Take With Food

(Sits at a table) I sit here again, like every night, pondering at this cold plate of food I could never eat. I wonder why I can never eat once I get home. I’m excited as its being made then when  its in front of me, its complete poison. I always thought it was her cooking, so I begin to make my own meals, and again, I just sit here, pondering at it as it gets cold, watching it as a crystal ball as I review my day. (Slides plate away)

I greet each person I see at school in the morning and always get a smile or  greeted back. I bring fellow students laughs and they are always excited to have me with them. In class I always understand the criteria and help other classmates that need assistance. At lunch I always have my favorite, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I can eat it everyday and so I do. At the end of the day if I had a club I would go. Greeting everyone as I walk in. I contribute to whatever activities we are doing that day and always receive an applause for a job well done. When its time for me to go, I would receive goodbyes as I leave waving good bye to everyone.

When I get home, I would turn up my music and do my homework, soon my mom is home. She would ask me about my day. I always say fine. Then we have dinner. She would become impatient and head upstairs leaving me to my untouched plate. Then we are where we are now. (picks up a fork full of food, looks at it, drop it back on the plate)

So why am I so depressed? Why does my day always end like this? A complete change of mood. Why do I feel so lonely? (Lays head on desk, after 30 secs and lifts head up)

I sit here again like every night pondering at this cold plate of food I could never eat. I wonder why I can never eat once I get home. I just sit there pondering at it as it gets cold, watching it as a crystal ball as I review my day.

I greet each person I see at school without ever getting a response back or even notice of my existence. I make jokes in class but are never heard because I speak it softly and the person next to me then repeats the jokes louder and receives full credit for the laughs it brings. In class I can never understand the criteria and when I ask for help from other classmates, they act as though I do not exist. At lunch I always eat the same damn thing, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. At the end of the day if I had a club I would go. Greeting everyone as I walk in and have no looks down my way. I contribute to whatever activities we are doing that day with no applause. When its time for me to go, I leave waving good bye to everyone with no one paying attention that there is now an empty seat or if it was or was not empty in the first place.

When I get home, I would turn up my music and just sit on my bed, by then my mom is home. We would talk about our days, I would tell her the same line and nothing else, “It was fine.”. Then we would have dinner. She then would become impatient and head upstairs leaving me to my untouched plate. Then we are where we are now. (Watch beeps) 7:30… (Pulls out a baggie with 3 pills) Take with food….. (Pops one pill)

My life isn't as perfect as I thought it was. Its not all daisies and sunshine. Just here, as a normal unseen kid. I’m alone. I’m on my own. Except- I’m not.

I sit here again like every night pondering at this cold plate of food I could never eat. I wonder why I can never eat once I get home. I just sit there pondering at it as it gets cold, watching it as a crystal ball as I review my day.

I greet each person I see at school without ever getting a response back or even notice of my existence. Except my two friends, they greet me and hug me. We talk about our previous night and the day to come. (Picks up a fork full of food and begins to eat) I make jokes in class but are never heard because I speak it softly and the person next to me then repeats the jokes louder and receives full credit for the laughs it brings. Yet I still manage to pass along inside joke to my two friends. (Eats more food) We laugh and keep the day going. In class I can never understand the criteria and when I ask for help from other classmates, they act as though I do not exist. So I move my stuff next to my friends and ask them and they can always find a way to explain the subject giving me an easier way to figure it out. (Keeps eating) At lunch I always eat the same damn thing, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, its the only way to get my special brown candies in, crushed in my peanut butter because they are too big to swallow. I keep a stash of candy in my bag, my mom puts it in my bag every morning and sets my watch for me before I leave. She mixes the special white ones she wants me to take with colorful ones that are ok to share. I hate them, the tastes like the doctor’s office but she says it's important to swallow them everyday at specific times. I share the unprescribed ones with my friends. At the end of the day if I had a club I would go. Greeting everyone as I walk in and have no looks down my way. I contribute to whatever activities we are doing that day with no applause. When its time for me to go, I leave waving good bye to everyone with no one paying attention that there is now an empty seat or if it was or was not empty in the first place, because of that I usually skip the clubs, and instead hangout with my friends. (Eats faster) The city becomes ours as we roam the streets, making jokes and laugh anxiously. Buying candy and sharing with each other. We share secrets and help each other with problems. When its time to go home, we move the party to the bus. We take control of the back of the bus and play games and make jokes always trying to keep smiles on our faces, though we in stuck in in this miserable life. We try to stay positive and keep ourselves in the light so we can't see the shadowy engulfing dark side. (Pops second pill)

(Stands up) My friends have been there for me through thick and thin! They were my umbrella when I walk into the rain! They have been there for my roughest hours and have been my rock! I should not be sad to have such a blessing! I should be thankful to have them in my life!

(Looks at the plate) So why am I so depressed? (Pops third pill) Why does my day always end like this? A complete change of mood. Why do I feel so lonely? (Lays head on desk)


[sits cross-legged on a chair, then speaks as if answering someone]

What’s my name? My name is Sal-ba-tor-a Rivers and I am four and three quarters! I’m prac-ly five. And I said it slow ‘cause did you know that sometimes everybody messes my name? Sometimes not even my bestest friends. My big sister says my name means saver, which is when Superman saves the girl off of a [counting on her fingers] cliff, or a spaceship, or a building. He’ll fly around and save her right up! I’m not Superman. But guess what? Guess what, guess what, guess what? My sister is! I read a lot of big books and can say a lot of big words also, but my sister is way way bigger and she knows [holds arms out] everything!

[as if answering someone] What did you say? Yeah, she’s very very really very strong! I just told you she’s Superman! Even though her name doesn’t mean saver. Her name is Anna and that just means Anna, which can be kind of boring. But she is more of Superman that me! She is strong and cool and she is sooooooo pop-ler in her up school! [suddenly scared, she looks around her quickly] Please don’t tell her I said that, please and thank you! She thinks I don’t like her too much, but [whispers], she’s awesome. She is 17 and one quarter, which is really really big. I can’t even count that yet!

