Saturday, June 29, 2024

oh, my angst!

i cleaned today. not the kitchen or the living room. i did the kind of cleaning that finds 8th grade essays and teen angst to light after 15 years! man, i was good. and my angst, so fresh and raw, just like everyone else's. only mine was better, of course.

i found baby pictures, pictures of mel and i in our sunday dresses, a picture of me riding my bike for the very first time, and... my dad in his own mandals circa 1984. embarassing then, sentimental now.

i discovered notecards, slivers of papers, essays (to kill a mockingbird! a separate peace! huck finn!), notes passed between friends, rough drafts, a short story that brought tears to my english teacher's eyes, final copies redlined, the memories! it all sits next to me, in a clear plastic container, like a time vault. our annual creative writing publication, my yearbooks, yellowed notes, doodles, my french vocabulary book, w.h. auden, emerson, thoreau.... right here. dated 1994, 95, 93, i think there's a '90 in there.

i hope you enjoy this little tidbit. more to follow.

so, here it is, my first of several published works, in the 1995 coronado high school canvass literary and fine arts magazine (seriously, that's what it was called)....i present to you...

i walk down the cold, dark hall
i see the door.
i feel the dread of what the room represents.
i want to turn back,
but i am pushed by the crowd
to open the door.
i enter the room.
people have been here before me.
i can feel the despair they felt.
their fear hangs thick in the air.
the door closes with a deep finality
that echoes in my head.
i watch and count the seconds
until the door is opened.
i am trapped.
there is no way out.
the torture begins.
i try to resist.
i try to keep my eyes open,
but i can't help falling asleep
in history class.

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

phone tree day

 Yesterday was phone tree day. 

Tomorrow is another phone tree day. I can’t text you and tell you. I can’t just text someone and say phone tree day. 

Big event days. First day of nephews school. Skydiving day. Big party days. Sleepy eyes locking over mugs…phone tree day. 

We said it in a mellow, low tone which marked the calm before the storm. Almost a whisper. 

Phone tree day. 

Accepted offer. Inspection. So many phone tree days to come. 

If there’s no one to say phone tree day….

Thursday, November 30, 2023

I really missed you today

 I miss you all the time. But it’s become like a dull ache you get used to. Today was like snaggin a healing hangnail on a sweater. 

No. It was more than that. It just hurt okay? I had a dream about you last night. You were pregnant. I saw you in a parking lot talking to a coworker. You rubbed your belly. You might have been about 6 months along. 

I miss you so much. You’re right there. Half a mile away from me most days. 

Right there. And a million miles away. 

I love you. 

Sunday, August 27, 2023

my body keeps the score and holds the grudge

when your normal headache isn’t normal but it’s also very normal when things aren’t normal. and also isn’t a tumor. (ps, this is not about my boyfriend)

You’ll tell yourself you’re fine with it. That the drama has settled and everything is fine. But your body knows you better than you. It’ll throw headaches at you. And then more and more until you’ve had a headache for five days and know for sure it’s a tumor (spoiler: it’s not) and go to urgent care. 

This is different than a migraine. It’s in a different place, it feels different, and isn’t accompanied by the same aura or light sensitivity (though you’re still sensitive to light). It doesn’t react the same to the usual cold packs and pills. 

Once a week for over a month you’ll call out sick. No, it’s not work related. 

You’ll get your eyes examined in the fifth week of headaches. Yes, your eyes have changed. 

On the fifth consecutive day of this headache, you’ll go to urgent care. 

You’ll wait for the doc in a room on a hospital bed while contorted in a position that alleviates your headache, if only a little. Your lower half lays on its side, knees bent. Your top half is twisted further so your arms can cross under you; held between your body and the bed.

You’ll discuss your headache with the (very hot) doc. He’ll ask about any new stressors since these headaches started over the last couple of months. 

Then. It’ll click. 

No. You are not fine. Apparently. The boundary you finally set over a year and a half ago and the resulting recent tantrums have, in fact, affected you and affect you still. You were blamed for the situation you didn’t create. “But I’m fine,” you tell yourself and your loved ones.  You reach out to your therapist. “You are having a very normal response to an abnormal event,” she’ll reply.

The doc asks if you’re able to sleep. “Yes!” you’ll respond with no hesitation. 

He tells you to remove the stressors. But how can you remove them from your mind? Your inner thoughts? Meditation, he suggests. 

You’ll find out how hard it is to actively relax your shoulders, your neck, your jaw. It is truly constant. While actively thinking about relaxing your body, you have to remember to relax your body. When you wake in the night, your shoulders are clenched, raised to your ears like hackles. Your hands turn to fists in your sleep. 

You’ll realize that while you HAVE been sleeping, you have not been getting good sleep.

The doc recommends heat on the back of your head, your “suboccipital muscles.” And tennis balls to use as pressure on the back of your neck. 

You look up “homemade hot/cold packs” and find items on Etsy you can make. Just after this headache goes away. It was gone for a couple of days, but it’s back to remind you. 

You try to relax, even while writing this post, unable to take a nap. 

“But I’m fine.”

No. But I’m getting there.

