scored a small wardrobe a of layered peach and white summer outfits (totally on […]

Midsummer

Personal History / Uncategorized

The moth thudded against the window at 11:45. Ringer jumped, even though she knew it was coming. “Never fails to surprise me,” she said. I looked up at the plate glass. The moth glowed milky green, its thorax furred, its eyes fiery orange. The dimensions were preposterous, nearly primeval. One of the Fairview boys slapped his fist against the glass and goggled. “That wing-ed fucker is as big as my hand.” I dug around in […]