When you’re five years old and your 17-year-old prom queen cousin waves at you from the stage, and she seems to shimmer—at least that’s the way you remember it when you’re having a beer with her 35 years later outside a cabin on Clinton Lake with her common-law husband spinning karaoke, and she’s settled into the life of a matronly nurse with two grown daughters and nine grandchildren, the former boyfriend with whom she conceived them just months from a fiery death in a single-car accident after spending most of his adult life in prison—that ephemeral, chimerical moment will be the line that connects you with her through almost two decades and lives that have so diverged that you sometimes wonder if “family” is the right word for her, until you bring it up and the uncomfortable silence lets you know she’s being nice, she’s forgotten that moment, if it ever happened.

What are the Sneaky Feels?

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AuthorJohn Proctor