Kimberly K. Robeson

Non-Fiction Stories

Most of these pieces were written in the last few years detailing some impressionable events from my life.

7.9 Earthquake

 . . . I jumped up. My body swayed a bit as if I had drunk a few too many glasses of wine. My hands were shaking. But it was the sound that I can still hear in my ears today. A gurgling noise, a scratching noise—our building and the one beside us were built together. Stuck at the seams. And now they wanted to dance by the beat of their own drum. It was as if they were Siamese twins, trying to finally separate from one another. . .

 . . . For 2 minutes and 43 interminable seconds the earth rocked. I remember thinking: when will it stop? And what a way to go. I pictured myself again under sheets of metal and piles of debris, my arm sticking up through a crack . . . [read more] 

SNAP! Goes the Achilles

I have been in a wheelchair for almost two months now, and my husband has just pushed me into San Antonio. It’s the one café in Lima that has a ramp and the space around the table is (almost) big enough for me and my chair.

. . . I was lifted and carried to another room where a tall, calm doctor entered and did the “Thompson Test” informing us, without a doubt, that both my Achilles had snapped, and the only way to repair them would be through surgery. Here [in Argentina] or in Peru, he said, “Tu esposa necesita cirugia.” He then told us that the Nazis used to cut the Achilles of the prisoners, so they would not run away. Without a good-bye, he left us with that final thought. Thanks.

. . . It’s funny how most of us don’t appreciate things until they are gone—or not working correctly. I never thanked my legs for a good workout at the gym, or thanked them for successfully completing the 4-day Inka trail, or for being able to walk me to the bathroom in the middle of the night when I needed to pee . . . [read more] 

Matrimonial Beds

I am lying on a double bed beside a young man. He says: “Hola.” And I reply back, “Hola.” How strange this is. I have been married for over fours years—happily, might I add—and here I am “in bed” with another man. Yesterday I was in bed with an old woman. And the day before, I was lying next to a beautiful girl whose tragic story hammers my brain.
 . . . Today we are not laughing. Beside us lies Lilia*. She’s in the second matrimonial bed—alone. She’s new. Of course we need to find out her injury story, but there’s always that fine line of asking. One girl, about the same age as Lilia, jumped badly at a high school athletic competition, landed on a twisted foot and then landed herself in therapy. But the other woman New Friend and I talked to last week had some sort of degenerative disease. So even if we are curious cats, we must tread carefully. And then sometimes we wish we never asked . . . [read more]

*names have been changed 

Botox, Babies, Birthdays, and my Best Friend

It’s my best friend’s 50th birthday next month. My goodness, when did she get so old? (What I am really saying is when did I get so old?) Since we are not the same age—I am seven years her junior—I have a few years till my big 5-0, but the fact that she’s getting older means I am, too. And who wants to get older? Especially when the proverbial best age is “in your 30s”—wise, but “still young.” But I hear things are a changin’. Pitbull sings: “40s the new 30,” and society keeps telling us 50s the new 40, the 60s the new 50, and so on.

 . . . So Bettina and I have made choices. Two different women, with different lives, making different choices. Choices that we live with every day. One thing we have in common is we will not leave “our genetic material” behind. That we have controlled. But we have little control as our body gets more flaccid and our faces more wrinkled with each passing year. We can’t keep our skin taut, our boobies perky; we can’t control the gravitational pull of our derrières, our bones from cracking. When I look in the mirror, I do not see a 30something-year-old woman, but a woman in her forties. And I am more than okay with that . . . [read more]
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