The Cronenberg Horror of Loving a Human Completely

It’s been a minute since I’ve written. I’m rusty as fuck, and I’ve been through so much shit that I honestly don’t know what my voice is anymore. Or what I want to write. Or how I want to be seen. Or how commas work. Real talk. I can’t even write a good email.

But I guess you’re reading this shit, so who gives a fuck?

I’m not editing this by the way.

So long story short, I loved a person. Let’s call her “Tina” –that’s always my first go-to girl name. We were friends, then we were like… a package deal pretty instantly. In a way I don’t think either of us were prepared for. When I look back… it’s like mythical shit, and I can’t believe it happened. This is beyond that “other half” shit. This was meeting someone that grew out of me, like one of them Cronenberg movies. Like that “atom-penetrating,” “molecule-fusing” shit.

Tina was the other thing in the teleportation machine I got fused with. This was like a cosmic rom-com “When Time Meets Space” or some shit… basically that other thing in the universe that makes you go “how the fuck did I even make sense before you got here?” I think the best fandom thing I could think of is the concept of “the drift” in Pacific Rim. I love that movie because it’s a big dumb robot movie that totally nails what it means to love someone. You get in their head, in their memories, feel their pain… and you just fuckin’ walk with them. And you witness them. Just that they are here. And you do your best to just pay attention to them.

I met Tina, and honestly, Day ONE I was like… “here is a pretty girl like many pretty girls I will meet in life. But this is one that I am attracted to. I am attracted to this pretty girl and for some reason, it is enough for me to just share comics with this person and watch them eat handfuls of almonds. I just want THIS person to be okay, and I want to be here for them.”

And that folks, is love that is unconditional. Love that is free. Love that is rare. Love that makes a child (which is what I was when I met Tina) into a real nigga.

Now we dated for two years and met each others’ deep darkies, and eventually that complicated shit to the point where we became unstable and dumb… looking for ways out while we were looking for ways in… just like… real dumb shit. And we broke up 3 times. She will say 2. I will say 3. It’s a really fun disagreement.

The last 2 times were after we lived together and boy-oh-fuckin’ boy, was it a kick in the ovaries. I was messy and ugly and horrible and hard. Because here was a person who started off as a pretty girl I wanted to hang with. I just wanted to be her guy and we both mutated into each others’ everything. It’s that weird thing that happened when you start to love a person from every angle of their identity. This woman was my girlfriend, wife, daughter, mother, grandmother, aunt, best friend, enemy, bully, abuelo, little brother, tio, teacher, fan club, fandom, my God, my cathedral… you get it?

That’s some Silver Surfer shit. But we had to walk away from it as it was. She called it and I left. I’ve been sleeping on mostly “friends” couches AKA mostly my parents (to my privileged AF shame).

But in that time that we got out of each other’s way, I got to see the universe open back up to the both of us the way it did when we met. You forget shit when you cling to someone’s face for a few years. There’s like other shit, other people, other opportunities that you’ve EMPOWERED each other to have. 

The Cronenberg Monster has split, but I still catch Tina out there in the world, with pieces of me she got in the surgery. We were split in half with a long slow saw. That’s the funny horror of loving a person. You lose pieces of yourself and start to notice the parts of you that come from other people.

I shit you not, I brush my teeth every night SOME OF THE TIME because that’s a thing I NEVER did before I met her. It’s like brushing my teeth with someone else’s hands.– I’m like “why the fuck am I doing this? I belong to the dirt.” Or “why the fuck do I talk about astrology with people? What even is ‘Mercury in Retrograde?’”

Honestly, I just stay learning from these people who loved me. I am very much a man made of metal, but fuck if this person didn’t get me to believe in something out there that is bigger than me, that I won’t understand as easy as I would the natural laws that bind the world together. Maybe there are forces in the universe with more answers and questions than my beloved internet. My machines. My little “Shalla-Bals.”*

I still love Tina as much as I did when we were together. But it’s different. Easier now. Have you seen the end of Hancock? It’s like that. That is where we learned to love. That’s where we got our fuck ups out. Thank god we met to feel this rare and real thing. Thank god we were together. Thank god we broke up. Thank god we are still friends. Thank god you are here.

