The Bells of Amsterdam

I was 25 years old and studying abroad in Siena, Italy, when the friend who became my travel companion suggested that we go to Amsterdam for our Spring Break.  The main objective for visiting this place of waterways and frigid cold was, of course, to get stoned.  Having been a pretty avid pothead for the... Continue Reading →


That was easy

It was a balmy summer night in Long Beach, California, the ocean mist cooling the mellow breezes and allowing for jeans.  I was two months new to town, just barely settled into my 1920’s Spanish courtyard apartment, but already had made scores of friends in the intoxicating Gay Corridor along Broadway.  Living on 1st Street,... Continue Reading →

Letters Against Depression

Hi everyone--Once a week, I write a letter to a person battling depression and other mental illness through an organization called Letters Against Depression.  My hope is to help whoever is reading my letter feel that recovery and happiness is possible, something I had a hard time believing at my lowest points.  I thought I'd... Continue Reading →

To Heaven in a Handbasket

It was the winter of 2013, but not the kind of winter you’re thinking of.  This was a Phoenix, Arizona winter, with fresh temperatures in the low 80s at midday, and cloudless blue skies.  It was a little colder and darker when this story begins, however, because it starts at 4:00 am. After my last... Continue Reading →

For mom: A Story about Sandwiches

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings, my parents will have already been up before us making us breakfast and our lunch for the day.  These weren’t ordinary lunches.  Although I don’t remember the particular order, we had these four types of sandwiches on our rotation, always freshly prepared: Peanut Butter and Jelly, Lettuce-Cheese-and-Tomato, Egg Salad,... Continue Reading →

Jumping into rainforests

I woke up early that morning, my pajamas sticking to me in the humid guest room at my Titi’s house.  My little brother was already up, his white curls tight and shiny with a sheen of sweat around his hairline.  We both had new, red dots all over our arms and legs, evidence that the... Continue Reading →

My Mother is a Bird

My mother is a bird, unlimited by rough terrains, crossing over choppy waters with ease, unchained to the island where our ancestors nested: Puerto Rico. My mother at 3 years old, on the day of her baptism at the Catholic Church. She first knew she could fly at seven years old.  One day, while staring... Continue Reading →

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