Colin Rafferty
Digging In

Colin Rafferty - Digging In

Creative Nonfiction
Colin Rafferty teaches nonfiction writing at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Other recent essays can be read… Read more »
Bram Takefman
The American House

Bram Takefman - The American House

Creative Nonfiction
Bram Takefman is a retired international trade executive who has spent much of his adult life overseas, living in places… Read more »
Lockie Hunter
The Witness of High Hats

Lockie Hunter - The Witness of High Hats

Creative Nonfiction
Lockie Hunter is from a town in Appalachia where oral storytelling is vital to the community. She holds an MFA… Read more »

The Witness of High Hats

Lockie Hunter

At 22, I slept with my childhood teddy bear and my musician boyfriend in a 400 square foot studio in the TenderNob district of San Francisco. With one tattoo parlor, two fortunetellers and a sad hotel, the TenderNob is positioned between affluent Nob Hill and the transvestite-hooker district of the Tenderloin. Moving west from Tennessee, I was to be Mary Tyler Moore, hat high in the air, pleats twirling. I did toss the hat once, and a horizontal wind hosting the ever-present fog carried it down Jones Street, and it was run over by a taxi. My boyfriend cautioned against tossing the hat. "You toss it, and it will land in hooker pee or Gray Man will snatch it in the air and claim custody."

Gray Man lives on my stoop. He is not part of my chosen landscape, my attempt at Mary-Tyler-Mooreishness. He is pale with purple veins on his neck, face and arms. He wears a gray coat and has a beard, but perhaps he does not. Now, thirty years later, it is like squinting at too-brightly colored Polaroids, trying to recall the names of those that were once vital.

Gray Man spare-changes me. His upper… Read more »