Image 13 Nov

How to cheer someone up.


Right From Wrong.

11 Nov

“This is wrong.” I thought I had purged my mind of my mother’s voice, yet her strident tones still echoed through my brain, muffled but not silenced. At 14 a fuse had been ignited, my mind tented like the Petersons’ house last spring, but the chemical I used was 14 years of commands coupled with scattered Christian infomercial perspective.

Brush your teeth, clean your room, go to bed, and other orders ingrained in my head during my childhood had ceased to resound through my skull, yet one phrase remained, preserved.

“This is wrong.”

Wrong means bad. Wrong means red X’s scattered across your test like caustic confetti. Wrong means the hellfires of damnation, which I stopped believing in (along with God and heaven), but which still have the power to frighten me, like the chainsaw-wielding villain I saw on TV when I was six, who I knew wasn’t real, but was really cackling manically before me every time I shut my eyes.

“This is wrong.”


Wrong is the look of pain and confusion in the eyes of the boy who slipped a note through my window at five in the morning because he wanted me to know he was thinking about me, who sat through 10 showings of Harry Potter the day after my grandmother died because even though neither of us liked the movie, for one moment Maggie Smith’s mouth tips up to one side just like Gram’s did and I knew I wouldn’t be able to stop grieving until I could watch that with a smile instead of a sob.

Pain and confusion cover his face. Pain facing rejection, confusion as he feels my body tense, my hands shift restlessly, everything moving with want, yet held back by something he cannot hear. How can a mere whisper contain me? Reins to yank back my body, a bit to prevent explanation to the troubled eyes before me, yet no blinders to spare me the sight of the darkness clouding his face.

“This is wrong.”

A gradual change, imperceptible to the unperceptive, a change in lilt, in tone, in meaning.

A silenced tongue is wrong, not the feelings it might expound if freed.

A bound body is wrong, not the movements it may make unshackled.

Cloaking an atheist in the robes of a sister is wrong.

Hurting someone who loves you is wrong.

The words have not changed; my conscience is preserved, the influence destroyed.

This is right.


11 Nov

A thin stream of light has poked through my curtains, its straight path cutting across my face. I sit up groggily, glancing at my clock. 6:43. Six plus four plus three.Thirteen. It’s going to be a long day.

I stumble into the bathroom, locking the door behind me. My little brothers have yet to learn the fine art of knocking. I jiggle the handle, opening the lock,and then lock it again. I do that a few more times, just to be sure. I pick up my toothbrush and carefully apply toothpaste. One, two, three drops. Three is a good number. Three is safe. The third drop slides off the bristles and lands in the sink. Sighing, I rinse the toothbrush in hot water and start over. One, two, three.

I’m late to school again. A brother touched my glass of orange juice, the side of his fist rubbing against it as he reached for a napkin. My mother begged me with her sad brown eyes to ignore it. I didn’t look at her as I poured the full glass into the sink.

I spin the lock on my locker one, two, three times before opening. Carefully, I arrange my books in height order, facing the same way. My jacket drapes over my algebra textbook. I readjust it, only to find it rubbing corners with Shakespeare. The bell rings and everyone around me rushes to class. Move to follow, then stop, as if tethered by a leash. Resigned, I turn back to my jacket.

Math is first period. The teacher gives me disapproving look as I slink into my seat, ten minutes late. He hands me a test, making it clear that I will not receive any extra time. I study the first problem: 2x + 3 = 25. I know the answer without even needing to consult my calculator. X = 11. My hand hovers over the paper, my pencil shaking. Eleven. Eleven is cold. Eleven is dangerous. I write down 12. My heart stops pounding. Twelve can be divided by three, 12 is safe.

We have a new student teacher in English. She’s beautiful, with soft brown skin and piercing blue eyes. Her hair is short and curly, pushed back with a headband, the sort of thing that makes most people look babyish. On her, it looks funky and professional at the same time. She writes her name in loopy cursive on the board.Miss Johnson. I close my eyes and imagine myself as she must be,carefree and confident, all her problems solved by the right pair of shoes and a double mocha grande. I wish I could leap out of my life and parachute gracefully into hers. I’d be fine landing anywhere other than where I am.

At midnight, my mom comes into my room. I am squinting at my homework rubbed raw with eraser marks. She begs me to turn off the lights and go to sleep but the letters won’t let me.The bottoms of seven R’s dip beneath the soft blue line, and none of the T’s seem to be crossed in the center. Reaching in my drawer for a new eraser, I get back to work.

