Fiction: Mask

A sedan pulls off the road into the parking lot of a motel near the airport. The headlights flick off and a door shuts and the trunk pops open.

A figure in a black hoodie steps into the light, takes a duffel bag out of the trunk and sets it on the pavement. The figure reaches into the trunk and pulls out another duffel bag and shuts the trunk. Grabbing both, walking north to the stairwell, they fade in and out of light.

A man with a gut in a white ribbed tank and sunglasses yells “Hey Vickie! What you get for me tonight sweetheart?” with a muffled chuckle at the end.

Shit. She skips up the metal steps and set one bag down outside the door to room 17 and unlocks the door. Yards away, she can hear approaching footsteps on the metal platform. “You’re one of a kind…” he coos.

She grabs the other bag, slips inside, kicks shut the door, drops the bags, and turns the locks.

She sits on the bed and peels black sweaty gloves off her shaking hands. She looks at her brown hands and then pulls her black hoodie over her head. She shimmies out of the black leggings and tosses them into the mound of clothes at the foot of the bed.

She touches her cheek by accident and shirks away from herself. She draws her hand away from her face and a piece flaky skin falls off her fingers. She grimaces and wipes her hands on the bed.

In the bathroom, a face the color of coffee creamer looks back at her. Red patches on her puffy cheeks started forming yesterday. The crust collecting on top of them wasn’t there this morning. The pale dry skin on her neck fades to a deep warm chocolate on her collarbone. There’s a 2×3 picture of a young girl with a big toothy grin. She rubs the shiny surface until the photo pops, pressing her tingling lips to it. There’s a half empty bottle of vodka on top of the toilet tank and she drinks it like ice water. She goes back to the bed and falls asleep.

It’s 7:00 am. Valerie shakes awake and runs her hands frantically over her face. Shes scrambles out of bed and into the bathroom and looks in the mirror, hands gripping the sink.

Melanin covers her face. Once again. She sighs. Valerie pours the vodka into the toilet and tosses the bottle in the trash. She grabs the portrait and places it in her bra.

Valerie grabs the 2 bags at the door, sets them on the bed, and unzips them both. She buries her hands into the bags of banded money, caressing them. Grabbing a stack, Valerie flicks the bills under her brown eyes, imagining all the clothes and food she can buy her, all the hugs and love she can buy her, all the time and pain she can’t buy back.

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Poem: blue-pink

the desert sky at dusk

the line of light before sleep waves his hand

wind crawls in then runs out,

shutting all doors but one

 

the rosy tips of your child’s fingers

the blood of a berry on a napkin

 

 

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Quote: I Have a Fire Inside Me…

Quote: I Have a Fire Inside Me…

An excerpt from “Moving Away From Comparison to Personal Development.”

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Quote: Plant the Seed When You’re Scared…

Quote: Plant the Seed When You’re Scared…

An excerpt from “Moving Away From Comparison to Personal Development.”

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Quote: Look at Yourself…

Quote: Look at Yourself…

An excerpt from “Poem: Friday Night.”

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Quote: What Makes a Thought Negative…

Quote: What Makes a Thought Negative…

An excerpt from “Unconsciously

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Quote: The Point of Will is to Get You There…

Quote: The Point of Will is to Get You There…

An excerpt from “Will.”

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Managing Emotion-Triggered Impulses

A few days ago, I was upset about some coworkers on my team getting back late from lunch which meant I couldn’t go to lunch on time. I had to go to lunch nearly 30 minutes later than usual. I don’t eat breakfast. That’s my thing. Lunch is very important to me. After I left for lunch and ate, I was still frustrated. Not just at my team but with work in general. I’d also had some other mild anxieties roaming round in my head I just needed a break from all of it, but I couldn’t leave work. I took out my journal and wrote during lunch that day. Here’s an excerpt:

“I want comfort. I’m glad I’m here at the page instead of down at the food truck or at the vending. I don’t want to eat for comfort but it feels like my brain is starving for it right now. The frustration I feel wont go away after I eat, it will just be dulled while I’m eating. I’ll be distracted. I’ll regret it. I’ll be mad at myself for being weak then try and tell myself not to be too hard on myself.

