Saturday, December 16, 2006

Just a taste

Since I've barely been posting for the last couple of months, I figured I'd do something different. I'm not going to lie and say that none of the blog neglect was due to laziness. About 50% of it was. But, the other 50% was more noble. Grad school apps are due this month and next and they all require a writing sample. I've never posted my fiction on my blog for many reasons (paranoia about plagarism and idea theft being high on the list), but I figured it can't hurt too much to post a smidge of what I've been working on. I really do appreciate everyone who reads my blog, especially now that I'm so disengaged from the blogosphere.
So here's a bit of my short story entitled "Captive." Hope you enjoy it.

Special thanks to my editors: Chesty LaRue, Jailbait, and BP. You guys brought out the best in me.
The combined stench of stale cigarettes, urine, and body odor assaulted me as I stepped through the thick steel door. The long, narrow room stretched more than 50 feet ahead of me, dead ending into a gray brick wall. There were no windows to offer any proof that the outside world existed. Noticing the dirt caked into the linoleum floor, I immediately bent over and fashioned a large cuff at the hem of the jeans that billowed over my sneakers. The steel door slamming shut behind me jarred me upright and I could feel the goose bumps rise on my skin. I ran my hands up and down my arms with vigorous strokes in a vain attempt to create the heat the room lacked.

Under the hazy fluorescent light, I studied the slip of paper they had given me. Window fifteen – at the far end. Careful not to look at anyone, I trudged to where the number 15 was stenciled on the floor in faded black paint. Pulling a wad of tissue from my purse, I wiped down the seat to remove any remnants of the previous occupant and sat down hesitantly.

A series of short buzzes pierced the air, and a heavy metal door swung open. I watched through bullet proof glass as an officer escorted her toward the chair across from me. Her steps were deliberate and she kept her eyes trained on the floor. She was losing weight. The drab blue uniform swallowed her once curvaceous 5’7” frame.

In the narrow walkway she passed another inmate, their shoulders colliding. She gave the woman a hard shove that sent her staggering backward. Before the confrontation could escalate, the officer stepped between them, saying something inaudible. He positioned his face inches from hers and jabbed his finger against her chest as she stared at the ceiling, her chin up and face turned from his lecture. Seconds later she gave him a perfunctory nod then sauntered to her chair.

I pulled the sleeve of my sweater over my hand and picked up the receiver.

“Samara, what the hell was that about?” I asked.

“What was what about?”

“Don’t play dumb. I saw what happened.”

She flashed an innocent smile, but offered no explanation.

“Forget it. Anyways, how are you?”

“How do you think I am?”

“I don’t know. You look good.”

She shot me a weary glance and sighed.

I wasn’t lying. Her butterscotch skin was clear, and she still managed to maintain her perfectly arched eyebrows. The dark brown eyes that illuminated her face were wide and alert. She obviously wasn’t spending her commissary on cigarettes because her teeth gleamed white. Only the dark circles under her eyes marred her appearance.

She studied me for a few seconds then said, “Have you been to the gym lately?”

“Why?” I gave her a quizzical look.

“You look like you might be gaining a few pounds. I’d hate to see you put the weight back on.”

Looking down at the pooch that hung over my belt, I wrapped my arm around my body and hugged myself close. “It’s not enough that I have to hear this stuff from Mommy? Now you’ve gotta start with me, too?”

“How is Mom?”

“Not bad. She’s hanging in there.”

“And Auntie?” She ran down the list of family and friends and I assured her that everyone was okay.

“Do you need anything? How’s your commissary?” It didn’t matter how much she asked for, I was ready to give it to her.

She laughed, short and bitter. “Fuck the commissary. I want my life back.”

Unfortunately that was the one thing I couldn’t give; not since the judge sentenced her to 25 years to life.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Miracle of Hanukkah 2006

I just experienced my first Hanukkah miracle! NYU extended the application deadline by two days! Praise God!!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Final Countdown

My first grad school application is due in less than 2 days. The writing sample is only 3/4 finished, the personal essay is 0% to target, and one of my recommenders is nowhere to be found. Sweet!

Thursday, November 30, 2006


Ever since I was a little girl, I've always liked boys. I can still remember the crush my four-year-old self had on my next door neighbor with the mop of brown hair and a penchant for shirtless yard work. My heterosexuality was confirmed young. But lately, I've been having these thoughts. Not really thoughts, but moreso flashbacks. A couple months ago I met a girl and I don't quite know how it happened, but we kissed.
We met in front of my grandmother's house in the north Bronx. She was walking up the block with a friend of mine I hadn't seen in over two years and I was standing on the stoop. We locked eyes and she immediately entered the slightly ajar gate leading to the front walk. I introduced myself with a handshake and invited them both inside. Her energy was amazing. She ran around the house, exploring the new environment.
"Would you like some water," I offered.
She eagerly accepted the tap water I placed before her and within minutes it was gone. In her excitement to have a drink she even spilled half of it on the kitchen floor. No bother, I just wiped up the mess with some paper towels and headed back to the living room so we could get to know each other.
For the next half hour she wouldn't leave my side. I tried to engage our mutual friend in conversation but she kept interrupting. Usually I'm bothered when someone doesn't let me get a word in, but her interruptions were so endearing I didn't even notice. What I did notice is that she kept laying her head in my lap. Now, I'm a pretty affectionate person. I have no problem putting an arm around a female friend or cuddling close to one of my guy friends, but this situation was weird. True, we were hitting it off great, but we'd just met. That type of closeness made me uncomfortable.
"Stop doing that!" our friend would tell her.
She'd do what he said for a minute or two and then come right back into my personal space. While I didn't want her hanging all over me, I also didn't want her to feel uncomfortable. Whenever she came close to me, I ran my hand up and down her back. She was extremely fit and I could feel her muscles through her coat.
I think I might've rubbed her back a bit too long because before I knew it she pinned me to my chair and started kissing me. Her tongue was EVERYWHERE. My lips, my cheeks, my chin were covered in saliva. I tried to push her off of me but she was too strong.
"No! Stop!" I screamed. In the midst of my protests she slipped her tongue in my mouth. Immediately, I closed my mouth and turned my head to the side so she couldn't try that move again.
Meanwhile our friend looked on, consumed by a fit of giggles, guffaws, and gasps. In all the commotion he was still able to snap a couple of pictures of the girl on girl action with his camera phone.
After what felt like an eternity, she finally let me go then casually walked to the other side of the room as though nothing happened. The second I was free, I ran to the bathroom and scrubbed my face with St. Ives Apricot Scrub and brushed my teeth with Colgate Total. Unfortunately I didn't have any bleach. When I felt sufficiently clean I rejoined my guests in the living room.
The moment I reentered the room she rushed back to my side. When she stood on her hind legs and started humping my right leg I knew that she wanted more than the kiss we just shared. I disengaged myself from her paws and kept my distance for the rest of the day. She was way too aggressive for my liking. I mean, can't a girl at least get a few hours to process the fact that she just had her first same sex kiss?
Days later as the events of that day replayed in my head one moment stuck out in my mind. The kiss. Yes, it was sloppy. Yes, it was against my will. No, I didn't kiss her back. But when I thought about it some more, I realized that she had given me the most passionate kiss I'd had in a long time. And she made it a total sensory experience. Not only was I lavished with her tongue, she also got her paws and fur into the action. Maybe she was just trying to hold me when I was fighting her off? In hindsight making out with her wasn't bad at all. In fact, it might've even been enjoyable.
So now I sit here with something of a conundrum on my hands. Since she is a girl and I'm a girl and we kissed and I think I liked it, does that make me a lesbian? Or just bi?

Monday, November 27, 2006

I Promise

When is a promise no longer valid? If you swear up and down about ANYTHING are you held to it no matter what? Are the promises you make to a person contigent upon who that person is to you when you made the promise.

This summer, I made a promise. Actually it was more of an assertion. I swore that a male friend was just that, a friend. I promised that nothing physical or romantic would ever occur between us because we just "aren't like that." When asked if anything physical or romantic had already occurred I was honest. Yes, but that was a long time ago and things are different now. Not only would it not happen again, it simply couldn't. I was firm.

I said those things because I truly believed them. Plus, I was trying to prove a point. I have been told by several men that I have too many male friends and that there is absolutely no way in hell that all of those inter-sex friendships could possibly be 100% platonic. And I have always argued that men and women can totally be just friends. MY friends are NOT trying to get in my pants nor am I trying to get them to lay on top of me so I can feel a warm body.

So when I told a man who was definitely not just my friend that nothing would ever happen between myself and The Friend, I meant it. I didn't just say it to appease him or to give him a reason stop whining about why The Friend always seemed to call at ungodly hours of the night. I wasn't saying, "Because of you, I won't do that." No guy wants to hear that anyways.
"You're the only thing stopping me from tappin' dat ass" is not exactly reassuring. If there's a possibility then there is definite reason to be concered. But I was saying something totally different. I was saying I wouldn't do it, period.

Last weekend I did it. I had every right to. Things with the man who was definitely not just my friend fell apart weeks ago. I am perfectly free to do whatever I please without worrying about anyone else's feelings. And I'm not necessarily worried about feelings being hurt per say. The problem lies with me. I feel like a liar. I made a promise and I broke it. I didn't make the promise with a built in contingency plan and out clauses. And I'm not that girl that lies to a man just to make him feel better about a situation. Actually I'm honest to a fault divulging more information than what is really needed all in the spirit of full disclosure. Granted, I owe nothing to that man and he has a tendency to be a veritable asshole....yet I still feel bad. Like I've done something to him or was deceptive or something. I can't explain it. Or maybe it's not about him and more about me. I have no problem lying to my parents, boss, IRS (just kidding), etc. but when it comes to who I say I am I prefer to be truthful. And I feel like a hypocrite. I might say I am just friends with each and every one of my male friends but am I really? How much would it take for me to fall into a similar situation with another guy I claim is "just my friend." Maybe I should just NEVER say never again.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


The screen is mocking me, daring me to write something impressive. "Type. Do it. Say something remarkable," it says to me. I put my hands to the keys, but nothing happens. Firefox saves me from the sting of defeat. I promise myself I'll face the Word document again in a few minutes - just a quick browse through My Space, Facebook, Nappturality, my email, back to My Space, check in on Facebook, then back to Nappturality. And before I know it sleep calls and words go unwritten.

