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“Judge Witts, do you have a response?” The moderator, a pudgy poli-sci professor from Galveston College, turned to Susan Witts.
“No.” The whole auditorium waited. It took a moment for the judge to realize she had to say something else. “No, I don’t, because everything you just heard was garbage. I don’t respond to garbage.”
Off stage left, where the aides sat, Trevor Treconte put his face in his hands.
The crowd in the Galveston College auditorium murmured and laughed with a nervous energy – apprehensive about their role in the debate unfolding before them.
“Very well,” the professor shuffled his notecards with a small bounce of his tits. “Let’s move on to education. Mr. Faircloth, do you think the Texas Legislature Rainy Day Fund should be used for public schools?”
Mays Faircloth took a moment to gather his words, as if waiting for divine intervention. “Teachers…” he said as he looked up to the sky at the source of his talent, “are of the utmost importance.” He turned his Christian good looks on the crowd. They fell silent.
“So I don’t want to short-change their hard work with a socialist bailout. It’s called Rainy Day Fund for a reason and when I look outside, from Galveston to Matagorda Bay to South Padre and back, well folks, I see sunshine.” The crowd cheered like the Dallas Cowboys just won the Super Bowl.
Next to Trevor Traconte sat Katie Black, who remained stoic in the face of applause for the other side.
Susan Witts didn’t wait for Dr. Pudge Tits to tap her in. “That’s a load of you-know-what.” While Faircloth’s twang was more golf club, hers was all island. She embodied “BOI” – an acronym that meant Born on the Island and whose status was revered in Galveston. “The public schools of this state are in die-er straights. It’s rainin’ bobcats and greyhounds, people. These teachers are flooded in misappropriated funding, bad administration decisions and faulty state allotment systems. Right down the street, at Ball High, the football coach just got a raise when the median reading aptitude level just dropped. As someone who is actually BOI, I know a good flood. So y’all, we need a boat and a paddle. The rainy day fund is just a start.” The Democratic Women’s Club of Galveston County went apeshit.
Recycled talking points. Partisan barbs. The debate was unfolding as predicted, with Susan Witts occasionally jumping off script to some discomfort – asides that were tasty red meat for the sectarian beasts of the Democratic Women’s Club of Galveston County.
These were the closing statements:
“Texas is a conservative state. Based on conservative principles. Housing District 23 is a conservative place. With good, conservative people. And while I love Galveston Island, this district has important folks on the mainland. Who don’t want their representation in Austin poisoned by socialism prepackaged in California as the quote unquote social justice movement. Keep Galveston conservative. Keep the mainland conservative. And God Bless Texas.”
Mays is from Chambers County, across the bridge from Galveston Island, “the mainland.” Though part of the same district, there is a tension between the mainland and the island. Red vs. blue. Did he mention he’s conservative?
“I’m born on this island. I am Bee Oh Eyee till the day I die. I’ve only been to California once. To go to Disneyland. The only place in that state where they’re comfortable seeing a woman in a fishing shirt. And I came back here as fast as I could. I don’t wanna indulge in this partisan crap. I wanna tell it to you straight. I’ve been a defender, I’ve been a judge. I make sure people don’t get taken advantage of. And we need that more than ever in Austin. So, people, the choice is yours. Do you want another suit kissin’ special interest ass, or actual change.”
There were hushed gasps at her choice of language, along with enough head nods to verify its truth. Dr. Pudge Tits concluded the debate with a parochial huff and anticlimax. The crowd of devoted partisan warriors and extra-credit seeking students shuffled out of the auditorium back into Galveston Island on a Wednesday afternoon.
“How’d we do?” Judge Witts asked the team after shaking hands and talking to reporters.
“Let’s get in the car,” said Trevor as he opened the door to Judge Witts’ 2003 gray Chevy Suburban. Katie was silent, for now.
Her Dad, Floyd Witts – a heavy-set man who wore plain t-shirts and spit his dip into styrofoam cups – was driving.
“Daddy, whaddya think?”
“Buckle up, because that was worse than Hurricane Ike.”
Trevor slammed the door, they all piled in, and Lloyd drove off, forgetting that I rode there with them.
“Susan Witts? Man, she’s a fucking bitch.” – Voter in Anahuac, TX
Susan Witts 53%, Mays Faircloth 45%, Undecided 2%
When a user searched “Galveston” on Google, these questions appeared in the “People Also Ask” section.
