the ballad of the lost romantics

Tobacco and Peppermint

He didn’t smoke. But everyone else around him did. It was so easy back then to make conversation. Just standing next to a shivering person in the cold, asking for a light. It didn’t matter much to him. He didn’t smoke and everyone else around him did. He would just keep the conversation going.

He’d say things that I would find absolutely fascinating. Stupid things that I think back upon years later. How easy the lines flowed from his tongue. Captivating a shivering crowd just keeping warm from a storm. How he loved lines like “Tobacco and Peppermint”, how each item went well as a before and after thought.

Things about him made him seem off. He didn’t drive. After having his license revoked from driving recklessly in his hometown, he relied on other people to get him where he needed to be. Things I understood. Everyone drove me around and driving always seemed like an after thought. Stupid things I still remember. Why do I still remember these things?

They could have been twins. The same sentiments, the same sense of humor. They couldn’t have been more alike. His only downfall was a dry sarcastic humor that people believed made him a genuinely likable person. We saw through that. Making jokes and calling him every name under the sun. He was not the sun, but how he acted like he was. I don’t know why I thought of him today. Or why after ten plus years, he seems to creep into my mind. But when my head hurts I think of the last time my head hurt. How weather changes my emotional state and it comes back to him.

I always wanted to say goodbye, but I never had a chance to. I wanted to say so many things but every word came out wrong. Tongue tied with wanting to say the right thing but every word tying together and  coming out wrong. I find myself talking to him in dreams in cities far from my hometown.  In dreams the words flow out easily then they do in my waking day. Some days, it’s easier to see people in dreams then in my waking day.  Instead I left a space for other people to fill with words and stories. I live off the adrenaline of other people’s stories. The words that flow so easily off their tongues. When I am left tongue tied with goodbyes.

Tobacco and Peppermint. How I tend to think of that line often.

I think of that crowded bar and watching bands play. How easy they made it seem. How their emotions came out in song and I still struggled to express myself. How the room was muggy and how none of it mattered. The rain poured down and I see you walk with her. Hand in hand not thinking anyone was watching. Just as you walked through the door your hands break apart. Gone back to reality and gone to different ends of the room.  Why was I so fixated on that moment. Why that memory about everything else. How poetic it seemed to see people walk in from the rain and break apart once they found shelter. For a moment they were each others shelter, until the real world settled in. That night creeps back to my mind once the weather changes. When I think of rainy days and crowded rooms; finding shelter from storms.

How the singer of a band came up to ask for the time, and stood and stared at a button on my coat. Almost waking me from my haze of dream state. We both became silent for a minute. Maybe in that moment we were both in that dream state. Trying to find the words in waking day. Or maybe he was just staring at a button on a coat of girl that reminded him of something else.

You can have it?, I said
Really?, he replied.
Yeah. it’s just a button.

I handed him the button.
While, he stood and watched.

Tobacco and peppermint.
Before and after thoughts.


San Francisco, CA 2003

Here’s to us fools that have no meaning.

“Here’s to us fools that have no meaning
I tip my glass to you
Let’s toast the night away to friends
And forget about tomorrow…”

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2014 started with a haircut.

I really didn’t except much from 2014. I make a mountain of resolutions but never keep them. I make promises to be better but hardly ever follow through. Year after year is just the same chaotic life wrapped up with new promises. 2014 was different. I probably say that about everything, but honestly 2014 was completely different then all the years prior.

2014 was my year of change.

When you’re used to your comfort zone you almost forget what life is outside of it. Working the same job, visiting the same places, doing the same thing. I am all for change but I hardly ever do it. It’s that fear of something going terribly wrong and paying for the consequences. Which is the reason why I stay in jobs I don’t care for, stay friends with people who treat me unfairly, all of which causes me to be miserable. When you’re unhappy, you live unhappily. Everything is negative and finding a silver lining always seems never ending. I was on this sinking ship of life that I wasn’t sure I could continue keeping afloat. It stopped at 2013 and ended with 2014.

It started with a haircut.

When a woman cuts her hair, she’s about to change her life.

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I’ve managed to keep a shield around myself for quite sometime. For a long time my hair had been my armor. Something I hide behind like the layers of my emotions I shielded from everyone.  My hair became my identity to the extent that I had no control over it. I kept my hair long because of the constant praise I was given for it. It became this thing people talked about before they even looked at me. I enjoyed the praise. I loved my hair but something inside of me just wanted something more. Something different. Everything that I hid from wasn’t making my life better and my hair couldn’t shield away everything. There were chips in my armor and I knew eventually something had to change.

On Dec 31, 2013, I sat in a little salon in Mexico with a can of Coke in my hand and told the hairdresser to cut it. I had gone back and forth about whether or not to cut it. The part of me that had grown fond of my shield, my armor that had seen me through every struggle, just couldn’t let go. It took me to get out of my comfort zone and be in a completely different country to just go ahead and do it. If I waited another second, I would have stopped myself. If I had been home, I would have talked myself out of it. But I wasn’t home. I wasn’t with the familiar faces I see every day. I wasn’t around anyone that praised me for my hair. Before I knew it my shield was gone and my new life began.

Looking back at 2014, I let go of a lot of things that were holding me back. I found myself focusing on the things in life that needed changing. Cutting my hair was more than just the start of the cycle of change, it became the domino effect of things I needed to fix to make my life better. I started expressing myself creatively, I started speaking my opinions, more importantly I started to let go of things I didn’t need anymore. I stopped focusing on jobs that made me feel miserable. I stopped focusing on friendships that didn’t last. More importantly, I stopping hiding from my problems. My hair was my armor from the world and after cutting it, it let me be free. I realized how much I missed out on my life, shielding myself with my armor.  The moment I stopped focusing on my surroundings is the moment I finally started focusing on myself. Everything clicked. Money wasn’t going to solve my problems, no one person was ever going to make me happy, and more importantly I needed to love myself to ever feel an ounce of okay.

I would have never had known that sitting in a tiny salon in Mexico, how much my life would change. How much it made me truly appreciate all the great things I have in my life. The love I have from my family. The support and compassion of my friends. More importantly that I am better than my past. My life is a work in progress and every day is a chance to turn everything  around. I can’t continue to dwell on my shortcomings and why I have been handed this short end of the stick. Truth is in the past I wasn’t ready for change. Emotionally I wasn’t capable to handle change at that current moment. Change wasn’t something I could force myself to do, change was something I had to come up with on my own. I needed to feel hurt and this pain in order to grow from it. I had to go through my past in order to solider on through my present. The New Year challenged my old ways of thinking and planted the seeds to change my life around.

Going into 2015, I embrace all the new year has to offer. I embrace the new beginning and fully embrace the change that comes with it. I go into the new year with a full appreciation of life. No longer will my past hold me back. No longer will the stupid insecurities take a hold of me. More importantly at the end of the day, this is my life and no one else is going to live it for me.

Goodbye 2014.

Here’s to us fools that have no meaning.