my popsicle melted onto my fingers, coasted down my pinky, and dripped onto my cognac sandals from four seasons ago.

you looked at me and said “let’s be secret crushes that make fifth grade boys fake-gag during recess”.

your mouth said nothing.



that was the first time in my life that i didn’t believe that everything happens for a reason.

this is the first time in my life that the reasons and the rhymes create a song, my favorite song.


i can’t sleep, i can’t stop thinking about how when we were in middle school and on the swim team, neither of us cared about shaving our legs.

rest in heaven, Jenna.


dating: a synopsis by a jaded millennial


i haven’t been in a real relationship since 2011. it’s now 2016. by “real relationship” i mean, i haven’t been with someone who i was eager to introduce to my family and friends, or someone who i cared to make plans with months in advance, or someone who i simply wouldn’t mind being around when they are sick (real talk, if i am endangering my health to bring ya ass some chicken noodle soup and benadryl, i’m whipped (also, do people still say “whipped”?)).

i lived in tampa all of 2015 and into 2016. while i was there i kinda found myself a boo thang. he was a cool fella. the thing is, we literally had nothing in common. i’m a feminist democrat, he’s a comfortable semi-conservative republican. i love beer, he loves long islands. i like to go for walks in the city while the sun is setting, he likes to walk to the library before sunrise. we were literally polar opposites. what bonded us together was our mutual hate for tampa and our burning desire to move to the big apple (i am now in NYC, he is now in buffalo. we could never win).

fast forward to today, to me living in new york city, the land of opportunity, the extraordinary city where every good rom-com takes place. the site where harry fell in love with sally and where i’m supposed to meet my special somebody.

speaking of which, i recently met a special somebody. he was amazing. the first thing i noticed about him were his eyes. his beautiful brown eyes glow in the dark, even in the darkest bars of west village. and his smile? his smile is what holds the moon in place. he was so affectionate and caring, and hands down the easiest person to talk to since i’ve moved away from my college friends. he’s a doctor, he’s a good kisser, and he cares about his family. but for some reason i am terrified of forming feelings for him. i’m afraid to send the first text message because i don’t want to come off as needy, and i’m afraid to offer to make plans because what if he doesn’t want to see me again?

i am so jaded from dating that the simple thought of me going on a date leaves me with a headache (likely from gin or red wine) and i get so stressed that i think my body hair starts to grow at a faster rate when i match on tinder and bumble as a natural form of birth control. i’m a confident woman. i have no problem going up to my person of interest at the bar and buying him a drink. i am surrounded by people who love and support me, i am ambitious as hell, and i have a really nice ass. but when it comes to dating…you know how in the fall when you are raking up all the leaves into a pile, but then the wind starts to blow and messes up your pile? well, that’s my dating life.


fine wine.


as i get older, things change.

my stepdad was mentally and emotionally abusive growing up.
now, i see his desperate yearning to be a better person.
the sun hiding behind the clouds
wanting to break the horizon.
he is too proud to apologize for the damage he’s caused me,
but he no longer needs to.
he is a better father to my brother and sister
and i couldn’t ask for a better apology than that.

as i get older, feelings change.

my dads mom, i call her “gammy”.
i never had a true relationship with her when i was young.
my dad would force me to visit her sometimes
and i always dreaded it.
but i must say,
stopping by her house to have breakfast with her
on my way down to florida was one of the most valuable
mornings of my life.
i gained a new, unexplainable appreciation for her.
i was sad to leave her.
my moms biological mother,
she never really knew me growing up.
she would get all her grandkids ornaments every christmas.
when i was 18 she got me a ballerina ornament thinking that i danced.
i hadn’t danced in 11 years.
i went to go visit her one thanksgiving.
we spent thanksgiving just her and i.
it was the most enchanting thanksgiving.
we cooked all the foods,
and i love food, especially thanksgiving food.
we also made the most delicious hot chocolate
and talked about why she wasn’t there for
my mom and aunts and uncles when they were young.
she told me her own mother never told her
she loved her until she was 31 years old.
that’s when i realized life will throw some real fucked up curveballs
and you will have no clue how to hit them.
when you bring life into this world,
you have to do what’s best for that life,
even if it tears your heart and soul out.
so maybe she did the right thing.

as i get older, actions change.

my most prized possessions are no longer
a build-a-bear from the boyfriend of the season
or a necklace from tiffany’s,
rather they are the crocheted blankets that my grandmother
spent hours upon hours making for me for my graduation.
my pen pal is no longer a stranger from tinder
or my crush of a coworker,
but rather my great aunt,
who’s cursive always tilts to the west
and remembers my birthday without a facebook reminder.

as i get older,
i am starting to become a woman i never thought i’d be
in the best way possible.
i am wanting to rekindle old flames with friends who’ve lost matches
and send postcards to people i’ve only just met.

and i’m only 23.
i’ve got my whole life ahead of me.


maps are cool.


i really enjoy looking at maps. it’s truly remarkable that the 3,000 x 2,000 miles of this confined arrangement filled with lies such as “we are a democracy”, has over 319 million people living in it. that’s a hell of a lot of people. i always plan fake roadtrips in my head while looking at maps, leaving from florida to seattle and intentionally driving around the boundaries of mississippi, because what kind of northern black girl wants to drive through mississippi? and i also love to think about how every road is somehow connected. i could leave this road that i live on, juniper blossom drive in tampa, fl, and end up in san jose, california with only a few twists and turns. for that matter, i could end up in san jose, costa rica, or san jose, argentina! there are so many san jose’s to visit! and all by taking the roads that are connected. and maps so clearly and eloquently show how nothing is infinite. one of my favorite maps is one of africa from the late 1950s. the map looks like a puzzle of déjà vu’s, you look at it and it strikes a resemblance of what you think to be correct, when in reality, colonialism never ceases to fail us as borders are constantly changing (colonizing minds and lands since the 15th century baby! – side-eye). i also have another map, it’s in my top 3 favorites. it is a map of the lighthouses of the great lakes. it’s from 1990 and is more art than anything. my best friend gave it to me before i moved down to florida. it’s a beaut.

anyway, i don’t have much else to say. i’m writing this to let you know that maps are cool. and you should look at one and appreciate it in all its beauty.


about me: mercedes.

my favorite flower is the peony.
when i drive, i wish i had a hand to hold.
sometimes when i drink too much
i become semi-fluent in spanglish.
my cat likes to eat my plant and it irritates me sometimes, but i can never stay mad at her.
i am a feminist.
i am currently writing this with my robe on that i accidentally got peanut butter on just moments ago.
sometimes i wish i had someone to cook for, but also, it’s nice not worrying about someone else’s palate.
i’m growing my hair back out.
not too long though.
i love an all black outfit.
beyonce is a goddess
and zoe saldana is my woman crush everyday.
i have about 6 different mugs
but i drink coffee in the same one every morning.
i say “fuck” a lot and i don’t think my family knows/understands/cares to know how much i swear.
i won’t smile if my lips aren’t moisturized.
but my lips are always moisturized.
coconut oil>olive oil.
my coworkers bought me 2 packs of wintergreen altoids for my birthday and i couldn’t find words accurate enough to express my appreciation.
my favorite color is navy blue.
i suck at applying makeup.
when i sleep, i spread my body into an “x” and take up my whole bed.
it’s the best
and sometimes i feel bad for my future husband.
i think about religion a lot
and i’m pretty confident aliens exist.
a lot of times, i write about boys and love and other stupid things, but i figured i’d write about myself for once.