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From the Archives

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

On Being Unable To Breathe

Something was drastically wrong with my lungs: every night, they made sounds like a basketful of squealing kittens. I was always coughing, had pains under the sternum, and could not push a car or even run up a flight of stairs without gasping like an old melodeon full of holes.

By Stephen T. Butterfield March 1988
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Giving Away Gardens

A Crip gang member approached the woman for whom I was building a vegetable garden — an old woman on welfare, an ex-prostitute, ex-waitress, ex-chicken-butchering plant worker. He said he was tired, pimping was hard work.

By Dan Barker December 1990
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

The Unhealed Life

Sitting has become very difficult. Each day, I can manage about three hours in a chair. Consequently, “up time” is of great value. It is cherished, planned for, and jealously guarded.

By Yaël Bethiem January 1989
Readers Write

Work

Figuring out what you really want, barely making ends meet, looking busy

By Our Readers February 1974
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Leaving Austin

It seems she was surprised to hear from me. “Marion,” she wrote back a week later, “I kinda liked you when I met you, and then I learned to love you, but now you’re just the skank that fucked my man when I was struggling to make a family.”

By Marion Winik January 2019
Fiction

You

Early on I thought about wiping your memory. I might as well admit this to you now. I thought maybe if you stopped believing you were something else on the inside, then you wouldn’t be sad anymore. And you wouldn’t change. This was before your body really began to transform.

By Debbie Urbanski January 2019
The Sun Interview

We Need To Talk

Anne Hallward On Breaking Our Silence And Overcoming Shame

We develop courage by coming out of hiding, coming out of the closet, and there are thousands of closets.

By Amy Amoroso January 2019
Fiction

The Only One She Told

You had the face of a man who couldn’t help understanding everything — all of it, the whole pathetic, tragic human thing — and that draws people in. To me you were a magnet of kindness.

By J.E. McCafferty January 2019
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Hello, Goodbye

You want to write back, He died. You want your hurt to be the world’s hurt. This pain is what was born tonight. It’s a palpable, physical thing, an object of infinite dimension that can be looked at from many angles, held closely or at a distance, and always there is some new aspect of the sorrow.

By Brady Emerson January 2019