RIPE: a true story

I came across a girl that recognized me from campus, she informed me that my lanyard showed I was a freshman; making me a target. Not wanting to targeted, I put my can down and look for a place to put my lanyard that suspends everything I need to get home. I put my can down; a gargantuan mistake that rivals the mistake of taking up creative writing as a major at a branch campus in a troubled economy.


Let me begin by asserting that I am not a drinker, I never partied before the night depicted, and despite popular belief, I do not do drugs. Now to the eventful night I felt compelled to write about.

A group of friendly people who gave a weirdo a chance and a weirdo (me) went out to have a good time the first week of our first college semester. As a diabetic, rural-high-school reject, and someone who never invited to anything, I was hoping for an amazing life experience, maybe be kissed for the first time; by chance, maybe a bit more than kissing.

We went to a frat party. It seemed nice enough, until walking into a place that seemed like a place under development. I began awkwardly diddling with the foosball table, while doing so I was handed a lager. It was like a tin cylinder of trouble. I immediately headed for an exit sign, propped the door with my hip and dumped as much of the alcohol into the gravel. Carrying it around, I try to mingle and hide the fact I am carrying around an empty can, until I find an unopened bottle of Mountain Dew, and poured it into my can. I enjoyed the sweet beverage, that seemed to be battery acid after all these years of of a diabetic diet that has had me drink aspartame only and pretend I was ready to mingle, for I never really was.

I came across a girl that recognized me from campus, she informed me that my lanyard showed I was a freshman; making me a target. Not wanting to targeted, I put my can down and look for a place to put my lanyard that suspends everything I need to get home. I put my can down; a gargantuan mistake that rivals the mistake of taking up creative writing as a major at a branch campus in a troubled economy.

Never in my life had I seen more tragedy and fate than when I saw the two identical cans side-by-side on the wooden frame of the foosball table. In one can, there was a sugary soft drink with hints of alcohol, in the other can there was alcohol. I tried to pick carefully. I saw a green tinted liquid in the crevice of the can’s top, what else could I assume it was mine. As I made my final decision I saw the future. You know you’re making the wrong choice, Ash, but you had to make one, and quick. DO IT! I never wanted to be wrong before. My tongue prematurely writhed in reaction to the unpleasant taste I was about to experience. It was not half bad, actually. I held my mouth tight and swallow.

After swallowing my first sip of beer, I discover to my horror the frat boy and owner of the lager I drank had taken and drunk from my Mountain Dew-filled beer can. “This shit is ripe dude,” he says to his friend. He invites his friend to take a sip.

It’s one of those moments you know nobody would believe, only because it’s that damn beautiful. I wanted to write this story the moment it occurred. I wanted to relive it over and over again, so I could tell the story with every detail.  Revisiting this moment in my head, I think the party part of me wanted it to be a lager; getting a little taste.The night went on. A nice girl thought I actually was drunk. I didn’t blame her. I still don’t blame her.What sober person says they think they are the white, female Kanye? The answer is a crazy one.

The party failed to thrill me as a whole. I didn’t like it because I wasn’t the life of it, as I told the birthday girl who I went to the party with. At least she had a nice time.  I felt tipsy and fog-brained. Does that mean I get drunk very easily or regular soda has the same effect as alcohol for a diabetic?

Everyone I went with had a nice time, but before it was even midnight, the frat boys start telling people to leave. I did so, only to see  my posse was either still inside or left without me. I actually re-entered the party through an open, first-story window, I accepted the idea they left and left the party again, then asked cigarette-smoking men on a balcony if they knew where the birthday girl was in one last moment of hope. We reunited and left.

In hindsight, I think I should have left the first time around.What occurred when we stepped outside those doors was one of those weird moments you can only see the extent to which they are weird by playing it over and over again in your head, as I have. Those who had a good time at the party were off their rockers in the courtyard. There were tears, there was a numerous amount of “Oh my god. Shut up!” one of which was addressed to me, something that would surprise anyone reading things who knows me well. We had to be oh so quiet. I thought how it was like we were survivors trying to be quiet, as not to attract zombies.The fact one of those friendly people said “We can’t go back to our dorms” in a dramatic, action-movie-protagonist intensity only reinforced the idea.

While my shit-faced new friends were plotting and strategizing I encountered the girl who thought I was drunk,  she was going to go with my taking-the-piss posse, but a friend of hers told her not to. “They’re really drunk.”

“I’m not drunk,” I insisted. The girl looked unconvinced.

Eventually, and to bring an end to this story, I tell those friendly people I was going back to my dorm. They wished me luck and safety. I wished them the same. As I walked back the words on this page began to form. I was told not to talk about what happened, I was never prohibited to write about it. I don’t want to implicate anyone with this. I want to thank those people for letting me in their dorm room and I am forever grateful to the girl who asked me if I had anything sexy to wear.

