Aspirations Drowned in Espresso

A mix of comical, honest, and overly metaphoric.

In Support of Hugs and High-Fives

Today, I got a Facebook message of encouragement – applauding my positivity and supporting my decision to get training that will improve my chances for the job position I’m finally pursuing. It’s something I’m still surprised by and absurdly grateful for.

Looking back, I remember more hindrances than encouragement. Money became an issue before I even held my first coin. I knew that anything involving it was not available to me. This wasn’t because we were poor. In fact, my dad had a great job. He was intelligent and good with computers. He was set, but he’d be damned if that money was wasted or “thrown away”. The trip I took to the Emergency Clinic to have my eye flushed of chemicals was blasphemous. I remember him yelling at me for being negligent and costing him. I did my best from that moment forward to keep myself free of injury. More importantly, I shaped everything around that need to keep myself from costing him. My mom can tell you about the drawing I made of myself as a ballerina that was scribbled out. I had deduced that classes cost money and my dreams of dancing were a waste. I managed to be in a few free clubs in middle school, but shortly after my stepdad entered the picture and I was encouraged to clean house or work. I had no social life and was barely allowed to go to choir and pay for my own voice lessons. Oftentimes, if I complained to my mother about something it was met with, “you think that’s _____, I’m_____”. I realized she wasn’t a means for consolation. She served to remind me it could be worse, so suck it up.

I could go on, though I feel as though I’ve reminisced enough for your eyes. The point I’m trying to make is : I grew up lacking the encouragement. It was not known, expected, or understood. The most encouragement I got was when my teachers were attempting to get me into a college to get me out of my house. By the time teachers and friends had begun to encourage me I felt unworthy. It was hard to take seriously and I often felt a need to brush it off in the hopes they would see it was a lost cause. Much like most affection, it was uncomfortable. Much like hugs, encouragement took getting used to. Also like hugs, people lacked understanding of why something so natural was difficult for me to accept or even embrace.

Today, I got a Facebook message of encouragement – applauding my positivity and supporting my decision to get training that will improve my chances for the job position I’m finally pursuing. It’s something I’m still surprised by and absurdly grateful for.

Rotten Pumpkins and Wine-Stained Teeth

Some of these streets are so packed with restaurants that I wonder how there can be hungry people. I can see friends and couples circling the block like birds of prey as they choose a place to dine. I declined asking my friends if they were free this evening. It feels better being alone intentionally, rather than conditionally. Also, it seems like a night to sulk…to feel dreary…to hate oneself for being down when one is lucky to have menial problems. I read about cartel violence in Mexico, a lack of aid in Liberia, and countless other tragedies around the world and wonder who I can get to slap me out off my whine ridden perch.

Sitting in this coffee shop seemed a better choice than hunching nearly cross-eyed on a couch with a bottle of wine. Truth be told, I am keeping myself occupied while I wait to see if my company is wanted by a lazy fellow I’ve chosen to distract myself with. I don’t settle for relationships, but I will settle for a decent distraction with no investment. In a mere half hour I can can see whether I’m going to sarcastically toy with this bloke or nosh nearby.
I’m unsure whether to have a drink. It will either help or send me deeper into bummerland. I filed and polished my nails to deter myself from taking out my frustrations on them.

Everyone seems to be walking quicker to escape the chill they’ve yet to adjust to. It seems as tough our Indian summer may be over. The college students next to me have provided nothing of note to write about. It has all been vapid relationship talk. Moments like this make me thankful that I have such unique and intelligent women in my life. I can avoid these long banal conversations about internet dating, friend betrayal, and art school.

Steps that Lack Spring

Every Tuesday night, I watch my friend’s child Amara. It’s a great way to see my friend weekly, earn a couple o’ bucks, and prevent that internal “baby maker alarm” from ringing. It is just enough kid time to satisfy my want to nurture and play. The kid is a charmer and I am flattered and humbled by her love for me.( I feel all soft and vulnerable as I write about it.)

