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 insurance salesmen and Xerox saleswomen (both genders being members of the Rotary Club which was better known as the-excuse-to-day-drink club), a trial lawyer with a walrus mustache and a boom to him that transported you straight into the jury box, and a you...

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Nicole Hall

Nicole Hall is Autostraddle's A+ and Fundraising Director, and has been fundraising and working in the arts and nonprofit sector for over a decade. They write nonfiction as well as aggressively gay and sometimes spooky fiction. They live in Pittsburgh with their partner, Sadie. They are also a gardener, project queer, witchy/wizardly human and BFF to a lovely senior rescue dog. You can find them on Twitter and Instagram as @nknhall.

Nicole has written 71 articles for us.