Posts filed under ‘Excerpt’

Letter to My Rapist (Part I)

In the aftermath of Brock Turner’s heinous crimes and Judge Aaron Persky’s revictimization of Emily Doe, a Yale alumna is inspired to communicate with her rapist.

Continue Reading June 9, 2016 at 11:30 pm 1 comment

Excerpt from “Who Wants to Marry a Savant?”

imageWhen the fuck did I become a feminist who fantasizes about being a stay-at-home mom?

Sure, I understand that those identities aren’t mutually exclusive. However, the depth of my longing for that lifestyle absolutely confounds me.

I mean, I felt beyond relieved when I made it to 30 without getting knocked up or hitched. In fact, it used to really turn me off when men (or women, for that matter) seemed too focused on marriage and procreation, those loathsome heteronormative constructs.

I guess I’m at a different point in my life now. A point where my biological clock and socioprofessional disdain have converged.

This juncture distresses me on an existential level: more than ever, I don’t feel like the captain of my own voyage.

May 17, 2016 at 11:02 pm Leave a comment

Excerpt from “Who Wants to Marry a Savant?”

I was attempting to work on the manuscript for Men Behaving Badly when Edgar showed up unannounced (as per usual). I never minded his spontaneous visits, and I didn’t realize—until it was too late—how much I looked forward to them. He plopped down in his usual spot on the futon.

“You know, Edgar, I misunderstood the saying that revenge is a dish best served cold.”

“Have you been reading Stieg Larsson lately?”

“I don’t just get these ideas from literature and film. Give me some credit, man!”

“I always do.”

“You’re right. But, yeah, I just figured out what it meant right before you came over.”

“What did you think it meant?”

“I used to think it meant that it’s best to avenge a wrong as ruthlessly and with as cold a heart as possible.” I paused pregnantly.

“But I just realized the coldness relates to the passage of time.”

“I think you’re right on both counts, actually.” Edgar nodded pensively. “Of course, if you want to get revenge through the justice system, coldness isn’t so desirable what with statutes of limitation and all.”

“Fuck statutes! What these guys have in store is extra-legal (but neither illegal nor violent…we have too much to lose, and we’re more creative than that). Their lives will transform overnight without the slightest notice. Just like mine did. But, unlike me, they will have no recourse.”

“Sounds delicious.” Edgar’s pupils dilated with interest. “It’s been over 10 years. When can we get started?”

“We already have.”

“Oh, that’s right. I’m sure it has something to do with sending Tex that letter reminding him he’d have to pass the Moral Character Evaluation to become an attorney.”

“Nope. That was just our public duty and has nothing to do with revenge. That’s why we sent it as soon as we discovered his plan to follow his father’s footsteps at Harvard Law School. Not part of the revenge. No need to serve cold. Hey, wanna drink?” I gestured toward the kitchen.

“Sure, thanks.” Edgar popped the cork off my half-full bottle of pinot noir. “So, what’s next with respect to revenge?”

“There’re some clean glasses in the sink.”

“Coolness.” Edgar split the remainder of the bottle between the two of us. “I’m all ears.”

“How far can you run without stopping? How much can you bench press, squat, or the equivalent?”

“I thought you just said this wouldn’t involve violence or criminality?”

“Oh, it won’t. We just need to be and look like we’re in tip-top shape. We just need to signal that we’re as formidable physically as we are intellectually and psychologically.”

“In that case, I’ve got my work cut out for me. But I’m game. Tell me more.” He raised his glass and smiled with boundless intrigue.

 

 

January 2, 2016 at 7:38 pm Leave a comment

Excerpt from “Safe Mode”

The opposite of numb (but perhaps with the same result), I plunged so deeply into depression I couldn’t:

drive myself home
pick up a fork
wash my hair
erase my smeared makeup
brush my teeth
swallow 150 mg of relief
pack a bowl
check Facebook
cry
pray
masturbate.

August 11, 2015 at 9:44 pm Leave a comment

Excerpt from “Safe Mode”

Like a tulip shoved under a giant heat lamp, my upper body wilts beneath yet another wave of depression and grief. More than five years have passed since Lisa’s death, but I’ve become increasingly unable to withstand her absence.

I spend the next six hours coding, hoping this attempt to shed the blues (so blue it’s black) may result in productivity. I find myself humming a tune the oldies station hasn’t played in years:

Please lock me away
And don’t allow the day
Here inside, where I hide with my loneliness
I don’t care what they say, I won’t stay

In a world without love

February 12, 2015 at 6:00 pm 1 comment

Excerpt from “Who Wants to Marry a Savant?”

Professor Heart Attack (again, not to be confused with Professor Heartache) took me to a super fancy restaurant (I forget the name, but it was the kind of place where you can’t wipe your own hands in the bathroom — as he called it, “Zagat rated”) the first night we were in Atlanta. He ordered for me, which I surprisingly liked. (“The lady would like . . . “) I forget what he ordered. Something with truffles, but I hardly had a chance to eat.

And I had absolutely no chance to digest.

“Is it okay if I have a glass of wine? I must say, I don’t feel as sharp when I drink, but the setting seems right.”

“Sure. But I’ll actually have an espresso. I could use a jolt after traveling all morning.” I thought it was sweet he asked my permission to drink, not like I would have ever taken issue with it.

“At two and a half hours, the flight was just long enough to watch Mr. and Mrs. Smith.”

“How was that? I fell asleep 15 minutes in.” I had absolutely no interest in seeing yet another blockbuster with Angelina Jolie running in slow motion with her tits bouncing dangerously close to her chin.

“It was palatable.”

