Thursday, November 25, 2010

so thankful

I am thankful today and everyday for so many things.

All the people in my life who inspire, encourage, challenge, and support me. And those same people who also can really crack me up. Friends, family, and the fine and beautiful line where those labels bleed into one another and the relationship seems to stretch into something not easily described or categorized.

I am also thankful for:
-plane tickets
-hot showers
-Ghiradelli chocolate caramel squares
-songs that are not that funny unless you listen to them with someone else
-the delicate cracking of the spine of a brand new book
-the unexpected
-the "ting ting" sound of spoons and coffee cups in the morning
-finding money in the washing machine, crisp and downy fresh
-tiny triumphs
-this day

Happy Thanksgiving 2010!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

wings, a story

It was during the discussion over linens that she decided she couldn’t go through with it. The head caterer had folded, unfolded, and refolded napkins three different ways and was now staring plainly at Liz, expecting her to illicit some type of affirmative response, but nothing came. Wavering a little, the red-haired man, dressed perpetually as a penguin, released the neat creases once more with a quick shake and, with his fast fingers began skillfully building some type of three dimensional bird that would perch atop the table like a hairless piece of taxidermy.

“The problem with folding the napkins this way,” he said, fussing with the corners of the birds’ tucked wings, “is the height. You’ll already have the floral arrangements as centerpieces, and you certainly won’t want to upstage them with the napkins. In my experience, simple is best concerning this detail. If you want, we could discuss napkin rings- I have a few very tasteful options I think you might like.”

The fact that Liz had contributed no thoughts to the triple diagonal fold vs. the square-shaped collection of creases didn’t seem to faze the bow-tied man; perhaps he had had success reading brides-to-be in the past, but this particular one didn’t want to be one anymore, and it wasn’t about the flowers, the food, the dress, the dj, the hall, the minister, the in-laws, or even the expense. It wasn’t about the napkins, either, though she couldn’t help but to stare at them, wildly it would seem, her eyes as big as the wingspan on the upright origami-ed non-descript flying thing.

She wanted wings. Even if they wouldn’t take her anywhere. Even if they could get wet and stained and lose their magic, she wanted them, for a little while. Just to touch, to reach her hand around her body, stretch behind her back. Even if she couldn’t see them and would never use them, she just wanted to know they were there.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

bar talk, a story

“How many drinks?” Davey asked pointing to the small-framed strawberry-haired and faced guy at the bar holding a Corona.

“No way,” Adam replied. “I’d have to be blacked out.”

“No, you wouldn’t,” Davey said. “Two drinks and you’d be all over him like a pig in mud.”

“I’ve already had two drinks,” Adam said.

“Three then,” Davey pushed a beer across the tiny cocktail table. He turned to Hilary. “Have you seen the new cocktail server?” pointing her out amidst the sea of sloshed, singing sweatballs.

“No,” Hilary said, trying to get a look at her, stretching her neck out to see above dancing drunks with their hands raised.

“She’s totally your type,” Davey said while pulling on Hilary’s sweater so it would slug down in the center revealing a bit of cleavage. Hilary readjusted her sweater, tugging the lazy loose fabric up high around her neck again.

“What do you mean she’s my type?” Hilary asked.

“ ‘Cuz she’s straight,” Davey taunted. Adam, unable to help himself, chimed in with a little snicker.

Hilary shoved Davey harder than she meant to sending him barreling into a slew of skin-and-bone hipster kids.

“What the fuck, man,” one yelled. “Watch it!”

“I’m so sorry,” Davey oozed. “We were just guessing what everyone in this group’s favorite sex positions are. We kind of have a friendly bet going, so we were wondering if you’d all mind confirming.

“What did you guess about me?” asked a fake blond with a polka dot dress and screaming red lips.

“Easy,” said Davey. “Backwards cowgirl.”

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

a.m. pep talk

I am up early, up with the sun.
A rare occurrence.
But it feels good. To switch things around.
To beat everyone else out of bed.
To take the first shower.
To welcome the day.
To think about the fact that my day is what I make of it.
I'm going to make it a good one.
I am going to eat breakfast without worrying that I won't make time for it tomorrow.
I am going to tell worry to take a backseat today.
I am going to coast along.
Today, I am greeting possibilities.
I am going to be open and trusting.
I am making myself vulnerable to new happenings.
I am embracing the unknown and accepting challenges.
I am going to be as flexible as a bendy straw and as strong as a superhero.
And compassionate. To others and to myself.
I am going to take full control over my day while relinquishing full control to my day. I don't know how to do both of these things simultaneously, but I am looking forward to finding out.

Monday, April 5, 2010

the center is closed, a story

We walk from the Timbuk2 store to Market Street passing the tiny park with curly, white dogs.

Will it matter is the question I want to ask him, but instead, “are you hungry?”

“No,” he says. “Are you?”

“No,” I say followed by an obvious grumbling from inside. “Well, a little.”

He smiles at me; his teeth are so white. He tells me it’s because of his toothpaste, but I use the same kind.

We turn the corner and stand in front of the LGBT Center. Closed.

“That’s right,” he says. “It’s MLK Day.”

“Where else can we go?” I think out loud. “Magnet? No, it’s probably closed today too. Where did Alex go to get his test?”

“It was a booth at the Castro Street Fair,” he tells me.

“Oh,” I say. “I guess it would be pretty expensive to go to the hospital.”

“Yeah. It’s ok,” he turns to me. “We’ll go another day.”

“Yeah.” I walk up to the door of The Center. It is black inside. A typed sign informs us that The Center will re-open tomorrow.

“Tomorrow?” I ask. “I can meet you here anytime after 1. We can make a day of it- come here, then go to that new bookstore on Octavia, then come back for the results. Then we can go to Philz, get coffee.”

“School starts tomorrow,” he says.

“Oh. Then when?”

“Soon,” he says. “I’ll go soon.”

We start walking toward BART. He’s telling me about his brother’s wedding. We stop at a corner waiting for the illuminated white male icon to tell us it’s safe to walk. Across the street is Martuni’s.

“Wanna grab a beer?” he says.

“It’s on me,” I say.

“No, I’m buying.”

“You bought last time.”

“No, I didn’t.”

“You did.”


I look both ways, then bolt across the multi-lane street, but I’ve always been a slow runner. I see his jet black hair sprint ahead of me, and he is already at the bar ordering my Blue Moon when I make it inside.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

pirates among us

A man receives a package with no return address. It contains a pirate-style eye patch and a note. A broad smile stretches across his handsome face as he reads the familiar bubbly handwriting of his older sister:
Happy Birthday, Jerkface!
He fingers the plastic eye patch and can easily recall the memory his sibling is referring to with such a gift.


The glorious gray base gaining diameter, met with the thin maroon stripe on the starboard side, the sleek black bearings that held the proudly waving sails, the flawlessly crafted deck, plank, and crow’s nest manned by peg-legged fellows with black, dotted stubble and, of course, eye patches. This was the Lego Pirate Ship.

It had taken him weeks, no months, to put it together. He worked diligently on it, examining the depiction on the box to ensure an accurate portrayal, stopping only for meal breaks and putting in a hefty amount of overtime to see it through to its completion. It now sat, prominently displayed on the coffee table, for everyone’s admiration.

The day had showed no signs of a storm; however come lunch-time, the high flying sails suddenly took a nasty spill, bringing down their posts and adjoining parts of the main cabin. The port side was under attack next and was demolished in rude chunks slicing through the interior of the boat. The anchor and gangway became completely detached and remaining intricacies had nothing to hold on to. The ship was going down.

Of course somewhere amid the scene, the pirates were bound to question how their creator could have betrayed them in such a way, but there were no survivors among the wreckage. In fact, the extent of the damage was so severe that not one man aboard made it without decapitation.

His sister stood there in silent horror, frozen in complete bewilderment, witnessing the annihilation. When the ship was all but a single connection between the last remaining gray and black block, his tears came full blast like water from the new shower head. The siblings stood there in the ruins of the boy’s beloved ship while he wailed uncontrollably and she tried to make sense out of his spontaneous outburst.

“Mom!” he shrieked.
“Mom! Mommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!”

Responding to the panic in his voice, their mother made her way to the scene of the crime.

At first, there may have been a tinge of relief in her expression; neither child was bleeding. But as her eyes averted to the scattered remains of what once was The Great Lego Pirate Ship, her lips curled at the edges and her dime sized eyes became quarters.

“Jessica,” he managed to get out between sobs that would no doubt require the use of his asthma inhaler. “Jessica did it!”

Everything after that was mostly a blur. Initially, his sister couldn’t speak. Finally, she found her voice, but their mother wasn’t hearing it.
“Why would your brother wreck his own pirate ship?”

So that this would happen, she undoubtedly thought but knew better than to say it; the penalty for back-talking would have been much more severe.

While the boy was comforted with stolen treasures: late night TV and ice cream (two scoops), his sister was held captive in her room to think about what she had done.


Returning the eye patch to the box it had come in, the man heads to the house to make a call. He dials the number he knows by heart.

“Mom,” he says into the receiver, “Remember when Jessica destroyed my pirate ship…”

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


The truths I learned as a very young child: putting seashell-shaped soap in the fish tank results in Goldie going to heaven, eating an entire tube of cookie dough results in a heck of a tummy ache, and playing carnival games yields no results except an empty wallet. The first two lessons I learned on my own, but my knowledge of the scam that is carnival games was instilled by my father who told me it was so, and I had no reason to believe otherwise.

