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

First Time Story

In Human Parts. More on Medium.

Not Another First Time Story

I was poor and couldn’t pay rent, so I started selling weed

When I was in college, everyone really liked Weeds. It had just come out and it was kind of groundbreaking — a suburban widow, complete with perfectly imperfect hair and a seemingly endless closet full of Going Out tops, driving a Range Rover and selling pot.

Whenever someone in class talked about it, I rolled my eyes. I knew there was no way she was making a living — in a posh suburb, no less — on dimebags sold to PTA moms.

I knew exactly how much money you could make selling weed because I had been doing it. And…


Not Another First Time Story

How one Muslim woman reconciles faith and coming of age

“Do you ever feel like life is just a movie?” Whiskey Sour, business pants. July, 10:15 p.m., Friday.”

This is a note I wrote to myself. It’s my handwriting, my spiral blue notepad, so I know it’s me. I can even picture the guy, but I don’t know why I wanted to remember what he said. As far as lines go, this one isn’t very original. It’s like something your college roommate might say, the one who owns a Himalayan salt lamp.

The man had a spray tan, capped teeth. He’d recently broken up with someone and was now in…


Not Another First Time Story

My first hurt haunts me, even now

When I was small, I would watch my mother lace up a pair of Pumas. She called them her “shitkickers,” and she wore them whenever she was ready to fight. I remember her walk — that fearless strut down Fort Hamilton Parkway in her black leather jacket — and how everyone seemed to yield to her. I think about the way she pinched a Kent 100 cigarette between her fingers, and how she would rope her thick hair into braids. Later, she would pull at the rubber bands and her face, once taut and tight, would soften. My mother was…


Not Another First Time Story

A tribute to the first stepdad I didn’t hate

I’m from the “every other weekend and holidays” generation. Whoever came up with that asinine concoction of parental timeshare should be taken out back and taught a lesson.

When I was a child, the thinking around divorce and stepparenting was pretty half-baked. You would get a proper talking-to any time someone was getting divorced, and then you’d wake up one morning with a new stepparent. I did, very literally, twice.

A lot of shit went down when I was a kid. The Cliff’s Notes version: My parents divorced when I was six. My father remarried when I was seven. She…


Not Another First Time Story

As an autistic kid in a small town, I creeped out my very first crush

“Whether a gesture is alarming or charming depends on how it’s received.” Ted Mosby delivered this sage advice in the last season of How I Met Your Mother, about 15 years too late by my timing. It’s known as the “Dobler/Dahmer theory”: The idea that any romantic gesture can be perceived as coming from a Dobler (as in, Lloyd, from Say Anything) or a Dahmer (the Milwaukee Monster).

There’s a fine line between those two, a tightrope I fell off long ago — the first time I fell in love.

Adolescence is a lonely place; it is emptier still in…

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