July 20, 2019

Posts from "Portfolio"

  • Portfolio | Apr.11, 2013

    Ain’t No Stick of Gum

    They called it clubhouse. Boy and Girl would nuzzle together, their chests touching, their limbs tangled together like yarn, and talk within that safe space constructed with nothing more than a bumpy mattress, a few sheets, and a flimsy blanket. With just their bed they blocked out light and sound and made it so that it was just them in the entire universe. Just the two of them who had anything to say, or needed anything to say, or wanted anything to say, and all the rest-grad school, friends, the entire world-could just go off itself. But clubhouse was not just about frivolous confessions of insipid affection. That space, that six-inch lumen between sheet and blanket, that pulsing, living life, saw serious discussion. Boy and Girl laid together there and laid all of their nonsense bare. “Boy,” Girl said, her mesh of auburn hair wrapped between Boy’s fingers, “didn’t you know that I love you?”

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  • Portfolio | Mar.21, 2013

    What’s in a Shadow?

    My best friend as a child was a little girl named Shadow. She was tiny and precocious, and I met her when she and her sister moved to my hometown from Timbuktu. She spent her days riding an elephant and earning pocket money tap dancing and playing the guitar in the park. I have long since outgrown my little imaginary friend, but her presence will never be forgotten. She taught me perhaps the most important lesson I have ever learned. She taught me to imagine. Shadow appeared during lazy days of boredom. At first, all she embodied was my own shadow, a darkened reflection upon my wall that I liked to talk to. Soon, though, her appearance and story became clear to me. She was pale and petite, complete with blue eyes and spunky pigtails. She didn’t have a mommy or a daddy, but sometimes her sister came to visit her. She slept on my floor, and sometimes, if I was feeling generous, I let her hold my security blanket, Mooky. The magic of Shadow was that she could be anything I wanted her to be. If I was sad, she was my comforter. If I was lonely, she was my friend. If I was angry, she was someone to escape to. My favorite thing about Shadow, though, was that she was mine. I could invent her past, present, and future. She was the little story I wrote in my brain, my varying invention. I could spend hours pondering all the people she had met and all the places she had seen.

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  • Portfolio | Nov.14, 2001

    Eulogy For A Jazzman

    I remember a conversation I had with Reuben after a show in St. Louis a few years back. He had been playing for six hours straight with little more than a sip of water’s break. In a sweaty, beat-down, post-performance daze he told me, “Ya know why I love playing jazz?… because when I’m playing there ain’t no limit to how high I can go.

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  • Portfolio | Nov.08, 2001

    Dealing with the Devil

    Kevin Hirten His sleeping body lay still and silent. The sunlight that had crept towards his face all morning was just hitting his eyes and soon he would wake. A magnificent dream hastily ended when the blackness filled with the…

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