So what are YOU doing during quarantine?

It’s kind of weird how it’s being treated like a…I don’t know. Summer vacation?

I shouldn’t complain, I suppose.

I really shouldn’t. Unlike a lot of the world, I still have a job.

I am an editor. I edit books, and because I do so via the internet, I’m still working. Luckily, people are using this time to write, so I am still getting clients.

I am also a creative writing tutor, and my students are still having me teach them (virtually), which is great for both of us. One of my students’ parents told me that after we resumed lessons after the first two uncertain weeks, her son was in a much calmer mood. I must admit, getting back to normalcy in that one small regard helped calm my anxieties a bit, too.

I am also, less fortunately, supposed to be dong my student teaching through grad school. They have accepted my first “observation” as a filmed, flipped classroom-type video. Dunno how the rest is going to go.

Besides work and grad school, I, too, am writing. I’ve started a new project for the first time in about a year. It feels great to be writing again. I love writing on paper, especially this fancy old-timey parchment. I bought this leather notebook at a Renaissance Faire last year and I love writing on it. It has two dragons embossed on the cover. It’s awesome. It feels awesome to write in, and I love my new story. It’s going so well.

I’m also getting into yoga and meditation. I like that I get to sit out on my porch in the just-warm-enough April sun. I like that I get to take my dogs on walks, even if it is in the cemetery (because the woods are full of people, now) and even if I do have to wear a mask. I like playing Animal Crossing with my boyfriend and I like doing virtual calls with friends who live far away. I am reading a ton. I have plans to make floral tea mixes and candles. I am submitting my writing to magazines and submitting my finished novel to publishers and agents. I am working on my posture. I am working on my baking. I am sewing dolls.

I am trying to fill my time with all these things and yet the day is so long.

I am realizing how much of my time I used to fill with things I didn’t enjoy.

I am realizing that, despite how much I ask for it, I don’t need a lot of alone time.

I am realizing that I miss my friends, my family. I miss my boyfriend’s family. I miss restaurants and coffee shops, and libraries, and my students. I miss going to the movies. I miss food shopping. I miss life.

On top of it, I’ve also realized that I’m not as healthy, mentally, as I would like.

I’ve taken freedom and busyness for granted.

When all this is over, I am going to go back to therapy. I am going to spend more time outside with friends, and I am going to hug them and compliment them more. I am going to live, and appreciate life.

I am going to smile more.

Smile at strangers, more.


owen and jim are absorbed in whatever

jim’s working for like,

an insurance company?

and he’s getting annoyed at his boss asking him to order his groceries for him.


jim has the body of a man when he wants it.

when he’s playing dungeons and dragons

you believe he would really use a sword to kill.

when he’s just being himself

you doubt whether he’d know which end to hold.

for such a big dude

with such a well-kept beard

he’s rather immature

when he can afford to be.


i couldn’t tell jim this stuff. he wouldn’t get it.

he’d be too awkward

and then run off.

catch me if i fall

i feel as if i am a woman of polar opposites. i am fiercely strong, yet unendingly weak. i am a woman at peace,a woman at war. i am a person of introversion, a person of strength an inner depth…but i am so dependent.

i need others. i need someone to catch me when i fall. i depend so heavily on family and friends. i can’t feel alone. i go crazy if i feel alone.

obviously, i enjoy solitude. i like being physically alone. i mean mentally. i need to know i have a safety net, a web of friends. i need people who support me by kicking me with their heels to get me into a run. i need people who comfort me and life my hands in theirs and patter me with kisses and hold me like a cracked ornament.

i need people, i do. truly. does that make me a bad introvert? 🙂

i couldn’t survive alone. i dump my problems on those around me. without my friends, without this blog, without you, my problems would not get dumped, and they would sit in my head like a steaming pile of garbage, stinking and rotting and driving me out with their stench.

i am selfish.

i try to support. i try to hold others up, but my arms aren’t as strong as i want them to be, as they need them to be. i feel useless to others.

My joints are stiff with baseless anxiety.

Friends and heels

Last night I saw a friend I haven’t seen in nearly two years. It’s always strange when that happens…do you act like nothing has changed, or like you’re meeting them again for the first time?

I wouldn’t have been so nervous, I suppose, if he and I weren’t so close before. I know I’ve changed in the past two years…has he? Will we be too different to be friends?

When he came over, all my worries went away. God, he was so him. So normal. I caught myself watching his mannerisms throughout the night, the way he laughed. He had the same glasses. So normal, but so strange to see him again.

Nonetheless, distance was persistent in being the forefront of the evening. While he was talking about the college he goes to, he said, “And my girlfriend–I have a girlfriend named Sarah….”