[as if answering someone] Yeah, she’s pop-ler! Why did you say was? I see her all the time on field trips to her up school from my daycare, and she’s as famous as Superman! Everyone pointed and whispered at her, which means that she’s famous, right? That’s what that means, right? They were prob-ly all talking about how cool she is! But sometimes she comes home from her up school with purple on her face.

[as if answering someone] Yes, yes, yes, sometimes she’s real sad. She can cry like babies do sometimes, like a lot sometimes. Especially when she looks in the mirror. And she looks in the mirror a lot. And she says her friends were mean, but that doesn’t make any sense! She’s a million bajillion kajillion hundred times than everyone else ever in the whole world! No one can be mean to her! No one can be mean to Superman! Superman will just make them into dust!

[as if answering someone] Yeah, I know where she is! Do you wanna see her? Oh, okay. Well, I know she got a new bed. It’s all black, like a big black box with a lid, too!  I was with Mom and Daddy when they picked it out. She must be really super happy about it, because now she sleeps all the time. I try to bring her cookies, because I want her to wake up, but Mom says she can’t eat. I get it, though. Even Superman needs sleep! I’m smarter than everyone thinks, I know when people are too tired they need some cookies! Mom doesn’t like Anna sleeping, she’s sad about it, but I know she’ll be up any second or minute! Because when the bad guys get Superman, he always gets back up! And Mom says that some people at school made Anna feel all bad so she decided to not get back up again. But Superman always gets back up! I don’t know why everyone’s so quiet! I know she’ll be here any second! I don’t why you’re asking me all these questions about her! What’s the big deal?

She’s never been asleep this long, but it’s okay. She should be up really soon. Then you can ask her the questions yourself.

You guys would like her. She’s just like Superman!


He always make sure i'm set perfect.  He makes my face sit toward the big open course, its really a beautiful sight, all of the scenery like the lake, and the trees and the bright green grass. My lifes a lot of fun, i'm a guy who likes to travel, its not really my choice, and I did not like it so much when I was new to it, but I've adjusted and its really a lot of fun. I travel all over with my good friend billy. We’ve played in contests in front of audiences, winning money sometimes, and other times we’ve just went out and played for fun by ourselves, enjoying different courses with different scenery, and playing at the course thats closest to our house.

Today we are out on a new course, in sunny San Francisco. Billy takes me out and I notice that he is playing with his co workers, a usual group to play with. He holds me in his hand and I listen to them talk “Alright fellas,  who's going first?” I hear billy say “I guess I will” He always goes first, it gets me excited every time. He walks over and sets up my stand. He always makes me sit up high in the beginning, probably because i'm his favorite. He faces me out toward the course, and I admire the beauty of the course in which is new to my eyes. I see a big stream that runs through the whole land in which the course sits on, creating an obstacle for me to get to almost every hole. I feel him take his practice swing, the wind created from the swing hits me and it tickles, the blades of grass in which he sliced the tops off sway back and fourth. I know its time know. I get excited, knowing I am about to launch off into a new course, or a new world is how I look at it. The first hole is always the most important for me. When I launch, I look around at all the other holes while i'm souring, checking out all of the obstacles in which billy will guide me around. He always does. Hes such a skilled player, he always wins, out of all the matched we’ve competed in we’ve probably one every single one. Were the best team since, since, since peanut butter and jelly. The wind feels great, we haven’t played in awhile,  it's nice to finally get out of the bag to play other than to get cleaned over and over again. I was heading down for landing, just looking at where I was going to land and I noticed, At the speed i am going, i'm guaranteed to land right in the stream. I start to panic, this could be my last game, ever. My life starts flashing before my eyes, all the tournaments, all the courses, all the wins. I just close my eyes, wanting it to be over. I feel myself hit the water and just float to the bottom. The water is cold and the rocks are covered in slimy moss. I just sit with my eyes closed, sad, thinking why here, why now.

Suddenly, I feel a cold metal ring, wrap around me, I jump because I am startled. I open my eyes and notice that I am being lifted by some mysterious pole, type thing. I see a big blurred figure out side of the water. The light shining down affects my sight. I just close my eyes and think. Ive heard stories about this kind of stuff. When the kids take us and hit us as hard as they can with bats, damaging us and just forgetting about us after we land.  Or the people who take us out of rivers and sit out side of courses, selling us to make some cheap cash.

Happy Thanksgiving

Oh! My feeling’s returned. This is just what I need after all those weeks I spent frozen and crammed in tight plastic. I’m not complaining, the synthetic did wonders to compress and contain my ever expanding ass. I’m no barbie doll, but a turkey’s gotta look good. It feels like ages since I’ve been alone. You spend all your life squeezed between #6788859 and #6788857, it’s hard to feel like the strong and beautiful turkey you were meant to be. The bath confetti cubes of carrot and celery are delightful, I couldn’t ask for more. How did I get so lucky? Before I was booked a trip from Oregon to Pennsylvania, I was defeathered and shaved. I’ve never felt more like a woman. The removal of each pesky bristle unearthed a disgusting chaos which had cultivated beneath my feathers...chapped and pasty skin. But what’s to expect from a girl who’s never seen the daylight. Artificial lighting only goes so far. I wasn’t sure if they would apply bath oil or a simple two in one replenish and restore lotion to soothe the itch. Razor burn was the least of my problems. Boiling water soaked my tense muscles and with it, rising steam seemed to carry a familiar aroma. That rustic farm smell.

