Short: Interior

The room was nearly empty when I walked in for the first time.

There was not much personality to this space. Not much of anything really.

At the entrance you found a calendar to your right from 2014. The year was 2016.Without missing it, a red 10 x 30 canvas with pretty, melancholic, blue flowers hung, inviting you in.The bed could fit two people, it seemed perfect for the current situation. I could almost make ourselves out laying there, embracing each other. It had not happened yet, but I could see us.White walls. At the head of the bed there was a single small window with wooden blinds. At the end of the bed there was a TV held by a large drawer, where he kept his clothes perfectly folded.

We watched the leafs of fall cover his driveway, from the inside looking out.
We watched us fall in love under the covers of his bed.
We watched Netflix shows beginning to end, analyzing and reviewing each episode like we were critics, or like our pretentious opinion mattered.
We cried in each others arms.
We fell asleep and woke up next to each other, day in, day out.

Rainy, spring days knocked at the window of what had become our little safe-haven.

The rays of the summer sun woke us up.

One day I opened my eyes looking at the ceiling. I sat up and looked around the four walls of the room and realized the interior had my name written all over. There was not a corner of the safe-haven that did not have something I had given him. The love was apparent. You could tell that the person who slowly decorated the nearly empty room knew every bit about this boy. His favorite color. The shapes that calmed him and those he preferred having on his skin forever.I had made my mark in that interior that belonged to him. And I hoped that every time he looked around himself, that he would remember me, whether he wanted to think of me or not.

I drove by there a while back. After the storm and rage between then and now, it was now fall and the leafs covered his driveway, just like last fall.

 

The room was empty when I walked in.

TVdreams

-End-

 

Man on the Moon

Sixth grade: A New Hope

            After the long and winding road that the elementary years were, I looked forward to middle school being a complete different experience, a transformation. I thought deeply about what I thought this “transformation” was, and could not figure out if I was speaking about transforming my physical self, or my attitude towards people around me. I knew I couldn’t pretend to be careless and outspoken only to go back to being polite and quiet an hour later. So the summer before the next three years of public school began, I was determined to go on a “diet.” As a former child of bullying, based off my physical appearance, I wanted this diet to be the door to a new beginning. But who was I kidding? The summer before middle school began, I did nothing but celebrate the fact that the coming school year would not be in the same building for another six years, with the same people.

The first day of middle school was an uncomfortable disaster that spread throughout the first few weeks. I loved food, but lunch time was my least favorite part of the day. Students did not sit at a designated table together by class anymore. It was now a natural selection contest. Everyone had somewhere to go: Good looking kids, band students, troublemakers, athletic children, people who wore black from head to toe- everybody. I fit nowhere.

I would constantly find myself arriving at the cafetorium and looking around for someone to eat with, or at least sit with for the next forty minutes. It was a Friday, when I found a booth next to a window, behind the table where lunch ladies took their break. I sat down and began eating as quickly as possible, to avoid troublemakers pestering me, calling me “Lunch Lady” for sitting at that table. As I indulged into my macaroni, suddenly a tall white boy made his way and sat down in front of me. I immediately stood up and almost ran in fear of him approaching me only to tease me. He opened his mouth and said to me, “Wait! Where are you going? Why are you leaving?” I really hadn’t communicated with anyone other than teachers and janitors that first week, much less any peers, and very much less a boy.

I turned and looked at him as he sat down right where I was. “Wow! Am I really that ugly? Is it okay if I sit here because I’m already sitting down?” I didn’t know how to respond, so I stayed quiet hoping he would just go away but also hoping he would stay. He kept on talking, “I’m David.” I nodded in understanding. “What do they call you?” he asked. It took me a while to process the question. I thought of all the little names my mother called me by. I thought of all the names mean kids used to call me by. I then thought of the name I had been given at birth. “My name is Daphne Vaughn,” I answered with a monotone voice as if I had been programmed to speak like that. “Cool! Do people call you dee-dee?” he asked. “My name is Daphne Vaughn,” I said again, restating my answer.

