My partner and I have broken up in the past. Our first breakup rocked me, shocked me, literally skinned me and hung me up to dry. I was working a hefty corporate job at the time, typing between tears and writing weepy poetry in between calls. I would lie in bed, my entire body feeling like a cramp, unbelieving that this whole break was actually happening. Stunned at how much I loved the man and paralyzed at the thought of losing him forever. The wild thing is that I didn’t realize how deep my love for him was until two weeks into the break up. I was shocked at the heartbreak, not because we did it, but because it even came. During that time, I stopped drinking— funny enough, while it took me until this year to fully commit to my sobriety, putting the drink down has always been the first thing I have done during times of great heartbreak or great stress. If I’m gonna get over this shit quick, I’m gonna just feel it all out now, I say. I ate better, I woke up earlier, I cried my eyes out for hours on end, but I took walks, I wrote poetry, I got mad, I was alive. I was alive falling in love with him all over again realizing I had completely missed out on him for the better part of two years. I was mending. Until the decaying raccoon came.Read More
I’ve engaged in countless conversations this week about Harvey Weinstein— with men I love, with men I admire, with men who are my champions— about holding other men accountable. Some asked how they could help, how they could be a part of the conversation. Most acknowledged that they were nothing like Harvey. Their behavior nowhere near as bad. But when asked if they would be willing to hold another man accountable, the most common phrase I heard was, “Well from my glass house…” And what a strange place to stand: acknowledging that that while you might not be rapists, you admit to some questionable behavior, and that makes it impossible for any man to hold another accountable. "From my glass house..." How very convenient.Read More
I thought my rock bottom would look like it once did— over a toilet, missing yet another get together, a bleeding throat, topped off with a pack of cigarettes. It’s hard to believe that that’s what my reality looked a mere five years ago. So I’m back in a complicated relationship with another addiction and so I thought— I have to get something great out of ten years of bulimia. Wisdom. An open third eye. A resurrection. And I did, a bit. But I misheard the voice for a while. The tiny little whisper that let me know that alcohol could lead to the same path. I wrote about it. I was open about it. Real cute on the whole matter. “I haven’t hit rock bottom yet, but I know I could, so this is all preventative!”Read More
Last summer I was 20 pounds lighter. I think, I don’t weigh myself, my pants told me so, maybe 30. Yikes. I had gone through both a romantic and a professional breakup and while I was more miserable than I ever remember being, the former anorexic in me always welcomes these bouts. Take up less space! God forbid people see you through your failed attempt at love! And, well, thinner is the winner! So fuck that guy! It’s the revenge body situation, the I’m thin and so the narrative here is that I have my life together. Unless I’m Ashley Graham. She’s the only big thighed woman with her life together. Right?Read More
There’s nothing glamorous about writing. The moments of exhilarated inspiration when I seem to be channeling a power greater than myself are so few and far between that most writing is actually staring at a wall, hoping, at least, that my next stage direction will make sense. So it takes discipline. And I’ve got that— I leave my honey curled up in bed to go run early in the morning when I’m training for something, I show up to the office on Saturdays, I color code, I do Whole 30’s, I send follow-up emails, I show up; I even told an employer once that I manifested them and when they didn’t believe me, I showed them months worth of my “Goals and Visions” lists with their name written all over them as proof of my commitment to my desires. I take what I want very seriously— or so I thought.Read More
When Beyonce's first visual album dropped, I remember feeling a new kind of exhilaration. The kind that wakes you up, confuses you, scares you, propels you; a magnetism so strong, an understanding that you don't know quite yet what just happened to you, but you will do everything you can to find out. I remember sitting on my bed, five days before my 23rd birthday, watching "Grown Woman" for the first time and really letting the words sink in. "I can do whatever I want." "I can do whatever I want." Having grown up away from my family, I've always thought that to be exactly my life's philosophy."Priscila is always doing whatever she wants!” Sometimes, a praise. Sometimes, an accusation. But this was different. Because I love structure, I thrive in structure. I love the conquering of a structure. I make structure my b*tch. Crude? Yes. But it's exactly how it feels.Read More
SITTING ON THE A TRAIN ON MY WAY TO JFK: P holds her "I'm an immigrant sign," listens to Hamilton. White man sits across from her. WM: Are you actually? (Signals that he's trying to talk to her, takes off her headphones.) P: What? WM: Are you actually an immigrant? P: Oh. Yeah. A real actual one. WM: You look perfectly white. P: What does that mean? WM: If I were you I just wouldn't say anything. You'll be just fine.Read More
Today, I unintentionally locked eyes with a dude who had been very intensely starring at my face the entire time we shared the sidewalk. I feel very small when I get stared down or cat-called. Frazzled, extremely anxious that my entire space is being invaded and I had no say in it. So you'll imagine my terror when I lock eyes with creepy-blue-eyes.
But then, as he's about to pass me- walking the opposite direction and mantaining eye contact- he makes a fart noise. A surprising, full on, Grown Man raspberry. Of course, I immediately "WTF, Dude"-ed him, but as we walked away I laughed, realizing it was pure genius!