I have happy childhood memories of funnel cakes and tilt-a-whirls, of fat fries dipped in malt vinegar and repeated rides on the “The Whip”. My memories; however, do not include playing Rocko’s Ring Toss, Shoot Out the Star, or Plinko. Dad always said they were a waste of money, a con, a rip-off. Like flushing money down the toilet. If you want a toy, he’d say, I’ll buy it for you at the store. And this was perfectly fine by me seeing as how most of the prizes were poorly made with stuffing spewing out of the seams, looking drunk or crazy due to disproportionate eyes or a sloppy embroidered smile. I respected that my father refused to pour his life savings into an inanimate box or be coaxed by some loud-mouthed fast-talking swindler. Besides, the thought of owning a six-foot-tall giant Bugs Bunny kind of freaked me out.

When I first saw Jamie, she was squished against the Plexiglas surrounded by a stuffed blond baby doll with fat cheeks in a pink frilly dress and a brown teddy wearing an argyle sweater, her little gray face, its friendly disposition, calling out to me from her arrangement in the clutter, her row of green felt spikes peeking out the top of the mass of characters.

I stood there peering into the shuffle silently observing my new friend. That’s Jamie, the dinosaur, I informed my dad pointing her out. I knew I couldn’t take her home, that she must remain encased until some other fool came by and emptied his piggy bank into the impossible machine. I accepted that. I just wanted her to meet my dad.

While Dad went off in search of soft-serve, Mom took me to wait in line for the “The Snake”, a kiddie coaster that went round and round and round. After the ride had come to a full and complete stop, I moved with the group of children to the exit gate where my parents stood waving. It was then that Dad pulled out the small gray dinosaur I had seen in the claw machine and presented it to me. Jamie!

I looked up at my dad in amazement. I wondered how many times he’d activated the three pronged silver claw to dig down and scoop up the buried dinosaur. I learned a new truth that day to add to my ongoing understanding of the world: being my father’s daughter results in a pretty good life.

Friday, March 26, 2010

telltale signs

I’m trying on swimsuits in the Macy’s dressing room. Though not usually the most encouraging of activities for young women with real bodies, I’m feeling pretty fabulous thanks to the adventurous evening I had the night before involving floggers and an open mind.

The sales associate has been helping me with sizes. She’s back now with the suit I want, but in a color I detest.

“Sorry, hon, it’s all we got left. Can I take some of that back for ya?”
I leave the door open as I gather the remaining suits.

As I’m doing so, I guess she seizes the opportunity to check out how well the one I’m still wearing fits. I catch her looking at me in the triple mirrors and turn to face her. Her expression is odd, and I wonder if I have the suit on backwards or if the florescent lights are making my already pale skin appear translucent.

Without hesitation, she blurts, “Girl, your ass is bruised!”

Mortified, I say lamely, “I, ah, must have fallen.”

She gives me a knowing look, mutters something, and walks away.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

eulogy, a story

She sat down at her desk and began writing what was to be her own eulogy. The words flowed out of her like a popped can of soda that had been shaken up, and when she was done, she read over it twice to ensure her tenses were in order- it would be embarrassing if they weren’t. Then she folded it neatly, three vertical lines of fold, and tucked it into the plain white envelope with its blue and white squiggled-for-safety interior. She ran her tongue along the sides and sealed it shut pressing it down and applying some pressure for smoothness. Then she turned it over and stared at the startling white rectangle. What to write? How does one label one’s own eulogy?

She glanced at the clock, as if time were of any factor to her, then peaked out the window, as if the weather were at all relevant. She started memorizing items on the floor and repeating their order to herself, as if she would later be quizzed. Left sleeve of pink hooded sweatshirt atop inside out bleach-stained gray sweatpants over blue sock with those little slip-resistant treads on the bottom next to jeans with the difficult zipper slung over the thin brown belt. None of this mattered. She was just procrastinating, and she hated procrastinating because it made her feel weak.

She closed her eyes so she would not be distracted, but then her ears turned on and began listening to sounds distant and near, actual and otherwise. She heard hums and purrs and constant drones, as well as irregular shifts and changes. It was like a concert of broken quiet all around her, all her own, all for her. She cocked her head forward, bringing her chin to her chest and tried to listen even closer before the rest of her had a chance to ruin that moment for her too.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

stumbled, a poem

I stumbled upon red
a tangling of bare legs, of hot breath
a thick-aired silence
a helium balloon

I stumbled upon yellow
a movie I've been wanting to watch
a poem I've been meaning to hear
a memory I've been hoping to retrieve

I stumbled upon green
a child's toy forgotten on a park bench
a spotted dog chasing his own tail
a plant that refuses to grow

I stumbled upon blue
a cloudless sky
a text message canceling dinner plans
an empty bus stop for a moment of solitude

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

looking out, a poem

From her apartment
The city looks like sky
The lights like stars
Looking down as if you’re looking up
If you cross your eyes slightly
All shapes vanish
Then you can look for the constellations
Play connect the dots
Find something familiar
And something brand new

Sunday, March 21, 2010

grass, a story

She tied knots out of grass, connecting blade after green blade. She wanted to make a dress, but the grass kept breaking. She wanted to make a dress because soon she would not have access to her dresser drawers. Soon her parents would be gone, and with them their money, so she wouldn’t be able to buy anything new. And everything old would have been destroyed in the fire, and the only way, the only possible way, she would be able to stay at her school and not have to move again, and not become part of the system and the state, and not be raised by a foster family with too many kids and too many chores and too many rules and too many mean looks would be to convince everyone: her teachers, her friends, herself that she could take care of herself. She was fine staying in the woods, foraging for food, sleeping on her pale blue Minnie Mouse sweatshirt. It said Orlando, Florida on it. That implied she was traveled. A girl who had been on vacation was a girl taken care of indeed! Her scam at sleepovers was so believable, in fact, that friends’ parents didn’t bother with questions about her home or her lack of socks. Everyone was merely concerned with having a grass garment of their own. She would go into business and make her own money. All of her needs would be met by selling grass dresses and skirts, grass “sweaters” and headbands, pants made from grass and purses. Soon, the whole neighborhood would be wearing grass in place of clothing. Then she would never be caught. Ever. Then, everyone in the town would look the same. Any lingering questions would be swept away with the new phenomenon. She was a visionary. A visionary who couldn’t tie together more than three blades of grass.

Friday, March 19, 2010


I walked home without my coat on, watched three friends fool around with a guitar on the their front steps, heard laughter, saw skin.

I took the longest route home even though the strap of my bag, holding my shed-off sleeves and more than my share of library books, was digging into my shoulder. Now, I have put the bag down, surveyed the indentation, and want to go back out and explore the summer-seeming night.

Weather this mild is so infrequent, especially for it to have lasted into the night. The good sun was kind enough to leave lingering warmth as she gathered herself to settle in. The air feels nostalgic and carefree, sweet smells of honeysuckle waft over to me, an energy of contentment swoops me up: excitement and relief. It feels good to sweat, to be outside, to walk and be blanketed by that made-especially-for-me temperature. I am lubricated by perfection.

It reminds me of growing up, of east coast evenings, all the sounds and aspirations. Friendly and familiar, this night cradles me. It removes worry and negativity. It produces hope in abundance. I gladly take what I am offered.

Monday, March 15, 2010

remembering, a story

Do you remember that night that we were eating pistachio gelato on the bench outside your apartment because it was too beautiful to be inside and how you theorized that our having found one another and being together fulfilled a long anticipated prophecy as if we were characters in a C.S. Lewis book?

Do you remember how much you liked when I wore that white v-neck with the splashy flowers on it and how you always complimented me with your eyes?

Do you remember how you used to tell me that my vagina tastes like honey? And how you would lay your head on my stomach as I would massage your scalp and how your tiny curls would fall like snow onto my bare chest?

Do you remember when we drove to Stockton to go thrifting and the car broke down and we had to be towed all the way back to San Francisco and how the tow truck driver told us about how he used to be a medic in the army before he became an auto mechanic before he drove tow trucks and how he said that putting cars back together is a lot like putting people back together?

Do you remember that strawberry and nutella crepe we shared the day we found out your mother was leaving your father?

Do you remember the peacock that was stalking us at the zoo after you gave it a piece of your rice cake?

Do you remember kissing by the Sutro Baths while tourists were snapping photos and how you made that comment about us not being able to shake the paparazzi?

Do you remember when we dogsat for your friends on Castro Street in that seafoam green Victorian and how we rented the entire series of Mary Tyler Moore from the library and we wore hats- yours thin blue and white stripes like a conductor, mine a deep purple baseball hat we found at Crossroads that said Hawaii in big block letters- so we could flip them up each time the theme song played?

Do you remember when your pen leaked all over my dress and how I cried into your arms at the Laundromat because it didn’t all come out in the wash?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

five more minutes, a poem

Outside of the sleeping bag
Over my head
Getting ready
Off to hunt
But I want to gather
In my arms

Saturday, March 13, 2010

three e-mails, a story

Smiling in the dark, she was greeted with three e-mails in a row from him. She realized she sort of liked crazy. She felt a rush seeing his full name in bold under ‘Sender’ on top of the cue of family birthday reminders, forwarded dumb jokes or inspirational stories with animated angels, and a slew of group project-related e-mails for her Economics class that she would ignore for another day.

She clicked on the first of his messages- a sometimes rhyming poem they had written together on a napkin at Ritual about dogs with bandanas and the re-emergence and questionable acceptance of patchy facial hair within the ‘Hipster’ community. The following email had two attachments- photos they had taken of each other in mid-sip, faces downturned into giant white mugs.

She reached for her glass of water that she regularly left on her nightstand before opening the third email and glanced at the digital red numbers on her ancient alarm clock. 12:11. It had been approximately a half hour since he had walked her to her arched doorway, given her a sweet, tongue-less kiss goodnight, and headed for home on his blue and white bike.

