A Retrospect Pt. 2

I once said that you gave me strength. That every time I spoke out, it was in your voice. So when I left you in the past, I became lost. And this lost-ness is how I defined myself. As I gained weight, I lost the urge to dress like you. To seek out if you were still lingering somewhere inside me. I was a teenager the last time I wore a dress. It belonged to Jessica and she had left it behind in my room. And when I wore it, the comfort I felt shocked me. Scared me. I saw you smirking in the mirror. I took it off and that was that. I buried you in a chiffonier-shaped coffin.  


I begin a weight loss program. My meals are timed. 10 minutes for eating. A 5 minute break. And if I’m still hungry, another 10 minutes. I slow down my chewing. I allow myself to savor the food. I begin exercising. I begin tracking my weight. It’s a slow process, but the weight begins to dip ever so slightly. It’s not a restriction of what I eat, but how much I eat. And how I eat. In the end, I will learn how to stop myself from stress eating. I will drink more water. While I miss the laughter of children, and reading to them on a weekly basis, I am happier in my new job and all the perks that come with it. 


I begin to schedule walk breaks in my daily tasks at work. And I hold myself to them. Each morning at ten and in the afternoon at three. Those times are the trend, it seems. I find other library staff as I walk around the campus. And I encounter faces that become familiar as the weeks go by. My mood is elevated. I’m no longer stress eating or eating due to boredom. My weight is on a decline, slowly but surely. V and I hang out on most weekends. A sense of normality has returned to this COVID world. 

And I see her face almost every day now.


Our book club prep meetings begin. We’re working closely with another department, hoping that this will build a bridge within the campus community. This may help build our collection while also giving back to the community. The man has kind eyes. His voice brings peace to my heart. An old feeling begins to resurface. And I feel young again. A schoolboy crush that’s all.

I meet S for the first time. Our camaraderie begins. 

On my walks, I see her again. And the motion picture of my imagination starts churning.

During an LGBTQ+ Training, I begin to question something I haven’t thought about in years. 


We host our first Get Lit! Book Club meeting. The students each get a turn to discuss a book they have read pertaining to the theme – LGBTQIA+ History. As I speak about the book I selected – Lord of the Butterflies by Andrea Gibson – I begin to question why this book mattered to me. Even as I say, “These are the poems that I so desperately needed growing up”—Why do I feel that way?

For the month, I watch a movie day. And I plan to do the same for November. 

My weightloss continues. I’m exercising daily, taking walk breaks at work and walking longer distances afterward. I begin to track my water and daily activity in my bullet journal. I also look for new templates to use in the journal. 

An idea forms in my head. And I see her again. 


I don’t like the new bullet journal calendar template. I decide on reverting to the old one for December. I host my first program at the university. I put a pause on listening to audiobooks and return to the world of podcasts. I start The Heart from the beginning, relistening to an episode entitled “Movies in Your Head.” I remember missed connections on Craigslist. 

Our bathroom is renovated. Mom gets the shower she’s always wanted. 

My seasonal depression returns, but it’s easily pushed aside. My mind is focusing on everything that I can do. I’m reading more. Listening to more stories. Writing again. 

And each time I see her as I walk, a little narrative begins to play in my head. 


I meet a cat on my walks. Ash gray, and big. I secretly name him San Marcos because he reminds me of the blankets. He is the second cat that I encountered, but the first I approached. He allows me to pet him, which I do every chance I get. 

I have lost 20lbs since July, though I am now having an issue of keeping it down. I make sure to mindfully eat, but I may have to make some alterations to my diet. Cut out the fast food. Try to focus on home cooked meals, instead. 

I like the new bullet journal lay out that I have chosen. Some things will be carried over into 2022. I begin to track my mood, sleep, stress, and water intake on a graph. I keep track of the minutes I spend walking and my steps. I begin to prepare my first bullet journal volume for 2022. 

The missed connection post is slowly written, but it’s not what I intended it to be. This post needs to stand apart from my previous posts. 

As I pet San Marcos, he catches them in his sights and walks over to them. This is the first time that I speak to her. 

I begin to question my pronouns. My gender. 


I smile whenever I see you looking for me on Pinterest. When you window shop outfits I’d wear. As you read book after book trying to understand those little feelings you keep hidden so well inside you. Aren’t you a little too old to be this lost? We’ll find each other again. One day. And when I embrace you, know that I will not let go so easily this time.

Photo by Tim Mossholder from Pexels

“boxed in and labeled”

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

New Introduction

I made a conscious decision scheduling this post for the tail-end of Pride Month. For starters, today is Pride Day. It just seemed appropriate for the post. I chose today because it feels that everyone makes the bigger deal at the beginning of June. That’s when we see the most corporate marketing for Pride. That’s when we see influencers beating their chests about how much an ally they are. As the month winds down, people who aren’t a part of the community just stop caring. There’s no financial gain to it.

