Michelle Elizabeth is an author, essayist, and mother living in Colorado. You can find her stories and essays on the Internet. Michelle is a Yale Workshop alum. Please consider supporting her work by leaving a tip.
What I’ve Learned In The Last 40 Years.
There’s something about being at the midpoint of life that has me feeling contemplative. It’s almost like it would be a disservice to myself if I didn’t take the time to look back and review the last forty years of my life to learn from my mistakes as I move forward.
I Took A Gap Year In My Marriage
A gap year is typically used to describe the year high school students take to find themselves. During that time, they work or travel in an effort not only to discover themselves but to figure out what they want to do with their lives. But when we inadvertently applied that same logic to our marriage, it brought us back from almost getting divorced.
The Night Watcher
In 2012 they started finding the bodies. Richie knew that once they found one, they would find them all. Their remains were strewn about the open space like a patchwork quilt of decay. He had taken his time and buried them deep in the earth. Sometimes he prepped the area months before he had even settled on his next conquest. Once all of his preparations were completed, Richie would look at a map, gas up his Ford pickup, and set out across the country picking up odd jobs along the way.
In Defense of Valentine’s Day, Sort of
Every February, all of those feelings of rejection and not being good enough come flooding back to me. My hatred of all things romantic started young. I was in elementary school the first time I learned what rejection felt like, and I would repeat it every year until adulthood.
How Not To Be A Douche
The fastest way to get rid of your douchebaggery and become the good human you were meant to be is to be nicer. But nice can be hard to achieve for some people, especially when the world seems bent on bringing out the worst in you. Regardless of how hard you try, you manage to miss the mark.
It was just a normal day. That’s usually how these sorts of stories start, with the narrator waxing poetic about how today was no different than the day before it. I went through my normal morning routine without a hiccup and made it to the Metro on time. The train was late, as usual, and conveniently empty. I went to the back and found a seat opposite a person who immediately caught my attention.
City of Brotherly Love
Concrete jungle. That’s what most people think of when they imagine an overpopulated city filled with the working poor. My mother was a master of the lost art form of making a dollar out of fifteen cents. She robbed Peter to pay Paul. Living paycheck to paycheck was the way of life you could set your watch by. Every first of the month, the lines would travel out the door at the local corner store as people handed over their food stamps for cash. That’s what most people think of when they think of my city, but that’s not where I grew up.
I was seven the first time I learned about death. The cold finality of it all surrounded me like a blanket, keeping me company the remaining days of my life. I remember the coffin, light blue with brass handles. The flowers—lilies, evocative of death—covered every possible surface filling the church with their strong, honey-laced aroma. I watched as the adults stood in hushed groupings going over the details of her demise.