by Trenton Grant | edited by Justin McKee

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I was around 11 when my father and stepmother separated. This is when things really started spiraling out of control for him.

He was selling weed and methamphetamine and had developed a serious meth addiction. We were renting a house at the time, but he couldn’t keep up the with bills and it was all just too much for him. I remember one time where I watched my father lock up, as if he was having a seizure. Whatever it was, it scared the shit out of me. He had a hard time keeping food in the house; I guessed he was experiencing the effects of malnutrition or sleep deprivation. On one occasion, he said he was going to the store…and didn’t return until the next day. …

by Norene Ambrose

featured in Issue 0 of the raffish

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I can’t remember a time when there weren’t Italian beans growing in the garden.

When I was young, we lived next door to my grandmother, and one of my first memories of being in the garden was weaving in and out of the tall vines, pretending that I was in a special forest all my own. I remember reaching up and picking some of the beans and eating them raw….they were crisp and sweet and I loved them. …

the raffish, established in 2017, evolved from a friendship between Justin McKee and Caitlin Davis, who’d met the previous year while living in New Orleans, Louisiana. Caitlin had come up in the diverse suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, in a clan of artists who saw their fortune change dramatically after the housing crisis of ’08. She’d been enrolled at DePaul University studying communications but was forced to withdraw to help support her family, who ultimately lost their home, sending Caitlin on a turbulent journey to self-sustainment. Justin was raised in Northern California, by an immigrant family of working-class raconteurs. Following the 12th grade, he followed a wayward muse that saw him traveling to play music on street corners and at cocktail parties, freelance writing while toiling in a tango bar and working as a sign painter. They crossed paths in the Deep South during the incendiary summer of 2016, and in trips through the Mississippi Delta and on neighborhood porches back in the Crescent City, they committed themselves to fostering dialogue and exploring the dissonance of our times. In print and online, they published the work of prisoners, laborers, combat veterans and others, with the intention of effecting a more compassionate world through storytelling. In 2018, they relocated to New York City, and the following year Caitlin left the project to pursue her deferred dream of higher education. …


the raffish

offbeat discourse and uncommon stories

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