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MickeyShot2Edited

Surfacing

In September my son Mickey was born. Oval head. Pink sausage link of a torso. The hands of a geriatric in miniature, lined and curled into themselves. The doctor placed him on Erin’s bare chest and gently turned his head to face mine. He opened his eyes, and with a shock I realized that we [...]

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WinterRoad

The Palace of Justice

During the winter of 2005, I watched my father battle Quebec’s Public Curator office for control of my mother’s future. It was a low point for us all- the financial and emotional strain, coupled with the challenges of trying to somehow stay connected as a family at the tail end of over a decade of [...]

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Girl Playing Piano

Waking to a House Filled with Music

Living with a family member who has schizophrenia is like sitting atop a mountain high in the clouds; you can see normal people far below, but the prospect of joining them seems impossible. From age 10 onwards I’d witnessed my mother withdraw from the world, put on black clothing, answer to different names, and lend [...]

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2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8

American Muscle, Mi Amor

The first new car my Dad ever purchased was a beige boat-on-wheels called a Pontiac Parisienne. You can see it in the background of countless family pictures: a gleaming metal grille and backend of Nicki Minaj-like proportions. It was an object of pride, a symbol of the new world we’d arrived in and our desire [...]

tjblackwell2

Guest Post: For Keeps

During a recent visit home, I was given an ultimatum.  My bedroom was being reincarnated as a study for my dad so either I could box up the artifacts of my childhood or risk having them disposed of and lost to me forever.  My husband Om sweetly offered to help and I accepted, not realizing [...]

thaddeusstewart

Twisted Metal

On a lonely stretch of road in LaSalle, Quebec less than a mile away from home, one part of my life ended and another began. Afterwards I saw things with a clarity only near-disaster affords. That although I desperately needed love in my life, I’d never really put myself out there and had little in [...]

groupshot

The 5 Rules of a Bengali Party

One of the strangest side-effects of growing up and leaving the world of my parents behind is that, after countless bar crawls and mornings feeling like the Cryptkeeper, I find myself missing the rigid frivolity of a Bengali party. There’s something masochistic about this. Few occasions are as deeply rooted in secret rules of engagement (and [...]