THIS IS US

Photo: Jasmin Merdan / Getty Images

After losing my job, I moved home and attended my cousin’s wedding. The morning of, someone asked where Grandma was. I said I’d find her. I went outside and there she was wandering around the parking lot — small, curly white hair, wrinkle-eaten face.

“Are you excited about the wedding?” I asked.

“No,” she said.

I put a hand on her shoulder.

She said, “No. This is not my world. You know, I woke up this morning very sad and I don’t know why. I had your grandfather take me to the nursery. That always makes me happy. I like…


Illustration: Nikita Klimov

I was working as a journalist in Saint Petersburg when the butt pain started. The doctor’s heavy Russian accent made me believe I had “gemroids,” which sounded like asteroids made of gemstones, which seemed a lot better than what I actually had: hemorrhoids. More than a month later, it had all gotten much, much worse.

I sat across from the doctor. He was very Russian. His English wasn’t excellent. He smiled.

“So, you have problem with the anus, yes?”

“Mhm.”

He gave my midsection a concerned look. “What?”

“Well,” I told him, “it is excruciating in my — well, my…


Lived Through This

Illustration of a really buff blue-skinned athletic person against a black background with red squiggles.
Illustration: Nikita Klimov

I fit in at the gym about as well as a Disney Princess in a BDSM studio. I don’t get the culture: running, lifting, grunting, groaning, flexing. I’ve never understood the axioms of “power through” or “feel the burn” or “do three more.” The only times that “power through,” “do three more,” or “feel the burn” apply to my life is over a plate of chicken wings. I don’t feel a need to get stronger or run faster. Who do I have to run from? Who is trying to hurt me? …


Photo by Sammy Williams on Unsplash

I’ve been writing on the internet with varying levels of success for the past seven years. And yet, in all of that time, after millions of combined reads on my various stories, essays, and articles, I have no fucking clue what you guys want.

I’m sorry if you feel like I’m lumping you in with other people on the internet. There are Nazis on the internet and shit — that’s fucked up, but they’re in someone else’s echo chamber so don’t worry about the Nazis. Well — no, worry about the nazis, but that’s not the point.

See, when I…


THIS IS US

illustration: Nikita Klimov

I am from America. One Nation, Under God. I don’t live in America anymore though. I live in far-away countries that are sometimes under God, but mostly under skies, clouds, stars, the sun, the moon, and sometimes birds.

I decided to return home after nearly a decade for a road trip — a three-thousand-mile drive with my mother and brother in a Chrysler Seabreeze from Boston, Massachusetts (where I grew up) to L.A.

Sitting in the back of a car for long stretches opens the mind up to a lot of weird thoughts. About three hours after we set out…


Photo by Deon Black on Unsplash

*originally published in Lustery POV

The prospect of a girl-girl-guy three-way gives me heartburn. I don’t know if you know this, but that’s four boobs. I’m more than happy to let the devil in, though. That’s only two dicks, and one of them is mine. I know what to do with a dick — but four boobs? Not to mention two vaginas. That’s an overwhelming amount of motion for one ocean.

Sex, for men (as well, I’m sure, for many women), can be a bit nerve-wracking — even with the best intentions, we can make some pretty easy, yet consequential…


image created by the author on procreate

Ms. Truncate arrived at the new semester staff meeting, clicked on the projector, and announced:

“Welcome everyone. First item on the agenda today,” she clicked, “Fuck trees.”

A slide appeared on the screen. The symbol of our order: the stump of a tree with a stack of paper on it. Black, red background.

We all rose.

“Before we go around and share, The Council has sent some policy updates.” Ms. Truncate unfurled a scroll and read allowed, “The quota for poster board projects has increased to three per semester and each teacher is now required to have a minimum of…


Photo by Ayo Ogunseinde on Unsplash

1. Knocking on bathroom doors.

If you are a Russian that knocks on bathroom doors, congratulations, you’re a saint. The combination of bathroom doors that don’t properly lock and the habit of Russians to just barge in is a sick cosmic joke.

The first time I brought this phenomenon up to my friend Ivan, he raised an eyebrow and asked,

“What are you doing in the bathroom that’s so secretive?”

“You mean other than blowing up my nuclear family of sex-dolls?” I asked.

“Yeah.”

“Pooping, mostly.”

“Exactly,” he said.

Whether this was insight or bullshit, I am not sure. The mystery of Russian bathroom-barging remains…


Image created by the author on procreate

I hate take-out chopsticks. They never break right. They come out lopsided so that, as I wobble my way through a bowl of laminated, imitation cardboard instant noodles, I can’t help but complain. Lee hates when I complain so rather than break them for me — artfully side-stepping a promotion from girlfriend to mother — she just bought me new chopsticks.

Then, in the midst of a Buy Now fever dream, I ordered ten more pairs.

“You’re always wasting money,” she told me one night.

I dug our last two semi-clean pairs of chopsticks out of the sink, and we…


illustration: Nikita Klimov

When I was a kid, I used to sleep with a heavy comforter over my feet — no matter the season. I’d keep my legs wrapped up to my knees. Why?

Witches, obviously.

I knew — knew — that, if I were to lay with my feet exposed for more than a few seconds, a witch would come up from under the bed and eat my feet.

This would be a cute childhood story if not for the fact that, twenty-five years later, in the hot-hot summer, I’m sitting up in bed, trying to explain to my girlfriend why I…

Benjamin Davis

Columnist and author. My writing is like a bunch of people at a party trying to tell different jokes at the same time. benjamindaviswriter.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store