On the day of Trump’s inauguration, I visited a local mosque. I wore a long black skirt, a long sleeve grey sweater, and a pink, oversized scarf that I planned to wrap around my head to cover my hair. I got there early because I knew I would sit in my car nervously before walking in. I had contacted them ahead of time and told them why I wanted to come — my own counter-programming to the bigoted man that would be sworn into office — and it was important they felt I was respectful of their religious customs. It…


November 1, 2020

Aviana, Aspyn, Azlyn, Liam, Brantley, Mason & Future Loves,

Before I say anything else I want to make clear that when I “joke” about one of you taking care of me when I am old this is not actually a joke. Barring some extraordinary life change, one of you will have to do it. You can take turns of course but as the oldest of my siblings, I can tell you someone will have to step up to make all the decisions. When I become a burden, try to remember all the times you wanted to play…


Although Kamala Harris’s nomination is historic as the first Black and South Asian woman to appear on a party’s ticket, last night’s Vice Presidential debate was mostly a throwback to simpler times. No one screamed at each other. Both candidates answered questions by not really answering them at all and a man interrupted a woman, repeatedly.

And then.

Just as my eyes were about to glaze over, the fly appeared. And it stayed. For two minutes. Maybe the fly thought Mike Pence’s blindingly white hair was a sunny window.

For reasons I wasn’t entirely clear about until this morning, I…


Recently I spoke to two men whom I love dearly about the upcoming election. They are current and former military.

A few months ago Joe told me he was impressed with what he heard from Biden. When I tell you this made me want to weep with joy I am not being hyperbolic. Joe, a 2016 Trump voter, and I have spoken often over the past four years in my quest to change to his mind. I’ve made him take a quiz about what mattered to him ( his answers overwhelmingly indicated not to vote Republican, even though he had…


When I was a kid I thought my job choices as an adult would be: Teacher, Police Officer, Fireman, Doctor ( not a nurse), and maybe for the girls — Artist or Librarian, for the boys — Astronaut or Professional Athlete. I was aware adults did other things with their time but no one ever asked me if I wanted to work in the school cafeteria when I grew up or be a dog walker or daycare worker, all jobs that could ostensibly be called as helpful and worthy as the former were sold to us. …


Dear Madre,

This seems like a big milestone and I guess it is. Half a decade without you. In so many ways it seems unfathomable but also sometimes I forget. Like maybe we were best friends in high school and we just grew apart so we have no idea what is happening in each other’s lives. Besides this letter I write to you every year that you never respond to. I have no major updates because I don’t really know what I’ve done in the past year besides exist. …


I hope you’re reading this from your couch, a place I hope you’ve become more accustomed to in the past five to seven days. Technically, I have been self-isolating for over two weeks but truthfully, my days haven’t changed that much since I quit my job last year. Except they have. Previously I may have gone to the grocery store every other day, possibly for fresher ingredients or because I woke up in the morning and decided I wanted to make a particular recipe. Those memes about women going to Target for toilet paper and coming home with $100 worth…


I was twenty-four years old when my doctor told me it would be difficult for me to have children. When I got to my car, I called my supervisor and told her that I would be a little late returning to work. I had taken half a day off to go to this appointment where I would be told I may never be able to be a mother. I sat in the car for almost an hour crying for the kids I wasn’t even sure I wanted.

The first child I ever loved was my younger brother, whom I met…


  1. American Hate, Arjun Singh Sethi
  2. Outside the Wire, Jason Kander
  3. Bad Blood, John Carreyrou
  4. The Nightingale’s Song , Robert Timberg
  5. Of Mess and Moxie, Jen Hatmaker
  6. All at Sea, Decca Aitkenhead
  7. The Hotel New Hampshire, John Irving
  8. Heartland, Sarah Smarsh
  9. The Alice Network, Kate Quinn
  10. The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead
  11. The Storyteller, Jodi Picoult
  12. The Warmth of Other Suns, Isabel Wilkerson
  13. The Atlas of Reds and Blues, Devi S. Laskar
  14. A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle
  15. Dopesick, Beth Macy
  16. In Pieces, Sally Field
  17. I Can’t Date Jesus, Michael Arceneaux
  18. The Library Book, Susan Orlean
  19. Say Nothing, Patrick Radden Keefe
  20. Mama’s…

When I was a kid, Baltimore meant two things: The aquarium and the Orioles. I don’t remember much about the trips we took to the aquarium and the only Orioles game I remember going to began tragically when our train was late and I did not get to meet Cal Ripken, Jr. I had no interest in baseball or Cal Ripken, Jr. but I had won an award for reading the most books and the prize was going onto the field to meet him and have our names announced. …

Alecia Pawloski

Lover of books, wine and dogs; in no particular order. Advocate for abused men and women. Aspiring writer.

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