Making Dinner

Heat a pan of olive oil on medium. Slice the chicken thin, then toss one by one in flour, raw egg, breadcrumbs. Brown in oil, then blot on paper towels and place in baking pan, or wrap in parchment paper for later use. Top with mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake. Prepare pasta — linguine, preferably, or ziti — and toss with red sauce. Serve.

Mental Health Day

The first time I got depressed, I was ten years old. I missed an entire week of school. My mother — a stern Irish Catholic woman, daughter of a Navy officer and a nun — never let us miss that much school. We could’ve come downstairs missing appendages or complaining of cholera, and she’d have told us to take an Advil and stop belly-aching.

On The Shelf

Our last place had built-in shelves. When I wrote the apartment listing, when I showed the place, it was a highlight: thoughtful built-in storage throughout. The one in the living room stood eight shelves high, floor-to-ceiling. In my room, tiny cubbies framed the window on either side. There I kept my favorites.

Me, Too

The first time, I was nineteen, first weekend of sophomore year. A boy I knew followed me home. I slipped in and out of consciousness – undressed in my bed – his weight on me – his hand on my neck – stop, stop – don’t you dare tell anyone. When I came to, I was in the shower, hot water washing away blood and tears. I called an old friend. Teddy, I think I’ve been – Kate, I think you were –

Falling

You will know it is here when you wake up cold, when you come home with sweat rising under your neck, the last vestiges still hanging on. By noon, it has been a long week, and you’re not even halfway through Monday. To get through it, you plan your day’s checkpoints: get groceries, pick up your mail, move your car, make soup. First, you take a walk.

Beyond the End of the World

Two years ago, we met for the weekend in a town on the southwest coast of Cape Cod. It had been a month since graduation, and we held onto one another like castaways adrift. Bill brought a case of his home-brewed IPA. It tasted, somehow, like home. He called it “The End of the World”.

It was not, we found, really the end.

Harriet

Harriet is making curry in the white kitchen of her apartment on South Street, an apartment I’ve been to for parties years before. I’ve brought the wine, the only one old enough to. We sit and eat. I can’t remember the taste or what was in it. But it was delicious, because she made it.