She couldn’t tell her roommates about the three e-mails, she thought. They would think he was crazy and needy and possessive and borderline stalker-ish and not playing by the post-first date contacting rules. They would advise her to never see him again. But, she liked that he wasn’t into games, appreciated his attentiveness, and felt relieved to have confirmation that the date had gone as well as she thought it had. Instead, she would tell them about the art installment where he appreciated the same pieces she had and made fun of the same pieces she had. She would tell them about the conversation they had shared about problems in the school system and the later realization that they had both grown up with cats named after early 90’s cartoon characters. And, she would tell them that he had suggested they go for coffee, further extending their time together.

She thought, too, about the kiss- how gentle he was. She thought she might add a little to that scene for dramatic effect during the undoubted Q&A portion of the retelling, for good measure. She had been meaning to work on her storytelling skills anyway, on ‘captivating her audience,’ as her speech teacher had said. She waved her finger on the mouse in order to open the third e-mail.

Friday, March 12, 2010

the duck pond

A simple space with well-kept grass, a still, mucky brown pond, a small stone bridge, and beautiful shade trees with twisted branches that I was too afraid to climb.

Always bringing a peace offering of old bread, or fresh bread that we’d just picked up from 7-11 if there wasn’t any old bread; one didn’t come empty-handed to the duck pond.

Seeing us approach, food in hand, the ducks would promptly begin swimming in from the middle of the pond alerting others with their vibrant squawks. White wings from the distance would swoop in and resting flocks would spring to life. The chiming of a dinner bell in the sounds of our voices.

My mother would hold the bag of sliced bread, and my brother and I would delight in each taking a piece to the border of the pond to dispense amongst our welcoming fans. My brother would rapidly rip the piece of bread into four huge chunks which he would throw to the ground and watch the aggressive ducks pinch at with their tiny beaks. Snapping, shrill protesting, and ruffling feathers would ensue as the ducks gathered around and tried to eat from the same hunk. He would then rush back to our mom to get another piece and repeat the process.

My strategy was to slowly shred my slice of bread into bite-size pieces in order to feed the maximum number of pond-dwellers. Trying to distinguish one duck from the next, I would determine which ducks had had their fill, (usually the persistent ones closest to my feet) and which had been left out of the feeding frenzy, taking a special interest in the more meek animals, attempting to spread the wealth.

After the bread would run out, which happened quickly thanks to the eager humans and the hungry birds, my brother and I would run around in the dazzling green grass with our arms outstretched pretending to be airplanes. Running, laughing, and rolling around until we, and our stained play clothes, were thoroughly worn out.

My favorite moments were the quiet ones just before it was time to leave when I would gently toss pebbles into the chocolate stillness, watching them disappear silently into the expanding circles of acceptance.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

when it rains, a story

WHEN IT RAINS, WE POUR- $2 Pints, says the blue and white square sign outside The Mix. They haven’t been able to put up that sign in a while, I think. I can’t think of the last time it has rained.

I impulsively go inside and order a beer from the sweaty shirtless bear cub with the sparkly navel ring. My cell phone vibrates in my pocket and I see Rebecca has sent me a text. In the ‘stro. Wanna grab a drink? I text back, @ the mix but not for long, and space out as the little image of the envelope carts my message away. A digital carrier pigeon.

I return my phone to my pocket and watch a plaid and skinny jean-clad Jameson drinker with intentionally ironic Where’s Waldo glasses make his shot, hitting the three into the corner pocket, then high five his mountain man friend. Who high fives anymore?

The phone vibrates again, and I see that it is Jillian inviting me to a house party in the Haight. I don’t text back. The trickily drops have gained momentum outside, and I wish I could just teleport myself to my bed with the blankets pulled up watching Season 2 of Nip/Tuck on my laptop while drinking tea.

I see Rebecca out front fighting with her umbrella, trying to get it to close without touching its wet, red petals. She looks beautiful, wearing a clay blue vintage dress, marigold ribbed tights, and brown boots with gold buttons adorning the exterior sides. She always wears dresses. I don’t know anyone else who always wears dresses.

I take a long drink, trying to make it appear like I am more ready to leave than I actually am. I don’t want to be here with her or there with Jillian. I don’t want to tell her, them, that, though. My desire not to explain myself outweighs my desire to bolt home, so I correct my hiding-in-the-corner posture, rummage through my gallery of facial expressions, find a smile, put it on, and wave her over.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Grilled cheese sandwiches with the crusts cut off. My grandfather’s specialty made with white bread, (the only kind I knew there was back then) and bubbling yellow American cheese, (gently peeled from the individually wrapped coat of plastic) slightly burned on the outside, (just the way I liked it.) Consuming the masterpiece of carbohydrates, dairy, and grease slowly, examining each bite for teeth impressions, and eating around the ends in a spiral-like fashion, so that my final bite of cheesy goodness would be the exact center of the sandwich, the heart, the core.

I would enjoy my lunch on the screened-in back porch of my childhood home, the thin royal blue weathered carpeting, the wooden drawer that housed my expansive rock collection, the old worn-out sofa, which doubled as the base for a fort. That tired and patched sofa marked the gathering space where my Poppy and I would spend many evenings sitting and listening to nature’s chorus: identifying bird calls, eavesdropping on the conversations of insects and frogs.

Often, when it got dark, I would descend into our backyard and take to capturing lightning bugs, holding them captive in a jelly jar just long enough to survey their personalities and give them suitable first and middle names.

It would then be time to carefully release them back into the wild, mindful that they might be parents needing to tuck their children into bed or coerce into completing their homework. Careful not to harm a single bug, I would use my index finger to gently coax them out of the jar, returning the creatures, as much as possible, to the same location I had found them, as to minimize their disorientation so they could once again be free.

These gentle-hearted gestures were both intrinsic notions and absorbed teachings instilled in me from the nature-loving qualities of my grandfather, the man who helped me understand my role in the world by teaching me about the things in nature I could change and those I could not.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

al dente, a story

“Don’t you think it’s weird that your brother’s getting married?” Kyle drops the green linguine into the oversized pot.

“I think it’s weird that someone’s willing to marry him,” is my reply.

“Don’t you think you should do that over a plate?” he asks, calling me out on grating the cheese directly onto the counter.

“The counter’s clean. I wiped it myself,” I say, making a mental note to order take-out next time.

“No, I mean, isn’t it weird that he’s getting married first?”

I put the orange block down by the sink and gesture with the dairy-pierced grater, clogged cheese working its way out and onto the floor.

“As in, I’m older so I have to get married first, even though I’m not seeing anyone and I have no idea if I even want to get married, if I even subscribe to that institution? Modern day Taming of the Shrew, huh? Like I’m stuck holding the Old Maid card?”

“Hey, I was just asking. I didn’t mean anything bad by it. I just feel like if my little sister got married before I did, it might bother me.”

He looks down at the pasta and stirs for no reason.

“It bothers me that people think it should bother me,” I say, searching the spice rack for garlic powder.

“I just don’t understand,” he says, not at full volume, “why you’re so angry all the time.”

Friday, March 5, 2010

a taste of summer

I know that we're supposed to be welcoming spring, but, to be honest, I could really just bypass it this year and go straight to summer. I am craving warm weather like a pregnant lady craves pickles. I am longing for sundresses, picnics, urban hikes, and late night trips to Mitchell's for some purple ube or thai iced tea ice cream. I want to temporarily retire my coats and long sleeves, sneak into a pool somewhere, watch people go down the giant slip 'n slide they set up in the park, check out the free outdoor movies, build a giant sand castle at Baker Beach, rent a row boat at Stow Lake, go to a Giant's game, indulge in a cold summer ale.

Don't get me wrong, I don't mean to wish away what we have. I am grateful for spring- the rebirth and all. Trouble is, it still feels like winter. I am still wearing my footie pajamas and sleeping in the TV room because my own room feels like a little slice of Antarctica. In fact, the polar bears and penguins that have taken up residency there, just today, asked if I had some scarves they might borrow.

I am very aware that I have quite a while until summer, especially a San Francisco summer, since they like to arrive fashionably late, but there's nothing wrong with wishing. Nothing wrong with planning day trips to the Musee Mecanique after watching small children brave the chilly Pacific and organizing bonfires at Ocean Beach across from the windmill. Nothing wrong with envisioning spritzers on the sidewalk of a cafe, visualizing myself waking up and heading over to Dolores Park in order to fall asleep blanketed by the sun. Nothing wrong with imagining the weight of a runaway tennis ball in my hand before tossing it back over the fence.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

shop, a poem

You are like a little kid
When we go to the grocery store
You ask me if we can get this thing
Or that
It is usually
And housed in a colorful box
With block letters
I laugh
And tell you
You can have anything you want
Having gained my approval
You drop the box of non-nutritiousness
Into the cart
And take off
To get caught up on
Something shiny

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

camping, a story

“Babe,” she calls me out amidst my beer and dominoes pow-wow. I look up from my sweating bottle and colored tiles.

“When was the last time you’ve had a shower?”

I tell her with my eyes that it has been a while.

“Run yourself under some water, you dirt ball,” she playfully punches me and feigns disgust.

I begrudgingly turn in my tiles so my fellow players can resume their game in my absence, abandon the giant rock that has become my chair, and begin collecting my travel size toiletries and towel.

She follows me inside the hot green tent and zips us in, the camping equivalent of shutting the door.

She reaches her hand onto my back and begins gently massaging my tired, sleeping-on-the-ground-for-the-past-two-nights shoulders. I relish in her soft but firm touch and keep my body turned to encourage her to continue.

“I’m having a lot of fun being here with you,” she tells me.

I turn around so I can see her amazing almond eyes. “Me too.”

Then, she’s kissing me, and we could be anywhere. I forget about the beautiful, rustic ‘scape outside, the mile-high so-green trees and dashing squirrels and birdcalls and our friends in fold-out chairs and the chicken dogs we’re going to roast later over crackling embers. I can only feel her.

