Beacon

Northern symmetry of promised tides

Can you hear the freckled moans? 

My bare south heeds no repercussions

I can see the anguished song

Promises from an eastern land

She tastes the trauma’s light

Following a western lantern

Can we smell the dew of cherub’s tears?

Winged arcs pass the rear view

I sip a brew of home

Waiting for a being to see my fractured essence

Stale and cold

Alone and scolding

Awake and wandering

Baron and pondering

Coy to the harps 

I have no tuneful praise

Harmonize her rapture

In the dancing lights of chaos

The open signs are front and center

I turn the other cheek anyway

No signal of significance

Is this thing even on? 

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Magic Shoes

First line of a poem:

“After the door shuts and the footsteps die…”

 

After the door shuts and the footsteps die

I beckon the night Jasmine

Fill my space with translucent armor

After the footsteps die and the claustrophobia wakes

I beg the wounded air to heal gasping compunction

Cure the melodic travesty lurking in my closet

After the claustrophobia dies and the anger comes to pass

I plead with starry blankets

Encompass my minds eye

After the anger dies and revenge sets pace

I scream at sudden momentum

Stop and smell the Jasmine

As revenge dies and my fate intercedes

I cringe at fractured vessels

Run from supine spirited apparitions

Retreat  until your footsteps expunge unwelcome company

Suck It Simon Travaglia

Time to get real y’all. No fictitious mumbo jumbo tonight. Busted out the old 712 things to write about book, and shit got real and quickly.

“What’s the biggest misconception about you? Write the truth of the matter.”

The pool of self reflection is muddied by the atrocities of self fulfillment. We see what we want, negating what we are and forging ahead. It is in the truth of self that we find not only the disparaging realities of ourselves but the inadequacies we see in other people. If we are honest with our inner being we forget how to focus on the value we hold to ourselves and the bustling world around us, rather, we focus on the visceral decay, the stench by which we deprecate our existence. And that is why man created the existential crisis, the need to purge the thoughts of mortality and short comings as well as the formulas needed to proceed, without caution. If for instance, we want a certain house or a certain car or a certain lifestyle, we more often than not, forget to ask the proverbial questions relating to our character. We so quickly judge the other piles of skin walking around this planet and project disdain and I don’t think anybody really knows the root of this cyclical pattern. This, coming from a gal who does not know how to take a compliment and is very self aware, much to the dismay of loved ones. Some would call me a realist, others a cynic and many a pessimist. I don’t consider myself any of those things and all of those things because my path has justified my mode of transportation.

Misconceptions are bountiful when this old hen is brought in for questioning. Assumptions include uneducated, ghetto, oblivious and hardened to a point of no return. The translation for uneducated is unintelligent or even, as some people have so eloquently put it, “dumb as dirt.” Now, I don’t know about the intelligence of dirt, doesn’t seem like a fair comparison, granted I have been known to get stepped on from time to time. Those who have perceived me as ghetto do so based on my clothes, my ethnicity, my impoverished upbringing and some acquired street smarts which aren’t really smarts so much as they are survival instincts. Oblivious to what I don’t know, but there have been times when people will say something smart or witty and reference a period before my time and brush me off assuming I haven’t the foggiest. Hardened I may be, but do people not know what a defense mechanism is? And I’m the dumb one.

There are those who think I’m some heathenish street rat because I don’t believe in their God or hold their values or because I choose vernacular and behaviors that aren’t classy or “normal.” I say cunt on a regular basis, if I was in England or Australia, this would not be out of said norm. I listen to rap music on occasion but to fortify the ghetto facade, I rap along with no problems. I have had one night stands and I sleep with men and women, how unsavory. I smoke cigarettes, I’ve tried hard drugs and I enjoy marijuana. I’ll tell you what though, I am extraordinarily premeditated in choosing certain aspects of how I present myself. Why would someone consciously downgrade their persona? It’s really quite simple, people don’t expect much from a punk ass like me. I like to keep it that way. I don’t let people down, ever, I mean it’s pretty hard to disappoint when your measure of success is basically zero. My feelings would best be described in a line from the 90s horror film “Scream 2.” David Arquette’s character Dewey said,

How do you know that my dimwitted inexperience isn’t merely a subtle form of manipulation, used to lower people’s expectations, thereby enhancing my ability to effectively maneuver within any given situation?

This all brings me what I consider to be the biggest misconception about myself. Potential. If I had a quarter for every fucking time I heard, “You have so much potential but…” or “You have such potential if you would just…” I would be wealthy and I wouldn’t need to exude energy into anything or aim to fulfill any such potential, I could live out my days watching telly and getting high. My point is this, I have dug deep into my psyche and my inner sanctum. Potential simply isn’t something that is cohabited with the array of distinctive attributes I possess. I appreciate that people see something that isn’t there, it truly is a nice sentiment. This is not a woe is me type of rambling. This is not a fishing expedition. It is what is true for me. To me, by seeing potential and telling me that I’m not reaching it, that to me, sounds like I’m failing at yet another thing. Add it to the laundry list and pick up some detergent on your way home.  I’m not a victim of anything but the choices I have made and will make in the future. I accept that I am who and where I am because of me. My feelings would best be expressed using a line from the 90s dramatic feature “Dangerous Minds.”

No, you ain’t choosin’ to die, but you can choose to die without screaming, right? I mean you could always choose somethin’.

I suppose I’m the Judd Nelson a.k.a. John Bender in any group I find myself. What do people mean when they say you have potential? Potential for what? To do what exactly? Everybody has potential. Some people have the potential to become serial killers whilst other have the potential to make a difference in the world and then there are those who have the potential to live a mundane life with the picket fence and are content to do so. You wanna know what I think? I think when people say to someone, “you have potential” what they really mean is, “I see that you can do something that perhaps I can’t and I am glorifying this trait and putting it on a pedestal which sits out of the realm of my own reality.” If, let’s say, someone is a better driver than you, this does not mean they have the potential to be a race car driving champion. If someone has a slight artistic advantage as you see it, this does not mean have the potential to surpass the greats in history. If you like someone’s cooking better than your own, this does not me they have the potential to have a cooking show on the Food Network. I guess what I mean is that what people who say, “you have potential” fail to realize is that they are seeing a void in themselves and potential really is just putting in the practice and becoming knowledgeable due to having a desire to achieve a goal. For instance, the poor schmuck that may not necessarily have the potential to win the Indy 500, actually does, if he has the desire to do so. That nobody without a cooking show, in fact, could have a cooking show, if they have the aspiration. My feelings would best be described using a line from the 2007 Robert Rodriguez film “Planet Terror” wherein Freddy Rodriguez as Wray says:

I’m nobody. It’s the easiest thing to remember. So remember it.

