Why I Kidnapped My Friends

I grew up in a predominantly white, rural town. Some people identified as Latino or Hispanic, but in every single class that I was in, whether it be dance, school, gymnastics, or karate, I was always the darkest one. There would be another Black person occasionally, and it wouldn’t be until I was able to explore more around town that I finally saw the rest of the community. The ones with darker skin like mine were, quite literally, segregated on the other side of town. None of the people I hung out with even knew about it. My classmates would even freak out when we got another Black boy in class.

Continue reading “Why I Kidnapped My Friends”

Finding Courage

How Briefly Getting Lost In The Wilderness Made Me Realize We Should Be More Like Ron Weasley

I heard rustling from the freely growing shrubbery that lined the dirt trail, and then I saw it crash from seemingly nowhere about 20 feet ahead of my trekking poles. The crash sounded like the moment a riding horse shifts from a trot to a full gallop. I could hear the sheer power of the hooves and the weight of the large animal as it slammed onto the narrow ledge of the rock face several thousand feet above the last human I saw. The doe quickly rolled from where it landed on its side and shot up before staring in my direction. I froze. The deer froze, and we made eye contact for what seemed like a full 20 seconds.

Continue reading “Finding Courage”

My Syndicated Life: Why You Should Start A Journal

Two pastel-colored journals, one pink and the other white, stacked on top of each other shot close up. Two wooden art pencils with pink lead sit on top.
Photo by Jess Bailey from Pexels

I spent the better half of the last two weeks reuniting with blasts from the past like every other television show cast coming together after being off the air for years. We talked about things we saw on each other’s social media feeds like our lives were syndicated classics playing in the background. The video streaming and conference calling replaced the feeling of knowing everything about some of these people, but not truly knowing who they have become as individuals. Reaching out to life’s puzzle pieces of the past was a nice reminder that things haven’t always been bad and that things will eventually get better.

Continue reading “My Syndicated Life: Why You Should Start A Journal”

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.

Continue reading “How Camping Can Spark The Next Renaissance”

The First Job I Ever Had

The very first job I ever had was something I built for myself back in elementary school. I confess that It’s not something I can ever put on my resume. In fact, I was actually threatened with arrest at one point during the height of my business success.

The tail-end of my elementary school years changed my entire life for the better. This was around the time when I decided I would try writing more and that I would pursue a career in the arts. I picked up the pen, went through dozens of sketchbooks, notepads, journals, and paper that I stole out of the large recycling bin on campus, and started writing and drawing. This was also the time that my crazy ideas began to have more of an impact on the lives of me and everyone around me.

Continue reading “The First Job I Ever Had”

How I Nearly Caught My Death On The Gulf Coast

I lowered my window but didn’t remove the sunglasses that I had picked up from the local target before the trip. The sun’s rays were beating down on the Chevy Silverado truck that my coworker had reserved for me a few days before. So I decided I rather protect my eyes than remove them for the law enforcement officer that was waiting just outside of my window. Everything about the entire trip up to that point had been so last minute, and I continued the trend by picking up the truck after the meeting and heading straight for the coast.

Continue reading “How I Nearly Caught My Death On The Gulf Coast”

Life Lessons From The Snowy Desert

It’s been eleven years since the first and latest time I had to bypass the grapevine heading south to avoid a snowstorm.

I had to go all the way around the mountains from Bakersfield by trekking backward and by taking the coastal 101 down to Southern California. It took me about six hours, but it put everything in perspective. I was able to be on the roads that I never have seen before. However, this was before the explosion of smartphones and the Waze app, and it became an event that I will always remember.

Now, 11 years later I had to do it again. However, this time my vehicle headed due southeast facing the desert. I was stuck in an endless line of cars that would snake around the mountains in a different direction. Instead of seeing the Pacific Ocean as I cruised along the highway 101, I would have to go through the Mojave Desert past the old dry brush weighed down by piles of freshly dumped snow while driving on pitched dark and icy roads.

Continue reading “Life Lessons From The Snowy Desert”

How To Properly Travel To The Future

What makes us grow? As we do, in time we grow and change into recognizably different people. I thought about this as I looked at the date on my phone. I thought about how we have reached December of 2019, and how we are heading into the next decade of this new millennium. I couldn’t really pinpoint it, at first, what has changed about me in the last decade until I thought about it in terms of a particular cat. 

The cat taking up residence in my apartment is no longer that slightly mangy looking kitten my sister and old roommate found wandering the streets of Bakersfield. She’s now a slightly curvy adult cat with bowel issues and an expensive cat food diet. In many ways, she has developed this occasionally kind yet neurotic personality that leaves me wondering why, with her (I’m not kidding) overdramatic eye roll she gives me whenever I sing, she wasn’t born a human being. It took lots of time for her to even kind of like me or to become this strange domestic long-haired cat who loves playing fetch with hair ties. She has solidified her place in the world with her presence and personality, but this changed over the years and it continues to change as the clock hands tick forward. 

Continue reading “How To Properly Travel To The Future”

When Thought Puzzles Become Art

I like to think that my thoughts are shaped like puzzles that I can use to piece together in different ways. I like to think I can use these puzzles to construct new ideas and new concepts. I like to think that makes dreams the involuntary abstract ideas that run wild. Dreams are evolutionary. They grow and change as we grow and change until they become something more tangible, and even then, dreams still evolve as we age.

I like to think that opposing thoughts are there to push the boundaries and shapes of the thought puzzles and that these new pieces create even more structures and works of art that we had no way of seeing before you began inviting other thoughts into your mind.

All these things built by thoughts and ideas create new spaces with new rules. The spaces pool into new worlds and congeal together into varying universes. I like to believe that thoughts are things and things are thoughts and that if you keep pondering the confines of the known and unknown universe, that you will begin to create amazing things.

#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.