April 26, 2011


The prosecuting attornies want to know how my father's crimes have affected me, and what I think should be done with him. They are giving me a say; and I imagine, for many crime victims, that is very empowering. But for me... I don't know. It's not something I wanted to do.

I told the detectives everything I could think of when I made my official report, and then I never wanted to talk to anyone else about it ever again. I don't want to think about him. I don't want to hear his name. I don't want to hear the charges. I don't want to remember what he did to me.

I don't want him to have any kind of power or presence in my life anymore. I want to forget as much as I possibly can. I want to have as normal a life as I possibly can. I don't. want. to talk. about it. any. more.

I finally wrote them a letter, but it was very brief -- because the truth is, what's done is done, and nothing anyone could do to him will make me feel better. They can decide for themselves what his punishment should be. And then it will be over, really over. I can only hope that no one ever mentions him to me again.

I think I'm going to do myself a favor, and just pretend that he is dead from now on. Let's have a quick funeral, shall we? Here's the eulogy: He was a disgusting man who will not be missed.

There. I feel a little better already.

Here is my final goodbye: Goodbye to my so-called father. Goodbye to hope. Goodbye to redemption. Goodbye to feeling unworthy. Goodbye to being unloved.

It is finished. Goodbye.

April 25, 2011

sweet child of mine

On Saturday some of my customers said "Happy Easter" to me -- most of them in a tone of voice that indicated they were offended that I hadn't said it to them first. (Ignorant bastards.) (Just kidding!) (Not really.)

I just sort of smiled grimly and nodded, because it would be decidedly unprofessional to say, "Fuck you, self-righteous customer with something to celebrate!"

I'm sorry, I'm just not feeling it this year.


Sunday started off all right. A bit of morning banter with my great aunt and her cranky Italian husband, who I love. A little pre-brunch prep. Inspecting the beautiful cherry pies that I had spent four hours making the night before. Hiding some eggs, to be hunted later on.

I had a cheese danish and a coffee (both forbidden luxuries) and some cantelope... and then went back to bed. That part was lovely. I was drowsy from the sugar-crash and had plenty of time before I needed to do anything else. It felt like a holiday. Peaceful. Relaxed. Later, as the house filled with people, my anxiety began to rise; but I was pretty much holding my own. And then.

And then my cousin's idiot boyfriend made a joke about dead babies.

I spent the next 30 minutes bawling my eyes out in my bedroom, getting makeup all over my freshly laundered pillowcases. The worst part about it was knowing that no one was going to come down the hall and sit beside me while I cried. And I couldn't go back out until I was calm again, because I barely knew the 20-some people who were in the house, and I wasn't about to try to explain to them why I was upset. The minutes ticked by, and I felt terrible for isolating, but I didn't know what else to do. Anyone I could talk to about it was busy with family events of their own.

Eventually I had my breathing under control, and could go out and get some food and make small talk as was expected of me, puffy eyed but attempting to smile.


I didn't say "Happy Easter" even once this year. I didn't go to church. I didn't ask anyone if they were doing something special for Sunday. I just plain didn't care.

And I've realized that it bothers me, that I don't care. I've always cared before. But I can't seem to muster a shred of reverence right now, no matter how abstract. I feel so jaded. So angry. So alone.

Supposedly that's who Jesus came for in the first place, though, right? People like me.


I wonder about our traditions sometimes. All the happy-clappy-sunshine, nothing-is-wrong-because-Jesus-is-risen-he-is-risen-indeed. Is that really the only way to remember? It's what I grew up with. Every church service I've been to on Easter Sunday is full of what feels to me like forced optimism. The underlying message being: Somebody died because of you, you horrible person. But it's okay now, because they're alive again. Lucky! That means you're off the hook -- so be happy, damn it!

I don't know, maybe that was just me?

I guess I feel betrayed. I feel like it was all such a sham. Those days when everyone got all excited; sang joyful songs and threw flowers in the air, hugged one another. It was over so quickly. Everything back again to the way it was before. Scary. Unpredictable. Painful.

So Jesus was here, great. But then he left. And now there's just this invisible force wandering around checking up on us, cause Jesus has other things to do.


Yeah; turns out, this is the bulk of the message that I gathered. Awesome. In reading all this over, I think I understand though. I liked Easter before because I felt like some kind of horrible yucky person who deserved bad things to happen to them, and here was this story my church gave me about how it's okay that I'm a bad person because Jesus will help me, thank goodness.

But guess what? I don't think I'm a horrible person anymore. I don't think bad things should happen to me anymore. And I don't think anyone is coming to save me.


Maybe someday I'll believe again that there's a God who cares for me the way a parent should. I want so badly to be somebody's child, deeply loved.

April 23, 2011

the basis of compassion

To the extent that our experience of suffering reminds us of what everyone else also endures, it serves as powerful inspiration to practice compassion and avoid causing others pain. And to the extent that suffering awakens our empathy and causes us to connect with others, it serves as the basis of compassion and love.

Dalai Lama

April 22, 2011

earth day, every day

graphic design by Ainara Del Valle

I won't go off on a rampage (although I could.) But please, be environmentally conscious -- and not just for today. You live here. I live here. My friends live here. Hopefully my kids will live here.

Let's try to keep it nice.