I echo that with a line from the Disney underdog sports film, “The Big Green.”

We aren’t the nothings from nowhere. We’re the Alma nothings.

In summation. It’s not that I don’t have potential, it’s not that I do. It’s just that I don’t have the desire to let people down or to fail. I don’t have a strong enough protective shield. Have I kind of given up on life? No. Well, sometimes. What I have given up on for sure is the life I envisioned as a naive little outcast. I gave up the notion that I am any more deserving of a picturesque life than any other person a while ago. I have given up on fighting the good fight against the forces that know better than I. I don’t know what I want and I don’t know that I’ll be deserving of whatever that is when I figure it out. Tomorrow I may feel differently. Tonight I simply feel small and fractured. My inner sanctum is cruel but not unusual. If I’m honest with myself, I know that what lies within the rough externalized persona only comes out through the projections I display to the world and thusly is free game to be judged. The confinements of my awareness are the restrictions and limitations I enforce. I don’t over extend my own dreams further than my brain can reach for logic and plausibility.

You only see the turn. You don’t see the road ahead

Edward James Olmos as Jaime Escalante in “Stand and Deliver.”

 

♥ To anyone who has ever seen or vocalized having seen “potential” in me, turn that shit inward, because what you really mean is, there’s something you want to do or attain and don’t feel confident in your ability. And that’s what I see in you, not potential because I don’t know what choices you’re about to make, I see ability. Do you. ♥

 

*Note: Simon Travaglia said, “The greatest barrier to someone achieving their potential is their denial of it.”

Sazerac Afternoon

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I acquired a new book, similar to “642 Things to Write About.”

“Select a random book from your shelf and turn to page 53. Use the first full sentence that appears on the page as the first sentence of a new story.”

I closed my eyes and randomly picked “12 Years A Slave.” Flipped to page 53 and the first full sentence was as follows:

On leaving, the New Orleans slave pen, Harry and I followed our new master through the streets

.

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On leaving, the New Orleans slave pen, Harry and I followed our new master through the streets. Who was this Leonard LaLaurie fellow? As he kicked at our shins and spit in our general direction I looked at Harry with an assured grin. Harry looked like a bird that had been captured in the night. I knew why he sang as we were marched through the quarter.

“Corn husks green as my heart as master sews his oats. Lawd stood in the shadows instead of on the boats. Hear me Jesus over the drums that are my feet. Chase away the midnight ‘fore we are the drums he beats. Sazerac as bittersweet as the sounds of those bells. Today is the day I done died and gone to hell.” He sang with such desperation I glimpsed a woman who, for a brief moment, looked empathetically in our general direction.

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Master LaLaurie did not have an empathetic anything about him. He mumbled something inaudibly but I didn’t dare ask him to repeat himself. Harry was oblivious to the sound of LaLaurie’s voice and as the young master’s head whipped around, I knew he was going to lash out at Harry. What I didn’t know, was that I was the one who would feel the anguish. The harsh hues of the angry sky gave LaLaurie’s face dramatic contrast and as he raised his leg with full force, raising it enough to meet Harry’s stomach, I saw the devil, and this devil didn’t look white nor did he look black. This devil looked like an amalgam of the people in the streets and those who served them.

“You stupid son of a bitch! You answer me when I’m talking to you!” Master’s voice bounced off the building we were now stopped in front of and punctured the ears of all who went about their business on Royal Street. Harry hadn’t yet caught his breath when LaLaurie positioned himself behind Harry’s hunched over frame. With one swift punch between the shoulder blades, master signaled us to keep walking. The sound of Harry’s breath brought the first relief I felt of the day. It was heavy and staggered, not unlike the building master was approaching.

“Well now, let’s see if you dare ignore Madame. You’ll be begging for my fist come morning light.” LaLaurie chuckled while pointing to the building. “Welcome home.”

Harry grabbed his back and his stomach simultaneously as he made his way to the ornate door. I don’t think he knew how to read, even numbers. I didn’t let on that I, in fact, did. I stared for a moment at the numbers above the arched door. This was my new home, and all I knew of it was that it was marked by malignant owners and the numbers 1140.

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*Yes, I know the term is actually “sow your oats” however I took the liberty of using a play on words. Google Delphine LaLaurie, it will make sense.

**Sazerac is a cocktail that was invented in New Orleans in the 1830s. It consists of Absinthe, simple syrup, Peychaud’s bitters and rye whiskey. Legend says the drink was born at Antoine Amedee Peychaud’s pharmacy on Royal Street.

Weird Application ? and my Semi-BS Answer

Describe your hometown. Describe the food, people and things to do. What was it like growing up there? 

Alb. Balloon Fiesta

Walter White and Jesse Pinkman would have you believe that Albuquerque is one thing when in reality it is a myriad of things. I grew up on a street not dissimilar from the little boxes in Agrestic. I rode my bike until the street lights came on, I frequented cultural centers and I ate good food that grandma cooked. What made Albuquerque special was the people and the food. I ate green chili with practically every meal, it is simply the way you eat in Albuquerque. The most common question one gets asked as a resident of the city is “Red or green.” This is referring to what type of chili you would like smothered on or in your food. The gracious blend between Hispanic and Native American cuisine is supremely unique to the entire state of New Mexico, not just Albuquerque. Meth however, is not rampantly on the menu, regardless of what “Breaking Bad” would have you believe. Albuquerque is similar to many cities with a booming downtown and strong night life but the uniqueness lies in the culture of the people and of the history.

 Alb. Sky

I miss the sky of Albuquerque. The blues cannot be matched, nor the crisp lines of the eggshell white clouds that tend to linger. The Sandia mountains are to the East. Interestingly, Sandia means ‘watermelon’ in Spanish and many a summer day in Albuquerque is spent gnawing at a fresh watermelon. Also interesting is my keen sense of direction I am often complimented on. It was really easy to learn in Albuquerque because the giant mountain was a marker for the East. Hiking and camping are always options in the Albuquerque and outlying areas. Skiing outside of Albuquerque is wildly popular in the snowy winters. I preferred and miss a little gem of an area known as Old Town, however. Essentially a plaza of shops and restaurants, Old Town is just that, a very old, very small town. There is a church that stands across from a park and it is something I miss admiring. Outside the shops you might find some Native American residents selling Turquoise jewelry, which is popular in New Mexico. There is a deep seeded sense of history throughout the city of Albuquerque but in Old Town that sense is condensed and beaming everywhere you look.