He kept on talking, and as freaked out as I was at everything that was happening that had never happened to me, I couldn’t help but notice the way this boy looked. He had a perfectly parted blond mane with dark roots peaking from where his hair began. Dark-thick eyebrows, blue eyes and long eyelashes. He had two overbites like my cousin Louis. The color of his skin reminded me of a bright sunshine, he was like no one I had ever seen. After analyzing him for what seemed a long time, I looked away almost immediately. However long it was that I had stared at him, his features became a part of my memory forever. “Ugh. All week I’ve been jumping from table to table, you know, just to test out the people around here. But I think I’m gonna stay here.” I had someone to eat with now. I had a friend.

As the school year proceeded, it became a daily routine to grab our food and begin looking for each other to sit and eat and talk as much as we possibly could before the 40 minutes were up. I loved watching as others stared at two very different people coming together. His favorite color was baby blue but he didn’t have to tell me but I knew because he tried to wear it as much as he could. Mine was pink, but most of the time the colors of the hand-me-down clothes I wore were already predetermined for me. For the most part of lunch time he would talk to me about people from his class he didn’t like. “Becky told me that she was going out Ricky. I had to pretend like I believed her, I mean…c’mon! Her? No way.” I didn’t know how to jump in to continue with the conversation so I would ask him things about him instead. “How tall is your dad?” “Hmm…I don’t know. As tall as that restroom door I guess.” He told me about his father moving the family from San Diego, California to Texas because his grandfather was sick and wanted to be with him. The more he would open up to her during conversations, the more I learned to do it myself. Not just with him but with others as well.

Even though it was now 2005 and the NSYNC era was pretty much over, we both had an affinity with the boy band and conversations about their favorite songs would usually end up in friendly fights over Justin.

Him: “Bye bye bye!” Their best song, easily!

Me: The song is okay, but I like the video better.

Him: Hmm… I hope you’re not saying that because of my husband?!

Me: Oh…you mean MY husband Justin? Yes!

We talked movies, and he was shocked when I told him that I had never watched a movie in a movie theater. He tried to relate and said he had, but preferred watching them on TV because they had commercial breaks and he could go to the restroom without missing out on anything. We talked of what we hoped to become when we got older. “I want to be a dentist.” I said. He looked at me with a funny face, “A dentist? EW. I…” He paused for a long while, gazing at his chocolate milk, “I want to go to the moon. I want to live there and never come back down. I bet it’s quiet,” he said with hope and illusion in his voice. As we got to know each other more over lunch meals, he told me how his mother had died when he was in first grade and how it was only his older sister and his father left of what was once a perfect family portrait. As much as I wanted to, I could not relate to him in that sense, because my family was complete. He was the youngest child in his family and I was the oldest, but somehow we found a kind of balance to be the siblings we wish we could have been to one another. Even though we were both completely different people, we found common ground in being outsiders.

Seventh Grade

            Seventh grade went to by like a breeze for me with David by my side. David was a magnet of happiness and energy. He was polite yet always spoke his mind. With time, people began to find David interesting; as interesting as I always had. His personality attracted others to him, without him even trying to be the cool kid. Everybody knew him. Everybody wanted to be friends with him. People now looked for the table where he sat at and made their way over to us. Well, made their way over to him.

 

Eighth grade

 We both appreciated and accepted new people that came into our lives and the way our own lives were changing. Due to different courses we took, our lunch times were also different. I ate during Lunch A, he ate during Lunch B. Switching from class to class in the hallways became the place to meet now. Every now and then we made sure to glance at each other, over the crowds of people and smile and wave, just to remind each other we were still there. It became evident that he was no longer the new kid and I became a new person.

I didn’t see much of David the summer before high school but I was aware that he was going back to California to visit family for a while. When he came back, he invited me over to watch TV. “I know I’ve missed you too! Like a bunch! Well…um…do you want to come over and watch a movie on TV? It will be anything we find on a channel.” I felt that maybe he only asked out of guilt for the lack of communication during the final middle school year. I was still happy he asked because it would be the first time I ever made my way past his front door, but I had to say no because my parents never let me go over people’s homes. We talked maybe a couple of times on the phone after that, but I just couldn’t wait to see him in person and maybe eat lunch again, even if it was that first year just like middle school.

 

Nine.

