Room 157


A few nights ago, I had just turned off the light at the end of a long day and was looking forward to a good night’s sleep when my phone buzzed to let me know I had a Facebook notification. “Suzanne Frey Hawthorne has tagged you in a post.” Why is she tagging me at […]

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What Doesn’t Kill You…


I lost eight people I cared about in the five-year period between and 1988 and 1991. It started with my grandmother, “Nannie,” who died of breast cancer. Next, my boyfriend and his father drowned when a storm came up and swallowed their bass boat. Then my friend Lisa took her life, followed by my friend Jim who died of AIDS. […]

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F*ck Morning People

AG25YC "fine arts, Leonardo da Vinci, 1452 - 1519, "Saint John the Baptist", painting, oil on panel, Louvre, Paris, "San Giovanni Ba

This essay was entered into round two of Yeah Write’s Super Challenge. (My round one essay is here, in case your interested.) I had to write a persuasive essay that answered the question, “What is the best time of day?” I am pretty sure the judges were high when they read mine, because THEY MOVED ME […]

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Black Hoodies and White Privilege


My Black son got a black hoodie for his birthday.  When he took it out of the Batman gift bag, I felt a shiver creep up my spine. The white relative who gave it to him probably didn’t spend any time thinking about what it means to give a Black person a black hoodie. *** […]

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Dear Son: Mom Was Raped


Dear Son, What I’m going to tell you is going to make you uncomfortable, but you’re a teenager now and I’m not going to sugarcoat this for you.   I have lain on my back staring at the swirls on a lampshade trying to figure out what I did to deserve being pinned down, sweated on, and […]

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I Fucking Hate Summer


Just as I began dragging the plastic razor up my left thigh, I felt the hot water turn from warm to cool to cold.  Shaving with goosebumps is a form of torture no one should have to endure, but I had to get it done, because I was already late getting my kid to his […]

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Back of the Line: A Real Story of Institutionalized Racism


“You better do your job, Timothy,” said Isabella. “The libarry looks fine to me,” he said, pushing his blonde bangs out of his face. “It’s library, not libarry,” said Isabella. “You have to put away all the books or you won’t get paid.” Timothy looked at the books scattered around the floor and then back at […]

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An Open Letter to the Birth Father of My Adopted Son

An isolated tree literally toppled over by the wind. This shot is unsharpened and there is some motion blur in a few of the outer branches.

Dear Birth Father of my adopted son, You don’t know me and you don’t know you have a son, so this letter is the equivalent of a tree falling in an uninhabited forest.  I can accept the law of physics that says the delicate ferns reclining in the shade, ripe huckleberries clustering indiscreetly, and hopeful seedlings […]

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Rape for Dummies


Two guys are waiting in line for coffee. They strike up a conversation. About, say, baseball. They both like the same team. They both played short stop in high school. They fist bump and smile at the memories. The conversation turns to football. Their teams are rivals. Guy one is no longer enjoying the conversation. He […]

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