It shouldn't be this hard. There was a time when I could turn out twenty five pages in two weeks. I would just sit and stories would pour out of me, filling up page after page with the people, places, and events that existed in my mind. This story only trickles in sporadic spurts leaving more to be desired with every line. I take solace in the dialogue, which is the only part that works. The setting is bland, exposition abrupt, and action non existent. I can do so much better, but for some reason I can't.

Twenty five pages. The equivalent of two ten-page papers and a five-page essay. I have a 165 pages sitting on a jump drive. I did that in five months. 165 pages that are of no use to me now. None of it is good enough. For friends to read, sure it's great. But to hang my future on, to compete with hundreds maybe thousands of other writers. Not so much. So scrap it and write another 25 pages. What's 25 pages? Everything to admissions panels. And right now, nothing I have in me.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Jiminy Cricket

At the moment my conscience is not allowing me to blog. I have to take the GRE at the end of next month. According to Baron's diagnostic test I won't break 1000 (for those of you who don't know...that's NOT a good look). I must relearn the formulas for area of a circle, area of a triangle, and basic 7th grade math. I must also learn random vocabulary words I will NEVER use.
I have a shitload to write about, unfortunately the graduate admissions offices don't want to hear about my obsession with You Tube and a certain alcoholic West Indian. Nope, they want to hear all about my latest reading material, my condensed life story, and the great works of literature I'm conjuring at the moment. Add to that a 30 page sample of my brilliance. For some reason sending them a link to my blog isn't acceptable.
None of this includes the actual applications that I have to submit between mid December and early January in order to be thrust back into a state of brokosity with little to no health insurance (forget about dental) for the next two years while I pursue an MFA in Creative Writing, which by the way will do nothing to make me employable!
So basically what I'm trying to say is that every time I attempt to participate in a blog related activity (reading, writing, etc.) I am quickly reminded that I am on a strict deadline and I gotta get all the aforementioned shit done, and done well in the next six weeks. If I'm blogging, I'm not studying, writing, or applying and Jiminy says we can't have that.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Used To

My hair used to be straight, all the way from the roots until the ends curved under my chin. I parted it down the middle and leaned forward so it would swish in front of my face. Then I would sweep my right fingertips across my forehead and tuck the wayward locks behind my left ear.
I used to wear black combat boots. I'd trudge through crowded hallways barely lifting my feet because they weighed ten extra pounds. I always wore flannel with my boots. I liked dark green patterns mixed with gray and cream.
I used to listen to Guns N Roses, not because I really liked them or anything but because everyone else did. Same with Nirvana. I didn't get them. I never knew "aqua sea foam shame." I liked Bush and I got them. I got Buffalo Tom, Oasis, and the Goo Goo Dolls too. They spoke to me. So did Mary. Not from experience because I had none. But their words sounded how I thought they should for when I went through the same thing.
I used to like boys with chin length hair that grazed the tops of their shoulders. Straight or wavy, it didn't matter. I liked their corduroy pants, Chuck Taylors, and auto mechanic shirts. I stared at them all the time.
I used to think I was just like the girls on TV. I was going to be just like them. Weird, smart, misunderstood, awkward, yet adorable enough for a boy with chin length hair and corduroy pants to like me. I used to be able to make Angela Chase's sad face, nose wrinkled, eyes wide, mouth drawn. I used to talk to like Julia Sallinger, complete with hand wringing and head scratching. I used to close my eyes because it was supposed to hurt to look at the world. I don't think it did. But I could emote.
I don't straighten my hair anymore. My combat boots are long gone. I like men with fresh cut Caesars who wear Timbs, Uptowns, or Cole Haans. I think most girls on TV are stupid and have no interest in going through what they do. I can no longer make Angela's sad face. One of my very own replaced it. I get Guns N Roses now. I know what November rain is. The Goo Goo Dolls and Oasis aren't nearly as sad as I thought they were. I don't have to imagine what Mary was experiencing. I'm there and doing my own version of it. I think I prefer emoting. And I wish I still had my flannel shirts.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Flip Side

The change was subtle, but unmistakeable. She folded her arms across her chest, shielding herself from me. The gregarious energy that had drawn us together a few hours ago was replaced with a weary countenance. She was still friendly and engaging but she was no longer open. I had trespassed and was no longer wanted.
When he grabbed my waist and pulled me close I saw her staring at us.
"You see that guy right there," she had said a half hour after our initial introduction. "He's so cute. I want him tonight."
We had both arrived alone, but she didn't plan to leave that way. Dancing was her angle. She sashayed toward him and swung her hips to get his attention. Much to her dismay it wasn't enough to keep him entertained. He found his way to me and kept finding me the entire night. I didn't beckon, but I didn't turn him away either. She was the one who wanted him, but I knew I was the one who would get him.
As I watched her over his shoulder, I recognized the look in her eyes. I had been her on so many other nights. I had stared, danced, and flirted to the best of my ability only to watch my target use the same moves on another woman. I had gone home empty handed on more than one occassion, wondering what the other girl had that I didn't. And I had felt the irrational feeling of loss over something that was never mine.
I felt bad being the cause of her disappointment. And I felt worse because I had participated knowingly. But feeling bad didn't stop me from walking over to him at the end of the night and getting his phone number as she looked on.

Sunday, September 24, 2006


She emerged from the murky lake water, dark hair dripping and water glistening on her olive skin. Her smile was triumphant and proud. She had not backed down, refused to hesitate, and met the challenge.
"Umm, that's not Lake Minnetonka," The Kid informed her.
Triumph dissolved into mortification as she realized her mistake. She had been duped into disrobing in front of a man she had known mere hours.
"You! I'll kill you!" she screamed, trying to wrest leather pants over her wet thighs.
At five years old I couldn't quite grasp the subtleties of what had transpired between Prince and Appolonia as the VHS tape played. What I did know was that I wanted boobs just like hers. Round, ample, perky boobs that bounced when I ran. Even without a lesson on puberty I knew that although my chest looked no different from my older brother's, one day fleshy orbs would grow where none existed.
Then it happened. My best friend KP got her first training bra. She was eleven, I was nine and completely jealous. Although it made sense for her to develop first, I was desperate to play catch up. I spent the entire summer staring at the buds that pressed against her bathing suit's nylon fabric while lamenting the way my pink polka dot bikini top sagged against my body.
The next summer was the same. She kept blooming and I remained dormant. By the time I turned evelen a year later my patience was wearing thin. Fifth grade sex education had taught me about more than just the boobs I desired. I learned that a monthly period, body odor, and pubic hair were going to accompany them. So when I noticed a faint dusting of curly ques sprinkled underneath my arms, I was pretty excited. I was positive that my long coveted breasts were sure to follow. And sure enough they did. That summer two definitive bumps materalized on my chest.
"Do you want to come over and go swimming?" KP stood on my front porch with a beach towel in her hand.
"Yeah, let me go ask my mom."
Within seconds I had permission to play in the new underground, heated pool her grandparents had put in at their home across the street. Immediately I changed into my new black and green two piece. Eager to show off my new figure to the neighborhood kids, I left the T-shirt I normally wore over my bathing suit inside before I sprinted out the door to join the fun.
"Hey! Watch this," I screamed.
I took a running start and jumped off the diving board, tucking my knees to my chest to form the perfect cannon ball. Water flew in all directions. I surfaced and swam toward the shallow end. My next door neighbor, Puny Gonzalez, created a similar splash seconds later, followed by KP's younger brother BP. We dunked each other under the water and sent gallons of water flying onto the surrounding patio. It was sunset when we finally tired of the swimming pool.
I grabbed my towel off a lounge chair and stetched it behind me like a cape.
"Eww, what's that?" KP asked, pointing towards my raised arms.
"What?" I looked around me for a slimy creature of sorts.
"No! Under your arms."
I looked at my armpits to see the the straggly hairs that had been there for the last several weeks. I had no clue what was grossing her out.
"You have hairy pits!" she shouted. "Hey everyone, look at Liz's pits."
Immediately, I clamped my arms to my sides. Puny and BP rushed to where we stood, curious to see the cause of the commotion. KP grabbed my right hand and thrust it into the air.
"Pits!" she yelled. Puny and BP stared at my underarms as she doubled over in laughter.
"Ah, gross. You got bith under your arms," BP said.
I struggled to wrest my hand from her grasp. They were laughing, but I found none of it funny.
"Stop!" I commanded. I jerked away from her and wrapped my towel around my body, wishing I hadn't left my trusty T-shirt at home.
Children have short attention spans, so they left me alone to focus on other endeavors.
"Who wants to play Bloody Murder?" BP asked. The last strains of daylight were fading and the time had come to play our favorite game.
"Yeah, I'll get the other kids," Puny offered. Without waiting for a response he ran off to find The 6 Grade Heartthrob and his younger brother The Verbally Challenged Youth. I ran home to lure my older brother out of his bedroom.
Minutes later we reconvened on my front lawn, KP, BP, Puny, The Heartthrob, TVCY, my brother, and me.
"Who's gonna hide first?" The Heartthrob asked.
Wanting to be the first one to scare the pants off everyone else, I shot my hand into the air.
"Me! I'll hide first."
"Pits!" KP screamed, once again pointing and laughing.
My body tensed and I quickly lowered my hand. I had forgotten to put on a T-shirt while I was in the house. Everyone seized upon me at the same time. For the second time that day, KP lifted my arm in the air to expose my burgeoning pubes.
"Pits!" BP and Puny joined the chorus.
"That's gross," The Heartthrob said.
I tried to wriggle away from KP, but this time she was too strong. She waved my arm in the air and giggled. Under the glare of their ridicule, the hair that I had once been so proud of became toxic.
"Why do you let it grow like that?" BP asked.
I didn't know that I wasn't supposed to "let it grow like that." When the teacher taught us about body hair, she neglected to mention anything about hair removal. Desperate to stop their teasing I rushed inside my house. I ran up the front stairs two by two and headed straight to my parents bathroom. Opening the drawers on my mother's side of the vanity, I searched for the tool to end my problems. I found it in the bottom drawer.
Within seconds, the electric razor was against my armpit removing all evidence that I was in the throes of puberty. There wasn't much hair so the mission was completed within minutes. I cleaned up the hairs that had fallen in the sink and placed the razor back where I found it. I examined my armpits once more to make sure every last hair was gone. Satisfied, I returned to the front yard where everyone was waiting for me.
"What did you go inside for?" KP asked.
I said nothing. The few minutes I spent inside did nothing to curb her desire to tease me. This time when she reached for my arm, I didn't fight her.
"Pits!" she yelled as she hoisted my arm over my head.
A smirk tugged at the corners of my mouth. There was no way they could make fun of me if there was no hair to poke fun at. Their laughs turned to whimpers soon enough.
"Oh, she shaved," BP said. Disappointment tinged his voice.
"It doesn't matter," KP declared. "You're still Pits."
Everyone laughed at her assertion. Although I had rid myself of all evidence, there had been witnesses. It wouldn't matter if I shaved my underarms everyday for the rest of my life because to them, I would always be the girl with the hairy armpits. The humiliation followed me through junior high and most of high school. And to my ultimate dismay, while the armpit hairs grew steadily, my boobs did not.