Last night, I had the pleasure of being greeted by my miniature fan child at the door – all smiles, hugs, and “I missed you.” Shortly after putting my things down and playing with the princess, her mom asked her to finish her homework so that we could watch Dancing With the Stars. Munchkin was most excited that we were watching it together – sweet – and ran off.

There are talks that you will have with people dear to you that will break your heart and remind you that this is adulthood, real life, and there is no prep for some struggles you face.

Both of us have previously discussed the role of mental illness in our family and communication issues – but yesterday I could see how hard that can be….that it Is, in fact, a constant battle that rarely gets easier.

My friend is writing her will. That shit is already bananas for me to think about. She is in her 30s. I just can’t see that as old enough to be writing a will…however, she has a child. There needs to be a plan. Where would her child go, who gets what, etc, etc. As she is trying to compose this legal document, she has realized that she can think of no one in her family that she would want to leave her child to. At the end of the day, in terms of family, she has no one.

Watching my friend tear up, I realized there was nothing I could say. I know this, because I have similar pains. It would be easy to say that I would gladly watch her child (because I would) or tell her something along the lines of “You aren’t alone! Your friends have your back!” These are both honest and kind words to utter, but neither of them can fill the strange, seething void that comes with realizing that your flesh and blood had left you on your own. If I did not have my younger brother, I too would be in the same exact sentiment. Though, I have my own fear that I would have to ask my younger sibling for help ever. It seems unfair to ever burden him in that manner. (I realize I shouldn’t consider it a burden.

Automne : Le changement et impermanance.

My leggings slowly soak up moisture left by previous rains on this park bench. I am surrounded by leaves that resemble watercolor work – shades building in depth, changing tones and colors. Autumn, to me, is a cave of reflection and a harping reminder of impermanence. I am constantly being bat between feelings of contentment and disappointment. Success and failure. This season is a safe space for my heart where my feelings go to swell, breathe, and vocalize their existence. It’s as if there is an annual forum for hearts to go. The previous year is looked over and evaluated in order to see how the following year can run more smoothly. As we sit feeling hollow, lonely, and overly intrusive – our hearts are crying out over the injustices they suffered within their homes, our bodies, and beg for a change.

“We must reconnect!”
“No, we must remember how to love!”
“My home has been overcome with a harsh fluorescent tone. I hear that the hands are tired from tapping screens? The eyes have told me similar tales. I assume these screens are the horrible lights invading my home. Is there something to be done here!?”

Rain drizzles on my words. A strange sort of understanding from the universe. We are all shedding tears and preparing for the harsh rebuild of winter. My heart aches and attempts to pour love down my stomach to ease the tossing and turning of thoughts and feelings in my gut. A task that will take much of this transformative season and more callousing by the strong grip of an ink pen.

Tug of War

When it comes to opening myself up to a relationship, my experience is minimal. I find it becomes a tug-of-war game in which winning means I lose…and losing means I lose. I encourage them to pull away and then yank back in fear I will lose the rope and them along with it.


I remember being a weak child. I was picked on and picked last. I only, almost, won a game of dodgeball by dodging till my team had perished and I was surrounded by rubber balls. The team across from me stared poised and prepared…only to have me throw one single ball and have it caught. I’m the running/hiding type. Maybe not fast running. My forehead bares the scar of being run over by my classmates on their way to recess. No wonder I’ve never tried Black Friday sales.

I don’t have a competitive nature. I’ve never fully reasoned whether it is due to a lack of concern to win or knowing I’ve never been the winning type. Dating – to me – is a competitive sport and it seems I am still the type to be picked last. Much like dodgeball, if I manage to make it to the final round….I’ll probably drop the ball. I’ve only had one boyfriend. I have notebooks full of infatuations, teases, and broken hearts. Much like the playground, I sit in public spaces with my nose buried in a book hoping to avoid embarrassment until I can retreat to my room.

So, my heart will occasionally beg to play.
Urge me to grab the rope.
Coax me to get down and dirty.

