Nonfiction

“How to Avoid Getting Asked to Be a Bridesmaid,” by Cassie Title

Mar 21st, 2018 | By

First, be antisocial. In kindergarten, when the teacher asks you to share crayons and play nicely with the other children, don’t. There’s no point. You don’t want to be friends with these fools who pick their noses and use their booger-smothered fingers to touch your back when you all play tag at recess. In fact, make sure you don’t play tag at recess.



“The Doll,” by Amaya Duran

Mar 7th, 2018 | By

She was Pocahontas in her school play this year. “Because I’m dark,” she told us. Her hair is black and hangs straight down her bony shoulders. Her hands are small and soft as she pulls me through the hall.

Mariella. She’s my blood and two years older so I listen.



“A Thoreau Thing,” by June Forte

Jan 10th, 2018 | By

My brother Jim called to tell me he was about to bid on a 50-acre island in the middle of the Illinois River.

“We want to scale down,” he said. “Do the Thoreau thing. You know—Walden Pond.”



“Screenplays I Wrote When I Was a Teen,” by Lee Blevins

Jan 3rd, 2018 | By

I wrote seven feature length screenplays between the ages of twelve and seventeen. That’s one per year plus an extra one junior year when I got too stoned by myself for the first time. None of these screenplays were ever produced because I both was underage and undertalented (that’s untalented with an extra der). I list them here so my sister’s future children shall be able to see how much cooler their uncle could have been than them.



“Logic, the Universe, and Pigs,” by Ali Kashkouli

Dec 27th, 2017 | By

As a child one rarely questions religious beliefs. Your parents tell you what to believe and that’s that. My father was never the religious type, but would occasionally be found to utter a short prayer whenever convenient for him. My mother, however, adhered fairly strictly to the Islamic tradition and made the effort to pray as much as possible. Namaz, she called it. The incongruity between my father’s more lax perspective and my mother’s incessant incantations really made me wonder. Did God want to be constantly bothered with the insignificant events of our daily lives or was He more into the gestalt? What if God really was a micromanager? Would someone like my dad end up getting the cold shoulder because of his inconsistent appeals?



“The Big Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree,” by Alexander Cavaluzzo

Nov 22nd, 2017 | By

While most congregants in the United States spend their Sunday mornings in a church, you’re more likely to find twentysomethings in New York City attending Our Lady of Bottomless Mimosas on the Lord’s day. The service typically entails an offering of eggs rothko, adoration of cute waiters, and readings from the New York Times’s Vows section. This recurring ritual, more commonly known as “brunch”, provides solace and nourishment, with just a touch more alcohol than the standard Catholic mass. During one such service, though, the rites that unfolded offered me a very rude revelation.



“When You Wish Upon A Star,” by Adam Michael Nicks

Nov 8th, 2017 | By

If I were a copyright lawyer for Disney, I’d do my best to preserve the purity and wholesomeness of their intellectual properties. I’d bust head shops for Rastafarian Mickey Mouse pipes, with their dreadlocks and painted bloodshot eyes. I’ll tell them: that privilege is for authorized retailers only.



“Litany of a Middle-Aged Mom,” by Tina Mortimer

Nov 1st, 2017 | By

So I know it’s been a while. I don’t really have an excuse. But I’m back. Hey. Maybe it was turning 40 that did it. Or that cold that knocked me out for two weeks. (The same one the kids got that slowed them down for about two minutes.) I used to be able to bounce back from that shit overnight. But I’ve come to the painful realization that I’m not young anymore. So like any good, albeit lapsed, Catholic facing her inevitable mortality (God, I’m such a cliché!), I’ve started going to church again. You already know that, though, don’t you?



“Food Containers of My Exes,” by Tim Covell

Sep 20th, 2017 | By

I knew it wouldn’t last when Charlie picked out the plastic container for the half dozen cookies she insisted I take home. The box and the lid were different brands. They didn’t quite fit, and she was too impatient and uncaring to find the correct halves in her messy cupboard. She forced the lid, telling me it didn’t matter. We clearly had different priorities. When I called to thank her for the cookies, which she had made from scratch and which were very good, I told her we weren’t going to work out. She didn’t want her container back. I was tempted to throw it out, but decided the two halves might be useful someday, and added them to my collection.



“Can We Please Bring Back the Casual Workplace Death Threat?” by Mike Fowler

Jul 19th, 2017 | By

As one who has been showing up at the office for over 20 years, I recall the days when I would arrive at 8 a.m. on Monday, and in response to my coworker’s sleepy, “Hey, Mike, ready for another week in the salt mines?”