Learning to ride, falling down, getting back on
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Susannah J. Felts is a writer, photographer, and former Sun manuscript reader now living in Chicago. She is currently working on a series of photographs about street litter and ephemera.
This month marks The Sun’s twenty-fifth anniversary. As the deadline for the January issue approached — and passed — we were still debating how to commemorate the occasion in print. We didn’t want to waste space on self-congratulation, but we also didn’t think we should let the moment pass unnoticed. At the eleventh hour, we came up with an idea: we would invite longtime contributors and current and former staff members to send us their thoughts, recollections, and anecdotes about The Sun. Maybe we would get enough to fill a few pages.
What we got was enough to fill the entire magazine.
Though we haven’t devoted the whole issue to the anniversary, we have allowed the section to grow beyond our original plans. After seeing the pieces, we felt that our readers would enjoy them as much as we did — for the information about the magazine’s history, for the glimpses into the writers’ lives, and (not least) for the quality of the writing.
My wrist grows warm and creaks, aches like an arthritic’s. My forehead’s pressed against his “treasure trail” — that’s what we called the line of hair on a boy’s stomach in high school; giggling, we watched the shirtless boys run back and forth, chasing a ball. When their bellies began to glisten, we grew quiet, afraid to speak our minds. I’m sweating now, with my head smushed against him. I lick him with my wilted tongue.