            High school came around and I felt different. But just as I had seen a change in myself, I also witnessed something different in David. I saw David’s glare slowly dimming that first year of high school. In my eyes, he was always the perfect being that couldn’t be dismantled with words or bad days. Anytime I asked him what was wrong he always replied with, “I’m okay Dee Dee. Don’t worry about me, okay girl?” How could I possibly not? The past three years of my life had been completely turned around thanks to his patience and understanding of the quiet, shy girl I was. I felt indebted to him. One day towards the end of freshmen year he called me on the phone asked to see me in person. His voice had never sounded as serious and manly as it did that day.

We met at Sherwood Park one evening after school. We sat and slowly swung on the swing set made for kids. The sun was setting behind him, and I could just barely see remnants of the blonde that dominated his hair years before. He looked down to the ground, speechless and from that angle, I could still see those physical features that beautifully stood out to me the day we first met. He was becoming a man, but he was still just David to me. Although his skin still shined like the sun, his wondering eyes told me that something deep within him was eating at what was left of the happiness he once owned. I held his hand and he began crying, right there, in front of the world. “I need to tell you something,” he said to me. “I’m, ugh, this is so hard to say. Like, I just can’t. But I want to.” He stopped and got down to his knees just like I do when I pray. “Daphne, I’m gay.” “I know,” she said to him. He laid his head on my bent knees, sobbing, while I hugged him with all the love that I had for him, because he was my friend, the brother I never had, unconditionally.

Although I hoped that his confession to me would bring us closer, it only drew us apart. We talked every once in a while through the phone, but nothing compared to actual face to face conversations like those forty minute ones back in middle school. I repeatedly reminded him that I loved him whenever I had a chance, because I knew he needed that. I didn’t want him to think that anything had changed, because he was still just David to me. Maybe there had been clear signs when we were younger, but I never paid attention to them because nothing set him apart from me or anybody else. I wanted to go back to that time, but those years seemed farther away with each passing day.

Ten

Sophomore year of high school seemed like a longer bridge between us. I began taking advanced classes and he seemed much farther away now. One day during lunch time, I saw him eating with the kind of girls that we used to call, “mean girls” because of how popular and well liked they thought they were. I didn’t see it as him becoming one of them, but it seemed like he was looking for a place to belong again. Although he looked much different now, for a moment he looked like the boy from middle school who hopped from table to table looking for a quiet one to sit at.

One day after school I skipped math tutorials to go visit him because I hadn’t seen him in about two weeks. Of all the years I had known him, I had never been to his house. I knocked and his older sister answered the front door. “Yes?” she said. She looked tired and angry. I could have guessed that she was his stepmom from the way she looked, but she looked too much like him. “Is David home?” I asked. “Um, sure”, she said, not really certain she wanted to let me in. I finally walked through that front door of David’s home. Walked through the halls. His house did not have picture frames of family portraits like I did. Only one couch in a large living room. Not much in there but sad baby blue walls. She directed me to his room and let him know from the outside that he had a visitor. It all felt very confidential as if I was walking into an executive’s office or a hospital room. Once the door opened, I found him reading a book. It all seemed staged, prepared as if that is what he did anytime someone came over. Once he saw it was only me, he ran up to me and hugged me as tight as the day he confessed to me his truth. He waited to speak until his sister’s footsteps couldn’t be heard anymore.

“David, what’s going on?” I tried hard not to sound like a worried mother, but I couldn’t help it. “You know what’s going on,” he said in an annoyed tone of voice. I stared at him for a long while and he finally opened up. “I told my sister, but she betrayed me. She told my dad and he’s really mad at me Dee Dee. He doesn’t stop screaming at me that he’s disappointed, that I disgust him.” “I’m sorry,” was all I could say. Although I didn’t know exactly what he was going through, the hurt in his eyes shot through me. No, I couldn’t relate, but I saw just how hurt he had been by his own family. It was clear to me that he was ‘grounded’ and that his father had put him away from being seen from the rest of the world. “My dad says that I can only go to school and come back. He won’t let me out anywhere until I “fix myself”.” I didn’t know what to say to that. At that moment, I did not have the answer to anything. All I could do was stare at the book that lay between us on his bed, speechless, like I wished I never would be again.

