We walked out of the dream, away from the window shoppers and plastic shrines, forsaking the police and spectacular sunlight, the all-natural Instagram filters and imaginary Paris that never really existed, that was torn down by the dictate of a mad emperor and realigned for the convenience of occupying armies…

Ok, I didn’t stay for the looting. What? I showed up at the march alone! I didn’t know anyone! It will be my lasting shame that I did not remain for the looting — yes, my shame. Let the record show that. But I did attend the afterparty, alone. And…

The author, in Paris. (Photo cred: DK Lee)

But that was years ago! Fuck all those people! I had left that place behind and changed who I was and was free from making those same old sad stupid mistakes ever again!

Or was I? I would learn — the long way — that… well…

The morning rain fell…

Unfortunately, finding my dream man proved to be difficult. Of course it had been an extraordinary meeting, but I’d encountered so much of the bizarre in my life that it hardly fazed me. To live in reality was to walk through a fantasy — that much was obvious. Even in…

The author, with beret.

Ah! the day I met him! I was in Paris, of course. It was years ago, now — I was serving as an assistant to the medical attaché for the Belgian ambassador. God knows how I got the post. One of my aunt’s lovers, I presume.

I’d been in Paris…

Lee Krasner, “White Squares” (1948)

The space pirate unearthed the indescribable time traveling device in an underwater palace on the twelfth moon of Vlijirakon. Twenty-two years old, he had decided to track down the mythical instrument when he first heard about it while smuggling lamwracks through the Zadar quadrant for Captain Lotharia Durexfer. He had…

A collage of the school, including photos of the original campus building at the bottom.

The morning sun glared garish on the school’s purple walls, igniting the blacktop and flaring against my eyes as I stepped into the schoolyard’s awakening beehive. Thai teachers in tan military fatigues were marshaling uniformed students into lines that stretched across the tarmac soccer field for morning assembly. I walked…

By Narcissus, as portrayed in Salvador Dali’s Metamorphosis of Narcissus

Salvador Dalí, “Metamorphosis of Narcissus” (1937, Tate Modern)

What a beautiful spectacle I am! Distorted though my reflection may be, especially in this painting by Dali, there is as always much to admire: I am a faceless figure, who morphs into a hand holding a symbol-rich egg, from…

“There is enough evidence to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that it was the Nazis who planned the arson and carried it out for their own political ends.” — William Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (2011) (photo: The Reichstag burning in Berlin, Germany, 1933)

There is an arresting scene from Leni Riefenstahl’s Nazi propaganda film Triumph of the Will in which Hitler tells thousands of amassed soldiers at a Nuremburg rally, ‘You represent a great ideal.’[1] Of course, Hitler was alluding to the Aryan ideal — the blue eyed, blonde haired übermensch — but…

On hurricanes, memory, and family.

Thanks for the illustration, Wikipedia.

My family and I survived a tornado. Well, sort of. My dad, sister, and I were sitting at the dining room table, planning a vacation, when out of nowhere the power goes out. …

Matthew Hennigar

Teacher / Writer based in Oakland, CA.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store