Chai tea, Matisse & Letters

There is one place on my “Must Visit Soon” (soon being, at any point in my life). It is a place that, when I feel stressed, I often close my eyes and think about.  The stark white marble awash in the colors of the stained glass: blue, greens and yellows that, when married in light, produce a purple hue. It licks the marble, dances on your skin and I’ve heard you find yourself at total, utter peace.

This place? Chapelle Matisse.

Seriously. Look:

Image result for matisse chapel france

Isn’t it the most stunning?

At the peak of my anxiety today, I closed my eyes and thought about visiting the South of France.  I thought about the chapel that Matisse built in his mid-seventies. I thought about how, when seated in this stunning chapel, there is an inner quiet. I bet it feels so nice and cool inside, especially on a hot summer’s day.  This is where I go when everything around me feels like it’s one giant dumpster fire of dog shit.

I also think about what this chapel looks like at sunset. The internet helps, see?

Image result for matisse chapel france

If I had to guess, I’d say it’s late afternoon.  Check out Mary holding baby Jesus. So abstract, yet so powerful.  I think about what my shoes would sound like on the floor. Light, airy click clacking of my heels.

There are no worries.

No cares.

The fresh air. The sweet aroma of flowers and earth.


So tonight, I sit here sipping my Chai tea, piping hot.

Looking at photos of the Matisse chapel and dreaming of writing letters by the sea.

Maybe I’m wearing a sundress with giant sunglasses.

Maybe I’m wearing crisp pants with a smart blouse.

Maybe I’m just sipping a pastis, in my bathing suit, without a care in the world.

Je vous verrai bientot mon amour…



Nobody and Thursday

The past few weeks have been difficult for me. It’s an internal thing, peppered with some outside forces. The struggle is real. The sads are deep.  It’s not PMS either. It’s PMS’s punk ass step sister.

The peppered outside forces crept up onto my shoulder this morning and I tried to brush them off. I was met with resistance. Deep breathing helps, but I still feel their weight. I logged on and into my workload for the day. My mind feels empty- but full of heavy, wet, fog.

I opened another tab in my browser and stared at the screen.  I closed my eyes and this poem flashed in my mind:

the laughing heart

your life is your life.
don’t let it be clubbed into dank
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you
know them, take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death
in life,
and the more often you
learn to do it,
the more light there will
your life is your life.
know it while you have
you are marvelous.
the gods wait to delight
-Charles Bukowski, 1993

And with that, I felt the resistance give way, just a bit.



I have become

the thread that hangs

from your sleeve

the blue shirt

that you wore for brunch

the one that brings out the

madness in your eyes

and the ice in your veins

I am

tickling your wrist

a panic

that perhaps it was a spider

crawling higher up your arm

to perch on your collar

and whisper

that I’ve hated you for so


maybe I’ll be the dead

grazing your flesh

to remember

to forget

to know

that the balance of all

that we were

hangs on a thread

that you’ll eventually


and discard

onto the floor-

but what else



Can you dig it?

Last week I was missing Chandler something fierce. I had picked up my phone several times throughout my day to send him a random meme I found about the show Cops, only to stop myself because I knew he wouldn’t respond. Honestly though, maybe I should send the text. I read an article a few months ago about a programmer who created a bot of her friend who had passed away. She used analytics to mimic their entire text conversations and capture the “tone” of her friend, which would determine the responses needed. She built a virtual monument of her friend for when she missed him. I found the entire thing fascinating and sad. I was also jealous.

After a few minutes of sitting at my desk and reading through a solid year of text messages with Chandler, I decided to log onto YouTube and listen to his playlists. I was more than halfway through one them, when a vaguely familiar song came on. I tried not to peek at the artist, as I wanted my damn brain to remember where I’d heard it.

Failing at my own memory game, I clicked on the tab and I noticed the album cover first: a chewed up dog toy.

Or rather, what I always thought looked like a chewed up dog toy.

Here, see for yourself:

Related image

He has this album? This one? How the hell did he even find this? Did I tell him about it?

When I was in high school, I used to write album reviews for a local Nashville ‘zine.



This was some serious shit for me. Writing music reviews for a pseudo-underground newspaper at fourteen? SOLD.

And this album right here is the first one I reviewed.