Based on the Self-Help Book Queen Bees and Krakens from the Seas

I did not have positive role models growing up.

My family inspired me to not do things. The only time I can remember looking up to people in a way to carry myself was a time time has finally distanced me enough from to feel comfortable enough to talk about.

It happened the summer of seventh grade.

I was trying to teach myself to assimilate with the kids at school by watching Mean Girls continuously for study, disregarding the message of accepting others the way they are and not tearing others down to build yourself up. It’s shameful to recall. It makes me feel icky, inauthentic, and impure. My new wanna-be identity did not do anything for me, except give me a fashion sense, or what I would call a fashion sense. Midway through I was diagnosed with diabetes. I had been feeling like I was dying for several months. I went home sleeping for hours, but I figured I was exhausted from the facade I was trying to act out. Eck.

One big movie from 2007 was Juno. I watched it in the spring of 2008 on DVD, remember DVDs? I remember being taken by Juno’s constant pop culture references, and how true to herself she was about who she was. I have been employing truthfulness with myself with age. As I comb my past, I see how diabetes (a lack of one hormone) was like blindness in how the lose of one type of hormone engendered others, and the angst awoke like a Kraken from the sea in the following summer. A pivotal time where I realized I disliked who I tried to be. I tested the waters of a false identity. In reality I was my best when I had no thought about whether or not I was my best. I was just me. Summer of 2008 Me had to be her own Mufasa, telling herself to remember who I was, and I continue to make my way to shore (Kraken metaphor again) while learning from my mistakes.

I will now practice the ancient, noble art of quoting Mean Girls.

“She doesn’t even go here.” Wasn’t that a theme in the movie: fitting in, being a certain way that the microsociety of high school deems the way to be, lest your presence not be palatable, and you won’t belong?

I have worked it out. I am a cross between Ms. Norbury, Janis, and the girl with a lot of feeling. I think that Janis and Juno would be great friends, should the fictional worlds of Juno and Mean Girls ever collide anywhere besides my dreams.It’s a world where Paulie Bleeker AND Aaron Samuels are leading men. It’s a world where the artsy outcast has sex and the regulation hottie is also mathlete, and everyone calls her a homeschooled, jungle freak behind her back. A world where middle school was worth crying over how much of a Utopia it was,where Mean Girls 2 does not exist, and it has an incredible soundtrack.

Literary Breakdown: GoodReads…More Like EEEEEVIIIILReads and How I can Never Seem to Satisfy My Book Lust

Yes, Virginia, the title does include a SpongeBob reference. GoodReads was a site I once considered a sanctum of sorts, where I could compile my reading list longer than the inventory list of the Library of Babel (extreme hyberbole, right there kids). It also is a place where you can have the world know all about how often you cross-under or how long it takes you to read something. In an age where your nudes are at risk of being leaked, but, pardon me for generalizing, anyone who uses GoodReads might not be the kind of person who takes nudes. Again, pardon me. A bookworm can be kinky. If it weren’t so E.L. James wouldn’t have a career. The world would be without the 1976 Governor General’s Literary Award winner Bear. I don’t know if you have heard or read Bear, but I have read excerpts, pivotal, plot-spoiling experts that required me to take a long shower, and has caused me to look into neurolyzers like the ones from the Men in Black films, but this is not about the depravity of sexuality-themed literature, this is about how GoodReads makes me feel like a piece of shit when it comes to reading. I see people who have read so many books in their life that I feel like I am doing something wrong in mine.

The discomfort I feel and sense of inferiority when it comes to reading likely comes from my membership of my school reading team (5th grade to 8th grade) then (10th grade to 12th grade). I am not too sure if reading team was anything more than a Pennsylvania thing. Reading team was, as the name implies, competitive reading, where a list was composed of 42 books, and a team that represented a certain school would assign books to team members. Most schools had several teams, my school had at least four. A lot of kids wanted to get out school for a day and go to the mall. A team member would have to read at least four books. Each year would have two competitions, one in the fall and one in the spring.
At these competitions there would be three rounds with two teams in a classroom at a host school, being asked questions about the books. The team would sit Indian style, with the captain sitting in the center. One of the moderators would ask team A or team B, “In the book…” and whoever read the book would lean in and whisper into the captain’s ear, or ask to be designated. If the team being asked got it wrong, the other team would get the chance to answer. There were some seasons when I would skim and have to take a lot of notes to ensure reading comprehension. There was one disasterous competition where I just did not care and did not read two of the books, but the books were trash in my eyes. At the end of each competition, the host school would hold an awards ceremony for those who reached a certain amout of points, and the MC of the ceremony would begin every ceremony by asking who read all of the books. My friend Emily would be one of the ones standing every time. Lots of people on the team didn’t believe her. I did. She read a lot. You could tell it brought a challenge. It was hard for her to recall, and she was prone to getting a confused look on her face and running the clock out, while holding her fingertips to her temples , or getting the answer wrong.