I could end this shit real dignified with a quote about how “there should be stars for great wars like ours” or some shit about how “we taught each other to be better, and to love harder,” but I’m tired and  I don’t know which shitty pop culture reference I want to make: Gwen Stefani or Riverdale? Riverdale.

I know we broke up, but you still gotta catch up.


PS – Dear Reader, I’m a musical ho so here’s some songs.


Frank Ocean – Moon River, Wise Man

Gwen Stefani – Cool, Simple Kind of Life

Twin Shadow – When The Movie’s Over

*A Shalla-Bal is a word I’ve used ONLY to myself until now for a person or object that I love. Like my phone or a loved one or a doughnut.

Arts & Entertainment, Life

White Ferrari: Impressions

I’m not one to straight up cry ambiguous tears on the subway.

I’m not really one to cry, period.  I am an endless marching steel cage of spiders, wires and code… but goddamn it…

Frank Ocean’s White Ferrari is one of those perfect beautiful sad things. Like the moment you wake up from a really good dream, the recollection of something that never happened, and the hour after a perfect day when you realize you cannot go back.

The moment you recall that this shit right here is not forever, not guaranteed, not promised. And you’ll never really know how much you spent, how much you have left, or how many corners of who you are that have gone unexplored.

So the best thing you can do is be here and feel the fistfuls of pain and joy that come with the stampede of weeks.




lifehack. applying deodorant in front of your boss


You know that morning where you know you’re going to be late?

And the reason you are going to be late is because you woke up, already late (8:17 am), and then took “another 10 minutes” which turned into an actual extra 30. You know that morning?

So now you have no time to:

  • pack lunch
  • iron your wrinkled clothes
  • put on deodorant

You know that moment when you’re on the subway and you realize that you are the one that smells bad and you curse your life and all that time you spent in college blackout drunk, not majoring in something both practical and non-douchey like computer science or even education?

You know that moment when you’re sneaking into work smelly and late, praying to whatever god who will hear you that your boss will not see you so that you can slide into your desk, smelly and late? You know this! Everyone does! And then when your boss finally arrives he asks you for this report and that report, so you perform a series of relentlessly banal tasks in a futile, desperate, and floundering attempt to appear useful, right before providing your employer with a scattered series of utterly meaningless data points that reflect  nothing of what was asked of you?

And you know how you still smell bad, so in an effort to reinvigorate your self-esteem you reach in your purse/bag for a stick of that sweet, sweet Old Spice only to realize that your boss is watching you, STILL watching you frantically apply deodorant?

You know this! This is that classic moment where you realize:

  • how far you’ve fallen
  • that you are ~*actual*~ garbage
  • that you are somehow overworked and overtired despite the fact that you go into a daily aimless trance and actually have no clue what it is that you do beyond the fact that senseless emails are involved, data is measured and collected, money is a thing, and staring like a cow into the bright, bottomless internet is a crucial component
  • life is a death march and you’ve chosen to lie down

You know that moment your mom calls to ask you about what you had planned for the weekend, because for once in your worthless life she has a favor to ask of you, and then you can’t help her the way that she needs you to, so she hangs up and you feel like a failure? Then in the following moment, your boss reminds you of how bad you are at your job before telling you to put you deodorant on in the bathroom like a human adult?

Do you know any of these oh-so-common moments? Or moments like them?

My Take

Thankfully, I know none of these moments, because I’ve perfected a step-by-step process of deodorant application in professional settings without resorting to hiding away in the bathroom, like some sort of failure. The benefits of this simple process include but are not limited to:

  • avoiding abject social horror & humiliation

So at long last, here are those sweet, sweet steps for rubbin’ that good, good stick in that gross, gross pit.

