Sigh, you know I dont spend a lot of time on the past anymore. But I do wonder about you sometimes. Im not mad, at you or anybody, for anything really. I just have everything I need. Blessed beyond measure.
When we had dinner last, you cast an impressive shadow, in all the ways a woman. You were a stunning prescence. And it was beautiful to witness. Like, maybe I hadnt been as terrible for you ad I thought.
Then the very last time I saw you, you looked, at least to these unfamiliar eyes, somewhat sullen and defeated. It felt sad to me. Im far too humbled these days to assume I know what trials or triumphs brought you back here. Im sure you had your reasons.
My hope is that you have found your way back to that strong confident woman I sat across the table from, whatever the path you took.
My path has been a twisted one but has led to a personal paradise. I cant ever be mad at the road that brought me to a beautiful destination.
Just know, there is no hatred, no harsh feelings of any kind. But there is an echoing wish that you have everything you need as well.

I shared words with them

Years ago I used to frequent a tattoo parlor called Sol Tribe on S. Broadway that sat next to the Sweet Action Ice Cream . On a number of occasions I had some brief verbal exchanges with Alicia Cardenas , who I came to recognize as a pillar of strength and insight of a teacher in her community. She opened her first tattoo space at 19, later spending 15 years running the space I once knew on S. Broadway.

Last night, December 27, 2021 her and four others were gunned down in a shooting spree by some asshole from another tattoo shop. All day I’ve been seeing memorials and fundraisers for Alicia Cardenas, Jimmy and Alyssa Maldinado and other victims in the community. Other tattoo shops closing today in a moment of silence.

A burlesque dancer me and my husband used to go see years reported on social media that at Camp Christmas they got an order for a shelter in place.
All the shootings occurred in spaces I’d been known to lurk, and a few people who had shared kind words with me long ago were snuffed out when they had so much more they were ready to do here.

To Hayley, To Haze, To Hayl

A Fight She Never Asked Me To Fight

I have luckily forgotten much of the fights I fought. She’s long gone. In a world all her own. It’s better that way. It always was but there’s an undeniable connection we share. Not romantic. Not as friends. Not as siblings or family.

What I do remember is welcoming you home. What I do remember is helping you experience something more than the fear. God the world was always a fiery red around you… wasn’t it. It was like the world of goblins and gods. Only I didn’t know which was which. Neither did you.

I’d point my spear at whatever you’d ask. Myths of women and men. Great beasts! I’d stand between them and you. For years and many wars. I was so tired. Not as tired as you. You found your vices and I found loneliness. Yet I’d fight.

Bruised and so so bloody. Do you remember that? Do you wonder how bloody I am? I’m no artist but it doesn’t take much to paint our picture. Two people who maybe wanted to be in love but just weren’t. Still I’d do anything for you, for the storm that did her best to thank me in so many ways but you never could give me what I wanted. There was no future for the survivors of our war. Not together.

So we ran. That’s why I’m writing again. You never met the woman I’m going to call my wife. You’ve never met my fat cat son. You won’t be the aunt to my kids or the friends I begged for. Because I can’t reach out. For the first time I’m doing my best to make a life for myself. And you always came here. This place was the white flag. So Hayl be well. Remember to me you are important and always will be. I forgive you for the pain. I can finally say I let you go. I won’t wash away all the blood because it’s part of me now. These scars won’t all heal and that’s ok. I won’t forget you. I refuse too. I hope you’re doing the best for yourself. I hope you remember that you deserve the best. I hope you give yourself a life worth living away from the fixes and bandages. I hope Hayley… that you’re okay.