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The Sun Magazine

Family and Relationships

Romantic Love

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

And So On

I always thought a kind of permanence awaited me in the future: I’d grow up, find my niche, and settle down. The questions of my youth would dissolve into a mature understanding of how the world works. But now I am a twenty-one-year-old woman fresh out of college with hazy goals of foreign travel and falling in love. A fear is roiling in me that I will never find peace and certainty.

Fiction

Alternate

Before Cat and I became a couple, before we even knew each other, we were a team: knocking on strangers’ doors to bring them Barack Obama’s tidings of hope. Everyone in Brooklyn was already voting for him anyway, so they just cheered us on and thanked us for our service. There was a precoital vibe, a tingling anticipation of victory.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Still Life

He stood on the threshold, holding an apple in both hands and smiling. I was thirty-eight years old. It had been a good while since anyone had stood at my door like that. And now here he was: a messy blond-haired man who looked as if he hadn’t slept; a neighbor; a man offering an apple to me.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Be More

I’m sorry I gave it away, that nightstand you made for me so many years ago. Well, you didn’t really make it; you revised it. You found the battered table at a garage sale, saw its potential (its “good bones,” as you often said of imperfect things), and somehow — in secret, in the basement — sanded down the wood, puttied every hole, fixed the drawer, and added a shim to make it level.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

On Fire

After my parents lost our farm and we moved into town, I started attending an evangelical Quaker church with my friend Brad. I wasn’t sure I liked it at first, but as the months passed with my mom and dad rarely speaking, I did start to find something like peace when I prayed.

Fiction

What Feathers Might Do

When the chickens came to live at our house, I think I knew my roommate Addie was pregnant, but I wasn’t saying anything, and neither was she. She’d been spending too much time in the bathroom or her own room with the door closed and no one else around her.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

In The Hills

For all you women out there, as the song goes (there must be a song that goes like that), this is how it is when you leave us: We wake up at midnight in our mother’s house, in our childhood room, in our childhood bed, and we think to ourselves, What am I doing lying here while, in New York, in my apartment, in my real room, in my adult bed, my wife is leaving me? Then we think that she is probably not alone in that bed. Then we get up.