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Human Parts
A publication from Medium about humanity: yours, mine, and ours.


Flash fiction about endings and beginnings

When it was all over they studied how it started. When it was all over they rearranged their calendars. When it was all over they kept the pets they’d adopted, but allowed their closets to fall back into disarray. When it was all over they had new leaders, new songs, new science, but old habits, old hatreds. When it was all over they went on vacation.

When it was all over they joined a book club, feeling suddenly as if there was nothing they couldn’t do. When it was all over they congratulated each other on their survival without forgetting…


If cake were a drug, this one would be a Schedule I substance

Photo courtesy of Whole Foods

BTR (before the ‘rona), my beautiful sister, KC and I hosted a girls’ night. She served these two cute little cakes from Whole Foods Market with a warning: “The strawberry shortcake is good, but the Chantilly cake is a problem; be careful.”

All of us laughed, and I playfully rolled my eyes, thinking, “I’ve met very few non-chocolate-related confections worthy of my love and devotion.”

Welp, she didn’t lie. That Chantilly cake was a magical and addictively delicious berry-filled delight. …


An accidental correspondence revealed how one doting father’s life ended in a tragic crime that took decades to uncover

Photo: John Jennings/Unsplash

In my experience, fathers tend to fall into two general camps. There are the dads so preoccupied with their own interests and careers and financially supporting their families that they rarely interact with their kids. Then there are the dads who strive for an active role in their children’s lives: They change their diapers and teach them sports, counsel them as they grow up, and worry about their futures.

But then again, imagine a father who would write an operetta for his children, with parts for each to sing to fend off homesickness when they’re far from home. In the…


I struggled to understand my father. Here’s what I do know about him.

Illustration: Tetiana Garkusha/Getty Images

There are some things you should understand about this man, the man who fathered me:


He looks like almost every other baby ever born: red-faced, hairless, eyes closed. His cries pierce the quiet country desolation and scatter among the last brittle oak leaves of winter. Spring is coming.


Middle child syndrome. Somewhere among the cows and the chickens, the last of the hogs and two stray dogs. Not as pious as the eldest, a daughter, nor as charming as the youngest, another son. Poor eyesight and a buzz cut. Nothing special, really.


Pulls a knife on the kid at school…


4 simple steps for better communication

Photo: Matt W Newman/Unsplash

People typically shut down when someone talks for more than 40 seconds. I’d recently read that from Mark Goulston, author of Just Listen, and this past weekend I had a firsthand experience of it.

My houseguest, someone I didn’t know very well, turned out to be quite the talker. As we sat together after dinner his verbal stream of consciousness washed over me, and I wondered when he might pause to take a breath. He didn’t.

I felt myself shutting down, losing interest not just in listening to him but also in saying anything. The nonstop talking continued at breakfast…


On our first overseas trip as a family, our bodies fell apart

Illustration: Calla King-Clements for Human Parts

When we began dating, Tyler and I did a lot of traveling. We started out small: Our first trip was from Boston to the tip of Cape Cod. Soon we ventured further, to California, to Mexico, to Peru. We broke up once in Key West. But I was too broke to change my ticket, and we got back together before our flight home. We got married in Maine but never took a honeymoon — I was pregnant and vomiting six times a day by then. …


We’ve all been stuck in some way or another

Photo: Mitchell Gaiser/Unsplash

Last summer, my eight-year-old got trapped inside a couch. Under the couch, technically, in its undergirding. It was complicated, the way scenarios involving children often are, especially in the middle of a pandemic.

See, this is a story about a kid in a couch, but it is also an allegory.

It was August, a time when, normally, our family of five would be undertaking epic summer adventures, casting off from Brooklyn to shores unknown. But like everything else — school, sleepovers, birthday and holiday celebrations — summer adventures had been canceled. Both of our attempts to visit my husband’s family…

Human Parts

A publication from Medium about humanity: yours, mine, and ours.

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