This Old Thing

I’m wearing the sweatshirt I stole from my older brother back when I was young enough to do that kind of thing. He was away at college. It’s black with cut-off sleeves; they’re frayed now. There used to be a stencil on the back–his design–a combination horse’s butt and beer bottle in white paint withContinue reading “This Old Thing”

All Kinds of Pain

We lived on a little one-block street that ran parallel to a bunch of other one block streets on the East Side, in Providence. And every street was different. Methyl Street, one block north, had a Mark Twain/Lord of the Flies flavor. Tons of boys. Playing in the street, all the time. My brother startedContinue reading “All Kinds of Pain”


I can’t remember if his fist was open or closed. I think I was eight. I stepped out of my bedroom and was walking down the hall, as my brother approached. We were about to pass; he pulled his hand back, and hit me hard. I don’t recall where. My face? My stomach? I rememberContinue reading “Learning”

The Fort

Our driveway and the neighbors’ was separated by a cement wall–a twelve-foot terraced step, with their driveway at the top, and ours down below. Hector and Phoebe’s driveway. They were renting the first floor apartment: newlyweds. I don’t remember who lived on the floor above them. The ground between our garages was a little dirtContinue reading “The Fort”

The Games

For a period of years between second grade and fourth grade (third and fifth for my brother), our father–an avid runner himself–shepherded us through a series of physical challenges and athletic pursuits. I liked reading. I liked drawing. I liked hanging out with animals, and people who didn’t make me feel uneasy. But this wasContinue reading “The Games”

Just a Dream

I had a dream about New Zealand. A dream so realistic I didn’t realize it was a dream; I thought it was a memory, and stored it as such. The beginning of childhood proper in America, the end of toddlerhood in New Zealand; I’d checked lots of memories with my older brother by this stage.Continue reading “Just a Dream”

We Used to Know

My older brother and I: we were dialed into the same channel. And there was a time in earliest childhood that felt like a consensus, a world. We were so close in age–just a year and a half between us–navigating the perplexities of post-womb life. And we seemed to know that. When I crossed theContinue reading “We Used to Know”