Archive | Sylvia Allen

Magic

My mother, Marguerite, was very bright, absurdly literate, pathologically insecure, and a poet. As a young mother she gradually became aware that her first and most loved child was a psychopath, and believed that recognition of his defect would destroy her life. She could lose everything she loved most, both her son and her husband. […]

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Metaphor and Dementia: Dancing in the Sky

  In the metaphorical conversations I had with the patients on the dementia ward, certain themes came up again and again. Not surprising for people with late-stage terminal illness, a common theme was concern about work being finished. A teacher was anxious about whether the materials were ready for the next day’s classes. A caterer […]

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Writers, Metaphor, and Dementia: David’s House

Years ago, long before the advent of protease-inhibitor cocktails, a close friend of mine was diagnosed with Kaposi’s sarcoma, which in those days was an AIDS-defining illness—a death sentence. I felt helpless and horrified, unable to do anything for my buddy, but wanted to do something useful, so I volunteered at Shanti, a San Francisco […]

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Leaving the Best Day Job Ever

I have the best day job ever. I work at home. I never have to go into the office, which is 600 miles away. I set my own schedule. I can work more hours or fewer hours, as I please. My boss and long-distance co-workers are a pleasure to work with. The job is very […]

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Those Historic Gay Marriages

I’ve told Martha, “I’ll marry you as many times as it takes.” I guess we’re done getting married now. Here’s a story I wrote about those historic gay marriages in San Francisco in 2004. A version of it was published in Bad Subjects that year. I heard about the San Francisco same-sex marriages on a Thursday afternoon in […]

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