Living a life damaged by grief is something I understand well. When I was eleven, my sister died. I usually just tell people that she died in a car accident, which is sort of true, but really, she drowned. It happened in Colorado, during the spring thaw when the melting snow on the mountain peaks turns peaceful, meandering rivers into dark, raging torrents. Read more
Memoirs of disability are often studies in suffering. But what I’ve found in my research is that normate readers don’t actually want to read stories of suffering—not by itself, at least. They want suffering-plus. They want some form of Aristotelian catharsis—a release. Read more
My fascinating if mildly morbid research started because I couldn’t remember having sex with my ex boyfriend. It was as though someone had come in with kindergarten scissors and started sloppily snipping those memories away. Read more
I was taken to a children’s home and, screaming, dunked into a bathtub of ice water. Read more
‘I had decided that I would shut out everybody before anybody alienated me.’ Read more
Christmas ghosts complicate my time. They remind me things are not linear; time is tangled, circuitous; you can travel to any point in your life and wander a while. Read more
When I rose to pass a dish, I felt a weird wet sensation when I sat back down. I ignored it. But as I ate, I realized I didn’t feel good. Thinking I was about to make more room for ham and scalloped potatoes, I grabbed a magazine and went to my favorite stall in the locker-room-style bathroom. Read more
Black History Month, the Olympics, Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday, Kwanzaa, Nigerian Independence Day — my mother looked forward to these days like they were Christmas.