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Nonfiction

Some Architectures: A Prelude

My mom tells me that I leaped in her belly every time the organ lurched into song. Her habitat was the pulpit in front of the tiny organist and the looming pipe organ, which was gummed into the very architecture of the Carolina church where her earnest voice filled the room as she preached each Sunday.

Buying a Vuarnet T-Shirt

I circled the Vuarnet store in SoHo twice before entering, self-conscious for a variety of reasons: on one level, for instance, I knew I was too old to be shopping there. It wasn’t a holdover of the brand since its general disappearance after its peak in the nineties, as I had imagined it—a lone flag of consumerism planted for thirty fractious years among the boutiques and bistros of Spring Street. It was new since last summer, July 2018.

Life in the Tar Seeps

In the rearview mirror, the Wasatch Mountains of Utah rise from the Great Basin. Low hills shoulder limestone caves, tucked into parched slopes of tall grass that roll toward Great Salt Lake like ancient waves. Long-gone shorelines band the hills like rings in a bathtub. A two-lane paved road cuts between dips in the knolls, edged by marshlands that spread through the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge. On this February day, the chill has fogged into crystalline snow, blurring the marshlands, hills, and mountains until we lose sight of all distances, just the road around us. Almost imperceptibly, the air smells like rotten eggs.

 

Most of My Dream Fathers Are Women

My obsession with my father is so pronounced that when I sit down to write about the women I’ve loved, I begin with a line about him. My memory of others is never lit up and illuminated like my memory of him. This is an old thought, the way a dream is an old thought, born in the mind and prone to illusions. Although his skeleton is underground, our relationship is ongoing.