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The First Pregnancy by Rebecca Tillett

“That first pregnancy is a long sea journey to a country where you don’t know the language, where land is in sight for such a long time that after a while it’s just the horizon – and then one day birds wheel over that dark shape and it’s suddenly close, and all you can do is hope like hell that you’ve had the right shots.” —Emily Perkins

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Balloon Girl (there is always hope) by Rebecca Tillett

I met Melissa, this red-lipped, beautifully inked, raven-haired woman less than 6 months ago. One day, nearly two months ago she confessed her love to me for Banksy’s balloon girl. She said she was dying to recreate it in a photograph for someone special to her, but wanted a snowy-filled backdrop. She wanted that vibrant red heart balloon to pop off a clean white setting.

I loved the idea.

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Eastern State Penitentiary by Rebecca Tillett

"Looking down these dreary passages, the dull repose and quiet that prevails, is awful. Occasionally, there is a drowsy sound from some lone weaver’s shuttle, or shoemaker’s last, but it is stifled by the thick walls and heavy dungeon-door, and only serves to make the general stillness more profound. Over the head and face of every prisoner who comes into this melancholy house, a black hood is drawn; and in this dark shroud, an emblem of the curtain dropped between him and the living world."

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The Oxoteguys by Rebecca Tillett

“Human lives are not pieces of string that can be separated out from a knot of others and laid out straight. Familes are webs. Impossible to touch one part of it without setting the rest vibrating. Impossible to understand one part without having a sense of the whole.” ―Diane Setterfield

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So Many Heartbeats by Rebecca Tillett

"I hope I'm not speaking out of turn but I think you sell yourself short sometimes. I don't think you truly realize how great you are. You have that "thing" that great people have but you don't see it because you are so humble. You excel at everything you put your mind to. You have to see, that in the grand scheme of things, you sit amongst the upper echelon of quality humans. Take that for what it's worth and maybe keep that in mind the next time you're selling yourself. You only have so many heartbeats." —M.C.

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Fucked-Up by Rebecca Tillett

"You do sound really fucked up, but (wait, wait, wait) guess what: anyone pouring their heart out to a friend will always sound fucked up. Know why? Because we're all fucked up, my dear. We've just all mastered the art of appearing not-fucked-up along with everyone else, even knowing everyone's just as fucked up as we are. What a quote that is! You can put that on my tombstone,...which I'll never have anyway because being buried makes my skin crawl. Sounds so much worse than being burned to ash, right? Or is that a fucked-up presumption? Who created the rules for this place anyway? Oh, that's right: countless fucked up human beings over the course of history."

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What Love Is(n't) by Rebecca Tillett

"When you said this… 'I know so many parents stay together for the kids but as your son gets older, he'll begin picking up on this stuff, on the fact that you and her are not in love, that it's a marriage of convenience and practicality, that you put on a show, and there's deception and hurt there. I would hate if that was your son's first true example of what love is.' 

…my heart broke." —M.C.

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Very Much a Dreamer by Rebecca Tillett

"You didn't mislabel me a dreamer. I am very much a dreamer. I fear you misunderstood what I was saying. Love is THE most important thing in my world as well. Everything else can suffer as a result. My happiness begins and ends with love. I would follow this man through the depths of hell for his love. I would be miserable in every other way for his love. His love alone is my happiness. That's never a sacrifice I'm willing to make, but that's what I have with him. I have passion and love...and happiness. I have raw animal sex with him. I write him poetry and letters and passionate rallying cries dripping with pain and emotion and intensity that he returns. And we have happiness too. My soul feels content in ways it never has before."

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A Kind of Happiness by Rebecca Tillett

"Adam told me before I left that he feared that, for me, happiness was a moving target. You said in an email above that 'dreamers like you and I are never truly happy because this world is brimming with reality.' While there is some truth to both statements, I'm here to tell you that there is a kind of happiness out there that is possible, that the happiness you've written off as never-attainable is attainable. It's a cautious/guarded happiness, the kind that worries you and makes you scared because you never know when it'll retreat, the kind you never let yourself get used to because you know it won't last forever so you must always be ready for the drop back to the darkest corners of the earth, but it exists if you're brave enough to look for it."

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Some Heartbreaks by Rebecca Tillett

"Some heartbreaks are never full mended. They become a part of us and our story, until we forget entirely who we were without them. You don’t really ever get that kind of advice; that that deep emotional pain never dissipates entirely, that we’re forced to make peace with that pain, to learn how to live with it for the duration of our short lives in something of a reluctant surrender. I wish I had something more hopeful to share. I carry every past heartbreak around with me, including my decision to leave you and our life together. Sometimes the memories, both good and bad, can still bring me to tears. Sometimes the realization that the man who has been by my side for the last half of my life, who’s shared every moment of my life both good and bad, and is no longer there is devastating. Every inside joke, every “Remember when…,” every little thing that was ours…where do those things exist now? Are they still there, waiting silently to awaken between us?"

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The Mooers the Merrier by Rebecca Tillett

“But love is always new. Regardless of whether we love once, twice, or a dozen times in our life, we always face a brand-new situation. Love can consign us to hell or to paradise, but it always takes us somewhere. We simply have to accept it, because it is what nourishes our existence. If we reject it, we die of hunger, because we lack the courage to stretch out a hand and pluck the fruit from the branches of the tree of life. We have to take love where we find it, even if that means hours, days, weeks of disappointment and sadness. The moment we begin to seek love, love begins to seek us. And to save us.”

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Lutalica by Rebecca Tillett

You tell the world who you are in a million different ways. Some are subtle. Some are not. But it doesn’t seem to matter. This world has already got you pegged. When you were born they put you in a little box and slapped a label on it, so they could keep things organized, and not have to think about what’s inside.

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Idaho (and a little Wyoming) by Rebecca Tillett

“When we get out of the glass bottle of our ego and when we escape like the squirrels in the cage of our personality and get into the forest again, we shall shiver with cold and fright. But things will happen to us so that we don’t know ourselves. Cool, unlying life will rush in.” —D. H. Lawrence

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Water Flows by Rebecca Tillett

“Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can't go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.” ―Margaret Atwood

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The Body Electric by Rebecca Tillett

We made love last night, not on my part because from a compulsive need to do it, but because we sort of drifted into it. In fact, to begin with I wasn't even sure if I wanted to. But once we'd begun, I was very glad because I was in one of those marvelously physical states where all my sensations were velvet. Anywhere I was touched and any touch I put out to him felt floating and exquisite.

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Bring it Down Like Rain by Rebecca Tillett

"Sometimes, when you’re asleep, I want to do it to myself while I’m watching you. It would be easy, two fingers along my clit, back, in, back out. Your skin’s heat comes into me, adjacent. Through the mussed chrysanthemum— petals, your big child’s sleep-face, closed around its openness, gives me your mouth to ground on, but only with my eyes. I could come like that, but I don’t—take you against your will, it seems like, and I wouldn’t; rather wait adores in sunlight, with this morning heat condensing, a soft cloud above my groin gently diffusing brightness there, until you wake up, and you bring it down like rain." —Marilyn Hacker

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