I love the way she kisses, each time she brings her ecstatic lips to mine, there’s a different sensation. She never kisses quite the same way. Who knew there were so many ways a person could kiss you? It’s like each one was specifically hand-crafted for me, every time.

I lose her lips for a moment wondering if she gets bored with my kisses. I don’t think I’m as creative as she is. I tend to follow her lead a lot. Every now and then, my tongue will explore hers inventively reaching for a new place at an altered pace, trying to do my part in our connected, hot dance. She doesn’t allow me to continue down my familiar path of insecurity for too long because she calls me back with her hand on the back of my neck, then further commands my attention by sliding her other hand down the front of my denim cut-offs.

We keep kissing and touching in the shadowy dark tent as the still shining sun smiles as my mind is relieved of its duties and my body takes over allowing me to only feel.

Monday, March 1, 2010

another spring day, a story

I’ve driven into Spring, but I don’t remember Winter. I’ve been met with still nights that would be romantic if I had someone for them to be romantic with, clear skies, familiar stars forming the same constellations they had the year I was born and every year following. I’m immersed in pastel printed dresses, gold strappy sandals in all the store windows, resurrected flowers. Yes, Spring is here, loud and clear. But, I have to say, it feels a little forced.

I watch her frail body twitch like a volcano, nearing an eruption. Her stomach looks like it is caving in on itself.

“I’m not suicidal,” she says. “But I’m terrified to be left alone with myself like this.”

What can I say? I’m terrified too.

“Please,” she says, reaching her bony arm toward me. “Don’t leave until you absolutely have to.”

So, I stay. I watch her restless sleep. I stare out the window at the life outside, the blossoming, the thriving, the growth, the lemon sky, the obviousness of the season, the things that make me feel so happy to be so alive.

She sits up because she’s uncomfortable lying down, then stands because she’s uncomfortable sitting.

“I’m not really a fighter,” she says with her back to me so she doesn’t have to gauge my response.

“I know,” I tell her.

“Like if I were in one of those The-Universe-is-coming-to-an-end movies, I wouldn’t fight. I’d just let it happen. I don’t want to be a hero.”

She’s exhausted from talking. She climbs back into bed knocking something off the nightstand.

I go over to pick it up. Outside, I see the sun preparing to pass the baton to the moon. Another Spring day is winding down.

Friday, February 26, 2010

cool air

Today was scallops and asparagus, arugula salad, wine, and chocolate cake with fresh whipped cream. Today was about making plans. It was walking home and feeling the air- the crisp San Francisco air, air that is unlike the air I grew up with in that it does not represent a specific season. It is an air with a permanence, like a Sharpie. It is cool and fresh and your own. And his own. And hers. And it gives you a sense of individuality and community all at once. Like this city in general. Sometimes you feel isolated and connected in the same breath, and it's a weird sensation. And, it's one of the many things about this place that makes me feel things deep in my bones. Feeling is brave, terrifying, and vital. Feeling is accepting who you are and the world around you. It's being present and making peace. It's not always possible, but when I can, I try to let everything melt away, just slide right off my shoulder, so that I can feel myself feeling, just for a moment.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


The moon is bright tonight. So bright. I love that space between silver and blue. Between light and dark. Where you can try to find where one thing ends and the other begins, but you won't be able to get there. That foggy space. I want to lie down in it, wrap myself up in it, let it weave through my fingers and hair. I want to watch things happen from both sides, get a different view with a simple turn of the head. I want to look inside, to play hide and seek without knowing what I'm seeking. To remove the veil. I want to separate and combine, to narrow and include. I want to be the part of the moon the sky likes to be closest to and the part of the sky where the moon always returns. I want light and time and space and presence and accountability. I am in between, teetering, in a good way.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

first date, a story

“That’s right,” she said reaching for two non-matching bowls to put the finally-ready paella in. “We haven’t talked about music yet.”

She dished the mixture of yellow and green and red into the bowls and brought them to the little table by the window. “What kind of music do you like?”

I took a bigger than necessary bite of chicken and rice in order to buy time before responding to her question. When I couldn’t chew the paprika and saffron-coated morsel any longer, I swallowed, looked up, and attempted to own the only answer I had come up with.

“I don’t know.”

“You don’t know?” as if on cue. Mine was obviously not a satisfactory response.

“Well,” I said, dragging out the one syllable word and resisting the urge to fill my mouth to the brim with seasoned shrimp. “I like what’s playing now.” I hated how agreeable this sounded so I added, “I also like the Beatles.” The Beatles are like Girl Scout cookies; everybody likes them. Not to mention the fact that liking the Beatles now would imply a second coming of sorts, like I’ve been on quite the musical Tour De France, and I’m back around for yet another loop.

“What’s your favorite Beatles song?” she asks. I hate this question too. I consider my options. Nothing too sappy or pop-y or drug-y.

“Across the Universe,” I say but then I realize that it’s Rufus Wainwright’s version of that song that I really like, much more so than when the Beatles sing it. Does that even count? But I don’t want to say Rufus Wainwright because I only know like six songs of his, and I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t really constitute me as a fan since I haven’t sought out his “older stuff.” Or are the songs I like his “older stuff”?

I ask her about her taste in music, trying to sling the blinding gleam of the spotlight onto her. As the immanent sweat from my time in the interrogation chair subsides, she runs off a list of performer names, some I’ve heard and some I have not.

I don’t know what exactly it is, but I hate these music questions. I feel like I’m being judged no matter what I say, like the Jeopardy music is playing in the background and there is no question for this answer. It’s like a freakin’ online quiz: what kind of music are you? What liking this artist says about you. Genre preferences as connected to personality traits and intelligent quotients. If you chose mostly a’s, you are the dumbest person on the planet. If you chose mostly b’s, you live in an unrealistic universe and have your head permanently stuck in the clouds and cannot be trusted to uphold common responsibilities due to your perceived flightiness. If you chose mostly c’s, you are an inauthentic faker and you don’t deserve happiness and will never find love. I don’t see me proudly posting any of these results on my Facebook page for extended judgments.

I don’t want her to think I’m too mainstream, but I can’t say something obscure because I don’t really know anything obscure, and I don’t want to get caught up in a lie, like in sixth grade when some popular kids engineered this coolness barometer of asking not-so-popular kids, such as myself, if we’d heard of the band Crash. If we admitted we hadn’t, they would deem us lame and totally uncool and relentlessly tease us. If we said we had heard of the band, they would catch us- hook, line, and sinker- and mock us for saying we knew a band that didn’t really exist that they had made up all along.

I don’t want to pick something too sweet or too cynical or too weird or too loud or too stoner-ish, Nothing that means something, even if I don’t know what it means. I don’t want to subscribe to the wrong thing. Why is everyone so goddamn into music anyway?

I can’t wait until we talk about something else, something I know. Like chocolate.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

beautiful places

Paris is:
-cheese and perfume in the air
-espresso and wine and tartare at a brasserie
-enjoying a croissant on a bench at the gardens
-a leisurely stroll down the Seine
-midnight picnics at the Eiffel Tower
-architecture, flowers, history
-street crepes
-the perfect souffle
-creme caramel, chocolate mousse, panna cotta, unearthly pastries

Puerto Vallarta is:
-that chocolate-covered, caramel-covered apple from the chocolate shop
-go-go boys and questionable photos
-shots of Corralejo, Cazadores on the rocks, Cajeta by the spoonful
-Ana’s guacamole
-parrots, pesos, pina coladas
-views, water, light
-drag shows, dancing
-being asked if you want to buy a hat when you are already wearing one
-Coronas on the beach, lots of lime
-sunscreen, sunglasses, sun
-seeing a turtle swimming in the Pacific while parasailing
-zip-lining through the jungle
-La Noche
-music videos in Espanol

San Francisco is:
-houses on hills
-puppies in the park
-wine on rooftops
-the bridge and the bay and the boats and the fog
-sitting at the top of Dolores Park watching downtown turn into a series of sparkles
-friends, such amazing friends
-celebratory and surprising

Saturday, February 20, 2010

sweet, a poem

Laughing, bugging, twittering, speeding
You to me
So easy
Like a cotton candy machine
Rolling, fluffing, spitting
Spin like laundry
Speak like the ocean
Listen like snowfall
Gaze sleepily
Awake slowly
Stretch your mouth into a “u”
Broad, unintentional,

Friday, February 19, 2010

in paris

Like the good former Girl Scout she was, she made sure all of her friends got on their appropriate trains back to their balconied hotel rooms. She casually strolled the corridor that would lead to her designated train- the one that would take her from the twinkly Eiffel Tower to another stop she couldn’t pronounce where she would transfer to another train which would shuttle her to the Montmartre where she would quietly sneak into the shared room of her hostel and dream of remaining in Paris indefinitely between the snores of her top bunk Swedish roommate.

She inspected the billboards in the tunnel, their funny French faces and phrases and the overwhelming deliciousness of getting to invent what combinations of letters might mean.

Arriving at her stop, she saw her train- solid and dark. She peered inside to empty seats where street musicians had so recently been conducting a traveling concert for cramped commuters and wide-eyed tourists. An older man spoke to her in French one word which could only mean ‘closed’.

Hmm, she thought. She wound her way out of the underground maze and puzzled over a bus map. A young man, her own age, asked in broken English if he could help. She explained she’d missed her subway, and he tried to help her plan a route. As they waited together for the bus, he asked if she might want some whiskey, and she found that she did, so the two passed his flask back and forth and marveled over the city’s lights.

When the bus approached, she thanked the man who had helped her, but told him that she was planning to walk.

“It’s quite a long way,” he warned. “It will take a long time.”

“That’s ok,” she replied. “This is the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen, and it would be a privilege to spend the whole night walking through it.”

“Have you cab fare?” he asked. “I can give you Euros.”

