I had hoped for more

By Heather King

A few years ago I gave notice on the L.A. apartment where I’d lived since 1992, disposed of or gave away most of my belongings, packed up my ’96 Celica convertible and took off for an open-ended sabbatical.

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A sacrament of food

By Heather King

I think often of Saint Maximilian Kolbe, the Polish priest who offered himself up to starve to death in another man’s place at Auschwitz. I think of his sacrifice, of the terrible phenomenon of depriving people of food. And it occurred to me recently that perhaps the one more corrupt torture vis-à-vis food would be to make people eat.

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Milvio and Me, Trying To Be Holy

By Heather King

Somewhere around 1994, I hooked up with the L.A. Catholic Worker. For years I hung around at the Worker, trying to make myself think I was holy, trying to get them to think I was holy. For those who don’t know, the Catholic Worker is a lay movement started in New York City in the 1930s by Dorothy Day, an ex-Communist and Catholic convert who began by opening a soup kitchen in the Bowery and printing a newspaper, heavy on workers’ rights, that volunteers hawked on street corners for a penny apiece.…

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The Woman in Me

By Heather King

I’m not sure when I started to notice that I was turning into my mother. Idly checking myself in the full-length mirror one morning, out of the corner of my eye I catch an ever-so-slight thickening. Oh my God, those are my mother’s ankles. Another double take in the mirror a couple of years later: the shadow of my mother’s jowls. A blue pulse on the inner part of my left calf shortly afterward: the beginning of my mother’s varicose veins. A certain interested, encouraging way of saying “Mmm-hmm” when someone was speaking, an entire genetic code—voice box, gestures, character—transmitted invisibly, silently, whole.…

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