Friday Lunch! Weekly Blog

What I Thought About When It All Went Dark

At the intersection of Hayes and Van Ness, a thin elderly man stands in the median. He wears a baseball cap that covers most of his white, closely cropped hair. He is trim and clean-shaven. Hardly someone whom one would consider homeless. His posture is erect, and proud. He holds a sign with neat and […]

Between the Lines: Unsolved Mysteries After Death

Growing up, I consumed mysteries—gorged even. I binge-watched reruns of Unsolved Mysteries before binging was cool. I watched episodes alone in the dark and pretended to hold seances with Robert Stack. I had a thing for him. It wasn’t a crush. Maybe just a love of the macabre. Something about the theme music and the […]

Diagonal Exile

As I approach seventeen years since I moved to Seattle from my home state of New York, as more and more of my memories melt down or vaporize, and as the world becomes a more and more streamlined doomsday machine, it feels like a ripe time to pause for some inventory. The century is a […]

Reaching Out for Incarcerated Voices

When you walk in the doors of a prison, you can’t help but be reminded that in order to leave, someone has to let you out. You are reminded by the big thick doors. You are reminded by the double paned glass. You are reminded by the tall gates outside. You’ve left everything in your […]

Monster Under a Clear Blue Sky: Anger, Meditation, and Writing

One of my five roommates recently told me I am aggressive. We were in the kitchen and he was washing dishes. That night in the kitchen, I could be heard yelling, several times, “I am not f***ing aggressive.” The truth is, I have been in a six-month bad mood. My body is going through changes […]

My Great Divide

When I was a young girl, I tried to teach myself to fly. Every night before lights out, I’d stand on my bed, flap my arms, and look for a sign, any shred of evidence that I was improving my technique. I had a mad crush on the cartoon superhero Underdog, and I wanted to […]

Excuse Me, Have You Seen God?

Recently I went to Spirit Rock Meditation Center searching for God. After years of searching inside holy books, places of worship, and time spent conversing with pious men, She was nowhere to be found. My goal was to commune with Her; I hoped to assuage the final vestiges of fear that I’d carried for much […]

Soul Music

At around eleven p.m. on a Friday, I descend the stairs into the Cigar Bar, a bar where you can order a quick drink or pick up a cigar. You can’t smoke inside but you can in the open-air courtyard separating the bar from the dance floor on the opposite side, where a live salsa […]

Writing My Way Home

In June, I was scheduled to go to my third ten day residency for an MFA program in creative writing and, unlike everyone else who was dying to immerse themselves in their passion and reconnect with their MFA friends, I felt ambivalent about my return. I worried that the program and my plan to be […]


All names and identifying data have been changed to protect privacy. In the four months since I was assaulted, I have managed to put together one poorly constructed, grim poem about a water bug and one song to accompany instruments I lack the talent to play. Today, in writing this, I am breaking ground, grasping […]

Breathing with My Better Angels

Every day I have trouble breathing. I am dependent on steroids. My childhood asthma has returned along with severe allergies to things like IV Contrast Dye. Two years ago I was rushed to the emergency room where I had emergency surgery for a burst appendix that the doctor said was one of the worst he’d […]

How Many Ohios?

  “…everything was marvelous and everything became gray and irrational and everything sparkled again, as when a cloud passes over the sun and the sun appears to flee, a timid, pale disk, near extinction, but now look, once the cloud dissolves it’s suddenly dazzling again, so bright you have to shield your eyes with your […]

Hail Mary

I texted the Lunch Ticket Editor-in-Chief Katelyn Keating late last night to say I didn’t know what I was going to do about this blog. Both of us are working on finishing our graduation requirements for the MFA in Creative Nonfiction this week at Antioch University. Neither of us is sleeping very much. There’s a […]

Let’s Put on a Play

In Ross Gay’s poem, To the Fig Tree on 9th and Christian, a group of pedestrians spontaneously gather around a fig tree and begin to savor the figs together. “Strangers maybe never again,” Gay writes. I think about this poem often; how good it makes me feel when I read it aloud. I love the image […]

Rain Clouds and Cherry Trees

The crowd presses around me. Hands reach up and out. Sticks hover above the fray, plastic extensions of their owners’ arms. Snap. Click. Ding. Shutter. A group of three women in front of me stop short to pose for the camera and a man collides into my back. He murmurs what I think is an […]