Is Galveston safe?
Why is the water so brown?
Is Galveston worth visiting?
Galveston is the edge of the world. It’s an island off the coast of the most southern and enigmatic state in the country. It was known for crime. At one point in the 1960s, the island’s most famous destination was the Balinese Room, an illegal gambling operation built on stilts and a boardwalk out over the muddy waters of the Gulf of Mexico. If you were any further out into the ocean, you’d be in Cuba (but you couldn’t tell by the politics). In the event cops came down the boardwalk, there was ample time to destroy evidence. But cops never did, because they were paid. Famous folks came down to soak in vice. Frank Sinatra lived at the Hotel Galvez, drank too much and crooned at the Balinese bar during his career’s low-point. It set the stage for Galveston as a keen destination for self-pity and salt water aroma.
In addition to vice, Galveston is known for hurricanes, particularly, the Great Hurricane of 1900. It decimated the booming city on the cusp of 20th century grandeur and pushed the people 100 miles inland, to Houston, making that lowland swamp the most populous city in Texas, forever downgrading Galveston to second tier status.
In Galveston, they talked about hurricanes as part of everyday chit chat, like folks do bears in Montana, or seed funding in Palo Alto. Restaurants had plaques – “Hurricane Allen: 8’ 7” – next to signs like “Seven Days Without Tequila Makes One Weak.”
But, in my opinion, despite how easy it was to poke fun at Galveston, it was hard to make the longstanding damage of a hurricane folksy. Public housing units still struggled with electricity, whole structures on the east side of town rested in charred disrepair. And while Houston’s oil money flowed in Range Rovers out to the west of the island, to the million dollar beach houses and private golf clubs – where the beach smelled better – nothing ever got fixed for the people who lived there.
Which brings us to why I would staff a debate for a campaign team that forgot me. Here’s what Galveston and the State House District it’s in are really like. For the normal folks of the island, there were two sources for heroes, forever in a struggle against each other: Insurance vs. Trial Lawyer.
Who really helps after a hurricane? People don’t just outright hate insurance there like you’d expect. If some person got new stilts, or a fancy new boat, or altogether a new house, insurance is divine. Christ-like. If they got screwed, insurance is worse than ISIS. The lawyers were those peoples’ heroes. “Have you been injured on the job?” Those ads, but for hurricanes, are as integral to Galveston as baseball is to America.
And, as we mentioned earlier, this housing district was comprised of two sections really, Galveston Island, the funky Democrats, and Chambers County or “the mainland,” which is about as stereotypical John Wayne as I’ve seen in the great Republic, the state in which I’ve lived most of my life.
So here we had it. House District 23 of the State Legislature of the Great State of Texas.
A timeless battle. Red vs. Blue. Insurance vs. Trial Law. Mainland vs. Island. Mays Faircloth vs. Susan Witts.
Almost as entertaining as vice and hurricanes.
“Do what now?” –Voter in Galveston County, Texas
Susan Witts 51%, Mays Faircloth 46%, Undecided 3%
“We need more voter outreach in Chambers County.” Trevor Traconte paced at the front of the campaign office. “Those margins are too high right now.”
The Traconte family was island royalty. Generations of business-oriented, publicly-minded, Italian Democrats – their name dotting atriums and banks across Galveston.
Yale undergrad, straight to Yale Law. Not even taking leave to work on the campaign. “All classes are pass/fail.” He looked up from his phone to explain. “I’ll pass.”
His time was valuable, his expertise a favor. He wore tailored suits even though it’s hot as fuck in Galveston and, on a campaign, you can wear whatever you want.
It was clear he had a love for his hometown that was both painfully manufactured and undiscovered. He winced whenever he was upstaged by somebody who knew more about the local scene than he did, and he’d remember the incident like slain kin, educate himself accordingly, then drop the newfound knowledge in conversation as soon and as publicly as possible. But now that he’d experienced life’s finer things, like getting a blowjob at the Yale Club in Manhattan (learned through an unsavory story at a bar on a night-off), he didn’t necessarily have to live on the island. He could swoop in, consult.
“You know, if you wore pink pants like that in Austin, the gays would swarm ya.” Lloyd Witts spit in his cup.
“Well, that’s homophobic,” said Trevor. “Besides, these are Nantucket Red.”
