Keep Me in Your Heart for a While

Keep Me in Your Heart for a While

When my brother picked me up from the airport, she was already doing worse. In fact, every hour, every moment, she continued to deteriorate. Every breath brought her closer to her last and the machines labored to keep her alive.

I’d spent the last 24 hours crying and on the verge of crying. I tried to breathe the way she was breathing. The day before, my brother, Evan, called and said it was like taking your deepest breath and then trying to take a breath on top of it. I tried. It hurt. I hurt. I booked the earliest flight I could find from San Jose to Austin.

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For Jan, Before She Goes

For Jan, Before She Goes

When I was a kid my favorite person in the world was my Aunt Jan. I idolized her the way children who come from big families idolize adults who pay them the least bit of attention. Jan didn’t have children so she had plenty of attention to spare and without experience to know better, she spoiled me rotten.

Jan lived a full life and now that life has finally caught up with her and I don’t want to say goodbye. Not yet. Not before I let her know that she is and always will be the twinkling lights in every mall at Christmastime and when those malls are gone, I’ll continue to see her in every strand of lights I see.

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The Couch You Hate Will Change Your Life

The Couch You Hate Will Change Your Life

Just because he loves the couch, doesn’t mean you have to love the couch, let alone like it. Even though moving day is here, you’re still holding out — maybe you will drop the couch and it will break under its own awful weight. Perhaps, when cleaning your duplex one last time, you’ll spill bleach all over its cushions. Oops.

Standing in the moving truck, he pulls from the top while you hold the bottom, cursing quietly to yourself. He smiles once you’ve gotten the couch inside the truck. You try to remember the first time you sat on the couch. How you didn’t notice it at all as you pretended to compliment things in his living room, shyly inching closer to him, negotiating what comes next.

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This Ain’t No Eat, Pray, Love

This Ain’t No Eat, Pray, Love

1. Bali is located a hopelessly short eight degrees from the equator. For fair skinned Westerners like myself there is no recourse; there aren’t enough hours in the day to reapply sunscreen. After two days of riding on the back of a motorbike, I got a particularly sexy sunburn that looked like red thigh high stockings.

2. As you stroll down the streets of Kuta, the island’s answer to Bourbon Street, children will chase you down flashing fists full of leather bracelets begging you to buy just one. You will hope that this isn’t the beginning of a career marked by other milestones like prostitution, drug dealing or human trafficking. There is nothing impish about a child beggar, even the chubby ones, especially the ones still latched to their mother’s breast.

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Commencing Adulthood

Commencing Adulthood

It’s finally here. Graduation is at hand. Here it comes, the first day of the rest of your life. It’s the season that we invite alumni-of-note and celebrities-of-a-certain-age to deliver commencement addresses to the hungover soon-to-be graduates to commemorate the last milestone before transitioning from late adolescence into full-blown adulthood because nothing’s going to kick start the future like advice from a really rich person who just received an honorary degree in contemporary letters and literature.

Despite my cynicism, I love this season.

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Notes on Leaving Home

Notes on Leaving Home

I have left home and, so I have left Texas.

The boxes I packed in Austin have now been unpacked in our new home almost 1,700 miles away in downtown San Jose, California. I’ve spent three weeks holding my breath so as to hold back everything that I’d spent protecting the months, days, and minutes before we locked the moving truck and drove ourselves West.

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An Open Letter to Marc Maron

An Open Letter to Marc Maron

I first started listening to the WTF Podcast during late summer of 2013. If I let my mind wander back to that place, I find myself living in a shitty apartment without windows I couldn’t afford on my part-time funnel cake food trailer operator salary.

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You're the One I'm Thinking Of

You're the One I'm Thinking Of

In the sixth grade a boy named Alex with a lesbian bootlegger’s haircut handed me a store-bought Valentine on which he wrote, “I’m only giving you this Valentine because we have to give them to everyone.” No envelope included, not stuck together with a shiny sticker, not even a single piece of cinnamon flavored candy attached. He strolled away in his JNCOs and navy blue basketball jersey not caring that he’d hurt my feelings. Later that year someone kicked him in the balls during hand bell choir practice and he passed out on the carpet in front of the altar inside the church. Afterward the girls were lectured on the dangers of kicking boys in the balls. I didn’t feel sorry for him at all. Rumor has he got a girl pregnant during his freshman year in high school.

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Joan Didion at the Orgy

Joan Didion at the Orgy

Tonight, in a living room in the Hollywood Hills, tucked between the Santa Monica Mountains, in a ranch style home on Mount Lee, a current of erotic energy moves past the Hollywood sign, carrying with it a buzz not unlike that of the Tesla Coil at the Griffith Observatory. I watch as an unclothed tangle of men’s and women’s bodies arc like the coil’s sparks in front of me on imported Moroccan rugs.

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Honeymoon in Bali

Honeymoon in Bali

A few years ago Bill Murray crashed a random bachelor party and gave the following advice to the husband-to-be and his merry band of bachelors. On choosing “the one” he offered, “If you have someone that you think is the one…take that person and buy a plane ticket for the two of you to travel all around the world, and go to places that are hard to go to and hard to get out of. And if when you land at JFK and you’re still in love with that person, get married at the airport.”

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