I was so embarrassed that I didn’t have a mother. It was worse than a thousand pimples on my face. I hated being different from other kids and having a dead mom made me the biggest freak of them all. I tried as hard as I could to blend in by emulating others. I wore Abercrombie & Fitch cargo Khakis, a monogrammed L.L. Bean book bag, a silver tulip neckless from Mignon Faget (a fancy jewelry designer in New Orleans), Adidas tennis shoes with alternate shoe laces that were a different color other than just grey or black, anything with a Ralph Lauren Polo logo, I got my haircut where they got their hair cut… But no matter what I wore or what I did, I always stood out. I could never fit in. There was never enough Dream GAP perfume to disguise how inferior I felt or really, how inferior I actually was.Read More
My mother was classically beautiful. Her looks were the embodiment of a nice girl. Freely smiling in every picture, exposing her perfect teeth and optimism. She had big, bright eyes that sparkled with charm. But underneath…was something completely different. There was an ugliness. A hatred towards herself. It was so loud she escaped to heroin, abusive men, and excessive spending to silence her demons. She endured an overwhelming emptiness, but nothing could possibly fill the void within. She was never able to love herself, and that torment eventually led to her drug related murder. People have mentioned to me that I look so much like my mother. I especially have her eyes. But do I have everything beneath as well?Read More
I had gotten dumped earlier during the day by Sal, my improv teacher boyfriend. I needed a drink or two or twelve so I decided to walk over to the Dresden, a trendy bar where my friend worked which wasn’t too far from my house. My friend, Betsy, was a cocktail waitress over there and would discreetly give me drinks that the bartender mistakenly made. The hangovers would be gnarly, but at least I was drinking for free. I was terrifyingly broke. I was 27 years old and had less than 20 dollars in my bank account. Now I was heartbroken and broke.Read More
Sometimes my loneliness touches a wound inside me that runs so deep. It travels all the way back to past heartbreaks and losses and down to the core…the umbilical cord that once was. Snip. Snip. I feel like a helpless baby with no one around. No one to pick me up. No one to hold me and left to die. Oh, well.Read More
My mother, Cathy Campbell, at the age of 30 watched her parents get brutally stabbed to death all within the confines of a station wagon. Cathy was told to keep driving, as two men took hostage. They robbed them while stabbing her parents multiple times before exiting the murder car. (67 stab wounds to be exact for her mother. Mostly on her face. 47 lacerations counted on her father). Cathy was uninjured, but her face, hair and body were covered with her parents splattered blood. She even thought that she herself had gotten cut too, but recognized the blood wasn’t hers. She drove straight to the emergency room where her parents were both pronounced dead. A couple months after this, she got pregnant with me. God, I’ve got great timing.Read More
I really thought Patrice was too dumb to leave my dad as if she couldn’t figure out how to use the door handle. Or too dumb in a sense that she even dated him in the first place. Her looks supported my theory. 5’6, bleach blonde hair, super skinny with big fake tits and an airy voice. She was disgustingly cliche. In the beginning, Patrice was obsessed with my dad. Every picture of them together, she would tilt her head and dotingly look at him instead of looking at the camera lens like a normal person. Every. Single. Picture. She called him “Perkinson” because she aspired to be different than all of my other dad’s girlfriends who simply called him by his first name, “Bill.” When Patrice’s father shot himself in the head, she inherited a lot of money and forked all of it over to my dad. We’re talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars. My dad, in return, treated her like a sex slave.Read More
I stood there. Chewing on the inside of my cheek, as I was watched my father, slouched over in handcuffs, being taken away by two police officers above from my bedroom window. The cops were both a head shorter than my dad, even with his incriminating posture. My dad was quite militant about our postures. Shoulders up. Chest out. But I guess, at this moment, it wasn’t important to stand up straight. They escorted him down our hardened gravel driveway into one of the seven police cars along our house. An older, overweight officer was readily standing there. He opened up the back seat door, and guided him inside. My dad did not glance up to my window to look for me, to tell me that everything was going to be okay with a nod or a reassuring squint. Rather his head was down. His face seemed tight with anger. The fat officer closed the car door. Then they drove off. And just like that my dad was gone…Read More
I’m taking a break this week from writing about my childhood woes because I want to get current. I know I’m choosing to do so, but hot damn it’s hard to face your past head on in a public platform.Read More
I was lying on my bedroom floor on a Tuesday night, talking or rather listening to my new boyfriend, Riley on the phone. It was Fall of 1998, so yes, it was a real phone with a telephone plug and a spiraled wire that always got tangled without even touching it. The chord wasn’t long enough to reach my bed, so I had most of my calls on the blue/greyish carpet that hadn’t experienced a vacuum’s touch in years. Riley was a sophomore. I was a freshman. Riley often said the n-word and spoke fondly of David Duke. He was also obsessed with the Insane Clown Posse. ( The ugly, white hip-hop duo who painted their faces in black and white clown make-up and rap offensive things, in case you didn’t know. And if you did know, I won’t tell anyone). The past weekend we took a streetcar, followed by a bus, to Tower Records in the French Quarter. He pushed me to buy ICP’s latest album- The Great Milenko. So, I did. When I got home that day, I started to listen to the CD, but had to press stop 6 seconds in. It was too abrasive and well…the worst music ever. I told Riley I listened to the whole album. “It was really good.” My youth was either me lying or not saying things out loud even when I should have.Read More
