Another Saturday: Conversation Snippets

“You know, you can over-think things until the cows come home…” a slightly nasally voice said, a hint of frustration bleeding through.

“I’m not Hindu,” I said, with attempted humor.

“What?” snapped the frazzled marketer.

“I said, I’m not Hindu.” The smile slipped slowly off my face.

Saturdays have become a wonderful hideaway representing freedom and adventure. I finally know what to do with myself when I’m not busy working myself into an early grave.

Mostly I spend the morning lazing away beneath covers, luxuriating in the fact that I don’t have to jump up at 0700 to prep for work. Then, when I do get up, I head over to poetry group and tap into my emotions in a productive and apparently well written way.

I wrote poetry every day for the month of April and it was a delightful exercise. In a google group of like-minded overachievers, we wrote almost daily and cranked out the 30 poems.

On the weekends I can breath and sing. I have been singing lately, and it wasn’t until I started again that I realized I had stopped. My weekends are devoid of my week days pressures – no more noise, just quiet and calm.

“So, what’s your name?” the charismatic author grins at me, pouring on the charm that pairs well with his jaunty bow tie.

“Cole,” I reply, the challenge in my eye softened by the smile on my lips.


“C-O-L-E.” I spell glibly.

He peers up at me, then glances at my contradictory work name-tag. “That’s not your name.” he says with a chuckle.

“Cole is my name.” I state calmly and firmly.

Something must have clicked. He turned back to the book he authored, signed my copy with a flourish and handed it back.

“Thanks!” I grin, picking it up to read the inscription.

‘Cole, let’s do this!’ ~ M

While I am pronoun apathetic, my name is always my name. And I hadn’t realized how meaningful it is to have people call you by your rightful name.

Of course, people only hear what they want to hear sometimes.

“Hi guys! This is Cole, we met at poetry group!”

“Hey, how’s it going?” I grin, pouring on the charm as I smile at the five players already seated. “Where do I… do I just grab a chair or…?

“You can sit here,” the gentleman in the middle says, rising from his seat so I can take his place. Too kind.

“Thanks!” I reply, setting down my stuff and stripping off my rain-swept hoodie. Our group of five-plus-me has assembled around 6 mini tables pushed together into one long surface, completely cornering a section of the restaurant with our meet-up. Glancing across the surface at the papers and 2-D pieces, I spot at least 10 sets of dice spilled across the table top.

I have never seen so many dice at a single game: 4 sided dice, 6 sided dice, 12 sided dice, 20 sided dice.

“So…Cole, is that short for Nicole?” another player asks, his whiskers fluttering gently on his upper lip.

“Nope, just Cole.” I glance at him with a smile.

“She’s just Cole,” my friend chimes in emphatically. “It’s not short for anything.”

In the lull, I examine my stat page and dice. “So… what are the rules for this game?”

Have you played a MRPG* before?

I shake my head. “First time.”

And thus I was initiated into one of the funnest games I’ve ever played.

*Feel free to shout out if I wrote the wrong acronym. I’m still a newb, learning this stuff. But I will have you know that my awesome dice rolling skills contributed massively to our successful campaign.

Or so the players told me.

But really, what am I getting at?

Last week, after poetry workshop, one of the attendees pitched going to grab coffee for a bit and hanging out between workshops.

It was six of us – huh, another group of six – who gathered in a jaunty coffee shop down the block, within a shop that seemed a cramped and uneven slice at the end of the enjoined building. Inside, the white walls and soft grain-wood tables gave the bright and cheery vibe, as sunlight streamed from the large picture-window next to the entrance. Quaint pictures of roosters hung on the wall above the cashier, and their coffee and food menus were minimal and hearty in their offerings.

I ordered a mocha for the first time in a while. The caffeine hit reminded me why I usually abstained.

The dialogue was… pleasant I think. I felt I spoke a lot, spent a lot of time inhabiting my extroverted facade that I knew would exhaust me for the rest of the day. I wished to emulate my counterpart at the opposite side of the table, who sat quietly with a small smile on his lips, watching through black-edged glasses, his impossibly smooth and straight hair framing a studious face. Although he played no instruments, he looked like a musician with his thoughtful gaze and the slender elegant fingers a pianist would envy.

I have not yet heard his poems, I hope I will one day.

