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Photo by @rw.studios on Unsplash

Let me guide you through the steps that may be necessary to read a book. It sounds like it should be simple, right? Well, believe me, it isn’t.

First, of course, you must acquire the book. I don’t recommend borrowing one from a friend, because let’s be honest, you will forget to give it back and there will be this unspoken resentment that haunts your relationship forever. So let’s not go there.

You may be tempted to just tap tap tap on your phone and get free shipping on a bestseller at the worst price — yes, that evil corporation…


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Photo by Jimmy Conover on Unsplash

When I first saw snow, my first thought was, I might be able to talk to my client without screaming in the background. See, now that I am never alone, I look at life through the lens of someone taken hostage in her own home by a riot of pint-sized lunatics. …


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Photo by 傅甬 华 on Unsplash

A fire alarm going off in the middle of the night in a house of thorough sleepers goes like this.

The setting is pristine silence, a puffy and gentle calm enveloping four tired humans and a silly dog that believes she’s a human herself. All five of them are soaking in every ounce of rest in their soft, warm cocoons; crisp white sheets for some, cheerful cartoon characters on well-washed fabric for others. Then a motherfucking beep that is louder than you would consider appropriate. Granted that it’s an alarm, but really, is that necessary? Three long, blaring beeps are…


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Photo by Ben Mullins on Unsplash

“Do you ever wonder how different life would be…,” he pauses for effect, searching my eyes, “… if we all had tails?”

“I really wonder about you sometimes,” is my absent-minded response, but he doesn’t hear me, as he’s already launched on a soliloquy about how most other animals have tails in some shape or form, and aren’t they useful?

He started 7th grade remotely last Thursday. His brother started 4th grade in the next room. Rather than backpacks, this year the object of everyone’s attention, the identity token that quickly gives classmates a glimpse about who you truly are…


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Photo by Natalia Łyczko on Unsplash

At first, I laughed it off. I opened the junk drawer, scanned the menagerie of debris that lives in there, and registered that the mailbox keys really weren’t there. Huh, where did they go? They’re always reliably in the drawer, tangled with the rubber bands and spare hearing aid batteries and likely-dried-up pens and many pairs of scissors of various sizes. It hit me at that point that perhaps that wasn’t such a great place to house the mailbox keys, but how do you change a habit so ingrained? It’s not like they could go in the silverware drawer, or…


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Photo by Allie on Unsplash

I should have taken it as an omen that the moment I first set foot on this country, in the summer of 1998, my name got sweetly and swiftly butchered. I had never given my name much thought, as it came with the territory of my family’s heritage. See, my grandpa and I did some research one lazy summer and certified that for at least the last couple hundred years, pretty much everyone in my family was born in this one rural province in Spain. …


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Photo by Celeste Horrocks on Unsplash

Time is a series of wormholes now, arranged as if an engineer at Six Flags had been giving a blank check and complete freedom to go fully nuts. The structure that guides our days is gone, no matter how old you are, or who you vote for. Without a place to go and a boss or a teacher to keep us accountable, some standards have swiftly made a beeline for the window. My older one’s hair looks as if a young pair of robins decided to settle their nest there. The younger one questions why he still has to brush…


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Photo by Katrina Knapp on Unsplash

I always found the word choices very peculiar. Baseball. Popcorn. Ice cream. The audiologist seemed to be painting a picture of a perfect summer afternoon, as she spoke the words into the microphone with crisp quality, adjusting dials and switches as she went. Hot dog, airplane, cowboy, cupcake. The picture was becoming more surreal as she went, what with the cowboy making an appearance again, hadn’t she just said cowboy just a minute ago? Perhaps Jenny was imagining things, a nervous wreck as she was, looking at her beaming boy in that soundproof box with a door and a window…


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Photo by Daniel Tuttle on Unsplash

We are now finally settling into a sort of rhythm, a somewhat orderly routine. I’m not asking for a medal, it’s been seven weeks after all, or is it eight? Time is a stretched-out fog these days, in this pandemic-induced Groundhog Day state of mind. Tuesday meshes with Thursday, which apparently seems to come after Friday now.

We’re becoming accustomed to this new defiance from time itself, this being tricked every time we think we got our act together. “Why, you’re getting ready for your Tuesday morning meeting with your client? That was yesterday, you poor thing. …


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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

The quaint old monsters under the bed are gone, but there’s a whole new host of worries keeping this child up at night, and me with him. Hurricanes were a hot issue back in September, when he developed a sudden interest in the welfare of the citizens of the Bahamas, diligently tracking Dorian’s progress every day as soon as he got back home from school.

The fire alarm makes an appearance every now and then, ever since that dizzy night right after we moved when it decided to go off at 3 am for no apparent reason. In my motherly…

Teresa Lagerman

Hudson Valley // Musing about donuts 60% of the time

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