Wait, where did the bubbles go? Ouch! A pair of hands clasp my feet, bothering a stray hair neglected to have been plucked. Within a few seconds, my legs are being spread open. Are you looking up my…? Carrots, potatoes and...is that rosemary...are pressed into every groove on the inside of my stomach. I’ve heard rosemary lightens the mood. The same hands turn me over and begin kneading oil into my skin. It was like an oil, herbal massage. If I were alive, that’d tickle! I hear a faint jingle, then one by one, tiny crystals shower over my thighs as if to celebrate my beauty. I am proud of my thighs. I’m a scientific wonder. [Looking up at the ceiling] That’s a nice shade of orange. It reminds me of the beautiful hues on the pills that were pushed down my throat each morning. I’d love to see that color on my fingers. Wait, I don’t have fingernails. [Looking at thighs] Does this dressing make me look fat? Hopefully removing my feathers took a few layers off, or did it just emphasize my butt? I do have perky breasts, they may even hold up under the roasting. It was fun when they were force feeding me. Some guy would come around with a funnel and cram food down my throat. And I would just lay back and take it in. But hey, I’m rich in protein. And men like curves, right? I heard that the Turkey next door was raised on an organic farm. What a loser. 2 in 3 farm animals are raised on a factory farm. Organic is so uncool, everyone is factory farmed now. Where’s the community? At once, I’m lifted into the air, spun around and then lowered. [The Turkey notices a picture hanging on the wall, as she is moved slowly into the oven] I notice a blue and green square on a bare white wall. Birds like me sit among colorful patches and others drink water from a pond. My toes begin to blister and heat moves up my legs and spreads to my thighs. I don’t notice the rosemary inside my stomach begin to roast as well. Where are the people? Where are the cages? The turkey next to the tree is eating, choosing it’s own grass, not being force fed mashed and unidentifiable food. Maybe that’s how free range turkeys are supposed to be...ah, finally the tan I’ve been longing for...

Date Night

(Elizabeth is sitting on her bed. She is dressed nicely, with makeup and jewelry on. As she talks, she takes off her shoes, jewelry, and makeup (in that order), then takes her hair out of the side-braid it had been in, then shaking her hair out by the end. Side note- she pushes her hair behind her ear when she is upset or disappointed or shy)

That was incredible! He liked me. He kept calling me pretty and gorgeous and telling me that my laugh was amazing. And he was so cute (I’m talking tall, dark, and handsome, here) and nice and funny and sweet. And he listened when I was talking, always paying attention to me! And when he kissed me (puts her hands over her heart, leans back and squeals, kicking her feet a little). I can’t believe Nat was able to set that up for me. I have to thank her so much tomorrow. (Phone Buzzes. She picks it up, and reads the text aloud.) “How did it go? He told me he loved it! You totally scored- Nat.” (stares at the phone for a second, before laughing brightly and smiling. Then she begins to type) “It was awesome. He couldn’t stop looking at me! Even when I got up, I could feel his eyes on me…” (looks up from the phone) All night. All night, he was STARING at me, not looking. And he probably wasn’t really listening. (pushes hair behind her ear and looks down) And he was surprised when I started talking about politics.

I’m not asking for prince or celebrity. I’m not even asking for love. I’m asking for a guy who is willing to take for what I am. Because that, that’s what love grows from.  It would also be nice if he didn’t focus on the physical? That boy probably didn’t hear a word I said, he was so focused on my body. I’m sure he meant everything he said, it’s just...  (Looks back at phone) “Totally scored.” Not really. ‘Totally scoring’ would be getting a guy who is interested in what I’m saying and who I am, not just the physical features I have.

(shakes her hair out of braid and sighs) I can’t believe that I used to believe in love at first sight. At first sight, we focus on how a person looks. And we always try to make ourselves look nice. First sight is never this (gestures to herself, completely bare of makeup and jewelry). This is what I want people to love. I don’t want someone to love my body, but not my mind. Love my lips, but not the words they speak. Love is knowing everything about that person, all the little things that they like, and what drives them crazy. Love is knowing exactly what buttons to push. Love isn’t shoving your tongue down their throat. Love isn’t having arguments over stupid, petty thing. I don’t want love right now, and I know I probably won’t find it now, anyway. I guess I just want people to stop use a word they don’t know the power of. Love is beyond the physical, and it takes time. (picks up her phone, and begins to type a message) “It was okay. Don’t think I’ll be meeting up with him again.”

I Was Never One, But I Wish I Am

You know Betty, I was never….. (pause) never mind, just forget it. No, no, it’s fine. Yes It’s fine. (Sight) It’s nothing, I wasn't going to say anything. Betty it’s just I was never considered… skinny, especially to my family, I’m not, I never was. Betty I don’t need to hear you tell me I’m beautiful, when I’m sitting here looking at my stomach rolls and double chin. You never had this problem Betty, you’re skinny and no one ever makes fun of you or judge you what you’re eating and how much of it you’re eating. (Screams) Why am I so fat, why can’t I be skinny! Betty I’m not overreacting. I am not a 16 year old drama queen. I’m a 16 year old with rolls the size of football fields.

Let me tell you what happened just the other day.  I was walking down the streets on a beautiful snowy day. I enjoyed walking, it made me feel happy, just looking at snowflakes falling lightly. Then, I saw a group of people walking towards my way. I was in my big black coat, I already see it coming, they started to walk in a more narrow line, like instead of 4 people across the sidewalks, They bundle up walking in a way to say, “HEY let’s make room for this fat girl to go by.” It hurt my feelings a lot. Just realizing that. (Got quiet)

Yes I’m still here Betty, Sorry I was just thinking. I was just thinking of why can’t I just go to the gym like normal people and workout. Because Betty, when I go to the gym, I feel like they are judging me! I’m not overreacting again. I feel scared, I’m afraid of getting judged and judged on how I’m fat. Betty you’re so lucky, you never have to feel this insecure.

You know my family, they are always telling me, “Don’t eat too much, you’re getting more fat” or if a family member comes over to visit, the first thing they’ll say is, “Wow, you look fatter, don’t eat too much okay, you need to be skinny and pretty okay.” Like is fatter even a word? I don’t know about other asian family Betty, but in my asian family, your weight or appearance is like the topic of conversation! That’s the first thing they’ll say to you or talk about when they see you. I felt insecure. I wanted to hide, I was never one of those skinny girls, with the perfect everything, but I wish I am. For what? So I wouldn't get judged or ever made fun of. Skinny girls like you Betty never go through what fat people like me have to go through!

Betty why are you getting so upset? Did I say something wrong? What do you mean I’m self centered. What I said was true, I never saw a skinny girl get called “fat” or “Hey fattie, why don’t you go get yourself some salad.” Betty were best friends, I thought you understand what I’m going through! I’m the one who doesn't understand you? What are you talking about Betts. Who’s going to understand you more than me Betts? I stuck by you since kindergarten! I knew everything about you and still do. I know I know Betty, I know you stuck by me too. Why do you keep saying I’m self centered? I know you were there for me too, when no one was. You can never understand what it’s like to be fat! You’re those skinny girls that I wish I was like.

