Showing posts from 2015


There was a line to the door. The coffee shop was loud, filled with human noise. The record had finished playing so I went into the designated room and changed records. Tommy Ramone had just died, so I put on Rocket to Russia.
I was taking a customer’s order and saw him come into the shop. He was holding the cookbook and some records I had left at his house. It was like taking a bullet to the chest. My hand was shaking as I wrote the customer’s name on the coffee cup.
I was wearing an olive green dress with polka dots and a sheer neckline. It used to be his favorite.
People kept ordering coffee as he crept closer and closer. All I could see was the green cookbook. I bet he forgot my measuring cup. When we were face to face I wanted to be someone else.
“Can I get you anything?”
“Can I get a Mexican coke?” he said. “How’s it going?”
I reached into the cooler and grabbed an ice-cold bottle.
“Really busy, but good.” He looked at me as if I knew what to do with the evidence he was holding.
“I b…

Say Anything

“We have to find a way to make you less afraid of me.”
I didn’t know how to respond. We were standing in the kitchen making dinner. He handed me a plate as I lost my appetite.All I could think was that there must be something wrong with me.
I don’t have anything to say.
We took our plates to the living room and sat down on the couch. He asked me what I wanted to watch.
“I don’t care, whatever you want to watch.”
As long as there was something on the screen I wouldn’t have to think of something to say.
I kept thinking that someone else should be sitting in my place. Surely he knows he can do better.
I felt comfortable sitting on the couch, my legs stretched out over his lap. Yet, I was still on the edge of my seat. Waiting for him to change his mind. He looks over at me and winks.
I wink back and wonder why it’s so hard for me to realize that someone could look at me that way and mean it.
“Yusuf,” he said.
“What?” I asked.
The way he was looking at me told me something was happening. My heart c…


“Stop?” I said.
Collaborate and listen?
I shouldn’t be thinking about Vanilla Ice right now. I wanted to ask him what he was thinking, but I was afraid he would respond with ‘I don’t like those kind of questions.’
His hand reached behind my ear pushing my hair back. It was an intimate gesture, in spite of the momentary rejection. He was in my bed. He pressed his lips against mine. When it stopped my head was resting on his chest.
He fell asleep quickly and I tried to keep my eyelids shut long enough so I would be sleeping too. His shirt smelled like he’d been working in a kitchen for twelve hours. I realized tonight we talked for longer than we ever had in the last ten years.
It was nice to have someone in my bed. I spent the night rationalizing this in my head, the innocence of sleeping together without the indiscretion. As if justifying male attention was a party trick I wish I had never learned. But I wanted to know why.
The morning light gradually snuck into my bedroom…

Here Comes Your Man

Songs transform life into a novel. They render what we have experienced beautiful or faraway. The beauty later sets off the pain when we hear them again. Annie Ernaux

“How many gin and tonics have you had?” he asked.
“Not nearly enough,” I said. It was at least five.
We hadn’t seen each other in over four years. The bar was crawling with groups of friends celebrating college graduations. Outside I could hear the Pixie’s song ‘Here Comes Your Man.’
I was sitting with co-workers from the coffee shop, talking about nothing and everything. It was a night filled with human intentions.
I sat down with my second drink and felt good. Someone made me laugh as I took a sip from my drink. I spit most of it out on the ground. As I pulled myself together, I looked up to watch more people filling the outdoor patio. Suddenly, I could feel my face become ghost heart cold.There was a brief moment of eye contact and my trembling hands made me look away.
“Are you ok?” she asked.
“No, I’m not,” I said. I reache…

The 'Perfect Woman'

I’ve been sleeping alone for over three years. The heat generating from the excessive use of Netflix on my laptop has mostly been dominating the magic that happens in my bedroom. They recently added the Roseanne Collection to Netflix, which sadly only contains 50 episodes of a television program that ran for almost ten years.
It was a typical Friday night that I found myself in bed with Roseanne Barr. All of a sudden I saw my entire romantic history flash in front of my eyes. Roseanne’s sister Jackie finally meets a nice guy named Gary. He gets along with the family, has his own business, and appears to be head over heels for Jackie (the ‘perfect woman’ version of Jackie anyway.)
Jackie’s character is so relatable, particularly in this episode, because of the way she struggles with her identity and how this applies to her relationships with men. At this point in the series she is in her early 30s and has been serial dating men who don’t treat her well. Jackie’s love life is constantly b…