  1. Turn your phone off when you get to work. This way, you won’t know when your mom calls and subsequently, you will not feel like a horribly wretched child for avoiding simple interactions with the woman who gave you life.
    1. After work you can turn your phone back on. The hideous guilt will be much easier to sublimate during your obligatory after work drunken stupor.
  2. I would say come to work on time, but this is a step reserved for experts. We’ll address this in a later post.
  3. I would say find work you love and care about, but you have no skills, and are most certainly a failure. You couldn’t even take web design back in college when you had the chance. There’s a skill you could parlay into a career!  But, alas, don’t fret! We’ll address this in a later post.
  4. I would say at LEAST apply deodorant before you enter your office, but you are a scatterbrain who will likely be busy figuring out how to shut off her/his phone. But alas, don’t fret! We’ll address this in a later post.
  5. When seated at your desk in your etherized bovine daze, lower your head close to the desk as if you were reaching to tie your shoes.
  6. Go into your bag. It’s a really cool bag, girl/guy.
  7. Do not pull out comics, or your Star Wars themed Cards Against Humanity, or your copy of bell hooks’ All About Love: New Visions. No one cares!
  8. During this process, if you experience an emotion, repress it and for the love of upper management PULL OUT YOUR DEODORANT. WE ARE RUNNING OUT OF SWEET, SWEET COMPANY TIME.
  9. Carefully stick your hand up your shirt with deodorant in hand.
    1. Do NOT get turned on again at work. We can’t have another Tinashe incident.
    2. Make sure you aren’t snagging it on your shirt. Don’t report me or HR or anything, but I really think that shirt is cute on you, girl/guy.
  10. Repeat on opposite side.
  11. Repeat on opposite side.
  12. Repeat on opposite side.
  13. Hide deodorant.
  14. Remember drama club and how you method acted the Scarecrow in The Wiz? You nailed that, girl/guy! It was all about sense memory. The smell of straw. The dumbness of uneducated inanimate objects. The pain of knowing you probably really had a childhood like Michael Jackson’s. You played a living Scarecrow with a learning disorder. Do this again, girl/guy. But this time, you have a new role. You are now a normal person with actually human hygiene habits. This version of you doesn’t need to frantically apply deodorant because you already did before you came to work, WHICH you were on time for.
    1. But not really.
  15. Pretend to be normal all day.
    1. Again, it’s important to try not to cry about your real life during this process. Bask in the fantasy that you we’re made to live the shitty life you have. Revel in the thought that you are surrounded by all the wonderful shitty people that you love. It’s hard and you WILL want to cry, but save it for when you are tucked away in your bed:
      1. Utterly alone.
      2. Spectacularly single.
      3. Tragically abandoned during the best years of your meaningless existence.
  16. If you didn’t lift your head up already, lift your head up. Don’t be stupid. I shouldn’t have to tell you this, girl/guy.
  17. Run to the bathroom to recite The Mantra: “I am a happy person.” “I am a happy person.” “I am a happy person.” “I am a happy person.” “I am a happy person.” “I am a happy person.” “I am a happy person.” “I am a happy person.” “I am a happy person.” “I am a happy person.” “I am a happy person.” 
  18. Try not to cry.

You did it!


The Thing About Black Womanhood

Hey guys. I’m back.

A friend of mine asked me back in February about how she should contextualize Black Womanhood to her Black male students. I felt it was important for me to really dig in on what this means because when I was younger and in school, I do not believe that this was made into an explicit priority, and it should have been. When we talk about feminism, we hear lots of noise about the accomplishments of White women. When we talk about the struggle and Blackness, we tend to focus on the accomplishments, lives, and deaths, of Black men.

And so when chatting about this with my friend, I wanted to really articulate the important role that Black women play in making the world turn.

Forgive my punctuation. This is a rant.

I was raised with a certain set of privileges, even as a black man. I’ve been afforded certain opportunities because of the sacrifices made by my family, and at least when I was younger, it allowed me to operate with the illusion that the world is fixed. But it is not fixed. Black people on every level of society continue to make sacrifices and choices based on what their individual choice means “for everyone else.”

I’ve always assumed that I had an understanding of black womanhood, because my mother is black, my sister is black, and all of the women in my family are black. I’ve even dated some black women, so that should mean I totally understand my special responsibility toward black women, right? I understand being black, and I “understand” women, so that means I “get” the significance of black womanhood, right?


