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The Fuel

Not yet, Mrs. Robinson

The scent of sour chamomile

His body close to mine

Nobody cares if he cries

He is the janitor at work

Brown curls and square glasses

I wish to bond


He pulls trash bins

Dirt on his taupe skin

Strong and calm, silent type

No complaints, not a sissy

Troubles he keeps to himself

I want to reach his heart


Mysteriously spicy to me

He sweats alone, cries alone

His radio tunes to hip hop

According to his moods

Wears his jeans straight

I wish I was 21 again


Some say he's a pastor son

Some say he's a single Dad

I know he deserves good

His success means the world

I stay afar, more comfortable

Be careful, Mrs. Robinson







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Working a Living Wage

His hands are swift as he picks up a mild sauce and tosses it inside the brown bag with the cheesy bean and rice burrito. "Que pasa, mija, que qieres?" He says to me as if I knew Spanish, and thank God the limited version of my Spanglish understands him. The sweat stain on his shirt shows the heat is on this evening. He takes my debit card and runs it through.


"Uh. Oh, dos burritos, that's the bean and rice burrito you have for me," I fumble answering him.


"Si, hasta manana," he said to me. "Don't worry, but I didn't put fire in there. We ran out." I don't mind it, because his voice is calm and baritone with a peace about him. I didn't miss out on fire because it is 9:30 pm and I don't feel like getting a spicy squirt run to the toilet bowl because of the fire hot taco sauce. I need to know my limits and mild it was. 


His shirt is suppose to be white, but with the long day and heat inside the kitchen, I bet his sweat stains is from the weather and the taco fryer with a mix of bleach. "Did you see the guy before you? He ordered ten Mexican Pizzas, and we only had two people back here. Sorry for the wait, miss."

I smile and say, "Gracias for the wait, I got to listen to my music."


He must feel some relief because his inhale shows as he wipes his sweat. "I work ten hours today," he says. 


I want to pull up to the drive through exit, but instead I drive into the premises and walk inside. I see him working to the side of the building inside the kitchen, and there are only two people in the drive through and one operating the cashier.


"Was everything okay?" asks the young woman behind the cash register. 


"Oh yeah, just wanted to ask what time do you close?" I ask.


"Two, miss," she says, her eyes red in the corners and her shirt has taco sauce spilt on the sides. 


"Wow..just you three behind the counter?" I ask her.


"We have security, miss," says the young girl.


"Oh no...that's not why I'm asking. I just felt tired today but compared to you, I'm grumbling nonsense," I say.


"Well....we all work it out, miss," says the young lady.


I love my job, but I know she is tired and I can't fathom her drive to keep working. She takes the broom and sweeps the floor of the Taco Bell, and I sit in the customer's seat sipping my water. She takes the mop afterewards from the janitor's closet and mops the floor. All familiar things I do as well, but it is so late for her, and time to write for me. The young girl must be about 20 years old, but not sure how old she truly is, however there is a hope inside of me, twinkling like a star that says this isn't her only gig and the guy at the drive through is also going to school. 


Fast-food joints worker are my friends at late hours, when I have munchies from writing love labor projects or get home late from my work. They are THE retail they work on, in exchange for something in their American dreams, whether it be education or just a full time job. The workers earn it. 


About several yards up the street on Main in Longmont, there is a McDonalds with the homeless parked in front of the parking lot, hoping for dollars. I see their able bodies and wish they would come inside Taco Bell or McDonalds and ask for a job and use the shelter as their temporary address, but who am I to tell them what to do. 


I ask myself if I am playing a holier-than-thou or righteous bitch to the homeless man and yet I look at the young lady and the young man behind the register at McDonalds and Taco Bell, and they work hard for their wages. There is something to say about the workforce at fast-food joints, that I keep telling the government years and years to do. To give them a stipend for college if they worked for more than a year at a fast-food joint, then they will get some money for universities or colleges they will later enroll in. The opportunities are vast and wide and there are millions of dollars per month at fast-food joints like Taco Bell and McDonalds that would prove to give a lead for their own workforce. The act gives them the incentive to thrive and force on to move to a brighter future. I wish this will happen one day. 


I don't know where this leads, but I know this....I have respect for those in lower ends jobs, the retail workers, the fast-food workers, the janitors and those who work hourly. I look at them and think they are my Dad, Mom, Sister, Brother, not because I am asking for approval, but because my family also work there before, and I know I am just one of the many who do as well. Sometimes I cry, thinking of the kids and men and women who work till two in the mornings, or overnights to make ends meet. I pray for them, and I encourage others to be kinder to them, and it is not us vs. them at all. I am one of them.


#JustWrite #Contemplations

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You Groovy, Girl

Stay girl, don't go running out commando with no underwear, you hear?

Stop spreading your legs in the middle of nowhere, waiting to be discovered by a man.

You stop spanking yourself on your butt, and don't think that the nasty in you won't get you burnt.

