The prospect of writing the words “me too” on Facebook has filled me with dread each time I’ve gotten close. This morning I read a friend’s post expressing similar feelings and it made me recall this essay. I’ve decided to share it here.
That woman is me
by Jillian Myrom, Minnesota Women’s Press, July 29, 1992
I’ve never seen a dead body before. I didn’t expect that feeling of numbed comprehension, the awe that comes over me as I stand at the window with the other secretaries looking out at the scene at 8 a.m.
Any other day, we have the best view in the building, looking up a sloping grassy hill with the St. Paul Cathedral looming over the top. Majestic. Idyllic.
Today there are several policemen lining the road at the top of the hill. The body is at a distance from them, lying at the foot of a tree. Behind her is a low wrought-iron gate which scales the hill; behind the gate is a forest. Continue reading
Photo courtesy of Metro Transit
Why the disheveled man approached me rather than someone else I couldn’t say. It was a recent chilly Wednesday evening and I had pulled my beret down over my ears.
The man wanted to know if the 54 would stop at our corner, something I easily confirmed with a glance at the bus departures board. He lingered after I answered; it seemed he wanted something more.
“Name’s Kevin,” he said, offering his hand, which I took.
“Nice to meet you.”
I pulled my bike bag a little closer.
“Know who you remind me of?” Continue reading
I buried my nose in a book most of the bus ride to work yesterday morning, but upon finishing a chapter I tucked my book in my canvas bag and attempted to read my fellow commuters as we descended into the heart of St. Paul. Continue reading
Source: Wikipedia Creative Commons
The word of the day is ‘hippocampus,’ I told C as we drove home from Whole Foods on a late October afternoon.
Why do you say that? she asked.
I came across the word three times today, I said. First listening to the radio: I heard a song by Hippo Campus, that band you’re going to see in a few weeks. Then I got an email from Hippocampus, a magazine that only publishes essays. And last I got a call from an old friend who works at a foundation, asking me to write a press release about four neuroscientists who just received awards for their research on memory. They all study the hippocampus. Continue reading
“What are you going to plant in your garden?” asked the physical therapist as he worked the ropy muscles along my spine, a preemptive visit on my part in hopes of avoiding future strains.
“Oh, tomatoes and peppers, carrots and lettuce, something like that,” I said, brushing him off; that’s not what I meant when I told him I garden. Those vegetables that I’ll put straight in the ground from farmers’ market containers and seed packets are not what make me a gardener at all. What I meant, I realized, is that I weed. Continue reading
“What’s that?” asked my boss, looming over me in his dark suit, of the shiny gold trophy planted my desk.
“Oh, that’s my Emmy,” I said, blushing for having been caught with such a garish ornament on my desk.
“You won an Emmy?” Continue reading
Photo credit: flattop341 on flickr
Funny to reconsider that last post of mine, Trust the earth to hold you, in light of what happened the day after I posted it.
I wondered about myself when I wrote those lines: “if I should fall, should I ever fall, if I ever dared to fall,” thinking as I was about all the abstract ways one can fall. Picturing perhaps some ill-begotten fall from grace, or a slow slide into the clutches of a sorrow I could not tame.
No, it’s fair to say I was not thinking about a literal fall. Continue reading