Thursday, April 27, 2017
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Matt Baldwin Archive

Matt Baldwin

Six Chambers

November 4th, 2009
by Matt Baldwin

SAN DIEGO, CA –

On a late spring day in 2001 my sister’s drug-dealing ex-boyfriend crashed the pool party she was throwing at our house in the suburbs and shot two people on our front porch. He used a small, snub-nosed revolver from a distance of less than ten feet, firing off all six rounds. Five of them hit their mark.

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Matt Baldwin

Blooded

October 6th, 2009
by Matt Baldwin

SAN DIEGO, CA -

I’ve been thinking about blood a lot lately.

Blood I’ve spilt, and blood I’ve seen spilt. The red fluid gushing out of a beheaded rattlesnake’s body, sizzling as it splattered onto the hot Mexican soil. The crimson seeping out of the crushed chest of a fourteen year-old boy, opened up like a book as the doctors tried to massage his heart back into life. We cut the snake into strips and fried the meat over an open fire. And as for the boy, there was simply too much of him smeared across the front grill of a wrecked car, and his poor heart had nothing left to pump. (more…)


Matt Baldwin

The First Thing I Did After You Moved Out

September 11th, 2009
by Matt Baldwin

SAN DIEGO CA-

The first thing I did after you moved out was rearrange the furniture.

Before your moving truck even made it down the hill to the interstate I was back upstairs, calculating the new geometric equation that redefined “our” home as “my” home. It was easy; the strength I wasted trying to keep us together was more than adequate to the task. With all of your junk gone there was at last room to move, room to breathe. You took away so much but at least you left me with that.

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Matt Baldwin

E-mailing the Hurricane

August 28th, 2009
by Matt Baldwin

NEW ORLEANS, LA-

Note to the reader: I lived in New Orleans from 2001-2005. For the last six months of this period I held a position both on the security team and as an ER intake/administrator at the Oschner hospital, the largest medical facility in Orleans Parish and one of only two to remain open in the immediate aftermath of Katrina. As a member of the Disaster Relief Staff remained within the city for the storm and the first few weeks of the aftermath. The following document is a collection of the emails I mass-sent to friends and family during that time. I have edited out some bits of personal information of no interest to the casual reader and have made some minor corrections to the spelling, but have otherwise left the text unchanged, grammatical warts and all, so as to preserve the immediacy in which these were originally written. Some of the second-hand information reported herein was later proven to be hearsay, and some of it turned out to be worse than originally thought. I was very torn as to whether I should publish this at all, and am doing so largely due to the encouragement of some friends and fellow TNBers.

The paragraph titles are taken from the subject lines of the original emails.

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Matt Baldwin

What You Do When A Stranger Tries To Knife You In The Face

August 17th, 2009
by Matt Baldwin

NEW ORLEANS, LA-

You have just left work for the night, backpack slung over your shoulder as you make your way back to the car. It is 4:30 a.m. and still dark, the early spring air already laced with the coming summer’s humidity, and as you walk a fresh patina of sweat fills the void between your T-shirt and your back. Though the nightclub you work at is closer to the Canal St. side of the French Quarter, you habitually park on the far side off of Esplanade Ave., congratulating yourself on once again outfoxing not only the overpriced parking lots but the draconian New Orleans meter maids.

Four nights a week you make the half-mile or so trek each way down Decatur St. You find the stroll allows your mind time to unwind from the stress of work, and if it needs assistance, well, there are plenty of good bars along the way. The boisterous tourist crowds have largely vanished by this hour, and the few individuals you encounter are service industry employees like yourself, off the clock and looking for a little fun. You’ve got an early afternoon meeting with one of your professors, though, and a few blocks past Jackson Square you turn onto a darker cross-street, hoping for a short cut.

As you come round the corner a knife dances out of the dark, headed for your face.

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Matt Baldwin

A Thousand Words: Just Another Sunset

July 17th, 2009
by Matt Baldwin

SAN DIEGO CA-

My stepfather–who we’ll just call G.–sat across the dinner table from me. My mother sat to my left, silently pushing her food around the plate. I assumed this was because she’d discovered G.’s latest affair and was dealing with it in her usual silent denial. G. discussed what he’d be doing as if it were his sophomore year in college instead of mine, Things I Would Have Done with Your Opportunities being a favorite topic of his. I’d only come to town to retrieve a few things I had left behind when I moved into my apartment, and I was eager to get back on the road as soon as possible.

It was early October, 1998. I was 19 years old.

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Matt Baldwin

What You May Find With Your Hand Up Their Shirt

July 6th, 2009
by Matt Baldwin

SAN DIEGO, CA-

I plan on having a low-key 4th of July. I’m pretty dead-set on staying in, as come the holiday weekend crowds of tourists flock to the beaches and downtown, often heavily drunk; traffic becomes a snarling nightmare, and ever since a drunken brawl broke out a few years ago, SDPD has taken to patrolling the beaches like a paramilitary force during the summer holidays.

Not for me, thanks. I’m well past the point where I have the patience to deal with huge out-of-town crowds, and anyways, I’ve managed to sunburn my back fairly badly while out boogie boarding the weekend before, which is only just starting to heal. From what I can see in the bathroom mirror, there is no discernible difference between my dorsal side and an iguana’s.

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Matt Baldwin

I Dream of Atomic Supermen

July 2nd, 2009
by Matt Baldwin

SAN DIEGO, CA-

Being as this is my first post a contributor, I thought I’d take this opportunity to introduce myself before really getting into the thick of things. Don’t worry, I’ve got plenty of stories I want to post–tales of alligator punch-outs, sleeping on OB/GYN exam tables, and excessive quantities of personal lubricant, among other things–but since I’ve spend most of the last couple of years lurking about here and at Our Fearless Leader’s blog without really commenting, I understand that no one other than a handful of the TNB comment board faithful really have any idea who I am. And that it would probably be a good idea if we had ourselves a little getting-to-know-you session before getting down to the nitty-gritty. This is our first date, after all.

There’s just one problem.

I hate that congenial getting-acquainted phase of the first date.

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