I grew up an atheist. My father taught me that all religious people were dumb, especially Catholics. Also, all religious people were awful human beings. They were the ones causing all the wars. He would get in fights with neighbors about abortions and the absurdity of their religion. He repeatedly stated that religion was for suckers. It was for those that were too weak to handle the reality of life. In fact, my dad was quite religious about being an atheist.Read More
Once when I was around 5 years, I sat in the back seat of my dad’s van and picked a giant booger and stuck it on the window. That booger stayed there for a solid 8 to 10 years. I’m not sure if my dad noticed it or not. He probably saw it but didn’t care. My booger held on like a barnacle, until my step mother impounded the car when she left him. It was one of her many triumphant fuck you’s since my dad’s car was in her name due to his shitty credit. At the time, the van was 15 years old and had a jillion miles on it because we drove across country every summer and other holidays. I’d like to think that in my booger's final days at the car junk yard, it had one last fight left as the 4000 hp crusher opened up it’s jaws and demolished its rusty victim, booger and all. RIP Booger.Read More
Growing up, my dad would always tell me… your friends are your worst enemies because they take up all of your time. Practice the violin or read a book instead… be careful who you hang out with because they will bring you down. Also the classic hit…Trust no one. Simple, but to the point. He also planted misogynistic seeds into my head as well. Women aren’t as smart as men. Women aren’t as funny as men. They even change their last names to the man’s because they are less superior. He understood having sex (for his son, not so much for his daughter). So for awhile I never trusted women or even wanted to hang out with them. If I can’t fuck you or get a job from, then why hang out?Read More
I inadvertently felt protected by going home with this stranger. My hand clasped in his, my safety too. We walked less than a minute to his funky place, but cool/funky since it was in the Marigny Section of the French Quarter where all the artists lived. The Bone pulled out a key to unlock his white wooden gate. And then I remembered, I made out with a boy who lived upstairs. We went to high school together.Read More
It was one of my favorite summers. I never got carded at bars, and sometimes I wouldn’t even get charged for my cranberry vodkas. I would demurely wander into a bar and scope out the room. I felt like everyone was waiting for me to show up even though they didn’t know me like…they needed me. Whenever the bartender would say my drink was on the house, I assumed it was because he detected my star quality presence. Or perhaps he took pity on me. How come this teenage girl is all alone? She doesn’t have any friends? What’s wrong with her? So sad. Let her drink for free.Read More
There’s something about sex and sadness that goes together like cheese and crackers. To be more specific, my favorite combination is fucking a complete stranger while grieving for a deep deprivation that has haunted me my entire life. And that’s equivalent to a Trader Joe’s Raisin Rosemary Crisp with goat cheese. Yum!
I can’t remember a time when I liked my body. Even when I was a kid, way before puberty, we would visit my dad’s father who lived in the California mountains every summer. Grandpa would stick an empty water jug between my legs because I was knock-kneed. He thought that would straighten them out. Well, it didn’t. It just made me more self-conscious of my knees. Every time I saw a doctor, my dad would ask if I was overweight. The doctor would always shake his head no. Then puberty hit, and my body didn’t grow like how it was suppose to. I didn’t have cleavage like the girls on 90210 or the same size thighs as I saw on Dawson’s Creek. My stomach was round and Buffy’s was flat. No one looked like me.
I just saw Three Identical Strangers, and it got me thinking. Like a deep, sad sort of thinking. You know, the type of thinking that encompasses your whole body, where time freezes, or at least the concept of it vanishes as you think about your total life existence. Suddenly a burst of images, old feelings, a peculiar childhood memory flashes. You are reminded that you were once in a completely different body, in a completely different background, with a completely different sensibility. Yet the same soul, your soul, this soul has been there the entire time. It hits you in a way that it has never done before… what “they” say is right. You are a spiritual being living a human experience. You’ve heard this phrase before, and you’ve liked the idea of it, but now the clarity of it all, knocks you down to your soulful core. This epiphany, as if it has its own beating body, floats over you as you make eye contact with strangers walking down the street. You don’t smile. That would cheapen this experience. You simply see them. Your eyes search out theirs. You observe that they are spiritual beings engulfed in aloofness and fear. You realize that nothing really matters in this life so you might as well follow your desires because your life is led by your desires anyway. Listen to them. Nothing is too small or too big. Go out and seize the day. Stop beating yourself up. No one knows what they are doing. Why do you give people so much power over you? They are just tiny, confused creatures themselves that have popped up in your path. Some are good. Some are not so good. Focus on the good ones. They’re more important anyway. Seize this life. You have just as much of a right to live an extraordinary life as anyone else…. Annnnnnnnnd then some jackass honks at another jackass, and you impulsively roll your eyes and grind your teeth out of pure disgust for people’s road rage. And just like that, that feeling is gone and basically forgotten about.
I went to one of the most expensive private schools in the South called Country Day. It was located in Old Metairie, a suburb adjacent to New Orleans where all the rich, white people lived…the ones that voted for David Duke. We also lived in Old Metairie, walking distance from school. Or as I preferred, a 7 minute bike ride.Read More
The origin of the word gaslighting was that some guy farted in a dark room and then shinned the light at another person, declaring that he was the one that farted. The accused person drove himself to insanity because he was led to believe that he couldn’t even tell if he was farting or not. That’s the story, right?
Why do I feel like I'm plus size when I'm only a size 4, sometimes 6? Why do I clock a chubby woman when I see my reflection? How come my self-esteem just plummeted down into a dark hole of compare and despair? Why do I feel like I just got dumped when I wasn’t even in a relationship?