Outside of Albuquerque, roughly an hour outside, is the state capital city of Santa Fe. The photographer in me misses taking day trips out to Santa Fe. There are old churches, each unique with it’s own sense of personality. Of those churches, my favorite is called Loretto Chapel which houses what is known as a miraculous staircase. This staircase has two 360 degree turns and no visible supports. Heralded a miracle, that stair case has made Loretto Chapel famous and my favorite photograph is one I took of my grandmother standing at the bottom of the stairs. Outside the window of Loretto Chapel is a tree with Rosaries hanging from virtually every branch.If you head out of Santa Fe, there is a church called Santuario in Chimayo New Mexico. The miracle at that church is the healing sand that miraculously gets replenished every night. I have a picture taken at the hole of dirt in which you see leaning against the wall, crutches, canes and walkers that people left behind after being healed.  There is a lot of hope and family in Albuquerque and it’s surrounding communities.

Rosary Tree

Loretto Chapel

 

In Honor of @FullerHouse and @LoriLoughlin

Okay, as many of you may know, I am writing a comedic memoir. I am still putting together a very rough draft. I decided that because one of the chapters deals with something very personal to me and it also mentions “Full House” several times, I am going to post that chapter. I have decided to do so for many reasons. Numero uno, I think it’s important to garner some feedback while still in the rough draft phase to make any necessary adjustments and B, it is my homage to the premier of “Fuller House.” So here it is y’all! 

Aunt Becky

CHAPTER “Jessika Donaldson”

There is one thing I want to get out of the way, and I will do so by sharing how “Full House” helped me discover myself. John Stamos was the eye candy of that show. Although I was only in elementary school, I would hear kids bantering in class about how gorgeous he was, which would quickly turn into fights over who was going to be Mrs. Stamos. I even presided over a wedding between a childhood friend of mine and a stunning photograph of Mr. Stamos. It was a rather sad affair with very few people in attendance. There were a few boys there and their sole purpose was to piss and moan about cooties and how stupid we were. I didn’t understand why people were pissed at me, I mean I wasn’t the bride. I have always been really good at playing the devil’s advocate. What was interesting about my “Full House” days, was that while I swooned over John Stamos with the best of them, I discovered I had formed a very foreign attraction to aunt Becky, I’m sorry Lori Loughlin. None of it meant much to me at the time because I didn’t understand what I was feeling and did not have any frame of reference in my actual life. I didn’t necessarily bury these feelings, I simply paid them no mind. That is until “Boy Meets World” and Topanga made their way into my telly rotation. Hello Danielle Fishel.

As I went into middle school, one of my favorite shows was “The Wonder Years.” The show itself is a gem, but I would wait for scenes with Karen with such anxiety it was downright neurotic. I had a new girl crush and her name was Olivia d’Abo. At this phase in my life, I was putting things together and dissecting my crush on Lori Loughlin. I was beginning to question my sexuality and wondered if I was automatically gay. I had no clue what a bisexual was, I had never heard this term. In my preteen brain a person was either gay or not. I was cognizant of what gay was for many reasons. My mom was open and accepting and often spoke of her gay friends and their partners. My grandma suspected one of my friends to be gay. I had seen Roseanne get a kiss planted on her in a bar, by Mariel Hemingway. I had a total girl crush on Sara Gilbert. I watched Ross give Carol away to Susan on “Friends.” I was never shielded from this in my life. My mom would often tell me that she thought my favorite talk show host, Rosie O’Donnell, was a lesbian. In perfect conjunction, it was around this time that one of my middle school besties Paloma Rose and I were obsessed with “A League of their Own.” If you want to confuse a young girl searching to define her sexuality, what better way than with a film about the All American Girls Baseball League? Between Dottie Hinson, Kit Keller, “All the Way” Mae and Helen Haley, I was increasingly hormonal. Still, I wondered if gay was what I was and I spent a lot of time tormenting myself and forcing myself into that label. I owe Rosie a lot for many reasons. For starters, my deep and psychotic love for musical theater can be traced directly back to her daytime talk show. Thanks Ro. I owe a lot to Madonna too, because I bonded with one of my other middle school besties, Erin Donoghue, over Madonna. Her father was quite conservative and she was forbidden from owning any of Madonna’s music. Well, I am not one to be denied art and artistic freedom and I would sneak her albums, specifically “Erotica” over to Erin’s. We would jam the fuck out in her room. I may have also snuck a copy of that wonderful coffee table book, “Sex” over to Erin’s house one fine afternoon. We learned a lot that day and yet a whole new batch of questions started sprouting.

I remember watching “Ellen” with my mom during those tumultuous junior high years and we would full on belly laugh.  Then it happened, an important announcement regarding the sitcom, and y’all know exactly what I’m referring to. THE episode. My Ellie Sattler, aka Laura Dern was making a guest appearance. I kid, I kid. The Puppy episode was being blasted in promos and my mom took great pride in saying, “I told you she was a lesbian.” We watched Ellen on The Rosie O’Donnell show and laughed our asses off at their little Lebanese schtick. We then watched the infamous coming out episode together and again, laughed our asses off. I distinctly remember the line where a cashier is giving Ellen her total at the supermarket and she says, “That’ll be elesbian dollars.” We roared. My mom and I didn’t much discuss the episode, it wasn’t a big deal to us. My mom thought it was a funny show, and I was already in tune with the simplistic definitions of what gay meant. Oprah did a whole episode about Ellen after she appeared on Time Magazine. I didn’t understand why the big to do, but again, my mother and I watched. I don’t remember much about that episode. The little snippet that lives in my mind was when a lady in the audience basically bitched and whined to Oprah saying that she saw the “Time” cover in a grocery store. Her panties were in a bunch because her son was with her and he also saw the magazine cover. She told Oprah she found it inappropriate that she now had to explain to her son what “gay” meant. My mom, without missing a beat said, “Well he should know.” And in an epic a-ha moment less than a second later, Oprah said to the woman in such a matter of fact tone, I truly believed that woman was about to be grounded, “He should know.” My mom didn’t take it as an a-ha moment, rather it was another “I told you so” moment that she added to her arsenal.

