Category Archives: Short

Portrait of a Mother

I am not perfect, but I believe my child is.

I will never tire of watching him try new things.

I simply cannot believe my eyes when he does something on his own that he has never been shown how to do by me.

My heart races from frustration to longing to rage to utter and complete satisfaction, pride, and boundless love in seconds. Most days are a long battle between them.

Fear can creep slowly like a tickle in my throat that turns into the plague or it can spark and spread like wildfire in a millisecond.

My child’s grin can make every other being and object of matter in the universe disappear.

His laughter rings in my ears like the most harmonious bell.

Watching him play and learn and laughing with his father brings tears to my eyes.

Watching him adore my parents and grandparents and brother and sister is the epitome of joy.

Keeping calm while a seemingly drunk tiny psychopath screams irrationally at me for the eighth time in a day is the most difficult task I have ever been appointed to.

Trying to rationalize with a toddler is absolutely pointless, but I do it to make myself feel better when I resort to distraction and bribery.

Crying to other moms is sometimes the only solution.

Screaming at the father of my child is often both entirely irrational and necessary.

Poop is not taboo here. There is poop everywhere, all the time.

There is literally no TMI left.

Wanting to go out and rage and make bad decisions is a fleeting thought after his bedtime between a shower and PJs.

Coffee is only there for the placebo affect by now, but I will curse anyone who tries to take it away.

Sleeping in past 7am is ecstasy.

Someone else cleaning my house is a luxury sent from heaven above.

Snacks and naps make for happy children, damn anyone who intentionally gets in the way of either.

I do sometimes loathe my life and this tiny perfect human that I created.

I have never known love like this, and it makes me better all the time.

I am raising a human that I grew and birthed, for nothing, by choice, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

loving change, for a change

we say we don’t have seasons in miami, but we do. they are slight and they are lovely, and yesterday was our first fall day. the beach was windy and almost too cool, if not for the eager sunshine. lying on a thin blanket, my face hidden from stray drops of sea flying off the white caps through the wind, my toes hanging off the edge of the blanket digging happily in the warm, sun-baked sand, my soul reaching through the blanket and into the earth, thankful, for once, for change.
it is the best kind of beach day. it is the most serious we get around here. the reggaeton is drowned out by the waves pounding the sand and the party people picnic without overhearing. the change in the air is tangible. facing the roaring atlantic on a day like that with your eyes on the edge of the earth, and your body warmed by it, you feel grounded. it was a refreshing, glorious day that i was happy to spend with my dear friends, equally in need of a recharge. 

happy fall everyone. may the cool air warm your soul. 

Chapter 63

The greatest man I have ever known raised me to be a dreamer. He taught me to ask not what my country could do for me, but to strive to do good for all mankind, including questioning authority, indignity, and every day bullies. He showed me the power of my voice and the sanctity of silence. He instilled in me the toughness I would need for life’s many trials, and made certain I would be present and feel all the feels. He let me see him cry when tears were all he could muster. He dances when the music moves him, without a shred of thought to whether anyone is watching. He raised me to know my own strength and to nurture it, but to understand that love is a better weapon against any enemy. He taught me to sing when I’m scared, because the sharks can smell fear. I still whistle a happy tune so no one will suspect I’m afraid, and I still run to him. I’m lucky enough to have had my dad in my corner every step of the way. He is a champion of the underdog, a true humanitarian. He uses the force. He believes that good will always defeat evil, and I believe him. If that was the one gift he had given me, that would have been enough, but my life has been showered with his wisdoms and those of so many righteous wordsmiths before him. Today, I celebrate his birth with a magnitude of respect, gratitude, love and light. Shine on you crazy diamond, here’s to Chapter 63.

Beachside Village

She closed the last plantation shutter and looked down at the room key in her hand. Pale blue, a long diamond with wide font, “Room C” in white, attached to a real key on a keyring. Just as soon as she dropped the key into the pocket of her loose fitting Levi’s her hand drew to her mouth. She bit her finger nervously.

Her eyes fell upon the car seat, and drifted to the bed, still made by someones else’s deft hands. A lone toy sat next to the TV remote. There were trucks and blocks strewn across the floor. The kitchen was clean apart from a trash bin in the sink and two pots on a chair. Within the silence she heard the magnitude of sound that his tiny hands had made with the lids.

