Quotes from a long conversation at 3am

Last night, I was supposed to go to bed at 1am. Instead, my friend Elissa and I stayed up in my car talking for the next three hours about everything we could try to fit into a three hour conversation before the sun came up. I learned so much about her and I said more than I’ve probably ever said to anyone. I love conversations like this. Things were good and hard and wonderful and real. Everything was so fucking REAL. Here are some things we discussed.



“Everybody around our age is a commitment-phobe but at the same time loyal as fuck. I mean… I’m loyal at least, I’m like a dog.”

“It fucking pisses me off when people say they don’t call their mom. I mean… call your fucking mother! Because when she dies, all those excuses you had for not calling her like, “oh, but she doesn’t call me” aren’t gonna matter anymore. You’re just gonna be left with some stupid regret, some stupid stupid stupid regret and that’s gonna be your own damn fault.”

Lissa and Me chillin'

Lissa and Me chillin’

“His life shouldn’t have turned out the way it has. People don’t understand all the different variables that make you turn out the way you do. He didn’t kill because he wanted to, he killed because he had to.”

“I don’t think you ever get over someone dying you just learn how to live with it.”

“I wished my whole life that I had a sister. The grass is fucking greener? That shit is stupid, you don’t wish that you grew up alone like I did. There’s nothing worse than growing up by yourself. You open the door and the only thing there to raise you is your TV set. I got so fat and ate so much because food was my only family. You don’t want what I had. I grew up so alone. I was so very lonely.”

“All this drama and I still love my sisters. I love my mom, I love my sisters, I looooove them soooooo much!”

“We’re in our 30’s now. The normal thing to do is to start a family, have a house, do these domestic things right? Well… What if that’s not what I want?

It would be so much simpler if that’s what I wanted, but for now I haven’t figured that out – at least I’m happy.”

“I dream about my mom once a week. Usually I end up saving her from dying over and over again, but sometimes we just talk. Those are the ones that hurt the most, because I get confused sometimes and think that she’s still alive when I wake up, because she’s not. It was just a dream and I have to remind myself where I am.”

E: I don’t know your mom’s name after all this time.

N: It’s Carolyn. I don’t know your dad’s name either.

E: Hunter. Samuel Hunter Eng.

“All those pizzas that came out… I was like… I’m gonna fucking eat the shit out of that pizza.”

“He’s tied to my father’s death. I was with T for the two years that I watched my dad die. I was stressed, angry, manic. What would our relationship have been like if he hadn’t been dying?”

“I knew a guy that was dating a girl with one leg that confessed to me that he likes dating disabled girls because he feels like they’ll never leave him and he likes feeling needed. I bet he’s dating a paraplegic by now.”

Lissa and me!

29 Seconds

29 seconds are all I have left of my mom’s voice.

This recording is one I had saved in my voicemail for no other reason than

2582_505684452944_7524717_n it was “cute” at the time.

She sings Happy Birthday on my 28th year, but she’ll never see my 29th.

I am certain every time I hear this that she is still alive.

Her voice will never become old and high pitched and remind me of apple pies like my Great Aunt Sue who is 91 now.

She won’t sing my children to sleep when they one day come. They will have no Grandma to play with, to make them feel special by baking cakes and taking them to Sunday ice cream (though… that part is for the best because she couldn’t cook a lick).

“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine,” she sang to me every night when I was little because I was her only and so she was mine.

She taught me how to sing, though she thought I had no natural talent as a singer.

The song that we knew was ours and would make us laugh to sing together was this one:

“See no one loves you more than me and no one ever will.”

She was beautiful, talented, and smart. She could have been a professional singer, a model, a doctor, but she got scared because she never thought she was good enough because she was the “darkest” kid in the family.

She was not perfect, but she was my hero, my mentor, my friend, and my mother.

I have 29 seconds of her voice. What I wouldn’t give for another 29 or another 29 years of it if I could.

I write her songs she will never hear.

I will keep writing her songs until I sing no longer, the time when I am no longer above the ground.

I save all voicemails now that I think are important like this from the people I love because I worry that tomorrow I might wake up and never hear their voice again.

Call someone and tell them you love them and maybe they’ll keep it for many years to remember you by.


Packed: The baggage that’s left

Today is my last night sleeping in my old place. It was supposed to be last night but in a fortunate set of events I actually got to push it a day. At this point I’ve got most of my stuff out and all of my bags are packed and damn does it seem like I’ve got a lot of baggage.

I haven’t even left, but I’ve been forced to do a lot of reflection recently as I prepare for everything that’s about to come.

Every day as I pared more stuff out of my life, it seemed like more hidden parts of what I thought I was done dealing with/ struggling with came to light.

