Sarah Hepola
Blog: Page 2 of 6

May 4, 2020

All My Friends Are Gonna Be Strangers

I visited NorthPark Mall the weekend Texas started opening up. It was weird.

On Saturday I went to the most popular mall in Dallas, and I wrote this piece. I hadn’t planned to report on my state’s controversial re-opening, but I was overwhelmed by the oddness of the spectacle and the unprecedented nature of the moment. When I posted the story to Facebook, my college best friend commented, . . . Read More

April 6, 2020

Someone to Love

On Fountains of Wayne, coronavirus, and the kick drum of the human heart

I was driving the long solitary highway to Alaska when the guy in the passenger seat asked if I knew Fountains of Wayne. Was that a statue? Was that a waterfall? It was a band, he explained, named after a store in New Jersey. That guy was not my boyfriend, but I hadn’t given up . . . Read More

March 26, 2020

Drinking in a global pandemic

Apocalypse is a great reason to get drunk, but it's also a very good reason to stay sober

A few years ago, I was talking with a couple female writers about what we’d do during a zombie apocalypse. One claimed she’d be good with a sword, and she clasped her hands and pantomimed slicing through the air. The other said she could forage. She could scour the cabinets and make dinner from any . . . Read More

January 17, 2020

A personal history of Taco Cabana

When a little piece of your landscape disappears

The lights inside Taco Cabana had gone dark. It wasn’t even 7pm, and the neon of Lower Greenville was in high throb, Christmas lights still wrapped around trees in early January, so the darkness of that restaurant was conspicuous, like the street was missing a tooth. I slowed down just enough to make out the . . . Read More

January 3, 2020

The warp of beauty

On Texas women, the shifting sands of plastic surgery, and a complicated relationship to our own bodies

A young woman named Vickie Lynn Hogan went to high school about seventy miles away from me in a small town called Mexia, Texas. She was seven years older, though I like to imagine I passed her at the mall one day,  or that we stood side by side at the makeup counter of Dillard’s, . . . Read More

October 1, 2019

Five short stories about ‘Hustlers’

I'm surprised how much I liked this movie I didn't even want to see

I I didn’t want to see Hustlers, but my friend gave me two options: Hustlers, or some movie called Peanut Butter Falcon*, so you see I had no real choices. The theater was packed, mostly women in their twenties and thirties, but a fair number of men. A lot of couples, or guys with female . . . Read More

September 8, 2019

Burn cigarettes

On a habit I do not miss, except every once in a while when I do

This morning I saw two people smoking on a back patio. The image startled me. Of course millions of people smoke old-fashioned cigarettes, I know this. But the ritual of the stolen smoke, the camaraderie of the picnic table — at 9:30am, no less — was like a frame lifted from an earlier era. As . . . Read More

August 21, 2019

Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom

A cabin, a canyon, a cat. Part 2 of a Panhandle road trip.

I drove to Palo Duro Canyon, because I had to go somewhere, but I couldn’t go far. I was on deadline for my book, due in September, and the more extravagant trip I had envisioned — out to the northern rim of the Grand Canyon, the quieter and more profound side of the great gash . . . Read More

June 18, 2019

The Big Texan

Where heroes are made, and no one leaves hungry: Part 1 of a Panhandle road trip

I’m seated in a wooden booth with a vinyl tablecloth in a cow-hide pattern, and as my eyes trace the perimeter of the enormous banquet hall, I count twenty-six animal heads.    “What can I get ya?” My waitress wears a straw cowboy hat and a plaid Western snap shirt. “I’ll have the chicken-fried steak,” . . . Read More

March 11, 2019

Uncertain, Texas

My cabin in the woods experience

A few years ago, I threw my clothes in the bright green suitcase with the broken zipper, slung my guitar in the back seat, and drove to Uncertain, Texas. I had searched for cabin get-aways within a few hours’ drive from my home in Dallas, places like Broken Bow and Beavers Bend and Turner Falls, . . . Read More