TueNight 10: Desiree Cooper

(Fun in the time of COVID)

Age: 60

Bio: Desiree is a Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist, essayist and award winning author of the  flash fiction collection, Know the Mother. Her latest essay, “Arrest Record,” about her troubling conversation with her adult son, is now available on The Rumpus.

Beyond the Bio: Four years ago—the same year that I published my first book—I moved in with my aging parents who have Alzheimer’s. At the time, I was also a primary caregiver for my grandchildren. Since then, I’ve been living the contradiction of menopause: A time of breathtaking self-actualization, a time of soul-crushing family demands. The good news is that I’ve discovered the magic of boundaries. I don’t have 56 years to publish my second book. Each day that I get up, I write.

What makes you a grown-ass lady? I have finally figured out that when folks say, “It could be worse,” it actually can be worse. I know that now because I’ve been through worse. Worse has taught me how little it takes to be happy. Worse has taught me to rely on my coven of girlfriends. It has given me my crown of silver. 

Here’s her TueNight 10:

1. On the nightstand: Skinny Pop, Amazon Echo Dot, a small painting that I did when I was trying my hand at visual art, a copy of Rumi’s poetry.  

2. Can’t stop/won’t stop: Writing my truth.

3. Jam of the minute: “Lockdown” by Andersen .Paak.

4. Thing I miss: My grandchildren in my arms (fuck you, COVID).

5. ’80s crush: George Michael.

6. Current crush: Ain’t nobody got time for that.

7. Latest fave find: Apothic Red on ice.

8. Last thing you lost: My freedom.

9. Best thing that happened recently: Floating on my back in the warm Atlantic, sun on my face, gazing at a ceiling of clouds.

10. Looking forward to: November 3, 2020.

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