'Who am I' she asks : A creative explosion of paradoxical remarks the student replied.



Tongue in Cheek


“So, it’s decided then,” he clasped his hands together for dramatic effect,
“Let’s go fall in love.”
“You can’t just say that.”
“Why ever not.”
“Because people don’t just fall in love once you say so.”
“Oh contraire, my love, you are missing the objective of life.”
Seeing the allusion, she intercepts, “I’m not in love with you.”
“Certainly,” he turns his back towards her to hide a smile,
“It’s not a state of being you’re referring to, yet somehow you just are.”

Shades of a Persona


“What are you thinking?” She asks.
“I feel like I don’t know you.”
“I would think you do, better than myself might I add.”
“How do you mean?” She inquired.
“You seem to think me a deeper shade than I am, as if there is more to be added.”
“Would you not take that as a compliment?”
He smiles, “the better part is that we don’t know each other, and each day varies so we that we know more or less.”
She frowns.
“Won’t you say that is the best by far? Getting to know one another?” With a languid laugh he finishes, “I hardly know you at all. Would you be okay with that?”
By some force, she found herself nodding okay.
Thus she got to know herself a little better that day.




“One should always be drunk. That’s all that matters…But with what? With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you choose. But get drunk.” – Charles Baudelaire

3 glasses of wine into our happy hour night, and I was gesturing quite freely with my male companion. Radical ideas are on the table. Friendly reminder is given; honey, I’m gay.

And we’re back on track in the meandering of life talks.

Like any good friend, we recap on my break up. I used to be embarrassed that I had flown overseas to meet somebody. With two cats in tow, it really feels like I’m meeting the epitome of desperate cat lady.

With this precedent, it almost doesn’t need explaining how I ended up in the corner of my closet floor crying unstoppably for 2 hours. Yet I woke up today and saw this as the best thing that could happen.

People battle ever so precariously the duality between love and hate. Sometimes when we are so enraged and tormented by what we desire most, it can feel like this archaic idea of [insert:love] has abandoned us. For a road blocked writer, the spell of language can appear to curse us instead with these unfinished sentences and untitled thoughts. With love, it can be a humiliating process.

I thought this when I said, “I know I’m only 20, and I’ll meet plenty of people, but I liked being in a relationship. I just did.”

My friend shrugged, having lived his 20’s in the throes of hedonism. He shrugged and looked at me as if he was just waiting for me to prove it.

He told me anecdotes between how his 70yr old father is dating a 25 yr old; how sexism and prejudice works for people to revolt against a leader that would date an older women but nobody bats an eye for the opposite; how hard it is to even make platonic friends because people don’t want to step out there and really know you. Yet we love all the same. For those that look past themselves and their unequaled embarrassment for their anger/tears, we dream of harmony and partnership despite ourselves. Maybe there’s not enough of us who admit that aloud because I certainly don’t hear it enough.

It’s not as though we are unaffected. It is quite possible, and at times very real, that I may be just in love with the idea of love. Like any form of endearment, I could easily lose myself. This time I did plunge in. I was sincere and it hurts.

In my drunken state, as the tears started on the bus ride home, I gripped my cellphone to keep the world from tilting. Angrily, defiantly texting my girlfriend who’s been having just as hard of a time being a spokesperson for love; struggling to find herself as a new mom and wife. I desperately wrote to her as I’d want from a true artist : a delivery of their own unassailable truth from their uttermost raw being. Not even called a faith in love, because we lose hope in our individual art too and we will need someone else’s bold defiance. And in their times of needs, we somehow find it in ourselves to step up and find that brave part of ourselves to share.

We plod on in making connections and hopefully laugh at ourselves for our sadness when we’ve stood back up from our closet floors.

It is a little past half my day and my eyes have finally reset themselves from being swollen. I swept my hair back and laughed with the bartender this morning, joking about being drunk last night.

Feel attractive again. That’s how love works. We wouldn’t be able to live with ourselves otherwise.

“Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle.” – Pualo Coelho

Mum’s The Word

In light of everything that has been happening around in the world (quite distressing – no comment as a Canadian), I took a moment instead to think about what exact source of entertainment we use, most eligible to be quoted as a ‘waste of time’.

