Leaving Bloomington

In junior year, my friendships had begun to change. I worked at trying not to be the girl who dumps her friends because she has a boyfriend. I don’t remember how I met April but one of my first memories of her was when she dressed up as Spongebob for Halloween. There were two girls that every boy at Bloomington had a crush on at some point or another, April and/or Taydee. I never knew Taydee. April had an ethereal quality about her, beautiful yet down to earth and friendly but unattainable. My favorite thing about her was her sense of humor and her enthusiasm for the things she loved. She used to call me “Fio-manchaka” because of the stupid ways people used to pronounce my name, she would also use my whole name frequently and properly. April briefly dated Chris, who was Tyler’s friend. It was very brief but he’d spend years pining over her. Once we were older and I had a car, we’d ditch school to have adventures in Riverside. Thrift stores and chilaquiles would be our tradition for many years.

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How the Father of LSD kept me off drugs

Between google and social media, it’s pretty easy to fall down a rabbit hole these days. I’ve fallen down rabbit holes since before the internet had reliable search engines, I owned a set of encyclopedia Britannica and in 4th grade I turned in an extra credit report on a topic of my choice, Adolf Hitler. I promise you I was not a fan, but my 3rd grade teacher who told us her story of being a Jewish baby through WW2 . Then, her fellow friend and local teacher from the neighboring elementary school showed us the concentration camp tattoo on her arm; they peaked my interest on the matter.

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How I Lost My Father

Death is a part of life but unlike new life where people share “birth stories” sharing a personal death story isn’t quite as simple, and understandably so when there is so much pain in loss. I don’t often talk about my father’s death and if I do I rarely share the entire story. The grief has changed over the 12 years since he has been gone from this earth but there is always a huge emptiness in moments where I wish he was there with me.

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