Category: Memoir & Essay

Brain Surgery

By the time the ambulance drew up at the Emergency entrance to the hospital, I couldn’t wait to get away from the havoc I had wrought inside the gleaming interior: stainless steel doors, sterile surfaces and starchy sheets, all liberally…

Still Life with Polar Bears

After the end of third grade, after my birthday, after Grandma Lois died, but before we flew to America, Dad took me to the Warsaw Zoo. It was the morning and a weekday. Dad wasn’t going to work, and I…

The Café de l’Espérance

It was February, 1992, when I stood in my raincoat with my two suitcases in front of a locked courtyard gate in the 9th arrondissement. The airport taxi vanished, leaving me alone on the deserted street. The digicode I had…

The Visitor

Discomfort marked Charlene’s visits to Mrs. Harley; her need to change this bitter, forgotten woman approaching her death sent Charlene adrift, thinking after that one passage about Good Works requiring suffering. She’ll ask Father when they regroup. Mrs. Harley reached…

Walls

Back in the room, I change into pajamas. I refuse to wear the hospital gown, even if I have a good excuse. I mean, I did just have a baby. Whatever, you were only six months pregnant. She wasn’t even…

Dad Died

When I was little, Dad would get into the car and say, “Let’s get lost.” “OK,” I’d shout, sitting up in the front seat next to Dad, where kids were allowed back then, no seat belts required. At each intersection…

Sea of Love

It begins to play in the grocery store. I pause, surrounded by produce, to wipe tears telling myself to pull it together. 6 years past, but the feelings are no duller than that day in the parking lot. When I…

Hope; Faith.

On February 2nd, I stood on the front porch of my childhood home when my dad said that we had received the worst news possible. I laughed. Being told that the surgeon who opened up my 56-year-old mother had deemed…

Acceptance

When I was in middle school, I would daydream in class. My notebooks were filled with games of MASH and future children’s names—children I’d obviously have with Joseph Gordon-Levitt or my best friend, Ryan. I’d have these children after college,…

Plug-Hole

— Richard Gibney — It was on a Tuesday just after noon that my mother last went to see the GP in the shopping centre. At about ten past twelve, she ascended the two floors from her job in the…