Friday Lunch! Weekly Blog

Big Sib, Little Sib

I was 14 when my mom told me she was pregnant. Right away, I knew it would be a little brother. On the bus one day, Mom called and broke the news: “I know you’ll be disappointed, but it’s a girl.” Bella is still figuring out which is more accurate and has decided to try […]

Invincible (Two Missed Calls)

It’s the eve of my mother’s heart surgery. I’m not referring to the past, as if this was some story. It’s actually tomorrow. I’m playing the countdown game, taking a redeye and arriving home at 4:45 in the morning of the procedure. Within hours I’ll hug her, say our goodbyes, and watch her be taken […]

Bad Connection

My husband and I married in Madison, Wisconsin four years ago and moved to his rural childhood home to lead and grow his family’s farm. Before moving here, my husband and I made a list of pros and cons of leaving to live in a rural place, where the nearest town is politically scarlet. The […]

Los Angeles in the Rain

My car’s having problems, again, so I’ve been taking the bus and train to work. Walking to the bus stop each morning, I pass the U-Haul place, which is always populated by Latino men, young and old, talking and waiting. Across the street at the bus stop, I stand to one side and observe street […]

New Math

Dear [REDACTED], At first, I stared at your e-mail and blinked a few times, thinking that perhaps my contact lenses were blurry. It said, “Thank you for your interest in employment with [REDACTED]. Your application was received and carefully reviewed. However, based on the information you submitted, it was determined you did not meet the […]

The Language of Community

Once I gave up alcohol, sugar and flour, there were only a few splurges left in the culinary world for me to enjoy—one of them was good coffee.  I didn’t mind standing in line to get it—even the time some jerk interrupted my order. “I ordered extra whip,” a voice boomed, behind me. “This doesn’t […]

A Queer Declaration

Over the weekend, I watched Gaycation for the first time. This investigative series follows Ellen Page and her best friend Ian as they examine LGBTQ+ culture and laws in different places around the world—something that interests me as a queer woman in the United States. While watching and hearing the varied views on the implications […]

Awakening the Unconscious Legacy [trigger warning]

I dreamt I was a sex slave. One of many, though I couldn’t talk to the others. And every night there was a faceless entity pushing down on me, forcing himself inside of me. When I woke up, the terror was still there, a tidal wave waiting to crash until my dog licked me to […]

Being A Stepmother

Being a stepmother is different from being a mother. And maybe that is a good thing. I date a man with a daughter. I don’t see much of Kate in the beginning, which I understand is intentional. She is only two-and-a-half, and single parents can have rules about these things, not wanting their kids to […]

Finding the Woman with Jasmine: A Self-Portrait

My husband kissed me in the middle of the night eight months ago, but I didn’t feel him leave until I reached for the dip in the bed. We had received Army orders for his deployment overseas and prepared for the reality our family would face. I had lived in Los Angeles for eight years, […]

The startling difference between XXY and XY runners

How Roland Barthes Changed My Life

My original piece for this was titled “What It Means to Be Human Today,” but since I was introducing a new paradigm of human man, the post was perhaps ambitious in aim. So I withdrew it. Since I am a waterproof hybrid human being made in part of walrus skin [not], my annoyance with my […]

Now What?

I graduated two weeks ago, but it feels like a year went by. Blame it on the holidays and their ability to warp the passage of time, but between then and now I devolved into a couch potato. I slept in, binge watching as I laid on my mess of a bed. Doing anything more […]

The Passport Nightmare

They say that as much as the human mind can remember experiences of excitement, pleasure, or boredom, it is incapable of similarly remembering pain. Once well again, we can’t put back together the pieces of agony that ruled our days during illness or after an injury. Scientists think this is an evolutionary necessity—if we remembered […]

#VirginiaWoolf, #Instagram, and #Feminism

#ARoomofOnesOwn What would Virginia Woolf do? Upon entering Antioch’s MFA program, I challenged myself to understand stream of consciousness technique and committed to reading lots of Virginia Woolf. Her lush descriptions of decor got me thinking about Instagram and its barrage of lifestyle imagery. Woolf protested Victorian ideals—in particular, women remaining at home with no […]

Everybody’s Child

Dear Dad, I’m writing to you for help. Weeks now, I’ve attempted to find a song or an image that best summarizes this holiday season. From harvest to final ball drop, I can’t seem to choose. I’m under a deadline, but the noise, Dad. Honking cars, helicopters, the news. Too much to integrate. Deafening tinnitus […]