 

Eleven

             I saw him the first day of junior year crossing from the boy’s restroom to his first period class. He wore baggy pants, Jordan shoes, and an over sized tee shirt was his style now. From a distance, he was unrecognizable, but I tried hard to find something of the old David in the few seconds that time had allowed me to see my old friend again. A few weeks later, I found time in my busy schedule to call him and see how he was doing. His sister answered the phone as she usually did. “Hello?” “Hello. Is David home by any chance?” She then followed to laugh hysterically at me, as if I had said something funny. “Wow, it has been long since you’ve been around here, hasn’t it?” “I’m sorry. I’m…not really understanding?” “He lives at 108 Honey Street now. Figure it out. It was nice knowing you.” Aside from the many questions that this two minute phone call gave me, the confusion was just unbearable.

It didn’t take me long to make my way to that address and find out just what I had to discover. The home I did not recognize. I knocked four times. There was no answer. Knocked twice and as I turned to walk away from what I thought was a bad joke, someone opened the door. Maria Dorian opened the door. Maria Dorian was known around school as a girl who was composed of bad grades and a bad reputation. She did not know me but I sure knew her. She started at me with a puzzled look, but not as puzzled as I was. “I’m sorry. Um…I am…looking for David Lanier?” “And you are?” “A friend.” “A friend, huh? Hey, they’re looking for you.” I did not know exactly what was going on, but what I did know is that I wanted to throw up. Had David been kicked out from his house by his father? And if he was, why didn’t he come to me instead? He stepped from behind this person. There he was. In the flesh. The boy who grew up and disappeared. He closed the door behind him. “What are you doing here?” he asked. I had the same question in mind. “You’re sister said you live here now? David, what’s going on?” He looked at me with exhaustion and embarrassment. “Things have happened. Things have changed. I’m…I’m with Maria now.” “What?” It seemed to me like he had just spoken gibberish to me. I could not understand and I didn’t want to. “Yes. I have to live up to my actions. I’m a man and I’m with her now. Please leave. Not now Dee Dee. Please.” The tears that I knew he wished he could cry, I cried for him. My disbelief and horror at what he had said to me made me vanish from the scene immediately.

That was the last time David and I spoke to each other or saw each other at that close of a distance.

By the time that graduation came around, David had become pretty much a memory. I do admit to be at fault for not trying harder to get in touch with him, but he never tried either. People, opportunities, jobs, relationships came and went for me. My job moved me six hours away from my hometown, so the chance to start anew somewhere else presented itself and I took it. Ultimately, six years went by and so did the hope of reconnecting with him. I drove by his old home during a visit a month ago. It looked like it had abandoned for some time now. I can only guess that maybe the family went back to California. Nothing special to note it as “David’s home.” Nothing except the one time I had ever been there.

David was a very special person to me. Nothing like him had ever happened to me. I do thank him from the bottom of my heart for sitting down with me at that lunch table that Friday. I thank him for choosing my table to be the one he would sit at. If would have run away from him that day, I would have been running all my life, but I stayed and I wish that he would have stuck around as well.

If someone would have asked me to write about someone great that made an impact in my life a week ago, I promise you I would have procrastinated to do it. Not because of laziness, simply because remembering him clearly would have been hard to do if it would not have been for yesterday. I arrived just yesterday to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family. Sherwood Park celebrated the holiday by giving away free pie. I made my way for a free piece on my way home. The park flooded with hundreds of unfamiliar faces. When suddenly, over the many, a man came into my focus. Everyone else blurred out from my vision. Everyone but the man who was once my friend. There he was. I don’t know if alone or with company, but there David was. And I stood on my toes to grab a better glimpse of him. It seemed like a dream but there he was. I looked over all the people, hoping he would look at me and wave over the crowd to remind ourselves that there we were. But I also hoped he wouldn’t. And slowly he blended in with the many, becoming just another stranger.

 

Here’s Looking At You, Kid.