I “get” it in the sense that I appreciate Black women to the ends of the earth.  But I am not a black woman, and I have not experienced that life through my own eyes. The best I can do is relate, be compassionate, and give a shit–but I’m unable to subtract the privilege that comes with my gender identity.

Regardless of your mama, or your sister, or your girlfriend, or whoever–you as a black man will always have an important role as an ally, investing in the future, advancement, and celebration of black women. I can’t speak for everyone, but I can say that in my experience it was always important to know the difference between how black women as individuals regard themselves, and how the media regards the telepathic monolithic hive-mind that they invented in an attempt to define, control, misappropriate, repackage, and resell Black femininity.

Honestly, right now, in my early 20s, as I come to understand the privilege that I still “merit” as a man I understand specific intersections between race and gender. I think in the same way that white feminists need to shut their fucking traps about “we’re all women, tho” black men must also shut their fucking traps about “we’re all black” and “black women are this” and “black women are that.” Because for some reason, the etherized masses look at how we regard black women because when it comes to black men and women, men still win the Privilege Olympics. And, being men, we don’t listen. We fucking flex that privilege to the point that we engage in that same marginalization of black women that white folks and other institutions use to keep the black community as whole down.

It’s cannibalism. How we regard black women runs so much deeper than the nearest black woman we can cite to justify how we represent our own beliefs about our beliefs. How we regard black women runs deeper than blood.

We improve how we see black women by truly seeing and appreciating the role black women have had in advancing our culture. We improve this when we can finally appreciate the obvious strength and power that black women have, and the sacrifices/challenges they endure on every tier of society. We improve on how we see black women, when we stop trying to control what black women are and what black women can be. We improve on how we see black women when we stop using femininity as a slur or something to be ashamed of. We need to listen to voices in our community (honestly Black Twitter is filled with brilliant female thinkers, but you should prolly read a few books homie).

I’ve seen a number of movies and TV shows and read books that treat black women as people, but honestly, we need to think about how black women are portrayed in a macro sense and think about what we see. It’s a narrative of control where black women are fetishized & commodified (Robert Crumb, Miley Cyrus, Iggy, WW who get surgery to have “black asses”‘ etc.), black women are told they must appear a certain way (everyone wants to control how a black woman’s hair “should be”, black women are held to bullshit European beauty standards, 12 Years A Slave – WW vs. BW), and (although there’s MUCH more shit for me to cite) stories of black women that need our attention in the news are covered very little. The last one hurts me because it’s obvious what the problem is when a pregnant black woman getting assaulted by the cops isn’t a nationally covered problem. The problem is that as a culture we are not listening to black female voices. We aren’t valuing their voice enough, when black women are not as easily afforded the opportunity to think only of themselves–they think about everyone.

Note: My friend had a few questions that I didn’t answer, but use your context clues.

I know this was a lot and I answered none of your questions. I think 12 Years A Slave’s, Patsy is a great example of the challenges of black femininity. I don’t think as a man I can say “I understand black womanhood”. It feels a little too much like a pat on the back for what should be a daily challenge to consider the similarities in our struggle as a race and the divide that comes with our gender identities. Understanding is not the endpoint. Understanding is an everyday action. If they want to understand they need to know that its something you do, not something that happens.

Our biggest challenges (whether you are a cisman, or non-Black) will be considering your own experience and speaking to them from what is ostensibly an outsider perspective. Not a tough issue to navigate if you’re bright. But you know as well as I the challenge that comes when a “non-Black woman” in a position of authority teaches black men about the black experience in any permutation. Let them teach each other, and school them if they wile out. I think it’s important for Black men to create their own goals and for educators to help them find the tools to get there independently.

Just my opinion.

Life, Reality

When Your Boss Vacations

I know a guy or girl who knows a guy or girl who has a job at a place where he or she isn’t the BIGGEST fan of his/her boss. And really, who is these days? It’s not that he/she thinks that their boss is a bad person, because from what I understand, this boss character is harmless. A far cry from the old testament bosses that most of our peers deal with.

