Embracing Death, Salon.com
A recent study says that parents who hold their stillborn infants may be traumatized by the experience. Yes, the moments I spent with my dying newborn were the most painful of my life -- but they were also the richest.
It happened last December at a holiday party. I had mustered enough courage to go out into the world and meet new people. My fiance had promised that if I started to panic, we could leave immediately. I took a deep breath, shoved my shaking hands into my jacket pockets and entered the party with a feigned smile.
In my previous life, before my baby died, I was a social butterfly. Now, as I stood in this dimly lit apartment, I found myself speechless and scared. What if someone showed up with an infant? After a quick survey of the room, I noticed that the closest thing to a monster was a heavily pregnant woman standing several feet away. My heart started racing but I decided to try to stay calm and wait out the evening. It had been months since we’d gone out, and I wanted to believe that almost five months after Anna’s death, I could function in a social situation. READ MORE
To Sir with Love, Salon.com
The last thing my professor taught me was that he was only human.
“I fell in love with all of you.” A candle in the middle of the table illuminated Professor Frankel’s face, carving it with shadows. Closing his beady eyes behind thick lenses, he went on in a trancelike voice: “I feel like I know you better than you know yourselves. By reading your writing, I’ve stepped into the most intimate moments of your lives.” His eyes opened. “I’ve walked around inside your minds.” READ MORE
Maiden Voyage, Salon.com
She was an impressionable 19-year-old passenger; he was the worldly cruise ship photographer. When he said, "Take off your shirt," what was she to do?
People get lonely on ships. People get bored cooped up on a floating island the length of a football field with 3,000 strangers. People get lustful sitting in the cocktail lounge, sipping their second Bloody Mary at 10 a.m., with nothing but time, watching the wistful blond gazing out the window onto the aqua-colored glaciers as the ship floats by.
“Would you like another?” the cocktail waitress propositions, coyly, handing you a third, fourth, fifth drink before you can answer.
“What the hell. Charge it,” you say with reckless abandon, pounding your fist on the table for emphasis, flinging your room key toward her with a flip of your wrist. You’ve got nothing to lose. You don’t know any of the other passengers — you’ve taken a cruise to meet someone, after all. In all likelihood, you’ll never see them again. Besides, you say to yourself, what’s life if you don’t live it? READ MORE