Posted: December 7, 2016 in writing

​Took my car to the shop. 

Fingers crossed, 

heart breaking, 

wallet shaking in fear. 


​When you’re poor, your worst fear is losing even the crappiest job or vehicle. You don’t get to “quit and find something better”; you have to find something better and then quit.  My worst nightmare is not being able to pay my bills. I’ve managed to scrape together enough space on credit cards to save my credit score for years, but I worry about what will happen the day I can’t even when I’m trying my hardest to. 

I don’t learn to do my own car work because it interests me; it interests me because it saves me money. Even on small things, it is always cheaper to do it myself, but know-how is not something I have been fortunate enough to be equipped with. 

Every time I’ve been on my own, my savings has shrunk to zero. Something happened like not being able to find a job for months or one of my rabbits breaking her leg and requiring medical attention (which put me on a canned-and-ramen-soup budget for a while) or a microwave/dryer bursting into flames. And then the smallest thing could cost me my ability to pay my bills. Some jobs will fire you for taking a sick day. Some jobs will fire you for taking a day off at all, and if you have car work to be done and 12-hour shifts or maybe 2+ jobs… Many people wind up homeless or in debt. I wind up back with my parents. In credit card debt. 

And before anyone tells me I should “just work full-time”… I’ve made more money working 2 part time jobs because even when you’re ft, even when you’re poor, now, your company can force you to accept their insurance plan, which takes maybe 30, maybe 150 out of your pay for the month, even if you’re poor enough to qualify for free insurance. And if I lose a ft job, that’s it. All my eggs were in that one basket and I lost that bet. I don’t have enough savings to get laid off or to pay extra out of my check each month for an insurance plan I don’t need because I qualify for a free one. Paying for insurance out of your check when you’re poor is like working a whole day or so per month… For free. Paying union dues can be like working half a shift per month for free. 

You have to have money to save money. It’s absolutely true. It’s a mad, mad world full of little things that could end someone’s whole world in two words “you’re fired.” “it’s broken.” “payroll error.” “I’m sick.” “laid off.” “cut hours.”

No money.


Posted: September 14, 2016 in writing

​Any person who thinks they are better than other people isn’t. 

No qualification for superiority is worth anything if not accompanied by humility. 
Where I once strove to be intelligent, I now strive to be helpful; where I once prioritized knowledge, I now value wisdom. 

And someday, if I work very hard at it, I may even be kind.


Posted: September 14, 2016 in writing

​I think sadness is the deepest emotion,

Happiness is the lightest,

Anger is the strongest

And fear is the darkest.

Posted: July 23, 2016 in writing

I miss California rain; warm mist in soft breezes, drumming on the fiberglass porch roof, dark marks on the hood of my sweatshirt, soaked up gleefully by parched earth, rivulets to cement drainage on street corners and ravines. 

I miss Hawaii rain; thick, cold sheeting downpour that steams the hot roads with rolling billows of white under street lamps, slick and juicy over red dirt and green everything else, the only winter the island knows. 

Arkansas rain is natural disasters, swelling bayous, obese river, merciless grey and flooded drainage ditches choking roads. Arkansas rain is groaning thunder and tornado sirens; nature’s discontent. 


Posted: July 3, 2016 in writing
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Some months ago, I slammed my thumb in your car door after a long night of drunken kareoke. It blood-blistered right at the base of the nail; a merlot that deepened to a malbec even though we’d mostly drunk beer that night–in pitchers. I think it was PBR. 

We’d had the worst conversations that night; the “I didn’t mean what I’ve been saying” conversations, the “I can’t think of you that way” ones. We all but licked the envelopes for our resignation letters that night. It was over. 

I couldn’t sleep next to you, on that air mattress. I threw on my sweatshirt, put the hood up and stretched out face-up on your bare living room floor, contemplating for the remaining hours whether it was really over. 

For seven years we’d been each other’s only constant: keeping each other’s deepest secrets, standing by one another with unwavering loyalty, always reminding anyone adverse that “even good people sometimes do horrible things”.

But, oh, the horrible thing you did to me, I finally found unforgivable. 

The red grew out of my thumbnail and the jagged edge where it had split apart on impact is growing smoother by the day. Soon, it will look completely normal. Soon, I will be without the constant reminder of the night our friendship became an alka-seltzer tablet in a cup that was both half full and half empty. 


Posted: May 28, 2016 in writing

It was raining steadily in the cold night outside the house. She locked all the doors and pushed the window by the bed open to hear the downpour and feel the cold, whisking in gently.  It was easy to not fear leaving a window open when she slept with a bowie on the nightstand.

Say cheese

Posted: May 8, 2016 in writing

I was forced to smile in pictures as a kid… So there are all these pictures of me with uncomfortable, fake smiles plastered on my face and I hate them. So much. It’s not that I wasn’t happy, I’ve just always been more for laughing than smiling, and you can’t easily capture that in a photo.

Promise ring

Posted: May 7, 2016 in writing

I never did like wearing the ring my first boyfriend gave me.
Thirteen little diamonds set in sterling, all sparkly and pretty.
My hands never have been quite feminine,
Even when I’ve done my nails or had acrylics.
I’m not built for promises.
My metal allergies should have tipped me off long ago that I find it irritating;
The “forever” symbolized by a ring,
The universal signal for romantic ownership,
A small, round, metal prison I imagined bisecting my heart,
Carving through tissue like a chain embedded in a neglected dog’s neck.
Like this little token was supposed to make me feel grateful;
Overjoyed, really, but there was a reason I gave it back to him at the end.
I never liked wearing it.
I’m not built for promises.
I cannot be contained,
Even by a loop of metal on my finger.
I am not built for promises,
But for possibilities.

Posted: April 7, 2016 in writing

I miss the way you kissed me
Exactly the right way
At exactly the right moments,
The way you smelled like cheap cologne and whiskey,
And Marlboro 27’s,
And in the mornings, it was dollar store body wash
And toothpaste.
Sharp and sweet.

I miss your breath on my shoulder,
The way I could still count your freckles in the dark,
The way your face changed when it rained.

I miss the unspoken agreement that
The car was our therapy couch.

No one has turned off the radio to talk to me, before or since.