Oh…. you never told me that. What did they do? They what? No they did not! Why didn't you tell me that before? I wasn't gonna judge you Betty. I can’t believe they did that! What kind of guy says to a girl, “What are you a toothpick, no butt, no nothing. You look like you got a body of an 8 year old boy.” Betty I’m sorry. Well, it’s not worse then what happens to me, you look nothing like an 8 year old boy! Betty what happened to you doesn't compare to what happens to me as a fat girl. Betty I didn't mean it like that. Betty! (Betty hangs up).

No one ever understands me anymore, not even my best friend. (Thought to self).

Green Eyes

I know that there is a bus stop right out front of my house but I think I’ll go catch the train this morning. It’s about five blocks away in the part of the city that people call the white side but all the cute boys from St. Charles East catch the train from there and besides I could use the exercise. [rolls eyes] I mean I don’t know what it is about cute boys but they just make you do stupid things.

I was standing on the platform clinging onto my book bag as the train rushed into the station. The wind from the train made my hair blow fiercely like Beyonce in concert. I am ready. [Flips hair] The train door opened and I walked in and grabbed a seat all the way in the back of the train. Thats when I saw him. [eyes grow wide from amazement] I saw green eyes sticking out from the crowd of people as he scanned his transpass and made his way into the same train car as me. No freaking way. So I’m clawing through my bookbag trying to find my lip gloss. Got it [puts on lip gloss] I hope he sees me. [Sits up really straight and crosses legs]

Green eyes is just standing there and slowly bobbing his head to his music. I wonder what he is listening to. Maybe classic 80’s rock. Yoooo look at those lips. Good lord. They are so pink and full and so round they are perfect. They probably feel perfect too. We would be so cute together posting kissing selfies. He could be my mcm every Monday. And his hair… Lord. His beautiful baby brown curls fall effortlessly down his smooth Ivory skin. I just want to hold his hand. Or just be able to feel his arms around me Shit. He sees me staring at him. Ummm maybe I should smile. [Smiles awkwardly] OMG he really just smiled back. Hopefully he doesn’t remember me from last time. When I tripped and dropped my cell phone, my glasses and my wallet. Hopefully I can redeem myself.

I really would like to get to know him but what will he think if I just walked up to him and told him that would like to have his number. He would probably tell all his friends that I was thirsty. And all my friends would call me an oreo, sell out, or say that I [air quotations] hate my people. Sometimes I wonder what it’s like to be like other girls. To be able to like boys that do not necessarily look like me without being accused of hating myself.

I love myself. I love my sun kissed skin, wide hips, round lips, and kinky hair. Today I’m going to do what I want to do. Who gives a damn what people think. That’s right today is the day I’m going to get his number. But wait… what should I say? [bites lip as if in deep thought. Eyes get wide from amazement] I got it! I could say, yooo I lost my number can I have yours? Nah. I could say I’m pretty and you’re cute, together we could be pretty cute. Nah. I’ll just let it happen naturally I mean whatever happens, happens. This is the moment of truth.[stands up and nervously walks over to guy] [Clears throat] Hey, umm you know umm do you know what stop is next?


Ok. stop. It’s 11:13 pm. Everyone knows that no good work gets done past 11. Ugh, how can it already be 11:13? It was 9:42, like, 5 minutes ago. 11:13 may be a little late, but late is better than never. And look! I already have a solid paragraph. I’m just four more paragraphs away from a decent sized history essay. And then all I have to do is my lab, then those geometric proofs, and then that english reflection paper… Oh my god my life is a never ending assignment! No, don’t panic, don’t panic. Double space solves everything. *types* There, that looks, longer. Oh, size twelve font, there we go. *types* Is ariel bigger than times new roman? Whatever, times new roman makes it look fancier.

*starts to fall asleep*

What? I can’t go to bed yet, not now. I have too much work to get done. I mean, people pull all-nighters in college all the time right? I just need coffee, or an energy drink, or, or…. That bottle of coke thats been in my room for like a month? *thinks for a minute*

*typing and saying* When.. Does… Coke… expire….?

No, no I need to do this, with or without an energy drink. Lets see, “The collapse of the soviet union…” How did that happen? How can I forget how the Soviet Union collapsed, that was like, the whole unit. I’ve got it, I’ll message someone! Somebody else can totally help me out, maybe even share their paper. Ok facebook, who to message. Not in my class... not at my school… Jeremy’s mom. How can nobody be online, it’s only 11:26. Maybe Jeremy’s mom could- Wait. Ned! Ned’s online! Oh thank you facebook gods. Ned is pretty much the smartest kid in the grade besides that kid I’m pretty sure has been held back a few years. He’s totally gonna help me. Ok, ok:

“hey” No, no. A one Y hey totally sounds like I’m trying to steal his history essay. *types*

“heyy” Better. And… send! Alright Ned, gimme those answers. ‘Seen at 11:28’ He’s totally responding! We were lab partners last year. Hey, we were friends. We would talked a lot in lab about tests and quizzes. He was sweet, he used to offer me gum when he had it. Everyone thought he was into me, he probably was. He would even let me look at his homework when I needed to. Then why is it taking him so long to respond? I guess I don’t have that many classes with him now but… Is that who I am now? That girl that asks for other people’s homework? It was totally Jessica Stein last year. When she was at a desk next to you, everyone knew you were screwed. It was the fact that she was shameless about it, though. It was so casual, sometimes she’d just give a you this slight glance in your general direction, and you knew what she wanted. It got to the point where people avoided sitting next to her in a classroom setting. I’m pretty sure she transferred this year, actually.