I needed a new tool to handle my cat-calling distress. Telling people to f*ck off is getting old and makes me feel worse. So, should you get stared down while being your badd self, stare back, and give the fart noise a try. It's a great and simple way to disarm the patriarchy.
Thank you, creepy sidewalk man.
The temperature has finally dropped: when I asked Siri what the weather was this morning, she said "Brrr. It's 19 degrees in Brooklyn." You will understand my disappointment when I walked into my apartment from work at 1130PM last night to see snowflakes forming when I spoke. For the last year, I've meditated every single morning for 20 mins first thing when I wake up. Anger is not an easy thing to process or feed into anymore. It paralyzes me, it makes me cry. I've trained myself to immediately look at the positive when crazy begins to leak. But leak it did. I begin to take out the trash like I'm warming up for my quarterly half-marathon. I keep my entire winter gear on, including my Tims, and when my boyfriend says he’s on his way home, anger comes unleashed.Read More
I don’t have to hit rock bottom this time. Bulimia is a specific addiction. No one in my life supported it, I knew it was ugly, I knew I was being wrecked, there was no room to welcome someone into it, and I certainly didn’t engage in it with anyone but myself. My body as I knew it and as I wanted it to be didn’t stand a chance against it. My daily habit of throwing up until I scraped my throat tender, followed by a full pack of cigarettes to smoke up its bloody patches would have me gone in no time. Listen, those heart palpitations… I knew. I made excuses to not show, skipped big events to not be shown, and always replaced the food I ate in time, should I have purged something that wasn’t mine. But let’s be clear about it: this addiction was not supported. It wasn’t cool. It didn’t bring me close to anyone. It’s not what we engaged in at a birthday party.Read More
I threw up for ten years. The history of my bulimia is one I’ve chosen to be very open about: as the daughter of two Doctors, my eating disorders- along with the bouts of depression that run in our blood- have never been dismissed or brushed aside. I’m keenly aware of how rare that is. Period. But I’m mostly aware of how rare that is in a Latino household. So I’m loud about recovery. I open my doors, invite people to sit on my couch and give space to those who feel comfortable and safe enough to sit back and let something other than food out. Throwing up for ten years is a story I share, a narrative I tell, a one woman show I’ve produced.Read More
REAL LIFE LOS ANGELES TRAIN (yes): 5 o'clock to Culver City. FEROCIOUS BUSINESS WOMAN: 40's, black, French cuffs, Louboutins, red reading glasses, French twist. PRISCILA watching Wesley T. Jones' latest video (on latest shootings), sans headphones. Proud.
PRISCILA: Oh my. FEROCIOUSNESS: That your friend? PRISCILA: Yes, ma'am. FEROCIOUSNESS: Hm. You in your twenties? PRISCILA: (I nod) 22.
(I repost, open up NPR App on my phone) FEROCIOUSNESS takes off her reading glasses, places them on her head. Holds her hand to her mouth. Then chin. Inhales.
FEROCIOUSNESS: Let me ask you something. Did you just move here? PRISCILA: (smiles) what makes you say that? Indeed, I just did. FEROCIOUSNESS: Hm. We don't see bodies like yours around here much anymore. Girls come out here and disappear. PRISCILA: I'm sorry, I... Boys are getting shot and you want to talk to me about the circumference of my thighs? FEROCIOUSNESS: They're related. PRISCILA: Oh yeah? FEROCIOUSNESS: You want truth?
FEROCIOUSNESS: You see mama, whenever a girl loses another damn pound or straightens her hair or changes the way her mama taught her to make a meal, they're bleaching our histories and burying our bones and the STRUCTURES THEY COME IN six feet underground. Execution all around. Where you from? PRISCILA: (breath) Colombia. FEROCIOUSNESS: Hm. (Puts glasses back on, gathers her Prada, Newspaper, and takeout, stands) I lost my two brothers to Chicago and then I moved out here. I was twenty-five. Whenever they shoot another brown boy, they're also shooting at your curves and at the language you speak when you call your home. So yes baby, when I see you I say to myself, "she better keep 'em thighs strong." Stay blessed, child.
Train stops. FEROCIOUSNESS nods, and steps off.
(Happened a year ago today: weirdly appropriate) COP 1 to COP 2: (reminscing) I would hit that, hard, and all day LONG, man.
BOTH: DALE!!! (obligatory handshake, tap on the back type thing). COP 1 (asks the counter guy): ey, where's the transvestite at? COUNTER GUY: Day off. COP 1: Day off for what? To strap some balls back on? COP 2: Pray that God grow him a nice rack? LITTLE GIRL: Mami, I think they're talking about Frankie. COP 2: (paying for his coffee) Don't worry baby, you don't need to worry about monsters like him while we're around, you got that?
(Super mama puts little girl down, takes cops hands, coffee spills a bit)
MAMA: Frankie is my son, pendejo. Who you fighting for, huh? Doesn't your boricua ass get enough hate? And don't you ever call my baby girl "baby," you hear? I don't need her to think that a fat ass in a suit with coffee and a gun can save her. Fuck women over on your own time, but leave the parenting to Frankie and I- that man in a dress saves her from you. YOU GOT THAT?