Simply Side Notes

In life you meet people, all sorts of people. They either stay in your life or they simply trickle in and then back out again. The amount of people that I can honestly say that have stayed in my life as a permanent fixture are very few. The funny thing? I have met so many people, and I have a list of acquaintances a mile long, but only just recently have I realized that they are merely that… acquaintances. Skimming through my list of FB friends I noticed I hardly talk to any of those listed. I mean seriously if it weren’t for FB we wouldn’t be updated as to what’s been going on in each other’s lives. Would we even remember that each other existed? Probably not. I think about the people I have met just this year alone and where as before I would say “Oh yea.. I know so and so.. They’re my friends! I love them!” now I just wonder, how could I have ever honestly of said that? Just thinking back to the circumstances I have met some of these people under, I don’t know how I could have been so delusional as to actually call these people my friends. Literally since I moved to FL every person I have met since being here, not including co-workers or people that I’ve had to do business with in one form or another, are people that plain and simply just served a purpose and are now nowhere to be found. From girls to guys, I’ve met quite a few, and in all instances we have called each other friends at one point or another. For fun and excitement or for a little advice, or even for a night of mischief.. friends. We were there for each other. Right?

So what happened? Why are they just acquaintances? Well like I said, the relationship was purpose driven and once that purpose is gone, what are you left with? Nothing. The girl friends that I once had, we were partiers. Any given day of the week, if we felt like boozing it up.. BOOM… at the bar we were, racking up beer tabs like nobody’s business. It became so customary that bartenders knew us not only by name but our preference of drink. “Regulars” as you might say. As friends we went out, had our drinks, discussed the petty dramas in our lives, gossiped, oh how we gossiped. Maybe we’d go out dancing here and there, meet a few people, then go home and in a few days repeat the whole thing over again. We had fun, for the most part. We were girls so of course there were little hiccups here and there but nothing to truly sever the relationship.. or so I thought. Amazing how the lack of one being able to go out and drink can really filter out your group of “friends”. Once I got my DUI in December, “friends” started dropping like flies. Hmmmm, Could I even say flies? That’s not much of a saying really. I’ll describe it more as, they were dropping like bombs. Atomic bombs, destroying the entire friendship that was built over the course of a year. There were no more phone calls, not even to see how things were going. No texts to see what I was up to or even to send me a funny updates, jokes, or whatever like we once used to. It IS a two way street and although I surly tried to reach out it was almost like talking to a complete stranger, with nothing to say other than “Hey, how you’ve been?”…”Good. You?”… “Good..” Good. I even went as far as to question the one girl I was closest to (I say closest but I really mean who I had known the longest)  as to what was going on. Instead of being able to talk and reason with me, she blamed ME for “distancing” myself, got angry, and dismissed the entire conversation stating she “has a lot of important things going on in her life and this was the last thing” she needed. Ouch. Ok. Well, I gave up. I always find it quite amusing when people project their anger for the role that they may have played in making a situation more difficult than what it needed to be. I didn’t take it personal. As Vince Vaughn  said in “Couples Retreat” …”I know my truth..”, I know I didn’t distance myself because in moments of crisis and stress I never like to go through it alone. Even though I have found myself doing so many many times before, if I can help it, I like to have people I care around to be a buffer between me and my rough times. I don’t know many who wouldn’t. It made her feel better to blame me? So fine. Peace out trout! Yes, she paid my bail and even though I was super grateful, and expressed to her repeatedly how grateful I was, she still decided to throw that in my face during our last short but very clarifying conversation. Another thing I find amusing as well as distasteful. Never have I ever helped an individual out, be it a family member, friend, or stranger, and then rub it in their noses later. Ever. What would be the purpose? To do so takes away all kindness behind the gesture of helping the person out. I have helped many people throughout my lifetime.. to this day I have not once ever brought it up. So needless to say, once I quickly paid her back, I dropped her like a hot potato.

