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The Sun Magazine

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

The Routine

I take the test, grade myself strictly, and add up the points. The result is that I’m likely an alcoholic and should seek treatment as soon as possible. I take the test again and grade myself more forgivingly, because forgiveness is a virtue.

Small Protest

The word fascist has lost all meaning. We need a new term to describe people who build detention camps for infants at the Texas border.

The Greeter

I imagine them sending me to live with a family that is not my own. I have protected my parents for as long as I’ve been alive. If someone comes after them, I have teeth.

Ways To Take Your Coffee

With snow falling on blue spruce and a cardinal at the feeder and the fireplace’s crackly warmth easing into your bones and the final pages of a book about bears and the opening pages of a book about monks and no plans for the morning, the afternoon, the evening, tomorrow, next week, the rest of your life.

Love Running

Running is better for me than church; better than counseling, pills, or meditation; better than diet plans or twelve-step meetings. Running keeps me literally on the straight and narrow.

Another Appetite

If I were to join in communion with you, to commune with you, to communicate with you, I would do so over a cup of raspberry leaf-mint tea and a piece of Celebration Carob Cake (so called because it was the first cake I baked after the birth of my last child).

Leaving Austin

It seems she was surprised to hear from me. “Marion,” she wrote back a week later, “I kinda liked you when I met you, and then I learned to love you, but now you’re just the skank that fucked my man when I was struggling to make a family.”

Hello, Goodbye

You want to write back, He died. You want your hurt to be the world’s hurt. This pain is what was born tonight. It’s a palpable, physical thing, an object of infinite dimension that can be looked at from many angles, held closely or at a distance, and always there is some new aspect of the sorrow.