But still, there is a problem with this boss character. I listened well to my friend talk about their friend, and it seems to me that this person isn’t getting the best value out of this relationship. Now if it was me–and I’m not saying that it is–but if it was me, I would determine the value of the relationship based on the level of education that is or is not happening. Basically, I don’t care if you’re a dickhead who smells like hot dog water whose forehead is constantly oozing pus–if you can teach me, and help me add value to my career, we don’t actually have a problem. You can learn a lot from the devil.

But sometimes you don’t get the devil. Sometimes you get a really boring babysitter. The kind of sitter who doesn’t discipline, because they aren’t paying attention. Before you know it you’re sneaking sips from the liquor cabinet and stealing jewelry with your friends and wearing those racy haltertops your mom keeps saying “are only for grown girls” but you just don’t care because you were watching VH1 Divas and Gwen Stefani, who is about your size, wore one and did not look slutty. And now you’re half-naked, 23, coked up and drunk on a dance floor grinding with some awkward boy you don’t EVEN know (me) wondering how the hell everything got so dangerous so fast. How did your life fall to pieces so fast? Why did you assault those Girl Scouts after that senior formal? Why did you toilet paper that house that Halloween? Why did you kill that flight attendant? Why are you now barefoot tap dancing on broken glass to South African dubstep remixes of t.A.t.u.? Why are you laughing as you splash puddles of your own foot blood on your white dress? When did the end of your life begin?

It began when that babysitter didn’t stop you from sneaking a sip of that vodka. And the babysitter is my metaphor for a boss with a lackadaisical approach to management. So your tragic fate is really in your boss’s hands. Even though you should really lame yourself for fucking up so bad you goddamn worthless millennial. Luckily for my friend of a friend, their boss will be out of town for an extended period of time. Without further adieu, here are a few tips on what to do when your boss leaves town:

1. Do all of your bosses work. Do it better, and do it quickly. Justify your vitriol by bringing results and being able to measure them. This will make you look better than them in the long run. This is literally the only thing you need to do on this list.
2. When you finish all of his work that he pretends to do, check Facebook. But don’t, like, LIVE on it, because then you’re going to get used to having a bad habit when they get back, and you don’t want that shit.
3. Instead of drinking at work at 4:00pm everyday to cope with the soul-crushing might of how fast your life is passing you by, start drinking at like 3:00pm. Your crippling alcoholism will be more entertaining at an earlier hour when people are still paying attention to what’s going on around them.
4. Steal all of his tissues but leave the box.
5. Become more regular. You know what I’m talking about. Don’t let “working hard” become an excuse to not be making regular doodoos. If you were hungover on a Friday, nothing would stop you. Remember: Treat every day as if you were hungover on a Friday.
6. Go on G-chat and talk shit about your friends. Then talk shit to someone else about the person you just talked to. Then wonder if someone is doing the same thing to you. Then contemplate why anyone wants to be your friend anyway, you’re like a nightmare person–a sociopath.
7. If you are NOT a sociopath, continue to wonder why your friends are your friends.
8. Just Relaaaaaaaax.
9. But no, seriously, if you’re unhappy apply like crazy to other place, just cause man. As my Grandma used to say “You have to go along to get along.” I can use that statement in a variety of contexts, because it’s right in every context. My Grandmas were awesome. If you disagree, feel free to email me a place where I can kick your teeth in.
10. If your boss is actually away and you are looking on the Internet for real advice on what to do, you should probably check out Forbes. But again the answers aren’t on the Internet man. You need to use the time you have to ask bigger questions. Bigger and better answers are “out there,” not “in here.”


Life, Uncategorized

Trying Again, Again.

Hi boys and girls. Miss me?


Yeah. Well. Fuck you too.