As a perfectionist, I tend to feel bad about mindless menageries on my days off. As if I had better things to check off my list than morphing my cats into karma sutra yoga poses on my lap.

I really think they enjoy it.

This thought of mindless entertainment was first prompted when I read amongst all the blast of newsfeed going around the internet about the apparent Armageddon just rustling south of my country. Yet just along the side columns, also trending were titles such as:

Pokemon Go : How to successfully swap with your neighbors without losing (I want to say distance, but clearly I wasn’t reading this too closely)”

This was accompanied by,

The 840th chapter of world renowned manga seriesinsert name –honest to god, I should pay more attention – whether, let’s call him Puki will be forced to marry, we’ll call her Lucy in the Pirate’s home in, let’s just finish with Edel Island.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the prime time distraction of our time.

Serious topics at hand, I thought about my mother’s singular contribution to this vortex of aforementioned notable news when we were at the pet store.

“I think I ought to get a turtle as a playmate.”

I just told her to make sure not to put the tank beside her windows too long.

“Why’s that?”

“They’ll roast in their tank, that’s why.”

“Oh, really?”

I love my mom, I do.

Guess you can’t say no to that.

Now let’s try putting it atop a water bottle and watch them flail.

*No animal abuse is perpetuated. Mental distraught is not nearly as high on mortality rates. Worst thing we’ll do is make turtle soup – but only after the natural phenomenon of combining concentrated sun rays and modern glass, in which case, cause of death is surely by natural means.

Permission Granted

You don’t have to be gracious about it…there are times to be gracious and there are times to take different approaches.
-Newborn mom & girlfriend of mine.

They say you’re growing even if you take two steps forward and one step back.

It’s hard to recite those seemingly lurid moments of your most foul thoughts unfurl. Particularly in the dark early hours when your conscience thinks it can circumvent morality.

A throbbing two weeks later, and I’ve still been having a tough time with the break up.

What’s wrong with me? I tend to think.

I easily disown these feelings and thoughts later in the day; so caught up in trying to be mentally wiser and tougher than I am, I even believe it every so often over the course of a day. When the sun has risen, I temporarily misplace my memories of him and I hardly feel anything at all – until tomorrow morning at 5:30am. Quietly. Secretly. I’ll just lay there with my eyes closed and think. Churning, angry, accusatory thoughts – quickly trying to absolve that blubbering girl who took on the emotional toll of her own introspective transparency. Unknowingly tightening my limbs as if I could either fight or flight from my own self.

But there is beauty in life. And so many more laughter to be had.

My old roommate, who has since moved across the country and have been traveling almost a decade, started her own blog (CrazyMagnetMe) recently to recount her many notable anecdotes. Her humor just lit my heart on fire. Here’s a woman who enjoys herself and her time. How did you so easily fetch me out of my own head?

With permission granted, I’m grateful to have these natural feminine forces in life that allows me my childish spite. They remind me this ironically gentle rage, does not denote a lack thereof. What’s a love-hate relationship after all? As if anybody has ever coined that.

Single Person Sobriety

Fall back.jpg
Age old adage: Am I jumping up or falling down? 

Obsession is defined by the consistent fixation of a thought or person that preoccupies your mind. Addiction is compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli, despite adverse consequences. Lastly, insanity is the all too famous artist (loosely coined) who forever tackles at the same problem over and over again the same way, expecting different results.

These are all the primitive emotions that I have felt most intensely when I ask myself the specific question : ” Why do you have such odd abandonment/inferiority complex with men?”.

Quite a few of my friends are more or less fascinated by this odd chemical engine that fuels my emotions when I get, so to speak, high off a new relationship, and then compulsively down spiral into all the above. Obsessed, addicted, and insane.

Certainly, it is very commonly observed among young women when it comes to romance and their self esteem, but my friends know me; straight-laced, almost OCD clean and contemplative cat lady. I know my strengths and weaknesses and to my best of abilities, I embrace them – all the while churning them almost obsessively in my head (it’s a close second thought to the subject at hand). Sign across my forehead states: ‘Caution: Construction on site – work in progress

I suspect that would be a suitable sign for quite the next while.