I declared myself a lesbian. I didn’t dare tell anybody because I was frightened of the repercussions. In my head it was decided, I was gay. I would chastise myself for being a lesbian. I searched for answers as to what I did that caused me to be a lesbian. Was it because I partook in the ancient masturbatory arts, come on (or shall I say cum on) Princess Leia in the gold bikini, am I right fellas? Had I been a male in a previous life and my soul got jumbled up when I came back as a female? I doubted every choice I had ever made, every thought I had ever had and regretted every negative action I had ever committed. Was this Catholic guilt? With the great entrance of the internet to my world, I took to the World Wide Web. Time consuming as it was, I began to believe that I was going to hell and was a bad person. Ellen’s career took a massive shit. Nothing good could come of this. I wrestled all of these notions even more when I got myself a nice little boyfriend. Our middle school love affair was short lived even though I really really loved him, I mean REALLY. I was a horrible lesbian. I found comfort and escape in my television shows and my movies. That’s what helped me through that time period. I never missed an episode of “Mad About You” and me and Paloma Rose would carefully compare notes the following day in class. We both dreamed of a love like Paul and Jamie’s. And whenever Paul would do something moronic, we would call him a Fuckman (Buchman was the surname on the show.) Now, I don’t want to point any fingers or call anyone a creep, but the term “fuckboy” is popular as of late, which is a clear descendant of fuckman, I was robbed. Something else I never missed was the one and only soap opera I ever got into, “Another World.” Erin and I would practically make diagrams about the dramatics Jake and Vicky got into. My grandma got me into “Another World.” We watched together every single day. She always told me I had Alicia Coppola’s (she played Lorna Devon) profile. That was our thing, our story. I watched movies in place of doing homework, and me and my mom and sister frequented movie theaters on the weekends. Things I saw on TV and in films and read in books made me ask a shit ton of questions. I learned a lot of things about the world through my love of pop culture and I was really coming into my own no matter how horrible a lesbian I was.

“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is not a children’s movie, and let me explain what went down. What had happened was, my mom showed me and my sister “Rocky Horror” as kids, but either turned it off or fast forwarded through the sex scenes. As I was going into high school, I finally watched the damn thing in its entirety. In the words of Jack Skellington, “What’s this? What’s this?” This Frankenfurter mother fella was sleeping with Brad AND Janet? I didn’t comprehend what it was that I was seeing. It had never dawned on me that a person could be into both sexes, LITERALLY IN, both sexes! I asked myself if I was like this Frankenfurter bloke. I had boy crushes, I had girl crushes, and I never placed a lot of thought about the gender of the people I was thus far attracted to. Eureka, I now knew that in the media, this one person was representing what I was. The new identity I found in that moment pointed me in the direction of discovering who I was as person. It was an amazing feeling, I gotta say. Going into high school, this was a very important step in my development. Something else started happening as well, shows like “Will and Grace” were on the air. Karen Walker was sexually ambiguous, honey what’s this, what’s happening? Julia on “Party of Five” was kissing her English teacher, Perry, who coincidentally was played by my girl crush Olivia d’Abo. Side note, this is not the last time my girl crush Olivia would come into play at a critical time in my life. Little did I know that my life would mirror Julia’s, in that I may have had a thing with an English teacher, and she shall remain nameless because I was a minor at the time of the fling in question. I did not speak of this sexcapade with Mrs. English until years later and it really was by the hands of fate that the subject came into play at all.

So there I was, an awkward drama nerd making her way through high school. I didn’t have many friends, but I did have a close knit group made up of drama kids and some would be loners. I now identified as a bisexual. I was known for my impressions and the ability to sing any Phoebe Buffet song in an instant. Oh, the other thing? I was in love. I was in love with a broad known as musical theater. I can’t sing a note so I didn’t audition for any of the high school musicals. I simply loved being surrounded by musical theater. “Rent” was my drug of choice. Myself and a close friend name Sacha would belt “Seasons of Love” and “Take Me or Leave Me” in the drama auditorium. Oh my god, a bisexual! Maureen Johnson, holy ambiguity Batman! It was somewhere in this window that I also discovered “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” and damn it, bisexuals ARE taking over the world! Angelina Jolie was in the process of taking Hollyweird by storm and her sexuality was fluid. Drew Barrymore was also being spoken about as a bisexual. It was also around this time that I fell in love, legit. WARNING: We did not end up together, this is not a love story. Her name was Rina and her deep dark eyes were full of so much soul and life they took my breath away. We got extremely close extremely fast. It was also around this time that I took up smoking. WARNING: I still smoke and yes I know it’s bad for me. Drama class was the one class I attended on a regular basis. I’d make out with guys and dolls in the orchestra pit or the catwalk rather than go to class. Discussing my TV shows and the movies I was seeing was by far more productive and interesting in my teenage brain. So that’s basically what my high school career consisted of. I had identified my sexual orientation and LGBT culture was slowly making the way to the main stream. One of my favorite shows at the time was “ER.” My mom and I watched it religiously. Uh oh, there was a smorgasbord of girl crushes happening. Maura Tierney was my main squeeze. Here again we also had a lesbian character, Dr. Weaver. I felt like the world was changing. My naiveté was getting the best of me. It wasn’t until I got my head smashed into a locker by some cunty blondes for kissing my girlfriend that I realized the world was not accepting of who I was. Movies and television again became my main escape.