How do you count friends? I would still count him as my friend, though we hadn’t spoken in so long and were so separate I didn’t know he had a girlfriend, never mind her name. He, who I used to know everything about.

How do you count friends, in a world that’s always changing, in a world that allows you to be virtually inseparable but physically worlds away?

I can only imagine what it will be like when we’re older and even further from our roots. When I see someone I used to be close with decades ago, will it be just as easy and strange? I’m terrible at recognizing faces and remembering names…then again, I can always look people up on Facebook if I forget them.

Social media is weird. Growing up is weird. Friendships are weird.

I wore heels to work today and I feel old.

A to N: Nutella

Bonnie ran her fingers through her fully straightened hair. Flatter, longer, darker. It made her face seem bigger. Fatter…she pinched her cheeks, then the skin around her ribs, then the ring of fat pushed up by her tight jeans. Freshman fifteen? Not…already, right?

She got so close to the mirror her nose touched it, and changed her focus to her face. Skin so light you could see through it, so starchy white her teeth looked yellow. Blackheads across her nose and chin, a sizable red spot above her right eye. The way her mouth drooped, the closeness of her eyes, the bushiness of her eyebrows. She prodded and stretched her skin, her hair. She coated her face in moisturizer. She sat, exhausted and disgusted.

She could have at least fixed her eyebrows, if she had remembered to pack tweezers.

Sam wouldn’t be home for awhile yet, probably. Bonnie glanced at the door, then tip toed to Sam’s side of the room with a dancer’s lightness and began poking around in Sam’s make up. There wasn’t a lot, it was mostly for her hair, which was short, jet black, and startlingly obedient compared to Bonnie’s stubborn locks. Tweezers, tweezers…Sam had to have tweezers, her eyebrows were always perfect.

The door handle clicked, and Bonnie leapt across the room to her side, searching frantically for something to do. She picked up the lotion and squirted some in her hand.

“Hey,” said Sam, in her uniform for the museum where she had been working since halfway through high school. It was a much longer commute now, but as an art history major it seemed silly to quit. She looked exhausted but beautiful all the same, much like how she always looked.

Bonnie said hi, watching Sam with stiff curiosity. They hadn’t had time to bond much since move in about two weeks ago, with Sam working all the time and Bonnie trying to keep herself occupied, but now here they were together, both awake at a reasonable hour, though it was dark.

Sam fell onto the bed face down and groaned into the pillow.

“You’ll never believe what just happened,” Sam said, reaching into the food drawer and pulling out a jar of Nutella and a spoon. “Seriously, I barely believe it happened.”

Bonnie finished putting on the second layer of moisturizer and hopped into her bed, opposite Sam. Sam was very much the opposite of Bonnie in appearance: very dark skin, spotless complexion, short hair, an hourglass figure that made Bonnie’s thickening boyish body seem even uglier.

“I had to pick up bagpipes for the museum—which is crazy enough,” Sam began, eating the Nutella like ice cream. “But whatever. So I’m on my way, I miss the bus, I’m pissed. And this old guy sits next to me, and just starts like, swear to God, playing my bagpipes!”

Bonnie’s face flushed. There’s no way that happened…had Sam seen her dancing? Did the RA from the floor below tell Sam that Bonnie was being disruptive? Bonnie laughed with Sam, decided to play it by ear. Maybe, just maybe, this ridiculous and coincidental story happened to be true.

“Hey, mind if I borrow your tweezers?” Bonnie asked after listening to Sam’s story.

“Oh, sure.” Sam dug around in the makeup and hair products and produced a black set of tweezers. “You can just use them if you want, you don’t have to ask about tweezers. Tweezers should be a fundamental right, in my opinion.”

“Sure,” Bonnie said. “Thanks.”

She rose the tweezers to the top of her eyebrow.

“Whoa! Hey,” Sam said, bounding across the room. “Mind if I help you out?”

“Not at all.”

Sam taught Bonnie plucking techniques, how to only pluck from the bottom unless in a dire emergency, how to find the arch angle by laying a pencil across your nose, how to tell where the borw should begin and end based on the size of one’s eyes.

“There you go!” Sam said as Bonnie finished her right side. Half pretty, Bonnie thought. Amazing what a difference those little hairs could make. “Hey, I like your hair like this. It must have taken awhile, no?”

“Yeah, quite awhile.” Bonnie sighed. “I wish I had nice, natural hair like you do.”

“You do,” Sam said, then quickly, “Hey, um, can I talk to you about something?”


“I kinda go by ‘they,’” Sam said, mixing around the Nutella with the spoon. “Not ‘her.’ If like, that’s okay I’d rather you call me by ‘they.’”