“Let’s take things one at a time,” said Katie Black, the campaign manager.
Katie was intense and quiet, with dark brown hair in a tight ponytail that would spill out at the end of the day. She wore campaign t-shirts and jeans, and everytime you asked her what she did with the off-time she rarely took, she said she’d read some aggressive nonfiction – like a biography of Joan of Arc or Milicianas in the Spanish Civil War. Her look was always of intense exhaustion. A deepened campaign veteran from Ohio, she came to Texas out of a sense of civic duty. To spring up blue life rafts in The Red Sea.
“Let’s start with the press coverage of the debate.”
Trevor made a face that said Oh God!
“It was shit!” bellowed Lloyd. He spit in his cup again.
His cup had a campaign decal on it – his own, from the seat in the Texas State House he once occupied from 1984-1992, the very same seat Susan was running for now. He detailed his political career in a self-published paperback called “Going for the Jugular: Rough & Tumble Texas Political Combat.” It had the prose of a fifth-grade book report. I read it in one sitting on a day off because I had no friends in Galveston.
“The coverage or the debate?” Susan Witts lounged in a lawn chair in the middle of the office.
Campaign headquarters was in a strip mall on Broadway, next to a money lending service – easily accessible, so any voter bumbling in for a yard sign could be attacked to make phone calls and knock doors. Desks were folding tables. Shelves were boxes of campaign lit. Decals on every surface. A big campaign sign on the front window – “Susan Witts, Tough but Fair” – with Susan’s arms crossed like a no bullshit network TV cop in front of hurricane wreckage.
Susan drank an Arnold Palmer from a styrofoam cup whose rim was dotted with red lipstick. “Gussied up” in a dress and make-up for the debate, she looked odd. Usually, she preferred a fishing shirt and jeans. One Lone Star at the end of the workday (never more than two), that she sipped with a straw through the gaps on the sides of her front teeth. She had been a public defender, then a trial lawyer, then a judge – where she gained minor notoriety in an HBO Documentary about a grisly murder on the island whose trial she oversaw.
She had two dogs, Bert and Ernie, a chocolate lab and a greyhound whose pairing was visually odd, but their affection endearing. They accompanied her almost everywhere, off-leash, and were curled at the foot of her Galveston Rotary Club lawn chair.
“Ma’am, with all due respect, we need to work on answering all the questions asked,” said Trevor, back to business. “And sticking to a respectable vernacular.”
“Even the dumb ones?”
“Yes Ma’am, even the dumb ones. What sounds pithy in person seems flat in print.” Roles and responsibilities were not clearly defined on this small team, but Trevor was the Comms Director. If there were fancy or important people, he talked to them.
“What’d you think, Daddy?”
“I think you shoulda punched that sum’bitch in the nutsack. Sunny my ass,” said Lloyd.
“I thought y’all were pals!” said Trevor, who had noticed them chatting about fishing at the pre-debate reception – Jimmy Johns and lemonade in the auditorium.
Mays Faircloth had the kind of resume good Texas people salivate for. Owned and operated an East Texas insurance company that “got folks what they deserved after Ike.” Inherited some oil refineries from the family. Ran a ranching business on the side (stereotypical John Wayne). NRA. Right to Life committee. Commerce, Pachyderm Club, blah blah blah.
Oh yeah, UT Plan II, UT Law. A debutante wife from Dallas whom he met on a bus ride to the Red River Shoot-Out freshman year. He proposed to her on graduation day in front of the clock tower in the middle of campus. She moved back with him to Wallisville, on the mainland, to support his “love for the community.” Or so his website said.
Her Instagram said they made it back to Dallas often. And when they did, they had box seats at Cowboys Stadium.
“The mainland” – the non-island parts of Galveston County, as well as all of small Chambers County, true East Texas, where the accents are thicker and the last names Frencher – was deep red country. Folks with Obama signs got their windows broken. But the city of Galveston, also called “the island,” is blue, thanks to union folks and the Democratic Women of Galveston County, by a meager margin. The election would all come down to turnout. Would the Beauvoirs in Chambers County outpace the rag-tag Dem coalition of the island? Mays Faircloth hoped they would.
“I ain’t pals with that motherfucker!”
