Cool Shoes

Sometimes all it takes is a pair of shoes to shift everything. In fifth grade, my supremely cool step-mom took me to see Clueless and then proceeded to whirlwind me around Westside Pavilion on a shopping spree to mimic the far out fashion of the film. We're talking plaid skirts and knee high socks, patent leather…

love, enough

[fiction short] An hour before I am supposed to leave, I start crying. I've had that fluttery, controlling, rigidity-soaked fear for two days now, and underneath that there are always two forms of grief - the actual grief, which hurts, and the tender grief about being so hard on myself, that the New Age Buddhists call radical…

Zoloft in High School

somewhere in 2003, a girl   I am seventeen years old, and I am depressed, and I think it's a cliche. I want so much to be good, but I cannot outrun, outdrink, outfuck this fear, and this fear is making me bad. I can barely get out of bed in the morning. Warning: May…

The Great Balance

I'm no Rousseau. I do not believe that man in nature is inherently kind or fundamentally good and that it is simply society that corrupts and creates evil. Have you taken a look around at what nature does? It's not just butterflies and watercolor sunsets. Nature is deadly snake bites and decaying corpses, violent hurricanes and ferocious…

Little Children

How often I feel like a confused child, looking skyward for guidance, desperately wanting to be told, "this is why things are the way that they are. This is what you must do." There is no such explicit guidance, except maybe in a god or higher power, but even from that we are never really…

Dear Parents

Although I have left my job as a teacher, I think about my students and their families regularly. I definitely miss the joy those kids brought to my life. (At the same time, I really really really love how...hmmm, what is this peculiar feeling? Oh! Relaxed! Rested. Yes, I really love how relaxed and rested…

If These Comments Could Talk

Each trimester when grades are due, teachers across the country (or at least across the westside of Los Angeles) wither under the writing of ten to twelve sentence paragraphs that must capture the academic achievement, behavior, effort, growth, and 'areas for future improvement' of their students. Some of us write only fifty, some a grueling hundred,…