I reflect on what it is about performance that seduces me to the stage, balancing all my vulnerabilities as I display them in solidarity with others. To make words, learning how fleeting language can be, how uniting, how dividing. How words sometimes, are not enough. …


“Dad Calling.” I sat on my boyfriend’s couch staring at the screen on my phone. When I was 20 and moved out of the family home he, for the first time, laid his hands on my mother, back handing her in the shoulder. The police were called by the neighbors and my parents divorced.

He made his rounds just after, calling each family member before my mother could to get his story out first, trying to get everyone on his side, and now he was calling me. The very idea that he thought he could put his step daughter against…


I could feel the sun beating on me all the while warm droplets of rain were starting to fall as I walked passed a bush full of chirping birds, into my local Starbucks. I set up my laptop by the window, ordered my usual iced venti coffee with room for cream, and was ready for an afternoon of writing. I was about to transcribe the events of my baby brother’s horrific experience with bullying. The tears that first fell while writing were caused by the reliving of the anger I felt toward others who had hurt him at the time…


For some people their trip to Outback Steakhouse comes with a side of delightful honey wheat bread, but for me and my brother Noah, it came with a large serving of embarrassment. We stood near the host stand and listened to our father berate the young girl for not having a table available in the smoking section. He demanded to speak to the manager, and insinuated that the restaurant discriminated against smokers. After finally being sat near the bar dad continued his bitching, and Noah and I found a way to distract ourselves by rolling up straw wrappers and discretely…


I am sitting in the dim light of my office in the Department of Communication at the University of South Florida surrounded by posters from The Great Dictator and Monsieur Verdoux, two of my favorite Charlie Chaplin movies My wall décor brings me comfort and calm counteracting the claustrophobia threatening to bubble up as I sit in a windowless room that could be mistaken for a closet if it weren’t for the three desks, two bookshelves, and mini-refrigerator. …


WELCOME TO EVERYSTREET!

Placing your hand into a paper bag you take out a piece of white paper with a word scribbled on it in pencil and are told not to share this word with anyone around you. You uncrumple the paper, holding it close to your chest just under your chin and read: “SHEEP[1].” It is now your job to act like the animal on your card, in order to find the others with the same animal, only using movements and sound, no words. So you simply watch for others acting as sheep, and like the sheep that you…


“There’s something wrong with that child! She’s just not normal.” I hear my parents talking, just outside my door. The man speaking, my step-father, had my door sawed in half to see inside whenever he wanted, which allowed the yellow light of the living room to permeate as I tried to sleep. I can hear every utterance clearly, and breathe in the emotion in his face as I am lying there, falling asleep…

“She’s a devil child.”

*****

You are young and sitting in your white room, the sun shining through the white window blinds and a girl walks in…


“I want to keep it long” I say as she pulls from the hair in between her fingers, and I realize every tug reveals more split and broken edges. Edges that I had let go for too long. She realizes she may have been insulting me with her corresponding face of disgust at my scraggly hair and quickly pulls back her hands “Oh I’m sorry!” I tell her it was okay, “I know what I’ve done.”

*****

As a seventeen-year-old I did not have a plethora of experience with faith and religion. I went to some non-denominational Christian churches here…


The shuttle stops, but you get up slightly too soon resulting in you, and your luggage, bouncing back hard onto the nestled in, carpet covered, bench. Thankfully, you are alone. You walk through a tunnel-like hallway, made of cement, realizing half way across, this is a walking bridge, here as a threshold between the world you knew and the world you will get to know (Turner 25). Your butterflies have set in, not because you are petrified of flying, but at the anticipation of your favorite aspect of visiting the airport. You arrive at the main terminal in time to…


I would play this exact game with my grandmother for hours whenever my family would visit. Some of the most vivid memories I have of her I was maybe 9 or 10 and those moments had a great effect on me and my identity.

The smell of the house is still strong and familiar, immediately I feel an overwhelming feeling of comfort and love. I can hear the fresh ground coffee dripping into the pot sitting on the burner keeping it always hot, kind of a powerful symbol of the constant encouragement and support given to me by my grandmother…

Amber Klee

The Reflexive Typewriter: A Memoir of Mental Health and Healing While Still Thriving

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