You Are Afraid, And I Understand

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.

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Turning 30 During A Pandemic

Photo by Craig Adderley

It was late March when I started to send the first of many handmade and store-bought cards through the mail. Each package would be lightly sprayed with a disinfectant like unbathed women spritzing pungent perfume before the invention of indoor plumbing. Like everyone else, I had a different idea in mind for 2020, and I had to adjust to a changing world. I felt most terrible for the kids who missed out on seeing friends from school, students who missed out on graduations, and those who have lost loved ones during this time. However, I couldn’t help but also feel a little bummed that the kids I used to hang out under The Tree with in high school would all be turning 30 away from each other during a pandemic.

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How Camping Can Spark The Next Renaissance

Prominent prolific musicians, or those who just go off into the woods, often come up with magnificent ideas and creative projects when they camp. It refers to periods when they go off with a bunch of people to create an album. It could last anywhere from days to months at a time, but usually, it becomes a moment in their careers when masterpieces are created. The same can be done for other artists of different crafts.

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The Drive-Thru Theater Adventure

The first time I ever drove on the highway was the day I left home for college. I gripped the wheel, white-knuckled, and waited for my car to swiftly slide off the mountains of the Grapevine’s edge for the entire two and a half hours it took to drive myself and my room full of belongings in the infamous minivan. I spent the majority of my first year driving around during a time without regularly available smartphones as an inexperienced driver of only a year lost with an equally confused friend.

In fact, we got lost so often from not printing out directions ahead of time from MapQuest (not Google Maps) that we would jokingly call the mishaps adventures. The cellphones that we did have barely went on the internet, and when you did accidentally click the internet button, you had to click out really fast, or your mom would yell at you for racking up her bill. I could use my aging Chocolate LG sliding phone to make calls, take photos that looked like they were taken with a shoe, and play the highly-sought-after game of snake.

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The Leap Year Timeline

Mobius Arch, Inyo County, California
Mobius Arch, Inyo Canyon, California

My life makes sense when you look at it in Leap Years. It’s more confusing to look at my life when you look at every year in between. It’s as if I’ve only ever hit the correct axis of time if you scrunched up the detailed map of my journey to get here—the day before the day that only exists every four years.

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#OctPoWriMo: Oct 24 – 31

October 24: Her

Sometimes I think about it in swiftly passing glances,

That it were me that you had chosen instead of her.

I ponder for a moment, but what I find in my intent is that I wouldn’t have lived my life this way.

I would have never climbed mountains, ran marathons, or have seen so many places.

I would not be the girl happily sitting here today.

I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Although a lot is what I endured,

But where I want to be and what I have loved along the way is being able to meet so many brilliant faces that have shaped the girl happily sitting here today.


October 25: Pretty

She was pretty.

Pretty enough to paint every line and curve that defined her face.

She could have been a portrait. Perhaps, she was a portrait, and we had been tip-toeing around a pretty inanimate object in the middle of the living space.

Room, she captured all of it, a space filled with eyes all resting on her.

She lived her life oblivious to the stares from the crowd.

She could kill any person with glancing murder.

She could have been an assassin. Perhaps, she failed at being an assassin because for her entire life she was a killer.


October 26: Light

I saw the light leave your eyes like the setting sun sinking softly out at sea,

And like the twilight of the evening I noticed the dark and grew concerned.

I was alone now under the floating tarp covered in thousands of twinkling lights.

Your light was no longer beside me.

And all I could do was continue moving forward.

Then suddenly, sometime soon, I know another sun will rise to greet a new day,

And I, like the dawn of the morning, will be drowned in warm light again.


October 27: Meaning

He asked me what I would say to God if I could have any question answered,

And I said that I would have little to say.

If I had to go on living after the question I would endure the rest of a life substandard,

And I would feel cheated at the end of the day.

To know what you shouldn’t know takes away the mysteries of life, And that is not how you should live.

You do the best you can until you reach the afterlife

Leaving everything else on earth with more stories to share and love to give.


October 28: Memories

We walk haphazardly down the street with our fake smiles

And all I think about are the other times we’ve been here in this place.

You think your own set of unique questions and I watch as your mind runs a race.

There are so many memories, but we comment on none.

We never pause to recollect or relive the fun,

And that’s how I knew we were over and passed the point of done.

I ended the relationship in my mind in an instant as if I solved our problem with a gun.


October 29: Language

I see your mouth move and contort into different shapes,

But I do not understand any of the sounds it makes.

Your voice has changed and the sounds that leave your body are unknown.

I listen to you like I’m having a conversation under water over the phone.

I know less of who you are as you go about your day. Your interests are different and you only deeply consider your pay.

Your familiarity grows strange as I lose my grasp of who you are.

You become the blurred details on the side of the road as I speed by in my car.


October 30: God

I am not a man.

I am the whole Universe,

Though no one believes.


October 31: Friendship

Here we are, five hundred and seventy- four fortnights after we first said, “hello.”

We were babies then and couldn’t imagine a life at the time where we ended up together.

You were the wild one, and I was the girl that was mellow.

We both rubbed off on each other and continue to evolve on this journey forever.

You said once that we were soulmates and I believe it to be so.

I think about this sometimes during the day, and I promise to find you in the next life when we both go.

Allow Me To Reintroduce Myself

Jasmine D. Lowe
Photo by Jena Galindo Photography

“Tell me everything,” my sister said to me over plates of Chinese takeaway. “I want details.”

“Well, there’s not much to say,” I replied after I finished chewing a mouthful of scalding hot tofu. “I told mom that I was bisexual, and she seemed to take it well.” Continue reading “Allow Me To Reintroduce Myself”

Thoughts On The First Day Of Spring

beautiful beautiful flowers blooming on the first day of spring

 

The sun gently kissed the exposed skin on my arms and legs as I enjoyed the cool breeze. I watched as the same crisp air moved through the lush leaves of the surrounding trees. I took a moment to look down at the fresh dew still visible on the short vibrantly green grass that sprung as I took steps towards the nearest classroom. I wanted to soak in every moment before the sound of the bell, which rang to rush small children to line up outside of their classrooms for morning prayers, bellowed its loud metallic sound.

I can distinctly remember looking up at the crystal-clear blue sky and then down again at one of the many dandelions that adorned the small field right outside the computer classroom. I plucked one and, rather than making a wish and letting my breath brush away the dozens of feathery seeds into the wind, I thought about the present moment. On this first day of spring in my fourth-grade year of elementary school, I would never be younger than I am right now. Continue reading “Thoughts On The First Day Of Spring”

Into the Land of the Dead

into the land of the dead, cemetery

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”

Garden of Life

beautiful blooming garden of life

Anyone can spot my apartment balcony from yards away. A cascade of green vines and leaves twirl elegantly around the bars below the patio railing. The grassy-colored greenery helps add to the peaceful paradise feeling you get when you sit in one of the patio chairs underneath the awning. You cannot avoid the bright greens from the various herbs and spices sprouting in medium-sized round pots and planters. And when you brush up against the springy shrubs adorning the sides surrounding the outdoor space your noise is gifted with a smell of fresh basil and parsley that lingers long enough to encourage a small grin from your mouth. Continue reading “Garden of Life”