Friday, September 22, 2006


Everything was beautiful. Incandescent lights reflected off the freshly polished hard wood floors. Unknown flowers with long tubular stems that explode into white canopy petals sat in tall vases at the center of all twenty three tables. Fine china, wine glasses, champagne flutes, and flatware were perfectly arranged on the unadorned linen table cloths. The moon, the Hudson, and the Jersey City lights created a surreal backdrop in the ceiling high picture windows. The scene was exquisite, elegant.
They stood in the middle of the floor wrapped in each other's arms. Him in a black tuxedo. Her in a shimmering white gown. Music filled the air, slow and melodic with words no one understood. It didn't matter. The meaning was clear. They were in love and now it was official. They were enchanted by one another and everyone was enchanted by them. I couldn't watch. I didn't want their joy to taint my sadness.
It was too perfect and even though I felt beautiful in my new dress that wrapped around my body, traced my curves and revealed my bust, I knew that I didn't belong. The night was about love, and all I knew was loss. I escaped to the patio. The open bar called.
"I want a screwdriver."
The bartender poured a steady stream of Kettle One into a glass, followed by a splash of orange juice.
"Thank you," I said, taking the glass into my hand. I took a deep breath. It was my fourth visit to the bar that night, but the first to yield more than a chaser. I prepared my throat for the cool burn it hadn't felt in over six years, and took a gulp. The vodka met my lips like a kiss from an old friend. I shuddered at the aftertaste and walked back to my table. I wondered how fast the drink could make me forget.
Being there reminded me that I was alone. I was surrounded by familiar faces that I had known for years, but never really knew. There was nothing to say in college, and even less to say that evening. The seating arrangement was strategic. All of the people who couldn't quite figure out how to find and keep someone were seated together at a table in the back corner, lest we curse the happy couples around us. Or maybe it was a set up so we could find each other. The only person I wanted to find wasn't present.
Two more sips and I was still empty. Red wine, then white wine, a swig of champagne. Nothing worked. I took my phone outside to try and fill the void.
"I'm drinking."
"You're not!" Chesty LaRue was incredulous.
"I want to call him so badly. He would so understand what this is like for me right now. I mean c'mon. A singles table? Please shoot me."
"I know. Just give it some time," she soothed.
Too much time had already passed. He needed space and I needed him. I broke down and sent him a text.
"I'm drinking vodka and it's all your fault," I wrote.
He should've been there with me. It was difficult to remember that even if we were speaking he wouldn't have been by my side. My invitation was for one. I missed him anyways.
My unfinished drinks beckoned. Before I could touch them I was led to the dancefloor. I allowed the man to twirl me around and move in a figure eight. Then I moved to his friend.
"What you want, baby I got it!" I pointed at my partner as I sang along with Aretha. Faking it wasn't a problem. And when the song changed, I nursed more alcohol and hoped an empty stomach and a low tolerance would push me past drunk before I finished the glass. It didn't work.
So I flirted with the guy next to me over baked cod bathed in peanut sauce, with aspargus and potatoes. Then I danced with the best man's father, shaking my hips as fast as I could. I shared a dance with the groom, and moved on to a groomsman. I laughed with a bridesmaid and drank some more with a new "friend." And for a moment the fun was real and I enjoyed myself. When the groomsman took my hand and asked me for another dance, I obliged over and over again until the strains of the last song faded in the air.
I would've gone home happy if my text was returned. But it wasn't. Nothing could feel right because we were all wrong. I was hollow. And leaving with the groomsman's phone number safely stored in my Treo 650 didn't make me feel any better.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

In The Morning

The air is tense, thick with anger, hurt, regret, and longing. It suffocates me. I pick at the untouched breakfast sandwich beside me. Made out of obligation with a splash of contempt, I'm nauseated by the sight of it. My stomach turns and my diaphragm tightens. I double over and rest my head against my knees. Another dry heave.
"Are you okay?" he asks.
The sensation passes and I nod my head. I'll be fine, physically at least. I raise my head and look at him through the screen door. He's bathed in the porch light's glow. Steady rain falls behind him in the morning darkness.
"Now you can tell all your friends I literally made you sick." His laugh is joyless.
I want him to shut up. I wrecked us, but he's determined to destroy anything that's left. This isn't the way we should be, but I seem to be the only one who knows that.
"It's not you," I say. It's the truth. I'm sick of the situation and sick of myself, unfortunately I know I'll never be sick of him. I just want to go back in time and get a do over. I'd retrace my steps and change the last 48 hours. Then I would be munching on the wheat toast, fake eggs, and turkey bacon. He wouldn't be mad.
I rest my head on the kitchen table. I broke it, but I want him to fix it.
"See what you're making me do," he says.
He brings the cigarette to his lips and pulls hard. His bare chest expands. I can sense the heat rushing down his throat, the physical pain matching the inner turmoil. He exhales a cloud of carbon monoxide and toxins, then brings the silver thermos to his mouth. I have nothing to say. I hate cigarettes. He knows that. Without a word he takes another drag. In the moment of silence, with a smoky haze surrounding him, he's beautiful. I could sit there forever watching him smoke and drink coffee.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Oops I Did It Again

When I go to New York City, I spend money, lots of it. Between dining at the finest chicken spots on the corner of E 219 St and White Plains Road, the small boutique on 135th Street between 7th and 8th, and cover charges and drinks (that I don't partake in) at the club on 54th between 2nd and 3rd, my money drains from my account faster than I can keep track of. Knowing this, I prepare for the spending spree. I make sure all of my bills are paid, then I designate a few hundred to my weekend excursion and hope there's just enough left over to get me to my next check without dipping into my savings account. I'm all about fiscal responsibility. Yes, I will spend and then spend some more, however I will not spend money that I do not have. At least not so far from my next check.
After the last time I threw my bank account into chaos, I promised myself that I would be more diligent about tracking my finances. I balanced my checkbook regularly, paid off all of my credit card debt, cancelled unused accounts, and budgeted my money. I even increased my investment capital, hiding a large percent of my liquid assets in untouchable savings vehicles. I was being responsible with my money and felt perfectly fine with my financial situation when I embarked on my Labor Day journey to the happiest place on Earth. I had a good amount of money to spend on my usual pursuits and felt perfectly capable of staying within my budget.
Five days later, I am once again wondering how my bank account will recover. Oh why did I hide my money from myself? Maybe because I knew I would spend it if I didn't. It started with "necessary" cell phone equipment that I still can't figure out how to use and probably doesn't work anyways. Then there was the unexpected five hour hotel stay (I was by myself so get your mind out the gutter), which really wasn't that expensive, but still cost money I didn't have. Now, most people would make adjustments when emergency expenses happen. Cut back here and there to make up for it. Not, I. I go shopping and purchase a $250 shirt and justify it by passing it off as a dress ($250 for a dress is definitely reasonable). Spending $250 on one item was more than I could handle, so I decided to spend $400 in total on three items to make myself feel like a saavy shopper. I knew I was going over the edge when I stood at the check out counter at my favorite store trying to convince Capital One to give me the account number for the credit card I cut up so I could purchase a $350 snakeskin purse that perfectly matched a reasonably priced wrap dress that was only worth purchasing if the purse was part of the transaction. Thank God, Capital One told me no. The weekend could've gotten very ugly.
I'm back home now and my account is obliterated. Decisions I made several weeks ago are making it difficult to cover my ass while each transaction materializes and gets deducted. I don't get paid for over a week and I have nada to get me through to the next cycle. At least I'm not in debt. That's the only good thing I can hold on to. I could live with no dinners, movies, and shopping trips. And I do have some amazing clothes in my possession (which I will wear everyday and twice on Sunday to get my money's worth). But my stomach is grumbling and I have no groceries and no money to buy them. Too bad I can't eat my new shirt/not quite dress.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Don't Speak

Women talk. It's a fact of life like taxes, underpaying jobs, and the freshman fifteen. We talk when we're happy, when we're bored, when we're sad, when we're angy, when we're confused. We talk all the damn time. We even talk when we're not supposed to.

It's difficult for me to keep my life to myself. I like confirmations and validations regarding what I think, feel, and do. Advice. That's what it's called. What should I do? What does this mean? Advice isn't free, though. I have to give the story to get the answers I seek. Usually there's no harm in telling a story. It's my business and if I choose to let someone in on my world the only person it affects is me. But sometimes it's not just my story. When it's our story, it's not mine to tell.

I couldn't help myself. I was happy, confused, giddy, and in desperate need of an outlet. I called Chesty LaRue and told her everything. She listened as I recounted the details. How it started, where it was going, the potential pitfalls, and why I was out of my blasted mind for even putting myself in the situation. Chesty is awesome. She's objective and tells me what I need to hear, not what I want to hear. She made me think, and the thoughts weren't pretty. Talking to Chesty wasn't a mistake. Telling him I talked to Chesty was.

Normally, I'm an excellent liar. Spinning believable stories is an artform I've mastered. But there are some people I can't lie to. They ask, I answer. Hell, sometimes I even offer information. Certain situations require full disclosure. When it's all said and done, they can't say I lied to them. When I brought my doubts to him, he asked where they came from. I told him the truth.
"Why did you say something to her?"
Because women talk. It's a fact of life.

