From “An Anguished Choice To Help A Son With Mental Illness”

For years, [my son’s] death wish trumped everything. If he could not perform the act himself, then he wanted me to do it for him. It was the one and only sacrifice I could never make for him.

From “The First Time With Charlotte: New York City, circa 1996”

Every one of our hook-ups, if you want to call them that, as alien and lovely as Victorian horsehair upholstery against bare legs.

From “Angst Begets Art: On Finding Beauty In A Life Of Anxiety”

The riches we bequeath to our children can largely be reckoned in currencies of fear.

From “Breasts are not a Requirement”

The first time I tried on a pair of falsies, I was 35 and built like a string bean.

From “Small Change”

One night in the slow, hot crawl of late summer, our cat spontaneously combusted.

(nominated for the Pushcart Prize)

EARLY MORNING SUNLIGHT FILTERS THROUGH BALSAM FIRS AND FERNS AT TWITCHELL LAKE - NARA - 554393 - Public Domain - Anne LaBastille, 1938-, Photographer (NARA record: 1422473)

From “I Was Mighty”

We grew up near the mountains and the woods. We knew from forests.


From “Dentist of the Wild West”

Right while I’m getting my braces, and saliva I can’t swallow is pooling in the back of my mouth, Doc Hallowell tells me about square dancing.


From “Benjy, Awake”

On a blossom-scented spring day, my son Benjy, almost eleven and off kilter, begged me to help him kill himself.


From ”There Be Mental Illness Here”

Ten years ago, things were already going steeply downhill but I was not prepared to admit it.


From “Dialogue”

Ute Schmidt’s first lesson, upon arriving in Boston, is that Americans talk fast and laugh at things that are not funny.


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