“Stop.” Katie’s focus could slice through the thickest of shit. “We need to regroup. The debate could have been worse, but I think Trevor is right, we need to work on using the questions to pivot to our platform. Jobs. Higher wages. Trevor, schedule a sit-down with Emily Yount from the Houston Chronicle…”
“Houston Chronicle? We don’t have any constituents in Houston! What about the Galveston Daily Caller? You know I have a column there.” We knew.
“Galveston County voters will definitely see the clips, from Houston media sources. We need to contextualize.”
Katie was owning. “Lastly, we do need a rededicated look at Chambers County. I’m thinking a canvassing blitz. This weekend.”
And that statement sparked the rare occurrence, in a meeting like this, where all eyes fell on me.
Trevor adjusted his cuff-links. “Knocking doors. God’s work.”
“Democrats? They’re all no-good bastards.” –Voter in Dickinson, TX
Susan Witts 50%, Mays Faircloth 48%, Undecided 2%
On this small campaign of three official staff, I was the Field Director, a title whose embellishment was blatant. Fresh out of college with almost no political experience, I knocked doors, and paid downtrodden people to knock doors.
“Please do not smoke marijuana before coming to your shift.” That was a routine part of my shtick to the paid canvassers (who would want to be high to navigate a map and talk to strangers about politics?). “If you report to your shift under the influence of marijuana, I will have to ask you to go home. If it happens again, I will ask you to leave for good.” I had never been on this side of the conversation before.
I had been in Galveston for a couple of months, but it felt like a decade – of which my life only had two. After graduation, I watched friends backpack in Europe or blow bonuses in New York on Instagram while I shat in a strip mall bathroom I was responsible for cleaning.
I knocked doors, but I also did whatever anybody asked me to do. Got Susan’s dry cleaning. Went to the events nobody else would (The Democratic Women of Galveston had a weekly strategy lunch. Their strategy was shitting on Republicans on Facebook). Picked up food for fundraisers I couldn’t go to. If a guy in a suit walked into the office, he was Trevor’s. If a normal person walked in, maybe with stains on her shirt and a smile on her face, she was mine.
I knocked at every registered address on the island that ever voted Democrat. And with it, experienced the culture of Galveston like accidentally swallowing the Atlantic ocean instead of a glass of water.
Nobody else on the campaign saw the people I did, the people we were ostensibly trying to reach.
I saw the dilapidated public housing they lived in, recovering from a ten-year-old hurricane, no improvements in sight. The violent stench of habitual cigarette smoke the only constant.
“Do you need anybody to go with you?” asked Katie.
“I’m fine,” I lied.
The first time I entered a property like this, as I hesitated by the front gate, kids swarmed me, as if my campaign literature was candy.
At another place, I was attacked by a pitbull. Ripped my shorts and a little skin from my butt. It was fair, I was in his yard, I opened his gate, in order to talk to his human about the Dems. Maybe the pitbull was a Republican. I still finished my packet that day.
Another time, I accidentally interrupted a drug thing – a deal? bake off? – in a small apartment and had a gun drawn on me. “Sorry!” I yelled and turned around, as if I had just walked in on a roommate masturbating.
I lobbied for clergy endorsement at churches, organized environmental protests, passed out lit at shrimp boils, stickers at crawfish carnivals, and even shook hands at an alligator festival in Anahuac (no alligators).
I saw the people. And they didn’t always like me.
I’d been cursed out, bluntly, with vitriol, creatively; by scary men, feeble men, house moms, teens, and sometimes by our paid canvassers (Trevor pretended to be busy, but Katie got in the disgruntled man’s face and he left). Sometimes it was funny.
Other times, I’d stare at the wood ceiling of the creaky old guest-house a donor let me live in and think about all the faces I’d seen that day – in yellow stained apartments on the seawall, on stilts deep down on the westside in fields off the highway—with deeply creased skin, sun-soaked brown like distressed wood at a bar in a different place, looking back at me like “the fuck yeeww want?”
For each person I saw kick his dog (or once, her kid), there was also someone grateful to be seen.
Take Mabel Brazier, for instance. Each Sunday night, I brought her a packet of 50 calls to make that week, and she gave me some okra for the campaign office.
“MJ, you’re the grassroots! While I’m the grasstops,” Trevor said with a wink as he stuffed his face.
At the time, I thought politics was noble without much interrogation. I mean, Obama, right? I ended up working on a campaign kind of by accident (what else do you do with an English degree?), but I did expect it to be more altruistic than like, consulting.
