Not Looking for Anything Long-term

By Alli Gerkman

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I was in a writing workshop, reading aloud an essay related to my cancer, when the instructor asked, “Who are you writing this for? Others who have been through your experience? Or people who haven’t?”

Good questions.

“The dead don’t read,” I said.

If I wrote just for people like me, I would have a

It is a windy morning in Palm Beach. The clouds are rolling through quickly, casting dark, then glimpses of light, as they go. I pull my sweater tight when things go dark and turn my face up instinctively when the sun reappears.

“I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now.”

I am sitting at a

I have had the same hairstyle since middle school. This is not an exaggeration. Mid-length, side part, minimal fuss. I don’t use fancy products beyond shampoo and conditioner. I blow it dry every day (unless I’m on vacation—particularly in a humid destination where I like the curls I get). Sometimes I use a rounded brush