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Tagged - from Atticus Review

Updated: Sep 20, 2018

Based on my partner’s encounter with U.S. Customs officials at Dulles airport, this essay is a romantic exploration of the discrimination and stigma that too often turn those with mental illness into “the others.”

A loggerhead sea turtle, fitted with a satellite tag, prepares for her journey. (NOAA Fisheries)

My damp underwear looked forlorn under the blue-gloved hands of the passport control officer at Dulles airport. They spilled from a red silk pocket of my suitcase, and the officer—a woman with impossibly sleek hair and penetrating eyes—groped them without comment.


I closed my own eyes, seeing myself as she must see me: a middle-aged woman with a 30-year-old man who was not my son (everyone can please stop asking), and who was grinning under my floppy beach hat, shouting without a trace of sarcasm, “I love you all! Blessings to everyone! Thanks for keeping America safe!”


When I opened my eyes again, my partner’s pill bag dangled from the officer’s rubber-encased fingers ...


Read more on the Atticus Review website.



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