The next day I hurry to get to English early, securing a seat in the front row center. I breathe a sigh of relief that Miss Johnson is still there. Good things usually tend to slip through my fingers. I knock three times on my desk. I see that my mind has not done much to fabricate the woman I spent most of last night thinking about. Smiling, she starts writing notes on the blackboard. I try to keep up, but the O’s keep bumping into the P’s, so I put my pencil down and content myself with watching her talk, attempting to commit everything to memory.

Somewhere in the middle of the lesson, Miss Johnson is done writing notes. She places the chalk on the tray, carefully aligning it with the other pieces.Largest to smallest. She reaches into her bag and pulls out a wipe,furiously scrubbing chalk from the creases of her large hands. Although no on else notices, my shock blazes in strobe lights flashing above my desk. Her blue eyes see me staring. They also see my pencils, lined up perfectly. Largest to smallest. They see the way my hands are rubbed raw, like hers. At the end of class she pulls me aside.

“I’m here when you’re ready,” she says.I rush away without saying a word. Maybe she knows. I knock three times on the door frame. Maybe not.

I am supposed to be babysitting,“supposed” being the operative word. Everything was going fine until a brother threw up. He looked so pale and helpless as he sat there crying. I am his big sister. He needs me to take care of him. Haven’t left the shower in an hour and a half.

My mom doesn’t yell at me. She comes home and surveys the situation,which includes brothers sleeping in their clothes in front of the TV,and a mess fermenting in the kitchen. I am still in the shower. When I finally emerge, she just looks at me with those sad, tired brown eyes. I shake my head, and she leaves.

Now I am in English, hiding in the back row. Miss Johnson doesn’t have sad brown eyes. Hers are a strong blue. An understanding blue? I stare at my desk, afraid to find out.

The math teacher called today. My mother doesn’t understand how I can be failing math. I used to be the star student. I tell her it’s a difficult topic. She tells me I’m a difficult student. A dam inside of me breaks and suddenly I am crying,telling her that she’s the worst mother ever. I rant about her leaving me with the brothers. About how she won’t buy me a cellphone. About how I can’t have my own TV and am forced to wait for“Power Rangers” to end to watch my shows. I don’t mention why she never asks me why I’m like this. It doesn’t even cross my mind to ask her why she hasn’t done anything to help.

I have been thinking a lot about what I said to my mom. I’ve been thinking even more about what I didn’t say. I didn’t sleep all night. My room has never been cleaner. I must have napped for a while in the morning, though, because I open my eyes and it’s 6:21. Six plus two plus one. Nine. There is no stronger number. I know what I have to do.

Today in English I can hardly stop fidgeting. I rap my desk in intervals of three, but even the divine number seems to have lost some of its power. The bell rings and I walkover to Miss Johnson, then abruptly change direction and start toward the door. No, I can no longer deny I need help. Gathering all my courage, I walk to her. She senses what I am about to do and puts down her book. For a moment I look into her eyes. There’s no mistaking that there is anything there besides understanding. They welcome me.It’s usually hard for me to find things to say, but she has already given me my parachute. She smiles. I find myself smiling back.

“I’m ready,” I say.

The forever broken heart.

23 Jul

You know.

It’s the saddest thing.

But I just might cry.

The simplest thing,

can make me break.

Because it’s happened so many times before.

I have reluctance,

every time,

and still my weak heart wants you,

no matter how many times you have tried to destroy me.


I hope,

That I can hurt you as much as you hurt me.

If only I could hurt you.

I’ll never know.

8 Jul

There’s a hole in your shirt,
And I can’t help but wish
That you’d stretch it out,
And let me see inside you.

Your exterior siding is
Rather deceiving,
And your windows are always curtained.
Knock. Knock.
Nobody ever seems to be home.

Even if I had X-ray vision
and Mind-Reading glasses,
I still wouldn’t be able to find you in that mass of muscle,
Behind that mask of mystery.
I’d proceed to fumble around inside you,
Hitting the metalic linings,
Making the buzzer sound,
Just like Operation.

But maybe it’s the fact that
There’s nothing to be figured out
Or everything to be discovered,
That makes me want to know.

That microscopic hole on your shoulder
Is the portal to my dreams,
The key to my curiosity,
But you’ll never let me inside,
Because that’s your favorite shirt.

3:47 am.

