My grandfather is dead: I do not know how to grieve. So I make bread.
In the Bible they call bread the staff of life (my grandfather might have liked this: he liked religion), but really it’s the staff of grief. 1,858 more words
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Last week, I finished the first draft of my screenplay. It was a goal I’d set for myself so long ago – a goal which I had so often delayed – that part of me couldn’t believe that I had actually achieved it, and that I was really, truly, typing the words “Fade Out” on the bottom of page ninety-eight. 801 more words
The following post is about ambivalence and remembrance. It is comprised of unstructured vignettes, loosely tied with my thoughts on identity, family, and cultural legacy. These thoughts were inspired by the fact that today is April 24, and we are 100 years removed from the beginnings of the Armenian Genocide. 1,660 more words
When I stay in a hotel, there is a tacit agreement that I (the guest) will pretend to not know that someone slept in the bed and used the room before me, and in return they (the hotel) will do everything they can to remove any evidence that somebody has been in the room prior to my arrival. 999 more words
In August, Erstwhile conducted an interview with 2015 History Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth A. Fenn on her book Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People. 1,405 more words
Last month I decided once and for all that I was going to either get rid of some books or embrace what my life was becoming: a Grey Gardens kind of gorgeous. 1,289 more words
In the grocery stores, dime stores, department stores of the New Orleans East neighborhood where I grew up, my grandmother stole and I lied. It became part of the rhythm of our days: Lala brought us into the English-speaking world, where the Americans talked like chirping, or was it squawking birds—I can’t pin down the analogous word, but I knew she didn’t like the sound of it, … 2,429 more words
My mother’s first husband, who was the first mentally ill person I ever met, rents storage spaces all over D.C. He saves in crate after carton after crate: paper towel tubes, his son’s second grade science projects and college term papers, broken air conditioners, hammers, screwdrivers, curtain rods, weights, spatulas, pots and pans, old cans of paint, drills, sandwich bags, magazines and books and paper clips, window panes and big, long rolls of pink insulation and leather gloves and half-empty cans of shoe polish and arm chairs and tube tops and baby aspirin and vinyl records as well as the files of the court records (as well as their Xeroxes) of what was said before the judge between he and my mother more than forty years ago. 1,443 more words