Kasbeer holding Blackie, and Black holding Kasbeer

I found my soft, shiny stuffed dog on a tree of puppets at a souvenir shop in Big Sur. He was the color of asphalt with glossy plastic eyes that disappeared under his dark fur and floppy ears, making him look more like a bunny than a black Lab. His rear-end was plump and his tail thick. Through an opening in his chest, you could slip your hand inside. The feeling was intimate, like reaching into a shirt when one of the buttons has been undone.

The first time I did this, he came alive, opening his mouth to show off his pink tongue. I asked if he wanted to come home with me, and he nodded, his tail wagging from the flicker of my fingers. When I scratched behind his ears, he lifted his head as if he were relishing in the feeling. More… “Everyone Gets a Dog”

Sarah Kasbeer’s writing appears or is forthcoming in Elle
, The Hairpin, Jezebel, The Normal School, The Rumpus, Salon, Vice
, and elsewhere. Her essay, “Is it Cancer” received notable mention from the Best American Essays 2015.


I’m in the St. James Theatre watching the new Broadway production American Idiot, and I’m imaginig Sid Vicious watching with me. The production really begins in the lobby, which is full of messy graffiti and black paint. An air of menace is further created by signs that warn of graphic language and strobe lights. This isn’t Mary Poppins. This is Punk. On Broadway. American Idiot the musical (based on American Idiot the Green Day concept album) opens with a high-energy rendition of the eponymous song. Young men and women wearing old T-shirts and jeans run around the stage performing stylized headbanging and mosh pit machinations. The walls are plastered with flashing television sets and concert posters of West Coast punk bands — Dead Kennedys, Social Distortion. The orchestra is a rock band that plays right on stage. People in the audience are cheering and bouncing up and down. Now this… More…