THESE RAMBLING THOUGHTS COME AND GO like the waves of Galveston Beach that kissed our toes that summer day. After a while of coming and going they finally crash into me. You dove right in. You got sunburned.

~~~~

It’s hard not to know where we stand. It’s difficult to try and attempt to tap into your mind and your thoughts without actually asking you to talk to me about how you feel when you’re around me, when you see me. About where we are and where we’re going. I don’t want to scare you with these questions and even though they are questions I have to ask, I only think of them. They say that I am young and that I should have fun! Explore and meet. Try and fail. Kiss and tell, or don’t. For a while this was my aesthetic but the more I know you, the more I realize that I know what I want and where I want to be.
You try to figure me out without asking any questions, but I stand here, waiting for you to tap into my universe.
I know you wonder, just like I do, so here is the break down of my love life since I became “relationship-active”

  • 6th grade: First little boyfriend. I used to “pretend to not like him or his groove.” It all came down to the realization that I was just a jealous little pretender who wanted to be as close to him as his best friend was. I confessed my feelings for him and we made our way towards each other. People looked on, watching the spectacular show that was a brown, chubby girl with glasses and a small, white boy.
  • 8th grade: First little boyfriend’s mother moved him away from “the ghetto” school district. He broke up with me and I didn’t even notice he had. I thought long-distance was a thing.
  • 9th grade Presents: Gaby- The Crusher (High School Years)
  • 10th grade: I crushed on a boy who never looked at me. He was funny, he was chubby, he was perfect to me. Also, I realized that I was attracted to humans, not boys, not girls, but humans. For three months, I made my way down the halls of building “B” hand in hand with my lady friend.
  • 11th grade: While I still was into the idea of liking people for who they were on the inside and not what gender they identified with on the outside, I went back to day dreaming about the boy. He lost weight. He shed the funny off as well and underneath those extra 70 pounds he once wore was a first-class asshole.
  • 12th grade: I dated a freshman from the beginning of my last semester until graduation when he decided he wasn’t into cougars, but more into a friend of his sister’s.

COLLEGE

  • Freshman Year: In a relationship with school work, extra curricular activities and working my first job.
  • Sophomore Year: In a relationship with school work, extra curricular activities, volunteering, theater and working 3 jobs.
  • Junior Year: In a relationship with school work, extra curricular activities, moving cities- starting school in Dallas.
  • Senior Year: In a relationship with school work, extra curricular activities, beginning a new job. And as I strolled through the front doors of the new job place I bumped into the boy that would be the one to begin and end it all. The demise of dreams and fantasies of years of day dreaming of the perfect person; He did away with all of that. All of me.

So as you can see from that quick rundown, there has never really been a consistent pattern of people in my love life. Most of the time growing up, people I liked were people from TV shows, boys that I only looked at from far away, boys that stood next to me that didn’t want to stand next to me. People that were only for the season and not for a reason. And at the most important year of my life came a person that pushed me to limits I didn’t know could even exist.

They say that love is blind and I wholeheartedly believe that. I believe that you can meet someone and give them all that you are. And being who I am, I will indulge in the other person completely. I will dive in and try to always find the best in them, even in the darkest of places. In the darkness I will always look for the light and when that light begins to dim, I will make sure I take care of it and guard it from the winds that might burn it out completely. When you are down, I will bring you back up. I watched him fall so many times and those many times I picked him up. He never gave me the gift of his company, when my minutes and seconds were his, unconditionally. I waited for him outside until he opened his door, the door- to his mind, to his thoughts, to his heart. Healed his wounds, and when it was my turn, when I would reach out for him, he only looked back as if to say, “I can’t right now.” Eventually, not ever. He said sorry and I said, “It’s okay.”
And that, that is my hamartia.
I had fallen in reverse into a black abyss that was him.
You found me in a murky state of mind.
You said, “Hello.”
I had met you once before, but as we declared, the first time meeting someone isn’t always the right time.

You took my hand, twirled me around. We danced.
We made our way towards each other even with miles in between us.
Mostly importantly, you’ve given me the gift of your time: minutes and seconds you won’t ever get back…you give those to me. And I thank you for that.
Eight months have gone by now.
I’ve known you from Halloween with our costumes and friends, to Thanksgiving, to our Christmas days together. That New Years phone call and meeting my family a week later. Valentines day. Opening the dance floor at your friends wedding and slow dancing to ‘Thinking Out Loud.’ My 23rd birthday: Getting away from it all by taking off to a different state and spending a few days in the mountains. I never really made it on to my feet while skiing, but falling down many times never mattered, because I was with you.
Eight months have gone by now, and it gets harder every time I see you. It’s hard to stand next to you, because it still feels like you’re miles away. We walk hand in hand, you kiss me and hold me. We make each other laugh, we sing to our favorite music while we drive around in your truck and it feels like I’ve known you forever. And then I wake up from this perfect dream and I realize that even though this is really happening, even though I became yours long ago, that you still are not mine.

