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  • alexandrajonesvanb1

The Story Behind "Tasting Silt"

Updated: Jun 9, 2021

This creative nonfiction piece appears in an anthology from Jazz House Publications. It is, on the surface, the story of a friendship from my teen years. But it tells very little about external events.

I wrote "Tasting Silt" after becoming close to someone whose friendship reminds me of the bond I had with a girl who, long ago, wrote a tale about traveling a dusty road toward a circus where she knew she belonged. In December 2019, my present-day connection went incommunicado for five days without warning, I feared they might have disappeared for good, just as my teenage friend once did. That shadow of possible grief spilled onto the page, and I found the words to express things I glimpsed without knowing, and to share the inner beauty of a haunted young woman who once stood by me fearlessly. I hope these words are a reminder of the power young friendships have to shape our lives.

It turned out the person who reminded me of that old friend merely had the flu. They were back in touch soon enough and, not only that, they were also happy to give my story a beta read. That's the upbeat ending I wasn't able to give the story.

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