You know you're beautiful, and no air head still won't go anywhere with no blow dryer, so wear a condom.


Girlie, you know better to not blame yourself if you got some kind of abuse or gotten rape. You ain't the one fucking things up!

You did nothing wrong, but you know better than to tell yourself you will get love from sexual attention. They ain't the same, you hear.

Don't go out too late, girl, stay. Read a while, it saves lives.

Young or old, HIV don't see no age group nor color and neither does herpes and syphilis.


You know you got a good home when everything feels boring, you actually high class, girl.

You wearing that sheer gold underwear won't make you a princess. It just wets their dicks with wetdreams, yeah, them old men.

You know you're wearing things too short when your thong shows up in Neverland.

Don't be taking pictures of you drinking vodka, it will show up on television.


Girl, you know you're good, but no one confirmed it. Now you know!

You've got brains, girl, don't be afraid of them people telling you you're not.

They ain't got what you got, girl, keep it coming on!

You know you're smart when people kept telling you to shut up. Keep talkin,'


You don't have nothin' to be afraid of, just don't get your panties on too tight and shambled up.

Don't be sleeping around and getting venereal disease when your man might be giving you one already.

You trust your man, Girl? I haven't seen one with love so deep they asked God about you.

You got to be so smart and sharp that Jesus wants to talk to you.


Girl, don't go running out commando, you hear. 

Wear your underwear and protect yourself. 

You don't want to be one of them red district girls from Thailand or Denmark.

They would buy girls like you. You are valuable, so they put a price on your ass.


You think rape will end things? You better think again, girl, nobody can take your wit and grit down!

You keep going and wear that pride and confidence, because you went through somethin.

You aught to know that your trouble ain't new, girl, I got one too, sexual assault and mental health issues, yeah, name it!

You think you got it worse? There are rumors that swirl around that make it that way....ain't it?


What if you get pregnant? So what happens now? You reading for two and you have to two books now.

You need to remember that you gotta take care of God's gift first, girl...yes, you. You a GIFT.

If you do get pregnant, I need to tell you that it's not the end, and you need help.

Get help...you find it and seek it and pray it and believe it. You gotta keep believin' till it's all stable, you hear.


You better get a new conscience if you still hoping for prince charming, because you gotta work first, girl.

Princes don't come with a free hand out, they need to see you and be in your company and get to know you.

Yes, even princes can be dicks and they can be running out and causing death and all shizzles down your throat.

You need to remember that dreams do come true, but you do need to work on yourself and work hard, girl.


Yes, you deserve love. You need it don't you? But work like you don't need love.

You need to keep on keeping yourself on. Stay with God and keep going.

Stay with me, girl, don't you leave and keep on drinking on your belly full of a child.

I don't approve of you hurting and keep hurting, you need to rest up and stay beautiful.


Stay girl, don't go running out commando with no underwear, you hear?

Stop spreading your legs in the middle of nowhere, waiting to be discovered by a man.

You stop spanking yourself on your butt, and don't think that the nasty in you won't get you burnt.

You know you're beautiful, and no air head still won't go anywhere with no blow dryer, so wear a condom.








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Ubud Monkey

"Do not harm me!" I pleaded, hunching my back with tears in my eyes, underneath the grey morning sky of Ubud, Bali. The rotted yam bounced off my shoulders after Jantan threw it at me with disgust to amuse the villagers.


"Putri is a monkey! Putri is a monkey!" Jantan yelled about the street across from my peanut stand. Jantan was born with a jaunty walk, boisterous voice, smooth golden skin and a sharp nose. His handsome father, Priam, with deep set eyes and thick eyebrows, owned the café nearby Ubud Temple, with umbrellas and mahogany chairs, where as I was the adopted daughter of a peanut stand owner across the path from the temple. For two decades of my life, I was the village monkey and Jantan was the prince.


"You are a monkey, Putri," said Jantan, the fortunate belligerent teenager whose life was destined for success. He was three years younger, but I felt three years lesser than him.


The village children pointed at me as if I was a disgrace for a furry animal and a horrible excuse of a human being with dark features. What was fun for them was ridicule for my whole entity, whose skin was the color of dried grass with coarse black hair that grew over my face and body.


The rotten yam laid softly on the ground, as I slid it inside my empty pocket before running away to escape another atrocious moment in my life. I scratched the skin underneath my arms covered with coarse black hair as they itched from the humid air.


Moist of sweat underneath my shirt, I smelled as wet sage. The sweltering heat in Ubud, Bali, was no solace and the rains during the Balinese monsoon only drenched me with sorrows.


Known in legends as the Monkey God Forest around the world, Ubud, Bali, was also a town to live for local villagers who were too poor to live elsewhere. The fragrance of Ratna flowers and pink geraniums scented the air that alluded of peace about the temple, yet the taunts from Jantan and Priam ostracized me.


