Category Archives: Kait Mauro

Wanderlust by Kait Mauro

“Nothing,” she’d answered his question. “I am afraid of nothing.” And at the time she had believed it but now she knew better. She was afraid of this waiting game, this cycle of excuses and constantly putting things off. She’d been aware of it since she was a child, watching as it quietly consumed the people around her.

Life begins when you get to college, begins when you graduate. You’ve arrived when you own your own house, pay off your loans, find ‘the one’. Life begins when you read this many books, travel to these places, when the scale reads this number and you can fit into those jeans. When your test results come back, when your children get their own lives, when somebody loves you. When you’re finally worth enough to take up some space.

She knew herself a little better now but there was no longer anyone to ask the questions, nobody to answer. She could have told him all the things she wasn’t afraid of — uncertainty, strangers, being alone. She wasn’t afraid of not having a home. She wasn’t afraid of having no money, of not speaking the language, of failing. She wasn’t afraid of sleeping on strangers’ couches or only owning what she could carry on her back.

No, she was a rare breed. Heart belonged to no one and the entire world was her home.

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Andromeda: The Chained Lady by Kait Mauro

I shouldn’t have been surprised by the smell of campfire smoke; it was a bonfire party, after all. But I don’t remember much of my childhood and when I stumble across something that draws me back to those days, it catches me off guard.

Tonight I am in two places at once.

I am on the camping trip with my dead father, the one we took when I was in sixth or seventh grade. The campground, Pine Grove it was called, was also a waterfowl reservation – but nobody told us. We were woken up at five forty-five every morning by those Canadian geese. I named the one with the metal ring around his neck and fed them the crusts from my pb&j sandwiches. We wrapped potatoes in aluminum foil and cooked them in the campfire once it burned down to just the red coals. We ate creamed corn from a can and instant mashed potatoes from a cardboard box.

I remember lying in our tent at night with top flap open; Chincoteague always had such clear skies. It was better to go in the summertime, before the late-August mosquitoes came. My father had studied astronomy in college, before he dropped out because his mother was ill or some girlfriend broke his heart. He didn’t like to talk about those days. But he remembered the stories behind Orion’s Belt, the three sisters, and Andromeda – the chained lady. He could point out Polaris with his eyes closed.

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Cinnamon by Kait Mauro

“So, Anna, do you know why you’re here?” she asks.

“Because my mother doesn’t understand the difference between having a plan and planning.” I tell her. I try to be matter-of-fact, I try to match her professionalism, but irritation glimmers at the edge of my voice.

“Hm,” she says. I can tell she isn’t really concerned. She scribbles a few words on her clipboard, looks up at me. “And what makes you feel this way?”

“It’s the cinnamon.” I tell her. She looks at me, raises her eyebrows a little, the universal signal for ‘please continue.’ So I do, “I’m deathly allergic to cinnamon so I make sure to always have some with me. Here,” I reach for my purse, pull out a thin, sealed tube, hand it to her. “I like to keep my options open, see?”

“Anna, if you’re having suicidal thoughts…” she begins, but I cut her off. If you’re planning to kill yourself, you’re having ‘suicidal thoughts.’ If you simply have a plan but no direct intention to follow through, then you’re just thinking about suicide. This is the difference no one seems to understand. She’s looking at me like I’m crazy.

“It’s only about keeping my options open. If I am going to be here, and I have no intention not to be, I want to be here by choice, by my choice, everyday,” I tell her again. “If you’re not in control then you’re the victim.”

More scribbles on the clipboard.

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