- sophomore year of college. in the middle of the dance floor at a friend’s party. a girl and i were having a blast. “what’s your name?” she shouted above the music. “my name’s jade!” i shouted back. she was so excited! “that’s my middle name! i’m jennifer jade!” “i love that!!!” “my mom loved that name! (beat) she died.”
- it was a bar in buckhead. i was out with work friends, pretty sober this time. i was working at a coffee shop and restaurant at the time. strangers came up to me saying, “medium american! remember me?!” cue soulless smile. towards the end of the night i was deep in conversation with one of the busboys from the restaurant. somehow the conversation took a turn and he began to speak about his cousin. who died tragically in a car wreck. i held him as he sobbed.
- we’d just finished some of the best sushi i’ve ever had in seattle. some of my coworkers wanted to get a drink, so we stepped inside a bar on the way back to the hotel. we saw a coworker, who was having a drink with an old military friend. coworkers congregated, and i had a beer with military friend. he began to tell me about being abroad. his sympathy for the women and children where he was stationed. he broke down as he recounted the horrific things he’d seen.
- invited neighbors over for a glass of wine. the girl got drunk much faster than the rest of us. we were only on glass one. i suspected it may be from a painkiller, as she recently had surgery and was in recovery. we talked about casual things. then she looked into my eyes and told me about her abortion. how she couldn’t talk about it. how she had an ectopic pregnancy and the abortion was necessary. they had to saw her in half. she couldn’t work for at least eight weeks. but she couldn’t talk about it. she ran out of my apartment.