Oh god. I’m totally the new Jessica Stein. When given the choice, people never sit next to me. It’s a spiral! I don’t do one thing and then I have to do it the next day on top of the 3 other things I was just assigned. It’s just more and more and more and more and… No wonder he isn’t responding, Ned probably hates me for begging him for work and thinks I’m pathetic. I’m probably worse than Jessica in his eyes. *takes breath*

Stop with the pity party, he’s gonna respond. And hey, If he responds quickly enough, maybe I’ll have enough time to finish my homework up tonight. Maybe I’ll finally get it all out of the way. Maybe… Maybe I’ll start writing my work down, or putting it in a planner. Maybe I can do my work right when I get home, instead of putting it off, and off. Maybe I’ll go to bed earlier, I’ll probably get more sleep. Maybe I’ll walk to school, yeah! I’m only like a mile away, I could use the exercise. I can get one of those apps that blocks facebook- No- I’ll get an app that blocks the internet. My work time is my work time, I don’t need the internet to distract me. And then, maybe I can-

‘Ned is offline’


(James runs into his bunker and closes and locks the door.)

We should have seen that coming.   I can’t believe that they surprised us like that.  There are hundreds if not thousands out there.

(He sees a piece of paper and pen)

I need to say goodbye to my family.  

(Runs to the paper and pen)

What do you say to someone you love  when you are about to die and they are thousands of miles away?

(Looks at the paper and freezes)

To my loving wife Linda and soon to be born son James Jr.,

It’s me, James.  I have always been a man of few words.  I hate talking and you know that.  But (pauses)  

I don’t think I am coming back home to Philadelphia.  The base was attacked.  We didn’t see it coming.  I am writing this because today I am going to die.  

(pauses again).  

Linda I just wanted to say that I loved you.  Even if I didn’t show it at times, I did.  When I first met you in high school English class, I knew that you were the one for me. When a woman can make a strong man weak by the way she looks at him, you know you’ve found a keeper.  We’ve had our ups and downs but what relationship hasn’t.  To James Jr. I know that you will have no memory of me.  You are not even born yet. That is the one thing that hurts me the most.  I thought that if I fought in this war I would make this world a better place to watch you grow up.  The irony.  I wish I could be there to watch you grow up. To teach you how to catch a baseball, take you to your first game

(a tear comes down his face) (sniffles)

(Come one James, pull yourself together)

and see you graduate and everything in between.  I know that you will become a great man one day.  These words can’t really describe how I am really feel.

(Hears random German commands outside his door.)

Goodbye, I hope you never forget me.

(The door is kicked down. He holds the letter to his chest.)

Please, Please Please!

D-Squad Slide

My slide looks the way it does because as soon as you see it you see the American flag. It shows a lot about me already, but when you read the words it says even more. The words are basically music that I like, where I'm from and other words that mean a lot to me. They are important to the layout because everything I love makes up who i am and so does the American flag. I am from Georgia and so is my whole family so it represents a lot. I chose the background color to be burgundy because I love that color and it was the only one that looked right behind red, white and blue colored text. I stuck to a darker background because it looks more appealing than multiple bright colors in one spot since the words I used are very light. Zach Holman inspired me to use big text so you can read it from afar but enough words for it to be informative. I tried to make this slide look creative in a simple way with help from Presentation Zen. 
Untitled presentation (1)


I looked up. A flash of memories pass through me. I shivered, out of fear. I told you I was cold. I look at you. Blank stare. You don’t remember me. I don’t know why I’m surprised. I looked into your cold lifeless eyes, only to find them missing. Something has changed.  “So, Jesse is it? Why would you like to work here.” I say not letting you see that I recognize you.

I am boiling with anger inside. Why did you do that to me? Was it fun, Jesse? Throw the gay kid in the trash. Dump his head in the toilet. Lets make his life hell because he likes guys. I remember one time I wanted to join the football team, I had been training so hard, all month long. I got out on the field ready to go. We got assigned to teams. Then we got into formation, my whole team turned against me. “A gay guy can’t play football.” those were the words you said to me as I was pushed off of the field.

But, I guess I should thank you. For all of my accomplishments. Without you to bring me down every day of high school, I’d never be so determined to get into Law School and start my own firm. I can’t bring myself to say those words to you. I busy myself reading your resume. Scribbling nonsense notes. “I’m gay.” I stop. (pause then looks up) I look at your face, incredulos. You are gay. I don’t trust my ears. I have to repeat the words to myself five times before I can start to believe them.  You are gay!

All those years, bullying me because I (points to self) liked men. And all those years you did too. (laughs) I feel bad for you. You hid behind a shield, bullied me so no one would dare to think you too, were gay. Surrounding yourself with girls. No one would have ever thought. Jesse the prom king, the popular guy, the guy who everyone loved...gay? No, no one would have bought that! And why should they? You built a wall, never let anyone see the real you. You created a character so intricately that no one thought to question it.

I look into your eyes again, this time I see something familiar. The broken glass, one thats been punched, over and over again. My eyes used to tell the same story. Because of you. In a matter of seconds the broken glass is gone, replaced by a bulletproof glass. “It’s me, Dylan.” I say. I see your eyes change, a different story is being portrayed, your face softens, as a wave of sorry’s flood out your mouth, but I’ve already forgiven you.


Oh god, oh, oh god he’s looking at me.

They’re all looking at me.

Why? All I wore was a t-shirt and jeans. Is it my boobs? Is there too much cleavage?

(looks down at boobs) There’s only a little. What’s the big deal!

Is it my jeans then? My butt?! (Looks at butt) They are somewhat tight…

But so are their clothes! One of them isn’t even wearing a shirt!

(Pause) Oh no they’re starting to shout! They’re starting to shout!

Okay, okay just ignore them and they’ll go away.

Just ignore them and they’ll go away.

Just ignore them and they’ll go…

ARRGGGH! It’s not working! I just want it to stop. This is so humiliating.

Maybe I should say something…

NO! no I can’t do that. What if I start some shit? It could get really out of hand.

I shouldn’t, I really shouldn’t (long pause, silence)

(Blurts out) What did I do to deserve this?!

I was just walking on the street and this has to happen. Everyday.

I mean (laughing) Nicki Minaj shakes her fake ass only wearing a thong and she get treated like a goddess!

But I,


I’m a…




Is that what they really think of me? You don’t even know me…

I mean, I see hot guys walking down the street all the time (Short pause) well… not all the time, but I don’t shout at them.

In front of everyone!

I know they have hormones, different from women, but that doesn’t mean they have to make me feel…


Don’t get me wrong it’s not all of you. Maybe some of you are trying to be nice!

Beautiful is a compliment!

But there comes a point where I just

Where I just don’t know anymore.