I was named Putri, which meant Princess in Balinese, but I was nothing of the sort. I was the anathema, a girl anomaly.


"Scratch your ears! And say, MACAQUE!" yelled a village boy, as his mother came and pulled on his ears. "But, I want to see her act like a monkey!" His mother pulled his ear lobes harder as he squalled and kicked his feet up in the air.


For a brief moment, I felt relieved. Yet, I was still scarred as a creation by the gods who perhaps had lost a bet upon my soul.


"Putri, stop wandering and clean the street for our customers," said my adopted father, Nyoman.


My birth mother was Nyoman's maid. Since my mother's death, I became the property of Nyoman and his wife, Ani. There was no remorse for my destiny, but it was better than death at child birth. Although I was at child bearing age, no sane and good soul would glance at me. Who would desire a woman with indigenous birth and hairy features upon romance?


"The customers want cleanliness, not a mess of a place," said Nyoman, handing me the broom.


"Yes, master," I said, as I swept the street about the peanut stand. I wished he called me his daughter, but it was too much for a wish today.


"Putri, your name is no Princess. It is a lie! You are comedy, Putri!" yelled Jantan, still wandering about the peanut stand as the nuisance that he was. Some passerby who wanted to purchase a handful of boiled peanuts left after staring at me, because of the scene Jantan caused.


Tears soaked the hairs on my cheeks as I wiped them away out of annoyance. The cheeks of a princess should be rosy yet smooth, but mine was fuzzy with long hair that flowed to my chin. I had a beard since I was a teen, with facial hair flowing down my chin to my chest, as the skin underneath made me sob at my life. The beautiful ladies in Ubud once told that a woman's hair was the crown on her head, but these hairs of mine was no crown, it was a scandal for good fortune.


"May I visit inside the temple, after I clean the street about us?" I asked Nyoman. There was a smile on my face, although unseen beneath the moist black hairs. Nyoman nodded. The temple was mirth for my heart and it was where I found peace.


"Gather the woods and place them in the fire for the water to boil first," said Nyoman, as he pushed the cart near the street corner where tourists could order some peanuts to feed the monkeys in the temple. "We must boil more peanuts now. We expect a lot of customers today."


Nyoman cut the banana leaves in squares with scissors to become containers for the peanuts. Dried branches from our kitchen inside our humble home was how I started the fire for the pot of water on the peanut stand. Our dwelling was nothing but a storage house for wood and branches to heat the village during monsoon seasons. We lived in the outskirts of Ubud, where tourists often passed by, just before they reach the temple.


"Putri, you must come back by noon after your prayer time, because we will need your help," said Ani, my step-mother as she placed dried wood at the foot of the peanut stand.


"I will," I said, wiping the hair on my forehead as I placed the large pot full of water on top of the fire.


Priam passed by as he snickered, and said, "The small monkey grew up, didn't she?"


"I am not a monkey," I retorted. "I am a woman!"


My heart crumpled from Priam's comment. My soul felt closer to the dirt on the ground because my short stature and hairy features never gave me any favors. I felt my blood boiled with anger as I ran towards the temple.


"Putri, come back by noon!" yelled Ani. I will, I replied in silence inside my heart.


The cool ravines covered with green moss soothed my eyes, and the fragrance of eucalyptus was a healing elixir for my heart. Banyan trees shaded the pathway towards the temple underneath the brave sky. I ran across the path towards the fountain in the middle of the temple. To the left where a small stupa stood with a figure of a beautiful goddess in meditation inside. This temple was made of ancient stones older than anything I remembered. My birth mother's spirit lived inside it.


Since my youth, the old grandmothers in the village told of a curse that had transformed all the humans in Ubud Temple into macaques, because their hearts were evil creating war and unharmonious life. The old grandmothers also told that touching the gods or goddesses inside the stupas will bless one with a magical future, and I have tried many a times.


I stretched my arms into the stupa to touch the goddess.  "Please make me normal and beautiful," I whispered, as I stretched my arms inside the stupa and the tip of my fingers rubbed the thigh of the goddess. "Yes! I touched the goddess!" I screamed as the echoes broke the silence of the temple.


A hush in the ravines calmed me as the sound of the rustling of trees tingled my eardrums, but nothing happened. I looked above and inside my tormented soul was thunder jostling my spirit, as I cried in pain and silence. Perhaps the gods and goddesses were angry at my birth, because I expected magic, legends, and beauty to surround me in life. In whispers of tears and shame, I uttered, "All of my life, I have been humbled and bullied. I wish nothing but death upon myself. It is better than to suffer the ridicules from everyone."


"A morsel of bread, my child?" said a gentle voice from behind me.


I turned around and an ancient woman in a ragged brown robe with silver hair was before me. Deep lines and wrinkles were on her face with dark drooping eyes, as if shiny black pearls suspended in her eye sockets.


"Perhaps, change? For the poor?" said the ancient woman, with her palms out, pleading in mercy.