I didn’t party like it was 1999 or anything, but I did fall truly, madly, deeply in love with not only Ms. Jolie, but also one Natasha Lyonne. What had happened was, I was up all night one normal eve when “Freeway” was on the telly. I had never seen it so I watched and was quite entertained. Cruel Intentions was all the rage in the hallways at school. I was guilty of watching it repeatedly with my girl Rina. Honestly that’s the main reason I watched “Freeway” that night, because I dug Reese Witherspoon. I remember it like it was goddamn yesterday. After the film ended a promo played above the credits. It was one of those corny, “Up next” ads and the film playing juxtapose was titled “Freeway II Confessions of a Trickbaby.” Now, anything worth doing is worth doing right and I am habitual when it comes to watching all films in a series, regardless of whether or not I like them. So in the wee hours of the night, I watched Freeway II. There she was, Natasha, a fucking badass in every sense of the word. The film itself was clearly low budget but it was by far the ballsiest and raunchiest thing I’d seen up to that point. White Girl was the character played by Natasha and I couldn’t get enough. I am about to date myself here and I don’t give a shit, this is how it went down. The movie ended and I was immediately on the phone with Rina telling her all about the sick and depraved nonsense I had just witnessed. From cross dressers to cannibalism all the way to lesbianism and cocaine, I explained in specific detail what this cinematic adventure was. We were on a mission, locate and acquire a copy of “Freeway II.” We searched high and low, mind you back in the day finding a movie consisted of finding and renting it at a video rental store. We called all over town, to be fair though, Albuquerque isn’t that large of a search area. Finally we found a Blockbuster with my latest obsession is stock. We rented that sucker straight away and went right back to Rina’s house. I will never forget, we literally watched it all the way through and immediately hit rewind and waited the agonizing 3 minutes for the tape to reach the beginning and watched it all the way through again. Every day after school, sometimes instead of school, we watched “Freeway II.” Tragedy was soon to strike, our 5 day rental period was approaching. Here’s the thing about me and Rina, we mesh and conspire extremely well together, like rob a bank style. What we did, was get a blank VHS and after carefully and cautiously removing the label from the legitimate tape, we stick that baby to our blank and returned it to the Blockbuster drop box. I wondered if anyone would rent “Freeway II” because this was as far from mainstream as I could have imagined. I wondered how long it would take someone to rent it only to discover that the fucker was blank. The point is this, we owned “Freeway II.” I eventually acquired it on DVD but the true testament is that I actually believe Rina still has that VHS amongst her possessions.

My Natasha phase was in full swing when Rina and I discovered “But I’m A Cheerleader” that same year “Freeway II” graced us with its fucked up presence. Whoa, homo rehab? This couldn’t be. In that time frame, Rina and I identified with Natasha’s character Megan and Clea DuVall’s character of Graham. Those characters couldn’t be open about their feelings and were under such scrutiny, who could have blamed them for giving up. They didn’t. They found support in unlikely places and pushed through the shit storm. Perhaps we read way too deep into this thing because at the end of the day it was, after all, a comedy and it did its job, we laughed our fucking asses off. Even now, if you listen carefully, you might hear me contextualizing one of the best one liners from the film,

“I’m a homosexual!”

Au contraire reader, au mother fucking contraire.

Wouldn’t you know it, that same fucking year “American Pie” was released? And what do we have here? Not only did Natasha Lyonne have a part in the fuck fest, to bring shit full circle, that bitch’s name in the film was Jessica. Look, I know my name is one of the most insanely popular names on the planet, thank you William Shakespeare in love for that. Let me just have that name choice anyways. This was Natasha we were speaking about. I felt as though I had single handedly discovered this talent and I felt a certain proprietary ownership over her. Cut to me discovering she’d been around for a bit and the only thing I had discovered was an idealization of the woman and actress I wanted to grow into.

I did what any proper stalker would do and I forced Rina to help me locate all of Lyonne’s previously released films and have a marathon. There we discovered several gems, a trove of jewels if you will. One said jewel of my eye was “Slums of Beverly Hills.” Another set of jewels was of course Marisa Tomei’s rack. I kid I kid! Kind of. Seriously, new girl crush right there. The film itself really was a work of art in my opinion. Suddenly I was noticing things about the writing and I was absolutely impressed with Tamara Jenkins. I knew what kind of writer I wanted to be because of that film and because of such lines so craftily deliverd by Marisa Tomei such as,

“Seconal, Demerol, Tuinal, Valium, Quaaludes, Percocet?!?”

Or how about Alan Arkin’s beautiful chops when he tells the story of the meat thief, ending with,

“I’m their father. I’m their FATHER. I’M THEIR FATHER!”

And let’s just say, a certain song became part of my listening rotation, “Give Up the Funk” by Parliament Funkadelic. I learned so much about vibrator dancing, thanks Tamara.

The point is this, I didn’t know if Natasha was for real gay, bi, straight or what. What I knew was that she was excellent at portraying these types of characters and because I couldn’t tell what was her and what her manifestations were, I was grasping what good acting looked like. I also discovered that she was a strong ally to the LGBT community and for that, I remain grateful. Her portrayals made me feel comfortable in my own skin. I am grateful to have had this during my high school years, she was a crutch of sorts and a lot of people don’t find this solace during those fucked up years.

Truth be T, even though I felt lost and afraid for the majority of my young adult life, I am lucky because the LGBT community was starting to show face on all things mainstream. I had a very close knit group of friends, many of which I eventually attempted relationships with. I had male friends who were gay and they by far had it worse than I ever did. We had our own support group as we all grew into our adult selves, I became sort of cool in the high school hallways. I was by no means one of the popular girls but I got along well with nearly everyone. My peers, with very few exceptions, didn’t give me too much of a hassle. Hormones however led to males harping me with perverted questions about what goes where, who does what and my personal favorite and most asked, who wears the pants. Face palm. I tried for years to explain my position on who I was attracted to. It was in high school during one of me and Rina’s deep conversations that I finally pinpointed exactly how I felt. I started telling people that I look at love and intimacy in the same way I look at a pregnancy. It is something that must be nurtured and I don’t care if it’s a boy or a girl, as long as it’s healthy. Lori Loughlin eat your mother fucking heart out.

In Honor of @Trish_the_Nanny

Let me tell you a story, a story that those close to me know. One of the darker days in my life occurred when my Bestie Adam called me via Skype several years ago. At the time we were living in different states. He was calling to inform me that what we thought was a hernia he was suffering from, turned out to be Non Hodgkins Lymphoma. After we disconnected our Skype session, I broke down. I don’t think, to this day, he realizes how fucking scared I was. The word “cancer” is such a fucked up word. I never let him see how truly petrified I was. He’s my longest relationship platonic or otherwise, my rock, my glue.

I swore to Adam when he told me he was going to be undergoing chemo, that I would shave my head with him if he lost his hair. Adam handled his chemo treatments like a champ but eventually he did sport is beautiful bald head. He handled losing his hair with dignity and humor, even sending me pictures in a mock Dr. Evil pose. That was it, I was gonna follow through with my promise.

I went to work and being the cautious human being that I am, and one who needed her menial salary, I asked my boss if he’d be okay having a bald employee. He quickly said, “No, we can’t have that. We can’t keep you as an employee if you do that.” Fair enough. I needed that bullshit job and wasn’t about to jeopardize that.