At first I had trouble thinking of this post in my head. Surely, I must have something better going on in my life than to constantly bring myself back to hacking at the love genie. Surely, the blogophere is going to turn up their noses and sniffle at my badgering attempts to decipher my thoughts aloud when I’m aware I’m a young millenial with loads of years to experience all the things I don’t understand today. Except, with the tons of writers and artists that blog here, aren’t we all somewhat, obsessed, addicted and sort of insane about our own subjects/projects? So this happens to be mine.

I had mentioned previously that I feel like a child that is in such a hurry, they pick up a book and immediately read the last page.

Let me rephrase that – last night I came upon cat claw caps – this resounds nicely with my cat lady title. Beautiful little things. They even have glittery ones! Besides the point. At that moment, I thought to myself, I could use a mental cap right about now. Not for my brimming brilliance, I assure you, but to just put a cap on that insatiable, obsessive inclination I’ve had in my mind in which I am surely addicted to the projected future in my head in which I know I will become a confident and happy woman, yet current insanity propels me to look, speak, react to circumstances (i.e relationships) the same way while expecting a different result.

So is this one of those instances in life where you just keep drilling to reach the light at the end of the tunnel? With the pure belief that the compassionate, loyal, wholesome relationship that you dream about will come to be one day. That such a thing is in fact true contrary to the gilded way our society has made a swiping joke out of our dating lives?

That’s sort of rhetorical. At least for me. I know I will always act on romance. Be it slightly skewed by all these demanding emotions/mental activity in my mind. My single person sobriety today has given me so much more confidence than I’ve had in this last year. I feel the same way artists, writers, gurus, all vocations in between that publish here; they write consistently, think, be it obsessively over the things they are passionate about because for all the folks that could relate, we needed that. We needed someone to keep talking to us through the screen and remind us – oh, I’ve my lost words. What did I say :

‘Caution: Construction on site – work in progress



It’s not like I was unaware of the people-pleaser gene inside me, it’s just that…well, fuck, I was unaware of it I guess.

The thing about early detection for symptoms is that, I can test benign for most of the year, and then like modern day puberty levels, my people-pleaser gene goes into overdrive and develops into a mass hoarding, somewhat pitiful in retrospect, ranging in desperate sort of an obstruction in my life almost overnight.

I have been very vocal about my recent break up, and I’d gone through the self-euphemism phase of trying to rally estrogen supporters in my first post about it, then onto a tough women exterior, and now I’m just down to make fun of myself for it.

The realization of the repetitive nature of this gene came about to me last night while chatting with my colleague as she was in the early throes of a budding romance and was planning her boyfriend’s surprise birthday bash. In this, she reflected she had always been too generous with giving when it came to a special occasion.She was prepared to pick up the tab for not just him, but all of his friends in one of the best Japanese restaurant in towns. Sake included. She felt silly saying it aloud, so as a good friend, how do I propose to making her feel better? Recount my stories.

For my very first ‘real’ boyfriend after a 3 year hiatus, I had bought him tickets to a Cirque De Soleil show in the first 2 month. He didn’t end up making it that far into the relationship. I went with my sister instead. Props to my mother for giving me a backdrop hang-out buddy for life.

My second boyfriend, I bought tickets to a Canucks hockey game after about the same amount of time – I want to defend myself a little and say this one was in fact for his birthday, so I’m not just an unstoppable force of nature swindling cash into the vortex of Vancouver’s overpriced living standards. We actually did make it to this point to go together. Just that we broke up a month later. Boo.

This last one…well, either he or I had hit the jack pot depending on how you want to view it. I had bought a plane ticket ride overseas to a foreign country to meet him. Damn most expensive date I’ve ever been on. Evidently, we didn’t make it either.

I’m starting to think there’s an insidious trail of overcompensation on monetary terms that is worrisome for my future wallet.

As I was recounting all these events, one glorious detail from an email update (that’s right, this is what the modern women resorts to when one of your friends – me – has no other notable form of decent instant stalking feature – Facebook, Instagram, or even the dying Twitter) from one of my girlfriends, who have since moved across country earlier this year, came into mind.