We all write differently, started at different points of life, and have varying education based on writing. Unlike many in our poetry group, I did not go to school for fine arts or communications or writing. I wonder sometimes whether I could have been even better had I bucked tradition and familial pressure and done the typical foolish stereotypical thing that would have horrified my parents.

Major in art?!! NEVER!

You can write at any time, you don’t have to get a degree in it!

I admire my colleagues, my writing family, who went and did that thing. They are braver than I was, I think.

Sometimes I think about whether I should officially change my name. I wonder if I’m being disrespectful to reject the name given me by my parents. Not that they’d ever call me by my name, even if it were legal.

Is wanting it a good enough reason to push forward with changing everything? Even though my legal name never resonates with me? Even though at work I am constantly called by a co-worker’s name interchangeably even though our names are different by all but the first letter?

Am I just overly sensitive to the fact that I can only be Cole on weekends? Like the cheating spouse who can only meet with his mistress on holiday, is this brief reprieve only forestalling the inevitable disjointedness of my existence?

I know not.

What I do know is that sitting at that table, listening and meeting and getting to know the folks behind their poems, I felt a rare slice of peace.

Siting there was lovely.

Sitting there, I was Cole.


Coffee #27: Question mark? Semicolon; Zer0

( ? ) Question Mark:

I question everything and know nothing. I look in the mirror and see a stranger of unimportance and delusion.

Questions haunt me so much more beyond the simplistic -“what’s that?” or “google it?”- moments. When a definition provided clarity and answers completed the quest.

But words don’t mean anything, and words are just syllables and latin phrases derived and bastardized with blunt force trauma. Like a buffet, we can shop for words to define the undefinable, to label the unmentionable, to describe what is with empty words that mean absolutely nothing.

Is it a competition to collect the labels to define ourselves and others?

Is it asexual or demisexual? Is it heterosexual or homosexual or pansexual? Is it minority or person of color or the alphabet soup of checking twelve boxes on a college application form? Is it gender queer or transgendered or gender neutral?

Does it even matter when you are alone anyway? Does the starving individual worry about such trifles when trapped on a desert island, struggling to survive and maintain hope of rescue? At what point is it good to ask such questions? Is it just selfishness or spoiled indulgence to ponder and wonder instead of being grateful for breath and life and prosperity?

If there were any sense of clarity, perhaps I would ask these questions for the hope of enlightenment, to seek a deeper truth or a hidden meaning to it all. I don’t just want to know, I want to understand and with understanding gain some measure of peace. The rough sea of questions with no answers are an insufferable plague; couldn’t there be a final “aha!” moment to crown the months of struggle and analysis? To close the chapters of confusion with some measure of resolution?

Will I forever be tormented by these questions and uncertainties?

( ; )  Semicolon:

“How could I be sure, that you won’t walk away?
Angel of deception, let me live this way.”

~ How Can I Be Sure by Anomie Belle

Here I stand on the crumbling edges of the excavation
Peering into the depths of another conclusion
-Finally- a gasp from the back of my mind
At last, this morbid phase comes to a close
Just a few more inches, just a few more days
Just another adventure to cure this malaise
Let us finally close this chapter, petty one
Let us finally go our separate ways, lead on
Shutting the lid on this final viewing
We commend your past to the depths
This body isn’t yours to give and burn
But this memory is yours to do with what you will…

Time to pack, time to move, and time to find boxes and store items from each room. What can I live without? Everything…

My contract is ending, this period draws to a close and I am excited for the new opportunities available, the new doors that I can reach out and grasp, firmly, with both hands. I can achieve the goals burning in my soul, I can finally do what I’ve always wanted.

I can finally escape the madness! And what worse madness is there, than to see the insane and assume it a daily norm?

But I digress.

It’s never too late to start a new life. After staring into the mirror wondering “If this were my last day, would I want to do what I’ll do today?” I can finally respond with a solid resounding “YES”.

Raising a glass to the next step of the journey-

( 0 ) Zero:

Zero is often seen as a negative number. Nothing, without, and other negative connotations.

Mathematically, the number zero is neither positive nor negative -except for French mathematics which holds that zero is both positive and negative.

Zero isn’t nothing. Zero is both all and none -like a version of infinity.

So when I say that I am Zero, it is neither positive nor negative in its connotation. It simply “is”. It simply exists. I simply exist, without justifications or associations, without condemnations or hallucinations.

Just there.

Just alive and being, and thinking and existing.

I think therefore I am; if I think about the construct of nothing I still am. Existence isn’t determined by quantity but quality.