Cioa! The purpose was obvious. Party Pals. You take the partying away from one of the pals? Bye-bye gal! On to the next group of “friends”.. so here we go. Since a kid I have always had more boy friends than girl friends. I grew up with 5 step brothers. I used to play football with the neighborhood boys. I have always considered myself a “guys” girl for sure. To this day I can count on one hand the amount of lady friends I’m actually close to. Unfortunately none whom live here, meh. Guys? They’re fun, but what I have recently come to discover, and maybe this is a bit naive of me as to not have noticed it before, but guys tend to be friends with ulterior motives. Yes. I know. I told you…I may have been dumb to not notice it before. I just always assumed that I was that cool that a friendship was what they were after once it was clear that there would be nothing more. All the guys that I have met here were true cool kats. I loved them. Some I casually dated, others I wouldn’t have ever even considered, but a friendship for me is everything and I truly believed that these dudes were my friends. Some of them were drinking buddies. Some of them were day trip pals. Others it seemed as though we could just chat on the phone and talk about each others weird and twisted lives, without judgment, just for shits and giggles. Today none of them are around. The purpose is gone. I can’t party like I used to so bye-bye party pal. I officially began seeing someone in January and there went everyone else. Apparently, if the hope of getting their dick wet is gone, then so is the friendship. The sucky part is that I met other people through these guys and now those too I have lost contact with, simply because the thread that held us together no longer exists.

It’s comical because I have since stopped seeing the guy I was dating. We broke up about two weeks ago. Just yesterday I made it official on social media. I’m not one to blast my personal life like that but I wanted to see what would come of it. A social experiment if you will. I wanted to see how many of those lost “homies” of mine would resurface once I made it known that I was “on the market” again…. Well low and behold, out of the blue people started texting me, “Heeeeyyyyyy, how have you beeeeeen??!!! Long time no chaaat…” Go suck your own measly little pecker. I don’t want anything to do with you. It’s one thing, if you acknowledge your shitty disappearing act, maybe even apologize for it, “Hey.. Sorry I haven’t hit you up in a while. I saw you were taken and didn’t want to start trouble….blah blah blah…” Ok. But if you’re going to act like it was nothing, you were just AWOL due to being busy or whatever BS excuse you have…. save it. I want none of it.

I take my friendships seriously. They’re like likable full-time jobs for me. I enjoy being loyal and being there when needed. I truly make sure I dedicate time and energy in the relationship. Friends, these people I keep around and let in to my personal little life, I love, just like I would love a significant other or a family member. It’s a different kind of love, but it IS  love. So whenever I find myself going through a friendship break-up, my heart aches because it’s one less person I have around to share my life with and one more person I add to the list that have failed me. Today I sit here in my room and think how I truly have no one. All my childhood friends are back at home, my family too. I live in this state, physically and mentally, and I live it alone. People I once shared things with, built few memories with, are now gone. All I have is my dog, my books, and my stories. I read and write, while I go through the motions of life here on my own and think, if anything else, if not friends, they’re at least now Side Notes. Little characters that played a role, they served a purpose, and will live on to do so, in the pages of my books. I can thank them for at least that much.


Untitled:My 1st book project

****This is the beginning pages of the first chapter of a book I’m working on. I’d Love some feedback and remember HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY…well… for me anyways! Thank You for taking the time out to read!! MUCH LOVE!****

1389001_629742650409802_1415401385_n-2    Photo Credit: Natal Galvan *taken from a book with the Culver City Public Library, CA


I don’t know what I was thinking. Well, I was horny that’s what I was thinking but why did I think that making a life altering decision in the middle of me fingering myself was a good idea? I do not know. To this day, as I sit here in this shit hole, I have no clue why I thought that my idea at that time was a good one. Could it have been my desperation? I needed money. My savings were dwindling and my job at the dispensary didn’t pay all that much. Could it have been my loneliness or the lack of excitement in my life? Yes, I know. There should have been no lack of excitement considering I had lived in Los Angeles for less than two months, but it was hard to find genuine people in this over populated city, let alone make friends. Sure I’d go out by myself once in a while but that was risky. This wasn’t my small town life from back home. Back home everyone knew everyone. There were no secrets. No one locks their doors. You never worried of crime. It was what some would call paradise.

This place here was a completely different world. No one here knows anyone. Here, your “friends” don’t know you and you never truly know them. There are motives behind the people that know you. Sincerity is as rare as a house phone. People here? They’re all actors, whether or not they’re here to look for fame and fortune occupationally. People here wear invisible masks. You never really know who you’re dealing with.

So there I was bored and playing with myself. In one hand I held my phone gazing at the pictures of old dirty men screwing the wet out of young girls. The caption read “Daddy Cums while Mommy Sleeps”. Picture after incestuous picture had my lips wet and clit swollen, lost in a world of weird perversions. The old man in this current picture wasn’t bad looking, I thought to myself, as I found myself staring at him and what he was packing.  I’d fuck him if I had to, I remember thinking.


That’s when the idea struck, as well as my monumental climax. I guess that’s why I thought it was such a good idea. So as I came, through the blinding lights and the euphoria I was physically experiencing, I decided that tomorrow I would follow through with my idea. I would turn my luck around and hopefully life out here in the wild of wildest, my life would get just a teeny bit easier.