27 Jun

i want to go to a place
where you’re not.
every time i close my
eyes, you’re printed on my
eyelids and maybe that’s
why they’re so heavy at this
late hour.
every time i go to sleep,
you’re there and you’re pulling
at the fabrics of time
and space and ripping
i want to go to a place
where the galaxies
knit together and catch
me when i fall;
where i know that something
will be there to catch me;
where everything is silent
because unlike there,
the silence between us
has become a noose and i’m

Dating Is For Humans.

11 Apr

Slouching in the sticky seat tattered from countless moviegoers, I am aware of my incredible luck. Trying to preserve every second of this moment, I almost bounce out of my seat as I scan the theater, then check to make sure I have not disturbed her. I attempt to still my arms from any telling tremors as I reach for my soda. The screen darkens, bringing ads that announce their products with a cacophony of lights and sounds that dazzle my eyes and set my ears ringing, yet, oblivious to these sirens’ calls, my thoughts turn inward. With pounding heart and sweating palms, my arm reaches over to grab some popcorn, as if the familiarity of the gesture will make things normal and set me at ease. Yet, as if to mock my wishes, my stomach lurches, warning me that anything going down right now will most likely come right back up.

It was sixth period. I sat in my seat, morosely sketching bad copies of my rejections on the geometry warm-up. My dismal humor took great delight in parading images of failure past my mind’s eye. I relived all the humiliating episodes as I put them to paper: asking Amy to the homecoming dance and Tami to a football game; inviting Becky, and failing that, Ruth, to the movies; offering to take Pam out shopping; nearly pleading for Madeleine to hang out at the mall with me. With that last effort, my grand total of depressing attempts had reached half a dozen. Why was dating impossible for me? Couples were ubiquitous. The unattached were all popular, attractive, or in-between significant others. They did not seem to mind being single. I did.

Was I out of place? Did a cosmic mishap deliver me to the wrong planet? I had always listened to classical while everyone around me jammed to rap or hard rock. I read romance novels and science fiction to the consternation of my friends and classmates. Not one to socialize in class, I felt no connection with the rest of the world. Was there none? The infamous “they” always said that “everyone dates in time,” but I did not believe it. Dating was for humans, for me there was nothing but a cold and lonely orbit around them. I knew better than to expect a happy ending to my story even though I wanted to believe I was special. What did “they” know, anyway?

The bell rang, signaling all good little boys and girls to take their seats and feign attention. As if to mock that facade of perfection, I heard the expected sound of Sarah’s hurried footsteps. She rushed in and collapsed into her seat under the scowl of our math teacher. Unrepentant, her eyes glowed with secrets. I wondered what drove her to mock our teacher. Looking over at me, she noticed my drooping head, how it seemed to hang under the weight of heavy thoughts. My face, though hidden from her sight by a supporting hand, reflected my misery.

For the first few minutes of class, I could feel Sarah watching me. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw her begin to fidget, swinging her head between the teacher and the with the regularity of a metronome. Knowing Sarah as I did, that could mean only one thing. I had become her new subject, to be poked and prodded until I relinquished all secrets, only to be discarded in the wake of another’s misery. Although little time had passed, she could take no more (or perhaps her neck had begun to hurt) and when the teacher turned to write something on the board, she hissed, “Hey.” I did not respond, “Hey, Tom! What happened? What’s wrong?”

I did not answer. Foolishly, I hoped that if I postponed the inevitable, maybe some lucky happenstance would save me from her clutches. But I was cornered. She began a lightning-quick barrage of questions about all manner of things that I would rather not discuss. They pounded against my ears like hail whenever the teacher turned her head. As the period ended, my ears were smarting and red; with an explosive sigh, I caved in and told her of my failure to date a girl. While we walked to our seventh-period class, I reflected sourly on my uncertain citizenship.

As much as I hoped telling her my troubled thoughts would end her interest and allow me to go back to the comforting obscurity of corner seats and back hallways, she was not content to leave me to my misery. She dogged my footsteps and transformed my welcoming corners to trapping corners in an attempt to fix the problem, fix me. She suggested friends of hers, friends of mine, even strangers to us both.

It became our daily ritual. From the moment she rushed in late to sixth period to that liberating bell at the end of the day, I would meet each suggestion with furious vigor and ironclad determination. However, she had been a general in this kind of war far longer than I and was willing to let me squander my energies. She was right. As my passion waned and my arguments began to lose their force, I saw a wicked triumph in her eyes. Every name wore at my defenses. Years in the making, they were toppled in a few short weeks.

