Category Archives: published

dream boy.

this piece appears on indie bloggers. yay!
Bangkok, Thailand, originally uploaded by shadowplay.


i want to wake and still be with him.

he finds me no matter which dream room i pick. beautiful him. his face draws so close to mine that i can smell his vanilla breath. a tingly feeling reminiscent of girly, wistful love runs through every centimeter of me as he kisses my back and it tickles.

sometimes, when he sees me it’s after another day of heart break by another monster and he doesn’t say anything. he smoothes away the tangles in my hair and he lets me cry until i can’t. then, he lifts up my head from his chest and tells me he’s in love with me. he says it over and over again and my brown cheeks flush with joy.

he doesn’t talk about his day life but often when i see him his mocha skin has breaks in it like he’s been beaten. i wipe his knuckles clean with alcohol and kisses. he rests his head against my stomach, listening to its rumbling and my soft singing to him, and i feel the anger slowly leave his body.

sometimes, we just sit, too numb to engage, our backs leaning against each other. we read or listen to music or play separate hand held video games. the silence slowly dissipates with his laughter. his bright, eruptions of laughter at my silly, random jokes feel like home. he clutches my face and kisses me. pieces of his laughter drift through my lips and recess in the vacancies in my heart. i feel what happiness must feel like.

we try to stay together, to stay asleep, but fighting to stay asleep becomes as painful as fighting to stay awake does when you’re tired. we never get to say good bye; we wake up alone.


REM cycle love

this piece appears in Slice Magazine. yay for me.

torn by Grace_L


i had canned tomato vegetable soup and wheat thins for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to save time. i was wrapped in a navy blue, tattered comforter. my body was exhausted, my calves throbbed from the tight anxiety running through my body most of the day. it was finals week and i was only getting four hours of sleep.

i fell asleep to the soothing sounds of my space heater. i fell asleep with the lights on, the television blaring, and my contacts still in.

i dreamt a series of dreams about love. happy, fluttery types of dreams that young school girls have. i didn’t want to dream happy, fluttery love dreams. i wanted dark, dreary dreams that wouldn’t cause hope to blossom inside of me.

in dream number one, i was witty around a george clooney type of guy, completely unflustered by my admiration of him.

in the second dream, i ran into my high school crush, henry. henry was the guy i always wanted to get in MASH who if he just knew my name i would be happy. he was perfect to me — quiet, funny, smart, sweet.

in the dream, henry and i bumped into each other at a starbucks. i was witty with him (wittiness is always the goal for me) and he was witty back. we were sitting across from each other at starbucks smiling and then abruptly we were in his black and white spotless kitchen finishing spaghetti and meat sauce. a perfect jump in location, i think.

i woke up temporarily filled by a deep-reaching endorphin type of feeling. i was confused between reality and dream world. had i met a guy last night? i smiled to myself and noticed my cheeks hurt. is it possible to smile in your sleep?

i wondered, could my subconscious be telling me that i actually wanted to love again? i thought i had given up on real love. i thought i preferred to have temporary fixations on michael jackson dance-alikes or science professors. i had been clinging to the logic – why love when you can pretend to love?

these were groggy morning thoughts like when you write a brilliant idea down in the middle of the night only for it to look like jibberish the next day.when I thought about things after i had showered, had a cup of vanilla chai tea, and took my contacts out of my stinging eyes, i finally started to see things clearly, i realized that i wasn’t ready to give up pretending. maybe if love was a dream that i could wake up from before getting hurt. for now though, until that day comes or love finds a way to sneak up on me and invade all my hiding places, i would keep on dreaming.

by lissa

the nonsexual giddy secret crush


this piece appears in Slice Magazine. yay for me.

I Have an (Orange) Crush on You – Polaroid SX-70 by Tubes.


I was cold and carrying about 400 sheets of still warm from the printer school handouts. A flyer to resell one of my old science books was on the top of the stack. I rushed to the science building, my blue winter coat with the ultra thin lining, not doing much to keep my body from going numb.

