I'm a writer and journalist from Western Pennsylvania. I've written essays, many about class and culture, for Guernica, Oxford American, and The Rumpus, and my reporting has appeared in the Atlantic, Esquire, Forbes, and Spin. I'm currently at work on No Place for Disgrace, a memoir about love and identity set in the American suburbs. My tumblr is a collection of notes and images — some of my own, and some from others. For a more detailed archive of my work, you can visit my website.

Black Clouds

Excerpt from “Ghetto Exodus,” a chapter from No Place for Disgrace — a memoir about mental illness, teenage love, and tragic consequences, set in the American suburbs in the waning days of the twentieth century.

The sky that day was rippled in black clouds that intermittently exploded with rainfall, expelling pounding sheets of rain occasionally broken by a gray and steady drizzle. Everything was wet, from the large pieces of cardboard dropped for protection on the hardwood floor in the living room, to the treacherous staircase turned waterfall that led from our front patio to the street below. The happiness of moving day was fading, a growing anxiety rooted in its place.

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…some girl lost her virginity on that couch and left a permanent reminder in the fabric—a deep red stain that loosely resembled the continent of Africa in shape and outline.
Passage from “Sob Story,” a chapter from No Place for Disgrace — a memoir about mental illness, teenage love, and tragic consequences, set in the American suburbs in the waning days of the twentieth century.
When we reached the intersection at the end of Miller’s Lane, the main artery that led out of Regency Park’s claustrophobic jumble of tract homes, we came to a stop sign. It was late, close to midnight on a Saturday, yet traffic was still heavy. Headlights streaked past in odd intervals, Technicolor in appearance; the engines of IROC-Zs and Cavaliers rumbled in the air. Out my window was a darkened flower shop, closed for the night. I had driven past the shop hundreds of times in the last several years. It’s where my mom bought flowers on special occasions like birthdays or anniversaries, or when an unexpected tragedy took place, like a death in the family. For our first Valentine’s Day together, I had the florist help me pick out an arrangement of roses for Sesha. As for what the card in the small red envelope said, I can’t remember.
Excerpt from “Miracle Mile,” a chapter from No Place for Disgrace — a memoir about mental illness, teenage love, and tragic consequences, set in the American suburbs in the waning days of the twentieth century.