watching your parent’s age is like watching yourself die. I can’t imagine losing them, yet, I’ve killed them in my head a long time ago. My mother taught me about death as a kid, she sat me down one day and looked me in the eye, real serious and said…

“I’m not gonna be around forever you know, I’m gonna die one day and you’ll continue living. It won’t be the end of the world, just the end of me.”
Then one day, when I was sixteen, I came home stoned and hungry hoping I’d have the kitchen to myself, and I saw this man. He was dressed in a black suit, real professional-like this man, and he stopped yapping when he saw me. My mother told me to sit down.
“We’re buying our plots.” she said nonchalantly.
“We’re gonna go pick out our coffins right now, we were hoping you’d be home in time.”
I put on my coat and there we were, in a straight line waiting to be picked up by the black-suited-man in his van. I wanted a cigarette so bad then.
We didn’t drive far.
I hadn’t realized that we lived so close to coffin vendors. I had passed them right by.

It was December of 1996 I believe. It was cold for California and the time change made it dark by 6 p.m.
There weren’t many coffins to choose from but I managed to pick one that was fairly decent and was lined with what looked like purple cloth.
My parents got matching ones.
The “transaction” was easy and we were dropped off 45 minutes later.


so the probability of dying is inevitable. It could happen in our sleep, our cars, in our homes, at work.
You forget where you’re at when you work on the 9th floor.
I have this wonderful view, the kind most people take for granted after a while. It becomes a sort of painting instead of an actual landscape. I catch myself pretending that if some sort of fire took place, I’d be ok.
So it’s lunch time again, and I’m munching on some crackers and I’m contemplating whether or not I want to finish the wine I carefully disguised as Italian soda when the alarm rings.
“This is a fire alarm, please evacuate the building!” it yells at me.
I continue to munch on the crackers and feel my legs weaken, picturing myself trotting down nine flights of stairs.
But I get up, take my backpack and my crackers and guide myself to the staircase. I see a hoard of people, unrecognizable in the sea of panic trying to fit in one dysfunctional line down the stairs.
I feel like a sheep, a literal sheep led down by instinct.
First floor, crunch crunch, second floor, crunch crunch, third floor, tap tap tap go their high-heeled shoes forcing their tightly wrapped feet to trample trample trample, fourth floor, crunch, crunch, crunch…
First floor, I’m surprisingly alright, not bad, not bad at all…these sturdy legs did me good, I was built to last through fires and all.
I’m less hungry after all them crackers and the anticipation of death.
Death by fire, how romantic.
So the thought comes up in the sides of my mouth now, the inevitable need for love during times of despair, during times of 9th floor mishaps and knowing that we are fucked, fucked beyond these rounding 9 flights of stairs. Fucked beyond our files and our recordings, we all just need to get fucked, nice hard thrusts of re-assurance. Rolling thunderous sequenced bursts of light rays, saying silently and brightly….I love you, at least at this moment, I love you.
I see a crowd gather, the rebel crowd that ignored the drill and continued eating, continued laughing and pretending it’s all pretend.
They start to ask strange questions, and I assure them that questions aren’t strange, they’re necessary.
“Who would you fuck if the building was really burning?” I ask almost nonchalantly.
I mean, these are real concerns of mine.
They all laugh, as if such a thing is blasphemous.
I know they’ve thought of it, I know they know exactly who’d they fuck. I’d fuck myself first and get myself ready, you know, nice and moist before I head off to the second person on my list.
They all admit a half-hearted subtlety that smells like a bunch of shit lies.
I know what they’re thinking but I just don’t care.
I’d fuck them all if they’d let me, for the sake of being that infamous giver, for the sake of knowing I’d be ash come morning.


lunch comes whenever my hunger grinds on my guts
it varies in time, depending on my menses
sometimes I’m ravenous, sometimes I’m a drought
I’m velcroed to my desk chair, strapped in like a submissive
my master is my paycheck, he determines my quality of life
he keeps my fridge full or empty
he pays for my therapist and my multivitamins
and the occasional extravagant liquid lunch

I walk into the break room, again, in full armor
I’m ready for the shrapnel, the benign conversations, the commentary, the gossip and the awkward “hello’s”

If I’m in a particularly good mood, I’ll wear make-up, comb my hair even
but most days I look windswept and interesting
and smell like cigarettes and sweet bread
I warm up my leftovers and watch the microwave spin on its axis
I picture folding myself up and positioning myself inside
melting into my rice
a bubbling marinara
hot noodles to slurp
but the beeping brings me back
my food is ready
I slip out without much pomp, but with inevitable circumstance

I eat inside an empty office, because it’s the only way I’ll get any peace, any quiet
I leave the lights off so that no one will assume I’m in there
I put on my headphones and watch a mukbang
another lonely person eating in the privacy of an empty room, talking at me, to me, to hundreds, thousands…

I cry into my soup, I hate this place
but I have an apartment to pay, and food to buy, and a car to pay

I am just another victim of this 9-5
so on my days off, I indulge
I take in as much of myself as I can, replenish my drained battery with music, art and masturbation

One must love oneself
that shit can’t be left to someone else
they don’t know your buttons, or your ghosts

so I burn candles in hopes that Santa Muerta and Elegua will grant my wishes
I smoke cigars to clean my lungs
and drink spirits to soothe mine

lunch is over and I unplug
time to float on the brink of insanity
I return to my electric chair and strap in
20 e-mails
most of them are “reply all” responses to a meme
it’s how we get through our days, how we cope…






it is a perpetual fatigue that sleeps with me, wakes up with me
i’m not even sure how i get to work sometimes
all of a sudden, i’m at my desk and there’s a hot cup of coffee in my hands
it’s shit coffee, but because of its shittiness, it does the trick

turning on the computer feels like putting on heavy armor, a battlefield on the keyboard

as I type this, i am tired
as I type this, I am tired

the blue screen prompts me to remember my password
it’s changed a million times since I’ve been here
been here 5 years
and all I got was a German knife set and a $100 VISA gift card
a plaque that they probably bought in bulk and took to the mall to be embossed

I’m special, but you’d never know if you watched me at work for 8 hours
i have however perfected the copy/paste method down to an art form
you should see my fingers glide, like a fire ant Queen laying her eggs

what is my password?

Usually I keep it the same, change only the sequence of the numbers
now, since I’m in love, it is his name and my name and the date we met wrapped together like we wrap our limbs

I’m allowed in.

my computer is ancient, because somebody like me doesn’t deserve anything new, just something reconstructed

something rebuilt and rebuilt, mimicking me, mirroring me

I sympathize.

I am tired as I type this. I am exhausted as I sit here.

I don’t wake up until 10 a.m.

But the traffic that passes by me in the form of humans reminds me that I’ve been here for hours

I hear someone growl like a bear from deep in the hallway, and the crazy lady that works feet away from me is dancing again


I am miserable
I am a monkey
I am a machine being prompted to “grow up” so that the company can grow

My desk is littered with dead flowers
reminders of my soul
reminders of my withering heart

but in-between there are cheaply printed photographs of my men
the men I love

Travis Bickle
Henry Miller
Marilyn Manson

there are crystals to soothe my throat chakra so that I can communicate succinctly
crystals to keep me calm

paperclips and highlighters

a picture of my father and I at the airport on our first day in the States

little did I know then
that I’d end up here