My brain started washing, and I had an idea. I contacted several local salons and barber shops and through much coordination had, what I thought, was a worthy and meaningful event. I was working at a bowling ally at the time and I had these hair professionals on standby. They agreed to come into the ally and perform haircuts to staff and league bowlers for free if they were donating said hair and we would take donations for The American cancer Society. I offered them a 2 hour bowling package for their staff as a thank you. I was stoked, we were gonna make so many fucking wigs, raise awareness, maybe some money, but more importantly it was what I could do to show Adam I was firmly at his side regardless of how many states separated us. My boss shut the whole thing down, and I never got a sufficient response as to why.

Cut to 2015.

I fell head over British heels for Leah Remini’s nanny Trish when I started watching “It’s All Relative.” When I learned she had breast cancer on the show, what struck me was how her and Leah’s relationship resembled mine and Adam’s. It was oddly uplifting and made me smile. I have always held a grudge about not pulling through when Adam lost his hair. Trish lost her hair and in a poignant tone, told Leah, “Bald is beautiful.”

This holiday season has been exceptionally challenging for me, but I am grateful for so many things. I have been able to keep going, although I want to give up every single day, by reminding myself of the truly important things that matter, especially around the holidays. It’s not about punching someone in the face over a Star Wars toaster, or indulging in the black Friday and Cyber Monday debotcheries that resemble a slaughterhouse. It isn’t about how much we spend on gifts but rather how much time we spend with those that matter. There are many out there who are far worse off than I, and that is how I remain grateful.

I have nothing to give to anybody this year. All I can give is quite literally, myself. My hair is my trademark. It is the one feature of mine that I am proud of. It has landed me every single acting role I have gotten. Every casting person has made a comment on the length and thickness of my hair. One TV show director actually put me on a show and as thrilled as I was, I gotta be honest, when I saw my scene, it was shot in a way and edited in a way where my face was never shown. Just the back of me, my hair. I ain’t complaining, in fact it gave me quite a chuckle.

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I jokingly sent out a tweet asking Leah Remini to go to Disneyland with me, and if she did, I would shave my hair. I got to thinking though, sure I was joking, but a part of me feels I still owe it to Adam, plus Leah and Trish reminded me that no matter how scared I was for Adam, he was surely more scared than I’ll ever know. And what a beautiful way to bring things full circle.

Trish got diagnosed with NED on the finale of “It’s All Relative.”

NO EVIDENCE OF DISEASE.

I am so blessed to have Adam in my life and at my side. I am selfish and couldn’t bare a world without him in it. I’m a stubborn bitch who holds true to her word. I can only give myself this year, and so, in honor of Trish and Adam, and the friends who saw them go through the fucked up process of fighting cancer, this holiday season, I am going to give the best of me to the world. In the words of Lady Gaga,

“I am my hair.”

I don’t have a plan as to where, who or when this is going to happen as of now. It’s in development and I’ll surely tweet out details as they transpire!

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Me, Adam and Trish at Leah Remini’s book signing, 12/08/15

@LeahRemini An Open Letter to a Troublemaker

Troublemaker

Leah,

I just finished “Troublemaker” and I find myself inundated with thoughts and emotions. I am a longtime fangirl, but this isn’t that kind of letter. I should preface this whole thing by telling you my one single encounter with a Scientologist. And let me preface that by saying I am not here to defend nor deny, praise or defame the church of Scientology. Back to my one and only personal encounter. I wrote a blog a few years ago, and amidst all my ramblings and quips, I said something like this, “I look at relationships and sex the same way I look at pregnancies. Intimacy needs to be nurtured and tended to. I don’t care if it’s a boy or a girl, as long as it’s healthy.” A few days passed and I received an email from an acquaintance, a friend of a friend. This person thought it a good idea to tell me the error of my ways while condescendingly inviting me to explore Scientology as I could “most definitely be cured.” What the fuck ever. I politely declined the invitation, and by politely I mean I told this person to fuck off and worry about real issues that exist out in the world, bisexuals not being a prime demographic for concern, fucking flip floppers. Assholeism as it turns out, is not so easily curable.

I am the type of broad that likes to educate herself on subjects before passing judgement, so I did just that after receiving that email. Prior to that, all I knew about Scientology was that it made you jump on couches and damn the drugs that very literally saved both my life as well as the life of my mother, who faced post partum depression. Now I never read anything about this Xenu fella or his intergalactic dramatics, but I did research some of the concepts presented by LRH and even read some of his material. I don’t understand Scientology in my brain, but I do understand how a promise of certain things in our world is an alluring ideology. So I get how Scientology exists and has subscribers.

As I read through your book, I felt sad for people, I felt angry for people and I felt ignorant to many things. I can’t imagine families having to disconnect from loved ones. In my family, we might get angry with each other, say fuck you and disconnect emotionally, but it is of our own volition and it is of that same volition that we come back together when we get our heads out of our own asses.

It appeared to me that the promises of the church, of healing mankind was being contradicted left and right. After reading your book, I watched “Going Clear” and I was pissed off again. I am cognizant of the fact that documentaries tend to present one opinion or another, but I saw this Miscavige mother fella talking about first amendment rights and how those rights applied to the church. The hypocrisy of this boils my blood because those who publicly leave the church are persecuted for exercising those same rights, which are just as much theirs as they are the church.

Any fuckin way, the detail I have left out here is that I recently became homeless and got laid off from work. I read your book on my phone and watched that documentary on my phone, at night in my car. In the stillness of the night, I am on high alert and scared of my surroundings so dont sleep much, i read. While reading “Troublemaker” I would stop and marinate on some of the things you spoke about and my loopy, sleep deprived brain would wander. The self reflection you so bravely articulate made me self doubt my choices and wonder how easily I might be attracted to Scientology. Maybe I deserve some tough regime and structure. I quickly would snap out of it because fuck that bullshit, I’ll say what I want, when I want and I’ll talk to whomever I want. But in those moments I suddenly understood what it must be like to get swept away by the church. It was no longer just a setup to a joke about Tom Cruise or its cult like appearance. It became real to me.

