“Me With You,” my CNF love letter to Harmony, to finding the right one and getting to be yourself with them just went live in the incomparable JMWW. Huge thanks to Hannah Grieco for giving this a home. I’m so happy to see this one go live. 😊 You can read the piece here!
AAHHH!! “when i do these things,” my single sentence CNF on enby fearlessness, just got accepted by Pithead Chapel! I’ve wanted to see my work there for a while now, so this feels incredible. It’ll be in their November issue!!!
“Me With You,” my love letter to Harmony/CNF about finding someone who will love you for who you are just got accepted by JMWW! Huge thanks to Hannah Grieco for seeing something in this one. For anyone who needs it, your reminder to never give up:
It kind of feels like the universe is trying to say something when my CNF about being proud to be myself while fighting against a transphobic, shitty boss goes live the same day that I get a job offer from a really cool, inclusive place for a way better salary. I quit today! ✌ You can read the piece here!
Super stoked to share that I’ll be editing an anthology all about favorite childhood video games with The Daily Drunk! If you’ve got some good nostalgia for me, send it to email@example.com!
This CNF is one of the hardest things I’ve written, but I’m glad I did. This is for Chuck Yacullo. I never got to say this, so: Thank you for being there, Chuck. I love you.
A story in two parts:
This wasn’t easy to write, but I’m glad I did, grateful I get to share it and still be here. Honored that Rejection Letters saw something in it. Speaking of hopeful: Today, I got to see this go live and schedule an appt. for my first dose of the vaccine. Taking that as a sign. You can read this piece here. ❤
She said I talk like him, even though I never met the man. That I’m a lot like him. Her word was “disposition.” Ours were nearly identical, not the sharp contrast I always saw between my dad and I growing up. My grandma’s only surviving pictures of my grandpa are all black and white, an unfailing reminder of how long ago it was that he died, how much time could stretch between one life and another before common traits can pop back up again, out of the ether.
There are precious few photos of him, and the ones there are suggest a man who’s seeing beyond himself and the photo, maybe even into whoever’s looking. At least that’s the impression I get. How do you come to know someone you’ve never met, someone you’re apparently just like, even decades removed?
He was a dreamer, my grandma said. He was always coming up with new ideas, thinking of inventions or advances in technology that would soon come to pass. In the ’60s, when giant, boxy, wood-panelled, tube TVs were ubiquitous, he saw a time when TVs would be flat and wide, when they’d be able to display rich and vibrant color, and they’d be so light that folks could attach them to their walls, like pictures. He was a dreamer, my grandma said, but it was much harder for him to put those dreams into reality. He had all these concepts and plans, but he never seemed to have the time to work on them. There was always something to do, and he had the needs of his young family to think of.
I spent so long growing up piecing together the idea of who my grandpa was based on who my dad was. I hoped for a kinder, gentler version. Someone who drank less, if at all. A man with the loving kindness I saw in the precious few moments my father let it come through, and without the sudden bursts of anger that would balance them, the yelling, the railing against perceived enemies, the drunkenness and the fighting.
He died relatively young, of a heart attack. The knowledge that I’m only about a decade younger than my grandpa was when he died swirls in and pools somewhere between my chest and spine, tendrils out and settles deep in my stomach. I remind myself that grief is physical, and you can feel grief for someone you never knew. Someone you wish so badly that you knew.
Apparently, our similarities extended to our viewing habits. Well before the age of binge watching, he’d sit the family down in front of the tube for the latest episode of The Twilight Zone. His love for the show was deep, my grandma tells me, and I suddenly remember catching old re-runs late at night as a tiny kid, on my own. Then later, in the binge age, marathoning through an entire season in a day, till my inner monologue sounded a lot less like me and a lot more like Rod Serling.
I aspire to a lasting love like the one my grandma and grandpa had. He died nearly fifty years ago, and my grandma still talks about him as if he were here just yesterday. Her eyes still light up when she talks about him. She will love him until she’s gone, and beyond even that. Regardless of my own beliefs, of the Catholic faith that I questioned over the years and eventually abandoned, I have no doubt about that. There are some things that persist.
There’s only one surviving video of my grandpa, that I know of. It’s an old Super 8 that got converted to VHS and then later digital, so the quality’s not the best, and there’s the characteristic light flicker and jagged motion of old home movies from the projector era. It’s faded from light exposure, and worn, but there he is anyway, in motion, and living color, and if I take a journey into that wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination, same as Rod always said, I can almost see what it’d look like to see him in real life, right there in front of me. But for now he’s up there, on a TV that’s flat and wide, in the illusion of life that is a series of old moving pictures.