With each face I saw behind the doors I knocked, I wondered, if Susan Witts got elected, would this person’s life change for the good?
In our training, we were instructed to engage reluctant voters on multiple issues. “If there is a kid’s bike in the front yard, try schools!”
There was one voter, a large woman in a stained sleeveless shirt whose gestures embodied frantic, but whose green eyes sang, who lived near the hospital. I tried on her. Schools, consumer protection, minimum wage (never guns, that was a losing predicament in Texas) – nothing.
“Do you know how to cook pasta? I gotta feed these kids.” That’s all she said.
I gave up, but she came running after me.
She changed her mind? Wanted to volunteer? Saw the good in Democrats?
“Actually, there’s a pothole on this street. I care about that.”
Oh. “Unfortunately, that’s city government.”
“She put me in jail actually. But she was a nice lady. She has my vote.” –Voter in Bolivar Island, TX
Susan Witts 49%, Mays Faircloth 49%, Undecided 1%
Katie spent half the remaining campaign budget on polling. It was tight. So she spent the other half on negative TV ads, something Susan wanted to avoid until absolutely necessary. The moment every candidate becomes a politician.
Mays Faircloth had just saved somebody from drowning in the Trinity River near Wallisville. Good for that guy, bad for us. He did a press conference about drowning prevention with a former UT quarterback who once famously saved a swimmer in Lake Travis. Faircloth was surging.
The campaign needed a jolt. And Texas Democrats – for once! – had one at the top of the ticket.
The gubernatorial candidate was energetic, young and handsome. He wore Oxford button-downs that he wasn’t afraid to get sweaty, appealed to young voters and went viral with passionate answers to planted questions once or twice.
Also he was coming to Galveston, and they wanted me to introduce him.
“For optics, we need a person of color.” Trevor was concerned with optics. “We should establish some talking points.”
All of the sudden, everyone talked to me a lot more.
“It needs to be lively but concise. No more than five minutes,” Katie did not sugar-coat the assignment.
“Tell the folks the truth!” Lloyd had Skoal in his lip, but no place to spit. I handed him my water bottle. “Thanks.” He spit a nice, drooly mother that got caught on the bottle, right where my mouth had been moments before. “The Republican party is a bunch of spineless cowards who lost their moral compass up the asshole of special interests!”
Susan was visibly jealous. She missed the olden days of politics, where the down-ballot surrogates introduced the top of the ticket when they came to town. But the big campaign insisted on young organizers. Wanted to focus on the future.
“You ever introduced a top-ticket candidate before?” Susan took me aside and put her arm on my back.
“You don’t wanna upstage ‘em, but also, this is your time to shine. Oh! And make sure you work in Tough but Fair.” She winked.
The event was going to be to a capacity crowd at Wright Cuney Park, right in the community. They’d erect a stage with a sound system. I knew the run-of-show. Play the playlist (Eye of the Tiger, Firework) while people gather. Work the crowd, get volunteers. Somebody local/forgettable speaks, local politicians clamor for handshakes and facetime. I speak, hit the usual points, get out of the way. Then, our saving grace gets up there and sweats and jumps and fist-pumps us into a demographic-shifting future.
The crowd was even larger than I expected, spilling out with activity onto Avenue H. As I worked it, I learned people came from all over – Bolivar, Baytown, League City. The hidden democrats of Gulf Coast Texas had assembled on the island.
Eye of the Tiger.
On cue with the end of the song, a motorcade of black Chevy Tahoes appeared like a pack of wolves emerging in a violent hunt. Men in dark suits opened the doors then stood at attention as if they could catch bullets.
The gubernatorial candidate was flanked by serious, young people waging war on their phones. Trevor was visibly aroused. He was dodging local politicians to try and personally welcome them all to the island, name-drop Yale Law School, then network his pretentious dick off.
The candidate was already sweaty, shirt unbuttoned to reveal a peppering of chest hair even I thought was attractive. His smile looked as great in person as it did across the internet.
As he made his way through outstretched hands and selfie sticks, I was ushered to the stage by people I’ve never met.
The Mayor was talking but nobody cared. The Gov-To-Be and his entourage made it up to the stage. He stood respectfully off to the right, the way he does at every stop, listening, thinking about “how can I make a better future for this young person?” as I took the podium.
