Bare Bulbs


She pulled some old foil from a paper bag filled with trash. The paper bag had been serving as a trash can in her home – by Home, she was living in a glorified garden shed with a single, bare light bulb hanging from the ceiling. She slept on a naked mattress that may have been mistakenly placed there at some point – no framework, no sheets, nothing to give intention. Beetles often would crawl through baseboards, up her walls, and greet her face to face in bed. Foil in hand, she fashioned it into a makeshift spoon – her family back home kept calling to see if they needed anything. She always said no. Ashamed to admit that her single can of beans would be opened with a pocket knife and consumed cold with a spoon made from the old seal of a long forgotten tub of yogurt. Underneath a bare light bulb, in a garden shed, on top of a hill, in a city that reeked of placidity.

His face contorted by anger, screaming something about how ungrateful they were. She hit pause on the moment, collecting herself. Just how many times had she found herself in this place; A man, a mother’s lover, threatening her safety with harsh words and violence? How many more times would she let it happen? Unpause. He grabs a cup and throws it against the kitchen wall in her direction, it was a gift from her grandma. The answer was “no more”. A sister was having convulsions in the corner, nothing had ever filled her with so much rage. No one should treat them like this. Trembling, sobbing, her older sister being enclosed with a hug. No more. No more. He had run from the scene, perhaps to cleanse himself of the murder he had just committed, yet he still yelled. You better fucking leave or I’ll make you regret it. / A threat. / The last threat. / Fucking try me, little bitch. / No response. / Coward. / Her sister’s eyes were glossed over, all but black. A voidness she had never encountered before. Running upstairs, she grabbed the first duffel bag she saw and stuffed it with clothing – she would never come back. She wasn’t sure where she was going, but she would not stay here.


quantify this


Dim lit streets. Popcorn infested, making pretzels. A cafe, cup of espresso. A university, hundreds miles away. One thing remains. A continuity that exists beyond our control. I’m thinking of you. Given away only by a faint blush of my cheek and a sly smile. Passion radiating off my skin like a warm Moroccan sunset or a crackling fireplace tucked away in a cabin. A Parisian lamp on a street at midnight, a rustic and aged kind of beauty. Unfulfilled excitement of Night, providing the dark mask, promiscuity and lust. Give me only time and I might bloom in front of you like a prize rose, but we have no more time. Cut short. Severed and no other option. Drama and chaos, but I just want a simple love. One. The perfect and beautiful family – fell in love young, met through coincidence, married on a whim but everything felt right – waited five years to have kids, had a healthy and established relationship as a couple. Humble, happy. But there is no time, no future, nothing substantial here except that Moroccan glow emanating. Nothing a scientist could quantify, except in heartbeats per second. I love-

Pare back


I don’t want to impress or distract. I don’t want frills or parties or many friends. I want satisfaction with myself. I’ve always considered that to be my ultimate goal in life – to be happy being alone. To be able to find complete happiness and satisfaction if I were locked in a room by myself and no contact with others – if I could just exist alone and be content. My minimalist style really plays to that – it brings in light and uses only natural and modest colors to enhance the beauty of a space. Some might call that boring, but I think it just pares back all frivolity that many use to cover up insecurities and faults. In using minimalism, whether in decorating a room or in my closet, the style allows for the room to speak for itself, and for my body to speak for itself. I don’t need gaudy decor or makeup to display my personality. I am neither gaudy or frivolous. I am practical and natural. Something that can be depended on for elegance and quality.



The cavernous hole inside, swallowing light. Eating away at the life, slowly and surely it will die. Heavy headed, clouds on the mind. Aching for a presence. Missing and mish-mash, gone yet never mine.Ever-looming possibilities, worst is yet to come. This desire is unprofitable – all outcomes end in idle pain. Harboring cool indifference, you’ll never come around – as my weakness, you stand before me. Tender condemnation – forever segmented into a whole by the love I never received.



It must be great…

To have your phone constantly buzzing with people who want to talk to you.

To have hundreds of likes on anything you post on Instagram.

It must be nice to be invited to fun, exclusive parties.

It must be nice to have parents that love and care about you. Families that are concerned about your wellbeing. Who give you things you don’t need. Who support your decisions and want to be a part of your life.

From where I’m standing, on the outside, alone, it looks amazing.

Because I’ve always been an outcast. A weird kid. The person your kind will always exclude, even if just to give unification to your group. The one who gets picked on and pranked for the enjoyment of everyone else.

It’s my reality.

To have parents who never check up on me. To have siblings who actively bully me. To have to work harder than you at everything just to make a little bit of headway in every area of my life.

I have to settle. I have to make hard decisions. I have to lay in bed at night and feel social exclusion because no one talks to me unless I initiate a conversation.

And as I sit in the breakroom and your phone goes off every few seconds, I’m reminded that some people are just desirable.

And I am not.

But perhaps a person has to go through the social exclusion and the reality of being undesirable to lift the veil and uncover that life is about the little moments, the sweet and cherish-able rather than the short lived and meaningless. Perhaps I have grown more than you, perhaps I have a stronger sense of self and independence because no one actively cares about me.

Or maybe that’s something I tell myself to feel better.



As she walked home, knowing the house would be empty, she considered inviting the dumb hot boy over.

But she didn’t want him to come over.

She felt nothing around him. Empty.

Even when they had sex or cuddled – there was a distinct absence within her that ached.

There was a longing for the other man. He somehow managed to satisfy her without using anything but his presence.

Forget Me


Deep sigh escaped between her lips, a lost moment.

He would never understand that when she smiled to herself, it was nearly always because he was nearby.

The sound of his voice. His pitchy laugh. The way that he would sing obnoxiously. All of it made her heart glow.

