Love Therapy

I knew I was in trouble as soon as she entered the room. A bunch of us mentally ill people were gathered together for group therapy. I don’t recall the topic or why I was even there, but when Jennifer walked in, my heart basically stopped. Not to dote on her looks, but she was an attractive woman with chestnut hair and eyes and small figured, meaning she was short. I’m tall and I’m drawn to short women for whatever reason. Anyway, I was hooked as soon as I saw her.


A few weeks later I got lucky. My current therapist at that time was leaving the company to run a hamburger joint and she recommended a new therapist for me, Jennifer. I played it cool and just nodded, but my heart was pulsing with activity.


She was a great therapist. She was a good listener. I spilled my soul about depression, gambling, and homelessness, and she always had a way of making feel comfortable talking about difficult subjects. She taught me techniques to deal with the monster that my depression was. Jennifer always had a smile on her face and never judged me. She just sat there and looked me in the eyes and listened. She was wonderful.


Around this time, I began to write stories for the first time. I remember I wrote a horror tale that was just awful and she said what if you’re daughter read that? She was right. But over time my writing improved and I started getting published here and there and Jennifer read all my stories. I loved that, it made feel good that she would read my stuff. She had a genuine interest in my progress as a writer. She supported and encouraged me. Jennifer was invested and soon became my muse. A lot of my early stories had a character based on her, and she knew it and didn’t seem to mind.


One day, out of the blue, I told her that I was in love with her. She reacted weirdly, walking around the office picking things up and putting them back down. She was rattled, but eventually calmed down and took a seat and talked to me. I told her it was about an old gambler’s saying that says a gambler secretly wants to lose to punish himself. That’s what I was doing, knowing she was my married therapist. The session soon ended and we both felt a little awkward.


A couple of days later she called me and said she was “all in.” I was elated. Jennifer was still going to be my therapist. It wouldn’t last though. All I wanted to do was talk about her, us. And she did, too. Her feelings were mutual, I knew she was attracted to me, but I won’t go into detail to protect her. I liked her and she liked me and it was never going to work because she was my married, christian, therapist. Failure was the only option available to me. So, eventually, she told me she could no longer be my therapist because of the circumstances. I was more than devastated, I was paralyzed with grief and loss. 


Not long after that, the company had an office Christmas party at the local YWCA, All clients were invited. I usually never went, but I did this time in hope Jennifer would be there. And she was. I was standing against the wall like a wallflower when she approached me and we began talking. We moved to the hallway then outside to finish our conversation. The chemistry between was so overwhelming that I wanted to kiss her, but thankfully I did not try. We talked for about thirty minutes about everything and nothing, then she reached down and grabbed my hand and said bye. As she walked away, she turned around and smiled at me then headed to her car. I was crushed by that smile. And that would also be the last time I would ever see her again. My whole world capsized.


Four months later she called to tell me that she was leaving the company to take another job. One again I was devastated. We talked for about twenty minutes. I asked her out for coffee and she said she couldn’t do that. I asked if we could remain friends and she said that she had thought a lot about that but how would it look? Finally she just simply said she was married and that was that. The conversation was over. She became a ghost.


I briefly thought about suicide in the aftermath of her leaving, but I knew that wasn’t the answer. I just missed the hell out of her and I still do three years later. Sometimes I pace the floor in my house thinking about her, hoping that every phone call I receive that I don’t recognize will be her. I’m a fool, I know. I hardly even date because I compare every woman to Jennifer and they never measure up. All I can do is fantasize about her.


Because she’s gone.

And she’s never coming back.

Blue Siren


I’m so dang thrilled to have my essay Blue Siren published by Sidereal Magazine. Editor Amber Allen was so kind and complimentary and professional from the day she accepted my piece until the day it was published. I’m certainly grateful to her.

This nonfiction story means a lot to me and I never say this, but I’m really proud of it. Also, a similar situation as the plot of this story happened again a couple of years later which is kinda odd. I’ve kept this tale to myself for years, and I’m happy to share it.

You can read my story here.






Sad City


I’m more than excited to have my essay Sad City published by the wonderful Ginger Collect lit mag. A big thank you to Editors Lauren E. Hamm and Patrick S. Johnson for giving my piece a cool home.

I was emailed last night with their acceptance and it was published today, a rare occurrence but a welcomed one. So many talented writers in this issue, give it some eyeballs!

This story was a bit embarrassing to write about, but enough time has elapsed that I feel more comfortable writing about it. I also have another nonfiction piece coming out in November.

You can read my essay here




The Waste of Man



The first nonfiction piece I’ve written in forever, The Waste of Man, is live over at the hip lit mag Digging Through the Fat. A gigantic thank you to Gessy Alvarez for accepting and publishing my essay.

It can be rather difficult to write about the past, to revisit those dark, garbage-filled crevasses in my mind, but most times the only way to slay the past is to confront the past. Maybe I’d call it a kind of prose therapy.


You can read my essay here




The Listerine Man

A big thanks to Ian Chung and Eunoia Review for publishing my story The Listerine Man. It was a dark time in my life but I felt it was important to share my story to shine a spotlight on homelessness. Plus, writing about my past has proved to be cathartic.

Eunoia Review

He sat down at my table. More accurately, he crumbled into the booth, a disheveled mess of a man. I glanced up at him with fire in my eyes, a contemptuous look that I didn’t attempt to hide. He peered back at me with the eyes of a lifelong drinker: bloodshot, watery and blank. If the eyes are the portal into a man’s soul, then this guy had quit on life decades ago, alcohol and homelessness snuffing out his essence. I felt no sympathy for him. My icy constitution won’t be swayed by a vagabond who seems to share the DNA sequence of a wild dog. He sat at my table. I didn’t want him there.

McDonald’s is a homeless person’s mecca. Flat screen TVs tuned to ESPN, cheap coffee with free refills, warm air circulating throughout, a place to sit somewhat comfortably. I spent a lot of time there…

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