Then came a day when I was slow to offer a denial. Sarah had mentioned Amber, a girl who nearly carried me through biology last year, and to whom I was returning the favor in English this year. She was smarter than most, had a dry, ironic wit, and was attractive in a quiet sort of way. My traitorous mind staged a slideshow: Amber and me laughing at the teacher, Amber and me discussing the merits of different authors, Amber and me sharing a fancy for comedies … was I actually considering it? Why had I never before? Sarah jumped at the opportunity, her eyes manipulating the wheels in my mind, rolling them off the beaten path and into new and unsettling territory. Just as she was about to finish me off, Mrs. Morgan passed out our weekly math quiz. She gave me a look that said, “This isn’t over,” and I knew she was right. While all the good little boys and girls were taking their quizzes, my mind was working to reconcile myself with the idea of asking out Amber. If I failed, it might ruin our friendship, which I treasured, as it was one of the few in my life.

My teacher would be confused upon seeing my quiz, for I had answered every question with the word Amber.

Just as I expected, the moment the quiz was over, Sarah looked over at me. Gathering herself, she went straight for the kill.

“I could ask her for you. You know, if you’re too wussy!”

“No!” I shouted, the words tearing themselves from my throat. I had not expected her to be so direct. “No! I’ll do it. Just leave me alone!” I was amazed at my vehemence.


We sheepishly glanced over to Mrs. Morgan, and, after a quick apology, pretended to pay attention. For the rest of class, I tried to work up my courage. I now had a goal; all I needed was a plan and the will to see it through.

Later that day, as if a guardian angel were looking out for me, I happened to run into Amber on the way to the bus. Taking a deep breath and puffing out my chest, I told myself to say something before my fears could sabotage my resolve. After a brief hello and some shouted small talk as we dodged in and out of human traffic, my mind went blank. In the packed main hall, only a few feet from the exit, my brain coughed and I asked if she wanted to see the new Star Trek movie. She was somewhat confused and asked with a laugh if I meant Star Wars. Completely mortified, wanting to run and wishing I had brought my hat so I could disappear into the crowd, I nodded mutely and waited, my eyes riveted to her face. I searched for some hint of the reaction I so desperately desired. I was holding my breath as we pushed through the double doors to the front of the school and my fate.

“Yeah, that’d be nice. How about we go Friday after school? Just find the times and we’ll talk tomorrow. Bye now!” Amber called over her shoulder as she rushed to the bus.

Now halfway through the movie, I have controlled my tremors, and my breathing is returning to a more relaxed rhythm. The movie is interesting, now that I am actually watching it. I look around for what feels like the first time, and everything is in the proper place. People are focused on the movie, no one is staring at me; in fact, it is as if I blend right in. I loosen my clenched fists and settle somewhat more comfortably into my seat, one of hundreds, identical on the surface but each with its own story written in melted chocolate and soda stains. Everything has gone right so far, but I try to contain a feeling of overconfidence. My mouth opens to say something but I look over to her and the words just fade away.

Her face gleams with reflected light from the movie, and she seems different from when she was just my friend. It is as if an aura surrounds her, making her features seem more real, sharper. I shut my eyes and I can still see her; that aura gently tugs me, willing me closer. She laughs, and I hear bells ringing, awakening the butterflies in my stomach. I want to reach my arm over her shoulder but the thought terrifies me. What would Sarah think of me now? Getting so close, yet too wussy to make it definite. I reach my arm over her shoulder, tentatively, and breathe a sigh of relief when she does not pull away.


11 Apr
  Mind- a machination of mold.
Eyes- jaded spheres dripping tears.
Mouth- a curve of pointless words. …
Blood- red as revival.
Neck- a twig to snap.
Arms- limp rags for nothing.
Heart- thump, thump.
Stomach- churn.
Hips- swish.
Legs- run.
Bones- snap.
Self- human.
  I am an inventory of imperfections. Yet your kind words linger in my ears, and dangle before me like you do. 
  Serene, clear, and ever blue.  
  A perfect slew  
  of flaws,  
  and, well,  

Mellow Out.

3 Apr

A Starbucks café mocha is made with espresso, mocha sauce, and steamed milk. On average I can fit in one game of Robot Unicorn Attack while the drink is being prepared. Clearly I’m a New Yorker if I anticipate the same quality and rapid service from Mellow Out, a coffee shop by the side of a dirt road in Marshall, Virginia. After giving my order, I managed to play seven rounds before a chipped mug was thrown in front of me. So I put away my iPhone. It seemed anachronic somehow; people were still reading the paper in this town.

Barbecue sauce clung to the table. I dragged the mug toward me. The coffee reminded me of the brown slush by the side of the streets in the city. It had once been snow. I did not pay three bucks for some high school dropout to mix lukewarm coffee with Swiss Miss. Brown lumps of feces circled the surface. I’d rather eat a napkin.

