My god, the emptiness.
It’s unbearable at times.

Why do I torture myself by reading the words you wrote to me?  I really need to stop but I can’t.  You’re so beautiful and alive.  In every way.  I can’t believe you’re gone.  I won’t stop believing you’ll find your way back but the agony of now is too much.

It sits heavy on my chest, crushing me under its weight, until I can’t breathe.
The despair!
A vacuous pit where light can’t penetrate.

I just let the emails pile up now.  There’s like 98 of them, I think.  I was cleaning them out as soon as they popped up but now I just let them hang out in some kind of hoarders paradise in my inbox.  It used to be so neat and orderly with only the two of us in there.

I haven’t been sleeping

My complexion is a dry riverbed

There are whole ravines under my eyes 

I’ve emptied out all the avenues of my heart;
cleared away all the clutter
except for yours.

I’ve hung your things upon the walls.

You’re the only one who lives there now.

Alright For Now

I may not get a chance to talk to you today.  I’ll be stuck at work for a while.  You’ll be glad to know I brought a copy of Swann’s Way to pass the time.  I couldn’t wear my daisy dukes, though.  It’s a little cold out.  Anyway, it will be later when I get home and I’m not sure if I’ll have time to serenade you with my words.  Am I serenading you or screeching at you? I can’t tell.  I hope my words cover you like a soft, warm blanket and not a scratchy one that even fabric softener can’t save.

I’m gonna let Tom Petty serenade you today.  I sang this song to Max every single night for the first 5-ish years of his life.  He doesn’t really want me to sing to him anymore but I hope he’ll remember that I did someday.

I like the idea of being ‘alright for now.’  Not later, not before, just right now.

I hope, in this moment right now, you’re alright.

Just For You

Take me out of the general population ASAP.  I don’t belong here.  Put me in a straight jacket in a padded cell so I can stop bombarding you with these words.


The cheese in here is so thick my knife can’t cut through it.  I can’t help it.  I told you I was a total cheeseball.  I’m gonna dial it back some, though.  I’m getting too extra in here and I don’t want to overwhelm you.

I don’t think you’re easily overwhelmed but this may be a bit much.  I have a tendency to overshare.

So anyway.  How’s your day? What are you working on now?


I know you don’t want to make small talk.  We never did.

But there’s just this echo in here now and I’m tired of the sound of my own voice.

It’s Friday.  Which means absolutely nothing.  I’m having my hair done again but I’m not going camping the day after this time.  I wish it were November 1st again and I was going camping.  That’s when you got sick, though.  Nope.  I don’t wish that then.  I wish it were early afternoon on November 21st forever and you were still telling me you hoped you’d ‘make me laugh very hard for a very long time.’

But it’s not.  It’s December 13th and that makes it a total of way too many days without talking to you.

Should I stop writing to you here?  If this goes on much longer you’re going to realize how lame I actually am (assuming you haven’t already).  But that’s ok!  I am lame.  So, so lame.  Lamer than lame.  Fucking Lame with a capital L.  But I’m kinda fun too and…other stuff that I can’t think of right now.  I’m also flawed and ridiculous at times.  I’m brain-dead, half-dead, un-wed.  Ha.  All true.  I’ll recount for you, in verse if you wish, all the ways in which I suck if it will make you feel better.  And I don’t mean ‘suck’ as in your nether regions.  Although, I can recite those too.  Again, only if it would make you feel better.  Obviously.

I think you are still at the bottom of that canyon and I want to come, too.  You don’t belong down there but I don’t think you can see any light from where you’re sitting. I wish you could see this flashlight I keep waving towards you.

I’ll be here when you get ready to climb out.  And then you’ll pick up all the pieces of my heart and glue them all back together exactly as they should be and then you’ll carry me over there behind that giant boulder and push yourself as deep into me as that canyon I’m never letting you fall into again.

Then we’re going to walk home, my hand in yours.

P.S.  I’m sorry, I can’t help it.  You make me weepy and sappy and full of all the good feels.  I’ll try harder to not be so soft next time.

Here, let’s see if this doesn’t create some balance.

Turns out that was just as corny, really. I guess no one is immune to matters of the heart.

Minutes In A Day

How many minutes are in a day?
How many of those minutes am I asleep?
Those are the only minutes I don’t think of you.