Touched by his offer, she gave him a fleeting hug. “Thank you,” she said. “I have enough.”

“Be careful, Mademoiselle,” he said boarding the bus.

They watched each other- he through the elevated window, her from the bus shelter on the corner of the street. Then, he was gone, and she proceeded.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

on the road

It’s about a two hour drive one way from Hampstead, Maryland to Fairfax, Virginia. My parents said Uncle Charlie, my step-grandmother’s son-in-law, who I had never met until his gloved hands were reaching into forced open mouth with sharp instruments, was giving them a really good deal on my braces. It must have been some heck of a bargain between the cost of gas and my dad taking off time from work to transport me to appointments, but however my parents came to the decision, that commute became part of mine and Dad’s bimonthly routine. A roadtrip to promote straighter teeth.

Packing for such trips involved the Jess & Dad mix tape, a spiral notebook, plenty of pens, and a brand new box of tissues, as I was prone to nose bleeds and Dad always feared we would run out if we relied on a previously opened box.

We would spend nearly the entire trip listening and singing to the cassette, which included favorites such as “Under the Boardwalk,” “Sad Movies Always Make Me Cry,” “The Locomotion,” “Big John,” “I’m So Hurt,” and “Splish, Splash,” while we watched for out-of-state license plates for me to record.

Depending on how much coffee my father had drank that morning, we might need to pull the car over to the side of the highway so my father could relieve himself in the bushes. Generally, when he returned I would have locked him out of the car, and we would both laugh as he banged on the driver’s side door to be let in.

Short of the red clown nose, Uncle Charlie was the Patch Adams of orthodontistry. Inside his office were toys and gadgets galore. Appealing to my Dad’s love of all things plastic, neon, and free: wind-up teeth, creatures with googly eyes, Where’s Waldo books, and Magic Eye posters would entertain him while I reclined in an exam chair with a bright light in my face and the supposed taste of “bubble gum” lingering from some kind of gunky mold.

We always left Uncle Charlie’s with a pretty extensive goodie bag that encompassed more than just a free toothbrush and floss. Everyone in the office loved my father, and to show their appreciation for us coming such a long way, all of the receptionists and assistants would spoil us to pieces with homemade sweets, Frisbees, smiley face key chains, Silly Putty, balloons and other Dr. Charles Price and Associates paraphernalia. We had gone to get my braces tightened, and it looked like we had left a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese.

There was this pretty amazing frozen custard shop at a strip mall near Uncle Charlie’s. We would go there after every visit, but not without getting lost first, even though it was just around the corner from the office. Our driving in circles was part of the routine, and we both respected tradition.

The drive home would be pretty much a replica of the drive there. Same tape, same loud, obnoxious singing, same license plate games. Sometimes, as long as Mom wasn’t waiting with dinner, my dad would take the long way home so we could drive past the huge, beautiful Mormon church.

Upon arriving home, we would be immersed again in the goings on of the rest of my family, and I would have to go to my room to do homework. But, while traveling to and from the orthodontist’s, the road would belong just to us.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Life is a perpetual puzzle, and we are constantly trying on different pieces. Some we can tell right away won't work, others look promising until we have more context and the evidence convinces us otherwise. A close fit will do for a little while, but eventually we’ll need the right piece. The only one that will work in the situation, that will connect everything together, and make these parts into a whole.

Is this really a metaphor for life? There’s no way to be sure. Are there really rights and wrongs in terms of the people and things and decisions in our lives? Won't we never get anywhere without trying on many different outfits, jobs, partners, cities, friends, approaches- puzzle pieces? Is it fair to judge them, to say yes or no about something that served us if only for a while? I don’t know that I believe in this ‘perfect fit.’ I don’t know that I don’t either.

Like, these sayings: everything happens for a reason; it's not a mistake if you learn from it; the right thing at the wrong time is not the right thing, etc. Are we predestined to do what we do, lead the lives we lead, become the people we are, and then change and become different in subtle or not-so-subtle ways? And if our paths are predetermined, to what degree? Was I predetermined to move to San Francisco? to meet the specific set of people that have become my SF family? to drink mango juice a few moments ago? to blog about these thoughts at this moment?

And if we are not predetermined, then wow! All of these conscious and unconscious forces guided us to make all these decisions, that are not necessarily bad or good, they just are, and they have led us to where we are right now, and they are within us and correspond directly and indirectly with how we feel about ourselves and the things that are going on around us. I imagine, like many things, there is some truth to all schools of thought, and perhaps there is a combination of all of these ideas and more that go into the components of a life.

I respect that people have varied opinions and are willing to share them, and I love to hear lots of different perspectives.
But, I'm not asking for answers here.
I’m just wondering. Just thinking out loud in print.

Monday, February 15, 2010

moving, a story

Bleek, hopeless rainclouds: that’s you. Infinite mimosas: that’s me. But, sometimes, you’re wet, warm puppy kisses, and sometimes I’m fresh fruit gone bad. Sometimes we’re children playing together in a backyard running away from, then into sprinklers. Sometimes we’re coffee stains on light-colored business suits on our way to important interviews. Today, we’re just us: rain clouds and mimosas.

We’re fixing breakfast together, and over the crackling of the bacon, you drop a bomb on me.

“I’m moving to New York in August.”

I continue arranging the wet plates on the drying rack as I choose my words.

“I don’t want you to be upset,” you tell me.

“Flick the fan on. I don’t want the smoke alarm to go off again.” I turn down the heat. “Do you have a place to live?” I bring the salt and pepper to the table.


“Do you have a job lined up?”

“No.” You plate the bacon and bring it to the table with a paper towel on top to de-grease it.

“When did you decide this?”

“I’ve been thinking about it for a while.”

“Do we need anything else?” I ask, surveying the spread.

“I don’t think so,” you say, taking the chair across from me. You dip your toast into the center of your egg, and the yellow starts running out like a shoplifter. My fork and knife make that scraping noise against the plate that reverberates like a cartoon character who’s gotten his head stuck in a bell.

“Why New York?”

“Why not?”

I fish for the crispiest piece of bacon. You reach for the butter.

“I know it’s exciting to go someplace new, but I know New York, and I know you, and I don’t think you’ll like it.”

“I need a change,” you tell me.

“I know you do, but why don’t you do a little research, and see where the best place for you might be. I mean, what if you can’t get an apartment or work, and you don’t know anybody. I know you’re looking for something different, but this is a whole lot of different all at once.”

“I’m going,” you say. “I’d like to have your support.”

“You don’t even seem excited about it,” I protest.

“I’m not excited about anything right now. I’ve been gloom and doom for the past five months. I’m going to go because I have to. I am stronger than this.”

I watch you struggle with the lid to the jelly jar. Eventually it pops off. You spread the preserved berries onto your toast. I try to picture everything behind you as a green screen, you staying the same, just getting a new background, maybe even a more flattering one, one that you prefer.

“As soon as you get a place I’m coming to visit though, make sure the Big Apple is treating you well.”

You smile at me, and I can begin to see the sun peaking through the shifting gray clouds.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

what i think about when i think about love

In honor of Valentine's Day, I have decided to include a small list of some of the many things that I love.

I love:

*San Francisco
*white Christmas lights
*the smell of freshly cut grass
*home-cooked meals
*feeling the sun on my shoulders
*girls' nights
*The Ferry Building
*pulling on a sweatshirt straight out of the dryer, still warm and smelling of detergent
*the gift of a new book
*giving the gift of a new book
*a genuine compliment
*TV on DVD
*the color red
*Sharpies, stickers, stationary, and stamps
*dumb jokes
*roller skating
*comfy cozy snuggliness
*soft cheese, crisp apples, red wine

Saturday, February 13, 2010

flowers, a poem

She brought me flowers wrapped in purple tissue
And brown paper
With oatmeal yarn
Tied in a bow
The loops proportionate to the hanging string
They smelled like summer
Like chasing brothers
And brothers chasing butterflies
And eating lemons
Pierced with peppermint
The white of afternoon clouds
The smell of chlorine on your skin
After several hours of pretending to be a starfish
The crayfish creek
The tree branches that look like fireworks
The murmur of insects
The swirls of dwindling sunlight
And the shimmer of a shy moon

Friday, February 12, 2010

hangman, a story

I am slightly drunk and highly caffeinated. The process of getting this way was really fun, but now I feel kind of like shit. I am slurry and hyper, and my stomach hurts. The sun is high in the sky, yet it still finds its way to your face causing your left eye to squint, but even asymmetrical, your face is so beautiful.

“How about an ‘L’?” you ask.

“I have to pee,” I say, getting up in search of the restroom.

“Just tell me if there’s an ‘L’ first so I can think about the word while you’re gone.”

“There’s no ‘L’.” I draw a stick leg off the hanging torso and make my way inside the building only to find a line snaking around the corner, at least seven female bathroom-goers long. The problem with passing tipsy is that you forget to leave room for the possibility of waiting in line, and when you stand up all the Pinot and espressos do too, and you feel like a weeble wobble bloated from liquid and lacking balance.

When I return to the bench we have been occupying for the past three hours, my body is feeling much relieved, and the sun has worked its way to a different corner of the sky.

“It got a little chilly out here,” I say.

You smile. “Is there an ‘R’?”

I fill in one of the blanks. I notice that you’ve draped your gray scarf around you, and your yellow neck looks even longer wrapped in the thick dark yarn. It’s funny how silly I feel all of a sudden after spending the whole day with you. I mean, I’m glad things aren’t awkward. God, am I glad! It’s just funny how sober everything is fine, but now I feel paranoid.

“I know the word,” you say, putting your jacket around your shoulders. “Country.”

I nod, close the journal, and slip it into the Trader Joe’s tote I am using as a purse today. “Let’s get out of here,” I say.