I pushed the slush away and slumped back in my folding chair. Maybe she won’t show up. I felt like I’d been caught online shopping with my father’s credit card – again. Nerves and guilt, discomfort and sweat. My black clothes were absorbing enough sun to drown a polar bear. Mellow Out needed to invest in some blinds, or at least a ceiling fan, because according to the weather app on my clever little cell, it was 98 degrees outside. I did not pay three hundred bucks for a plane ticket to purgatory. Neither did Tommy. I wondered if anyone would notice I’d spiked my orange juice this morning.

A red-faced man in probably a once-white tee shirt was waving at me. No, actually at a kid who just walked in. The man stood up, baring his belly, and pulled the scrawny little kid into a fatal embrace. He kissed the top of the kid’s head and patted his back. They sat and laughed. The kid had a pack of Orbit gum and kept shoving pieces into his mouth until the pack was empty. Chain chewer. Just like me. I wondered how the red-faced man put up with it – the spittle that dripped down the kid’s cheek as he talked and the rhythmic smacking. It put me into a trance. I’d have never dared to chew like that in front of my parents.

A rusty bell rang as the door was flung open. My eyes were fixated on the ground in anticipation. Black patent leather Christian Louboutins marched closer and closer, their deafening stomps in sync with the blood pulsing in my head. Then they stopped. Maybe she won’t see me if I don’t look at her. Maybe it’s not even her. Her identity was unfortunately confirmed once the overwhelming stench of Coco Mademoiselle and Frederic Fekkai hair products wafted past my nostrils. I swallowed hard, but took nothing from my desiccated mouth.

“Oh don’t be rude, Kiki,” she said.

You sound like someone cracked an egg on your voice box. I glanced up. Stupid. Her thin red lips were smirking down at me and those demon eyes that have been forever burned into my brain brought me back to my grade school days.

“Sorry, Mom. I guess I’m not myself today.”

She sat in the chair across from me. That flimsy table was my only protection. I didn’t miss that feeling. Growing up terrified of a parent shapes you into a self-conscious adult who is equally terrified of serious romantic entanglements. I heard that on Oprah once. Or maybe I made it up.

“Well, isn’t this place vile?” She crinkled her nose at the poverty-stricken rednecks surrounding us. Judgment. That’s what she did best. She was cruel and harsh and her punishments were satanic. Her criticism was incessant and routine, but that didn’t make it hurt any less. Being victim to her words stung like a slapped cheek, but they didn’t just ­injure the surface; no, they sliced you deep and left you with an ugly scar to remind you of exactly how far from perfect you were.

“We aren’t in Kansas anymore,” I mumbled.

“Kiki, that’s a cliché. You know how much I hate clichés.”

You hate everything.

“Don’t call me that. I’m not six years old anymore.”

“Clearly. And you sure do like to show it.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Don’t you think that dress is a ­little inappropriate for the occasion?” She pursed her lips and narrowed her eyes. I glanced down. I liked this dress.

“Tommy gave me this.”

I saw pain in her eyes before they returned to their playful and evil norm. “I doubt he intended for you wear it today. Whatever. How’s that friend of yours? Dick, right?”

“It’s Rick. We broke up.”

“Your fault, no doubt.”

“It was mutual.”

She scoffed.

I hated her. She may have deemed herself a queen, but I hardly consider an unemployed, gold-digging virago to be imperial in the slightest. The thought of her brings back all the frustration, and the tears, and the pile of diaries under my bed that told her tyrannical tale. She had made my childhood a sob story. Sitting there in front of her, even after years of freedom, I felt no different than I had at 14. So stupid. I was so stupid to think I could finally gain the upper hand. It was the same – my palms damp, my body trembling, the dire need to smash her head in, and the disappointment in myself knowing that I never would.

“How’s work been going, Kiki? Sorry. Kirsten. I don’t know a thing about your life – you never bother to call. You’d never guess we live in the same city,” she said. She was twisting her wedding ring around her middle finger. She had worn it there ever since my father moved out.

I cleared my throat and grabbed a paper napkin to tear to pieces. “Work’s been fine. My life’s been fine. I’m fine. I quit smoking.”

“I paid for you to receive an Ivy League education, yet you’re still making coffee runs. Some child of mine.”

“Dad paid.”

She ignored my comment and said, “Tommy, now he didn’t disappoint me. Everything I could have ever wanted from a child – that’s what he was. Mind you, I wish he’d never moved out here. Oh well, he wasn’t defiant, not like you were.”