~~~~

I always told myself that I would never become one of those “what are we?” people, but that is exactly who I am now.
There are nights when I lie awake thinking of everything, from the smallest moments, to our biggest adventures, and the underlying question haunts me, “What are we?”
I try my best to enjoy it all and live in the moment. And then I realize that we live on borrowed time, that life is so short. That even though my “love life timeline” does not show case the longest, or most consistent relationships, that I know what it is that I want and who it is that I want when I wake up next to you.
In you I have found a friend, a mentor, a confidant, a gentleman, an adventurous companion, and a bearer of great taste in music. A beautiful human made of flaws stitched together with good intentions. Someone who sees past my glasses and own imperfections. I see myself growing up with you. And in between the many things that I only think to myself and never ask you, I ask and I wonder if you think the same of me. Willing to keep the wind from blowing the light out, I protect it with my hands, but I realize that unfortunately, I cannot do this forever.

I would close this by saying, “I remember the first time I met you…” but really, “I remember the second time I met you,” for I met you in warm conversation that slowly pulled me from a wreckage.

If our paths were not meant to merge and create one that we both can walk on for miles, I hope I can meet you a third time and maybe time and distance can be kinder to us, then.

us

Short: Wet Hair

It’s 4:40 AM. I woke up thanks to the heat in the room I am in. I took a shower the night before, I fell asleep with wet hair and then I think of how my mother is mostly always right. “Don’t sleep with wet hair! It’s bad for you!” Well, I don’t know how bad it really is to your health but what I do know is that if you sleep in a room with no a/c, the heat will crawl up to your head and make you sweat and make you sticky and make you wake up at 4:40 in the morning. You will then proceed to contemplate on whether or not you should stay awake for work and start getting ready. I mean, you wake up at 6 and that is only an hour away. You lay back down, your hair tied up now and set up an alarm for 45 minutes later. Phone off. “Hmm. I wonder what the fastest way to losing body fat is…” Phone on. Google, “Fastest way to lose body fat..” results are exactly what you’ve read before. Phone off. “Let’s swipe left a little for a while, I’m not really that sleepy and this alarm will go off soon. Phone on. Open up Tinder. Swipe left. Swipe left. Swipe….Hmm..maybe..nah. Swipe left. Swipe left. Phone off. Eyes become moist. It’s not the hot room making your eyes water. It’s the thought of everything. Everything you used to have, or at least thought you had. It’s the thought of what you had to let go and the thought of what you want now. You fall asleep. Work in 40.

 

90 DAYS

It’s been THREE months!!!

90 Long and fruitful days!

2,160 hours

129,600 seconds…

…..

3 MONTHS!

*Random Dancing*

…90 days since the last of many things I had to say good bye to the things and people that made me fall in love with the Dallas-Forth Worth Metroplex.

Time has gone by so quick. And going into a job that I caught on to so quickly does not help at all when I want to just take a step back and see everything I have accomplished so far. I guess that’s a good thing in a way? Maybe.

Austin, TX has been great to me so far.
Except for those long traffic lights that I usually sit at for 6 turns, the super healthy/ beautiful people that make me feel like I should be there too, and the nice people that make me feel like shit because I flipped them off because they let someone cut in front of them, or in other words, gave them the, “Go ahead, I believe in good karma” pass.

There is so much to do around here, and in the three months I’ve been here, I’ve only experienced only about 15% of it all. There are beautiful running/ walking trails you can find between the neighborhoods that make you realize you need an awesome paying job to one day live in one of those mansions. Mountain hikes that give you an awesome view of the downtown skyline, along with all that cedar.

This time last year, I was living the life of a final year college student. Ready to finish strong and graduate. I never thought of moving anywhere else. I had my framily (friends like family) all around me. Awesome job. Concerts almost every weekend. Then came the realization that it was time to move closer to home, and Austin, TX was the closest I would get. Right in the middle of my home town and where I loved being, it seemed like the perfect place.

The news came as a shock for some people that, much like me, at the time thought I would be there forever. Some doubted my reasons for moving away, citing, “It’s because of what he did to her that she’s leaving.”
Right.
Wrong.
Wright.
One time a co-worker that found out I was moving said to me, “Austin, TX, huh? Good for you. You look like an Austin kind of girl.” I asked why and she said, “Well you’re just so nice and perky and creative. And you’re young!” And that always stayed with me.
Thanks, Sandra.