I was raised Catholic and as an adult I questioned things and was not attacked for doing so. I currently practice no religion which leaves me feeling a bit lost and outcast, with no foundation for any faith. The Christians and Catholics that have surrounded me my whole life all subscribe to organizations that generally and broadly discriminate me based on nothing but my sexuality. The LGBT community often singles me out for not quite being all the way what they think I should be and the hetero majority assumes I’m going through a phase but am secretly straight. I don’t belong anywhere and someone in my position could so easily get seduced by an organization that outwardly wants to change the world, make you better and part of a family, a brother/sisterhood.

I think it is so brave of you to share with us your journey. I think the church served you some great purpose and did in fact contribute to the beautiful woman you are. That said, that does not justify the pain it equally caused you and your family and the families of so many. The sweet is never as sweet without the bitter, as they say.

What I found so incredibly raw and courageous  about your book was the fact that you spoke so candidly about Angelo and the situation you two found yourself in. The support that must have garnered from him, the difficulty he must have battled to face that in front of the world is baffling. Not that I condone or condemn the situation, what I appreciate though, is the truth and the vulnerability that accompanies that. Brava my darling, you are a wonder.

Now onto the real reason I am writing this, technically there’s two reasons. Reason numero uno, I would like to go to Disneyland with you, no seriously, let’s fuckin go. And reason number two, it seems Shannon did not take you up on your offer to get her some tits for her birthday. I volunteer as tribute to take that boob job off your hands. My birthday isn’t until March but I’m sure there’s pre op procedures involved that can occupy my time until then. But let’s go to Disneyland first, I don’t want to risk popping a tit or something.

On the serious though, I saw so much of myself in your book, circumstances aside of course. And while you don’t know me, let me tell you, I didn’t like what I saw. I am one fucked up and sometimes cunty individual. I needed to confront the things about myself that I just don’t like, and your words helped me to start processing the dynamics in my life that aren’t working to anybody’s benefit. For that I selfishly say thank you for writing me a book. From one fucking Troublemaker to another.

Unconformably Yours,

Jessika

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Job Hunting Sux, Thanx @GabiHankins

Somebody once told me that looking for a job, is a full time job. I didn’t really understand that comment at the time, because I’ve basically landed every interview, or shall I say every interview up to that point had landed me the job. I did not know what they spoke of. Then things changed, and I don’t fucking know what. Well maybe subconsciously I do, maybe even a little consciously. I know what I want out of my life, I know what I want to be when I grow up. And “normal” jobs simply piss me the fuck off in such a way that I pray that I break an arm or a finger at the very least, every single morning, so I don’t have to fucking go into work. It’s been this way for years. So why do I stay at jobs that mean literally nothing to me? Well in the words of Kat Von D, it’s not fucking rocket surgery. Mama gots bills. My bills don’t give a flying shit brick if I am happy at work or doing something that means anything to anybody. And doesn’t that just lead me to contemplate my entire existence and what in the actual fuck is the meaning of life? This may be the sleep deprivation dictating my every thought, but I think it’s on to something, sick of something and goddamn tired of it all.

Writing 2Writing 7Writing 5Writing 6

A teacher once told me I gave the right answer when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. I replied, “I want to be me, and I am a writer.” Six year old little Jess had no comprehension as to how powerful a statement that was. My teacher addressed the class in saying that we were what we say we were and not to wait until we are grown ups to be what we were born to be. Well that bitch didn’t get paid enough either and adult Jess must wonder if teaching was what she was born to do or if a steady college path and a career choice were the polite way of saying, I should have majored in something that paid more. Now adult Jess catches herself waking up saying, “I am a millionaire, which cause do I choose to support today?” Turns out that teacher was full of poo. I don’t know what I was born to be anymore, because all signs seem to point to a struggling member of the lower class. If that’s all I was born to be and all the impact I am meant to have on the world, then philosophical ponderings of existence and pep talks can shove it up their pompous fucking asses. I was born to do a million things, and that list has evolved over the years. I sure as shit was born to push paper and crunch numbers all day in the anonymous setting of an office while the world passes me by. That is some bullshit right there.

Writing 4 WritingWriting 3Writing 8

Someone once told me that if when I wake up I feel like a writer and when I can’t fall asleep it’s because I have another idea that needs to be put to paper, then yes, yes indeed, I am a writer, blood born. And then there is a writer is often given false credit for saying, “There is nothing to writing, all you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” There are several incarnations of this particular saying, but y’all get the gist. It wasn’t until high school when my drama teacher showed me that if I wasn’t happy with the parts that were available to me, I should create my own. And I did, and so it began. My love of theater and my passion for writing began to meld. Listen, this old lady figures, hell, if nobody is gonna cast me, I’ll write my own shit and cast my own damn self to do play whatever the hell role I damn well please. Here’s the problem with that, I haven’t been able to focus on writing lately. Here are my excuses, and trust me, I know they are excuses. I know I’m supposed to grab my own destiny by the balls, but only 50% of me likes touching balls. Much like only 50% of people who know me will understand that reference to my sexuality. I digress:

  • I’m poor, therefore I have to work.
  • I work between 40-60 hours a week, not a lot of time for writing.
  • I doubt myself round abouts 99.9% of the time.
  • I wonder if my shit is good enough to go anywhere.
  • I want to collaborate and make something special.
  • My perspective on the world is so dark right now, I don’t know what will come out creatively.

Now, this has only happened to me a few times in the past. The weight shifts. The creative sparks can’t be contained. Ambition takes the reins. This happened to me last week, I shit y’all not. I went to see a musical, I know I know, surprise surprise. This one was different. It was a show we went to see on a complete whim and one we knew literally nothing, nada, zilch on. It was in LA which I love the town but don’t get there as often anymore, for several reasons such as, 405, 5, 101. Going in all I knew was that the show was titled, “We Are the Tigers.” When we arrived at thKatie Tarzane theater, we were looking at the wall of actors credited in the production. A wonderful woman by the name of Katie DeShan was set to fill in for the lead. After several moments of trying to figure out where we knew her from, it dawned on us, fucking “Tarzan” which was another beautiful 3D Theatricals production. The truly awesome thing though, was that the night before, we had seen a production of “Rent” at the La Mirada Theater for the Performing Arts. Now in that production, there were two actors by the names of Devin Archer and Lawrence Cummings who were also in “Tarzan.” It’s a small world after all! Anywho, our interests were piqued and we got a bit excited to see the show, now that we had a point of reference and had thoroughly enjoyed Katie in the role of Jane. Alright, break a leg Katie!