You take my arm in yours, the way we used to but not the way we do now. I am excited and confused and furious. How is it any different now if we’re still doing the same things we’ve always done? I hold up the front as best as I can and yell at the pigeons ahead of us on the path.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


I'm tired and I'm happy. I'm working and writing. I'm geeking out to board games and putting stuff on the calendar and trying to get organized and wearing my coat in bed cause it's really freakin' cold. I'm motivated and affirmed. I'm contemplating the idea of timing. I'm believing and I'm sprinkling magic dust and waiting expectantly and watching the particles disappear into the air and wondering how they'll reemerge. I'm singing partial songs with skewed lyrics in my head and trying to narrow my scope. I'm trying to massage my shoulders with my brain. I'm rewarding myself for working hard by reserving pages in my journal for doodle frenzies. I'm thinking about growing out my hair. I'm revisiting past work and typing up my pieces and feeling good. I'm trying to zero in, identify patterns, set myself up to keep moving forward.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I am happy to report that I have finally returned to the wonderful world of work! I went from having no job to having two awesome ones. I feel really lucky to have snagged spots in two charming and diverse quintessential San Francisco restaurants. They both represent distinct SF neighborhoods; they both have really delicious food made out of seasonal, local, and sustainable ingredients; they both get me out of the house and save me from my Netflix addiction; and they both provide me with a paycheck, so I'm really excited to once again be among the employed.

Interestingly enough, on my first day, at both jobs, the power went out. Keep in mind, these were two separate parts of the city on two separate days. It was weird enough the first time, but when it happened again, I had to wonder.

I decided to take it as a sign of good luck. I am really happy to be working at these independent places with good vibes, as far as I can tell so far.

I feel completely affirmed that I am heading in the right direction. Things are working out, and I'm trying to remember to give myself credit and be a part of that. Things are working out because I am believing that they will, because I am recognizing that I deserve to have what I want, and because I am gaining confidence and seeking out the types of people, places, and opportunities I want to be surrounded by.

I feel ready to work hard in order to continue playing harder. I certainly still have the work to live not live to work mentality, but I have a little bit of catching up to do. It's all good. I'm excited about my new schedule because I feel like it will leave plenty of time to do what I love best: be with friends, write, and be with friends while writing.

Things were a little dim for a while, but now, I can see the light.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

stuffed peppers

The air was quiet and tight as I brought up my laundry bag full of freshly washed clothes, towels, and sheets. I’m ready, I announced walking into the kitchen where my mother was frantically preparing a goodie bag of crackers and fruit and bottled water for my three hour drive back to Bloomsburg University. Mom, I said gently, I probably won’t be hungry. I’ll just take the water. Mom had outdone herself as usual, treating me to all of my favorite meals while I’d been home on winter break, and that evening’s stuffed peppers were no exception. Wait, she said. Take these. She handed me a Tupperware container of neatly arranged peppers filled with the perfect blend of ground beef, chopped onions, rice, and tomato sauce. They’ll keep during the drive. Just be sure to refrigerate them once you get there. Yeah, I thought, salivating upon eyeing the vibrant green volcanoes. If they make it that far.

My family gathered in the driveway to see me off, my brother looking mostly bored, my father looking mostly proud, and my mother looking altogether hysterical. Dad helped me heave the laundry bag into the trunk, and my mother gingerly placed the Tupperware in a safe crevice before pulling the trunk door shut.

I got into the car and drove off, watching in my rearview mirror as the waving figures grew smaller and smaller until they were out of sight.

Lucy, my white ‘96 Toyota Tercel, kept me good company on trips such as this. Trips when I felt torn about missing my family, leaving my mother crying in the driveway and about the potential for independence that going away to college allows.
I had been on the road about thirty minutes, making good time, when Lucy’s back tires slipped on a patch of ice and sent me sliding into the middle of the three lane highway. In an attempt to get back into my lane quickly, I took hold of the wheel, but overcorrected and sent Lucy careening diagonally, charging rudely through each lane, gaining momentum, bumping the guardrail and shooting back into the lanes of dodging cars. Aware that I no longer had any say in the car’s whereabouts, I took my feet off the pedals and my hands of the wheel, relinquishing all control. I said some prayers and sat back as if watching a violent crash scene in a movie with special effects. Only I was in the driver’s seat with an all-too-real view. My car appeared to be in slow motion, like in cartoons when someone falls off a cliff and even their last word N-o-o-o-o-o-o just lingers there forever, against the other cars whizzing past. Finally, the little white car hit the guardrail once more and came to rest against it.

Getting out of the car, I calmly grabbed my cell phone and made my way to the side of the road to call home. In a composed tone, I told my mother that I was fine, but I’d been in an accident. Before I’d even hung up the phone, my parents were on their way. It was then that I actually looked over at Lucy, and it was then that I started touching parts of my body: my arms, legs, shoulders, head; trying to figure out how I had managed to walk out unscaved when my smashed car, barely resembling its former self, looked like it should have appeared in one of those drunk driving photos with flashing lights all around and a stretcher to take away the dead body. I wasn’t dead or mangled or even bleeding. I was alive. I was safe.

Amazingly, I did not cause an accident for anyone else. All the other vehicles on the road somehow managed to carefully swerve out of the way, and many of them stopped to call for help and make sure I was alright.

When the tow truck arrived to take Lucy to her final resting place, I remembered one more thing I wanted to retrieve.

Inside what remained of the trunk were my Mom’s stuffed peppers, shaken up, yet safely contained inside the sturdy Tupperware. Though their appearance was a bit jumbled, they were still intact. Whole. Safe. Just like me.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

snow day

“What are you doing today?” I ask into the receiver of my archaic cell phone.

“We’re having a Snow Day,” Mom replies.

I look out across the park at the Speedo-sporting sunbathers, picnicking couples, groups throwing Frisbees and drinking Coronas, Trevor, the dreadlocked seller of loaded truffles, and the sixty-some year old woman that has been hula-hooping for the past hour nonstop.

I have to squint because the sun is so bright. “I’m having a Snow Day, too,” I say.

“I thought you were at the park.”

“I am.”

“Do I have to remind you what a Snow Day is?”

She didn’t. A Snow Day, (aside from the perhaps most obvious ingredient of, well… snow) is a day where you cannot leave the house. Where work and school and errands don’t exist, chores are put on hold and pajamas are never changed out of.

A Snow Day, in my family, is a day where the only things that matter are the people you’re stuck indoors with. A Snow Day yields a much needed break from the ho-hum daily rat race.

It’s a heaping pot of homemade vegetable soup and a warm apple pie consumed at the table which is littered with playing cards, Scrabble tiles, dominoes, and sprawling doodles from rounds of Pictionary.

It’s my demanding that the pellet stove be turned up and my brother feigning heat stroke so that I don’t get my way. It’s us bickering back and forth and my mother reminding us of the sacredness of the Snow Day. It’s my getting my sleeping back to drape over my shoulders and my brother taking off as much of his clothing as possible without being completely obscene.

It’s Law and Order: SVU marathons, (or SUV, as my father insists on calling them) and time for favorite movies we’ve all seen so many times that the dialogue is in stereo from our uncanny ability to recite each line with perfect timing and inflection.

“You know,” Mom says, the reception’s a little static-y, so I have to cock my head and move my body slightly to hear her. “Without you here, it’s really not a proper Snow Day anyway.”

Perhaps, I am not physically present for this particular Snow Day. But, a Snow Day is us, our family, and being connected, so, in that way, I am having a Snow Day in California.

Friday, February 5, 2010

half full

Yesterday, I worked with my creative partner in crime to complete a new phase in our collaborative process, and I feel really excited and proud about our accomplishment. We have been writing together for only four months, and we now have an awesome manuscript. I am thinking back to when this project was just a casual conversation, and I am amazed at how we have turned it into something really spectacular. I feel truly inspired to continue working and making steady progress on this and other stories I want to tell.

I just want to say that I often spend time thinking of how much more there is to do, but I want to take a minute to consider how far I've come and relish in that. I want to see my manuscript as half full, not half empty.

So to all you writers, artists, and other creative folk, please keep writing, photographing, painting, doing what you do. You are building an arsenal of exquisite work. You inspire me!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

drive, a poem

Do you remember that time
we went to that reunion concert
with all of those baby boomers
and they sang that song that repeats
“a little mascara”
I can’t remember now
the name of the band
or the song
but I'm sure I can google it
and we got lost
getting out of the city
because we couldn’t go the way we came
since there were so many one-ways
and it was raining
and the umbrella song came on the radio
and we sang so loud
and we drove around Dupont Circle
for over an hour
and we didn’t care at all
and we compared this concert
to the one we had just seen a week ago
in Baltimore
and we talked about the phone call
you promised to make when you got home
and we talked about being “aware”
and “enlightened”
and about the red dress the girl who went up on stage was wearing
and how it fit her perfectly
and her hair was perfect
but how dippy she looked in the face
and when we finally found the tollbooth
it had stopped raining
and we listened to every sound there was for the rest of the ride home

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

the bird

She was walking down Main Street in Ellicott City, the quiet part of Main Street, before all the shops and restaurants. It was summertime, but it felt more like fall. She didn’t mind; the breeze was soothing as she strolled by the historic homes, marveling at each one’s undeniable character. It was really a beautiful day, pleasing and calm.

She noticed a small bird standing in the middle of the street. A wren, perhaps, she really didn’t know much about birds. She noticed the green leaves of the surrounding trees, the purple petals speckling the ground beneath. She was thinking of upcoming travel plans and picturing herself packing her new suitcase. She was thinking about how it would be to travel by herself. She was a little anxious, but mostly excited.