Saying something to Chesty wasn't a big deal. Saying something to my other friends was. Friends call and ask about my life and I tell them. It's not a big deal to me, but it is to him. In my mind he was overreacting. What could possibly go wrong. Yes, my friends ask questions, make comments, and give suggestions. But in the end, I always do what I want regardless. Their views may plant seeds, but they never sway me. He said it would only lead to trouble. I didn't believe him. He was right.

Sharing isn't caring when all parties are gathered at the same location and large amounts of alcohol are being consumed. Sharing turns into melee. He said this, she said that. "Listen to me. I'm your friend." "No, listen to me, I won't lie to you." All of a sudden, we're no longer in our mid twenties with good careers. We're 16 years old arguing in the middle of the cafeteria. Scenes are memorable in high school, not so much at 3 a.m. outside a packed club.

I have no clue how it all snowballed out of control. Maybe we were in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people. Maybe talking is okay when the parties talked to never meet the parties talked about. Maybe I should just keep my damn mouth shut for once. Maybe I haven't learned my lesson because all I really want to do is call a friend and spill my guts.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Doing Too Much

I push send and wait for the confirmation. That's five texts in less than five hours, with no response in sight. Each message is more desperate than the one before it. "Hey! What's up," turns into "Are you there?" which turns into "I need to talk to you," which runs headfirst into "I miss you." Nothing works, and I am starting to wonder what I have to do to get a reply.

It wasn't like this before. I never had to wait to hear from him or have my calls returned. I didn't have to walk on eggshells, avoiding the landmines of desperation and the pitfalls of too much pressure. I had access whenever and wherever I wanted. But it's no longer like that. I'm shut out now, banging my head against a bolted door hoping that it will open. I can wait it out.

Then I start to think. What if I wait and what if he opens up again. Then what? Is he mine? Not necessarily. And what does having him really represent. Will he communicate, tell me how he feels, be there when I need him? Probably not. Five texts, two voicemails, countless calls. What the hell for? Why am I begging him to want me again. So we can be us for a second time? We were issues oriented at our best. I'm putting myself through hell waiting on him to tell me yes. I'm doing way too much for what I might get in return. Fuck it. I'm done.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Persistance Overcomes Resistance

Two months before my 20th birthday, I made a decision. I was going to get married before my 30th birthday. Although ten years is plenty of time to make it happen, I had the feeling that I didn't have any time to spare. My prospects were bleak, and if past performance is a good indicator of the future, they would remain bleak for a while. Not wanting to make my mission any harder than it already seemed, I decided I would not press my luck. Thinking about all of my friends, I realized that if they got married before me I'd probably be a bridesmaid more times than I could stomach. Everyone says, "Always a bridesmaid, never a bride," and I didn't want that to apply to me. Yet, I still wanted to be a part of my friends' wedding days (whenever they would be). Then it hit me, I could still play a major part in any friends' nuptials. They may say, "always a bridesmaid, never a bride," but they don't say anything about being a flower girl.

At first it seemed like a radical idea. Who ever heard of an adult flower girl? Especially an adult flower girl who's taller than many grooms. But one day while discussing weekend plans with a classmate, I learned that adult flower girls were not a mythical species.
"Yeah, so I'm going to my cousin's wedding this weekend," she said.
"Oh, that's cool. Are you in the wedding?" I replied.
"Nope, but my twin is gonna be the flower girl."
And with that sentence hope was born.

I presented the idea to all my close friends, who immediately laughed in my face.
"Umm, isn't the flower girl supposed to be a little girl? Don't you think you're too old? Yeah, you're too tall to be a flower girl."
I had expected some resistance to my plan, but the outright opposition surprised me. I'm absolutely adorable! How could anyone not want me as their flower girl. Obviously, they would need more in order to see the vision.

A campaign was born, complete with flower throwing demonstration and visualization exercises.
"Aren't flower girls supposed to be little girls?"
"Little girls have temper tantrums and can ruin the wedding."
"You're too tall!"
"I'll wear flats."
Whatever the objection, I had an answer. I even considered having head shots made so people could get a better idea of just how cute I can be. Even with my full fledged "Liz For Flower Girl" campaign, my friends still refused to support. Refusing to be thwarted, I offered my services elsewhere. Whenever anyone mentioned an engagement the first thing I said was, "I'm available if you need a flower girl." It didn't matter if it was an acquaintance, coworker, perfect stranger, I put it out there. I figured, I wouldn't know for sure unless I asked. I got five consecutive years of "No!"

In December 2005 when my good friend and sorority sister announced her engagement, I went through the routine.
"Can I be your flower girl?"
"But a little girl can ruin the wedding."
"I don't even think I'm gonna have a flower girl. I don't want kids in the wedding."
I didn't realize it then, but that would be the silver lining in the dark cloud of rejection. Normally when I put in my application to be a flower girl, I'm competing with several four year olds with cherubic cheeks and wide eyes. This time I had no competition, I only had to overcome her hesitations.

Several months later in a bridal shop in Brooklyn, I got the assistance I needed. While my friend was in the fitting room trying on a gown, I flipped through a magazine.
"If only they made these flower girl dresses in my size. I would be so adorable."
"Liz, you're too big to be a flower girl!" she admonished as she stepped out of the fitting room.
"Actually, I've heard of older women being the flower girl," the shop owner chimed in.
Finally a voice reason.
"Yeah," she continued, "Of course they don't wear white like a little girl would, but I've definitely heard of it. They're called flower maids or something like that."
I shot my friend a hopeful glance and I could tell she was mulling over the idea. The seed was planted.

Two months later I got a phone call.
"So, I wanted to ask if you'd like to be in my wedding. I don't really know the exact capacity. But would you like to be the flower maiden or something like that?"
"I'd love to!" I was beaming. After years of trying, I would finally get my chance. We decided I would wear a pink A-line halter dress with ballet flats. I'd also have a basket with flowers to throw down the aisle. There would be no little girls, just me. I was estatic!

On June 10th, 2006 I woke early to prepare for my big day. I washed and detangled the fro, shaved my legs and got a pedicure. The next few hours I practiced looking as innocent as possible. I kept the makeup and jewelry to a minimum in order to help the effort. Then at 6 p.m. I lined up outside the Grammercy mansion in Baltimore, MD. The processional music started and the wedding planner cued the bridesmaids. One by one they walked down the aisle towards the awaiting pastor.
"Now go!" the wedding planner pointed at me.
Clutching my white basket filled with pink and orange rose petals, I walked to the threshold. I took a step, then threw a handful of flowers in front of me. The guests stared, initially confused. The giggles started when they finally comprehended what I was doing. I looked to my left and saw my sorority sisters shaking their heads at me in disbelief. Step by step I made my way down the aisle, leaving a trail of rose petals in my wake. My basket was empty just as I reached my destination. I had done it! I had proven all of my detractors wrong. Grown women who are nearly six feet tall make exceptional flower girls!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Resume Dating

She was on the verge of tears for the second time in one night. He'd done it again and she couldn't understand why he treated her as though she didn't matter.
"Why do you still want him?" I asked.
"I don't know," she answered between sobs. "He's a really good guy, and I know that I'm not going to find someone that has all his qualities."
"Ummm, what's so great about him?"
"Well, he's college educated, got a good job, his own place, no kids. Plus he's really good looking, goal oriented and all that stuff."
And there it was. Like so many women before her, including me, she had mistaken qualifications for qualities.

Everyone has standards. Whether they write it on stationary and tuck it under their pillow at night, or keep it stored in a corner of their mind, everyone has a list of everything they want in a mate. Honest, kind, loyal, smart, funny, musical, artistic, educated, driven, spiritual, logical, sane, and the list goes on and on. And as much as people are loathe to admit it, the packaging those qualities come in is pretty darn important as well. Personally, I prefer honest, kind, loyal, smart, funny, etc. to come in a very tall, very cute, gainfully employed package.

It seems the older and more accomplished my friends and I become, the more emphasis we put on the packaging rather than the contents. Whenever we brag about the men in our lives (they brag, I listen) it usually sounds like, "He's 2_, an engineer, has his own house, and is working on his masters degree." Then we all agree that our friend really has found a wonderful man. Fast forward two weeks when he's stood her up for the fourth time in five dates and won't return her calls and we're calling him the scum of the Earth. But the worst part of it all, is that no matter who this happens to, we still want to hang on to him, cause we're sure that he really is a great guy. I mean, he's an engineer with his own house whose working on his masters degree. That says it all.

In the last few months, I've learned a valuable lesson from Chesty LaRue. Since the turn of the century, Chesty has had the misfortune of dating several successful men (in addition to the Broke Ass Niggas she also attracts.) She's dated a Wall Street trader, an engineer, and something else that I can't remember right now. All of them were supposedly a good catch, except for the fact that they lied, cheated, and basically treated her like shit. After the last "great guy" acted a damn fool, Chesty decided she was taking a break from men. And the moment she stopped looking, someone found her. She met a man who is attentive, kind, funny, and best of all adores the ground she walks on. And she got all these things in an unemployed, ex-con, multiple babies' daddy who's an aspiring rapper. He's by no means a perfect man, as he does have a tendency to stupid shit on occassion. However, he makes her happy which is more than I can say for the others.

Dating is a lot like job searching. You present your qualifications, go on a few interviews, hope for a call back, go on some more interviews, and hope someone picks you for the job. I think a lot of women wind up falling for a guy's resume before he ever has an interview. But it's important to remember that just because a guy looks good on paper, it doesn't mean he's a good guy.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Join the Club

I spent almost two hours of my evening plastered to You Tube. It's Nick at Nite's fault. Ashley was singing on Fresh Prince of Bel-Aire. She was on a stage, dressed in Cross Colors, a bra top, and Doc Martins. Suddenly I'm back in 1993 sitting cross legged on the living room floor enraptured by different teens on a different screen. I saw Rhona and Ricky and Britney and Justin and Christina. I saw flannel and velvet body suits. I saw the Mickey Mouse Club and in that moment I had to see it again for real.

