Rebecca Marx

Reading, writing, no arithmetic


Neither Here Nor There

When highway law enforcement gets existential 


West of Salt Lake City, Utah, seventeen hundred miles into my drive from Michigan to San Francisco, I was pulled over by a cop. I’d first encountered him a few minutes earlier; his earth-toned SUV was parked in the highway median like a crocodile waiting for a heron to snack on. According to my…


Death and the Suburbs

When visiting home becomes a meditation on mortality


My mother’s friend died last night. Mrs. C. had a brain tumor, and her descent was brutally rapid. She got her diagnosis in the spring, right around the same time my parents’ next-door neighbor, Mrs. A., also found out she had a brain tumor. Mrs. A. is reportedly doing well, or as well as…


For Paul, With Lox and Squalor

He sold me salmon, and became my friend


I’m leaving New York this week. I don’t know how long I’ll be gone, but I do know that there is no Russ & Daughters where I’m going, and there is no Paul.

Since moving to New York City twelve years ago, I have lived in nine apartments. The first was university housing on the…


No Country for Old Milk

When cleaning out your kitchen gets personal


I’ve almost made it through the teff flour. That went into a recipe for peanut-butter cookies that I found printed on the side of its bag. The oat, brown-rice, quinoa, and buckwheat flours are proving to be more of a challenge. I spent most of the summer using them in fruit crumbles, but I can eat…


Autoneurotic

When you’re an awkward teenage girl, beware strange men in passing cars


On a weekend afternoon not long ago, I was walking home down a narrow side street that was backed up with cars waiting for the light to change. Without giving it much thought, I crossed in front of an SUV just as traffic started to move, forcing its driver to wait a few extra…


Love, Lust, and Liberty, by the Hour


It’s an innocuous redbrick building, wedged snugly into the triangle formed by West Fourteenth Street, Tenth Avenue, and the West Side Highway. It could be some kind of government office, a place where you’d go to get your driver’s license renewed or apply for the proper permits to gut your apartment. Only the single word printed on the front of its…


Fate Is Just Another Four-Letter Word


Last Monday morning, I was riding the subway to a doctor’s appointment, lost in a magazine article about a musician who got kicked out of Nirvana and Soundgarden and became a war hero. It was an absorbing story, so when the screaming and yelling started, it took me a second or two to wrench my eyes from the page and direct them toward the other end of…


Sweat and the City


This past weekend, I watched a number of my neighbors pack things — coolers, oars, inflatable toys, children — into their family-sized vehicles and drive off towards the promise of an extended Fourth of July vacation. If the traffic constipating the streets of Lower Manhattan was any indication, they had plenty of company.


Two Queasy Pieces


Perhaps you have heard it’s bikini season. Perhaps you are wearing a bikini at this very moment. Do you possess the physical capability to put one on? If yes, then you have a bikini body. It’s not all that different from the sweatpants-and-cardigan body or even the foundation-garments body. Indeed, it bears a more than passing resemblance to the winter, spring, and fall…


The Tie That Bynes


First disclaimer: I love a celebrity train wreck as much as the next depraved, procrastination-inclined American. The pictures on the cover of US Weekly have the same effect on me as bright, shiny colors do on magpies and small children; they compel me more often than I’d like to admit to assume a passing interest in the private lives of people I neither know nor care about…


Let’s Get Lost


Thirteen days ago, I got into a car on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, picked up a friend in Times Square, and began driving west on what remains of the country’s first transcontinental highway built for automobile travel. The 3,519 miles we drove over the next eleven days took us across thirteen states and along some of the trails blazed by early pioneers as they trudged…


Dig in, Girls


The pie’s consumption was unplanned. Louise and I were sitting in the kitchen of our student flat, picking idly at homework and staring out the window at the wrinkly hills of the Edinburgh skyline. At some point, we realized we were hungry. We turned to survey the counter, which held a half-eaten tin of beans, a flaccid banana, and a few dejected-looking slices of bread. So we…


Even on Twitter, your movie-star crush still doesn’t love you


John Travolta was technically my first movie-star crush, thanks to a brief fascination with Grease when I was six. But he was quickly forgotten the night Star Wars came on TV and I watched Harrison Ford curl his upper lip into a sardonic smirk. My obsession was immediate and all encompassing, and lasted for the next eight…

Rebecca Marx
Rebecca Marx

Reading, writing, no arithmetic

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