With that said, this is not the original intro to this post. The original intro consisted of a story of a friend coming out to me. While I kept that friend’s name secret, I nonetheless began to have second thoughts. I only have so many friends and it wouldn’t take too much a detective to figure out who I was talking about. While I know this friend’s family is fully aware, I don’t know where our mutual friends stand.

In short, while this story does contain me as a character, it is not my story to tell. Most of the post remains the same. The ending has been altered to because it tied back to the introduction.

Continue reading ““boxed in and labeled””
Poetry Break

Poetry Break

Because it’s April and because April is National Poetry Month and because public libraries (mine included) are closing all around the country because of the pandemic, I’m going to try something different this month. A poem a day. Nothing by me.*

Because Rick Astley took up yesterday’s post, I will post two today – one now, one later on. Please enjoy.

Your name is not a song you will sing under your breath.
Your pronouns haven’t even been invented yet.

You’re going to shave your head
and drive through Texas.

You’re going kill your own god
so you can fall in love for the first time.

They’re going to tell you
your heartbeat is a preexisting condition.

from Lord of the Butterflies by Andrea Gibson

*O.k. maybe something by me.

Music · Writing & Writers

Gender Bending Confusion

Remember when they had us all fooled?

You know that old writer’s saying – something very few creative writing professors will actually recommend to their students – that whole write what you know business? I prefer to write what I want to know. Otherwise, what’s the purpose of writing at all? With The Poet of Boroughs, Texas – which may or may not remain the title of story I’m working on – I’m writing a subject I’ve never ventured before – gender identity.

While, yes, I’ve written about homosexual characters – mostly men – before, I’ve always implied they were rather cisgender, or gender normative. Just because they liked sleeping with men, didn’t mean they wanted to be women. And while I’ve been known to put on a skirt in the past, doesn’t mean I know what’s going on in the minds of people who were born into the wrong gender role.

Transgenders fascinate me in ways other than creepy fetishism. It was only a matter of time before I opted to write about transgenderism. It’s not an activist tale I’m transpiring; it’s more of a love story gone awry. It’s not just gender roles I’m focusing on, it’s the sexuality business that has tainted media culture for a while now. Because my narrators usually the play the role of the what-I-know in the story, the Poet doesn’t subscribe to sexuality – much like the god (me) who breathed life into him. This unlabeled sexual group was – inevitably – labeled pomosexual. His social group is made up of the openly homosexual, Michael Quinn (shorted to simply Mike in this version) and bisexual Fiona (who went through several names in the other versions). There’s straight guy and musician, Steven Michaels (whose younger brother, Peter, is a character bit I started up in high school). Possible lesbian ex-girlfriend, Jennifer de la Cruz also plays a role in this version of the story – the girl was named something else in other versions, but I combined her with the name of an only mentioned character of later drafts). [Note: I based the original Jenn on an Internet acquaintance who acted as the main character’s moral compass. She was only mentioned at the beginning of another version as a salutation – “Dear Jenn.” That version of the story was a letter to the  unknown character, and I felt her importance was insignificant. This version, now named Jennifer, doesn’t serve the same purpose, and, obviously, not based off of anyone.] Dick Masters serves a role as the Female-to-Male transgender, while Kelly Winters (formerly Richards) serves as the Male-to-Female transgender.

Like with most large projects, I’ve opted to make a playlist to listen to – meditate to, really – when I get stuck. This one kept most of the same songs that original versions contained. Because I’m a sucker for sharing playlists, I’m gonna go ahead and list it:

  1. Post Blue – Placebo
  2. In The Shadow of the Valley of Death – Marilyn Manson
  3. Malchik gay (original Russian version)  – t.A.T.u.
  4. Lollirot – Jack Off Jill
  5. Lenore’s Song – Yunyu
  6. Waste – Staind
  7. Dear Joan – Tabitha’s Secret
  8. Sleep Well, My Angel – We Are the Fallen
  9. I’m a Monster – Ours
  10. Wasted (Acoustic) – Stabbing Westward
  11. Anthems For a Seventeen Year Old Girl – Broken Social Scene
  12. Capital G (Switch Remix) – Nine Inch Nails
  13. Odno I To Zhe (Long Repeat Mix) – t.A.T.u. & Rammstein
  14. Ur a WMN Now – Otep
  15. Glimmer – The Album Leaf
  16. Epiphany – Staind

Because I’m a big fan of music, I normally don’t just play the playlist and write. These last few nights I’ve listened to just about anything. Marilyn Manson’s Mechanical Animals, VNV Nation’s Future Perfekt, Nine Inch Nails’ Ghosts I-IV, as well as, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross‘s The Social Network soundtrack, most things t.A.T.u. (both American and Russian albums), the Radiohead 01/10 playlist and whatever my phone just happens to hold.

This story’s heavily infused with gender issues and music – but music always plays a vital role in my writing. As does pop culture, though the references in this story are limited and whittled down to just literature references. I’ll see what direction it’ll take me, and what I take from it in the end. And as I’ve said in the last post, I might just share a piece with you.