It has been awhile since I’ve written in a good goddamn. I hope that previous remark made some kind of sense. I’m getting my bearings again, so I would appreciate it if you cut me some goddamn slack. I hate making this all about me and my life rather than “my work” –whatever that is–but as a self-described “writer” living and cultivating perspective is my work. I wanted to make this year about me “making a name for myself as a writer” on other blogs and publications. I’ve done some stuff for LeakyNews and ThoughtCatalog, and earlier in the year I had been working on my novel so I decided to put this blog on the back burner till I developed a reputation.

Then life kept happening, as it usually does, and I put the writing on the back burner. Then work kept happening and happening, as it usually does, so I put life on the back burner. Then things became difficult between me and the old girl, so to my vexation, we called it. It was rough, I didn’t want it, but I knew what was happen so I rode the roller coaster of emotion to this point. Where I am now.

I took some days off that week and decided that this period right now will be the proverbial “bottom” and that I would live and learn down here until I’ve collected the tools to climb somewhere else. I’ve gotten more valuable work done in the time since then than I have the past two years. Yes, it too 5 seasons of Buffy and 2 of Angel for me to get up off my ass and work. Yes, it took hours of talking shit, being petty, and hating everyone at work. I won’t lie, I’ve drank gallons of alcohol and coffee to numb the feelings of worthlessness that inevitably come with a break up, being in your twenties, and not knowing what you are going to do with your life. This was my first real Big Sad since graduating college.

And then I remembered what Blade said in Blade III.

“Use it.”


1. I started running.

2. I started(ish) cleaning more regularly.

3. I revamped my novel a few months back to be a graphic novel. I started outlining individual issues and working with my older brother on the characters and story arcs. I hope to have something in 2015.

4. I started(ish) working out.

5. I started(ish) hanging out.

6. I started(ish) dating about. It’s not something I’m crazy about, but it’s not as toxic as they make it sound, and it’s nice to meet different people, which is a thing I need to try out more.

7. I started reading my journals to strangers. I will be reading them at Mortified on July 22nd and possibly July 23rd.

8. I started (and finished) writing the first season of a cartoon project that I’m working on.

9. I started a lot of shit. I will keep starting a lot of shit. I will keep doing a lot of shit.

There’s so much I need to be doing to keep moving forward and I am determined to keep going. I am not fully “alive” yet, but I’m starting to feel the blood in my veins again. Feeling alive is better than feeling dead, right? So I guess that’s a win.

So my Rocky IV comeback montage is almost done and I’m starting to put those things that were on the back burner back on the front burner. (Front burner?) I had a good old writer-ly chat with Heather Sundell over at Terrible Twenties. I like her blog because it’s a general outline of what it’s like to exist in your 20s as a creative person. Check it out sometime. One of the things that she reiterated for me was to write everyday. I know that’s not brand spanking new advice, but it’s great to hear from a more established writer. Honestly, if you are a more established artist, that’s mandatory advice. We mainly talked about writing and developing a unique voice. We all know the subtext of the “developing your own voice” conversation. There’s lot’s of shit we have to deal with as humans, as writers, and as artists. Everyday we have something that doesn’t go according to plan, and we have to find a new way to hack it. I “like to write” so I guess hacking it is doing this shit everyday.

I will have more to talk about. Hopefully shit that is less selfhelpy.



For real though, I miss back-to-school shopping

I don’t think I’ve been real back-to-school shopping since sophomore year of high-school.

As a teenager, I remember the heart-simmering anxiety that came with shopping for new school supplies and fresh school uniforms. It’s not like I had to pay for any of it, so what the hell was I anxious about?

Every summer, I’d reset back to neutral after nearly three months of staying inside the house. People would ask me what I did and I’d lie to them.

“Yeah…uh…I just….uh…yeah…you know… hung out with friends.”

Whenever I’d go to school with my fresh books, and my fresh outfit, and my fresh school supplies (LOOK AT ALL MAH SHEEEEEEEYIT) I remember how the calm would wash over me as soon as some unprepared asshole would ask to borrow:

  • a pencil
  • a glance at my textbook
  • $5 for lunch

I like to joke about how I wasn’t privileged as a kid, but whenever I had to be at school, I had everything I needed.

…and a protractor, which I would never use,