"Where did you come from?" I asked with my big eyes wide and bewildered. I thought I was all alone.


"I am hungry, child. Could you help this old woman with something to eat?" said the silver haired woman, tugging at my tattered brown shirt.


I took out the rotted yam that Jantan threw at me from my pocket. "It is still food," I said, shrugging my shoulder, as tears trickled down my cheeks. Was she the mystical being I was to meet because I touched the stupa, I thought. The ancient woman grabbed the raw rotted yam and peeled the skin as she bit into it.


"Does it taste sweet or bitter?" I asked with my clenched jaw while feigning disgust of her earthy response.


"Oooooeeeeeh…it is sweetly divine, my child," she said. "How can I ever thank you?" The silver haired woman looked utterly happy as her crescent eyes turned half-moon smiles, finishing the delight of sweet yam.


"There is no need," I answered. "It is free and out of my heart. I am sorry I cannot give more for you." I looked above and around me, in wonder of who she was and how she got here.


"I can feel your heart is troubled from the tears you shed before me," said the ancient woman. "My name is Moon."


"Good day, Moon," I said. "My name is Putri. It means, …"


"Princess, … I know," said Moon, as her cheeks lifted to her eyes with a smile. She raised her hands and palmed my cheeks covered with coarse hairs.


"I am no such thing," I said, as tears came again with sorrow filling up my lungs.


"There is a greater spirit inside your soul that can conquer your fears and sadness," said Moon. "You may call me Mother Moon." Her arms fell to her sides as she tenderly looked into my eyes.


"How would you know my spirit? We just met," I asked, irritated at her assumptions.


"Do not undermine your own strength, Putri. You are truly a princess," said Mother Moon, whispering words I could not understand.


"It is unfair to have a name that ridicules me at every moment," I said. "My features conflict its meaning."


Mother Moon closed her eyes as she began to weep, and said, "If you can only see the truth of your heart, it is beautiful. From now on, you shall know the truth, and for your heart to be set free."


I sighed and looked to the ground, but as I looked up, Mother Moon had disappeared. With wide eyes I gasped with a chill over my nape, then looked to the stupa and saw something was different. The goddess inside it was gone.


"Mother Moon!" I yelled around the stupa and looked to the fountain, but no one was in sight.


Walking back to the peanut stand, I scratched the hairs on my head and thought of magic. Perhaps, Mother Moon was an apparition, but it must be a farce because she ate my rotted yam.


Upon my return to the peanut stand, plenty customers were there as it was close to noon. The macaques were out and Ubud Temple began to fill with tourists. Nyoman came to me, and said, "I need you to speak to our neighbor's son. He is somber, perhaps seeing your hairy face will make him feel better about his life."


I nodded, as I understood how Nyoman wanted to help those about him, and he often led me to be an example of misfortune to trade sorrows with the villagers.


The boy next door was on his rattan bed when I came to his house next door. His father came to me and told me, "Putri, he is afraid of the dark. You can be a big sister. He is always tired and won't get out of bed. Just let him look at your face, perhaps he will laugh at you and feel better."


Blessing my fellow villagers gave me gratitude for their joy, but often I gained nothing to reconcile my shame. I nudged the little boy as he looked to me, and said, "Hi Putri. You came to make me smile? It is no use. I lost my dear mother."


"When did you lose her?" I asked.


"Two full moons ago. My life ended with her," said the boy. I realized he was afraid of the dark night, as it reminded him of the moment his mother died.


"I met the Moon, she came to me today," I said, nudging him again.


"That is impossible," he replied. He turned around and asked, "Is my mother with her?"


"Yes, and your mother said that she is unhappy if you won't step outside and play. She wants you to live and enjoy your life. She is happy and has no more suffering," I told him, though in sympathetic lies, but one won't be harmed by its encouragement.


The little boy looked to the ground, and said, "Rinto, that is my name. I am six years old. My mother loved me." My chest filled with merriment, as Rinto smiled. Good deeds surely restored the strength of my heart, although I was often dishonored.


"Come out and play with me," I said, serving as a good example.


Rinto's father cried, and hugged me, "You are so kind, Putri. Thank you!"


Nyoman came into Rinto's house and yelled, "Putri, come outside. Plenty customers." I ran out the room and out to the street where the peanut stand was with a long line of customers who wanted to buy our boiled peanuts.


"To feed the macaques, sir? This is good snack," said Ani, giving a man his folded banana leaf of boiled peanuts.


From the corner of my eyes, I saw Jantan and Priam standing to lure customers to their café down the street.


"Our café has fried bananas, sir. Come and enjoy the cool air," said Jantan, politely, but I knew he was a faux.


"She is a peculiar thing, isn't she?" said a lady with a sun hat and pink t-shirt. Her features were foreign, and I supposed, it was fun to watch me spot my shirt underneath my armpits. 