In and Out

I learned to breathe in Virginia Beach, at the age of thirty-six. We arrived there in April of 1999―the cusp of a new century. Our little family of four: my husband, Bob, and our two young daughters, Kiran and Priya. Three thousand miles of water became the bulwark against our previous lives in London, England. […]

Live, Work, Skate

You’re ten years old and your father says you’re handsome. The most handsome boy in the whole world, he says. In the same breath, he tells you no white girl will ever date you, let alone marry you. He knows this from experience, from his time at a New Jersey college before meeting your mother. […]

Packing Lists and Passed-On Traits

Thick wool hiking socks, check. Eight pairs of underwear, check. Windbreaker, check. Like many overachieving daughters of single mothers, I’m a planner. I’m packing for a late-autumn trip to Utah. There, I’ll meet a sister I didn’t know I had until two months ago. The over-planning and packing help contain my excitement at meeting my […]

Bad Vegan

  Colorful, steaming bowls of dhal (lentils) and hot buttered chapatis (thin, circular bread cooked on a griddle). This is what we ate most of the time, out of necessity, growing up in provincial England in the early 1970s. My parents would comment from time to time, that the goreh (white people) surrounding us wasted so […]

Becoming Buddha

I sit at the keyboard rapidly typing, as my student and I are brainstorming for his college essay. My fingers get tripped up on the simple words. I type “adn” for “and”. In the next sentence, “gaol” for “goal”. While reading it over, I catch my mistakes. “I feel like I’m becoming dyslexic in my […]

The Takers

I’m terrified of masks. Don’t come calling on me if you’re wearing one. Unless you want me hands-clawing, calling out in caterwauls (what my kids call the opera-yell). Most times, I don’t want to reveal this morbid fear, for the greater worry that it might lead to pranks. I’ve endured occasions where the clever-minded have […]

The View From 10,000 Feet

One day when I was thirteen, I took my allowance down to Windsong Used Books & Records on Main Street, casually browsed over to the Occult / New Age shelves, and picked out a thin softback with an abstract cover: The Art and Practice of Astral Projection by Ophiel. It promised a simple and effective […]

Delusions of Grandeur

What’s Past is Prologue The man said sorry. That’s all he could manage to say. He knew that it was in pain. It was the “right thing to do.” He knew that long years, wear & tear, unavoidable science, and an old expiration date was only bringing it intense pain. He said sorry some more […]

April Brucker: International Woman of Mystery

It’s 8:30 a.m., and unlike me, New York City is already fully caffeinated. I am an international woman of mystery, poised in the stairwell ready to carry out my orders. This is my mission, I have chosen to accept it. Name: James Wolff. Age: fifty as of today. He stands approximately 5’11” with brown hair. […]

Perpetual Summer

As a kid growing up on the asphalt of Los Angeles, I treasured any chance to play outside. My schoolyard was concrete. My various apartment buildings had courtyards with potted plants if we were lucky, or underground parking garages if we weren’t. At my best friend’s house, I was always the one begging the other […]

Northside Newcomer

39.7768° N, 105.0382° W The clouded sky and thunder have been threatening to start something for a little over an hour when Justin and I begin our walk with our dog, Corky. Occasional afternoon storms rarely last very long anyway. We cross the street to say hello to our neighbor, Lynn, and her dog, Shadow. […]

Hydration

Twenty years ago, in a storefront on Avenue D in New York’s Alphabet City, I visited my first psychic. She was sturdy, middle-aged and wore a silk turban. I was tipsy off of the millennium drink du jour – a “cosmo.” Tarot cards with worn edges flipped into neat clusters and rows in front of […]

Food Justice: A Menu

Breakfast Club            I had a story published recently about the first time my husband fried me over-medium, farm-fresh eggs for breakfast. They were velvety, oozing, and accompanied by buttered sourdough toast. The eggs were a revelation to my palate. I ate a lot of canned, frozen, boxed, bagged, fake, cheap, and subsidized food growing up. […]

“We Are Connected, We Have the Same Blood”

This morning was as close to a semi-typical morning as it gets for me and my family. We woke up at 6 a.m., took showers, got dressed and ate, gathered all of our stuff together, and roly-poly-pell-melled into the car by 7 o’clock to drive the thirty-or-so minutes to my husband’s work in Modesto, CA. […]

Bending the Spectrum

A four-letter word that ends in “k.” That’s how my friend, Kristi, used to refer to the color pink. In her youth she was a competitive swimmer, because it was the one sport open to both boys and girls. She writes: “A touch with the fingertips on the kicking feet of the swimmer in front […]