Best of Write From Wrong: Creative Nonfiction

“Simply put, I love Gina Douglas’s piece.” – Gregory Howard, Creative Nonfiction Editor

“Douglas has crystal clear prose. Her essay is both enlightening and thought provoking. Joy’s piece will transport readers to an era- perhaps from their own past. It captures in the unchanging social rituals of teens with astounding sharpness.” – Hayley Battaglia, Fiction Editor

“Regarding the self-discovery of Gina Douglas, a reader cannot turn away from any of these works.” – Keith Gaboury, Book Review Editor

Standards of Care by Gina Douglas (November 2011 Issue)
The Lot by Rebecca Joy (August 2011 Issue)

[My first cluster of memories is from right around the time I turned three. My birthday in October, bubble-stuff. Three weeks later, Halloween costumed as a dog. Three weeks after that, President Kennedy was killed, everybody cried. Three days later, the President’s funeral. The day my parents and grandparents found it necessary to tell me that I was a boy.

We were watching the funeral. John-John in his short-pants suit gave his famous salute. My Baba turned to me, and said, “He’s just like you, a little mensch.” I disagreed. I had been watching Caroline. I identified with Caroline. I wanted to be like Caroline. I didn’t like John-John. I didn’t like my uncle Clifford, I wanted to be like my Aunt Marlene. No, they said, that was wrong, and their evidence seemed irrefutable. Bonnie, my friend who lived next door, also confirmed this. She got in big trouble.] Standards of Care, Gina Douglas

[When it hits ten-thirty, everyone disappears.

I’m not sure where they go, though I can guess to their homes with white clapboards, fridges that once-a-week run out of milk, household pets that have their own doors.

To stand on High Street around ten-thirty at night is to stand in Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks only without the nighthawks. At that point, there are two types of cars: cars with teenagers, young adults; and the cop cars that circle after them, making the route from parking lot to parking lot.

The towns are fifteen minutes out of Boston and the main streets are routes: Route 16, Route 60, Route 38. Any right- or left-hand turn reveals houses nestled like ink pots. They rest with their heads against their chests, while out on the main roads tires murmur. We hear them when a cell phone rattles in the well of the door and someone lowers the radio volume. It’s usually a text: “Come to The Lot.”] The Lot, Rebecca Joy

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