"Yes, madam, she is a girl, with much hair about her body. Born this way," said Nyoman.


The lady laughed raucously, and said, "She is godsent! Definitely a spectacle all on her own."


I laughed with her, and said, "I am happy you are happy, madam. Come to purchase more peanuts later. We are happy like you, if you spend more of your money."


"Hah!" said the lady, as she winked at me. I waved good-bye to her.


Jantan stared at me and my interactions, as he flushed in anger. So far today, all of the customers came to our peanut stand and no one ventured to their café.


Another customer came to purchase some peanuts, and he had light skin and blue eyes.


"You are a strange creature," he said, with his eyes wide as if he was in fear.


"Sir, we are made different to enjoy one another and to learn from each other," I said. I realized my skin and features were a contrast to his, but I was sure that my heart and its language was somehow familiar. "I can feel and I can understand, sir, that we are not the same, but I am human, made to love and not to be harmed."


The man looked on to his arms and skin, and looked to the ground. "You are a bright woman," he said, as he took a breath and smiled.


My spirit felt brighter as sunshine, because he was willing to speak and dialogue with me and to attempt to understand me.


"What is your name?" asked the man with blue eyes.


"Putri, it means Princess," I answered and the corners of my lips lifted to a smile.


The foreign man smiled, and said, "I am happy you are named Putri. Your demeanor is of a Princess, and thank you for these peanuts, … Putri."


"Come again, sir, we have plenty," I said, in gratitude.


The foreign man left the peanut stand with what I hoped, was a revelation.


With my presence as the anomaly, our peanut stand became a third-world-wonder as we sold out of all the peanuts by afternoon. Our peanut stand welcomed those who wanted to experience Ubud at its raw splendor, and to help the tourists with an unforgettable interlude of life in this civilized world.


From mornings to mornings, I was reminded of Mother Moon, and her words to reveal the truth about me as a beautiful creature, not an anathema. A woman came to our peanut stand the next morning, and there was a melancholy about her.


"Just one banana leaf of peanut for me, please," said the woman. Her face was plumb with a brunette bob on her and light brown eyes on fair skin. Her tears made a trail from her eyes to her chin as she quickly wiped it with her hands.


"Are you okay, miss?" I asked, afraid to hear her answer.


"I was hurt in the past, and I've lost my dreams with it," she said, wiping her tears.


"You are on holiday?" I asked. "I hope you have some enjoyment today."


"I can't seem to escape my own mind and troubles," she said, as tears dropped to the ground.


"Do not be tired of sowing the good seeds, ma'am, even for yourself. Those good seeds become mist of worship to the gods, and they turn into rains of blessings for your harvest in the future," I said, in hope that my words consoled her. "Be kind to yourself."


"How ever did you know such wisdom?" she asked, tilting her face askew.


"Do not let others make you fear of doing good works. You must live through kindness and love about yourself, that is how I survive," I said. From a woman to another woman, I wanted consolation for her pain through my words and to empathize for her suffering.


"You are the first person who made me want to keep living," said the woman.


"Don't be afraid to enjoy the small moments," I said to the genteel lady. "It is the only way I can live in this small island."


Priam came from the left corner of the peanut stand and yelled, "STOP TALKING TO THE CUSTOMERS! You are not a shaman!"


"Ugly Gorilla! Putri is an ugly gorilla!" yelled Jantan, who stood next to his father.


Nyoman and Ani were afraid of Jantan's words and Priam's violence. Priam pushed the cart as it rolled down the street, further and further, and hit a rock then toppled as the boiled water spilled onto the street. Cracked peanuts scattered on the ground all over the entrance of the Ubud Temple.


"Now people can come to my café and stop caring for you, ugly gorilla!" said Priam.


My heart dropped to my stomach as I never knew Jantan and Priam were capable of doing such harm to Nyoman and Ani. Tears rushed out of my eyes as I wanted to end my whole being for causing such a havoc upon my only family.


"Stop talking! Stop pretending to be kind!" said Priam.


"You look like an animal, an orangutan! You are worthless!" yelled Jantan.


Their violence burst the peaceful conscience inside my brain, as the core of my chest shook out of its peace. Out of fear, I ran to the temple, afraid of being physically assaulted by Jantan and Priam. Fumbling to the temple, I scraped my knees as I ran faster towards the fountain and turned left to the stupa where I once met Mother Moon.


Kneeling on the ground, I tried to calm myself, breathing in and out hoping for the resiliency of peace to harness my fears. I blew on the hair on my mouth and tried to wipe the moisture out of my unmerciful face. I pulled on my own hairs, wishing it would disappear.


"Have you tried cutting them?" said a familiar voice.


I gasped and looked up.


Mother Moon sat next to me on the ground, with legs crossed and her arms on her thighs. I looked to the stupa again but the goddess was not inside it.


"Why are you miserable?" asked Mother Moon.