And maybe I should just stopping dressing like a “Slut”

Or walking around at night

Or just alone In general.

Or maybe you need to just stop.


My male boss finally agreed to give me the pay raise I asked for 5 months ago.

I told him how grateful I was for his help in sorting it all out.

He said to me, “If I wasn’t married, I would ask you to show me how grateful you really are,” followed with a small chuckle.

I stared at him.

I couldn’t tell if he was serious.

I wanted to ask him how he could live with himself. How he sexualize his employee like that. Why he thinks that he can say anything to women, like we have to accept every ugly remark that spews out of his mouth. I want to ask about his wife, about his children. I want to tell him that, when men say things like that, it encourages their sons to do the same. And it encourages their daughters to accept it. Like it is something that cannot be changed. An endless cycle where women aren’t to blame. By letting our children to conform to these rules we are only perpetuating a prejudiced system. A system where feminism, is this radical theory that women are actually humans. We teach boys to grow outward. To grow as big as they can. While we teach young girls to grow inward, to make space for their man. Because apparently there isn’t enough space for both of us to shine. Contrary to popular belief, a woman doesn’t need a man to survive. A woman without a man is just as crazy of a notion as a fish without a bicycle. Equality shouldn’t be a concept we hope for our grandchildren to know. It needs to be a necessity. Something that we cannot live without.

I wanted to tell him that women already make 77 cents to the dollar that men make. And that we don’t need his harassment to make up for the lack of zeros on our pay check. And that my co-worker, John, has only been working here for three months - but he has already gotten twice the amount of promotions I have gotten in three years. I want him to feel the fear of going into my male boss’ office, uncertain if my lips will be asked to do things other than give a sales pitch.  I want to tell him that I wore my deepest cut business suit to my job interview, because I knew it would it would appeal to him. I cannot wait to see the day where people do not base my intelligence off of my wardrobe.

I want to tell him no. I want to tell him stop. I want to ask him why.

But instead of saying any of that, I just smile, and walk away. I try to stop my hips from swaying, because I know he is looking.

The Dance

I can hear the preschool teachers call their class up to the stage. I’m next. All of the little babies run onto the stage and take their positions. Parents clap and wave to their kids. They  waved back, smiling. The teachers quietly got their attention. Then, the music started.

I’ve heard this beautiful song in rehearsal a couple times but that night I couldn’t stand it. Every little note drove me insane. “Calm,” I whispered to myself. My heart was beating so loud I could hear it. I began to go over my dance in my head. My solo. My first ever solo to be exact. that night, I was dancing all alone. It startled me when my dance teacher insisted on it. All throughout rehearsal I was nervous but never as nervous as I was then. This was like torture.

“One, two three, one two three,” I kept repeating in my head, “One, two, three, turn.” “One . . .,two . . ., turn?” Oh no! I forgot! I forgot my dance! I can’t go out there! My heart was beating faster than ever. I couldn't stop sweating and my breathing became faster. “Calm! Be calm! You can’t go out there like this!” I felt like I was having a panic attack. My body wasn't listening to my brain. I snapped out of my head and tune in to what’s happening around me.

The music stopped. “It’s over? I thought it just started! It can’t be done!” My heart was going to explode. I wasnt ready. I started preparing to go onstage when I heard the preschool teacher say, ¨Technical difficulties!” Technical difficulties”, I said to myself. A tiny weight was lifted off my shoulders and I breathed easily for the first time in minutes. But then I remembered the next time the song stopped it would be the end. And then it would be my turn.

The nervousness came back. I started questioning myself. “Why did I do this? Why am I up here?” Then I realized how stupid I sounded. I need to do this. I’m tired of being shy and reserved. I’m tired of staying in my little shell and not trying new things. I’m tired of being excluded from activities because they know I won’t participate so they don’t even bother to ask. I have to do this dance. My nervousness was still there but I ignored it. The music ends and I hear clapping and shouting. It’s my turn.


The first class should be coming in right now 8:15 right on time as always never late never off right on time, except for those one are two who sit in the back who seem show up same time every day 9:15 on the dot, Every day come in sit down act like they pay attention then sit and slack off for  10 minutes look up watch me hanging waiting for the arrows to line up in possession so they can run out the door. The same every day with those two fools, from up here I can see it all though I can time  every thing I know the exact time that the next group kids will come in when that stupid kid in the back will make some sound that makes the entire class laugh he does it every day 10:15 on the dot. Then teacher ponders 15 minutes go by and another 10 go as she refuses to say another word unless the culprit speaks up, He never does though even though its quite clear who it is not to her thought to me its as clear as the air that you breath, I can see it  from up here I can track it all every minute, I can tell you when that the kids is sitting in front of you that makes those noises and that he did same thing 10:30 yesterday  but what can a holder a watcher of time do but that watch wait. I have seen I know all the dirty secrets of this place even the one you don't know how the students meet in this room and beat that boy with the glasses and the braces until he his black and blue every day at 3: 30.

Why do they do this I have been asking myself that very question 10 years now since the day the put me up in this god forsaken place, the first time I ever saw those boys gang up on that kid and why because mommy and daddy didn't hug them enough now because they were a bunch of egotistical little thugs who needed be taught a lesson or better yet need be slapped with the belt its not like they are using it to keep up their pants, because if they where then I would not be staring at there starry boxers stupid idiots. That little boy is no better he should stand up for himself standing there taking a betting won't help him much in life. Well it might if he is planning on being the worlds first pain feeling punching bag  I can see it now boy dies after one punch well what do I care I have my own problems to deal with for one having watch these stupid teachers that just hook up come in here make out like young kids they always come here 4:00 oh god help me you're not young get over yourselves and get a different room or please cover me up at least.  Why do I bother not like they will ever listen just half to pray that my hands move to 4: 30 faster before I lose a bolt, why couldn't I have been a  presidential clock learn the dirty secrets of the oval office and the secrets of the man running this country that would have been the dream hang me up next to George Washington painting I bet he has some stories to tell. Unfortunately that is not my fate its to watch kids beat the pulp out of that shrimp at 3:30 watch an idiot teacher stop a classes because of a imbecile who thinks making fart noises is fun. If that did not put the cherry on top of the Sunday I have to watch the generator come in the room at 4: 45 coming in the classroom and set up his weird ritual while he get naked and starts painting himself in white. I have tried saying Idiot that's not how you talk to ghosts that's who you catch a cold but does he listen no like the others, how I wish I could leave the only way I can leave is by praying the backwards school gets shut down oh how I hope until then I will forever be the watcher time keeper and recorder of this monstrous room oh look at that 7:00 already almost time start school better get ready done.

