I once worked in a restaurant where the customer had to be greeted within seconds of approaching the bar—or else our manager would rush over and drop a menu, smiling almost aggressively as if to make up for my supposed negligence of their presence. Later, I would be reprimanded for not tending to their needs immediately. My manager would raise an eyebrow. Immediately.Continue 》
I’m back in the San Gabriel Valley to have dinner with a good friend. Ivy—she’s just moved back from two years teaching English in Korea, and she’s living temporarily in our hometown of Arcadia while contemplating her next move. I live only about 30 miles away on the Westside of LA, but my parents have moved away from the area, and now I rarely make it back. It’s a chance to get my hair cut by an Asian lady, stock up at the Chinese grocery store, and see what’s changed.Continue 》
Fran and Emma (2016) by Kate Mitchell
I sat with my back against a hundred-year-old grave marker, eighteen years old, the promise of liberty as a soon-to-be-college-student pumping adrenaline through my veins. Michael kept close. He knew the graveyard creeped me out a little. It was February and a few degrees below freezing—the perfect excuse to sit side-by-side, knees touching. Funny how quickly intimacy can blossom between strangers.
On a cold November morning halfway through my sophomore year of high school, I was sitting in a hospital examination room feeling an acute sense of relief when a doctor told me I was not allowed to go out for basketball season. I’d lost too much weight to make physical activity viable. This relief was two-fold; I hated basketball, and I’d been diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. My doctor was unimpressed, but something like pride welled up in me. I’d earned something; anorexia nervosa rang in my ears like an accolade. Now others would intervene to take away what I’d fought so hard for, but at least I knew I had the capacity to achieve it.Continue 》
This essay was originally published by the literary journal Rock & Sling in Vox, a special edition issue on the 2016 presidential election. You can get your hands on this issue, as well as the upcoming Vox II: American Identities by visiting their online store.
“You can color in the bubbles for me,” Courtland offered, sliding the ballot across our kitchen table.
I looked at him, horrified. “That’s fraud!”
“Only joking,” he said. “I’ll let you wear the sticker though.” He held up the small white oval stuck to his thumb.Continue 》
It is amazing to me that this article needs to be written, because all of the points I’m about to make seem embarrassingly obvious to me, and will undoubtedly evoke a “yeah, no shit” for any woman or survivor reading this article. But when I step back and consider how our society continues to center and privilege cis white men, it makes complete sense that these concepts might seem foreign to you all.
You may be thinking, “Wow, this woman sounds angry!”
I’ve got news for you—I am.Continue 》
Sometimes, a tragedy is so immense and unfathomable in scope that it becomes a challenge to process what exactly has happened, much less how to move forward. Such seems to be the case for many in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting last week, which claimed 58 lives and injured at least 500 others.Continue 》