After graduation, after a divorce, after an election
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You can hardly remember now how you would pull out the ribbons she weaved through your hair, launching them into the wind as you pedaled faster on your bike. You have left that girl behind. You believe in the power of ribbons and roses now. You are a woman.
When he tired of talking, he’d slap a red, hand-shaped conclusion to the quarrel onto my face, pressing his brand upon me, the mark that labeled me as his.
I was still exploring my power to hurt others and was continually surprised by how potent a single sentence could be. I watched my mother’s face waver and then crack open.
Upon arriving at the bungalow, he learned something else about himself: if there was a 5 percent chance that fucking his ex-wife’s hairdresser might kill him, he was perfectly willing to take that risk.
We made eyes across the room. We made each other’s acquaintance, whatever that means. I made a move, you made a face. We made out anyway. We made bad pottery, we made bad jokes.
A pack of dogs, a husband’s secret, an obsessive ex
It’s pizza night. Dad went to pick it up, and my mother is using our time alone to take subtle jabs at me, encouraging independence.
A short marriage, a leaky yurt, a mother’s grief
My father and brother constructed the trap in the basement workshop. I followed them to the forest behind the barn, where they would set it. We lived on a thirteen-acre farm called Merryview, where we raised horses — hunters, jumpers, and Shetland ponies — along with other animals.