Clean J's

“Yo! YO! LADY! I CAN’T UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU’RE SAYING! SO STOP TALKING TO ME!” I thought about yelling this. Right in the face of my new “homeroom” teachers, as she slowly blabbered at me in Italian. Instead I just stood there in the front of my new classmates and stared at her. She tried to help me understand what she said with frequent hand motions, but I was lost.

I’m leaning against the blackboard, with my head raised high to symbolize “my cool attitude”. Earlier this morning, rolled up my jeans before school to show off my new Jordans. I even had a new green polo shirt on and I sported my old New York Knicks flat hat backwards. I mean, to be honest, I was looking pretty fly. You know, had to show off the new American fashions for the ladies. I heard they like that fashion stuff down here. 

But when she had called me to the front of the class, to introduce me, everything changed. I had walked up slowly, taking my time, with that NYC strut that the cool kids at my old school [strut to front of class]. I had to show them that I wasn’t to be messed with. She talked to me slowly in Italian, but all I heard was “Blah. Blah. Blah. And… blah.” When she finally stopped talking, she looked at me. I looked back. [5 seconds of awkward]. She must be asking a question. The kids had already been giggling quietly, pointing at my outfit. They were just jealous, I told myself. I took an educated guess at her question in my broken and terrible Italian.

“Uh. Oh uh sorry. I mean oh wait. Il mio nome Russell e mi è piaciute il basket.” I told her choppily in Italian. I told her my name was Russell and I like basketball, one of the only phrases I knew in Italian. In America, I had taken Spanish, not Italian. I had done a little studying on a few phrases a couple days ago, but obviously not enough. Why can’t everybody just speak English? The class was now laughing as they heard me speak. One kid even fell out of his chair. Keep your head up high Russ, keep it up. I kept holding my head high, and gave a shrug to the teacher as to say ”whatever”. Yeah, way to play it cool. People laughed even more. But now it felt more like teasing.

[I looked down at my Jordans] I had specifically cleaned these off for the first day of school today. The dirt marks, grass stains; I had taken forty five minutes last night to polish them off. This was supposed to be a new place. A new start. But as I stood in front of this class full of kids laughing at me, I noticed it wasn’t. It was like I was back in America.

My dad came home three weeks before April 1st and said we were moving to Italy. We lived in Manhattan and he worked for the New York Times. He had always wanted to be a field reporter in a different country, and now he was finally getting that opportunity. There was no hesitation. We were packing our bags. Two weeks later, I was in Italy. 

I was happy. I had never fit in at my old high school. I was dorky. Nerdy. Weird. Fat. Ugly. Never good enough at sports, or smart enough to compete with top of the class. I was stuck in the middle. Italy represented a chance to rebuild my image, but as I stood in the front of the classroom, I felt like I was back in America.

Before the day, the office had handed me a schedule of my classes, but told me I would have to wait till tomorrow for the translator to come. They apologized, but I told them “it was chill”. But now “it wasn’t so chill”.

The teacher now told the kids to quiet down and she asked me slowly in her troubled English, “Where I was from?”. I began blushing and told her in English that I was from New York. She nodded and pointed me back to my seat. I leisurely strolled back to my seat. The guys looked at me and kept laughing. The girls giggled.  [Give head nod]. I was trying to keep in my sadness and maintain my cool, but it only caused more laughter. Amidst the laughter, another guy pointed my way and the girl I had nodded to, while he said something in Italian, resulting in more laughter. [sit in chair, roll down jeans, and take hat off.] I keep my head down. My “cool” was all gone. Why was it, that everyone always found a way to laugh at me, in America or Italy?

I sulked down in my chair while looking down at my clean, red J’s. The black Jordan sign glistened in the light as I got up to leave. As I left the classroom I saw America. The America I had happily left behind. Maybe I just couldn’t fit in anywhere. Maybe I was just a clutz. A loser. An idiot. Maybe I just wasn’t built for this world. Maybe it was time to give up.

It's Time to go Now

She just said it’s time to go now. Dismissing me from the family I had lived with for 4 months, 4 month. I was done with them, this is it the breaking point. I had always been dedicated to them, I know I am in their debt. But why do I feel unloved? LIke I was just something they had  do to feel good about themselves.You know like, it does not matter what they did but why. I felt used. Like a tool to give them happiness.

I’’m past Mrs.Slade now her face does this funny thing when she sees my face. She touches my arm asking “If I'm okay? ’How --- how could I be okay, everything was going and had gone wrong. I just shake my hands and head so, I----   don’t scream. My father had abandoned me and hid from me. I thought I was lucky when they decided to take me in. But now I have to go back to fim. To the person that left me. I pass the family the oldest holds out his hand and I brush past him.I don’t want to touch his hand. A hand offered in such selfish and hurtful help.

Walking out the door I remember how they never even asked if I wanted to leave,but  my time used up along with their generosity. They had worked so hard to find my Dad but never even thought I maybe wanted something else. Something better  I just know now I never mattered to them it was my situation, I was something needing help not a person needing love. So they never appreciated me as a person. As I get into my dads car I nod once and just say “go please go”. I look back at that family walking to the gate confused at my quick exit. I see him I thought one of my best friends yelling “what the hell dude”.

As I stared at the little compact two story houses, I decided I would always feel loved. People always treated you right when you're famous. I was going to be an actor. I had always been able to make people laugh with the way I acted. With my hand motions and smile kinda like Bill Cosby. Something they never appreciated. I won’t need their love any more I will be free at last. I can depend on me to get what I need, because I will work harder than ever before.Then i wil be appreciated. By everybody.

