Sunday, November 23, 2008


I reach my destination: the aisle of pregnancy tests, condoms, adult diapers and tampons and without slowing my stride, I grab the box I recognize. Weaving through the pharmacy’s narrow aisles, I dodge old men and teenagers, spanning my left hand across the shiny black box to cover the word CONDOMS which is displayed in shiny gold letters on all four sides of the cardboard box. When I reach the registers at the front of the store, I quickly slide my Cirque du So-lay across the counter. Beep. Beep. Beeeep. God I hate this.

on the train

Across from me on the train, in a baby hammock hung from her mother’s neck, a little girl swings. I smile at her pink pillow cheeks. She smiles at my smile. She jumps into the ripple of her mother's breast, waiting momentarily before emerging to trade me for another hello. I give her three grins for every giggle she gives me, to make it even.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

far away

photo by: Mark Cummings
“love you up to God and back.”

I say as Mom wakes me up for school, my sleepy seven-year-old words.

Monday, November 17, 2008


It’s late at night, just before bed. In the half bathroom, Scott stands beside me, with his back turned, peeing. He hates when I interfere with his urinating, but I reach beside him to grab a bit of toilet paper. When I pull at the paper, the roll unravels. So I tug one last time to tear it, but the entire roll jumps up and drops into the toilet, splashing our socked feat with pee water.

a Test

Mom’s words stir restlessly in my mind. “I’m very fertile, Rachey. Which means, you’re probably very fertile.”

For two days, I hold my doughy stomach as if I am carrying a fetus everywhere I go. I avoid coffee and wine and start every sentence with, “Scott, if I am pregnant…” Then I go to the pharmacy. Razors, chap stick and an at home pregnancy test. “nothanks I don’tneed abag.” I say, shoving it all into my own.

In my tank top, underwear and glasses, I walk to the bathroom. He follows. It is 6a.m, exactly two weeks after my missed menstrual. I close the door. Scott waits outside until he hears the sink run. Inside the half bathroom, we stand together with our hands clutching. Together we stare at the blinking digital clock.

Blinking Clock
Blinking Clock
Blinking Clock
Blinking Clock
Blinking Clock
Blinking Clock
Fucking Blinking Clock
Blinking Clock
Blinking Clock

We exhale and smile.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


The first cell phone I buy is small. It doesn’t flip open or into some kind of transformer. It is not a camera, comedian, or computer. It is phone. And a phone on low volume because for the first year as its owner, I don’t know that the volume is adjustable. Instead I just assume I am going deaf and everyone is mumbling.

I drive a ‘92 Ford Escort. I am the third in my family to drive this small loud car. When I am lost and need cellular assistance, I call Dad yelling, hoping he’ll get the hint and speak up, but he never does. He never yells or screams. He remains calm and asks me where I am. I answer with a street name or landmark. At the intersection of Main and School Streets. By a Dunkin Donuts? I don’t know where I am. What? I can’t hear you, I say with the phone deep in my ear cavity. “I cannot hear you! I have no idea WHAT you are saying. DAD I’m-. shit. How the hell? How am I back at the Mass Pike? Dad, I’m on the Pike again, let me call you back.”

All year long, I call Dad yelling until I am in tears and cursing his calmness. All this frustration because I did not read the phone’s manual. I hate reading manuals. I much prefer memoirs, short stories, and facial expressions.