Originally published in Willow Springs 83

From the author

Notes on “The Year We Lived”

“The germ of this story came to me during a funeral in a year that included, sadly, several untimely deaths. I was in an emotionally heightened state, and it was the kind of thing where I had to find a scrap of paper in my wallet and get the beginning down before it left me. But it took me several drafts to figure out what was happening in the story, I think in part because I didn’t want the narrator to lose her husband. I was in as much denial as she was but when I finally figured out that he had to die, the narration made more sense, the going back and forth in time, circling around but not quite talking about the thing that she can’t stop thinking about or feeling—the thing that is the reason she’s telling this story.”


Music, Food, Booze, Tattoos, Kittens, etc.

“I have recently fallen in love with mayonnaise. I was vegan for several years but then started eating eggs again and when I did, I realized mayonnaise was back on the table and somehow discovered that I absolutely love it. It’s gotten to the point that I’m looking for excuses to dip things into it. The weirdest so far has been chickpeas—just plain chickpeas in mayo. It feels like I’m riding a train that will inevitably crash. And this is all very recent: I never liked the stuff growing up, I think because we were a reduced-fat mayonnaise household, and that is an utterly forgettable condiment.”


About Brenna Lemieux


I’ve published a full-length poetry collection (The Gospel of Household Plants) and a chapbook (Blankness, Melancholy, and Other Ways of Dying), and my fiction has appeared in The MacGuffin, Printers RowRappahannock Review , and elsewhere. I’m currently writing novels and loving the process and learning a lot and looking for an agent. I live in Chicago, where I work as a content marketer and co-host the monthly reading series Tangelo.
Website: http://www.brennalemieux.com/

Twitter: @BrennaLemieux

Tangelo: https://tangeloreadingschicago.tumblr.com/