The Grey Tabby

The first cats I ever met lived underneath the massive pine tree in our backyard. Two tuxedo cats. My brother and I would go out and try to play with them when they'd wander into our plastic play house. My mother cautioned us never to touch them because they might be diseased. The next cat…

The Move

It's hard to see them coming sometimes - fundamental changes that irrevocably alter the whole makeup of your life. It feels like day in and day out, nothing really changes. The days feel long and monotonous. Same couch, same pandemic, same life. But these small, seemingly inconsequential, things happen every so often. You sell your…

The Alternative

Paul and I were driving south down California's glorious coast in our rented yellow Camaro. We were on our way back to Redondo Beach from a night camping in Big Sur. I was exhausted. The night had been freezing, with a hazy mist that I hadn't expected in sunny California. We didn't bring an inflatable…

The Fountain

The summer between elementary and high school, my best friend Chloe and I spent most of our Saturdays at Amuseland, the theme park conveniently located down the street from our neighborhood. My mom would drop us off on her way to work in the mornings and then pick us up on her way home. We…

The Parking Spot

She pulled into the parking lot behind the building hoping to find a spot, but all three visitor spots were taken. She texted him, "hey, there's nowhere to park, what should I do?" A few seconds later, her phone lit up with his reply, "pull up to the front of the building, I'll come down."…

The Villages

When I walked to the local hardware store to pick up a replacement piece for my ceiling fan, I hadn't expected them to be open. I'd expected a routine curbside pickup. Once I arrived, I remembered that these stores were deemed essential businesses, and that I would actually have to enter the store to get…

The Cheats

I sat at the back of the class entranced in my work. I was halfway through writing Eminem's second verse in Renegade diagonally across the plastic cover of my red history binder. I blew the glittery black gel lightly to dry the words before starting the next line. "Do you always write with your face…

The Weight Chronicles

I was born fat. As a baby, my uncle gave me the unfortunate nickname, "gordita," which is used as a form of endearment in Spanish. It stuck with me through my early life. My brother was about 8 when he realized it literally translated to, "fatty" and stomped the endearment right out of it. Which…

The Celebrity

"Set up tables 31-35 in the dining room for a party of 14," James, the general manager at The Tap, said to another hostess. She disappeared into the dining room to arrange the tables. I frowned. We didn't typically take reservations on Saturday nights, even if it was 9:30pm. James explained, "it's for Mario Lopez."…

The Lunch Program

"You ate all your food today," my mom announced as she emptied out my lunch bag, soaking the empty Tupperware containers in the sink. She sounded impressed. "No, I didn't," I shook my head. I sat at the kitchen table behind her colouring in my homework. "I gave my apple and my fruit roll-up to…