As soon as I saw the album cover, I closed my eyes, thinking back to the phone call I got from that newspaper. I honestly cannot recall how I even chanced upon this gig, but it’s safe to assume I was at Cafe Coco with my friends one weekend when I saw it. The guy I talked to was excited to have a “young person” write reviews on upcoming bands. Now, this makes me laugh. If I was fourteen, how old were the owners?  I remember how my heart was racing during that conversation and I thought, “This is it! I’m going to make it as an indie writer and eventually work for Rolling Stone! (just so you know, I only did three more album reviews before the magazine went under and with it went my dreams of crushing the souls of shitty bands with my wicked reviews)!

The magazine sent this CD to me in the mail and in return, I would write a 500 word (or less) essay on what I thought. They would pay me $10 and I could keep the music. Believe it or not, this album is really good. It had serious potential at the time. However, it was also released at the peak of grunge. Well, maybe not the peak peak, but at least the running start. This album was released in late 1993. Nirvana had been around and was at an obnoxious level of fame. Alice in Chains had released Dirt, but not Jar of Flies and Tag Team was winning the scene with Whoomp!(There it s). Personally, I was in my industrial metal phase (Skinny Puppy, Ministry, KMFDM to name a few), so this album wasn’t something I kept on rotation in my collection.

And last Friday, there it was.

I instantly looked up the band on YouTube and played the entire album. I logged onto Facebook and discovered they had a few fan pages, but nothing too current. I even thought about writing them to let them know that somewhere in the Metro Nashville area, there is probably a warehouse with leftover newspapers with my review in it.  You know what else is crazy? I wrote that review ON A TYPEWRITER. IN MY BEDROOM. I was so hipster before it was even thought of.

In case you don’t feel like looking them up for yourself, you can have a listen HERE. You should take the time to close your eyes and remember the nineties though.

Life was simple then.

Only a few of us had pagers.

Even fewer of us had the internet.

Well, maybe it wasn’t that simple.

I was a freshman in high school with braces and limited social skills.

Which is probably how I wound up writing shitty music reviews for an underground newspaper in the first place.





This morning I woke up early and headed over to campus. My goal was to take a few pretests in math to get those out of the way, that way I could only freak out over the next three tests I have.

The math testing lab was closed.

The math lab itself was open, however, it was being hogged by a bunch of AP math students and all the tutors. I’m assuming they had a big project or some shit, because it looked pretty serious in there.

I backed away slowly and headed to the coffee shop.

Local guy and I strike up a conversation. He offered to help me with my studies, but I just wanted to watch all the damn math videos and sip my espresso in total sadness.  Within ten minutes, the line to the shop was out the door and the place was roaring with laughter and chit chat.

Here’s a weird fact about me: Loud places make me tired. Seriously, very tired. I’m sure it’s the white noise aspect that does it to me. Yet, if I try to listen to a sound machine at night, it keeps me awake and makes me crazy. Take me to a concert? Sure! I’ll be nodding off within an hour. Want to have dinner at a restaurant on a Saturday night? Great! Just know that I’ll get those glossy, lost in space eye stares once they clear our plates. I even fell asleep while getting a back piece done at a tattoo parlor. The guy couldn’t believe it.


The coffee shop was making me tired, so I packed up my shit and headed home.

I’ve been sitting on the back deck for two hours now, trying to pass my homework so I can take the second half of the homework, but it’s not going well. I just get so lost on the last step.

I don’t want to hate math, but I’ll tell you what, I really do.

Let’s all just hope and pray I can pass these next three tests and be done with this class. If I don’t pass- I lose my grant money, have to repay the class fee back AND TAKE THIS FRIGGIN CLASS AGAIN.

No panic…



What was that?

This afternoon I saw something bizarre.

I remember looking out the window thinking, “That’s messed up. You should write about that later.”

Later is here and I cannot remember what it was that I saw.

Not a damn clue.

Maybe it was a person I saw? Something totally weird. Out of place.

My brain is so scattered right now and I’m aggravated that I can’t recall one simple detail.


I painted my nails black today.

Haven’t done that since like 1993.

For supper I made a Cuban buddah bowl (or as my Uncle says, “So you made a salad?”) I’m trying to reset the way we eat. For years we’ve done the low carb thing, but I never felt satisfied and was hungry an hour later.  Plus, I’ve recently discovered that meat makes me feel queasy.

Don’t get me wrong- I love a medium rare steak. Just lately my stomach is like, “Bitch, no.”

So I went to the almighty Pinterest and started looking up some stuff. The buddah bowls are really filling and I’ve not felt hungry and hour later. With the exception of chicken broth, they’re pretty damn close to all vegetarian/vegan.

I’m still bothered that I can’t remember what I wanted to write about today. Hmph.

