I’m checking in on you.

The words from my friend, so simple and so full of all the concern and love and tenderness between us, loosed emotions barely held at bay.

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Silky Sidney

She pinched off a piece of the tiny banana between the tips of her fingers and thumb. Sun-ripened and sugary-sweet, it was harvested earlier that morning from one of the many banana plants in her sprawling, verdant, over-planted garden. She mashed it meticulously, breaking up large chunks so there would be no choking hazard. Then she grabbed the ‘baby’, pried open his mouth, and shoved banana inside, scraping her fingers along his teeth to get every last scrap. She tilted his chin up and massaged his throat–there would be no spitting out of pre-triturated banana, no rejection of her love.

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Death as ferryman

‘How much to cross?’ The Devil rubbed his bald head. He missed his golden locks.

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The queen’s entourage

‘Rani!’ The call goes up from a young woman behind the counter.

One by one, other staff members take up the refrain till it reverberates through the cavernous interior of the pet shop, an echo inside a cave, the opening strains of The Circle of Life.

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Gendering the Queen

“Can I take a photo of him?” the woman asks.

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Ghosts of Christmases Past

Wafer thin slices of potato dive from the mandolin, cascading into the hot oil with a raucous sizzle. My father brushes past my left shoulder. I’ve learned not to look, not to ricochet my head around searching for signs of him. He’s not there.

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The Eulogy

CAUTION: This story contains references to domestic violence and descriptions of childhood emotional abuse.

I stood at the podium looking out at the sea of faces, unfamiliar and familiar, the funeral director’s words still ringing in my ears. It’s okay to be raw and honest. There’s no right way to grieve. They’re just looking for the  comfort of a shared experience from you.

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The Innocence of Mabel Cunderdin

If you wanted to set your life on fire, there wasn’t a better combination than Mabel Cunderdin, and Edward Willard’s limitless credit card.

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The Very Bad Thing and the Chasm-Exoskeleton

CN: this essay mentions coping strategies subsequent to adverse events in childhood (there are no details of the events themselves)

When I was eight, A Very Bad Thing happened.

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Life is Suffering

There’s a much misunderstood but oft quoted Hindu/Buddhist tenet that life is suffering.

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