Yes, I am “only” nineteen, but there’s so much I want to read, and I feel as though there’s simply not enough time for it all. I wish I could freeze time and stay in a bookstore, or that I had psychometry, but all I can do is read as much as I can and tell myself it’s not how much you read, rather it’s how much you get out of what you read. Part of my heart contests with the last statement, but I will leave it there, all the same. Read…Read until your eyes are weary and teary. That is what I feel wholeheartedly.

Ten Years of Jealousy

*Note: This was written in the week of June 7th, 2014. After many months of hearing diddly squat back from the Rumpus, I’ve decided to release it here.*


On June7th, 2004 a bouncing, eleven-track, forty-five-minute-or-so long debut album came into the world. It was by an American band, but being that the band was under a British record label, the UK got it on June 7th, and the US got it June 15th. The Brits got “Glamorous Indie Rock & Roll.” The Yanks got “Change Your Mind.” I say the battle was won by the US. It was the Killers’ Hot Fuss, and I am a going to make a great big fuss about it.

I had a relationship with the album, and so June 2014 felt like my boyfriend’s birthday, with Brandon Flowers’ birthday on top of that. I wrote this as a way of celebrating, because Tweeting about it, blogging about it on Tumblr, and listening to it on Spotify just didn’t seem enough. Rather than form some band that I would call the Genius Sex Poets, writing songs in the style of the music from the decade of my youth, and having a meteoric rise with the first song we ever wrote together, I decided this would be good enough. This would have to do.

Continue reading “Ten Years of Jealousy”

You are Cordially Invited to the Funeral Pyre of My Dreams


You are receiving this because you have touched my life in a way that has either diappointed you or emotionally frazzled the fragile, hearty-hearted, reject of society that is yours truly (me). I have devoted my life to doing the following: having something to rub in the dullard faces of the bitches and assholes I called sub-peers in another world, proving those who doubted me (most of my family) wrong, and making those who did believe in me (no matter if they believed in me truly or not) proud. I have failed at all of these things. I have taken a long look at myself and my life’s work and discovered the hack that is yours truly.

So, this Tuesday, my thirtieth birthday, join me in burning the bridge to my own private Terabithia. I shall set every last composition, lyric, and instrument I failed to sell ablaze. Then Stick around to watch my dreams go up in smoke. Ther will be pizza seasoned in salt that represents my tears, alcohol to celebrate my new passion for getting fucked up and forgetting everything, and chocolate chip cookies made with dark chocolate that symbolized the everlasting bitterness I feel for everyone who hwas caused me to be so detrimentally determined!

Afterwards there will be the commencement of me delivering a heartfelt speech that will feature forgiveness, revelations, renewed hope, and revitalized zest for life! The night will end with me discovering a new passion. I’ve been thinking about taking up painting.

The Forever Nameless

The Gary Busey Test

Problem: there exists the belief that a certain music artists can attribute most of their success on the fact that certain members are specimens of perfection that resemble seraphim; attractive and personifications of perfection.

Thesis Statement: in such a superficial society, looks do matter. In most cases looks have more bearing than actual talent.

Hypothesis: there is a way to figure out if a band is ONLY successful because of their looks…The Gary Busey Test.


  1. Picture one of your favorite music videos for one of you favorite musicians.
  2. Replace the singer(s) with Gary Busey, keeping the original vocals in tact.
  3. Think deeply, deeper than ever before and ask yourself if you still like the song.

Point: Oh yeah! I love listening to their face!

Counterpoint: Yes, a band can look good and sound good. Certainly, in cases when you hear the song first, the singer is beautified upon witnessing the actual person. But there are instances when we see a pretty face and fail to notice that they can’t carry a tune, and we in the science community call this “Thirst for the First.” It’s why people who read the book first haste the movie.

Point: What science?

Counterpoint: You wouldn’t understand.

Point: Okay, but why not call “Thirst for the First,” “The First Love Effect?”

Counterpoint: (scratches chin) Hmm. Yeah. (Beams from the birth of an epiphany) that sounds good! Yeah! Yeah! Thanks for your contribution to science!

Conclusion: At last when we someone says “You only like them because they are heart,” we can retort, “Let’s put that theory to the test.” We can lie to them and ourselves that they are still really good, even though we want to stab ourselves in the eardrums, and we can lie to ourselves as we lay in bed, telling ourselves that we still love them, as if we are a wife telling herself she loves her husband, even now that he is fat and bald. Much like Global Warming, the Gary Busey Test is science. Science that we can deny until we die, but the Gary Busey Test does not lie. The “Blurred Lines” music video would have been hilarious and many more times more creepy, had it feature Gary Busey lip syncing to the song.