Things were just beginning to fall into place for me. It was scary, but I jumped off at the highest point. The point where you look down and the earth below you is a microscopic version of itself. The point where your stomach hurts, palms are sweaty, and you think of taking a step back and rescheduling that jump, but then…you do it. And fear, self-doubt, and hopelessness fills you, but so does determination, confidence and hopefulness.

Austin, TX is it’s own little universe.
There are many delicious places that you just “have to go to!” according to many websites and people who have lived here for as long as I have been alive, as well as those that haven’t been here for that long and are still discovering the grub spots themselves. The biggest attraction for many is 6th Street. I’m sure you’ve heard of it, but just in case you have not…It’s a huge street filled with bars and underground dance clubs and beautifully expensive restaurants and food trucks (of course). It’s considered the Live Music Capital of the World,” and that my friends, it is. On almost every corner, you see lamp posts covered with posters of local bands playing at different clubs or bars. Walking down 6th, music from live instruments fill the street, tempting you to walk into the location, or at least stand outside and little for a little, because like many of today’s most successful artists got their start playing at clubs as such. It’s great to walk around and suddenly bump into congress street, which, if you turn right or left (depending on where it is that you’re standing) you will see the majestic TEXAS STATE CAPITAL building. It’s a breathtaking historic architectural structure. It’s green grounds make it a perfect spot for a picnic, or a peaceful sanctuary to sit down at and read, or write.

On free weekends, any time I drive up to the lake or hiking trails, I almost cannot believe that this is the same city with the fourth highest population rate in the state of Texas. I walk around the corner of my yoga studio and I look up at the Chrysler building and I find it mind-bottling to think that so much nature, and so many infrastructures can come together to make this the awesome city that it is.

Laredo, TX (my hometown) is lovely. A small town, coming into its own by growing slowly but surely. Dallas, TX was just amazing to me. Being a small town girl, I only ever dreamed of walking among the buildings that made up the neon skyline I would only see in postcards. It was a whole other world. And now Austin, TX I feel offers me a little bit of both. Small and quiet in certain corners, yet industrial and adventurous.

So it’s been 90 days…Well 91 now since having to write between breaks at work delayed me by a day to post it yesterday. Every day I discover a new route home. A hidden mall behind pine trees. A new favorite restaurant. Someone new that I get to have a conversation with and call my friend and fellow Austinite. It’s definitely a city where riding a bike and walking around with a back pack instead of a purse is a norm. It’s a city where even between the rush of the streets and the hassle of a long work day, I can still find time to open up a new post and finish it.

Thank you for 3 awesome months, Austin. Here’s to many more.

gabyaustin
One of my favorite pictures ever. Writing at the capital grounds.

Daily Prompt: Mope

via Daily Prompt: Mope

What is it about us humans, or at least this human, that loves to feel even sadder when I already am feeling sad?
I have tried so many times to delete the “Love Hurts”playlist on my Spotify. I am not kidding. I have a playlist that I am attached to that is titled after an Incubus song. This playlist includes songs such as:

  • Kiss me by Ed Sheeran
  • I’m With You by Avril Lavinge.
  • Till Summer Comes Around by Keith Urban
  • Free by Zac Brown Band
  • About Today by The National
  • Slow Show by The National
  • Last Kiss by Taylor Swift
  • Where Is My Mind? by Maxcene Cerin
  • Opus 22 by David Ohalloran
  • With or Without you by U2

…you get the point. It’s music that will remind you of the one you loved before they left you broken and shattered into a million little pieces. It’s music that will make you want to be in a music video where it’s raining outside and you’re looking out a window.

And with that little excerpt of inside into what I listen to when I am feeling down, I must admit that I am a huge fucking moper. Is that a word? Or did that added suffix make the word mope sound like I might be a drug user? Hmmm. I don’t know. But give me some mope.