Dear Football, I Love You

Dear Football, I love you. You have been the love of my life for as long as I can remember. Everything good that I am, everything good that I will ever be, in part I owe to you. You were there for me when I thought all was lost. You picked me up and loved […]

Becoming Characters

I’m staring at the footage from a short film I shot two years ago. I put so much time and energy into the production—writing the screenplay, casting actors, rehearsing, raising money, planning the artistic design, figuring out technical aspects of the cinematography—only to see it shelved after production wrapped. Making films requires a lot of […]


Last year I attended a party with my mother, in honor of her friend Carolyn’s 75th birthday. The party was filled with people from my mother’s past. Most of them had met at Mesa Community College in the 1970s. They’d been part of a pilot program designed for women returning to school after taking hiatuses […]

Myths of Men

I am a myth-maker; I make myths of men. My journals and essays and mental spaces are filled with names like Jared, Jeter, and Jefferson, all of them monsters I tried to tame with a pen. My version of myth-making is a form of self-deception. I don’t do this on purpose. It’s a defective coping […]

Photo Sensitivity

I opened the door to my parents’ downstairs closet and flicked on the fluorescent lights. The room smelled like old coats and disuse. There I was again, home for the holidays and indulging in some bi-annual sentimental scavenging. My broken beginner’s Fender Stratocaster was leaning against the wall; on the high shelf sat a retired […]

A Story of Family

A line was already forming outside the glass doors of Queens County Family Court, on a grey February morning. It was 7:45. Inside, police officers milled about sipping coffee while municipal employees with key card access politely skirted the crowd, buzzing themselves in through a side door. At 8:00 one of the officers unlocked a […]

The Time of the Banshee

  On April 26, 2017, Hulu will release a TV series based on Margaret Atwood’s classic dystopian novel, The Handmaid’s Tale. Originally published in 1986, the story finds us in a North America occupied by the Republic of Gilead, a fundamentalist Christian government where women are a rigidly controlled sexual and reproductive commodity. It’s commonly […]

Why I Write About Whiteness

There was a time in my life when I entertained the idea of saying the following out loud—“I do not identify as white.” I considered saying this because in my cultural studies classes, at my liberal arts college, I had learned that race was a construct and that the concept of race was created by white people […]

Storytelling Lives: Just Keep Flying

Something has been missing. I’ve been looking for it since the election. Amid the noise of national politics I’ve felt an underlying void. There’s something that is bigger than my fear of the current administration or its impact. It’s bigger than Kellyanne Conway, Sean Spicer, and Michael Flynn. In my life, it’s bigger than whatever […]

The Model World

I think I’ve been to Disneyland twenty times since November 2016. I live in Orange County, about fifteen minutes from the park, and most days I wait till school is out so I can take my daughters with me. But I also go alone. I’m thirty-six. As kids growing up in San Diego, my sisters […]

Press Start to Continue

As a video game producer, my job is to address problems that arise in development. Whether it is to make a boring level fun, or to create a plan to moderate the penises that players inevitably create (using in-game text, player animations, or level editing tools), I work with my team to find solutions. And I’m […]

A Negro and a Hot Tub

The day begins with me realizing I am sore. My legs, butt, lower back, even my torso feel like I’ve been in a professional football game. Which is something I know a little bit about; once upon a time, though not for long, I ran with footballs for money. Presently, my soreness is the result […]

My Lover is Killing Me: Trauma and Writing

    I lost my mind again. I lose it frequently, to varying degrees, but it generally returns quickly. Lately, though, my mind has taken longer trips, leaving me alone with my body for weeks at a time. In its place, there is rage. I have stared blankly at the ceiling, contemplating suicide. I have […]

To My Past Selves

This is a love letter from me to you. Why? Because you deserve one. Because I miss you. Because it was just Valentine’s Day. Because I need to know what it was in you that always demanded an audience, that so craved connection, that sought relief in everything from loud music to medication. I created […]

Middle School is for Monsters

all names and identifying data have been changed to protect privacy My friend Rebecca and I, both writers, have been invited to lead a creative writing and empowerment group for girls at a local middle school. Our own adolescence is a distant country, but we both remember discovering our writing, our creative process, at that […]