Cut to the actual show. We. Fucking. Loved. It. Every single cast member was like a glove (said in my Jim Carrey voice) to their role. I don’t want to diminish or downplay any of the actors, but I did fall head over for one in particular. The character made me laugh incredibly hard and we are still quoting several of her lines. I know comedic talent when I see it, and this chick has it goin on. Okay take for example, some of the lines that we are still W Are The Tigersquoting:

Are you girlfriends?

Are you here?

Not funny right? Because I’m assuming in your head you read those pretty blatantly. Those two lines had us in stitches, this bitch’s delivery and timing was spot fucking on! Her name we later learned was Gabi Hankins. I did what any sane person in today’s society would do at intermission, I fucking stalked the cast on social media. I learned things such as, Rebekah M. Allen was responsible for the super witty and smart show. Cut to the 2nd act, we just couldn’t get enough and I whispered to the bestie, “You know what really sucks about this show?” He of course asked what. I responded with, “It’s almost fucking over and there’s no cast album to listen to on the ride home.”  So again, we behaved like any normal theater obsessed duo of misfits would, and listened to things such as “Violet,” “If/Then,” “Shrek,” and “Rent” on the car ride home, while intermittently discussing the brilliance that we had just witnessed.

Playbill If Then Playbill Rent Playbill Shrek Playbill Violet

Why am I sharing this? BECAUSE. I have been writing again. Something about that little show lit a fire under my plump padded ass. Maybe I’ve even started a would be play with Gabi in mind. I literally made a command decision in my life that night, I must work with her in my lifetime. Let it be written. I also want to spread the message about this little show because I personally feel it has substantial potential, LEGIT. Aside from the laughter and the fun I had during the show, I unexpectedly teared up during two songs! WHAT!?! (Said in my minion voice by the way.) I wasn’t expecting that, but the voices on these girls you guys, don’t. A lot of times what happens when I see a show, and I know I’m gonna sound like an asshole and I mean no disrespect, but a lot of times what happens is I’ll be watching a performance, and people like Shoshana Bean, or Jessie Mueller, or Adele Dazeem, or Sutton Foster, or Jenn Colella, or Brian D’Arcy James, or Josh Henry will pop into my little head. NOT ONE SINGLE TIME did that happen in this case, these actors own those roles with such humility. I was in a way, transported to my high school drama class, everything felt organic and exploratory. This cast had chemistry and I think had fun, the reasons I loved my drama geeks in the first place back in the day.

    ShoshanaJessie MuellerIdina MenzelSuttonJenn ColellaBrian D'Arcy JamesJosh Henry

If you live in or near the LA area, I strongly strongly recommend getting your ass down to Hudson Backstage Theater, “We Are the Tigers” is playing through November 8, I promise you won’t be sorry, and if you are, we need to have a discussion about that. Click below for the 411.

Tigers

The Perfect Date (And How It Never Happened)

I haven’t blogged in a while, life has gotten a bit busy and hectic lately! But I have a little story to tell, a little tale that I need to get off my chest. There’s no particular reason to share and there’s no specific message I am attempting to convey. I’m sleep deprived and that means I’m in the mood to share!


The Notebook

It is no secret that I am a hopeless romantic. It is no surprise that my heart belongs to someone and yet I fucked that up beyond repair and will never come to pass. It is no surprise that I perhaps deserve every negative fall out from this thing we call love. I did however, meet someone not too long ago. This person captured my attention immediately and it turns out we were a great match. The more we talked, the more it was revealed how similar we are. Our friendship blossomed quickly and I made the one mistake I have become a professional at avoiding, I got attached. Long story short, this person told me they would be moving out of state. They shared this bit of information with me when we first became acquainted in July. It seemed as though we had time to just enjoy each other until the dreaded time came for their departure. Cut to it getting extremely close to that day which we do not speak of. I wanted to do something special for this person and it was always in the back of my mind to gather information to utilize. Over the course of our short lived relationship, we would do this thing where we would ask each other random questions that seemingly meant nothing and disguised itself as small talk. I was planning on taking this person out on one official and dare I say perfect date before they left. Here are some of the questions I got answers to:

  • If you were on death row, what would your last meal be?
  • When’s the last time you danced in the rain?
  • Have you ever eaten a miracle berry?
  • What is your favorite color?
  • Who is your favorite poet? 

I attempted to incorporate all the stuff I had learned about this person and all the things I adore about this person. I think people have become complacent and we often don’t appreciate others the way they deserve. I have made efforts to improve on the way I treat and communicate with people, and trying like hell not to take shit for granted. Do we not all deserve a love we admire? In our case, this kind:



Date Night

The Plan

I planned a date over the course of approximately 2 months. I ordered fresh miracle berries, set to be delivered on the day of said date. I rented a rain machine and one of those inflatable outdoor movie screens and projectors, and I was ready to order the meal of choice for this person. Now, a little bit of back story, this person had not seen “The Notebook” in full when we met and we watched it together. It’s so fucking corny but it’s such a beautiful love story that shows the power of love and fighting for relationships, which hit home for both of us. So, my plan was to pick this person up, head to the location of the date, have a nice outdoor dinner consisting of one of this person’s favorite meals, complete with wine and what have you. After dinner we would watch “The Notebook” on the large outdoor screen. Following dinner, we would experience miracle berries together for dessert. I would of course have available various foods to try with the miracle berries. After the taste testing, cue the rain machine and we would dance together in the rain, Ally and Noah style. I picked out an outfit recently that would be practical for the evening and I even got an outfit for my date because they did not know about the rain machine and I wanted them to have something to wear afterwards. I had seen something really cute in a store, sent them a picture to see if they liked it, and they did, so I got it. There are a few other details I have left out for personal reasons and because I want to keep them between me and this person.


The date was to take place either last week or next week depending on scheduling compatibility. It did not happen last week and it will not happen this week. The reasons are too vast, complex and personal to divulge. What I want to say is that even though this date will never come to fruition, I am at peace. I am not sad, I am not mad, I am not anything. It is just a small chapter in my life that I will take with me. I made necessary efforts to do certain things and to avoid making my patterned mistakes that have destroyed things in my past. I accomplished these things and am finally seeing the changes I’ve made to myself displaying themselves out in the world. The “perfect” date probably doesn’t exist anywhere but in my mind. I think it could and would have been a breathtaking evening and a bittersweet goodbye, and that essence will live on whenever I think of this person in the future.

Mer-Couple