Her finger traced the edge of the small kitchen table. She poured a glass of wine and sighed. Only four clementines left and the whole day to get through tomorrow. She knew an extra bushel had been in order.

Things I Did and Did Not Do Today

It has been such a very long time since I posted here with any sort of consistency. I would like to try to remedy that, and first, I thought I would shed some light as to why I’ve been busy.

Don’t call it a comeback.

Things I did today:

  1. I woke up at 6am with a 13-month-old child who is cutting his molars. (god help us both).
  2. I baked my first homemade pumpkin pie, from scratch, and the crust was slightly overdone but the pie is perfect.
  3. I toasted fresh pumpkin seeds.
  4. I made pumpkin purée for my little love. He ate all of two bites before a tantrum that ended the meal.
  5. I nursed my wild, curious, oh-so-swift son after he climbed to the top of his stroller and promptly tipped it over onto his face earning his first black eye.
  6. I ate all of the previously mentioned pumpkin seeds.

Things I did not do today:

  1. I did not cry.
  2. I did not eat the entire pie.

And for that I will call today a win.

Happy Fall! 🎃🍂🍁🌾

Ten Things I Learned in 2015

 

1. You can give yourself away entirely and still be yourself entirely.

2. Women have infinite strength and patience.

3. Hormones play a brilliant and sadistic role in the function of human females, and test the strength and patience of their partners.

4. No matter how destroyed your body feels or looks, it can restore itself.

5. Consistent lack of sleep turns the human brain into a vast land of perplexity.

6. Sugar is sometimes the problem, and sometimes the solution.

7. Song can be stronger than pain.

8. Wine and a salt bath can make all the screaming and back pain dissolve.

9. It takes less energy to forgive and breathe than to hold on to anger or pain.

10. The harder life gets, the better the rewards feel.

 

best year ever

 

Here’s to 2016. Let it be full of peace and love.

 

.

I Wonder…

THINGS I WONDER ABOUT:

 

1. Are people super rude because they are miserable and they think that making perfect strangers miserable too will gratify or satisfy them momentarily? Specifically, people who are rude to those in the service industry. Does it make them feel better about themselves? Because they certainly aren’t getting better service for themselves, so who are they actually trying to make more miserable?

2. When a pregnant woman has her baby, is it like that feeling of finally prying the strawberry seed from your back teeth in that place your tongue can’t reach? (but multiplied exponentially)

3. Black holes. Worm holes. Parallel universes. 

4. Deja vu. What is really happening there?

5. Why did Florida get rid of emissions testing for cars? 

6. Why wouldn’t a caged bird sing?

7. Who made baby girls need pink everything and baby boys need baby blue? And who institutionalized it to the point of no return? 

8. Why are people more passionate about the Kardashians lives than human rights, or child labor, or polar bears, or human sex trafficking, or their own lives? 

9. Did people stop wearing suits and hats because they got lazy, or did people get lazy because they stopped wearing suits and hats? 

10. People. Not to be too existential on a Monday, but what are they all doing here? 

 

If you feel like you need things to wonder about….see Interstellar. #mindfuck

It was but a dream

I see me. In a little black dress. I’m walking. I reach the side of the pool and I don’t hesitate to dive in.

All sorts of people are swimming in black-tie apparel. Everyone is under the water. Twirling and swirling like dancers on a ballroom floor. There doesn’t seem to be any reason to breathe. I swim past them to the deepest part of the deep end.

I wait for him. Breathless.

Straight Through the Sunset

We got in his old pick-up truck and he started the ignition. The vinyl seat was like ice beneath me, but he had lit something within me. Jack was rugged and charming, he had the swagger of an athlete from birth, and that voice, like the trucks engine, making me both nervous and excited.
He wasn’t driving away and I followed his gaze to a delivery truck on my right. It was open, unmanned, and full of beer. I raised my eyebrows daring him to say what was on his mind, but before words intruded he was out and running. I had never seen someone act so impulsively, simply crack the mold of good behavior like the thin bits of ice on the pavement beneath his boots. I had spent my high school career visualizing myself raising raucous disturbances, but was always brought out of them by a sympathetic teacher wondering if I needed a pass to the restroom or to the nurse. I never needed a pass, what I needed was a radical.
Jack’s face was bold and excited, almost terrified but completely cool as he hustled back to his truck with a twelve-pack of imports tucked under his arm. He stepped on the gas and I laughed. I inherited the laugh from my mother. As a child I’d watch it rip into the room and turn every head, scared certain that I could never live up to it. It just made Jack drive straight through the sunset pulling out all the stars.