I told an older gentleman to ‘have a good day’ today.  He said ‘I’ll have a good day if you promise to have one also.’  Poor old fella’ had no clue that none of my days are good anymore.  I didn’t bother to tell him.  I just smiled and said ‘yes sir.’

I wear my heart on my sleeve.  I cry freely and without reason.  Max says ‘why are you crying, mama?’  ‘My cup runneth over,’ I tell him.  I sit in my office and sob over something I’ve read on the web.  Tiffany looks in and says ‘really, Ms. Stephanie?’  Yes, Tiff.  Really.

She texted me on Mother’s Day.  ‘I love you, Ms. Stephanie.’
I cried.

Programs at school.  I cry.
The marching band in the Homecoming parade, the drums get right inside me.  I cry.
Videos of dogs being awesome.  I cry

Sad news.  Tears.
Happy endings.  More tears

I have road rage.  A lot.  I flip people off, honk my horn.  Once, I gave double birds to this high school girl when she turned in front of me.  And not just discreet double birds but arms all the way out to the windshield double birds.  And one time, I slowed down to a crawl behind these two women who were jogging in the very middle of the road and refused to get over.  I could have gone around them, there were no other cars, but fuck those bitches.  I can’t stand privilege in any form.

I also give whatever I have to give to this man who shows up at my door from time to time.  I have no idea where he came from or why he picked my house.  He comes by wanting to rake the yard or to bring me these dirty dishes he’s found and wrapped up in a plastic bag.  I never make him rake the yard and I always take the dishes. 

I have very strong opinions about a lot of things that don’t matter and mild opinions about a lot of things that are supposed to matter.  I’m rather good at standing on a soap box and delivering whole monologues about nothing at all. 

I’m so much in my own head most of the time that I miss a lot of things around me.

I don’t pay enough attention to detail.
I let Max sleep in as late as possible on school days.
I don’t run a tight ship.  At all.  I am mostly always just winging it.

I don’t keep up with current events the way a person my age is supposed to.

I am a mixture of love, hate, and indifference.  I suspect the same of you.  I suspect the same of every single person alive at this very minute.  Right now.

This life will eventually end for me and nothing will have mattered.  Nothing except this love I have to give, freely and without conditions.  To Max, my family, any animal anywhere anytime….

 To you.

I want you to be exactly who you are at all times, without regret, and in no particular order.  I want to hold your hand when it’s hard and laugh with you when it’s easy.  I want to make love to you in the early dawn of day and fuck you like mad when the moon rises.  I want to read your favorite books and watch your favorite movies and cook all your favorite foods.  I want to get mad at you and then make up.  I want to do the dishes with you.  I want to roll my eyes at you.  I want to buy your toothpaste and shaving cream.  I want to fold your socks.  I want to get annoyed by you.  I want to bring you medicine when you’re sick.  I want to dislike some weird thing you don’t even know you do.  I want to nourish your soul so completely that you never feel hunger again.

Listen, life is going by too fast now.  I don’t know how I got here.  The years that led me here feel like they were only minutes in a day.

They weren’t.

They were whole lifetimes without you.



Whatever it is, I wish you would tell me instead of ignoring me for going on 4 days now and almost an entire week since I last spoke to you.  And whatever it is, I’m sorry.  I don’t know what I did.  R emailed me a thing and I responded nonchalantly to it because I honestly did not think it was that big of a deal.  I asked if you were ok.  That’s all I cared about.  When he said you were and asked if I wanted to tell you anything, I thought making light of the situation was the best thing to do so you would understand it didn’t bother me.  IT DOES NOT BOTHER ME!

If you feel betrayed by him for telling me something you did not want me to know….I can understand that.  But he did tell me and I do know.  And I don’t care.  I didn’t care then and I don’t care now.  You wanted to tell me something other than the truth and I don’t care about that either!  You are mere mortal after all.  Your human brain panicked and in that panic, it made a decision to cover up something from the new person in your life who you thought may not understand.  I get it.  A thousand and one times I get it.  And I don’t judge you for it.  If anything, I wish R would have told me whatever it is you wanted him to tell me because I’d still have you. I’d bury your secret in a thousand catacombs never to be found or heard again and if I were none the wiser for the rest of the days of my life, so be it.  I’d rather live in ignorance of one tiny little mishap that happened to you than to know anything at all about it if it has caused you to retreat from me.  Just come back.


