Thought I'd Something More to Say

For Christmas 1981 or '82, my sister gave me Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. That New Year's Day it snowed, and snowed and snowed and snowed, and I remember sitting on the beanbag in her bedroom, listening. It was easy to imagine–as the heartbeat fade-in...

The Incident

Because Monday is a holiday this week, I'm taking a break from my usual Monday memoir piece. What follows is a kind of Christmas story–except it doesn't take place at Christmas, or even in winter. I wrote it for school in the fall of 1984 and introduced it to my...

Dead Things, A Triptych, Part II: Eggs

Dead Things, A Triptych, Part I: Lightning Bugs God started taking my mother's voice around 1980. This was my 14-year-old perception: God was taking her voice. At the end of that year, Mark David Chapman shot and killed John Lennon outside his New York City home. So...

Dead Things, A Triptych, Part I: Lightning Bugs

If the creek that flowed 100 yards east of our front door was my childhood's lifeblood, the concrete and limestone bridge that crossed the stream was its heart. The bridge had been built sometime between the 1950s or '60s and eternity. The north side served as a dam....

Homeward Bound: A Transplant's View of Southampton

Note: This essay is from the book Southampton St. Louis: An Unconventional History. For ordering information, go to tp://www.southamptonstl.org/history. Ellen and I moved into our Southampton house on Neosho Street in April 1999. She was about seven months pregnant...

Chase the Dragon: The Uses and Misuses of Memoir

We build our lives on lies. The stories we tell about our pasts are just that–stories. We either¬†ignore the bad and romanticize the good or we ignore the good and exploit the bad. Either way, the result is less than truth. If I wrote my memoir in the traditional...