Seek and ye will find. And find I did. The Season 6 opener, the Season 1 ending credits, Dale/Justin/JC/and Ryan singing "Cry For You," Christina singing "I'm Not Over You," and so much more. I watched it all. And once the laughter dissipated, the longing set in. Thirteen years later, I still want to be a Mousketeer.

I never watched, I studied. Every song, every dance, every skit. I would stand up in front of the television and copy their choreography, just to make sure I could keep up. Thanks to six years of dance lessons I could. And I sang a mean rendition of that song that goes, "Too many walls have been built in between us. Too many dreams have been shattered around us. If I choose to give up, I still never win. Deep in my heart I know that truth is within." All I had to do is wait for the auditions to roll into my town and I could join the Club.

Unfortunately I'm still waiting. The show got cancelled, and even with the renewed interest due to the success of several alums, I doubt they'll bring it back. But if by some miracle The Disney Channel recognized the error of its ways and resurrected the Mickey Mouse Club, then what? According to a friend, I'm too old and too tall to audition. Plus, my voice isn't what it used to be and could possibly be mistaken for a dying hyenna.

Even though I know time has passed me by, I'm still preparing for my shot. I still study, except now BET and MTV are my teachers. Not one video can play without me getting up just to make sure I can do it too. My latest inspiration is Danity Kane (courtesy of Diddy!). Today, I felt an inexplicable compulsion to stay in front of the mirror in only a bra and panties, practicing the dance in their Show Stopper video until I could smell myself. I was gyrating, popping, and winding my heart out. And when I fell on my ass for the fifth time because my knees just can't handle dropping it like it's hot, I had to wonder why the hell I can't just let it go?

Monday, July 31, 2006

A Real Boy

I need someone to talk to and just anyone won't do. I grab my phone and scroll through my contacts. Name after name rolls by, but none makes me want to dial. Not that one or this one. They're girls. No girls allowed. Hmmmm, him? No, too boring. How about him? Too much trouble. I'm related to him, so that's a no. Him? Nah, we're just friends. Damn it, the list is exhausted and I can't find even one.

Sometimes when it's late I'd rather talk than sleep. I want to speak in hushed tones and say one thing but mean another. I want to giggle and blush. Some butterflies in my tummy would be nice too. I want to hear a well placed "what if" that I'll forget about in the morning. Nothing serious, just a hit to get me through the night. What I wouldn't give to know a real boy.

Saturday, July 29, 2006


It doesn't take much. A single word usually does the trick. "Hello." It's enough for me. One hello, and all is forgiven. Every slight, all negligence, each missed opportunity, erased. Our slate is clean, except for the stains the disappointment left behind. But that doesn't matter, because he's here saying, "hello." Availability. He's available now, and that's what's important. So what if he doesn't offer an explanation and an apology never falls from his lips. Hello means "I want you." And "I want you" is better than "I'm sorry."

And there are times when no words are needed. Memories work everything out. That time when we sat on the couch. My head in his lap, his hand in my hair. I see it playing before my eyes, with different people on a different couch in a make believe place. They're not real, but we were. So what if he doesn't call. Who cares if he doesn't write. I'll let it slide, just to sit on the couch again.

What can I say? I'm easy.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Don't Believe The Hype

"I don't really connect with this story."
"You're telling the reader what happened, instead of showing."
"It doesn't feel personal. It has a slick journalistic quality to it."

I nod my head as the feedback flows. It's not quite what I expected. Where is the worship, accolades, and adoration? I wait for someone to say, "Amazing! Truly inspiring work!" or something along those lines. Instead all I hear is criticism eventually tempered with, "But, it's well written."

When I decided to attend the Writer's Studio sponsored by the Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts, it was a strategic move. I'd been writing for nearly a year, and my work was running headlong into a wall called "BRILLIANCE!" Each piece was revealing new depth, creativity, and wit. I was better than good. I was that good! I was the undiscovered wunderkind, capable of crafting a masterpiece on the first draft. At least that's what nearly every comment on my blog told me. The only logical step was to share my genius with the world through a reputable print medium. Problem was, I had no idea where to start. I figured a group of my peers would confirm my greatness and point me in the write direction (damn, I'm clever).

The afternoon of my first workshop, I printed a couple of pieces to share. An excerpt from the novel I'm perpetually pushing aside and some personal essays. My friends had already told me that the pieces were superb, so I didn't bother with too much editing. I figured we'd break off into pairs, read each other's work then offer constructive feedback. Of course the feedback for me was to consist of excessive gushing and some punctuation tips.

I was a bit disappointed to arrive in the tiny meeting room and discover that one by one we would read our excerpts aloud for the entire class and receive their critiques. I sat through tales of murder and intrigue in the Roman Empire, Dutch Reformed Christian adolescence, and elderly adventure seeking. Some stories were interesting, others dull. I offered my opinion as I saw fit. "You should describe the facial features your character has in common with his father. Makes it more visual." I feigned patience and sometimes interest as I waited for my turn. It didn't arrive that evening. Class ended with a promise to put me near the top of the reading order at next week's studio. I felt bad. They would all have to wait an excrutiating seven days to be graced with my genius.

A week later I printed sixteen copies of O-R-E-O and brought them to studio, ready to be revered as the second coming. Several blog commentors had already told me that the essay should be published, if it hadn't been already. I just needed the final go ahead from my new audience, and maybe a suggestion or two on decreasing the word count before I shipped it off for an editor's critical eyes.

Their less than enthusiastic response shocked the hell out of me. What did they mean they "didn't really connect"? That's not what my blog readers said. They were totally affected. And what was wrong with sounding journalistic? Aren't magazine essays supposed to be that way? Above all, did their criticism mean my writing wasn't print ready on the first try?

I thought back on the one or two essays I'd e-mailed to a couple of magazines on a whim. Never did get a response. Could it be that the writer's studio participants had picked up on something my readers hadn't yet noticed? Sure, I could write and make words sound pretty. But maybe, just maybe I could benefit from a good editor. Perish the thought. If my writing needed editing, that had to mean it wasn't very good to begin with. I didn't want to fathom that idea. For the past 10 months my aspirations hinged on being the best thing to hit Barnes & Noble since, well since ever. How could I be great, if I couldn't get it right on the first try?

Really, what did these pseudo writers know anyways? I hadn't even heard of a single one of them. If they were such writing gurus why didn't they have a byline attached to their work. Oh, but they did. From books available for purchase at the local bookstore to short stories inside the pages of a recent anthology. Okay, so maybe they did know a thing or two about what it takes to get published. But how could all my blog readers be so wrong about me. How could they see polished and professional when the studio saw rough potential? Is beauty truly in the eye of the beholder.

Or maybe the original audience wasn't as discerning as I initially thought. It's not difficult to find "Superb writing" and "You're such a great writer" on even the most mediocre blogs. The blogosphere might not be the best judge of "great writing." For every reputable writer and savvy reader there are a hundred more hacks who think People magazine sets a literary standard.

Perhaps my writing needs a few rounds of revisions. I probably won't see my writing on glossy pages based solely on talent. I just might have to work at this. Yes, I am definitely good. But honestly, I'm not that good. Yet. Oh, it's so much easier to fill my head with the praise and believe the hype.

These Dreams

It's late. The time has come to bury myself beneath low thread count cotton and billows of soft down. I'll sleep. But before conciousness fades, I hope that I can get through the night in peace. I'm scared of the visions I might see when I close my eyes.

The possibility of nightmares doesn't make me anxious. They only scare me until they pass away into the night. But the beautiful dreams, they haunt me even when I'm awake. They're what I remember, what I wish I could forget.

I fall asleep alone, but when I awake he's with me. There is no shouting, no silence, only security. We're okay. For a second, I think about our problems and wonder if we can really work. He folds me into his arms and my questions are gone. I run my fingertips along his forearm. He's solid, flesh and blood man in my midst. It can't be real, but it is. I can see him, hear him, feel him. I don't know how we got here, but I'll stay a while.

Then a sound in the distance pulls me away from him. And when I come back, he's fading from my sight. I try to reach him again, but something in me knows I won't. I blink, and he's gone for good. Suddenly, I'm aware of waking up. Sweet memories dance in my head and I want to relive them. My heart sinks with the realization it was just a dream, and I can't.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Grow Up

I turn 26 today. I'm officially closer to 30 than to 20. Yesterday, my employer gave me an early birthday annual review. It was my party and I definitely had reason to cry if I wanted to.

For the past 10 months, I've been acting like a petulant child. I don't like my job. It doesn't stir any of my passions and I'd rather be doing something else. And something else is exactly what I've been doing. Actually, anything else but work. I'm not going to get into the laundry list of activities I engage in from 8 to 5 that aren't technically part of the job description. But the list is extensive. I kept telling myself that my passive aggressive behavior wouldn't exist if I was doing the job I was meant to do (writing and/or non profit fundraising). The slacking has caught up with me, because I know for sure that they notice my lack of motivation.

It's difficult to hear about your shortcomings from a group of people you feel no need to impress. I was defensive, recalcitrant, and a tad confrontational. But while some of the evaluation was absolute bullshit, most of it was true. I do have great potential, and I'm not realizing it in my current role. I really don't show a "bias for action," because honestly that requires caring. I stopped doing that a while ago.

I've been subsisting in this role under the assumption that I would land the job I really love and then blow this popsicle stand. Aaahhhh, the best laid plans. Eight months into the search and I got zilch, except this pesky little job that keeps demanding my attention. I'm starting to think I'm not deserving of much more. Yes, I know I have the skills to do whatever it is that makes my heart go pitter pat. But I haven't been a good steward over what I already have. No one can say, "well done good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things."

Yes, I have accomplished a great deal this year, and I made sure to put each achievement on my resume. But I neglected to cover the basics because I just didn't feel like taking the time to do it. Why bother, if I don't like it and it's not the right job for me anyways? Well, part of being a responsible adult is following through on commitments whether I want to or not. My company kept up their end of the bargain, they pay me. If they are doing their part, not liking this gig is not a good reason to not do mine. Just because I am actively looking for a new job, that does not mean I don't have to give my all in this one. I can't pretend that I love this stuff when I don't. But I can at least give my company what they're paying for.

