You think you are doing okay.

You think you are doing okay because everyone tells you that they think you are doing okay and because every morning you wake up and walk the dog.

You know that this is a little thing, but also, you know that this is an important thing.

Every morning you wake up.

Every morning you go outside.

Every morning people see you.

The fear had a definite beginning.  I knew there had been a time when I wasn’t afraid of the cables on the Brooklyn Bridge snapping. I knew there was a time when I wasn’t afraid to eat.  I knew there was a time when I wasn’t afraid to go to sleep at night because I didn’t know if I would ever wake up again.  I just couldn’t piece it together that those times had all been before I’d had a miscarriage, before my body had decided to reject the life growing inside of it.

Consider this: I was nineteen years old and I was nineteen weeks pregnant.

I asked myself every day, for every one of those nineteen weeks, if I was doing the right thing. I would usually ask myself this question while I was looking in a mirror, which, right there, should tell you all you need to know about my state of mind.

And just in case it doesn’t, I will tell you now—my state of mind was not good. I did not know what I was doing. I did not know what to think about my boyfriend’s smile—a smile that stretched across his face and around the room—when he knelt before me and cupped my stomach—my stomach that never ended up getting very big at all—and traced the strokes of flat blue veins that radiated from every new swell in my body.

Here’s what you need to know about our love: he told me the song that best captured how I made him feel was “Pale Blue Eyes.”

And that is a love song. That is maybe the love song. But it’s Lou Reed, so I’m not really sure if the song is about a person or if the song is about heroin.

What I’m trying to say is, what the man who loved me was telling me was You are a drug. What the man who loved me was really telling me was These things never end well.

Never/More

By Kristin Iversen

Essay

My father died last summer, and now I have his car. He didn’t leave me his car, but I have it all the same. What he left me was his music—his guitars and his stereo and his records and his tambourine that I had already taken years ago and have always kept in my bedroom. But he didn’t leave me the car. The car just kind of came to me. It’s a twenty-year-old Mercedes station wagon with an out of service car phone in a black metal holster. It looks like it ought to have a Bush/Quayle ‘92 bumper sticker on the back, but I’ve been told that a Puerto Rican flag on the dashboard would really recontextualize everything.