This is an opportunity to serve my body, not just my mind. My body has a voice and so often I don’t listen. I let the brain’s voice take over because the body doesn’t “think” right?

The body knows itself better than the brain. The body had no sub-conscious. It does not hide things from us. It screams and sings when we listen and when we don’t. With the body, there’s a tangible breaking point.

The brain is a Matryoshka doll. Each doll holds a part of you. As a child, we can see all of our dolls/selves and they are complete and visible. As we age, we are taught to hide certain selves. Our brain learns to do this on its own, requiring no conscious thought, hiding parts of us we didn’t know were there.

Prying them open is hard, painful, and releases trauma. Most people need a professional for this. I did. The brain is so good at smoothing out the seams. The body can burst them open. Sometimes it takes trauma to the body to recognize trauma in the mind. It doesn’t have to get to that point, if we listen to our bodies. We’ll recognize the brain and body may not be in sync and there we start to work on why.

Listen to you body as you would your brain.”

I did not pacify my emotions with food. That was a win for that moment. I continued to write about what was really bothering me and worked to come to terms with those feelings.

In the moment, its hard to stop your id in its ravenous tracks, reflect, and make a conscious choice. That’s best way to grow. It’s a lot hard after the fact, when your belly is full and your mind is drunk.

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Raising Money for Poetry!!

Raising Money for Poetry!!

Here in Tucson, AZ, there is a great non-profit, Casa Libre, that supports a literary community of poets in this city. They hold donation-based readings and workshops (not donation-based) hosted by poets from Arizona and all over the United States. As a woman of color, I really appreciate that they go out of their way to welcome and include diverse poets and readers in their community so that everyone’s voice can be heard.

There are having an event called “500 Sonnets” on June 9th to raise money for their organization so we can keep having readings and paying poets.

I will be writing and reading sonnets for this event on June 9th and need sponsors to help me reach my goal of raising $100. 

You can sponsor me here. You will need to key in my name after you click “shop” and my name is “Andrea Ivy.” You can sponsor me before the event or on the day of online.

Thank you for reading and donating if you are able.

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Saving for Grad School: Changing Cell Phone Providers

I’ve officially switched cell phone providers. A great friend of mine recommended Google Fi a few months ago saying they have the best network and that they are more affordable. I wasn’t hearing it at the time. It wasn’t on my radar.

Now I’m saving for grad school, so I am cutting things and expenses out of my life that don’t add value. My cell phone service is with AT&T and its not adding value to my life. The reception is fickle. Where friends with other providers have service, I won’t. Their plan is extremely expensive, even with an employee discount. I was looking up cell phone providers and I remembered Google. There are lots of reasons I decided it was the right choice for me.

Cost

My pay $60/mth with AT&T for unlimited calls and texts and 1gb of data. I know. If I go up to 3gb of data, I’m paying $90/mth. Gross!

With Google Fi, unlimited calls and texts is $20/mth. Data is $10/gb and you only pay for what you use. You will never pay more than $60/mth for data even if you use more than 6gb, is what they say. So if I use 1gb of data per month, I would pay $30 instead of $60 with AT&T. And if I get crazy and want 3gb of data per month, I would pay $50 instead of $90 with AT&T.

Easy Transition

The transition cost is also a non-issue. They have affordable phones (yes you need to buy one of their phones) as low as $199 outright. The one I’ve purchased is $249 outright.

I looked into cancelling my AT&T plan and since I’m on the Next plan and owe nothing on my phone (I always buy my phones upfront), I don’t have any early termination fees (ETF).

Once my new phone arrives, I’ll set it up then cancel my prior service.

International Service

Now, I’m not a globetrotter yet but I plan to leave the country again at some point. Google Fi doesn’t charge extra for texts or data when you’re out of the country like my current provider. There is an increased rate for calls but, who calls anyone anyway nowadays.

Hotspot

My provider charges extra to use my phone as a mobile hotspot for connecting other devices to my phone’s internet. Google Fi does not. That’s a huge plus. Its convenient and saves money.

 


 

My Google Fi phone will arrive within a week or so. I am looking forward to paying less money for this service and putting that money towards my future. Google Fi makes a lot of claims and I hope they hold up. I’ll follow-up once I get the phone and service setup.

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