What’s in my baggage:

  1. Some rational and irrational fears
  2. Grief
  3. Heartache
  4. Anger
  5. Doubt

I’m not afraid to admit that I cried a few times as I packed things up and threw things out. Here is a short list of some of the “stuff” that made the cut and now gets to sit in my storage space until I decide to come back for it.


1.       Stuffed animals and baby blanket

My mom tried to toss my 3×3 yellow baby blanket with soothing silk edges when I was 12. I found it in the trash. I washed it and hid it under my daybed for four years until I found it there again, relieved it of its incarceration, and told my mom she couldn’t throw it away again because I would keep it for the rest of my life and give it to my child. The status of the blanket now is – tattered beyond repair, but I can’t bear to part with it, I made a promise to myself back then.

No kids as of yet to take the blanket off my hands, plus a tiny being might choke themselves to death on the holes throughout the thing. Best to buy a new one if tiny version of me ever comes along in my future.

Stuffed animals: Lighty-bear, Horse shack, You are my sunshine Lion.  Sometimes they were my only friends as a child.

Lighty-bear, a 20” skinny white bear, on Riri and Raleigh’s Christmas tree at 8 and slept with him in my bed until I left for college. Also, I’m super creative and good at naming things as you can tell.

Horse shack: A tiny gray stuffed horse. Did you ever watch Welcome Back Kotter? Nick at Nite taught me a lot as a kid. This little guy named after Arnold Horshack used to give me advice about the darndest things, like how to avoid certain kids in school.

You are my sunshine Lion: A little windup lion that plays…. You guessed it! You are my sunshine! My mom used to sing this song to me every night as a child, so… that’s going nowhere anytime soon.

2.       A few boxes of books

It’s fucking hard to part with books. Ask anyone that has a lot of books how hard this is and they’ll understand. They’ll tell you stories about where they found some of them, how the pages smell, the first time they read the book and what it meant.  Ask anyone who owns five and they’ll say, “what’s the big deal? They’re just books.” Fuck you, person with five books, you’ll never understand. Just go watch the movie or tv show about the book you could have read and suck it.

Okay… that’s all really harsh, but I really got to the point where I was irritated with people asking me what the big deal with getting rid of books is.

3. Mom’s Crystal:

Glasses, plates, more glasses, cake tray. I have never ever ever used this except for when I was younger. Three boxes of crystal and 4 years later, it’s just gonna go ahead and chill with me until I’ve got a house and one of those shmancy cabinets allocated for crystal.

4. Journals  (Ages 8 – present):

It would be fairly ridiculous if anyone out there asked me why I’m keeping these, but just in case… it’s because when I’m hella hella old and #1. Have nothing to do but read and watch tv and #2. My memories are even worse than they are now (and they’re already pretty bad) then I can look upon the journals with fondness and delight, or more possibly disgust and wtf? Middle school was shitty, so was most of high school, but at least it’ll be a testament to getting through it.

5. Mom’s Jewelry:

so much of it is Gold! Ugh… I look terrible in gold. I will likely not wear much of it, but sometimes when I put it on for just a second, I kind of feel like her. I remember days when I would help her get ready and put the necklaces around her neck. She would smile. She was beautiful. These remind me of everything good.


Tossed (or donated, for the environmentally sensitive):

1. A few boxes of books:

After ranting about keeping books, I did get rid of some because my life just can’t haul the amount that I have. It was time to step away from some, especially the ones that I would likely never read again, for example, My Brit Lit Compendium as well as my Critical Theory books. I’m sure there are some English majors out there cringing, but come on… I’m never gonna be a prof with my grammar and writing etiquette!

2. Mom’s sewing equipment:

This was a hard call. My mom had a sewing machine and a serger that I’ve been carting around since she passed. Well… I did what I had to do, I called Selena and asked her what the fuck I should do. If anyone doesn’t know Selena, she’s basically my friend and my surrogate mom up in Seattle. She’s the bassist for our band NighTraiN and I knew she would know the answer.

“Donate them,” she said.

That’s what I did.

3.       Mom’s maijong and backgammon sets

I don’t know about you, but… I really like board games and card games. Luckily cards are easily transportable; what aren’t, are these games. They’ve been moving with me for a while and I haven’t played them. I realized that I could think about them, but I couldn’t play them with her again, so I may as well just play them online like the rest of everything I do these days.

4.       Clothing I haven’t worn in centuries

No explanation needed.

Well, I’m not going to go into all that emotional baggage that goes with this. That’ll have to be a later blog because that shit is a little deeper than anyone needs read on a lovely Thursday.