Has anybody ever called you ‘baby’?
I mean, like a lover.
Not the lady down at the hardware store who asks
‘did you find everything alright, baby?’
Not the old woman at the grocery store,
‘could you reach that for me, baby?’
And definitely not your mom when you fell off your skateboard,
‘oh, baby, come here; let me look at that.’

I mean,
has a lover ever called you ‘baby’?
Have you ever heard the word baby roll off a woman’s tongue
when she’s on top of you and she’s sucking your bottom lip
in-between hers so gently
that ‘baby’ is a mere breath that floats into your mouth;
a quiet sigh of release

Has anybody ever slow danced with you in the kitchen,
a pot of soup simmering on the stove?
Made you cornbread from scratch to go in that pot of soup?
Has anybody ever driven all night and part of the day
just to get to where you are?
Only to have to leave the next morning?
Has anybody ever rode you hard and fast, or slow and easy,
as many times as you could stand it
just to quiet the voices in your head?

In the morning I’ll be gone, so,
I want you to sit down now
and let all the weight you’ve been carrying 
dissolve under my hands.
Let me whisper to you all the ways you make me weak
until you slump under the heavy blanket of my love.

I’ll feed you this hot soup and cornbread then
to nourish your body.

And when you’ve had your fill of that,
I’m going to release the darkness back out of your soul
until you explode
over and over again. 



It’s Monday again.

I really hate Monday and there’s no good reason why.  I think it’s because I’m supposed to. 

I’ve been doing this hiking program on my treadmill.  Six weeks around Lake Tahoe.  Have you ever been?  It’s so beautiful.  I wish I were actually there instead of looking at it through a screen.  I took a break from it today, though, and mapped out a route through Jack London Square.  I wonder where that is in relation to you.  You know how everybody has the book that got them into reading?  Well maybe not everybody, just the ones who like reading.  Mine was The Call of the Wild.  That book did it for me when I was a kid.  It made me want to read anything and everything I could.  They’re making another movie of it, too.  This one has Harrison Ford in it, I think.  Comes out in February.  I’ll probably take Max.  I make him go watch all the animal movies.   The last one we saw was The Art of Racing in the Rain.  I cried big, fat, ugly, sobbing tears right there in the theater.  It has Milo Ventimiglia in it who also plays on the only show I watch on television, This Is Us.  

See?  I’m super fucking basic.  Just a boring old spinster, really.  Not a goddess, after all.  I’d probably bore you to tears after awhile. I mean, not that you shouldn’t totally find out, though.

Do you like pickles?  You should know I drink all the juice from the pickle jar before the pickles have a chance to get eaten.  Just a heads up.

When we first started talking and I knew we’d get along, I dreamed of how we would eventually meet.  I had this idea that we would pick some literary landmark to go to and if things went well, we’d vacation together once a year or more until we’d gone to all the literary landmarks in the US.  I’m a total cheeseball.  I didn’t know if we would ever be able to make our worlds collide but I figured we would at least be really good friends who could fly to each other from time to time.  Of course, we’d totally bang the shit out of each other, too.  I hope you weren’t planning to get an S.O. in San Fran ’cause I was totally down with being your FWB forevs.

I’ve been reading all kinds of stuff to try to understand how you feel right now.  You don’t ever have to feel weird around me about anything.  I kinda have a “thing” for you and when a woman gets a “thing” for a man, there’s really not a whole lot you can do about it.  That woman is going to love the shit out of you even at your worst.  So, I’m sorry but you can come on back now so I can put some salve on those wounds and bandage you up all nice and secure.  I’ve got a spot for you in my bed and I know you’re tired.

Be easy on yourself.  It really is going to be ok.

P.S.  I only drink the juice of the whole or the spears, so you’re safe if the hamburger chips are your jam.  Oh, and only the dill.  None of that bread and butter crap.

Oh and here’s a pic of the Xmas Tree.  Can you spot the live ornament?

Meet Me In The Alley Out Back

You said “I’m only mortal, I cant handle the sudden nothingness.”

I guess you forgot I’m only mortal, too?  I don’t hold it against you or anything.  I know you’re in a place you feel like you can’t get out (but you will).  Plus, I know you like to think I’m a goddess and I love to indulge your fantasies, baby.

