I was asleep on the overnight train from Carbondale to Chicago, dreaming about snuggling with my boyfriend, Sam. I awoke to find myself reaching for my seatmate—a newly released convict who did not want to snuggle.
“No,” he said, crossing his arms. I knew he was a former inmate from his grey sweatpants, matching t-shirt, and prison-issued sneakers. The Pinckneyville Correctional Center is halfway between Southern Illinois and Union Station. The midnight train is the cheapest option for shipping freed men north.
He shook his head. “I don’t cuddle.”
“Sorry,” I mumbled. It seemed pointless to explain that I’d thought he was my boyfriend of one [...]
"During the Celtic Tiger boom, snakes became a popular pet among the Irish nouveaux riches, status symbols in a country famous for its lack of indigenous serpents. But after the bubble burst, many snake owners could no longer afford the cost of food, heating and shelter, or they left the country for work elsewhere. Some left their snakes behind or turned them loose in the countryside, leading to some startling encounters." —Why get a pet with thousands of years of mutually-beneficial domestication behind it when you could feed rubbery dead mice to something expensive that is utterly indifferent to you (at best) and feels like the outside of an [...]
A couple weeks ago I took a 10-day trip through Ireland, with long-to-very-short stops in Dublin, Malahide, Kilkenny, Killarney, around the Ring of Kerry and the Skellig Ring, Dingle, Portmagee, Athlone, Galway, and Belfast. It was great. Question: I have wanted to do such a trip for a while! But was chicken about driving there. How difficult did you find it? (I looked into bus schedules but it seemed … like I should get over it and just rent a car.)
The cars were hard! Probably the most unexpectedly stressful part, actually. The roads are about this wide ||, and the driving-on-the-left-side thing is not an instant natural fit [...]