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ESSAY / Freezer Peanuts / Liyou Mesfin Libsekal

Of course, I brought it up to my mother, who was freezing milk and probably making the morning oatmeal with it. The confrontation led to the Great Freezer Fight of 2010, after which I refused to eat oatmeal, and my mother’s lasagna, on account of the frozen mozzarella. This fight would be repeated each time I needed something for a recipe and found that everything was frozen.

ESSAY / Ideation into Art / Bekah Steimel

Depression is a colony of termites laboring so silently and ardently until your dwelling is unlivable. Unlivable. They crawl over me while I like your posts about your vacation and the hilarious thing your toddler said. Unlivable. They creep inside of me as I listen for the tenth time about your tenth lover, and what size U-Haul you should rent. I am genuinely excited for you. Unlivable.

ESSAY / Time to Go, Grasshopper / Leah Mueller

I swiveled in my chair and gaped at the shadowy figure. Sure enough, it was my old idol, Kwai Chang Caine. He stood so close I could feel his breath on my right shoulder, though his gaze was fixed on the far wall. My voice burst from my chest before I could stop myself. “Hi David,” I said. “How was the concert?” 

ESSAY / Plato’s Cavemen Spoke English / Zuzanna Fiminska

I reasoned with myself: just because Brandon wasn’t taking afternoon French, Chinese, Arabic – any of the languages I now had to take as a second foreign language – it didn’t mean his real-life equivalent wasn’t. Surely, I thought, English native speakers were learning languages; it just wasn’t photogenic enough for TV.

ESSAY / Here for the Boos / Krissy Eliot

He explained that that the house was haunted by many ghosts, and each had a backstory that he’d surmised from communicating with them. One of these ghosts was Chloe, an abandoned child with an affinity for playing with a yellow bouncy ball, which she would move of her own accord. He tossed the yellow ball into the center of the circle and all of us stared at it, waiting. A few minutes passed.

ESSAY / Summer Stalking / Roz Weisberg

It was around July 4th, as I immersed myself in Holcomb, Oklahoma. Holcomb was not a big or even mid-sized suburb like Burbank, but it was a town where everyone knew each other with a downtown not unlike Burbank’s. Perry Smith and Dick Hickock shot the Clutters in the comfort of their home, in their own beds, at close range; in the face. Although the Clutters were targeted, rumored to have money, the randomness of the crime, in the middle of nowhere made me wondered when and where The Nightstalker would strike next. 

ESSAY / Saturdays at the Kitchen / John Murray

New to LA, and somewhat shy, I seldom spoke but often listened. The conversations weren’t profound, but they were somehow memorable, like when Gabriella playfully confronted Doris. “Oh, now, Doris, you won’t speak because you’re mad at me. But I can’t put those green beans in the soup when they’re still so fresh; we’ll use them tomorrow for the salad, I promise you.”

Sunscreen Doesn't Make Me White
Michele Pereira

We grew especially tired, though, of the 15 minutes of sunscreen application my mother insisted on before we jumped in the pool, which in Los Angeles was nearly every day. During these precautionary sessions, my father would stroll past the kitchen table, only to see the two of us standing upright, our arms extended outwards, creating a rigid t-shape with our bodies.

Bolt Cutters
Paulette Jolliffe

The dog’s head lifted from where he lay in a bed of dirt. He looked up with dulled eyes, panting in the blunt rays of an indifferent scorching summer sun. A heavy chain held him to a weathered post, its radius too small to reach the shade of a nearby battered and slumping back porch. Sweat trickled down the center of my back as I walked towards him.