Today, I took another step towards growing older, but yesterday I took an even bigger step towards growing up.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Job Opening

Job Opening
Job Category: Relationship
Type: Full time, plus overtime
Salary: It's gonna cost ya
Languages: Anything that sounds sexy
Last day to apply: My wedding day
Compensation: Me
Job Title: Boyfriend

Responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:
  • Saying and doing the right things to properly convey your undying adoration, admiration, and lust for me.
  • Managing all shopping bags while touring Westchester Mall/SoHo/Madison Ave/any similar location
  • Arguing when necessary, but ultimately realizing the error of your ways
  • Footrubs, backrubs, assrubs on request
  • Researching and evaluating what is really meant when hearing the words, "I'm fine."
  • Maintaining daily communication via telephone, email, text messages, and telepathic senses
  • Coordinating dinner dates, movie nights, surprise parties, and other special events
  • Watching All My Children, One Life To Live, and General Hospital
All candidates must have the following qualifications,
  • A J.O.B. (Doctors, lawyers, bankers, engineers, professional athletes, high level managers, music industry execs, Hollywood producers, and other ballers only)
  • 6'0 and above
  • size 13 shoe and above (hint, hint)
  • College Degree (advanced degree preferred); a shit load of money is good enough if no degree has been earned.
  • Solo residential accomodations
  • No criminal record
  • No kids
  • No pending kids, or possibles either
  • Never married
  • No restraining orders
  • Non smoker, ocassional drinker (non drinking is cool too)
  • hella sex appeal
  • Possess all teeth in some semblance of order
  • Must be practicing _____________________ (Christian/Jew/Muslim/Buddhist/Hindu/Agnostic/Atheist/whatever floats your boat)
New York Knicks fans need not apply.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Tell Me All Your Thoughts on God

During the question and answer session I conducted last month, one reader sent me a very interesting question via email. I didn't answer it along with the others because I felt it deserved its own post. When I sat down to try and write it, I couldn't. Nothing sounded honest. So this time I'm not going to think about it. I'm just going to write and whatever answer comes out is the answer that's in my heart. Lord help me.

Q: Religion...what's your take on God? Do you believe in Jesus?

A: I'm not a fan of religion. Religion is the rituals, traditions, and practices of a faith. It's often the manifestation of faith, but in no way is religion synonymous with faith. Going to church every Sunday, lighting candles, pouring out oil. None of it (in and of itself) is faith. Faith can manifest itself in the form of religion, but religion is not a substitute for true faith.

When I was deciding on a spiritual path, I came to two conclusions. First, I can't decide what I want God to be. Crafting an image of God that conforms to my wants, desires, and needs would be backwards. If I was creating the "creator" where exactly would I be putting my faith? Any god that would bend to my whims couldn't possibly be God.

Second, I had to choose what to believe, because I couldn't believe everything. Logically speaking there can't be one god, yet multiple gods. God can't have a son, but yet not have a son. The son of God can't be the only means to salvation, yet not be the means to salvation (or even worse a heretic). Salvation can't be based on grace and sacrifice, yet based on good works alone. While the differing paths definitely have similarities, the differences require a decision.

I choose Jesus Christ. I do believe that Jesus is God in the flesh. I do believe that he died on the cross for the sins of mankind. I do believe that he rose on the third day (the Jewish day begins at sunset so he actually died on a Thursday, not a Friday). I went through a period of intense exploration, trying to find the facts behind the faith. Fortunately there was lots to find. There's evidence of a great flood, the Hittite civilization, the walls of Jericho. It makes it easier to believe that which I can't see.

I'm not a perfect person. And no matter how much I try, I never will be. I do believe that God set a standard for all humans and that standard does not change. I know that I fall far short of it. Paul said it best, "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." I place my faith in Christ because he bridges the gap between me and God. I have no fear that I'm not good enough, because being in Christ I am. It makes sense that salvation can't be based on works alone. If we all fall short, then what ratio of good deeds to bad can get us into the pearly gates? Grace is a beautiful thing.

Still faith without works is dead. Jesus said you can recognize a person by the fruit they bear. Just saying I believe isn't enough. If I do, it will come across in my actions. I know the Lord's commands, but I do tend to ignore them when they don't suit my personal purposes. That's my nature and it's a constant struggle for me. I don't believe that grace is a free pass to do as I please, and I pray constantly that God will change me into the person He wants me to be. The biggest thing for me to remember is that it's a journey and not a destination.

Lately that journey has taken me down an interesting path. About a year ago, I started wondering if contemporary Christianity was really the faith Jesus and the Apostles had left us with. I began to think about what man might've changed over the last two thousand years. That led me into studying Christian apologetics and the Hebraic roots of the Christian faith. I can't say that I believe what many other Christians do. I don't believe in the doctrine of the Trinity, nor do I believe that Jesus nullified Mosaic law, nor do I recognize Sunday as the Sabbath. I believe that many of the differences between Judaism and Christianity were created long after the apostles died. I've come to think that the only true difference between Judaism and Christianity is Jesus. Christians believe that He's the promised Messiah, Jews do not. They're still waiting.

I love being a Christian, however there are many times when I really don't like identifying as one. A lot of believers have given the entire faith a bad name. Jesus called tax collectors, terrorists, liars, and other sinners to be his disciples. He never lowered his standards in regard to sin, yet he didn't make them change who they were in order to love them. I think many Christians forget this whenever they are "lovingly" rebuking the "unsaved." For some reason, I just don't hear "I love you" in "You're going to hell!" Jesus' love and example changed Peter, Thomas, Matthew, and company. If people could see Jesus in today's followers I'm sure more people would be open to letting Him in their lives.

I hope that one day others can see Christ in me.

Monday, July 10, 2006

You Started It

I didn't ask for this. My life was fine. I wasn't checking for, concerned about, or conscious of you. You came at me. You called my phone asking where I was, what I was doing.
"When can I see you?" That's what you asked.
Boredom is a bitch, and you were something to do, nothing more. I wasn't interested. You weren't even my type. But the attention was nice, and being with you passed the time.
You wormed your way into my head saying "us," "we," "ours." I was featured in your future. But I resisted, keeping you at a distance.
"What are you scared of?" you asked. You dismantled my defenses bit by bit. You did the little things, the basics no one else bothered to do.
"I'll call you at 9." My phone rang at 8:55.
"I'm coming over to see you." I buzzed you in before we hung up.
You did this, not me. It wasn't my idea, definitely not a part of my plans. You wanted us. You worked your magic and now I'm convinced. The only problem is now you're not so sure.
"Let's be together." Your words, not mine. I'm trying to be with you and you want to tell me, "I ain't ready for all that."
All of a sudden, I'm asking too much. It was nothing for you to call me when you didn't know my last name. Now when I say I want to talk, you avoid me like the plague. "Not now." or "I can't." Or some other lame excuse. I used to see you everyday, but lately I can't even get five minutes of your time. You say I'm too needy, that I'm asking for too much. Damn, I'm just asking for what you offered in the first place.
You're asking me why I can't let go. Shit, you were the one who told me, "Hold on."

Saturday, July 08, 2006


Dear Short Bitch,

I'm going to need you to do me a favor. You know that guy you're dating. The one whose navel you barely graze because you're 4'11 and he's 6'5. The cute one with the fresh Ceasar and sexy goatee. Yeah him. I'm gonna need you to break up with him. Now!
You don't need all that height. It's wasted on you. Yeah that's what I said, WASTED! It's not cute to see man who damn near has to break his back just to give his woman the sexy, yet subtle forehead kiss. Not cute at all. You don't look like his girlfriend, you look like his child. And together, you both look stupid.
I am by no means saying that you shouldn't date men who are taller than you. But be reasonable. Is a 12 inch height difference really necessary? Wouldn't 6 inches suffice? If you're 5'2 and your man is 5'8, he still towers over you! You can wear your 4 inch heels and still rest your head on his chest. What more do you need? Yeah, I've heard all your reasons before. "I like a man who's tall because he makes me feel safe/secure/dwarfed." Because of your inability to grow, that's not difficult to accomplish. A man does not have to qualify for the NBA in order to be significantly taller than you. Anything more than a 6" to 7" height difference is just overkill.
Contrary to whatever is going on in your little head, there is not a plethora of tall men available for any woman who wants one. Height is relative and your perception of what is tall is greatly skewed due to your close proximity to the ground. Just because a man looks tall in comparison to you, does not mean that he is.
Resources are scarce, and basic human decency teaches that resources should be left for the people who need them most. In this case, those people would be women like me. Women over 5'10 who are constantly attacked by little men who love tall women. When you take the tall men, there is no one to save your longer limbed sisters from the pint size Lotharios who place themselves in our paths. Do you not think of anyone but yourself?!
So how about we make a deal. You stay away from the 6' and over crowd and I won't kick your vertically challenged ass. Sound like a plan? Great! Hopefully we won't have this problem again.


Wednesday, July 05, 2006

His Shit

They're sitting in my suitcase, stained with hot sauce and soiled with sweat. I know they'll go in the next load of laundry, but after that their fate is uncertain. They could go back in the dresser drawer that has been their home since last September. Or I could put them in a UPS box and ship them back to their original owner. Technically, they belong to him.

"Do you have a pair of sweats I can sleep in?"
He rummaged through his closet and handed me his favorite pair. I slept in the soft gray cotton, then wore them home the next morning. Day after day I wore them until my scent replaced his and finally Tide erased both of us.
"What are you wearing?" he would ask periodically.
"Your sweatpants."
"When am I going to get those back?"
"You're not."

I'm not so sure about that anymore. I kept them as a reminder, and now I don't want to remember. Memories are the reason I put the past aside and decided to try again. A conversation here, a text message there. Little by little we started to act like us again. And us feels so good, until we get to the part of us that doesn't work. The part where I need him and he lets me down.

Disappointment reared its ugly head again. My first instinct is to pack up his shit and send it to him. No note needed for him to get the message loud and clear. "I'm done!" But I haven't followed through. Instead I'm sitting on my bed weighing my options while this song fucks with my head. "Part of me says to think it through, part of me says I'm over you, part of me wants to say goodbye..."It plays over and over in mind on a continuous loop. Giving back the sweats means I'm giving up on us. He won't give me what I need, so I should just let him go. Find someone else to meet my needs. That's common sense. The problem is, I don't want someone else, I want him to do it. Making a return would say, "don't bother." Why do it, if I don't mean it.