"Jantan and Priam hate me, and they will make others hate me too. Why do others taunt me so, Mother Moon?" I asked her. I felt the tip of my eyes wilted to the ground as dying sunflowers.


"My child, I am merely a messenger, but I assure you that the god inside you is stronger, than this world. You are not alone in this," said Mother Moon.


"I am too humbled and dejected, I wish I was not alive anymore, and I wish I can be with my mother who died when I was a child," I pleaded to her, to perhaps evoke the magic within her to change my life.


"Putri, you have much humility, but humility gives wisdom, not death. Jantan has too much pride and it is a disgrace. Jantan is toxic pride, and he breeds ignorance, violence and hatred. You do not deserve suffering or death. You are beautiful in my eyes," said Mother Moon.


"I am so scared. I don't believe I can live a long happy life," I said. "My face itches with this monstrous fur and I look like an animal, much below the worth of man."


"Speak up, Putri! Show them you are capable and worthy. Unless you speak up, they will always believe you are lesser than them," said Mother Moon. "Never succumb to the ways of toxic humans. Keep loving, and never let violence silence you. The truth is, animals are kind and have pure hearts, they just need pure minds. Igniting violence is vile upon life itself. Demand kindness upon yourself and speak up!"


"What if no one listens, and I am a fool, Mother Moon?" I asked, worried because the only people who believed in me were the destitute and the powerless.


"You must have faith," said Mother Moon.


"Faith in what?" I asked.


"Faith you can overcome in life, with the knowledge that not all humans will love the ways of toxic superiority," said Mother Moon. "Humans were made to love one another, not to harm the vulnerable, the different than or the less fortunate. It is against humanity. The human race will cease to exist when toxic superiority becomes bigger than life itself."


"I must get back to the village, Mother Moon," I said. I thought of how Jantan and Priam had harmed my adopted parents and my well-being. I needed to help my family.


"Run fast, and speak your mind, Putri. Go through the pathway of the fountain, away from the garden and you will come to the entrance from where you came," said Mother Moon.


"Will I ever see you again?" I asked.


"Putri, if the gods will it. Do not wish you lived another life, because you are enough and you are worthy," said Mother Moon.


"Thank you, Mother Moon," I replied. The fountain was behind me and as I wanted to leave, I wanted to hug Mother Moon but she had gone. My mind was wild in tangled thoughts as I was unsure of what reality was at this moment. When I opened my eyes, I looked to the stupa and the goddess was inside it, in meditation and sitting as a solid rock.


"Mother Moon, I will speak my mind," I uttered to the goddess.


Running towards the pathway from where I came, I passed the fountain beside me. My foot slipped as I fell inside the fountain with water soaking me through. My skin felt bare as I stood up inside the fountain, with water dripping over my body. The hairs on my arms and legs had soaked but fell off my body as my skin became smooth.


"Is this real?" I asked myself. I caressed my arms and all of the coarse black hairs that were on my body and face had disappeared. I touched my stomach and chest and there were no more coarse black hairs.


Immediately, I ran to the village and saw the peanut stand was wrecked out of the its stand and broken at the foot. Nyoman and Ani were trying to boil some peanuts from an altar of rocks at the front of our home. They were placing wood on the rocks and lighting the fire when I ran to them and hugged Nyoman.


"It's me, Putri," I said, smiling. The happiness inside my heart overwhelmed the past fears because my hair was all gone and I felt normal. I was the woman I wished to be. Everything came true and I did not wish for another life, because I was excited to live my own.


"Putri, how…?" asked Ani. She caressed my cheeks and cried as she hugged me. "You are beautiful!"


"I pleaded to the gods and goddesses for a magical future and they answered my prayers!" I replied. My smile made Ani cry and I felt fortunate because I felt like a daughter, not an animal nor a slave. "What happened to our cart?" I asked.


"It is gone. It broke and we cannot fix it. I will have to make do without it, but we can get peanuts from the farmers and sell it from plastic bags. We will boil it inside our home and on this altar," said Nyoman, handing me a small plastic bag of peanuts.


"Perhaps we can sit near the entrance of the temple and catch more customers that way," I said.


"What happened to you? How come you look human?" I heard a rude voice, that I never wanted to hear.


"Jantan, you broke us, you need to leave!" I screamed at him.


"You looked better as the tragedy you were before," said Priam.


I was fueled with passionate fire, and said, "You are both an enmity against the gods. You created dysfunction in this small village because of your selfishness and your toxic pride and superiority!" I screamed at them. I didn't care who heard, Mother Moon was right, I needed to speak up and release the voice that was inside me. The words to thwart his narcissism and evil towards my life, towards this village, towards this world.


"You are a circus monkey," said Jantan.


"I was born irreplaceable to my family and to the gods above. You are afraid I will become successful because I am a bright light to your dark world. My happiness gives you fear because it proves I am equal to you or perhaps, better!" I said.


