The Suburban Plaza

I placed my work tote in the backseat, next to my not one but two gel memory foam cooling charcoal activated pillows. I was sleeping over at my parents’ house to take care of my bedridden grandmother while my grandfather was getting hip replacement surgery. Without those pillows my neck would kink, and I wouldn’t…

The Building

Apartment 1108 - 5:00pm A woman sits at her glass table in the penthouse, the gorgeous city skyline hidden by her dark drapes. The lights are off. She’s lit up by the glow of her laptop as she tries to figure out how she’s going to pay the rent. The company she was a senior…

The Skates

Paul and I drove the two hours to get to the Ice and Fire skating trail. It was this beautiful 1.5km skating trail lit by tiki torches. I didn’t think it would matter that I wasn’t an excellent skater. We were at the brink of collapse in our relationship. We both knew we were on…

The Definition

I was sitting on my cousin Emily’s road rug, imagining myself as a teeny tiny person, walking along the sidewalk in this town from the school to the mall, when Emily asked me, “Lexi, do you know what sex means?” I shuddered at the sound of the word said out loud. As the younger sister…

The Tequila Talking

I picked up my second shot of the evening, brought it to my lips, then flicked my wrist to shoot its contents directly to the back of my tilted throat. The warmth hit my ears and nose simultaneously. I quickly bit into my lime wedge. Its tangy juice washed away the dirt taste and constricted…

The Poser

The year was 2008. Facebook had only been around for us for just over a year or so, only starting to gain traction. It was still a relatively adult-free space, despite having opened up for anyone with a valid email address. It was quieter then, freer. No parents or aunts around to see our binge…

The Academic Press

"Why sales?" The national sales manager at the prestigious university press wanted to know. He sat across from me at the round table in this tiny window-less meeting room next to a senior sales rep. I'd expected this question. Prepared for it. Of course they were going to ask why an ESL teacher suddenly wanted…

The Album of the Year

When Felix updated his facebook status to say, “we are never ever ever getting back together… like ever” in August 2012, it felt like a personal attack. We’d been broken up officially for just a little over a month at that point. I’d yet to hear the would-be iconic song, and it was humiliating to…

The Tiers

"The wedding cake comes as three tiers. We can either keep them separate, or pay $100 to stack them together," I explained at the dinner table at our mini celebratory engagement BBQ with my family. I pointed my chin at my mom as I added, "the guy at the store said the stacking would be…

The Language Barriers

Language. It separates us from animals. It facilitates communication of complex and abstract thought. It's highly technical and nuanced, yet mostly automatic and natural. Language barriers exist in any instance where the language of the participants doesn't match up precisely, for whatever reason. If you don't know the right language in print, at your job…