Between Orbits: Two Manipulators, Pulled Out of Abuse and Back

Summer I
She radiated Californian magnetism, tan and blonde and vibrant during a rainy Pittsburgh summer. Kelly, like me, was younger than most of the other people at the Chamber of Commerce meeting. We, the unlucky assembled of the Chamber of Commerce, sat in hard-backed chairs with suspicious stains on the patterned seat cushions. It was the ungodly hour of 7 am, and I was clinging to my styrofoam cup of serviceable coffee. Half a donut sat on my paper plate despite what I knew about the shop where it came from. The teenager who worked there most mornings would go straight from putting cash from the person in front of you into the register to palming every donut into your box with a bare, grubby hand.

At this shoddy table sat insuranc...

Join a crew of extraordinary humans who keep Autostraddle here for everyone!  Already a member? Sign In

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!

Nico

Nico Hall is Autostraddle's and For Them's Membership Editorial and Ops Dude, and has been working in membership and the arts for over a decade. They write nonfiction both creative and the more straightforward variety, too, as well as fiction. They are currently at work on a secret project. Nico is also haunted. You can find them on Twitter and Instagram. Here's their website, too.

Nico has written 226 articles for us.