She noticed the bird again. He was still in the same spot, standing in the middle of the road. A car went by, its left tires so close to the tiny creature, yet the bird did not move. What a gutsy animal, she thought. Then, another car drove by, this time the car moved right over the bird, tires on both sides, tunneling the bird in darkness. As the car passed, she could see that the bird remained stuck to his spot. She realized then that the bird was not brave, but rather injured. She watched another bird of the same size fly down onto the street and hop, hop, hop over to the unmoving bird. She could tell the bird was trying to help, but then another car came by, and the bird that could fly had to fly away. She watched the hurt bird, again unable to save itself, endure the haunting dark space under the passing vehicle.

She wanted so badly to save it, to scoop it up in her hands, find some food, bring it to an animal rescue shelter. She wanted so badly to help the bird, but she kept walking. Her legs took her down Main Street to the vibrant storefronts and chatty passersby.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

no words, a poem

I don’t have words
Not pretty ones
Nor ones that sting
Nor ones that feel like cardboard in my mouth
Nor clever, witty ones
Nor ones that rhyme with other ones
I don’t have words
Not sharp ones, nor dull ones
Nor words that are short
Nor long
Nor words that could mean different things
Nor words that I wish I hadn’t said
I don’t have words
Not courageous ones
Nor cowardous
Nor dismal, drippy words
Nor fulfilling, sunshiny ones
Nor ones that I use in place of the ones that I mean
Nor haunting, honest, authentic ones
I don’t have words
I only have this feeling, this moment,
And no words

Monday, February 1, 2010

cellar door

I watched Donnie Darko last night, and I had some really disturbing dreams as a result.

Now, I'm eating a pink lady apple and procrastinating doing laundry after an afternoon spent reviewing some of my past writings.

It's fun to see progress in yourself, especially since we all spend so much time being our own biggest critic. I'm going to work on also being my own biggest fan.

I saw Lady Gaga perform with Elton John last night at the Grammy's, and I think they're both amazing!

I'm thinking about time travel- if I could, would I? Where would I go? What would I do? I guess I wouldn't. I think I would choose to just let life unfold in its own time, run its natural course- not speed it up or slow it down. Sure, I wish I had a remote control where I could rewind and fast forward different experiences at my discretion, who doesn't? But, ultimately, I believe in the timing of the Universe. I believe we prepare ourselves for things to happen when they do, to a point at least.

I also believe in feeling frustrated, in doubting yourself, in wondering what it is you're supposed to be doing. And, I believe in hope. I believe you can ask the questions, but also have to be prepared to accept the answer that sometimes there are no answers.

Friday, January 29, 2010

snuggies, a poem

We fell asleep in our snuggies
And when I woke up next to you
I went right back to sleep
And when you woke up next to me
You went right back to sleep
And we proceeded like that
Until well into the afternoon
And we were both so hungry we had to force ourselves off the futon
And into the café
Where we shared a turkey sandwich
With avocado and cheese and sprouts and tomatoes
And you took the tomatoes off your sandwich
And I asked you
Why you didn’t tell me that you didn’t like tomatoes
And you told me that you knew I liked them
And I felt warm like I was still wearing my snuggie
And your feet played with mine under the table
And we went back to the futon
To do it all again
The movie, the wine, the rain, the coziness
The very best weekend

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Last night, we had craft night, which morphed into TV, cheese, and chat night, which was perfectly fine with me.

I really want to take a class in grammar because I am constantly confused about commas. Maybe I just need to watch a bunch of School House Rocks tapes. Conjunction Junction, what's your function? That would certainly be more fun.

Today, at lunch, we had two over-attentive servers. One was really cool, the other was super annoying. It's funny how fine the line is between comedy and obnoxiousness. And the thing is, the most annoying people are the ones that think they are funny. Maybe that's what makes someone annoying- their lack of self-awareness. At least I know when my funny isn't all that funny.

I am not sure what I'm doing with my stories. They're all these little vignettes, and they're not very expansive. But, I like to read pieces that are short, and I like to write that way too. I guess the point is, I'm writing. That is my goal, and I am doing it.

I noticed that my street is spelled incorrectly, the 'a' and the 'i' are switched around, engraved on the ground on the opposite corner of my apt. I also noticed that on Broderick, a '3' was engraved where the 'E' should be. I really can't believe these mistakes! I mean, I live on a main street, with an uncomplicated spelling. And 3, last time I checked, is not even a letter. Are these secret codes, inside jokes, pranks, or just urban bloopers?

the dentist

“Very impressive,” she says, calling me ‘Miss,’ pronouncing my last name right on the first try. “No cavities.” She removes the shiny pointy instrument and returns it to the sea green paper on the small tray.

“Really?” I think to myself, but end up saying out loud. I hadn’t been to the dentist in years, I thrive on sugar cereal, and I love to suck on lemons.
She turns her eyes to me and, with a smile, remarks that I must have good genes.

“I’ll be right back,” she tells me. “And we can proceed with the cleaning.”

It’s funny how your tongue just can’t sit still while your teeth are getting attention. Like the kid in the class who needs to know everything that’s going on with everybody, and makes sure he’s the center of it all. While my teeth are being polished with the little pulsating device and the water is being sucked up by the micro-vacuum, my tongue is doing somersaults, carelessly bumbling into the equipment as if set free in a giant Bounce House. I feel a little embarrassed; I’m not a little kid, I should be able to control my tongue, to make it cooperate for this short amount of time.

“You doing ok?” she asks me. I nod. I’m glad she’s not the type of dentist who tries to carry on a two-sided conversation with me while I have six sharp silver objects protruding from my mouth. I realize that my eyes have been open this whole time staring into the artificially yellow light, and I worry that it might be freaky from the doctor’s perspective to have me watching her work, so I close my eyes lightly the way it is customary when you’re receiving a Swedish massage.

I may not have any cavities, but I certainly have accrued some considerably stubborn plaque, and it hurts a little as she scrapes at the gum line of the backs of my bottom teeth.

“Could you close your mouth please?” she asks sweetly. Then thanks me, when I do. She has me reopen and continues the cleaning. I don’t close my eyes right away this time; I take a moment to sneak glances at this woman mere moments away from my face, with her soft chestnut eyes, pink skin.

“You have beautiful teeth,” she says as my reclined chair returns to its upright position. Does she say that to everyone? She has certainly seen her fair share of teeth. I can’t imagine that is part of the exam, nor can I imagine that she would, as a medical professional, tell me something that she didn’t believe to be true.

“Thanks,” I say. It’s weird how we don’t see ourselves, how my biggest insecurity yields a not-at-all-required, yet delicious compliment.

“So, we’ll see you in six months,” the dentist hands me my chart. I meet her eyes as I take it from her precise hands. Her white lab coat hugs her curves, and between the large buttons, I can make out a tiny blue floral print top elevated by her generous breasts.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

mary rose, a story

Mary Rose contemplated the celery green dress, but ultimately pulled on her name-brand-less jeans and a thick ribbed black sweater. She folded her hair into a low bun and pumped her mascara wand to lengthen her lashes in an attempt to combat frumpiness. She avoided the full-length mirror on her way out the door and huffed down the twenty-six stairs only to realize she had forgotten her bus pass.

She considered just paying the two dollar fare both ways, so she wouldn’t have to return to her room with its mountain ranges of clothes, looming redwoods of file folders, and Styrofoam Cup of Noodle pyramids, but she just couldn’t justify breaking her twenty dollar bill on public transportation.

This is a good opportunity for you to get some more exercise, she told herself, feeling guilty that she’d only managed thirteen minutes of the Pilates DVD she’d rented from the library.

On her way back up, she could hear her neighbor, Charles, humming to himself The Beatles' Penny Lane from inside his studio apartment. She wondered if Charles knew any other songs, as it was always the same tune she recognized of his dancing Baritone resonance.

Often, when he would see her coming up the stairs or if they should meet while taking out the trash, he would incorporate her name into his never-ending song. Mary Rose is in my ears and in my eyes. Mary Rose would smile politely, as he would, and further conversation would elude them. She didn’t mind his incessant humming, didn’t even mind the personalization of her name in his song without his asking for permission. It felt familial, in fact. Comforting. Times she would pass his paper-thin door and not hear him would bring a subtle sag to her stomach. Mostly, he was there, though. She imagined he must work from home because that perpetual melody had become something she could count on, on her way to and from, and she liked counting on something.

percentage daily value, a poem

he is easy
like cereal for breakfast
like Lucky Charms
on display
half off
half eaten
before you even get him home
but once you do
you’ve lost your appetite
stick him on a shelf
and wish you’d gotten toaster strudels

Sunday, January 24, 2010

free fun

Who says you can't have fun for free?
No job- no problem!
I have found a plethora of ways to entertain myself without spending a dime.
And, I shall share them with you, dear reader. The following have been tested for quality assurance purposes.

Free Fun Top Five:

-play 'airplane' (person A lays on back and presses feet to stomach of person B, person A then lifts person B off the ground by holding hands and person B maintains balance while making whoosing airplane sounds)
-look up beloved 90's songs on youtube and sing them loudly in the middle of the night on your friend's patio
-revisit your diary from 1994, have a friend read aloud the most embarrassing entries
-get caught in the rain while running errands
-attend a Pajama Jam and tote your snuggie and giant stuffed bear on muni and bart

Saturday, January 23, 2010


? Where does neurosis come from, and how can I send it back

? What kind of information does the dog get when he sniffs me

? Why do passion and misery always pair up like best friends choosing lab partners, the peanut butter to the others’ jelly

? Who tells the sun when it is time to put away her toys for the night
? What’s the sun’s motivation for getting up so early
? Does the sun have OCD
? When is the sun’s birthday
? Where would the sun like to go on vacation

? What kind of damage does it do to feed a chicken chicken

? How much do our former lives affect our current one

? Nature vs. Nurture: an itemized list please

? Is my life like The Truman Show

? How big is the world’s largest dust bunny

? Is there such a thing as a medium-speed chase

? What is it that the “I’s” have

? When sheep have trouble getting to sleep, do they count humans

? Why are white grapes green

? Does your eye always think, “It’s all about me”

? Where is snow stored

? Does the worm, after being cut into multiple pieces, recognize its other bodies as being parts of what once was a whole

? Are you listening

? What am I supposed to do now

Friday, January 22, 2010

midnight meeting, a poem

over and under
rosy cheeks
carried away

Leap into the night
like a fairy
with unmistakable purpose
to matchmake
or spread seeds
or dreams
or something

Over and over again
we roll
like at war
yet graceful
like a dance
somewhere in between
we are

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

taqueria, a story

The corn tortillas taste like purple in my mouth, and I don’t know how to fix us. I don’t know why I had to talk about him or why you had to mention her, but I do know that if we keep rehashing it over and over and over again, the particles of what we were will become sawdust.