From behind them, Rinto walked past Jantan and Priam, then stood next to me, and said, "I love Putri. She is my friend. And you have hurt those around you, Jantan."


"Priam, you are uneducated and a degenerate father," said Ani.


"You want everyone to follow you, but no one is following, Priam! You are poison, insanity and a disease to our lives. You are the tragedy and the violence that no one deserves!" said Nyoman.


Jantan looked about the village as the other villagers stood in silence.


"Your dysfunction eats human souls and corrupts life. You produce fear, violence, and self-harm!" I said.


Priam looked to Jantan and told him, "Let us attend to the café. There will be more people who will come, and we don't have to worship them as Putri does."


"Go about your own life, and leave me and my parents alone," I told Priam and Jantan.


For a moment, I saw them became small and cowardly, as they remained in silence since the moment I fought back.


As time went on, Ubud Temple was never short of tourists, and we were never short of customers. The villagers welcomed me as if I was the prized daughter and a kindred spirit. The tourists with tired souls would stop by for some peanut and conversation. Restoration of the soul was free of charge.

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On the way to....

There are roads in our minds, and some of the roads we take aren't the way the world plays out. We ruminate about the most logical paths, but rational or not, it may not be. The runway to truth is a slim path that only few can take, but here I am taking my way on my mind and heart with the thoughts and outcome of a legendary icon in my mind. He made it, but he also never made it but some like him did, and I saw their mistakes and sins, because they left this world without satisfaction of fulfillment in their heart.


I'm taking a different path. I'm learning, I'm on my way to....whatever it will be. I surrender, to God who is before me. I'm working and breathing in and exhaling labor, working my truth, and if anyone gets in the way, they better not touch me, I'm biting their gut where they had nourishment and I'll suck it all up.


There are miracles in me, and if there are those who want me to die, I will show them the miracles in me. I'm the fortunate, the one who lived through it, and one of the ones who made it through the tunnel. The fear is to never be, to never come to fulfillment or find the complete wholesomeness that was meant to be; but to that I say...time is on my side, if God's willing.


The belief is there, and it will take a while and will take miracles to achieve the strong surrendering truth that is before me. Creating the outcome and making the facts into truth, the nonsense into love and the heartbreaks into a message, a testimony, a love for others to soak up and learn from.


I am an abstract anomaly and my talks and shizzles are sometimes confusion to others, but who would want to understand everything instead of the big picture of the complete truth. I'm not here to explain, I'm here to share and to voice out my heart, and who cares to the ones who wants me to feel a hole inside my soul and to not feel a complete love that God ordained me to have. I'm the heavenly angel who came to this Earth, and if no one cares or realize it, it would be to their detriment, not mine. I know who I am. I'm loving me, I'm on my way to...whatever it will be. I surrender, to God who is before me.


Just like that, I breathe in love and I am forever going to be strong and loving.


Still in the game, even after all this time. I'm on my way to, .... amen.



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I am...

I am brave.

I am a risk taker and have risked it all.

I am a thriver.


I am a genius.

I am generous

I am a power player.


I am a winner.

I am a creative thinker.

I am stronger than I feel.


I am more beautiful than I believe.

I am living.

I am breathing. 


I am working.

I am smarter than I feel.

I am selfless.


I am a writer, and I will...keep writing



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Thank you

Thank you to the man in the ambulance who squeezed my hand when I was covered with blankets to be transported to the asylum. I didn't know anyone who would help me, and my family had given up. The trauma was so damaging and it hurt me that I couldn't function. There were suspects inside my mind and the report was ignored and they were free to roam and hurt other woman, and all I wanted was to end my life.


Thank you to my Paris Compadre, who told me that I risked it all when I asked dream man to elope with me. I won't forget his blue eyes and strong jaw, and how much I loved him but he was only okay with me. You told me I was brave although I was so hurt, because I was a survivor. I wished I was never hurt by it, and everything had worked out, but all was harmed and I was too dysfunctional to realize my own doing. All I heard was laughter from the pretty guys and girls and married women, and even his supporters. I would never be loved by his community. I wished it was easy to get over but the loss was so great I could hardly bear it, but our talks helped me. 


Thank you to the woman who hugged me at Santa Monica Third Street Promenade when I was working retail, selling Middle Eastern Bags, sobbing and falling apart from the assaults. Your Native American spirit soaked my tears and I was covered by your embrace.


Thank you to the nameless man who drove me in mid-July to my rental apartment before my move to Colorado, after my titanic mistake. You took $5, but gave me a kind blessing, forever.


Thank you to the Domestic Violence advocates who helped me. I would not have made graduation for my Master Degree without you. You deserved a lot more things in life than just this work, because your heart helped so many people. 


Thank you to those whose hearts lean to help survivors. We are invisible sometimes, and only recognizable by symptoms, but our hearts are pumping love just the same.


Thank you.



