Friday Lunch! Weekly Blog

#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 […]

Separated Faces (A Year in Baltimore)

My mother opens her eyes to a vast cloud of nothingness. Freckles of light poked through the edges of the roof piercing the blended darkness. This was her sixth month living in Baltimore alone and winter was in full swing. Some nights she could see her breath. She wished she hadn’t underestimated the lack of […]

Identity

Two years ago, I was talking to my roommate, who is Mexican American, when I realized how much I felt like an outsider. She had just come back from a lawyer group in San Diego for women of color. As we talked about it, I started to get nervous, anxious. A thought kept floating through […]

Put Yourself Up

I tell mothers: Be careful how you bodytalk in front of your daughters. You could be teaching them the language of self-hate. The universe was kind and gave me boys. I threw them in some undershirts and cut-offs, gave out shovels and told them to come back inside when they were sixteen. I swear, I […]

Packing Up Books

When a nighthawk leaves her nest, she takes only the feathers on her back. Can you imagine? My partner and I are packing up to move from Connecticut to California. We are bringing some furniture, some art, kitchen stuff, clothes, and about a thousand books. Probably more than a thousand. As I pack box after […]

Dear Glitch

You were my best friend, and I didn’t know you very well. We met at T-Time, a trans support group on our college campus. You were a founding member, and I was a latecomer. I’d transferred to UC Irvine as a junior, entering the queer community late in the school year. At my first T-Time […]

Feeling Like a Fraud

Is it embarrassing that my nineteen-year-old child has never read a book? I was once asked if maybe he didn’t read, because he couldn’t. A lot of well-meaning, natural born, corn raised, American people tend to generalize when the child in question is adopted from a foreign (pronounced: /FUR-ən/) country. “That poor child, I’m sure […]

Loving Women

For most of my life, I’ve had issues with women. But it grew worse in college when I became a victim of sexual assault. When I think about that night, I am not angry at the boy who took advantage of me. I’ve forgiven him. I don’t even remember his name. When I woke up, ashamed, […]

Oversharing 101: #getoversharing

Sometimes I have a problem with oversharing. The lady next to me at the nail salon did not need to know that I got a UTI from not going to the bathroom while I was teaching. Especially when she only asked if I liked being a teacher. I have a bad habit of revealing very […]

A Bridge West

I am often surprised by how many people have heard of my hometown of Dayton, Ohio. Dayton once had a major role in innovation and the arts. The city lays claim to both the Wright Brothers and Paul Laurence Dunbar. Funk music was arguably birthed in West Dayton. Major companies like Mead, Reynolds and Reynolds, […]

The Mad World

1. I didn’t mean to get serious about running. I try not to get too serious about anything. But here I am. As is the way with most drugs, the hobby was all fun and games until I was a junkie, the crazy kind of addict who wakes up on Thanksgiving morning and instead of […]

Medical Freedom

It was the middle of the day on a Friday when the breast cancer nurse called. I’d forgotten she was going to follow up; two weeks before I’d spent a really uncomfortable hour in an MRI machine where they took biopsies of both breasts and then scanned them. A lovely radiology nurse named Asha stayed […]

Not So Random Thoughts About Light, Dark and Hope

 I took BART into San Francisco to do my writing work today. It was late morning so the train was fairly empty. I sat down, pressed my earphones in, and listened to music while I rode from the East Bay into the City. That train line stays above ground for most of the way, dips […]

Octavia, How do We “Shape Chaos”?

In the house I share with five people, I spearhead the vegetable garden every year and it always causes me more anxiety than you would think a garden should. Collaborations are difficult and we are each so busy. Everyone wants to eat lots of food from the garden whether or not these foods are suited […]