Swirling in Perfection

I stare at my blank computer screen in front of me. My entire dorm was completely dark except for the glow from the computer. I sit on the carpeted floor, maybe I can think better this way. I sit back on my green and white comforter. “Changing positions isn’t going to help you write the perfect speech.” I hear a little voice say to me. I write down a sentence. My hand is soon tapping backspace, erasing it away.

I am again staring at a blank screen. I can hear people outside in the hallway walking by. The voices carry under the locked door. I can hear the laughs and the joy laced in their voices. I want to be out there with them, but I don’t move a muscle. I won’t move a muscle ‘till I get this perfect. “You can’t even write a single sentence.” The voice persists to me. I try to prove it wrong, I start to write again. This time it will be perfect. This time it will be perfect, everyone will love it. Repeats over and over in my head, trying to drown out that voice. Finally having some words on the screen, I hear the clicking of the backspace key.

I am again staring at a blank screen. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. The word swirls around in my head as I try to find the perfect words for the perfect speech. It seems my world is defined by this one word, perfect. All I strive for is perfection, if it isn’t perfect I throw it away.

I try laying on my back, continuing my theory that changing positions will help me think. Staring up, I see the blank cream colored ceiling with the dark light in the middle.The ticking of the the clock engulfs the room, I see the seconds roll by, the minutes roll by, the hours roll by. As I sit there, there is still a blank screen. My dull, blank brain starts to light with the fire of an idea. The fire is brought to my hands as they start typing away quickly. There is a page of words in front of me and I’m burned out from the sudden surge of an idea. I read through what I have written, by the end of the page my hand is yet again wavering over the backspace key.

“It isn’t perfect, it will never be. Everyone at graduation will hate it." The voice tells me. No! My hand quickly falls away from backspace. I don’t care if it isn’t ‘perfect’, I shouldn’t throw it all out. “It’s garbage, it should be thrown away.” The voice said to me. It isn’t garbage, it is exactly the way I want it. It is the way it’s going to stay. I shouldn’t have to care what other people think, it’s perfect to me. I turned back to my computer and clicked the button, the save button.


I sleep 20 hours a day on weekdays. On weekends, I sleep anywhere from 10 to 18 hours a day. But I always can tell what you're doing. Do you always feel like somebody's watching you? Because I am, I’m watching you Ethan, (Heavy breathing, sounds like XHXHHHX) and listening, listening to what you’re doing But are you listening to me? Ha! course not- (rythmic) you just let my beat go on and on without any thought, ya don’t even know, how high the volume is on your stereo. You let it all go (pause)... to hell... yo... I know I’m not the only one. Just a few days ago I heard you complaining about the cell phone. You and that cell phone have done everything together and after 2 years you’re just gonna replace it for the next upgrade! I heard you saying… I heard you saying that (breaths deeply XXHHHXH) your planned on breaking the phone so that your mom would get you the gen 8. I (starts crying) I-I don’t even k-know (breaths deeply XHXHXHXHHH) what’s so great li-iike. It’s like (XHXHXHHX) what’s so great about having a thinner screen… You used to say live and let live. Ya know ya did,  ya know ya did,  ya know ya did. (Sniffle). 

Ok, um now back to the subject at hand. My speaker: why it’s broken, what you can do to fix it and what you can do to make sure this does not happen again. The reason why speaker my speaker is bust, is because of that dubstep. Please stop listening to the dubstep, it makes me vibrate so much I think I’ll explode. Please turn down the volume and listen to quieter music so I don’t explode, or worse. Now, in order to fix me you need to take out the broken driver and then place a new one in. It’ll only cost $20… maybe. You could always buy one of the internet from the computer. Hey, there’s another example of something good gone to waste. Remember your old computer? You used to spend hours on that thing, but then one day you put it in box, tossed it out and got that fancy computer. Anyway, buying an entire new stereo would be around… uh, eight thousand dollars! So just buy a driver for me that’s all you need oh and stop mistreating me and your other- Hey uh Ethan, what are you doing with that remote? Ethan (stern) listen to me don’t turn me on. Ethan, (worried) Ethan wait! Ethan- (screaming) CALL 911 NOW BWAWAH REEEEEEEEEAHHHHHH dududu REEEEEEAAHHH dududu WOOOOOooooowXXXHXHHHHXHHXHXHHXHXH. (pause) XHXHHXHTHIS GIRL IS ON FFFIYYYYAAAAAAHHHXXHXXHXHHXHXHX.

K8 ME Slide

ME Slide

I made the slide the way it is because at a quick glance you can understand some things about me, and it is also visually appealing. I worked with a program to form words into an image, in this case a cube. I picked a cube because cubes are equal on all sides, and I think my personality is pretty balanced in its aspects like a cube. Also I made certain words bigger that represented some of my history and culture, such as myself, jewish, massachusetts, and SLA so that even if people can only look at it at a glance they can still get some idea of me. All of the words I picked represents some part of me and together they say who I am. Being Jewish is a big part of my culture, even though I’m also agnostic I still celebrate a lot of the holidays and had a bat mitzvah. I was born in Massachusetts and it’s one of my favorite places, I love the sports teams and the cities.

For the design I tried to use a lot of the suggestions from the articles. I chose the color palette specifically so it would be bright and pop out from the dark black background, I thought the contrast would look nice.Also the contrast would help you read the text. I made the text as big and used it as a main part of the design because then you can read it easily and it maintains the simple design of one point per slide. I also tried to make sure the slide wasn’t crowded, I made a simple design and didn’t make it too big. One big aspect I tried to do was to create a simple and elegant design that showed me. I feel like this slide fills my wishes.  


I created this slide to show my overarching passion for visual arts, I then added the small texts embedded in the pencil to show what drives me to create. I decided to make the colors contrasting but slightly ostentatious, to capture the eye. I then differed the size of text to allow more variation within the simple design. I decided to state or share a very obvious idea but in doing so, showered it with a lot more complex and deeper information. I pulled a lot from Zach Holman’s color palette and choice of design but in doing so I added my own touch (hopefully). My design consists of a large visually depiction of a pencil, it is made entirely of smaller words that describe my personal life. I chose a pencil because doodling and visual arts are some of my favorite activities, I then gave an array of single words describing me, my home life, and my interests. The order of the different components are in no real significance because they all have seemingly equal significance.