He might know, but understanding of her deep affection would be lost on him because he did not feel the same way.

Seeing him literally made her day better. That alone made it a good day.

She loved him.



In love with a condescending prick.

Conceited. Thinks very highly of themselves, but is quick to see the worst in other people.

Hypocritical. Refuses to make justifications for other people, or see things from their point of view. Acts as though they are perfect, however when presented with the idea that they were flawed they stumbled on their words and tried to flee the situation entirely.

You use Big words, Big air, Big personality to hide that you are a tiny man. You can’t even confront your own flaws.

Oh yes – you know about them.

However, much like the way that I hoard sentimental objects in boxes in my closet, you shove your flaws out of sight as soon as you’re done looking back on them (which you systematically do to allow yourself to say you are “mindful”.)

Because you just have to be conscious of your problems, right?

It’s not like you’d ever try to run away from your problems if someone ever tried to plop one in front of you, unannounced.

Of course not.

But have you actually tried to fix them?

Once you casually mentioned you had gotten your father into debt with your unpaid credit card. Sure, you’re living in a place outside of your parents home. Sure, you’ve got a job. But how independent can you really be if you’re still under your parents financial wing?

Once you casually mentioned that you didn’t have a car because you spend your money on recreational drugs. That is a stereotypical character flaw. You allow for this addiction to escape and feel alive control your everyday life – at this point it’s severe enough to be considered a disorder.

Mentioned that sex was addicting too. And alcoholism. But those are just fluff to the inter-dimensional character of all your flaws.

In part, I fell in love with you because of your flaws. I’ve always loved myself a complex character. Said that if I were presented with these damaged people, I would see past their character quirks and learn to love them for their humanness.

Because you, Leo, are the embodiment of the human condition. You are constantly trying, however you simultaneously working against yourself with self destructive tendencies.

It’s truly beautiful.

You are troubled and refuse to accept that in your everyday life. You know you are, but won’t allow others in to see that. And all the while you work yourself silly. You think that our movie theatre and management is what causes you to not be promoted, that it has little to do with the way you present yourself – but do you ever think about who Leo is as an employee? What he looks like to upper management? Sloppy. Disheveled. It doesn’t matter how hard you work if it’s not streamline and composed. You show up late to work, often stand around with empty hands, don’t take initiative. Sure you are a backbone to the floor – but you need to learn to notice when things need to get done and delegate. You want a promotion? Act like you already have it. You want to be needed? Make yourself more valuable to the company than it is to you. You need it to pay rent, why does it need you?

To call upon my sentimental boxes again, perhaps you are afraid of the meaning in your actions, like the meaning of the objects I hold onto.

I’m afraid that I will never live the exciting life I desire. I’m afraid I will lose everyone I love. Actually, I’m afraid I have already lost them..

I know I can be scathing, but the truth is that I still admire you. I still fucking love you and your oddities. I see my eclectic side in you, and I’m always wanting to see more of her.



How ironic is it, that as soon as I stopped putting effort into this, the world started showering with me with beautiful situations that I never could have imagined would have happened.

I just have to keep myself in reality check – all of it means nothing.


I might have run into your dad today, but it’s coincidence. As soon as I’m not in love, that’s what I would say. Strict fact, no imagination.

But I am in love – so the fact that I saw your dad makes everything feel so significant.

It was funny, really – he had accidentally driven on a curb when I was walking by – we laughed about it. Your dad is just as awkward as you.

It’s endearing.

I was listening to the same song that I was yesterday, when I glanced up and saw you.

I know it all means nothing, but I want it to.

That’s the worst part about being atheist and cynical – everything has lost its magic.

But everything becomes real. No more fairytales or flattery – it’s solid fact.

But love isn’t a solid fact. It’s hormones that makes us act all silly.

I know one day you’ll walk through these doors and have a girl by your side and I’m going to be devastated. Angry. I won’t talk to you and I’ll cry. But you’re not mine and never were.

All of this will go away.

I’m moving, but I’m ignoring that.

I’m probably still going to love you when I’m gone.

I can’t ignore that I have actually just run into you everywhere, that every time I just happened to be thinking about you, you literally pop up around the corner in the grocery store or waving at me from a car or biking on the road.

I’m looking for significance where it’s not. Perhaps it becomes significant when I want it to be.

Like the way that your eyes speak when I look into them.

The fact is that I love you and I hate that.

I want to be in control and I cannot control this.



The headlines of our news should not be normalized.

A young boy has been stabbed to death within our own country.

“Deeply unfortunate kills have left dozens of farmers and herders dead”, and tell me, does the death of a father or brother or son feel deeply unfortunate? I wouldn’t even use those words to talk about a dead animal. Deeply unfortunate. Is life a fortune we can gain or lose? No, this isn’t some casino or lottery, there is no fortune. Life is more valuable than chance.

A father was shot dead in California, in front of his two children, both under the age of five. They were camping.

We are separating the scared and desperate from their families – refuse to even call them people, rather migrants. Call them what they are. Call them by their names. We have removed mothers from their babies. Fathers from their daughters. America is no longer a melting pot, it is separating itself, dividing into layers. There is no equality in a place that so willingly breaks families apart who only seek refuge. No equality in a place that sends the children states away when they only wanted asylum.

We praise our president for creating a plan to reunite immigrant children with their parents, but he should not have pulled them from each other in the first place.

I say We, Us, Our. No more “not my president”. This is our problem. In doing nothing we become active members in allowing for behaviors like these to thrive. We cannot continue to allow for this divisive stake to be driven between us – nobody wants to separate desperate families. Nobody wants to see fathers get gunned down in front of their toddler children. Nobody believes it is alright for people to be continuously dehumanized in headlines.

This is our problem. It can only be dissolved through reunification.