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Showing posts from April, 2016

Sam

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When I recently found myself in Washington DC for work, I couldn’t resist the urge to revisit my past, so I hopped on the Metro in Crystal City and rode to Dupont Circle.
I moved to Washington in the 80s, a few years out of college. I’d never lived on my own before and I was scared but I felt it was time; if not now, when? I asked myself. I saw the move as writing a new chapter in the book of me, as if I was documenting my journey to full adulthood.
For the first time, I would be solely responsible for myself. I found a job easily enough, in a strange new city, where I knew next to no one. At first I lived with my cousin, who was more best friend and sister than cousin. Then, I rented a room in a madwoman’s basement. Finally, I found an apartment. My first night there I was so terrified and lonely, I stayed awake all night with the lights on. The next morning I walked to the local park on Dupont Circle, near the Metro. I laid down on an empty bench staring at the sky and wondering wh…

I Write. A Neighborhood Reacts.

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My writing is marked by a rawness and an honesty that I have been told is both startling and off-putting. I usually shrug off such criticism because I write not to tell a story but to make you see, to make you feel; that you feel something—even discomfort—tells me that I’ve done what I set out to do. But I try never to be mean.
You see, years ago when I young, I moved to Washington, DC. I’d never lived on my own before and I didn’t have much money but I found an apartment I could afford. It was, in a word, a dump. Soon after moving in, I discovered I had a roommate, Mouse—no that’s not a cute nickname; he was an actual mouse. I was grossed out and terrified. After weeks of terror, I caught him—in the very box my new Kermit the Frog telephone came in. Now, I knew I had to dispose of him. Terrified, I upended the box over the toilet and flushed. I watched his confusion as he struggled against the rush of water. Once he disappeared from view, I threw up in the sink. When his angry cous…