Whether you believe in sweet baby Jesus and his story or not, this time of year is a season of rebirth. Great shifts have occurred to bring life from so much death. Through the depths of winter, shades of darkness lurked beneath the shadows of shortened days only a short period ago on our piece of the earth. Everything stood still. And almost suddenly, now, we are again embracing life––buds and blooms and blossoms, chirps and peeps and the the laughter of children playing outdoors. Color. Every little thing has revolved to evolve. We've pushed past the shadows seeking light. There is new life. There is change.
The part of you that is human seeks lust--long walks on the beach, six pack abs, white picket fence, two point three children, dog, Mercedes Benz. You swipe right after there is nothing left. Lost in the cliche, you call it love, pair it with a diamond, the American Dream...
"We have the same color eyes," he said as he stared into hers. "Did you notice that?" She had but the fact that he had pointed it out made her bow her head. Reflection...
It wasn't the sex I missed. It was touch. I missed touching her–breathing in the air she recycled from her mouth and making it mine. I missed waking up in the middle of the night to smell the hair on the top of her head right where the part divided her skull into two hemispheres...
We made a song when we played together.
I fell in love with you the first day of kindergarten. We rarely spoke but we told our friends secretly in the cafeteria that we were spoken for. I wasn't sure if you loved me back until that time we were partnered for stations. We sat there across the table like adults sipping fine wine on a first date in a foreign country if we had met in an art museum + didn't speak the same language. We took turns pushing the rainbowed, wooden beads across the stiff, metal lines of the abacus imagining we knew how to add + pretending like we were actually doing anything other than getting lost in each other's eyes through the myriad of color, the wall that provided just enough separation to comfort us...
The clouds harbored in the skies of the Wild West rarely put out. The wildlife had evolved to do without….
"Excuse me, Miss," the black man with the salt and pepper beard directed my way. "Excuse me." He caught my eyes. I knew he'd ask for money. That's how all of these conversations start. And he did...
"Jenny, come here. I need to teach you something," Coach Ray said as he called me over to the side of the practice footballfield. Earlier, I told him about how after games when the team lined up to shake hands and high five the opposing team as an action of respect, some of the guys on the other teams refused to shake my hand or throw out a high five when they got to me. Instead, they'd take my hand tightly and hold it. "It's the girl," they'd whisper to the guys behind them. I wasn't complaining to Coach. I honestly thought their reactions were amusing. I understood there would be some strangeness when molds were broken. But he took note.
Some time while I was in college (those days are a bit of a blur now that I'm the big 3-0), my pops ordered an American flag out of some sort of alt-hippie catalogue that sold rainbow patches and We-can-do-it tees. Only, this American flag didn't have any stars. In place of the 50 five-pointers was a white peace sign.
The first time I was in the news was because I had lost a tooth. It was average news, at best, for a five-year-old. I had been playing house with my baby sis in the playhouse my Pepa had built for us. "I was drinking a glass of milk and it just fell out," I told the reporter when my grandma handed me the phone trailed by a long, winding cord.
There is a brighter side of loss. In my own life–whether it was losing a race, losing hope in love, losing a career or losing a loved one–at first, I am always met with desperation. I tend to take shelter hoping that by hiding from the world, the past will dissipate like a dream. But as the tears run down my face, the hands of the clock keep ticking. There is no time to look back, ask questions. We are here now, I tell myself.
We are no different from the wild beasts of the woods. Talk to any forester and they'll tell you that at any given time there is an overpopulation of some species. It causes chaos–change. Habitats are diminished or grow wild because of just one breed. If per say there is a population increase of rabbits one year, within a few more years, naturally, there would be a decrease of rabbits due to an increase of foxes. We feed off of our differences. Balance–an organic, and most often disguised, form of peace.
A silver pendant hangs around his neck. It's not the only medal he's won for our country. He's got more gold and silver than a king–world records to back it all up. Lex Gillette, my high school track teammate, just won a silver medal in the long jump at the 2016 Paralympics. It's his fourth consecutive silver for his main event during the Paralympics. On the podium, he smiles because his road to Rio wasn't easy.
Close your eyes. This is what Lex sees. Even when his eyes are wide open...
She came to America because she felt like God was telling her to go. Her home was at war. Buildings within sight from her window were bombed by the Nazis. Her people were devastated. They were the living among the dead. Others were missing. They just seemed to vanish. Her own cousin ventured out of his home and never came back.
So Jenny disappeared too. She boarded a plane with a one-way ticket to New York City where she would meet and marry a man she met by chance seven years prior in an orchard near her home in Belgium.
William, my Uber driver, picked me up in his black Honda Accord after yoga on the corner of Pacific and Washington. I had been waiting for him next to a homeless lady with no pants on. She threw her legs in the air as each person passed by. We all tried to look away. "Crazy night," he said knowing this was just another typical scene for Venice, CA. There's always something strange going on. Earlier, William told me the lady was throwing pillows in the air. "Poor thing," was the only response I could come up with. I wondered where she was from, who her parents were and how she came to live on the streets. We both silently acknowledged the sadness in this poor woman's suffering. It was obvious that all she wanted was for someone to notice her existence. And we did.
The mountain beside us combusted. What was just minutes ago lush, green and full of life suddenly exploded. Neon red glowed like the cherry end of a cigarette. Just like that. Smoke rose from the tip of the peak. Everyone stopped to watch this piece of the earth fall.
Wheaties are no longer the breakfast of champions. If you've fumbled through your Instagram feed in the past year, you've already seen cereal's new replacement and you've probably double-tapped for the like because this new organic, gluten-free, vegan breakfast fad is oh, so pretty. (Insert emoji with hearts for eyes here.) O-M-CHIA pudding! It's what's for breakfast.
I had predicted my own downfall. I had heard the slow trickle for a while. I didn't want to believe it. After all that hard work. It was a dream I didn't want to end. Not unless it was on my own terms.
There was going to be a blue moon. I read my horoscope only half-believing the things I'd read. But the combination of what was stirring in my gut + the words written in the stars had me semi-prepared.
On my way to a bar, my Uber driver said something to me that struck a chord in my heart. I wasn’t searching for anything profound. After all, I would soon be with an IPA in hand to take a load off, get mellow. But as always, moments, words come when you need them.
Everyone knows Felicia. She's always creepin' + always screwin' up the game plan. Felicia trippin'. And if we don't tell her "Bye," Felicia will have us trippin' too.