• so that happened,  Uncategorized

    I Tried and I Failed

    It started with a gif. The girl in the clip lies flat on the floor with her hands clasped behind her, a long white pole looped between her arms and her lower back. Slowly she pulls her knees forward and then gracefully comes to a standing position with a big smile and a visible six-pack. The heading on this gif was “EVEN HARDER THAN IT LOOKS.” I watched it, rewatched it, and then with an arrogance borne of pure ignorance thought, “Well it doesn’t look that hard.” I watched the gif again. I read over the comments explaining that to do this correctly, the head, shoulders and pole must stay off the…

  • Communication,  personal,  relationships

    “Relationships are Hard Work”

    “Relationships are hard work.” How many times would you say you’ve heard that phrase in your life? People say it to each other all the time; over coffee, over cocktails, in the middle of long, exasperated venting sessions and at the end of despairing exclamations. I’ve said it, and I’ve heard it, and every time there’s a nod of understanding and agreement, because it’s just vague enough to sound accurate. Recently though, I’ve come to realise that the phrase isn’t specific enough to be true. It’s a bit like when people say, “Well, sure we fight, but all couples fight.” I always nod. They both sound pretty straightforward, but the…

  • Communication,  personal,  so that happened

    Red Head

      I got ID’d yesterday. I was buying 20 eggs and a bottle of spiced rum – a questionable grocery list at the best of times – when the young guy working the till stopped and looked at me expectantly. There were about five people waiting in line behind me, so as if looking for answers or permission I first glanced at them, and then back at him, and chewed the inside of my cheek nervously. Anytime I – for any reason – hold up the line at the checkout, I’m (I think not unreasonably) afraid that a riot will break out behind me and I will die, suddenly and…

  • personal,  Thoughts on...

    A Last First Kiss

      We had been sitting next to each other – awkwardly at first, then more comfortably – for about an hour. I could feel his thigh pressed against mine. When he moved his arm, I felt his sleeve brush against my sleeve. He made bad jokes and gave me lopsided smiles while I babbled non-stop in an effort to disguise my nerves. He took a phone call and unfolded himself from the couch to pace the room, so I moved to the window to look out over the river. Even from across the room I felt like there were delicate filaments of feeling tying us together, vibrating with the low sound…

  • family,  Thoughts on...,  Uncategorized

    Thoughts On… Mother’s Day

    The other day, my mother called me like she always does. She calls every day. She calls to tell me what she’s doing, or to tell me about her day, or to tell me the latest deal in the grocery store. She calls about anything and everything. She talks away in rapid-fire Spanish and really, minimum input is required on my part. The occasional, “Mmm hmm,” one or two yeses and some listening sounds are sometimes my only contribution. The other day, she called and talked to me about certain bathroom renovation plans. I half-listened while making soup. “… No se como va a salir pero por ahora va bien…

  • so that happened,  Uncategorized

    Stranger Danger

    One day, a few years ago, I hopped on a bus that would take me back to the apartment I was living in at the time. I had just come from the shop, and I was listening to music, shouldering a backpack and carrying a fairly heavy bag full of groceries in each hand. I sat myself down on the bus with a sigh of relief, and gazed out the window at the pretty town I then called home. A man sat down beside me at the next stop. Out of my peripheral vision I noticed his black tracksuit bottoms with the trademark three white stripes. I saw the tattoo…