Skeletons fill my closet. This man's t-shirt, that man's pants, another's hat. I could dress myself from head to toe in their remnants and not even think about it. But his remains, they don't just go on me, they get in me. Sleeping in his sweats is like sleeping near him. I can almost feel his arms and the rise and fall of his chest when he breathes. It doesn't help me move on. But I doubt giving them back will help either. And when it's all said and done, I don't want to move on. I want us to work. Until that happens, the sweatpants are mine.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Not Right Now

Okay I know I haven't been updating as often as I used to and I feel really bad when days go by and there's nothing new for folks to read. I've been travelling a lot this month (Nashville, Albany, Bumblefuck, MI), plus my job is making me work whenever I am in town. All of my spare time is focused on finding a new job, pursuing professional writing endeavors, and maintaining basic hygiene. I still distract myself periodically from 9 to 5 by reading several blogs a day, but I just don't have the time to really take the ideas in my head and make them sound remotely engrossing in print. I'll be back to my regular routine as soon as everything calms down. In the meantime enjoy the archives if you haven't done so already. If you already have, do it again damn it.

Friday, June 23, 2006

I Don't Wanna Know

He shouldn't have told me. Yes, I begged him for the details. "Tell me exactly what was said,"I pleaded. He was vague, talking around the issue. If he was a woman it wouldn't be so difficult. If he was a woman he could give me dates, times, locations, and a detailed rundown of who said what first complete with commentary on facial expressions and body language. But he's a man, so he couldn't do that. I pressed and needled and whined until he told me everything he could remember about the conversation that took place over a year ago. They say that knowledge is power. Why do I feel so powerless now that I know?

I thought knowing that I wasn't the only one who remembered what we used to be would make me feel better, a little less alone and a lot less pathetic. But when the grapevine brought the good news, the relief wasn't attached. Okay, so he gave an FYI, a brief heads up to let someone else know that he had first dibs once upon a time. On some level he still cares what I do (becauese he wouldn't have opened his mouth if he didnt). Why don't I feel vindicated?

The information is useless. One big so the fuck what. It doesn't warrant a "we need to talk" or "how do you feel about me?" It's just a bug that planted itself in my brain and triggers things that don't need to be triggered. A couple of errant what ifs are not what I need right now. There's no moral victory in hearing that I'm not the only one who talks about it (yeah, I'm at a one million to one advantage, but once is better than not at all). More than anything it pisses me off. On 90210 Dylan once told Brenda, "You gave up any right to ask about my sex life when you decided you didn't want to be a part of it." And I must say that I agree. The day he dumped me he gave up any right to care about who I see or what I'm doing. If he wanted to care he should've done so 2 years ago when that was what I needed. Right now, it would be easier to continue thinking that I don't cross his radar. Stirring up old shit just brings flies.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Attempted Robbery

I was dancing by myself in a satiny red party dress, while couples danced around me. They were 16 going on 17, I was 15. The prom was for juniors and seniors, but I got grandfathered in via the planning committee. I looked at the faces around me, some familiar others strange. Were they looking at me? Could they tell I didn't belong there? Leaving the dancefloor could draw more attention to myself, so I stayed put and pretended to have fun.
Then suddenly, I wasn't alone. Tall and confident, he came towards me. Two feet away, I couldn't tell if he was dancing with me. When he took my hand, I knew he was. I stared at my feet and concentrated on matching his every move. It was imperative that I danced well. No mistakes. I caught his rhythm then took a chance. I looked up at him, and studied his face. Round, yet mature with a well grown goatee. He was beautiful and I was in love.
Several songs later, I was alone again. But he came back to me periodically. When the last song of the night was played I looked for him. He was on the dancefloor again, but he wasn't alone. His girlfriend got the last dance.
I walked into the warm spring night with a new determination. My mission was clear. I was going to make him mine. I wanted what I wanted and a girlfriend wasn't going to stop me from getting it.
My first move was to find a way into his life. Although we went to different schools, it was easy. Before that prom we didn't know each other, but we knew the same people.
"Oh yeah, he's cool peeps." I'd work his name into conversations, pretending we were the best of friends. I doubted he knew my name.
I went to college fairs, football games, parties, anywhere I knew he'd probably be.
"Hey you! What's up?" I'd say when we "accidentally" bumped into each other. He always gave me a hug and talked to me for a few before heading off with his friends.
In the fall, I took my scheme to the next level.
"Hey, so this party we're planning for Jack and Jill. Who should we invite?" I asked my friend.
Of course she mentioned his name.
"Maybe, we should call him on three way to see if he knows anyone else who wants to go," I suggested. "Do you have his number?"
She did. We called. He answered. We talked, and not just about the party. Jokes were made, gossip was shared. It went perfectly. So did the next three way call a week later.
After a month, I no longer needed a buffer. We talked every night, because I called every night. He never asked for my phone number, but he always took my calls. We were friends. Phase 1 was complete.
Phase 2 was simple. Stay close and wait. Wait for him to break up with her. Wait for him to fall for me. She was clingy, jealous, insecure and annoying. I was cool, laidback, fun, and quite adorable. It was only a matter of time before he moved on to someone better, and I was going to welcome him with open arms.
They were always on the precipice of a breakup.
"Damn, she's always starting drama," he'd complain. I listened and sympathized, but never suggested they break up. I refused to be a homewrecker. If he broke up with her, it had to be of his own volition, preferably because he realized he was in love with me.
She knew about my friendship with him, and I knew she didn't like it. But I didn't care. If she really made him happy, he wouldn't need to talk to me all the time. Besides, it's not like he was cheating on her. We just talked and hung out. Nothing wrong with that. So what if he occasionally said things like, "With legs like yours, you should wear miniskirts all the time." That didn't mean anything. Well, it didn't mean everything. I took every flirtatious comment as a sign. He wouldn't flirt if he wasn't attracted to me and being attracted to me was just one step away from being in love with me. Or so I thought.
Then one day it happened. He did what I never thought he would, what I never wanted him to do. He cheated on her. The problem was, he didn't cheat on her with me.
"I kissed him," Diesel Girl told me on the phone one night. We were friends, but so were they. I never told her how I felt about him, but she had to know. His name was always coming out of my mouth.
How could he do that to me? I was supposed to have him next, not her. How did she even get in the picture. I never saw it coming, but it couldn't happen again.
"Liz, why are so dressed up today?" Stumpy asked after last period gym class.
"I'm not."
"Liz, why are you fixing your hair?"
"What?" I stared at my light blue skirt and white tank top in the mirror as I brushed the sides of my hair into a twist.
"Where are you going?"
"Why are you lying to me?"
"I'm not."
"You're going to see him today aren't you!"
"Yeah, I am! So what." I was defiant. I had every right to put on a miniskirt and go to his house to hang out. We were friends and friendship was about to have its privileges.
We sat on his couch and listened to music and eventually I was laying in his arms. I held him tight and enhaled his aftershave. His face was inches from mine. I looked up at him and our eyes met. His dark brown eyes were intense. So intense I couldn't take it. I closed my eyes and buried my head in his neck. Several cheap feels later, I took the bus home.
"Why did you go there?" my friends asked me the next day at lunch.
"Because, we're friends and he wanted to hang out."
"He's got a girlfriend. He's an asshole, who's just leading you on. Why do you let him?"
"Whatever. First off, she's a bitch and he can't stand her anyways. Second, he's not an asshole. We get each other. I really love him."
"You don't know him to love him," they argued.
They were wrong. I didn't have to be his girlfriend to love him. 90210 and My So Called Life had proven to me over and over again that it's possible to fall for your best male friend. The person didn't have to love you back in order for you to love them.
I tried on several occasions to recreate that moment on his couch. It never happened. He stayed with his girlfriend and kept cheating on her with the other girl. And I kept waiting, waiting for him to be done with both of them and finally see me for what I was. The one he was supposed to be with. The one who understood him and loved him unconditionally. I wouldn't let him go. I had held on too long and I was entitled. There were too many tears, too much longing, and too many opportunities for me to walk away with nothing. I had earned the right to be liked by him. To be the girl everyone knew was his. I deserved that.
I stopped talking about him all the time. Not because he wasn't always on my mind, but because no one would listen to me anymore. They were sick of my one sided love affair and refused to indulge my whimsical fancy any longer. I listened to Jewel and distorted her lyrics to fit my life. I wallowed in the depths of heartache and reveled in the delicious pain. Oh this was love. It was so big and all consuming I was sure it would conquer all, his apathy, his mistress, his girlfriend. EVERYTHING! Love would prevail.
But it never did. And "Near You Always" started sounding redundant. So did "I Miss You," "Glycerine," and "Wonderwall." The thought of him stopped making me cry on cue and I was having a hard time remembering exactly why I loved him so much. He went away to college the next summer and I went to a summer program. I played my sad songs, but forgot what they meant to me. Trying to remember it all was tiring and by the 2nd week of summer college I didn't feel like expending the energy. It had all grown old and very sickening. For goodness sake, he had a girlfriend and was an unrepentant cheater.
Several months ago I was on the phone with the Angry Black Man.
"My girlfriend doesn't like the fact that we talk so much," he said.
"I don't know. She knows we're friends, but it just makes her uncomfortable."
"Why?" I rolled my eyes at the absurdity of the situation.
"Well she thinks that you might try to turn the friendship into something more."
"What! Please. We're just friends. I don't even see you like that. Besides, I would never try to take another woman's boyfriend. I'm not trifling like that."
Thank God for convenient amnesia.