My chip, like a shard of glass, pierces my gum with its jagged corner. The pain is so jarring, my whole body convulses. My eyes tear in response to the sensation, with the taste of blood exploding in my mouth. I sit quietly as my nerve endings shriek, and my body begins to repair itself.

You sit there and say nothing.

I stand up and take our trays to the counter. As I unload the grotesque remains of our half eaten burritos, beans and cheese like confetti on the grease-laden paper, I glance over at you, and I can see the end. You don’t care that I’m hurting, and I don’t care that you don’t care.

A preposterous pile of napkins remains on our table as we get up to go. You always take too many napkins. You help me into my coat, out of habit, the way your father had taught you.

The taqueria smells like meat and makes me want to vomit. My mouth is still pulsing, and you have still not broken the whirling quiet around us. I don’t know what’s worse: your repetition or your silence.

We walk together down Valencia, but we are getting nowhere.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


I am reaching. Sticking my hand out into the unknown, hoping it returns to me with a fist full of gold, but eager to avoid the potential of an aggressive piranha or a re-emergent meat-eating dinosaur.

Right now, I’m reaching into the warm water of the ‘Touch Tank,’ a petting zoo, of sorts, for my underwater friends. Allowing my pointer and middle fingers to tickle the underbelly of the orange starfish with six legs. Its rugged, sandpaper back is scrunched in the corner, playing hard to get.

I’m reaching out to connect with the inhabitants of the exhibit, while Michael and Brian are reaching out to connect with the inhabitants of the aquarium itself. I’ve heard our codeword “Slurpie” used no less than sixty times thus far in the evening in order to point out yet another hot guy. Michael is talking to an Antonio Banderas type we both know is there with his girlfriend, while Brian is making eyes at a blondie in a blue tie standing near the giant carp.

I, of course, am drawn to the starfish. The likelihood of being rejected by something completely encased in Plexiglas yields far better results for me.

“Why does this one have six legs?” I ask the overseeing volunteer in her navy blue polo. It says ‘Madge’ on the pin attached to her lapel, and I wonder if anyone has made a joke about her ‘Madge Badge’ to her face.

“If something happens where one of the legs becomes detached, the sea star may grow another and a spare,” Madge informs me. I consider this as I stroke the six-pointed starfish. I could think of some parts I’d like to have a spare of.

incomplete sentences

Fun day with a fun friend! New session begins tomorrow for my writing class- so excited about that!!! A job interview beforehand. Laundry- sometime.

Becoming couch potato-y and not liking it. Need to move my body. Need to go back to writing about the woman I saw on the bart train yesterday. Motivation, are you out there? Wishing I had chocolate.

Thinking about friends and colors and evolutionary adaptations and fabric and Haiti and life before cell phones and baby animals and things that are warm and empty spaces and grammatical errors and goat cheese and tomorrow.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

do you remember, a poem

Do you remember that time
In whole foods
We picked out
Pasta and sauce
And cookie dough
And there was that baby in line ahead of us
With strawberry hair
In that gray and green stroller
And she smiled at you
And you smiled back and waved
With one finger
And your eyes got really big
And your mouth made an “o”
And the baby laughed
From her gut
And kicked her legs up
And her eyes, like saucers, danced
And I remembered that our parking meter had run out of time
And I told you I’d meet you at the car
And you met me there
With a bouquet of yellow and orange and purple and white
And I smiled
And you smiled
And we held hands on the way home
And talked about living on a farm

Friday, January 15, 2010

missing things

Today, on the bus, a girl got on wearing a scarf very similar to one I used to have, and it got me thinking- where do our missing things go?

It was common for people to accidentally leave things behind at the restaurant I used to work at.

One time, a woman in her sixties came up to me and told me she had left her hat and asked if anything had been turned in. Nothing had, so I went to the table she had been sitting at, checked around it, asked the servers and bussers and managers, and no one had seen the hat. I told the lady I was sorry, and I asked for her name and number in case it should turn up. After giving me her contact information, she looked up at me and smiled, told me the hat was very dear to her and would I please call her if it was found. I assured her I would, and she thanked me and headed out the door.

I started thinking about why a white baseball cap with an image of a ship on it would be dear to this woman. Had it been a gift? From the Bahamas? On her 40th wedding anniversary? From her husband? Who was now very sick?

My heart ached for this woman. I wanted like anything to reunite her with her hat. With this thing that would be meaningless to anyone else, but for her, it represented something special and sentimental, it allowed her to access an important memory.

About a week later, I was at work, stocking the closet, when I came upon what was undeniably the hat that this woman had described to me. I was so excited, I rushed up to the front desk to locate the woman's phone number. I eagerly anticipated the phone call where I delivered the good news. As I searched the drawer where I had placed the paper, I discovered it had been completely cleaned out, and I came to realize this woman's contact information was gone forever.

So, here I was with a lost and found turned into a found and lost, and it seemed so unfair. I never saw that woman again, but I kept the hat that I know belongs to her in the corner of the closet, just in case.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

unemployment and the city

It's so funny going on these job interviews, trying to figure out what another person wants to hear from me. I've been told it's important to use the word "passion" during an interview, but equally important to put it in the right place. "I am passionate about maintaining the appearance of the menus" does not seem quite right.

Well, life without a job has been pretty rough for me thus far. Let's see, activities I have participated in while unemployed: numerous sleepovers and "girls' nights," happy hours, movie marathons, yummy food and drinks, the spa, game nights, visiting Petaluma, hiking, bowling, catching up on TV, sleeping in, writing, reading, picnicking in the park, watching the boats by the Ferry Terminal...

I'm not even counting my amazing trip to Mexico and spending Christmas with my family in Maryland for the first time in three years.

Like I said, it's really been rough.

So, yeah, I'm pretty lucky. I have incredible friends and family, and I live in the most wonderful city imaginable! I'm ready, though, to rejoin the laborers and make some money! I am passionate about being me and doing my thing.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

kaleidoscope, a poem

Meeting her was like
Looking into a kaleidoscope
So many colors and shapes
All in one
Ever transforming
It’s hard to keep up
Sometimes you think you recognize a pattern
But things shift again
And you realize that swirling
And whirling and tumbling
Of pink to blue and green to gold and white
Is going too fast
And you have to put it down
And walk away

gum, a story

I only like Spearmint gum. I hate that nasty Waltzing Watermelon Bubblicious shit. I may as well be chewing on pure sugar cane. I want my gum to taste fresh, to refresh, as if I just brushed my teeth, the way the commercials promise. To give me the confidence to smile, to speak, to get close. But I only like Spearmint gum because Cinnamon is too spicy and Peppermint is too intense. The way the red beads attack my tongue, like I’m being stabbed by a relentlessly sucked on candy cane. It’s too much, so in your face, so present.

I only like Spearmint gum, but you don’t know this yet. It’s only our third date, and gum preference is not one of the topics we’ve covered. We are at the rose garden in Golden Gate Park, and we now know each other’s favorite rose colors. Yours is yellow, which scares me a little because if I recall correctly, a yellow rose symbolizes friendship. And friendship is not really what I’m after. My favorite rose is the one that looks like a flame. The outside a light peach with neon orange bursting forth from the inside, almost out of the lines. I don’t know what liking this type of rose says about me. Maybe it means I want to reach for your hand and hold it and hold it and hold it.

You offer me a piece of gum. It is peppermint. I accept it. We chew quietly. My tongue squirms under the weight of the bite-y mint. I turn to you to see you. You turn to me and kiss me. Your warm hands melt into my red cheeks. We are both still holding on to the wads of chewing gum in the corners of our mouths because there wasn’t time to negotiate their disposal. Your mouth, full of lingering peppermint meets mine again and again. Your wet warmth transforms the flavor into something that is like nothing I’ve ever tasted.

The roses around us are opening and overlapping. And so are we.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

alliteration anyone?

Today, evidently, is the 9th Annual 'No Pants' Subway Ride. Lots of pantsless people riding public transporation. Somebody told me they were protesting something. Pants perhaps?

Pantsless protesters primarily party in public places

Penetrating pistols of plump purple parade perspectives

Devastatingly difficult dungeon doors demand definite dissection during daylight

Lastly litters lacking lines linger, loving luscious lollipops left loitering

Imaginary igloos encase irises including intriguing initials

Slippery spokes saunter speechless shadows symmetrically stacked somewhere

Life-like lemonade laughs loudly, leaking luminous lacerations lovingly

Crimson cartilage cascades coolly, climbing curvatious corners correctly

Primal pottery pieces peruse pink pacifiers politely

Tropical tuna torpedoes toward tenuous tanners

Pasta-preparing parents portion perfectly produced penne pesto

Autumn air accelerates actively allowing awesome adventures

Restful raccoons ring rivers, relentlessly responding to reacting roamers

California clouds count crows, consume concerns, consider currency, catch capsulated cries, create consciousness