“You wish it had been me, don’t you?” She looked at me, confused. “You wish our lives could have been reversed – that I had died and he had lived.”

Then there was silence. I’d never heard it from her in all my life. Before, I had been deaf to every sound but her voice. Now I soaked it all in. People walking, people talking, utensils tapping plates, the radio softly playing a Keith Urban song – everything I had missed because she had stood in my way.

“If that would bring him back, then yes, I do wish it had been you,” she choked on her last words and excused herself, saying she’d see me at the church. I watched, speechless, as she straightened her black pencil skirt and left, a little more human than the way she came.

I eyed my slush, wishing it had been me too.

I didn’t pay since that hovel didn’t deserve my hard-earned cash. Instead, I left the slush in the middle of the table with fragments of a paper napkin encompassing the mug. There was a convenience store across the street. It reminded me of the ’80s, an era I only knew through the works of John Hughes. I bought a pack of Pall Malls. The greasy haired woman at the counter IDed me and I was glad to feel young again, even if only for a moment.

I made it to the church without lighting any. Maybe hypnotherapy worked. I didn’t go inside. I sat on the hood of my rented Honda and opened the Pall Malls. I took them out and grinded them against the scorching hot car, one by one. Then I let myself cook on the hood. I pretended to be a fat slab of Oscar Mayer’s turkey bacon, like my mother made when I was tiny, back when I loved her.

I thought about chewing gum and bacon and the now sizzling backs of my thighs. I thought about my breakup with Rick and the lamp he took. I’d bought that lamp in Santa Fe. I thought about Tommy, and the drunk bastard who ran him over, and my newly discovered Atheism. I thought about Tommy’s daughter, Clara, who’ll be fatherless on her fifth birthday, and his wife, Kayla, who will never heal. My empty studio loft was looking far less lonesome. Then I thought about my mother. I wondered if she had been happy after I left home, if she did mindless activities like knitting and painting watercolors. And if she ever loved me.

When I got home I made bacon and ate it on the bathroom floor, sitting cross-legged in yoga pants and tee shirt. I counted the ducks on the shower curtain. There were 43. They were all smiling at me.

People were keeping going and the world went at its fast pace. Blogs, Twitters, and Facebook statuses were being updated. New episodes of vampire-themed TV shows were still being released. Millions were going to work, getting married, popping out suckers – all this on the day of my baby brother’s funeral. I don’t know. I guess I expected the world to stand still, for the snow to turn to slush, and for me to have a moment to finally exhale.

The Whole Valentines Day Thing.

2 Apr

Valentines Day, every year it comes, sneaking past the last of the winter cold, and placing its burden on every person’s head. Oh, we call it the “Season Of Love” but a name like “Season Of The Broken Heart” may seem more fitting to the bulk of us. We all try to make sure we have a sweet heart in mind to share the 14th of February with and struggle to buy those last few chocolates with a card to express our love and our empty pockets from the holidays of last year. A good half of us end up alone anyways watching the few couples who got together flaunt their so called love.

The phenomenon of bittersweet romance has been transformed over the generations of its celebration. What started as an honoring day for two priests with the name Valentine, Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni, turned into a candy devouring, love injected holiday that overdoses on the colors pink and red. This holiday is not for lovers but shoppers. Even knowing this fact when you don’t get a card or a piece of candy you feel worse then when you ate the leftovers still in your fridge from thanksgiving. I remember struggling to buy my love a gift in an over crowded store spending a pretty penny on chocolates, movies, and a blank card so I could write all my own feelings. Staying up all night to find the right words and handing the presents over to him only to get a dull stare as his new girlfriend kissed his cheek. I’m not the only one who thinks of these things as can be seen by friends who plan to spend the holiday together. How often does that go as planned? Most of the times all your other friends find a sweetheart and you’re stuck in the love infested mall alone.

And I can’t forget to mention the couples who do spend the day infused with love; these may also be seen as the girl and boy yelling at each other before they break up or the guy who doesn’t know which one of his, uhm, plethora of girlfriends to spend the day with.

This article goes to all the broken hearts and loners on Valentines Day. I just wanted to tell you all that you should not give up on love but don’t base it on a holiday. Take Valentines Day for yourself, do what ever you love to do the best and chow down on some of those yummy chocolates, maybe call a friend who shares your Valentine Day blues. Forget the flowers, the cherub babies, and the over used heart symbols and remember how to really share love through friendship and an honest smile.