Monday, June 19, 2006


February 21, 2001
Dear Diary,

I just don't get it. It's Grammy night and I'm at home. I wasn't even asked to go. This is just like that time when I was the only member of Kids Inc who didn't get an invite to the new rich kid's birthday party cause I was too young. Except, well, this time I'm totally old enough and it's like, for real. This is so freaking unfair. I mean really! What's the big deal about J Lo anyways? Hello! I'm the original triple threat. She doesn't even sing and act at the same time, like I did. And I'd bet all of Wild Orchid's album sales that she can't play the tambourine like I did. Oh, there's Britney and ughh, Christina too. Copy cat bitches! I'm the Disney channel's original cute blonde girl! And excuse me Brit, but you totally stole my singing style. Nasal whining?!! That's all me, you lyrca wearing Lolita!
OH MY GOD!! Is that...? It is! Jennifer Love Hewitt?!! What's she doing there? Wasn't Party of Five cancelled? How in the world is she more famous than me? Does anyone even remember her character's name on Kids Inc? I don't think so! It's gotta be the boobs. That's it. Who cares if she has an album coming out. She could never sing like me, anyways.
You know something, diary. I was so sure that leaving the band when I was 14 was the right decision. Well, that and the producers said I was too old to do another season, which was total bullshit cause Ryan stayed til he was like 18 or something. But I was way confident. If Martika could make it all the way to #1 with a depressing ditty like Toy Soldiers, then I was definitely going to be a star. So what the fuck happened?!! Renee promised me that Wild Orchid would be huge. Lying tramp. No one even remembers our hit "Talk to Me." Do I remember it?
This is depressing. I've gotta find a way to get back on top, where I belong. Oh wait...who are those guys. Hmm, some rap group with a Philipino and two black guys. Hey, are they wearing Jordache? I totally rocked Jordache back in '84. I could show them a thing or two. That would be so funny. A white chick leading a rap group. Well, we did sing "Can't Touch This" on Kids Inc that one time. And I did learn the running man. What if...nah, that's crazy. But maybe, just maybe....hmmmm. BRB, diary......

All it took was some self tanner, hair dye, collagen, heavy black eye liner (you know, to make my eyes all slanty), and some new threads (Latin logo T was totally brilliant), but I did it! Who says you can't go from white to ethnically ambiguous? Watch out world, here comes Stacy Fergu.....oh no, that's too vanilla. Gotta be exotic. Think, think, think. Yes, that's it! Bye bye Stacy Ferguson


Monday, June 12, 2006

21 Questions.....or Something Like That

You had questions, and I have the answers.

Q. If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?
A. Who thinks about stuff like that? Honestly! Can you name one person who sits around and ponders what life would be like as a tree? No? I didn't think so. But if I have to answer I guess I would be an apple tree. I like the idea of having a self made supply of food.

Q. How do you know how many readers you have?
A. I check sitemeter every 80 seconds to track visits. It tells me how many people are on, where they are located (or the location of the IP), how many pages they view, where they linked from (or if they linked to my site at all....some of you have the url memorized. good shit!). It's free and mildly addicting.

Q. If you could have a dinner party and invite 5 people dead or alive who would it be?
A. First, I probably will never have a dinner party. That requires cleaning the house. I've tried it before and it never really works. Plus that's a lot of cooking and I'm too cheap for catering. But just for shits and giggles, let's say I did have a dinner party. I'd invite Jesus Christ (cause I want to hear exactly what he expects right from the horses mouth); Jay-Z (can't have a dinner party and not invite my husband); my paternal grandfather (he died before I was born, so I want to say wassup and ask him why he had 5 baby's mamas); my childhood friend Aimee (so we could catch up again); Notorious B.I.G. (I'll always love Big Poppa).

Q. Did you study writing? What are your inspirations? When do you write? And what kind of writing do you most enjoy?
A. Umm, Sober, that's more than one question. But since you're my internet doppleganger, it's all good. Okay, so my college major was Policy Analysis and Management. I don't know what it is, or what it means, or what type of job it correlates to. I do know that the major only requires 1 basic math class and 2 remedial science classes. Perfect for me. I hated writing papers in college and pretty much thought writing was a drag. Usually, my best grades were on papers (even papers written 2 hours before the deadline). When I was a kid, I loved to write. I even founded a school newspaper in 4th grade (which turned into a political bloodbath by 5th grade...long story). I took creative writing classes in high school. But by college I completely forgot that I enjoyed this stuff. Decided I wanted to be a lawyer, then changed my mind and decided that business was my path in life. It took writing this blog to remind me of my 1st love. So that's the long and short of did I study writing. I guess I could've just said, "No!" As for my inspirations, well that comes from everywhere. Sometimes it's something someone says, other times it's a song, and there are times when it's something I read. Basically an idea pops into my head and plants itself as a seed. Sometimes it sprouts, sometimes it wilts. Inspiration strikes at the most inopportune time, which brings me to your next question. When do I write? All the damn time. Most of my writing occurs in my head. It sucks because I'll be writing brilliant paragraphs in my head, with no paper or pen in sight to preserve it. Then when I finally get a chance to write it out I remember the general idea, but not the specific words, and it irks the hell out of me. I started carrying a journal and pen with me a lot, so I can record my thoughts as soon as they come.
Personal essays are my favorite things to write. That's why I love to blog so much. I don't have anyone telling me what topics I have to cover. Since I'm my favorite subject, I get to speak at will. Running a close second to the personal essay would be satire. Fiction is cool, it just takes a lot of creativity and effort to write a compelling story. My attention span is really short, so it's difficult for me to complete an entire piece of fiction. But I'm working on it.

Q. Shorty, how'd you get so fly?
A. I was born this fly! Plus, I think the fro just adds to the flyness!

Q. Why Chesty Larue? Why not Busty Lebouffe or Betty Boobies...or just my Dominican Diva from the Bronx!? Why even reference my mammary glands? As if they don't get enough abuse from perverted men, jealous flat-chested females and random passers-by? But you???
A. Chesty, I have a question for you. Would you prefer that I use your government so your exploits can be known to the world. Or do you like the protection of anonymity your alias has given you? Hmmm, what was that? You don't want your cover blown? Then quit all your whining and suck it up! Chesty LaRue is a beautiful name. Makes you sound foreign and exotic (which you are). I don't hear Flatty Girl or Jailbait complaining about their names.

Q. What song best represents your life? (Your theme song or songs) Best memory? what do you hate / love in others? Whats your worst sex moment ever? What do you think would surprise people most about you and have you ever slobbed a stinky nob??
A. Damn you Cece! You OD'd on the questions too. But let's see what I can do. I basically think that damn near every song written speaks to me. I think it has something to do with my complete self absorption. If I had to pick a theme song that really describes my life it would have to Jay-Z's "Where I'm From" (Cough up a lung/Where I'm from/Marcy, son/Ain't nothing nice.) All jokes aside, I've gotta go with a classic. My theme song is "Like a Virgin."
Best memory. That would definitely have to be Minority Hosting Weekend at Vanderbilt University, April 1997. There was this party at "The Black House" and it was packed. I was sitting on the couch next to this fine ass dude. And I remember he looked at me and I looked back at him. Lord Tariq and Peter Gunz was blasting and that was my JAM!! I straddled dude and gave him a lap dance for the next 20 minutes. Damn, I miss high school.
Worst sex moment. You already read about it.
The thing that surprises people most about me is that I'm still a virgin (technically speaking). Chesty LaRue calls me a two bit virgin since I've done almost everything else. Jailbait thinks I'm the world's biggest dick tease. Both of them are entirely correct. About 6 years ago, one guy told me, "Don't take your clothes off if you're not going to have sex." I still haven't learned that lesson. And honestly, I can't remember if I've ever slobbed a stinky nob.

Q. I want to hear your craziest sex stories.
A. I don't have crazy sex stories, but plenty of crazy foreplay. I think the craziest one was the time I was in my basement messing with this guy I was dating while my parents were upstairs. My underwear was around one ankle and I was topless and I heard my mom open the basement door to do a load of laundry. I've never put my clothes on so quick.

Q. How did you get 65 readers??? will you tell me your secret?
A. Shameless pandering and self promotion. I leave my link in my email signature and IM away message. I put it on my myspace page. And I'm loathe to admit this, but I read a lot of other blogs and commented. Then I updated damn near everyday. I had delusions of blogging grandeur. They quickly subsided. Now I write whenever I feel like it (which is still pretty often) and only visit the blogs I truly enjoy (which is still an exorbitant number). I regained my senses and realized blogging is not the means to an end.

Q. Is string theory the ultimate theory of everything?
A. Does string theory have anything to do with tampons?

Q. What famous person (living or not) would you let smack you in the face and you woldn't be mad?
A. I'd let Martin Luther King slap me. I'm sure after all those days in jail and the fire hoses and the police dogs he wanted to slap someone. So I'd let him slap the taste out my mouth, just so he can release some frustration.

Q. Who's your favorite Piston and why?
A. Ben Wallace, because we have matching hair.

Q. I want to know what you makes you happy and what your favorite thing is to do to make someone else happy.
A. Shoes always make me happy. But if you're looking for something not so shallow, I'd say that quality time with loved ones makes me happy. I'd say that my favorite thing to do to make someone else happy is to do something for them that they wouldn't expect. I can be very selfish, so when I do something selfless it's a really big deal for people who know me.

Q. what would you get printed on 'the ultimate' tshirt?
A. Great question. "Don't touch the fro...grow your own"

Q. If there was one thing you could change about your self thats non-physical what would it be and why?
A. Procrastination is a bitch. I would change that for sure. Reasons are obvious.

Q. If you could have any job in the world, any job at all, what would it be and why?
A. MTV VJ. I'd get to live in New York and be paid to act like a damn fool. Plus, I'd have better access to Jay-Z.

Q. If you were a heffa (as in female cow) would you be better equipped to tolerate bullshit???
A. I don't think so.

Q. When you sell your first essay, what are you going to spend the money on?
A. 10% off top goes to my tithe. I'd put another 5% into savings. I might pay a bill or two, but more than likely, I'd buy shoes. Now if I sell my first piece for only 10 bucks, that would definitely limit my shoe choices.

Q. Who are your favorite authors? What are you reading right now? And what are you willing to recommend?
A. I'm a book slut, so I spread the love around to many authors. Hmmm, I went through an Eric Jerome Dickey phase, followed by an E. Lynn Harris moment. I used to love Francine Pascal when I was younger, but I doubt you'd be interested in the Sweet Valley High series. I'd say at the moment Curtis Sittenfeld is one of my faves. Right now I'm reading her 2nd novel, "Man of my Dreams." I recommend her first novel "Prep." EXCELLENT! I'm also working my way through Memoirs of a Geisha. Oh, and I like Dan Brown's books as well. He's an average writer, but he's a damn good storyteller. Ummm, that's about all I can think of at the moment.

In the words of the immortal Porky Pig....That's all folks!