[… that I need space… let me learn to be just his friend…I haven’t spoken to him for a couple of months now  and I’m really happy. I have great friends here and I don’t need no man!!! ]

Wasn’t sure if this is how all popularized Hollywood magazines cleverly realign celebrity quotes, or in this case an inside source of bold news flash.

I’ll leave this with one thing. I feel great. I’m still scared sometimes, your mind backtracks. Once again, insert quote:

[My god, boys are more effort than they are worth a lot of the time, don’t do that to yourself!] – love you Erin, you won’t ever see this, so no need to quote me for credibility in my shabby journalism.

Betting My Happiness in a German Espresso Cup

Lots of time people say that happiness is a choice. I thought about that two days ago while peeling garlic and crying – note, garlic. I was just sad. Wondering what it was I was missing that didn’t seem receptive to the eye brightening impact that statement was supposed to bring me. A few hours after that, I had the best day ever.

Let me start over.

As with my second to last post, my first ever trip to Europe was not what I had imagined it to be. So a week after returning and lots of pondering and tears, I made a deal with myself and with this man I don’t even know if I will ever see again (that’s mostly said for dramatic effect – I’m sure this whole voodoo self granted happiness wouldn’t work as well if I wasn’t at least half sure). Anyhow, I made the challenge to teach myself positive thinking for 30 days. That’s what I told him anyway. His only job/input in this is just to be excited to hear from me. Excitement from him x3 of course, in order to equal mine. Fair deal. Words and trust were exchanged.

What positive thinking meant was not just the decision to simply up and stop crying and stop selling myself short. Those were and are my worse self and it won’t take just the miraculous month to solve them. Instead, I devote these 30 (now 28) days to give this man my unconditional respect. Even writing that seems to have the weird effect of sounding wrong in my very feminine mind, hard wired as we females are to give unconditional love and affection, statistics has been defacing all I feel natural for in relationships. Fact is, the book I first selected to prove my own words – citing: “…people are worth it…and someone will believe that I am…and I will do everything I can to make this person feel special.” in said video confession, wasn’t just a self-image improvement book. I chose a relationship, ahem marriage book – and now this may either be taken to be over achieving or just insane based on the short amount of time I have known this man – but let’s be positive shall we. And the absolute positive fact I have gained in this book so far is between these two sentences, lies the secret explaining the difference in men and women (again, spoken for exaggeration, but quite close I tell you)

  1. “I love you but I don’t respect you.”
  2. ” I respect you but I don’t love you.”

You tell me to which abject horror you can imagine it is to hear these words from a woman’s versus a man’s eardrums. It’s been 2 days and I feel the first 100 pages of this book has provided me enough mental tools to feel empowered enough to sustain a suspended disbelief of all my otherwise very real doubts and insecurities. I tell myself this each time a loose bad thought comes about, “but what about how you felt/feel about this? Aren’t you worried/scared that you aren’t good/fun/interesting/important enough?” – the list could go on – and rather than denying my fears, I tell myself all I need to do is fulfill my promise to give this man my unconditional respect in his natural comfort-ability, his decisions, his way for affection etc for the next 28 days. The rest of those doubts, I will deal with at the end of this. Already, we have communicated a lot better.

I draw back on some silly battles we picked when I was in Vienna and looking at it through my newly acquired and still being adjusted, men’s lenses you could say, it is quite laughable how completely misunderstood people can be.

The last day I was there before the flight, we were up at 4am in order to catch my insanely early flight. He went into the kitchen on auto-pilot to make his morning espresso. Already I had anticipated in my mind that he would forget to use the espresso cup I had bought him yesterday as a gift. This is my first fault, as a woman, to anticipate, and thus actively look for forgetfulness and faultiness. He, of course, returns with his regular glass espresso, to which I glance at and quietly mutter, “You don’t like my cup.”

“Oh no, of course I do. I just forgot. It’s not in my daily routine yet.” He laughs a bit  and goes about to find it. “Now where did I put it.”

“In your bag when I gave it to you last night.”


