Non-fiction

Me and Bobby Kennedy

1

I never formally met Bobby Kennedy, but I did once alter the course of his life for maybe five minutes. Since then, I have always felt a certain kinship with him. Had he only lived longer, who knows what he might have achieved.

KGB Bar Homecoming Feast!

When Dr. Pat Zumhagen returned to the States from six months in Paris studying photography last year, she came back in one of the worst times of the Covid’s devastating effects. She had been hearing stories of how particularly hard-hit small businesses had been and how many were closing never to open again. Pat was especially alarmed that one of her favorite bars and literary institutions, the KGB Bar on the lower east side of Manhattan, might be among the casualties.         

Found Object

There I was at the Chelsea Flea Market, rummaging through a box of paperbacks. Most of them were bad, of course, but then there was that one. Faux-leather, palm-sized. Grayish words stamped on the outside that once were yellow? orange? They said this: Leroi, Flesch & Co Insurance 55 Liberty St. New York, NY 10005. And on the first page, this: 1965 Diary with Special Insurance Data from Leroi, Flesch & Co. Below, a boy had written Robby’s, the letters wavering even though he’d printed them with care.

Choosing Water

Choosing Water 

The first time I went in a boat, I was about four years old. It was in Maine. I was in a tiny sunfish and I was terrified, afraid of falling out and drowning, but my aunt held my hand as the boat bobbed near the shore. With her touch I knew everything would be alright. At that time, the water was a source of fear, because even then I understood its tremendous power to take life. At home, there was a brook where I pretended to fish and watched the rushing water drag fallen leaves through its current, twisting them up in its own churn.

Before

There’s this Instagram account called Mothers Before. I started following it because I liked the concept: Snapshots of women before crossing that threshold. But now, each photo I come across—warm faded images of young smiling faces—makes me feel sad. It’s like looking at an obituary. The person in the photo no longer exists.

 

My mother has always said that she didn’t want children. Not until she met my father. And when she did want them, she didn’t want girls.

A MAGA Meltdown: How My White Family is Letting me Down in the Age of Trump

As Donald Trump’s first and hopefully last term as President of the United States has come to its violent insurrectionist conclusion, it feels apropos to muse on what the last four years of my life have been like as a Haitian Irish American, particularly on how it has deeply affected my relationship with my expansive white family. The shift has been tectonic and revelatory - the relationship between us will never be the same.