I had let it go for years, but the onslaught of deaths around me finally being publicized made me speak up to you, my friend. I know you will take your time reading this, but understand that this isn’t a message that comes from a place of bitterness and malice. I know that you are afraid, and I understand.
I was fearful too, but having fear doesn’t justify anything. Fear is just a lack of knowledge. The second you understand something is the second you stop fearing it. Through understanding, you find room to grow and begin to share love and kindness.
Once upon a time, before I knew what bisexuality was, I struggled with the thought of having to choose whether or not I would live my life as a lesbian or fake only like guys. It was silly. I had heard of the sexual orientation in high school, but I didn’t really believe it existed until I was forced to open up and discover more about myself in college.
I dove deep into the queer community, educated myself, and have since dedicated a lot of my time and experiences with writing towards activism. I looked at every side, spoke to other people with varying backgrounds, and then came to a more compassionate conclusion. It doesn’t change the fact that I was a complete ass in high school and that I was once very ignorant, but I can do my part now to help facilitate knowledge and introduce others to concepts that are new to them.
Why I Will Always Associate Friday the 13th With The Time I Was Involved In Attempted Manslaughter
The Catholic school that I attended between the time I met my best friend in second grade until our graduation day before going off to separate high schools made every single sixth, seventh, and eighth-grader volunteer for safety patrol. The job involved forcing middle schoolers to either open the car doors for arriving or fleeing students and taking turns as crossing guards before and after school for one full week at a time. I only ever did this crossing-guard duty on two occasions. The first time went completely fine without a problem. The second time involved the changing of local legislation, the cops, crying students, and Friday the 13th.
I wore a bright yellow vest over my school uniform that consisted of a neatly ironed white polo and a green plaid skort (or a yuppy cross between a skirt and shorts because it was the early 2000’s) that stayed put by Velcro. It was a little larger for my small eleven-year-old body, but I made do with what I had. It was on the second or third day of my turn as a crossing guard after school when another small student and I looked both ways to check for cars, extended our heavy stop signs out into the marked crosswalk around scores of tiny children before slowly stepping into the street. Out of nowhere, a car zoomed by narrowly missing my black chunky platform steel-toed shoes that I wore solely to kick boys in the shins stylishly. My heart leaped from my chest as I swiftly brought my foot back on to the sidewalk for safety, but the damage was done.
There were bloody paw prints on the cold tiled floor of the emergency pet hospital. I stared at them with my heart beating for the animal who was being treated behind closed doors. Luckily, the bloody paw prints weren’t from the cat my sister, and I had rushed to the hospital after we found her vomiting blood, but the entire scene in the lobby was a visible reminder of the gravity of the situation.
My sister and I sat next to a really young couple. When you sat still you could hear the young woman slightly sobbing under the melodic yet seemingly inappropriate pop song playing over the hospital’s speakers. She curled up into the arms of her spouse, waiting for their dog to be returned to them again. I tried to stifle my own panic for the spunky cat with an attitude I had grown to love over the last five years. I knew my sister, who was fiddling around with the most random objects in the hospital, was upset as well, so I tried my best not to make it worse by remaining still. Continue reading “Bloody Paw Prints”→
I could tell that he was falling deeper into a more confused and disoriented state. My friend couldn’t comprehend why his family member was acting so rudely in this way. Rather than the light-hearted jokes and kind remarks that were sent back in forth via text or over the phone, the voice on the other end grew distant and cold. They lashed out at everything that my friend said and used the spaces and pauses in-between conversations to bad-mouth my friend who had done so much for this family member. This person was dying and was leaving a dry and bitter taste in the memory of my friend as this person was reaching their end.
I’m not sure why death has been swirling around me this year. Friends have either had their own brushes with death, had family members pass all around the same time, or have recently died. However, the reactions that come from these timely, or untimely, passings have varied widely from complete denial to complete breakdown. What I have learned from all of this is that there is no one right way to deal with death. Continue reading “Dealing With Death”→
A chill gush of wind breathes through my open coat as I step out of the big black truck. I spent the past ten minutes sucking down an incredibly hot almond milk latte from the nearby Starbucks only a few hundred yards away. However, as I shut the squeaky metal door of the truck parked alongside an untouched path of concrete and entered the solemn silence of the eerie land of the dead, the Starbucks we were at a few minutes ago could have been lightyears away. Continue reading “Into the Land of the Dead”→
Your smile, soft as silk
smooths over the roughness
that we encounter.
I take an easy
and calming breath
knowing kindness from you.
You see the good in others,
and view the glass of life half full. Continue reading “#OctPoWriMo: Oct 22nd-24th”→
Men and women flew up into the air turning, twisting, and contorting their bodies into various bends and tucks that wowed their audience. Dazzling lights, pyrotechnics and water effects flooded the show—and all I could do was let my jaw drop in awe. That was just the first act of Cirque Du Soleil’s Luzia performance that I watched at the OC Fair and Events Center in Costa Mesa.
It was early morning. I stuffed a few changes of clothes, some camping supplies and plenty of water into a backpack and rolled up sleeping bag that is said to help a person withstand temperatures below freezing. I laced up my hiking boots, left another reminder of where I would be for the next couple of days for my mother on the counter and headed off up north with some friends to the half burning trees of Yosemite. Continue reading “Going Into the Wild”→
It’s December 21, 2012 today and we’re all still here (as expected), but in the midst of apocalyptic nonsense, last night got me thinking about what I would do if I actually knew when the world was going to end, and about the Mayans’ cyclical view of time. Continue reading “Death, Rebirth and the Dixie Chicks”→
The power of the threaded four wheels propelled her rapidly down the city streets, and left the light flooding from the street lamps blurring behind them into the darkness.
She let her bare foot slowly fall down on to the gas pedal, which made the car gradually speed up on the cool autumn pavement—and as the wheels spun, the car flew forward, and her heart pounded at a heightened pace.
Her hand rose to clutch her chest as if it were trying to catch the throbbing muscle before it leapt out of her body. She began to take a few deep breaths to slow the rhythm’s pace and, as she exhaled to release the carbon dioxide from her lungs into the frigid air, a breathy-whisper followed with a question. Continue reading “Are You Ready?”→