Singleminded Aunt Ida

The sister stands to the side, she sighs. Four weeks to the day since her divorce was final. Six months since she walked out the door. Her sister’s engagement doesn’t make her miss her ex-husband, not a thing could induce such emotions, but it does make her feel her aloneness.

There is a thing in this culture, a big stark white elephant in the room or the park or the engagement party, about a woman alone. She doesn’t have a date, so something must be wrong with her. Is she a lesbian? The relatives begin to ask. The complicated affairs which ended her marriage are too convoluted to share with Aunt Ida, so she asks her nephew if his daughter is of another persuasion. Because how could a pretty, smart, seemingly sane girl, be alone? She feels, and the rest of the party would be lying if they disagreed, that there is something wrong with her.

A single man is a bachelor. He’s playing the field, taking his time, finding the right choice. A single woman is waiting, idle while the universe decides when the right man should come along. As if she has nothing to do with the matter when it’s right, however, everything to do with it when it’s wrong. Some wrong choice that she made, or series of choices, that left her flawed, flippant, or scorned.

She sighs again and finishes her champagne. Fuck you Aunt Ida, she thinks, walking away. Nothing is wrong with me. Nothing is wrong with alone.

The First Snow

The first night that the snow fell he had a bag of cocaine in his pocket. It hadn’t snowed in Rome in twenty years. It was beautiful, and it was a party.
We had gone from the restaurant, and their endless supply of house red wine, to the house, and their endless supply of blow. Friends, brothers, and a sister-in-law, laughing, yelling, drinking, watching, whispering, smiling, sniffing, celebrating.
“You know,” said his brother, “I’ve never seen him kiss a girl in front of any of us.”
I just looked at him.
I knew affection was held right next to intimacy, and that they were both reserved for when we were alone. I liked it. It made it like our little secret that no one could see, how we fit into one another without any other.
But I hadn’t known that he had always been that way. Or that those few minutes before when he’d kissed me so deeply that it pulled me inside out I wasn’t the only one who had been left speechless.
He had been mine for months, by his definition, and he’d been mine for years, by my intuition. He had never been one for communication, but that night he seemed to be the only one talking.
“I never met anyone like you,” he said and I scanned the room. Through swirls of smoke I saw other conversations, laughter unconscious of his tone. My reserve mirrored his, even if he’d abandoned it for the night.
“Let’s go outside,” I said taking his hand and pulling him towards the door.
The silence was almost as shocking as the cold. The warmth of the fire and festivities vanished into a vacuum of white.
“You have a really big heart,” he said into the stillness.
“It’s yours,” I promised, placing my hands on each side of his face. His green eyes were glistening and fighting to reveal feeling.
“You are too good for me,” he said. I shook my head. “You are perfect,” he whispered and tears rolled through my fingertips. The snow kept falling around us.

A Hitchhikers Guide to Finding A Greyhound

Do you remember when Jay-Z and Beyonce got married?
I do.
I was standing in a gas station somewhere on the border of Montana and Idaho waiting for a shift change to be carried out. On a Greyhound bus, I’d just learned, each passenger must disembark before the drivers change places at a different location. I had boarded the bus four hours previously in Bozeman, Montana at 3:15am and while I’d rather not have parted with my seat and my pillow, I held my tongue and walked sleepily into the freezing cold morning. Had it been a less ungodly hour, I might have protested, or at least had the wherewithal to grab my purse.
Instead, I walked into the gas station groggy and shivering. It was heated and like a dog curling up in front of the fire, I settled in to the magazine rack. This was 2008, long before Bey ran the world, when Jay was still the power of the couple by my estimation and before they named their child a color. People magazine had printed a story about their very private penthouse nuptials. “From the White Orchids (70,000!) to the Famous Guests and the Crazy-Expensive Cigars, Inside the Power Couple’s Ultra-Private New York City Wedding” read the by-line.
Seventy thousand orchids, I thought, I better see what that looks like. And, obviously, I hoped to see a picture of the dress.
I didn’t get to see pictures of either. I shut the magazine a little disappointed, but also kind of happy that they’d actually pulled off a celebrity wedding that the paparazzi hadn’t infiltrated.
Good for them, I thought, placing it back on the shelf.