And right there, such a simple exchange could have been made to be excitable; fact is that he had ended up using my cup when I asked. Silly a deal as it was. It made me feel valued/special that he would use it, and though he forgot on pure accident, my pouty reaction to it only further proved to him in his mind that we are forever speaking on different wavelengths, to which he may feel he will never be able to satisfy my need for assurance or attention.

Just like that, I feel assured of everything.

All of this I thought about and laughed aloud at while reading this book. Feeling increasing light-heartedness in only beginning to see why we do the things we do. I can see the pit fall of guilt however that may capture me for a short while. Regrets for making someone feel so hopeless, left feeling criticized for their life and innate self. Most of all forgetting to express my admiration and respect for him – the very feedback that translates better than all my puppy love notes – for his hard working attitude, for his kindness (even if I am learning to spot them in the ways he expresses himself), for his patience (mostly with me, not in the least with public transit, ha!), and for many other attributes that I had and still feel in his presence. I let insensible doubts and fears alongside my personal want for security shadow that, and I am sorry. Sorry as I am, I dedicate these next 28 days to you. Certainly, assuring a gal of her special status proves to be quite shamefully shallow. Namingly, he remembered to use my cup.

Have I Become Independent?

I wonder if it is ever possible to be self-denial to the point where on the one hand you can relish in the scent of someone’s old t-shirt and also still feel detached enough to know you’ll be okay to never see that person again.

Perhaps self-denial is the wrong term for this oxymoron. Is it more like indulgent or just less co-dependent?

While coaching my fellow girlfriend on dirty wordplay and how it can be empowering for the female sex, I listen to her description of once again the perfect engaging relationship. The whole sharing, connection and universal stars aligning. I almost swear to myself that I see her eyes glistening.

It’s not that I’m against the monogamous relationship. Far from it; those who had read my last last post witnessed me through a bad break up. Certainly there is the trend of young adults nowadays that participate in the growth of open relationships, or less formally known as ‘taking it easy’. If somebody can’t forwardly confirm the status of their relationship with another, they shouldn’t be in one.

That being said, coming out of my break up, I wasn’t very healthy about it. Apart from being a functional alcoholic,  I also decided to take that enchanting life motto to get over somebody by getting under somebody else. Now that I’ve rolled over onto the other side of the bed (is that a bad pun?) I’m just taking a look around to see where that landed me now.

I hear the term, why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free. That’s neither here nor there for the sensible argument of being 19 and free versus esteeming yourself higher than the social norm and waiting out for ‘the one who cares’.

What if caring came in a lot of different levels? What if the depths of compassion for somebody is as inherently selfish and inwardly concerned for oneself in the sense of ensuring your mental survival through the worse case scenario (as girls will entertain in their head – guys, feel free to jump on board), but could also mean that you still actually genuinely like that person as well. What if the alternative was being single for the majority of your twenties – the golden age – they say, wasted. What if you just like feeling attractive and slutty in the patriarchal sense because it’s purely fun and addictive.

The point of the matter is that I stand between two friends on very different platforms. The one who was my age at one point and slept with people to which both parties openly admitted did not like each other, but was attracted to each other. Pit against the one who is only a few years older and feels cautious against the advances of modern guys because who knows what’s real and what’s not anymore. I’ve alas gotten myself to the mental state where I no longer feel the need to incessantly check my phone and wonder at which point of their day their usual schedule lands on. I just want to relish myself for a little bit – like how the porcelain in my bath tub shines to the effort of a very determined functional alcoholic.

Now, all I can think about is the fact though I have this guys’ t-shirt, when will I get my watch back if this doesn’t pan out? Does that make me a bad person?



Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑

celeste lee cloud

writer & artist

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

(Somewhat) Daily News from the World of Literary Nonfiction

Just a dad ...

Still a coach. Still a daddy. Just not Coach Daddy anymore.

Bespoke Traveler

Immersive Tales for the Curious Explorer

bluebird of bitterness

The opinions expressed are those of the author. You go get your own opinions.

Ned's Blog

Humor at the Speed of Life

Bad Cat Chris

The Baddest Cat You'll Ever Love