And I lift the rope…
let my hands get scratched and burn…
dig my feet in the clay-like dirt…
rear-back with all I have…
red of face, sweating, tear-stained…
bearing my teeth and soul…


Suddenly I fall back. The tug has ceased and I’m alone with my heart and a dirty, frayed rope. I’m back in the gymnasium with my heart pounding as a young boy waits my move. As I lose. Surrounded by red spheres, stained tile, and my own feelings of incompetency.

Made of Fine Print

The other night, a man I was unfamiliar with began to question me.

“How old are you?”


“What’s your name?”


“What do you do?”

“I’m a server?”

I am clearly getting slightly irritated and, perhaps, defensive. He continues asking where I work and when I seem annoyed by his surprise he responds,

“You know why it is unexpected that you would work in that atmosphere…”

“Ok…”, I think. “What’s YOUR name?”

“Sorry. Sam.” We shake hands.

He asks what my facial expression means and I explain that I feel slightly interrogated.

“I’m just trying to figure you out.”, he says. “You’re hard to read.”

I want to tell him, ” Tell me something I don’t know.”, but I am slightly intrigued. Also, a young man who treated my girlfriends and I to drinks seems to have them engaged in a topic I have nothing to add to… I am now finding a new means of entertainment.

As I still seemed skeptic and intrigued by his statement, he continued to explain why I was such a “curious specimen”, so-to-speak.

“Most women in their 20’s seem to need something. They give the impression of a wounded antelope. They are limping through the grass, unassuming, while I, the lion, can easily land my prey. No offense. Anyway, you don’t seem to need anything. You seem confident… that’s not the word..”

I have a mischievous smirk as he says this. Probably,in part, because all of the things he is saying makes me want to slap him. Also, because I’m fascinated by generalities people create.

I try to help him by saying, ” I seem comfortable in myself?”

Nope. Not the phrase he wants. So, he continues to rack his brain. At this point I am pretty much done investing in our strange dialogue/intro, and have moved on to thinking about his impression of me.

It reminds me of a Tom Robbins quote. Perhaps, “Eating a raw oyster is like french kissing a mermaid.”

No. Though, I do enjoy a good oyster. I may, in fact, be distracted by hunger. Apologies.

As I was saying….

“When we’re incomplete, we’re always searching for somebody to complete us. When, after a few years or a few months of a relationship, we find that we’re still unfulfilled, we blame our partners and take up with somebody more promising. This can go on and on–series polygamy–until we admit that while a partner can add sweet dimensions to our lives, we, each of us, are responsible for our own fulfillment. Nobody else can provide it for us, and to believe otherwise is to delude ourselves dangerously and to program for eventual failure every relationship we enter.”


I would be lying if I said my inner romantic does not occasionally grab the arm of my heart, like an impatient customer. “Are there any loves available?”, it would ask determinedly and with large expectant eyes. Lucky for my heart, it is smarter than to let such want upset it…mostly. I can say that I feel complete. I know that I am capable of keeping myself content. Perhaps, that is something that stranger rarely gets a glimpse of in a country designed to encourage dependency.

The night went on to have other delightful moments. Struggles with a jukebox, distasteful shots, a kiss from the man who had entertained my friends. -Life should never be dull- What stuck with me, though, was realizing that the stranger was right. I don’t need anyone. I’m confidently complete and I don’t mind being a tale in fine-print. I deserve that kind of focus.

Waiting for Butterflies

The city holds me too tight, uses too many cute nicknames for me, makes me feel like I might lose what is naturally mine. I miss riding my bicycle and feeling my chest gasping for air as my legs push to get me to my destination. I miss walking through the forest and photographing trees, animals, moss. Warm days that made getting up in the a.m. bracket worth it. Because it just might mean grabbing a frozen treat, sitting aimlessly in grass or sand, running into beautiful broken people having unintentionally graceful moments. Faces talking to faces rather than keyboards. Wondering if it will suddenly rain half-way into my route. Patios. Flesh. Sun. Sin. I miss. Elements that friends, drinks, fucks, and herbs won’t fix. They are a scented lotion on a fresh tattoo. The wrong salve.