Plain China

Family Values

Emily Sinclair · Emerson College

My oldest brother is named Levi, but he goes by “Tray” when he’s selling drugs. The alias occurred to him when he was high on meth and our brother Silas, in a similar state, put a cigarette out on his arm. Levi’s only response was to laugh and say, “you can call me Tray, Ash Tray,” and for whatever reason, the name stuck. I like to think his pseudonym is fitting; he’s always burning holes in his shirts when he gets too fucked up to keep his cigarette steady between two fingers.

I Was 5'4" and Seventeen

Scott Griffin · University of South Florida

But I shrank two inches about a month ago. It was the day my mother’s fiancé and his son moved in, and since that day I shrink like it’s a nervous habit. Like biting my nails except nothing like biting my nails. Or maybe it’s less like a nervous habit and more like self-loathing.

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