Gillian Kiley is the youngest of 8 kids. Her mother and her father used to go to Town Hall in Andover, Massachusetts to change her name without telling each other (Samantha, Theresa, and Jill were some of her other names, at least for a little while). Her mom won out and Gillian became Gillian for good, but her parents couldn't agree on a middle name either. Gillian’s parents are a generation older than the parents of her peers and she grew up in a strict household. She had her mouth washed out with soap. She was not allowed to go to sleepovers. Gillian was extremely shy as a kid and would turn purple trying to talk to people (and she still sounds very young on the phone), but she read a lot and was always around lots of people, so she became pretty observant. Her senior year in high school, Gillian was grounded for a month. In college, Gillian met, but did not date, Sam White. They had mostly the same group of friends, though, and then they went to the same graduate school too. During graduate school, Gillian and Sam went from friends to coupledom, if awkwardly and with an enormous amount of denial (but that was just at first; it’s been pretty great for years and years). After graduate school, there was her time in New York City. Now Sam is Gillian’s husband and she loves his sense of humor, his warmth toward others, his inventiveness, and his inability to hold a grudge. Now they are living in Providence, which is kind of close to both of their families, but not too close. Since moving there, Gillian has learned how to weld and that when shooting, she goes high and left (so duck low and to the right if she’s pursuing you, though she never will run after anybody shooting anything except sparks of love). Also, Gillian finds people who like to dance adorable. Further, Gillian’s attention can be described as diffuse. And, according to her acupuncturist, she has a hot liver. According to Gillian, she loves cheese, but is lactose intolerant. You should also know that Gillian has virtually no natural sense of direction, but this has not deterred her in any way. What else? Gillian’s job involves writing all day, which can make it difficult for her to find enough space for her writing, but she recently finished a book-length poem. Writing is where Gillian feels the most lucid and least compromised. Oh, and once, when Gillian was in Ireland looking at finger stones, she was chased by a bunch of cows; first, they just walked toward her and then they sort of galloped; she had to hop a fence to save herself, but she feels a certain ease with life-threatening things.
[Note: This postcard life story is part of a series of postcard life stories that will appear in Keyhole #6 (guest edited by William Walsh), where all the contributor bios will be postcard life stories--the idea being to make every possible aspect of the magazine literature.]