“Weren’t you on that bus?” the meth addict cashier said to me. I looked through my red eyes at her brown teeth trying to process the tense she was using.
“What?” I asked, mentally preparing myself for some kind of atrocity.

Continue reading A Hitchhikers Guide to Finding A Greyhound

Acquitted, Evicted, Conflicted.

 

“Go,” Chris insisted to an audience that couldn’t hear him. His right hand fumbled blindly around the deep center console of his 1989 Bronco. It hit upon its target and he slipped a Marlboro Mild between his lips, pressed the old knob of the cigarette lighter in, and met the eyes of the woman in the car next to him briefly before she looked away. Chris shook his head. The woman’s eyes had glazed over like she didn’t know what she was doing in this world. In Alaska she would have smiled.

The knob popped out and with a familiar fluidity he touched the fiery orange coil to the tip of his cigarette, inhaled, removed the poisonous stick with his left hand and exhaled. He put the car lighter back in its place. The smoke was stagnant in the afternoon heat. It hung around him like the cars amassed in the Miami rush hour traffic.
Continue reading Acquitted, Evicted, Conflicted.

Miami Life, Another Night

A fly’s wings fluttered against the glass as thunder shook the pane.

Drops pelted the roof of the car. The fly buzzed. Sam considered opening the window and letting him drown.

An ambulance siren howled in the distance. The rain masked the sounds of metal and rubber and the slick roads claiming its victims. The fly bobbled through space into the back seat.

Sam watched the rain fall on the windshield. The design reinvented itself with each drop. She hit the wipers and cleared the canvas. Her eyes found new patterns forming within the spots.

The leash that she called a cell phone rang. She resisted the temptation of throwing it out into the puddle beside her car.

The siren faded away. The humidity suffocated the fly. She answered the phone.

A la Mode

“So you didn’t see a gun?”
She folds her hands in her lap. “I already told you, no.”
“And you didn’t hear a shot?”
She sighs, “No.”
“But you say you were there, in the room, when the shot was fired.”
“Well, Larry, I was eating apple pie and vanilla ice cream. You know how I get when I’m eating a delicious desert.”
“Honey, please refrain from using ice cream as an excuse, again. And another thing, ice cream does not make it difficult to hear such a thunderous distraction as a gun shot!”
“You know Larry, last week in my yoga class a woman was talking about a car accident she was in. The moment her car made contact with the wall she blacked out. Don’t scoff at me. It was shock. Maybe I was in shock when the gun shot went off.”
“Listen, Muffin, I am a detective. There was a murder, you are the only witness, and you are telling me that you can not say that you saw or heard a thing that happened in that room because of PIE?! Oh, hello, Captain. You got here fast.”
“That’s enough, Detective.”
“Sir, meet my wife.”
“Are you an a la mode man, Captain?” she asked coyly.

A Cunning Cunundrum

The smile she wears craftily masks the mess underneath.

She glances around the room timidly, both needing to see him and desperate not to.

She chats gracefully with her friends.

Under her guise of tranquility he possesses every thought.

She hates herself for it.

There he is.

She tastes yellow, putrid like bile and callousness.

She unclenches her teeth and turns her cheek.

She swallows her emotions.

Her fingertips tingle with anticipation.

If he smiles at her, they are done for.

The fear of the consequences grip her whole being.

They all rise as the wedding march begins.

The Old Man That He Sees

He wakes. His feet touch the cool stone floor. He ignores his weathered reflection, rinses his hands, and splashes water on his face. The sticky dawn drifts through the seaward window. He sees the fog and the distant orange circle muted above the horizon. He turns back to the looking glass. You will catch a big one today, he says to the old man that he sees.