Chocolate Milk

The year was 2003,
and I was only nine years of age at the time. School had always been a fascination to me. I had the chance to learn something new every day. I got to raise up my hand and feel good when the words from my mouth were correct. I had always been seen by others as peculiar and dressing up like a hybrid cross between Angelica from the Rugrats and Urkel did not help at all. I was a nine year old, obsessed with Saturday Night Live, anything Lisa Frank, metallic butterfly hair clips and vocabulary books. Anything I thought looked pretty, I wore. Even if it was a baby blue fuzzy sweater that fit me tight, I felt like no one else owned that piece of fashion and that no one was me. I never tried to be someone else, because I never did know that was an option. A boy named John Godey seemed to think otherwise.
Up until the day that third grade began, I had never been noticed by anyone. I made my way through the early years of grade school by being quiet and only speaking when I was spoken to- manners my parents had taught me. I was well aware that I was always the chubby, brown girl in my classes. Other girls my age had the same characteristics: straight hair, light colored skin, thin little bodies. I sat in my designated seat that first day of third grade, next to the person whose last name came after mine, next to the person that would make the next year of elementary school a hell on earth. I noticed that he too was different like me. He was bigger compared to Ricky Sanchez, the boy who I had a crush on. His head peaked above everybody else, he seemed to have no neck so all you could see was a big head mounted to a big body, much like a play dough figurine.
One day on our way to dinosaur-shaped nuggets and macaroni n’ cheese, I heard the following conversation:

Boy 1: Hey who’s going to be the leader of the group?
Boy 2: We chose King Kong dude don’t you remember? Right John you’re our leader?
John: You know it! Hey but at least I’m not black like her…

I felt my ears get warm, followed by nervous perspiration from my forehead and an accelerated heartbeat. All I wanted to do was eat my favorite kind of food, and maybe ask someone who hadn’t eaten their mash potato if I could have it. But I felt like throwing up when I turned my head and King Kong and his posse were laughing at me.
The days that I looked forward to until then, now became dark days that forced me to take a verbal beating, without knowing how to fight back. All I could do was cry and no one seemed to notice. I did not want my mother to know because her lack of knowing how to drive at the time prevented her to pick me up from school any time they sent the sad girl to the nurses office. So my own remedy to John Godey was hiding. No one ever went to the restrooms near the gym, all because one unfixed light flickered and everyone said it was haunted. I laid my head on the cold floor of the handicapped bathroom stall. It was the most spacious and it was my favorite. Some days, I would spend such a long time inside one that I could imagine it becoming my bedroom. I saw my bed on the corner next to a rail, and next to it my bookshelf with every piece of literature I owned. This was my safe haven during dark third grade days at Farias Elementary.

Pretty soon, the name ‘Hershey’ caught on and that’s what I became known as. ‘Truffle with glasses’ was also another good one, but Hershey hurt more because I was aware that Hershey was a chocolate and at the time I was not acquainted with what a truffle was. During lunch time one day, John’s words to me seemed to not be enough for him anymore that he decided to move on to the next level. I sat down ready to eat the food of the day. I opened my half-pint carton of chocolate milk, and John Godey decided to take my carton and pour it over my only slice of pizza. How could no one see what had happened and why did I sat quiet? My body had never hurt so much and the floor of that restroom never felt more comforting. Soon after, Mr. Curry finally noticed I had been missing after lunch time for nearly three weeks and the truth finally came out. John Godey was moved to another classroom, but teachers knew that would not fix anything and that he would do the same. His parents decided to move him to another school. John Godey disappeared from my life, but his words lingered within my thoughts and my self-esteem for a very long time.

Some say it’s a part of “growing up.” But a person’s childhood should be as eccentric and unforgettable and filled with things around us that make an impact on our lives that shape who we grow up to be. I fought hard with myself to accept this theory. I tried to compare it to chickenpox, where even as an adult, if you had never had it, you had to have it.

Two years ago, I walked into a McDonalds. I remember being last in a line of four people waiting to order. As I walked closer to the counter I realized that the cashier was John. He was much taller, slightly thinner than 2003. John Godey was a man now. I thought of getting out of that line and driving to a different location, but then I realized how many unsaid things I had kept to myself all these years. Would he understand just how many school days I wasted, laying on the floor of a restroom waiting for the day to be over? I got clammy hands, my blood went cold and I felt two hands wrapped around my throat, preventing me from even thinking of what I would say next. Then it dawned on me to think of where we both were standing, and I grinned just a little, just enough to feel my satisfaction. I walked up the counter and he said to me, “Good afternoon, what will it be?”

-End-

068d85f0-1757-4ca3-b8c2-74dee50547ad
1st grade Gaby