Tonight I bought some water color pens and I’m looking forward to trying those out. I also bought some new notecards to start writing letters (HI CAT!) again. I miss having pen pals.  I miss writing in cursive.  There’s a website I used to frequent called Letters of Note. I could spend hours on that site just devouring the letters of the famous and not so famous individuals of the world.  So eloquent and timeless.

I also didn’t make it to Day Four of my writing challenge.

Tonight I also realized there’s a good change I won’t pass my math class.  Time is not on my side- I have three weeks to take 7 tests.  The level of panic I feel in my chest just thinking about it makes me sick. I suppose I could always take it again- when I’m able to dedicate a half day to that class.


Until I remember what it is that I was going to write about, here’s this:

Rolling laughing:

Sounds like

I’ve decided to attempt one of those fancy 30 day writing challenges. If I know myself, I may make it to Day Four. Maybe Five. If I quit, just tell me to quit being an asshole and get back to writing.  Teamwork y’all.

Today’s prompt is:  What are your favorite sounds?

If I had to make a guesstimation, I would say that many people would respond with: “The sound of the ocean!” (Don’t hold me to this. I simply made up facts. Everyone likes fake news, right? Okay, good).

Of course, why not love the sound of the ocean? The ocean brings back memories of the summer. Vacation. Seafood. Family time. Salty skin and beach waved hair. The ocean reminds us that we are not at our desks, suffering a 9-5. The waves keep you in check with their methodic crashing, lulling you to sleep in the most perfect, Earth hug ever.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the ocean and the waves.

It’s just not my favorite sound.

In terms of “sound” I immediately went to “What’s my favorite music?” but I scratched that. Music is awesome, it also teleports you away from whatever dumpster fire you’re dealing with or the happiest of occasions you’re about to experience.

Sound though.

What is my favorite SOUND. 

The dictionary defines sound as:

the sensation produced by stimulation of the organs of hearing by vibrations transmitted through the air or another medium.


the particular auditory effect produced by a given cause

Just so you know, I looked at the definition for a few minutes. I don’t think I blinked either. Has that ever happened to you? Where you feel hypnotized and you’re unable to move or blink, but your mind is still thinking and probably saying, “Dude. Blink. You are alive. BLINK YOUR EYES.”  No? Okay. I’m a weirdo.

I’ve been sitting here thinking. Chewing on my pen. Biting the bottom half of  my lip ever so gently.

Sound. Sound. Sound.

And now I have Simon & Garfunkel stuck in my head, “The sound… of silence.”

With that song popping into my head after a string of random thoughts, I realized what my favorite sound is:

the way winter sounds

There is a particular way winter “sounds,” especially right before it snows. For those of you who are unfamiliar with snow, I promise it’s only pretty from inside the house when your hot chocolate has booze in it. Otherwise, nah. However, right before it snows, if you happen to be outside, the world sounds muffled.

Like when you have cotton in your ears.

The air feels heavy and dense. Cars sound far away. You can just feel the sound of snow. For me, it’s cozy.  It’s also a rare treat, as I live in the South and we rarely see snow. And if you know anything about Snowpocalypse 2014, then you fully understand how the South deals with the “Devil’s dandruff” (hint: not very well).

The sound of winter reminds me of when I was little. We lived in Michigan at the time, on a dead end street. Our house was a tan/yellow brick color and we had chocolate colored shutters and a chocolate colored door. We also had a milkman and a front porch with astroturf on it.

Yet, in the winter, we had one cool thing: an igloo maker.


It was a plastic square with a handle on it. The idea was to make snow squares and build yourself an igloo to live in the front yard.  I never made it longer than an hour or so- but I do remember trying to build one with the neighbor friends.

Our gloves and mittens would be soaked. Our snowsuits wet and shimmery. We’d have those rosy cheeks and runny noses, but damn it, we were going to build an igloo if it killed us. I can specifically remember laying in the front yard on my back, staring up at the falling snow. Doing that made me feel sick to my stomach because of how trippy the snow looked falling from the sky. Even now, I feel kind of queasy remembering it.

The best part of the sound of winter was coming inside and getting a bowl of hot tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich. You’d put your gloves on the heater vent and sit down to eat your lunch and watch cartoons.

The simpler times.

When the weather made a sound that felt like a hug.





We were,

like two fire escape ladders

Always next to one another

Never touching

icebound in winter,

when the city is wrapped in gray.

Broiling in the long summer

when the city radiates in reds.

Never used

No emergencies

No hero’s parade

A penchant for all that is good

Until we are replaced

with new



That may or may not

ever touch

or be heroic

or in love.