Tag Archives: tennessee

What Are We Going To Do

Time both slows down and speeds up when you’re not doing a lot. When every day is the same, they seem to take forever, and yet because they leave little impression, thinking back on it you can’t tell how much time has gone by. Which is another way to say I don’t know how long […]

Through An Open Window

(As promised, I’ve taken inventory of the T-shirts remaining, by the way. See the swag post. Every order before December 1st will get a bonus red DGC notebook! -ctan) — The night clerk’s name was Ricky, by the way, and he was still in high school, but he only did a half day and then […]

Other Voices

I want you to understand what I was going through, but I didn’t understand it myself, and I still don’t. So I’ll just tell you what was happening and maybe you can figure it out. I don’t mean what was happening logistically: what had happened in that realm was I had become the person Claire […]

Like the Weather

The next day was Christmas Eve proper. Court and I got to the house maybe an hour before noon to find Janine and Claire in an argument and Landon nowhere to be seen. “Traditionally,” Claire was saying, “we would have Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve and open gifts then and on Christmas Day it would […]

Squeeze

We had made our way all the way to the produce department before my mind circled back to something in that conversation. From things I’d learned from Janine and Courtney and Claire herself since arriving in Tennessee, I was putting together the timeline of my older sister’s lives. Claire’s whole “there wasn’t family to take […]

Nothing Natural

When I arrived back at the house in the morning, Courtney was wallowing in misery. “Ugh, this is your fault,” she said to me, her face half buried in the crook of her arm on the breakfast table.

Wrong

I saw a T-shirt the other day that said something like this: there are two kinds of crazy, the kind where you’re sure there’s something terribly wrong with you, and the other kind. I think the shirt was pithier, since that sounds like a lot of words to put on a shirt? What had caught […]

Breathe Deeply Now

I don’t know why everything involving my family required a negotiation. Agreeing on who was going in which car to Pizza Hut could be more complicated than the Warsaw Pact. Actually, I do know why: it’s because Claire could never just let anything happen. She had to be managing everything, all the time. When we […]

Enter Sandman

That night, to avoid tantrums on the part of any of the adults or children in the house, the compromise was that Landon would build a pillow fort in the living room and sleep in there, and I’d tell him a bedtime story. I lay down on the floor partly under the coffee table with […]

Keep the Faith

Claire, it turned out, did expect us all to go to church. You might think she’d be down on church after having married a preacher who then cheated on her and dropped her like a hot potato when he found out she was terminally ill…? But I had a feeling she’d want us to go, […]