Cindy House

Writer: Essays, Stories, Graphic Narrative

“Rated M For Mature” – On the Seawall

When my eleven-year-old son was an infant, I joined a group of mothers who’d all had babies within a few weeks of each other. One of the moms often began sentences with, “If I were you, I would do my research.” She once said this to me when I mentioned that my son liked avocados. If you questioned her, pushed for an explanation, she’d say, “Just look into it. That’s all I’m saying.” I don’t think she had any specific information warning against avocados or pacifiers or toys made in China; she ju

The Scar on the Tree in Front of the Dairy Queen on Main Street

In 1983, when I was a sixteen-year-old sophomore in high school, two teenagers in my town hit a tree head on at a high rate of speed, resulting in their deaths. It was one o’clock in the morning on a Friday in early June. The sound shredded the sleep of the residents in the closest neighborhoods. It was all anyone talked about for the last two weeks of school that year. I went to the funeral for one of the boys, the one I knew. It felt like the whole school walked out that day to attend the ser

House: 'Vodka Vodka Vodka'

Vodka Vodka Vodka Cindy House "My fourth grader smart-asses his way through his homework," I say. "This week, he had to write a paragraph from the prompt, 'My friend and I have so much in common,' and his first line was, 'We both still have our lives.'" My therapist smiles, sitting across from me in her armchair. I cross my legs in my usual spot on the tweed love seat in the flesh-colored room that is her home office. "On the way home from school today, he said to me, 'Mom, when you

Nothing to Hold

fter my husband left me, I decided to date a man with no arms because I liked the idea of myself as someone who would not rule out the limbless. Or maybe I thought he would be less inclined to tally up my faults. My husband had left me a list of them, scrawled on notebook paper and placed on the spotless rectangle of pewter wall-to-wall where our bed used to be. I met him at his gallery opening, a group show I’d read about in the arts section. In the picture in the newspaper, he wore a plaid ca

The Dry Cleaner of Main Street | Cindy House

Every time he left, I would feel all of my muscles shake out of a tense grip, as if I’d been holding on to the edge of a cliff to save my life. The summer I was sixteen, I filled out job applications. The job every teenager in my small town wanted back then was the salesperson position at the high end sporting goods store. I don’t even know why I applied for it; I was someone who had never played a team sport, someone who spent gym class in the outfield, daydreaming and praying the ball would