My mother never truly cut my hair for the first seven years of my life. I don’t think she could bear the thought of it. Before puberty, until I was about fourteen or fifteen years old, my hair was platinum blonde. When I was little, under age eight, it ended in ringlets. I was a pretty child: long white-blonde curls, big blue eyes, rosy cheeks, and porcelain skin. My hair has started to curl again and it’s still rather blonde for someone as old as I am, but I don’t think I’ll ever be a tow-head ever again.

When I was very small, probably about three years old, I was at a public pool, long pale hair flowing, brown and tan from the southern summer sun. I was a weird-looking kid in the summer. I looked like a photo negative of a person, with toffee brown skin and white hair, and no visible eyebrows.

A strange old lady came up behind me and ran her fingers through my hair. This, by the way, was not an uncommon occurrence in my childhood. People see something strange and/or beautiful and they forget there are rules. I turned to the violator and said, “My hair is not a toy.” And, flicking it behind my shoulder in that clumsy way small children move because they haven’t had as much practice moving as adults have, I turned my back on her and walked away.


My Writing

Ben likes to quote Hamilton to me, about me. He says I “write like I’m running out of time.” I guess I do. I journal almost daily, and though my entries will probably never interest anyone but myself, and sometimes not even then, it’s a comfort to me, a source of relaxation.

I love sending letters. I love every step of it, drafting on my computer or phone, writing out the messages in cursive on my stationery, addressing and sending the thin parcel. I’m old-fashioned and tactile, I know.

How many novels have I begun? How many are eight or eighty pages, and have since been abandoned? I know their endings, and their beginnings have already begun – it’s the middles that trouble me.

I took a creative writing class this semester and learned more than I think I have learned in one semester in a long time. (I took journalism too, but that wasn’t as influential on my writing. It was, however, good practice.)

I learned that I have a knack for dialogue that sounds natural, like a true conversation. I was required to branch out from my traditional genres of fiction, poetry, and essay, though these were required as well. I tried drama, memoir, and creative nonfiction. My (apparent) talent with dialogue makes my dramas believable and captivating, or so I am told.

I also, according to my professor, have a talent for humor. She told me my humor is a gift to my writing.

Humor is that fragile baby of mine that I keep clasped to my chest and don’t show anyone in my writing. The fear that I will fail, that it will fall flat or that I’m doing it wrong, is quite real to me. Hearing not only my professor, but my peers, comment on the humor in my writing of their own volition, was incredibly encouraging.

I think the next step for me is to continue with those genres for which I seem to have a natural inclination: drama, humor, and memoir. I see promise and potential in those.

We’ll see.



I was very unhappy before this picture was taken. I had gone away to school, but had returned home due to illness. I was lonelier than I had ever been, because I had no job, my friends were away at school, and my parents worked full-time. I spent the majority of my days alone in an empty house, or at doctor’s offices.

Then came Brie, a small, skinny (emaciated, really) blonde dog with big brown eyes, white socks, freckles, and a heart-shaped blaze on her head. She was very sick and very young – just like me. She had hookworm, mange, little fur, and her ribs were easily visible. She wasn’t fully house trained, which caused some problems.

This little street scavenger from Puerto Rico stole my heart the moment I laid eyes on her, despite her illnesses, emaciation, and semi-baldness. She liked me immediately, too. She kept coming up just to me.

This picture is of Brie, a healthy twenty-three pounds and absolutely covered in fur (to my mother’s chagrin). She was sitting in the hot summer sunshine, the way she loves. I sat on our deck outside with her, reading a book. Her honey-colored fur sparkled dimly and glowed in the sunlight. She looked around, as though she were queen of all she surveyed. The grass next door had been cut that day, and the sweet, clean scent of it had drifted over on a tiny breeze.

I could feel the weight of my rather sizable book on my thighs. My elbows rested on the corners of the book, and the edges of it pressed into my thighs. They would leave red marks later, in the shape of an open book, but that has never been something I’ve minded. It was a new book, and I could smell the ink and the crisp creaminess of the pages. I held the page between my fingertips, and I rolled them to feel the texture of the paper.

It was summer then, and the cicadas were singing. A bird twittered, and that slight breeze, stronger higher up in the sky, ruffled the leaves on the trees. The yard, my father’s pride and joy, was full of summer blooms. Roses – yellow, white, coral, red, and all shades of pink – orange day lilies, pale blue forget-me-nots, and gently white peonies gave the verdant yard splashes of color in pastels and jewel tones.

The sun was hot on my head, and I reveled in the heat I could feel with my hand on my crown. I squinted in the bright sunlight, which reflected strongly off the off-white pages of the book.

I heard a jingling. I looked up, chin in my hand. The sound continued while my eyes adjusted. There was a creamy golden being streaking around the yard. It was Brie, running her fastest in ecstasy. She continued for a minute or so, before suddenly stopping and settling into the same spot on the grass.IMG_0895

Thoughts on Romance in Marriage

Disclaimer: I have never been married.

I recently re-watched the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. My family can quote the entirety of the first movie, so of course we had to see the second one when it first came out.
One of the main themes of the movie was, predictably and obviously, marriage, and how the romance between two people dies.

I don’t think that’s true. I think the relationship between two people can always be in the honeymoon stage if they let it. There are always stories about little old couples who are still as in love as the day they met. That doesn’t mean they haven’t had hardships, only that they’ve fought to keep those feelings alive.

Or maybe, maybe romance changes. Maybe for some people romance becomes being unable to sleep without them snoring next to you, or the quick kiss exchanged before someone leaves the house, or doing the dishes without being asked because the other cooked dinner that night. Maybe love doesn’t always have to be butterflies and fireworks. Maybe love can be comfort, acceptance, respect, and feeling like you’re home when you’re with that person. Maybe both kinds of love – honeymoon and settled love – can happen at the same time.

Meeting Him

I was standing on a porch outside an apartment where a party was taking place. An acquaintance – that early in one’s freshman year all are acquaintances – had gotten me into the party. Now that I look back on it, in the peripheral vision of my memory things are clouded, though it was only autumn 2014.

Just barely below me stood a small crowd of boys. I don’t remember why, but I asked them, “Am I really beautiful?” Some said “Yes,” emphatically, while others simply nodded vehemently. He was one who nodded. His is the only reaction I remember with clarity.

I’d heard him spoken of before this meeting. People spoke about him as if he was a god. No one had anything bad to say about him.

I was drawn to him from the first time I heard his name spoken. I was attracted, not in the romantic sense, but he was like a riptide, pulling me toward him. I wanted so desperately to know him, to be his friend.

That night, he made sure I got a ride home with him through the university sober driver program, since my dorm was so far from the party and it was late. I was dropped off first. From then on, we were friends.