“’They,’” Bonnie repeated. “Sure, Sam, no problem. Why didn’t you tell me earlier?”

Sam shrugged, then reached into their bag and pulled out a jar of Nutella. “Wanna be a classic college kid with me?”

Bonnie smiled, but her hand went to her side, grabbing at her skin.

“Oh, shut up, Skinny,” Sam said, smiling. They jumped up and grabbed a spoon out of their top drawer, tossing it at Bonnie. “Come on, let’s bond.” Sam patted their bed, and Bonnie sat beside them.

Bonnie scooped the Nutella into her mouth. Delicious, sugary, fattening…oh well. She needed a friend more than a pretty body. They talked for hours, until the Nutella jar was empty and their bellies were full. They talked and talked, and soon Bonnie began to loosen up.

“I tell you what,” Sam said. “You ought to start dancing again if you miss it so much.”

“Well. If I agree to dance again, will you agree to take that drawing class next semester?”

“That’s barely fair! That’s a lot of money for a drawing class.”

“But you want to, right?”

Sam twisted their mouth up, scratched their chin. “You got it, Bon. I’ll draw, you dance.”

“Deal.” They clicked their spoons together.

Human Culture Shock

Today my friend from high school is coming to stay the night, since he’s on spring break and I don’t have class on Fridays. I’m a little nervous about it. Sure, we’re friends, but we’re usually in a group. Also, I haven’t seen him since December. Are we the kind of friends than can click back in place after so long, without anyone else? I guess we’re about to find out.

Human culture shock is a term I use to describe the feeling of seeing someone again for the first time in a long time. If you’re super familiar with their “culture” as a person, like with your parent or sibling, no shock happens, but the less familiar you are with them, coupled with how long you’ve spent apart, the more shock you get. When I run into someone I haven’t seen in awhile who falls under the “shockable” threshold, I usually find myself in a constant state of awe. I like hearing their voice again, seeing their little mannerisms, remembering where their freckles are and how they walk and laugh. But it’s always a bit nerve wracking, too.

The small talk factor is always terrible, naturally. But also, I can’t help but feel like I’m being sized up. Who won? Since we saw each other last, who is doing better? Who’s gotten hotter, or less attractive? Who got their hair cut, who’s in a relationship? Who still dresses like they’re in middle school? We’re both judging each other to a point, whether consciously or not.

Woes of an introvert…

I don’t know how much of this is going to happen with my friend tonight. Probably not much. It’s the awkwardness I’m more afraid of. Going from never seeing him for three months to seeing him for nearly 24 hours straight might be a lot to handle.

I also feel this way about family gatherings. Who knows how to act around people you don’t know that well, even if you once knew them perfectly?

I think I just have to relax. After all, we used to be such good friends, and all culture shock, human or otherwise, fades away eventually. We’re adaptable creatures, and nothing stays awkward for too long.

An Introvert in Paris

My roommate from last year went on a semester-long study abroad program in Europe. I sent her off yesterday morning and won’t see her until December. It’s a hard hit to take, but I’m happy for her.

Introverts aren’t antisocial, we are just…socially selective, for lack of a better phrase. We, or at least I, have a few very close friends, and not many others outside that circle. I love close relationships and burn out with small talk, so this situation works for me.

That said, my roommate from last year was my best friend in my college life, and now she’s gone for a whole semester. I knew that when she signed up last year, but it still isn’t any easier. She’s an introvert too, but her girlfriend is going as well as a few other friends of hers. Even still, the question remains…how do introverts make friends?

The short answer: I don’t know. Really, I don’t. I try to think back on how I got so close with my best friends from home, and with my boyfriend, and their origin stories are as foggy as trying to remember my birth. It’s as if they were there forever, and even though I can pinpoint the grade in which we became friends I can’t pinpoint the occasion.

I suppose it’s like how anyone makes friends. Talking to people…you see where the problem lies. One cannot overstep small talk, it’s the first step in being friends. You can either suck it up and do it, or be alone in your room forever–which, I know, doesn’t sound too bad, until you actually have to do that.

I wish there were a place where you could go and have deep conversations with people right off the bat, and then just start hanging out, getting ice cream, watching films. Like a dating site for introverts looking for friends. Or a coffee shop where instead of keeping to yourself you were encouraged to discuss the meaning of the art they hung up along the walls.

This post is kind of disjointed, but its disjointedness represents my feelings on the subject of how an introvert makes friends. There’s just no easy solution.

Either way, my roommate is probably just arriving, unpacking, breathing in the air and kissing her girlfriend under the Eiffel Tower. I hope she doesn’t spend too much of the semester alone in her room–although, I suppose she’s probably hoping the same thing for me.