Saturday, August 26, 2023


i didn't realize this until today. i mean. maybe i did realize this before. i probably did. i've been making pancakes for years. decades even. an eternityyyy.


greg taught me how to make pancakes. i was a teenager. he didn't wake me up and like, oooo...yolanda today we're going to learn how to make pancakes! it also wasn't the first time i made pancakes. i used to use a lot of butter in the pan. maybe that's how my mom made them? i just knew butter was good. not that i liked it on my pancakes.

why are we talking about pancakes?

i made pancakes this afternoon for my knight and me. i couldn't sleep last night. i was awake until 4. i even got up and made hot chocolate. the sugar probably didn't help, but i wanted what i wanted.

we were in the apartment in coronado. the ones the cult leader ...holy shit. nine of us. two sets of parents with two kids each. and a random member. nine of us in a two bedroom two and a half bath condo. apartment? what's the difference? don't tell me, i won't remember.

he was making pancakes for his kids. which meant he was making pancakes for everyone. we used either bisquick or krusteaz. i know we had both in the house. apartment. condo! ugh.

he probably wasn't even telling me. maybe he was, though, bc his kids were younger than us and weren't interested in pancakes. was i watching because he was cute? listening because he wasn't my parents and i didn't hate him like i hated his stuck up and too good for everyone wife (fuck, i did NOT get along with her. maybe she's who i learned how to be a bitch from. interesting. yes. always with the snide remarks. ooo this is good.)? this was before cell phones and you toobs. but we still walked around reading books when we could.

the two of them were 14 years older than me. i remember because on my 14th birthday they talked about how they were twice  my age. or one of them was. christ with the memory. wow. they'll be 60. 

where was i? pancakes.

he said you knew it was time to turn them when the bubbles showed up. maybe he had watched me flip them too soon and smash them. i remember holding the spatula on them (or was that grilled cheese? no. it was god...are you still reading?) to make the middle mound go away. they were always too thick.

he said the best time to turn them was when there were bubbles and the edge had started to cook. then it was an easy flip.

i remembered that this morning while watching bubbles form on pancakes.

i saw the bubbles and noticed the edges solidifying a bit. i slid my spatula around the pancake edge into the middle for the perfect flip.

the first pancake is usually a dud. i got two pancakes in a row before my first "grilled" pancake. small adjustments. 

always small adjustments.

Wednesday, June 21, 2023


I listened to a podcast this weekend. Sunday afternoon, to be exact. I don’t usually listen to this podcast. 

The host mentioned a letter her mom had written to her. Her mom had framed it for her as a gift. 

I wasn’t sure about this podcast. It’s not one I subscribe to, but it’s on my radar. The title of the episodes don’t  have anything to do with the subject. 

The mother’s gift to her daughter was a list of knowledge. 

The host read the list aloud, taking the time to further explore each nugget. The very first thing on the list was about forgiveness. Forgiveness is not for the other person. It’s for you. By not forgiving this person, they own you. 

After my world was shaken like a snow globe and I was shattered and destroyed. After I reached out to my hearts and they wrapped their words around me. After I questioned reality and my very own existence. I remembered the words from earlier in the day and said this over and over again in my head... “I forgive you I forgive you I forgive you.” I used it to drown out the sound of his voice in my head. I used it to blur out his face across that table from me. I used it as a balm on my shattered heart and twisting mind. I used it to erase him from my life; imagining a different reality. I used it as I fell asleep (finally), eyes puffy, tea cooling on the nightstand, wrapped in my knight’s arms, our heartstrings secured around us. 

I forgive you I forgive you I forgive you. 

Forgiveness is mine. And it’s not for you. 

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

today is a weird day and there are a hundred reasons for it

5/10/23 6:55pm Weds. At home.

i've been in a funk. i recently purposely looked through old boxes and collected old notebooks. i knew they were around, i knew (hoped?) they were safe, and i knew they contained deep pain. i didn't want to read them.

but i've been in this garbage (not garbage actually, very helpful, but allow me the shit talking of therapy) of recovering memories from my past for about ...i could count. 8? 6? 3? months? 

i've been shoving these memories away for decades. more than half my life.

but now. i walk toward the walled forest that holds so many memories. i'm a princess meeting and fighting her own beasts. i carry a sword, my knight's heartstring, a journal and pen.

the forest gate is weather worn and you can see through parts of it. i peek through the cracks before opening it every time.

i hear the monsters rustle as they the gate drags against the forest floor. i should get that fixed. but fuck it. let them hear me coming.

some monsters have been more sleepy than others. a few have been waiting for me.

what a fucking FEAT to stop running and stare down these beasts. i knew some would be running fast enough at me to overtake me when i stopped. i knew others would hide and watch me.

some monsters have been small and easily tamed. others i sense deep in the forest; their eyes glow at me. taunting. 

"tomorrow," i whisper to them, to me.

more monsters, still, lurk. no glowing eyes, no thundering footsteps. it's these monsters that i walk toward, expecting their fire. my faithful knight warms coffee for me, whispers strength into my bones. i leave camp early before the sun rises. we know these are my monsters to meet. the promise of my knight's arms and shoulders when i return sometimes (most times) the only thing that keeps me walking deeper and deeper into these woods.

i am safe. i am safe. i am safe. i whisper to myself as i explore notebooks and news articles. i whisper to myself as i sleep away from my knight.

my childhood home was sold recently. i have clicked through the hall and stood in the backyard of so many memories. i can still see the footprint of the literal stage that was built to hold the pulpit of a beast who would lurk and prey on our lives forever.

i uncovered notebooks from my junior year of high school. i drive google maps passed our favorite park and save landmarks that used to be.  i've pinpointed timestamps in my life that put my memories into focus. 

some memories confuse me still.

i am safe. i am safe. i am safe.