Zero is calculated by adding positive and negative numbers that cancel each other out in perfect balance and equality. Life in balance encapsulates the good and bad -nothing wrong with that.

Zero brings with it a zen construct of balance and possibility. Add or subtract, multiply and divide, all or none. Harmony and equality.

Neutrality at its finest…

In a society that emphasizes quantity and accumulation, zero is frightening and horrific. Zero balance = panic attacks. Zero tolerance = freak-the-fuck-out.

Yes, zero gets a bad rap.

But it doesn’t have to be negative. It can be positive. It can be neutral.

It can be what it is without explanation.

And, by extension, so can I.

(?) (;) (0)

So, what’s with the three symbols?

Nothing much, just punctuation.


A declaration of independence.

Identity #12: I Took those Heels Back

I’ve been in a constant state of self-evaluation during the past few months. Who I am and what I want to do with my life. No big deal, just reviewing my ENTIRE EXISTANCE.

And, in the midst of this, I had these stories running in the background of my life which, in essence, reflected the bigger picture.

Continue reading Identity #12: I Took those Heels Back

Identity #12: Metamorphisis

I have been…

Reborn? Rejuvenated?


Within this month, I feel like my brain has been recalibrated. That I’ve turned a corner and am suddenly on the path I’ve been trying to find my whole life.

“I’m on a new level” or some shit.

Continue reading Identity #12: Metamorphisis

Identity #10 – The Elephant in the Room (of my mind)

Hitting publish hurt...

“Have you ever been told you are beautiful.”
Sure. My mom does sometimes -like, you know, she’s supposed to.

“No one else?”
Hmph. No.

“Okay, so what does she say.”
Heh, she’ll be like ‘oh, you’re such a beautiful young lady. IF ONLY YOU WEREN’T SO FAT.’
Too many things wrong with that, in and of itself.

“So…technically no.”

Throwing Stones-> Glass Reflections

I remember I was of some precocious age, eleven maybe, when I clambered onto the scale and said “Oooh, a hundred pounds.” I stared solemnly down at the 3-digit number and pronounced with an undercurrent of awe, “I’m fat.”  Continue reading Identity #10 – The Elephant in the Room (of my mind)

Ego Death #1 – Complete and Utter Brain Failure

Ego Death – Complete destruction of all you perceive to be “you”. Recognizing that all or a significant factor of “yourself” is false. Reevaluating “your” self or life or progress.

Inspired by Aun Aqui’s “My Sweet, Stupid Car“.

“Burning paper plane crashing” — Image by © C.J. Burton/Corbis

I must be an idiot. So fucking stupid! 

Wha..? How am I sucking so BAD?!!

But I studied all night!!! How did I….FUUUUUCK!!!

Continue reading Ego Death #1 – Complete and Utter Brain Failure

A Dream from Yesterday

“A valet, of stealthy step, thence conducted me, in silence, through many dark and intricate passages in my progress to the studio of his master.”

– Edgar Allen Poe  “The Fall of the House of Usher”

I was back again.

Summer wind breathes warmth and welcome around the hustle and bustle of college students at the bus stop. I am in undergrad again and the campus remains familiar but warped. The essence remains accurate even though the layout and buildings are inaccurate/distorted, as dreams tend to do.

But I don’t care about any of that. My favorite band is playing in a matter of minutes, and I don’t want to be late.

Continue reading A Dream from Yesterday

Identity #9 ~Life goes On

Everyone down on the floor.
No sudden moves, and lock the door.
I’ve got this feeling I’m chasing.
I’ll never rest, until I find it.

But I’ve been plotting away, in my heart everyday;
To put this plan into action.
And though I tried to resist, I find the thing is this;
Until I get it there is no satisfaction!!!

 -“Evil (A Chorus of Resistance)by Project 86 

#1: There is no plan

Accept it.

The future stretches out into the unlimited finite with all the dark vaguity that it warrants. I see now, why many pour money into finding their future through signs, cards, palms, words, promises. Continue reading Identity #9 ~Life goes On

Identity #8: F**king February


Dissociation leads to isolation
Isolation leads to hate
I hate the dull February
Where happy thoughts drown with sadistic glee
Into the depression of the gray

February 6, 2016

Attending a mixer at work, I found myself floundering for introduction.

“Hi, nice to meet you! My name is _____.”

“___? Nice to meet you I am ____.”

Continue reading Identity #8: F**king February