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The Gift

~Inspired by Gloria Hemingway from the family memoir Strange Tribe by John Hemingway~


No matter what the world labels me,

I will prevail.

However much people hate me,

I will prevail.

You see, I have a gift.

I can turn sorrows into similes,

I can transform madness into metaphors.

If she is a wench, I turn her into a warrior.


No matter how much I cry,

I will keep going.

However much I want to die,

I will keep going.

To keep living, bears my womb with joy.

I find small moments of love,

In the inconspicuous places.

If triggers of trauma comes, I smile and wave them goodbye.


I have this gift to change the sadness inside of me,

into sweet revelry.

The once chaotic turmoil full of black tar,

into a peaceful moment of mercy.

I have this gift inside of me,

To turn the midnight oil of terrors and anxiety,

into a masterpiece.

I have this gift to change the bad into whole.


Perhaps it is an easy task for some people,

but people I know find it hard to believe,

how a small moment of hope

can be found in the midst of darkness.

How life can be hopeful in faith,

despite the mourning and injustice.

I have this gift you see, and I know I'm not alone.

I am gifted in the many ways the world cannot see.


I am the gift.


and the gift is in me.



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Star Angel and Mercy's Pen

If I was a divine celestial angel, would I have met my true companion? It was told that angels were neither capable to marry nor given in marriage by God, but what was to be of me? Was I an angel or was I born human? My heart told of how mercy wanted me to work for him, with a pen, writing life of unfinished and unrequited love, but what was to be of me, the writer with such a predicament? Was I mercy's story or the author? Should I write stories of star-crossed lovers or was I one myself? Should I write what I knew?


But what was to be of him? He was not star crossed, he found his true love and won't be another. He was and always will be with her, and won't ever value me. I knew I was nowhere to be in this destiny with a companion. I won't give up on my own life, there might be one for me, another soul whose wings were bent hell on loving, but broken from heart wrenching life. I wish I was not damaged from the struggles in life as an angel in disguise, but I was and the process of which I wanted to savor with the man I wanted to marry became destroyed and damaged, just like my soul was. 


I promised myself that I won't die and won't live to die for another woman who hurt me, but there were trying times and I wished I was not too weakened by trauma. I wished my mind was a black stallion pacing with me in steady state and running and working and writing, but I found myself instead, ruminating. I often ruminate, dissecting, analyzing, and wishing, while he was living and his life was the epitome of happy. I was not his dream, and until I meet another of my heart's dream, should I waste my life on these ruminations? Should I give up on marriage? Should I give up on love? I hope and pray for myself to live another day.


No! I shall keep on going, and keep on with my mercy's pen upon forgiving myself and my undoing and doing, and my post-traumatic-mistakes. I wished I was not, but I was and will be, a woman who has to live with these conditions, but was it my fault that demons pursued my life, the angel with broken wings? This was why I made myself a writer, to propose to the world, to have me, and to love me, and to hell with the rest.


I pray, as I write with Mercy's pen, that God will write with divination, hope, faith and unconditional love, as was in Psalms 139, and won't give up on me. That God, himself, will finish my story with truth and such a brilliant love that no one will compare, not even my own thoughts could imagine. That I will be...His Mercy Testimony.



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O How I wish You Could Hear Me, Dear Gloria.

O how I wish you could hear me, Dear Gloria. Thy search for wholeness were through dungeons that you travailed much and was tired until vice came to devour. Vanity, extravaganza of sex and lust came to lure you away from your truth. Your heart searched for wholeness that was simply inside the womb of your Mother and Father, who were both dumbfounded by your beauty and need for grace and affection. I wish you could hear me, Dear, and knew how much we all loved you.


O how I wish you could hear me, Dear Gloria. You were the world to this universe and your heart was worthy and enough. You needed not search nowhere, anywhere, always, for the worth and wholesome soul you searched for. Perhaps money was the answer, but we all knew it fleeted you like a bastard without a cause. If you were here, you would have brought dead souls to life. You were a legend and your death on the floor in Miami brought no justice to us, the fans. We wanted more of you.


O how I wish you could hear me, Dear Gloria. Your sense of wonder was so vast that the galaxy bursts within you. In explosion, you were the andromeda and the supernova. You were you, and no one else could be. You, Gloria or Gregory, were excelsis searching for deo, and you were in the game before you ended in paralysis from awe of your magnanimous thirst for adventure. You, were you, and no one else could be.


O how I wish you could hear me, Dear Gloria. It was okay. You will be found. You were true to yourself and we needed to hear you, but your shouts were uncontained that we heard rumbling of the mountains of your desires, not the grounded sanity you truly should sought for. I wish you could hear me, Dear Gloria, I wish you could hear how I loved you, Greg or Gloria or Magnificent Creature. You were the unicorn of your dreams, and you wanted so much that all couldn't have been at one place at one time.


O how I wish you could hear me, Dear Gloria. I loved you. Never would die. You were and will still be valued, and you will be remembered.




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