But the sudden nothingness.  I can’t handle it either. 
But I will.  I will handle it for you.  

I printed out all our correspondence.  It’s sitting on my kitchen table.  Don’t worry about the kid reading it, the first several pages are pretty benign.  We didn’t get indecent til later

Indecent is not the right word though.  Fix that for me. It never felt indecent.  More like perfect.

You said “I’m not parting ways with anything else, including you.”

I’m holding you to that.  Even now.  Even though you’ve gone incognito.  Maybe incognito is not the right word either.  I’m not good at finding the right words.  You always were.

I know you want to read my installment of “Skate or Die.”  It looks like I’m gonna have to write your parts, too.  I hope you don’t mind if I finish it for us.  When I get it published and become a famous author, will you come to my book signing?  I’ll recognize you immediately.  The air will become electric.

(I had this whole part written about how you’d offer me your hand and lead me out the door and around the corner to an alley wall where we’d proceed to blow each others mind but I took it out ’cause that’s only for you to read and I don’t know who else might be watching me type these words.  HA HA. NO ONE is actually reading this garbage, not even you, and I know it but I like to try to appear classy even though I write whole poems talking about fucking shit up.  Anyway, you would have liked our back alley scene and would have contributed to it and made me lose my marbles like you’re so good at doing.  You should come back around so we can drive each other mad with our words cause that was fun as all hell)

Well, that took a nose dive real quick.  But that’s what happens when I think about you.

I’m working on becoming a millionaire so you don’t have to deal with “bomb cyclones” or wild fires.  And I don’t have to deal with MAGA hats and rednecks.

Where do you want to go?
I’ll go anywhere with you.
Close your eyes and pick a place on the map.
My bags are already packed.


Dear You:

Would you mind very much if I asked you,
forcibly but kindly,
to get your ass back here and let me tend to you?

You need tending to.

Your beard is looking a bit unkempt and your shirt needs a good iron
and I doubt you’ve filled your belly with any kind of comfort.
Your lips are dry and are starting to crack.
You forgot to pick up your fancy lip balm when you were at the pharmacy two days ago tomorrow.
I happen to have a tube in my pocket.
Let me run it over your lips for you.

And your poor hands are starting to ache
from all the words you keep writing to me but then erasing
because you think none of the words will work.
Let me have your hands between mine
and I’ll rub your deluxe lotion all over them in circles while I massage the knots out of your palms.

Sit here in this chair at my kitchen table and I’ll play a song for you
while breakfast cooks on the stove.
Long hard nights deserve bacon and pancakes in the morning;
that sweet batter filling all the gaps in your soul
Let me stand behind you and knead all the rocks from your shoulders
until you rise from the sudden buoyancy of their release.

You can close your eyes if you like.

Just let me tend to you.


There was a parade in town today.  I took pictures to show you.  There were horses.  I thought about “Roan Stallion.” (don’t worry I didn’t try to ride any of them)  None of them looked like the roan stallion, though.  They were too small and not nearly majestic enough. 

After the parade, we walked downtown and stood in a line three miles long just to order some loaded french fries and funnel cakes.  I thought about you when I ate the french fries.

I’m going to take Max to his first concert soon.  It would have been fun to talk to you about that.  Maybe you would have given me suggestions on who to see; maybe you would have even gone with us.

You still can.  I’m still here.

Do you know I haven’t even decorated for Christmas yet?  I usually put my tree up the weekend after Thanksgiving but I haven’t even brought it down from the attic.  I’ve promised Max we’ll do it this weekend, though.  I’ll take pictures to show you.

I get a song stuck in my head and I can’t really listen to anything else.  Right now, it’s that Josh Rouse song I posted the other day.  Was that only yesterday?  I think about you when I listen to it.

Well, truth be told….I think about you constantly.   All through the day and all through the night until I finally fall asleep.

I wonder if I’ll think about you forever.

I hope so.  I mean, I’d rather have you around but if all I get from here on out is just your memory, I guess that’s better than nothing.  I really didn’t ever believe you were out there.  I didn’t believe you existed.  But you do!  And I met you!  And it was more than everything I thought it would be.

It was fucking divine.

You are divine.  Like super good.  Or maybe super rad.

I wish you’d come back around so I could tell you that.  I think you need to hear it.