“Glad to be reassured. I wouldn’t want to miss the next American Beauty.”

“Speaking of reassurance,” Professor Heart Attack pulled his briefcase onto his lap and popped it open. “I want to show you something.” He pulled out a stack of papers about an inch thick.

My heart sank into the pit of my stomach. I didn’t need to know the content of the papers to know that a JD/PhD could only produce one of two things from his briefcase in that moment.

December 18, 2014 at 11:36 pm Leave a comment

Excerpt from “Who Wants to Marry a Savant?”

Having endured over 30 years of alternating waves of adversity and prosperity, I thought I had figured out at least a few things–particularly my sexuality.

While I appreciated the dynamic nature of sexuality, I also felt my sexual orientation had essentially congealed by that point. In other words, I thought I pretty much knew where I stood along the sexuality spectrum.

But the more I got to know Rachael, the more aware I became of the most painful irony: as my biological clock began to chime, I grew exponentially more attracted to women.

August 29, 2012 at 9:57 pm Leave a comment

Excerpt from “Under Pressure: The UCI Law School Musical”

NARRATOR:  Law school, even “the ideal law school for the 21st century,” has a tendency to bring out the worst in people, particularly as finals approach (which basically applies to every day (except maybe during orientation). Although I made a lot of lifelong friends and opened many doors, law school became quite a struggle, especially during the final semester. The most common problematic themes I witnessed during my three-year stint were entitlement, lack of self-reflection, hidden insecurities, “Mean Girl” behavior, and . . . oh yes . . . greed.

♫    ♫    ♫    ♫    ♫    

BRAD:  Thank you so much for meeting with me, Ricky. I really appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule.

RICKY:  No problem! Actually, things are super chill this year, what with my federal clerkship and firm job taken care of. I don’t even bother to go to any of my classes. What are they gonna do . . . not let me graduate and help boost this school’s graduation rate and reputation?

BRAD:  That’s exactly why I think you’re the guy to talk to. I mean, some of the 3Ls have positions with A-/B+ firms. But Remington, Orr, Young, Gibson, Boyd, Irving & Vance is an A+ firm.

RICKY:  Well, you’re right about that. Quite frankly, I didn’t come to law school to work 80 plus hours a week for an A- or—God forbid—B+ firm. Besides, the A+ firms have the deepest pockets. [winks]

[dollar signs flash in BRAD’s eyes]

April 22, 2012 at 11:38 pm Leave a comment

Excerpt from “Who Wants to Marry a Savant?”

Nicole Mitchell was her name. All of the girls at our high school called her “Nicole Bitchell” because, as I often overheard, she was a “heinous bitch on wheels.” I didn’t know Nicole well enough to confirm the accuracy of all the rumors that surrounded her, and I didn’t care. All I know is that she had an exceptional voice.

I was a freshman. She was a senior. We had dress rehearsal the night before the opening of the spring pop show, and all the choirs were practicing together for the first time. The freshman show choir had just finished our final song, and we sat on the risers instead of leaving the stage. We cleared a path in the middle for Nicole, who planned to begin her performance of “River Deep, Mountain High” right after our number ended. Our choir director told us to pretend we were at a concert with Nicole as the main attraction.

Nicole entered the stage at the top center of the risers as the fog machine began to gently huff. She wore a white, strapless dress that was so tight you could practically see the outline of her ovaries and so short you could . . . Her curves spilled out of both sides of the dress, and her tangerine stilettos added nearly half a foot to her petite stature. The background music began to play as Nicole slowly strutted down the risers. I gazed upward at her, as instructed by our director, as she drew the microphone to her plump lips.

When I was a little girl
I had a rag doll
The only doll I ever owned
Now I love you just the way
I loved that rag doll
But only now my love has grown  

Nicole paused on the last step. She tilted her neck back.

And it gets STRONGER in every way
And it gets DEEPER let me say
And it gets HIGHER day by day

Nicole arrived at the front center of the stage just before she began singing the chorus. Her chestnut hair cascaded down her back, ending at the top of her ample backside.

And do I love you, my oh my?
River deep, mountain high, YEAH, YEAH, YEAH
If I lost you, would I cry?
Oh how I love you, baby, BABY, BABY, BABY!

When she began the next verse, I felt a sensation—foreign yet familiar. I don’t remember the rest of the performance. I just remember feeling giddily nauseated by her white-hot aura.

March 9, 2012 at 8:15 pm 1 comment

Excerpt from “Safe Mode”

I was so busy—and so  distracted—I almost didn’t find time to read Google’s newest updates to its privacy policy. The changes would be enacted on March 15, and the symbolism was not lost on me. With less than an hour before the consummate adjustment, a friend dropped off a hard copy of the policy updates. She had altered the text so that a video camera couldn’t easily pick it up.

The apprehension festered in the pit of my stomach. I read down the page to the important part:

Whenever you use our services, we aim to provide you with access to your personal information. If that information is wrong, we strive to give you ways to update it quickly or to delete it – unless we have to keep that information for legitimate business or legal purposes.

A rigid lump welled up in the back of my throat. The broad scope of the language made me dizzy. I scanned the rest of the document. The policy was concise, so I quickly memorized it. Of course, I could have summed it all up in one sentence. But let’s not go there yet.

As I drove toward The Dalles, the following language kept playing in the back of my mind:

Where we can provide information access and correction, we will do so for free, except where it would require a disproportionate effort. We aim to maintain our services in a manner that protects information from accidental or malicious destruction. Because of this, after you delete information from our services, we may not immediately delete residual copies from our active servers and may not remove information from our backup systems.

February 18, 2012 at 3:23 pm Leave a comment

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