Tag: identity crisis

Out of Water

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"Goldfish Bowl" by Rebecca Cusworth
“Goldfish Bowl” by Rebecca Cusworth

UB Creative Writing and Publishing Arts MFA student Mia White reflects on the most frightfully surreal season of her young life.

Those shouldn’t be there.

I’m staring down at an urban puddle that contains a school of goldfish, only about 50 percent sure the fish are real. At 10 am it’s already almost 90 degrees and the puddle is evaporating; the tips of the larger fishes’ fins just break its mucky surface.

Fortunately, I’m right outside the decrepit warehouse where I live. It has a cracked foundation and haphazardly placed DIY windows; my parents called it “a dump” when I moved in. The first time I saw our space, it didn’t feel like a dump. It felt like solidified dreams. Vast and dark, with a 40-foot long mural of clouds and mountains along one wall, it seemed so beautifully grungy, so bohemian.

Halloween Don’ts

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maskBaltimore writer Jen Grow says she has made some of her scariest fashion faux pas on Halloween night.

Dracula is standing on my neighbors’ front porch. He’s been there for the last few weeks staring past their Ravens flag, past their excitable Jack Russell terriers, past their chain link fence to some spot across the street. I imagine it’s the same spot where my dog stares, ever hopeful, waiting to catch a glimpse of the feral cats that live in a tool shed with a man named Danny behind my other neighbor’s house.

By the Time I Got to Woodstock

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University of Baltimore Asst. Prof. and Bohemian Rhapsody Columnist Marion Winik looks back on the summer camp that helped define her sense of self — she even pays the director a visit.

Last week I made my annual pilgrimage to the Woodstock Writers Festival. Arriving in town moments after the news broke of the death of Levon Helm, I found the populace in tears. Somehow they rallied for the story slam scheduled that night at Oriole 9. Sponsored by Woodstock’s popular TMI Project, a relation of Baltimore’s Stoop storytelling series, the slam had the following rules: the stories had to contain the line “By the time I got to Woodstock” and had to be exactly three and a half minutes in length. The organizers had a gong that could have woken Angkor Wat, and were not afraid to use it.

We heard from a sweet older lady who had been Jerry Garcia’s girl on the side; from a slip of a thing who had peed her pants rather than visit the infernal port-o-potties at Woodstock ’99; from a young man raised in a local religious cult where rock and roll was forbidden. The bright spot of his childhood was when the cult was engaged to pick up trash at the concert grounds.

Later in the weekend, another delicate-looking senior citizen told me she’d like to work on an essay about a party her husband’s band gave in 1969 in New Jersey. Dubiously I said, “Do you think readers will be interested in that?” “Well,” she ventured, hesitating, “the band was the Velvet Underground.”

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