The People We Meet, writing

what two teenage girls from the suburbs taught me

I felt a warm hand on my knee and looked pointedly at it before answering the all-important question directed at me: Is the beer tent lit?

Two girls sat across from me on the streetcar, but it was clear who played ringleader. Sipping the last of her bottle of Coke, Ringleader pulled another out of her backpack. The bottles were full but the rings around the neck were already broken (explains the sort of woozy dancing). They must have hugged 3 times on the short ride to the fair. They weren’t from “around here”, they told me; they were from a smallish town not dissimilar to where I grew up. Ringleader looked like a downtown girl, Giggles looked sort of like a lost but content puppy.

Ringleader continued to put her hand on my knee every time she turned to speak to me. I gave her a sly smile — your charm doesn’t work on me — I know your tricks. Save it for the boys at school.

Watching them from the corner of my eye had made me feel both sad, and happy. They weren’t sure exactly how to get to the fair, so today must have seemed like a big adventure to them. I remember my first time taking public transportation downtown, and I remember feeling terrified. These girls gave no indication of fear, aside from Ringleader asking me upon sitting down: You know how to get to the fair, right? You’ll tell us when to get off? I wanted to turn off the music blasting from the tinny speakers of their phones, and then give them hugs. I wanted them to stop talking, and I wanted them to ask me for life advice I was highly unqualified to give.

Had they done so, I would’ve told them, stay friends. Don’t ever let a boy, or another girl, drive a wedge into your friendship. Never lose your sense of fun. Be considerate of other people (read: use headphones. You can continue dancing, but use headphones). Stay happy. Don’t be too cool to be excited.

But they didn’t, so they continued bouncing in their seats, and I looked out the window. Head bobbing to my own music.

I guess maybe her charm did have an effect on me after all.


Sadist Heels

Over a month ago, I previewed my first finished short story, Sadist Heels. Here it is in its entirety– I hope you enjoy it!

As an aside, Sadist Heels is also published over on Tablo, which can be found here. In terms of formatting, the Tablo one might be easier on the eyes!

I told the same tired old joke, and was rewarded with howls of laughter around the bar. More drinks came sliding my way, orders barked over the noisy din at the bartenders–

Another one for the lady! I’ll have what she’s having!

I looked around, weary, skimming the crowd over the tops of their heads; a lot of beanies in here, aren’t they hot? It must be something like 97 degrees in this joint.

Besides, where was my date? No missed calls, no texts, and at this point, he seems like a no-show. I silently vowed to never let Mother set me up on a blind date ever again… oh lordie, how pathetic.

I carefully extricated myself from the throng of half-inebriated patrons of the bar, struggling for a moment to slip my feet through the criss-crossing straps of my heels. Good grief, why do I wear these shoes? I call them my Sadist Heels, the only thing protecting me from tetanus at this fine establishment.

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humor, writing

sweets galore: how to say no without sounding like an ungracious guest

chay, would you like a delicious double-chocolate fudge brownie-topped slice of creamy goodness that is my special-recipe homemade new york style cheesecake?

HEAD: yes!!!!!

HEART: yes!!!!!

SKIN: make that move buddy and you’re dead to me. DEAD!

MOUTH: sorry brenda, I’m on a solid no-fun diet of pure misery.

My skin breaks out much too easily, so I’ll have to pass. Regrettably.

brenda passes on, offering the plate to others.

allow some time to pass, then while making sure brenda is within earshot, say to a friend:

sucks that I can only taste that delectable piece of magic with my nostrils.

doesn’t matter if you didn’t actually want the cake in the first place.

it doesn’t fit your macros?

it doesn’t belong in your diet plan?

you’re on a gluten-free, no carb no fat (no fun) diet?

NO ONE CARES. (unless you have Celiac’s, then fine; and if you’re vegan, trust me, brenda already knows. we all know. we alllllllllll know.)

and that, ladies and gentlemen, is how to say no without sounding like an annoying gym bro/bunny prick (even if you are); A.K.A. how to be a gracious guest. I also suggest bringing a bottle of moderately-priced wine or flowers.


Tienes la cara como una nevera por detrás

It’s a tough job.

I glance over at the feet in the next stall over. I’ve already done my business, had the toilet automatic-flush on me twice (Yuck. I’m a slow goer.), and no noise/movement from the poor soul next to me.

My name is Miguel Arroyo Narcisco Rodriguez, and Mucho Burrito is my claim to fame. My family’s at least.

By “claim to fame”, I mean bane of my existence.

I started out as a humble taste-tester. The position is a misnomer; most people think: Taste-tester? Awesome!

Not awesome. Not awesome at all.

Most of my shifts in the early days were spent in a dirty bathroom stall–

Side note: dirty public washrooms are my kryptonite. I could never make it in China I guess, although I guess technically they aren’t so much toilets as they are holes.

Every time I came back from an unexplained absence while on the clock, I would get looks of sympathy from the waitstaff, and glee from the line cooks.

Even Mucho Burrito is a bit of a misnomer, as we’re really a taco stand. Welcome to our classy establishment.


Sadist Heels: First Look

What’s goin’ on, everybody!

I recently wrote a short story about a blind date gone off the tracks. It’s called Sadist Heels, and it reads like a short film.

This post is to gauge interest before I post S.H. in its entirety; and I’d like to send an early release to anyone who is interested and/or would like to offer their feedback/constructive criticism.

Currently, I don’t have a place to workshop my writing, and I would love to turn to my WordPress friends for some potential fine-tuning.

Thank you darlings, and the excerpt is after the jump!

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