The sky was bare and the heat oppressive. Galveston’s salty scent whispered in the crowd like it was the most important guest. Maybe it was. Because in that moment before I started my speech, I realized I had become used to the smell. Even liked it.
“My name is MJ, and over the past couple of months, I have been vying for honorary BOI status.”
Crowd pleaser. Laughter.
“I’ve had migas at Habeulita’s, danced the two-step at Buckshot, and gone skinny dipping at Jamaica Beach under a full moon. But what I’ve loved most is getting to meet all the fine people hoping for a better future here. That’s what Galveston is really about.
Growing up an LGBTQ person-of-color in The Valley, I didn’t see people who looked like me in the textbooks. I fantasized about the day I’d escape, go out to the gay bars in Houston, or hide behind a book and some tattoos in Austin.
But Texas is waking up from a long slumber. People feel comfortable to be themselves all over the Lone Star State. Just look at yourselves today. On the island where Juneteenth was born. Assembled out in the open, in plain view of the folks who run the Capitol in Austin.
We need candidates who will lead this change. We need candidates to bring us to a more inclusive Texas. We need Tough But Fair Susan Witts! And we need a new Governor. Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce that man: Bobby O’Dea.”
The crowd erupted. Bobby came over and put his arm around me as we waved. I could feel the cool damp of his armpit on my shoulder. “That was amazing,” he whispered into my ear. His breath was hot and enticingly human. People I didn’t know ushered me off like an overblown Oscar acceptee.
“How amazing was MJ?!” The cheers were deafening. “Ladies and gentlemen, you just heard one of the future leaders of this state. She’d do a better job right now than the current administration who on a daily basis overlooks people’s lives.”
Three, two, one: rhetoric lift-off. I stood near the stage and watched as every cell phone on the island was turned to Bobby O’Dea.
Trevor, with a huge smile on his face, came bounding through the crowd with his Vineyard Vines tie bobbing in his face and, to my enormous surprise, gave me a hug.
“You’re gay too? Fucking perfect!”
“I was going to vote for her, but saw those negative ads. Made me feel sad.” –Voter in Galveston, TX
Susan Witts 50%, Mays Faircloth 50%, Undecided 0%
Mays Faircloth’s headshot filled the TV screen at O’Malley’s on The Strand. He had the kind of face somebody handed an envelope of money to, sans business pitch, for charisma alone. It cut to his family, a staged photo-shoot on the beach, white linen shirts. His wife’s pearls blinding even when pixelated. His three young sons destined for a life of sports and fishing and fraternities and firm hand shakes and celebratory steaks.
The ticker banner beneath this Traditional Americana Family Porn read 17,702 (54.6) to 14,716 (45.4). We lost. Even worse than the polls.
“Turn that hog shit off!” Lloyds wadded up the napkin from his Gin and Tonic and threw it at the TV, missing wildly, just like our efforts. This man was once a politician. Made me think that it couldn’t be that hard to win an election.
“Fuckin’ Chambers County! I knew we should have paid more attention to Chambers County.” Susan was on her second Lone Star. Bert and Ernie, tolerated by the owner on a night like this, curled at the foot of her barstool.
“Why are flights to La Guardia so expensive right now?” Trevor looked up from his phone and asked if O’Malleys could do a Sazerac (“sazzy what?”).
Trevor drank Bourbon.
“Mays Faircloth is barely smart enough to sell real estate, let alone legislate.” Katie was drunk behind a stinky glass of scotch.
Bobby O’Dea lost too. By 1.5% points. Enough that East Coast pundits determined “Texas is fair game, people.” But not by enough to make it hurt less.
I got hammered, because I was 22 and it was my last night in Galveston.
At the time, I planned to never come back. And I haven’t, physically. But on summer nights, when I drive with the windows down, this muggy Gulf Coast air finds me out of nowhere, hugs the cells in my skin, and I smell Galveston’s salty whispers. Secrets from the folks whose doors I knocked, reminding me of the island’s backdrop – Insurance vs. Trial Lawyer, Mainland vs. Island, Vice & Hurricanes – and I see their smiles.
If I ever do knock on any doors in Galveston again, it won’t be to talk about politics.
Robin Doody is a writer and performer who lives outside of Washington DC. His work has appeared in the Catamaran Literary Reader, Isele Magazine, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and others. He teaches and performs with Washington Improv Theater. See more of his work here: https://www.doodyism.com.