I had planned on just putting up the flyer and not walking by his office to see if he was there. Even though I wanted to see him, I convinced myself that I shouldn’t because we would have nothing to talk about. There would just be that awkward silence there often is between strangers.

I rushed in the bathroom to see if I looked okay. I cautiously walked to the bulletin board. I lingered there, about five steps away from his office. After about a minute, I took a push pin and pushed the flyer onto the wall. I stared at it, my teeth digging into my lower lip as I worried that my flyer didn’t compare to the fancy-looking flyers beside it, cramping it.

I heard his voice from around the corner. A smile tugged at my lips. When he saw me, he smiled.

“Hey, what are you doing here?” he asked. “You started school this week right?”

I nodded. I couldn’t get my hopes up too high that he remembered that I was starting a new school. How could he forget? After all, he had written me a recommendation for the school.

Even though he had been my professor for four months, I still consider him a stranger. I only saw him on school campus. Who knows how he is at home with his family or at the bar after six tequila shots.

He was one of the most fantastic strangers I had ever met. He was kind and extremely funny. He was always in the same upbeat mood. His sweet encouraging presence motivated you to try harder and give more of yourself. He’s the kind of person who when you say his name, everyone who knows him smiles, the kind of smile that lights up their eyes.

My crush on him, overwhelming as it may seem, is completely nonsexual.

My definition of a nonsexual crush: Strong admiration for someone which does not include thoughts of a romantic candlelit dinner with the person, kissing or any naked skin on skin contact, holding hands with the person while frolicking through the forest, or any other romantic/sexual ideas. This admiration often is accompanied by the same nervousness, giddiness, and clumsiness associated with normal crushes.

After a few wonderful moments of conversation, we said our good byes. He wished me luck in school and said that he was sure that someone would buy my book. Who knows when or if I’ll ever see him again.

I wish I could set him up with an older friend of mine, so that he would always be around. It’s not as though I can tell him, “I think you’re so cool. Lets be friends.” In the meantime, if someone buys my book back, perhaps we will meet again.

— lissa

the coolest kid

this piece appears in Slice Magazine. yay for me.
i saw the coolest kid last week.

i was tired, cranky, and starting to get sick from my need to sneak food into the library (quietly eating away amidst super germs).

i was studying for microbiology online, trying to concentrate, but it was very difficult because out of the corner of my eye i could see this boy that wouldn’t sit still. he must have been eighteen or nineteen.

he was wearing black headphones, a light blue t-shirt, faded blue jeans, and white, orange, blue sneakers. he was dancing. he was dancing in his chair. all out dancing in this super quiet room.

he was dancing perfectly in sync with the michael jackson on his computer screen.


(i briefly interrupt this blog to take a quick look at the transition of michael jackson over the years.

i miss the old michael jackson.

what’s your favorite mj song? mine is man in the mirror.)


here i am stressing about my microbiology test and this kid (i’ll call him lester) is dancing to the free willy song that michael jackson made.

over the next two hours, he plays michael jackson video after michael jackson video. his shoulders, his feet doing most of the dancing. i wonder is he only good dancing in the chair or is he fantastically amazing out on the dance floor too.

i wonder is he so brilliant that he has no school work to do or is dancing to michael jackson his idea of the ultimate education.

lester isn’t loomed like self-consciousness like me. almost everyone in this room has stared at him, pointed, and/or laughed. he never seems fazed though.

then, there’s me. his back is to me so i don’t know if he can see the soft smile on my face of admiration. maybe he can see me through the computer screen, i don’t know. i hope so.

lester has absolutely made my day and if i was courageous like him, i would go over, tap him on his shoulder, and whisper “you’re amazing.”

instead, i walk out, no longer worried about my test, and the happiest i’ve been all week. i need to make sure i have a lester moment — some good harmless silliness — each day. i was getting way too serious for my own good.

— lissa