April 20, 2011

embarrassing anecdotes

I was not given to daydreams when I was young, the way many other girls are.
My circumstances simply did not allow for it. But these days I can actually afford to torture myself with nonsensical fantasies -- and I find that they are eating up my free time. Suffice to say: I have an enormous crush on someone who is not in a position to ask me out. *strangled noise of general frustration and disgust*

Oh, unrequited love! It's a jerk. (Haha, Jeff! Miss you.)

I'm having a really hard time meeting people around here, and, to put it nicely, my co-workers are not the kind of people I would spend time with voluntarily. So there's my old friends who don't live anywhere near here, my online friends who I know only vicariously... and this one cool guy that I know and like but can't have. Ugh.

Do you want to hear something embarrassing? Of course you do! So. Lately I have been coming up with reasons to go to the store where he works when I know he will be there. First I make sure I look super cute that day (duh) and then I show up and "shop" -- but really I am just hoping I will get to talk to him a little.

Honestly, I do not have anything better to do. And when I pull it off, I am happy for the rest of the day.

So it's not wasted time.

It's not.

Anyway. I just want him to notice me, in case anything changes. You know? In case we can go out, someday... and then get married... and have three or four kids and two dogs and an awesome house in Santa Monica with a pool. Or whatever.

DEAR GOD, I just want to be planning my wedding right now! Of course, there are a lot of things I want rightnowthisveryminutebecauseiamsosickofwaitingforgood thingstohappentomelikeeveryonesaystheywillbutsofartheyneverdo. Equally much, or maybe more, I want to be pregnant again, and I want to make it all the way through to that moment where I lay my cheek against the sweet perfect softness of my newborn's tiny head. Bliss.


PS: It is less than two months till Ailis' unbirthday, and this time I do not feel in the least prepared.

April 17, 2011

beautiful, glamorous, confident, brave

At work there was a tiny Korean boy staring at me for at least two minutes from his seat in the shopping cart, while I rang up his mother's purchases.

Tiny boy (quite suddenly): "You are very pretty!"

Me: "Oh! Thank you sweetness; it's very nice of you to say that."

Tiny boy (stage whisper): "Mama, don't you think she is so, so pretty?"

An encounter such as this never ceases to amaze. It also serves to remind me: I have always hoped that my own children will think of me as beautiful and glamorous and confident and brave -- and that it will be easy for them to be proud of me.

I am grateful, today, for the small comforts that conventional beauty can bring... And for bold compliments from children who don't yet know how to be disingenuous.

April 13, 2011

a little bit of spring

There are flowers again. Have you seen them?
Also: I had coffee today, even though I'm not supposed to. It was delicious.

I hope you have a nice day. xoxo -- v

blue like the morning

Yo aqui vine a los limites
En donde no hay que decir nada
Todo se aprende con tiempo y oceano,
Y volvia la luna,
Sus lineas plateadas
Y cada vez se rompia la sombra
Con un golpe de ola
Y cada dia en el balcon del mar
Abre las alas, nace el fuego
Y todo sique azul como manana.

Pablo Neruda, It Is Born

April 11, 2011

the end of my magical thinking

Oh, my dear, my darling girl. I realized last night that somewhere deep in the back of my mind, I've always kind of thought you might come back to me somehow; or I might wake up one day to find you'd never really left. But now suddenly I really understand that it's not true, that it will never be true -- and I can't think that anymore, even if I wanted to -- and it feels like I've lost you all over again.

April 10, 2011

teenage escapades

Got a simple text from my sister in the middle of the night that broke my heart wide open. Broke my heart as if she were my own daughter, for the very reason that she's not my daughter after all. My sister was giddy and excited, telling me about her adventure, but I was crushed, soon spiraling away inside my own head, feeling fresh pangs of loss and knowing full well -- Ailis will never sneak out with her friend one night and get a tattoo when she's 18... because she will never BE 18.

She'll never have the chance to do something naughty and harmless, like get a tattoo without my advice or permission. She'll just be my baby, forever and ever.

April 8, 2011


I am seized once again by the need to do something. Something meaningful, for my children. And once again, nothing seems sufficient -- because nothing is sufficient. Because no matter what I do, I can't shake the belief in my gut that they're simply not paying attention, our only time together is over and they're gone forever, and all my antics are an empty charade, and if it's only to placate myself then what the fuck is the point? Why not just give it up, just let it go?

My efforts feel ill-timed, amateur, self-indulgent. Look, Self! Look how much I love them! Look world, look! Look how I miss what I never really had! Look, baby! Look how I would have cared for you. Look at what you're missing! Why didn't you stay? Why was I not enough for you?


There it is.


* pause for tears *


I tried to make a painting today, but I didn't finish it. And I feel defeated, I feel like I failed, because I couldn't finish this little 8x10 painting that I had envisioned in my head. And even though I know "real" paintings might take days and weeks and even years, I still feel like I failed. Maybe it's my long history of unfinished creative projects, haunting me. Clothes, blankets, stories, scripts, drawings, paintings, films, piano, guitar, original music... Oh, and babies.

I've still never quite finished a baby.

April 5, 2011



Dreaming of having two little girls of my own to love, and to love each other. Knowing I'll always miss the first one, who none of us ever got to meet.

Lissie-my-Lissie! How I wish we all could be together.

April 2, 2011

equal to the task

I can take care of me. I can wait for the right opportunities to open up. I can fill my own life with good things that make me feel happy and fulfilled. I can challenge my brains, and find outlets for my creativity... (I needn't languish.) I can do all of these things. There is time.

I've got plenty of time.


Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

Winston Churchill