Melissa Toldy

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Melissa Toldy is a writer living in Brooklyn, NY. Read some of her popular stories in EPISODIC. Subscribe to her free newsletter, I Toldy You.

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What are you thinking?

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

I’m standing on a bridge in Central Park. I like to stop on bridges, to pause. So I’m doing that now. I’m pausing.

A man walks across the bridge behind me. I don’t notice him, until he doubles back and asks, “Are you okay?”

“Oh, yes,” I answer.

The man’s…

This is how I cope with loss

Photo by Stephen Monterroso on Unsplash

The last 30 days have been crap for me. I’ve been crying a lot. When I’m grieving, as I’m doing now, I find that movies can be a reliable source of solace.

Have I been watching these movies on Netflix? No. I subscribe to a different streaming service. It’s called…

A perspective from Ursula K. Le Guin’s ‘The Left Hand of Darkness’

Photo by Jaclyn Moy on Unsplash

What makes a person ambisexual? In a world created by the science fiction writer Ursula K. Le Guin, an ambisexual person is neither male nor female.

Not a man or a woman, then? It’s difficult for humans to grasp this concept. Le Guin’s novel The Left Hand of Darkness shows…

I’ve been making this recipe for over a decade

Photo by camila waz on Unsplash

I never ate sweet potatoes as a kid. Well, maybe I did. I can’t remember everything my mother fed me. For example, I (allegedly) ate cabbage rolls, long before I met my Russian partner.

My partner’s mother sometimes prepares traditional dishes for us. Usually, she makes stuffed peppers. …

Thinking (and saying) inappropriate things

Photo by Brad Stallcup on Unsplash

Confessing has its benefits. In therapy, you can share deep-seated anxieties. Once the secrets have been said out loud, much of the crippling fear dissipates, almost as soon as the frightening words leave your shaky lips. …



It’s cute how people end their emails with this word. Best. I would like people to start signing off with this word, in all capital letters. BEST. Then, perhaps, this word could be an acronym for something. Like Bye Ending Super Thanks. Or maybe Big Energy Sent Today. Or how…

You see the NYC you want to see

A man carries a pipe across 23rd Street

To escape some recent personal losses, I went into the city twice last week. My partner had doctors’ appointments, and while he got probed and questioned, I wandered sections of Manhattan. On those two days, Thursday and Friday, I experienced the love and hate I have for New York. It…

We bred them to suit our needs, and we continue to manipulate their development

llama, vicuña, alpaca, nypl

A llama is a Lama glama. A vicuña is a Lama vicugna. An alpaca is a Lama pacos.

What is the main difference between these animals in the genus Lama?

The answer depends on who you ask.

A casual observer might notice the difference in height. Llamas are taller than…

And not enough

I dislike the word toxic. When I see articles online using the word toxic, I cringe. I think the writer chose the word toxic because they want to punish their readers. Toxic, with its “x” in the middle, hits me. Like obnoxious. And anxiety.

This is what I do. I…

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