Things that aren’t secrets but that I haven’t found the right time to say:

My uncle Scott was someone I loved very dearly. He was 46 years old when he died. He died of blood cancer when I was in 8th grade and all of my peers knew. I went to a small Catholic middle school where every grade was one class of kids and the faculty heard all the gossip.

When Scott died I felt like I shouldn’t, or couldn’t grieve loudly. It tore my mother apart. He was the brother she was closest to, until he married that woman [aunt Gale]. Uncle Scott and Aunt Gale had met in undergrad through their acting program and went on to start a theater in Chicago, which they later shut down in order to move closer to Scott’s parents [Elizabeth and Worthington Smith, my grandparents.] He had always been the favorite child. As an only child, I can half understand that. The job of an only child is balancing between being the favorite and the least favorite.

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Tonight-is-Friday-September-1st is Anna Klos’ first piece for Cult of Americana

Tonight is Friday, September 1, 2017. I was followed home from my usual walk from the California Blue Line L station almost all the way to my house. On the L ride home, this stranger had pestered me with normal street harassment questions like “Hey, what’s your name?” and “Do you have a boyfriend?” and “Why aren’t you talking to me? You don’t even want to get to know me?” as if I owed it to him to give him the time of day which, at that point, was 1:30am and that made everything about 10 times creepier than the normal occasional heckle I get at 4:30pm commuting in to work.

I was a block from my house when he caught up to me. I was walking quickly and I assumed he was just some person walking home too, until I heard his feet speed up. Have you heard that sound before and felt your heart speed up way too fast? Your step gets quicker, almost as if you’re about to start sprinting at any second. You can feel the energy of the other person behind you, like a terrifying heat that sends prickles flashing in waves all over your skin.

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