full circle
10

How Lives Begin

It's 1976.

I grew up in the East Village, in New York City, surrounded by art. I was young, maybe 4, when I learned where babies came from. Upon leaving the Finnish fundamentalist faith of my youth, I made my parents a promise that I would still attend church on Christmas and Easter.

Previously: How Lives End

One of my earliest memories that doesn't have to do with my tonsillectomy or the arrival of my baby brother—and I am not equating the two—is of seeing President Kennedy ride along East 161st Street in the Bronx in the back of an open [...]

8

How Lives End

If you’re reading this, Mom — and I’m sure that you are — I hope that you’re proud of your boy. I could have been a Middle Eastern extra on “24.” And way ahead. But when the I.T. guy came and wiped me out — everything: me, just gone — I remember trying not to think about how easily you can be erased. “Exactly what you need,” he said. Then we strapped the kayaks to the roof of the car, got in and sat for a long time, heater blasting, weighing our options. As I watched the improvised refugee camp shrink in the [...]