But Wanda Maximoff’s pain illustrates the danger of indulging in fantasies of a lost future.

Image for post
Image for post
Graphic by author. Image via Disney+ and Marvel.

Spoilers for WandaVision and the MCU ahead.

I keep thinking about the awful seduction of a lobotomy. That a doctor could possibly extract all the bad stuff from my head and make me a more productive citizen and loving family member. It bewilders me to see other people already moving on from this year of profound loss, the effects of climate grief, and the erosion of traditional levels of adulthood by late-stage capitalism. They seem to me like the brainwashed residents of Westview, N.J. in WandaVision, Marvel’s nine-episode miniseries on Disney+. …


We can’t befriend the gargoyles atop the Chrysler Building, but we can wear them as cufflinks!

Image for post
Image for post
Graphic by author.

Clothes are tiny buildings for our bodies. Or maybe buildings are big clothes for our tiny bodies. Sheer fabric and skyscraper windows both give the illusion of transparency. Doors and jean zippers alike grant access to the invited. Gleaming spires atop foreboding cathedrals and shiny jewelry on imposing people similarly invoke our awe. And lately I’ve been entranced by the combination of fashion and façade that happens when designers incorporate our most iconic edifices into their clothing lines. Below are a collection of architectural…


A poem.

Image for post
Image for post
Graphic by author.

Walking through the convent,
I pick a few things that belong to Sister Catherine
a scarf, a letter, a sewing needle and its thread.

Passing through the hall I gather some trinkets from Sister Anne,
a letter opener, a holy text, that wilting vase of lilies.
I have started a fire in the fireplace —
A sensible location.

It is already roaring with all my belongings,
everything I’ve ever held, donned,
hung on the wall to admire.

I want to stuff the entire building into the flames,
an architectural ouroboros.

But Cécilia urges patience, she clutches my hand as the…


Prolonged power failure and freezing temps have reignited my loathing for this popular HGTV design.

Image for post
Image for post
Graphic by author.

Do you love entertaining guests? Want to keep an eye on the kids while doing dishes? Are pesky walls blocking natural light from reaching every crevice of your home? Do you hate narrow hallways? If so, you or a loved one may be entitled to emotional compensation for being convinced that an open concept floor plan was the solution to all your problems.

The open concept floor plan plaguing suburban main floors for more than a decade is best defined by what it lacks: few walls, no doors, and little variety in wall or floor pattern. …


Texans need your help, not your ridicule.

Image for post
Image for post
Graphic by author.

Texas was hit with a once-in-a-lifetime storm Monday, which left millions of people with burst water pipes, carbon monoxide poisoning, and a prolonged lack of heat. Many cities are also under notice to boil their water before consuming it, as the power outages also impacted water treatment plants. Texas’ power grid, independent from the rest of the U.S., is run by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and is the result of anti-federal government oversight pushed by conservative politicians since 1935. Texans, especially those experiencing homelessness, are in need of food, shelter, and other necessities. …


These wrinkles remind me that I’ve survived long enough to age.

An abstract face with a single, piercing eye that has a crow’s foot where winged eyeliner normally goes.
An abstract face with a single, piercing eye that has a crow’s foot where winged eyeliner normally goes.
Graphic by author.

I love crows. You look into their beady little eyes and know: that is an animal that’s got its priorities sorted. Crows can be fearsome parents, love to socialize, remember those who wronged them, apparently despise cars as much as I do, investigate the deaths of their fellow crows, and they’ve got a statue dedicated to their love of fries. They make tools, have an appreciation for shiny objects, and hang out in the H-E-B parking lot. Crows soar through modern fantasy novels and ancient mythology alike, where they are alternatively bad omens and loyal friends.

Suffice to say, we’ve…


The age of minimalism has been found dead in a ditch.

Three Avon novelty perfume bottles, shaped like a peacock, a rocking horse, and a rotary phone.
Three Avon novelty perfume bottles, shaped like a peacock, a rocking horse, and a rotary phone.
Graphic by author. Perfume bottles by Avon.

In a pandemic prolonged by an alternatively indifferent and cruel government, many of us are stuck staring at the same walls, the same floors, and the same house plants day after day, with no end in sight. It has led a lot of people to drastically renovate their space, invest in home workout equipment, and embrace peel-and-stick wallpaper. Others are turning to particular aesthetics or themes, like cottagecore, to regain a sense of narrative purpose in their homes.

In my case, unique novelty items — small tchotchkes, trinkets, and knickknacks — have brought the fledgling joy I need to endure…


How to fall back in love with your inbox(es).

Image for post
Image for post
Graphic by Sara Schleede and author.

Email is everywhere. Virtually every website, store, and newspaper demands you fork it over. It’s on your laptop, your phone, and constantly on your mind. Your workplace, school, book club, yoga video membership, social media, and frozen yogurt reward points all tie back to it. It can feel like a terrifying, endless list of all the requests, bills, and due dates you’d rather forget.

But it doesn’t have to be! The rule of three, when applied to email, can save you from a cluttered inbox without the hours of sorting, unsubscribing, and creating subfolders within subfolders of important documents that…


A poem.

A bear, wearing hiking boots and looking worried, pauses in a puddle.
A bear, wearing hiking boots and looking worried, pauses in a puddle.
Graphic by author.

My only solace
in listing all the shit this year brought
is that I spent it with my dog.

I wonder if this is some cruel trade,
her soft fur for all my pain.

I want to be an old writer of some esteem.
That way, when some young journalist
(whose name I’ll be too aloof to recall)
asks me about my writing from this period,
I‘ll look back with indifference when I say
it was all rage.

I am the loudest thing in these woods, no matter how lightly I traipse. I am cold. I am — -I am…


Do they count as banned books if the censorship was self-imposed?

Graphic art of a library book card that records who checked a book out, with my name slightly obscured by eraser marks.
Graphic art of a library book card that records who checked a book out, with my name slightly obscured by eraser marks.
Graphic by author.

Never look too long at lingerie ads. Keep your cool when another girl lightly brushes your arm. Speak about romance in vague terms like whomever I love and my future spouse. Ignore flyers urging you to join the high school GSA. And, above all, avoid lingering in the LGBTQ+ section of the library.

These are a few of the rules I gave myself at age ten, when I first saw Megan Fox lean over that car in Transformers (2007) and realized I was bisexual. …

Maggie Chirdo

Aspiring caretaker of a haunted greenhouse. Copy Editor at The Interlude. Other words in The Knockturnal, Bitch Media, and NYU Local.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store