The next morning, after brewing my bold cup of coffee, I sat in front of my computer and placed my ad. Funny thing it was placing an ad selling your-self. I wasn’t trying to think of it in terms of selling myself though. Honestly the way I pictured it, I imagined a Pretty Woman type of scenario minus me being a prostitute. I envisioned a handsome older gentleman answering my ad, offering his guidance in exchange for some after dark pleasures. In time we would fall ever so madly in love with one another and we’d live happily ever after. Why not? Overnight I had come up with a sure fire plan as to how to choose my knight in shining armor.  I was sure I’d get multiple responses so I would just choose one who I’d deemed the best candidate. The one who was not only the more handsome but one I felt like I could best emotionally connect with. How could I go wrong?

Within a few minutes, I had 5 responses. Two of these savages, I will call them savages because to call them men would be far too nice of me, contacted me with no introduction even. What they stated in the body of their badly written email were things of rapists and cons.

“Ravage you like the disgusting wild woman that you are,” one wrote.

“I’ll duct tape your tits together so it feels nice and tight as I titty fuck you and cum on your face,” said another.

These were my first responses but still it didn’t deter me from taking down my post. Guys will be guys, I thought to myself, there are always those bad apples in the bunch and I couldn’t expect otherwise.

The other three responses were sweet. These were what seemed genuinely nice guys, rich, but horridly unattractive. I couldn’t imagine having to pleasure them. My lady parts dried up like a cranberry left out in the Mojave desert just thinking about it. Delete. Delete. Delete.

I glanced at the time and made moves to get ready for work. I had 45 mins to get showered and dressed. There was plenty of time. I literally worked two blocks from where I lived which was one of the reasons I took the job. I could leave my car at home, avoiding the stressful LA traffic, while also saving money on gas. As I began getting ready, I thought about my job and how unhappy I was. Sure, many people would have killed to work at a medical marijuana dispensary. It hadn’t been long ago that the laws had changed and hundreds of these places had been opening up all over the state. There was something to working at a place that not too long ago would have been considered illegal and even immoral that made it a little more exciting than your typical retail or restaurant jobs I had previously been used to. Yet many of these dispensaries were operated by Armenians whom were not at all easy to work for.

I had been warned once by a nice Mexican girl I met while cashing out at Target one day. We got to casually talking as she rang me up. I had ended up mentioning that within a week of me moving here I had easily found employment.

“I’m not sure why people say it’s hard to find a job out here. Maybe I was just lucky?” I said to her while rummaging for my credit card.

“That’s because it is hard. Where do you work?” she asked, intrigued.

“A few blocks from here at one of the dispensaries. I start this weekend.” I handed her my credit card and she looked at me for a second, maybe deciding whether or not to bother, and then she did.

“Just be careful. Those places are usually ran by Armos. They’re perverted hot heads that prey on newbies like you. Plus those places aren’t federally legal and get raided all the time. Depending on the location your clientele can be a little shady and if you say it’s just a few blocks from here I can assure you it isn’t in a great location. So just be careful.”  And with that she handed me my card and my receipt.

“Have a good day.” She then said to me and her eyes moved on to the next customer. With a nod that she did not see, I grabbed my bags and left.

As I set foot outside and head out to work I think about that girl. I wish I would have listened to her warning. But I dismissed it at the time and oh how I wish I hadn’t. She was right; working for Armenians was not at all easy.


He storms in. The air around him is heavy and dark. Varno may be a small guy but he carries a huge attitude. Actually let me add “shitty” to that. He’s got a huge shitty attitude and it’s about everything. Nothing makes this man happy. Nothing.

For being as tiny as he is Varno gets women like crazy. I have seen more girls come in and out of his office than the offices of a fucking planned parenthood. All kinds of girls too, small ones, tall ones, fat ones, skinny ones. He’d had blondes, brunettes, red heads, even a bald chick. He’s an equal opportunist jerk that’ll fuck anything that’s got a wet hole giving him attention. That’s why it wasn’t a shock to me when I found a lube of Hep cream in the bathroom one day.

Varno is the owner of GreenTeeHC. He’s hardly ever there but when he is, it’s all havoc and melee. He’s got two henchmen that work under him Grigor, who’s a giant but with a teddy bear heart, and Sygus, a short funny looking man with permanent smiling purple lips and a belly that makes him look like a bowling pin. When Varno came to the shop, it was usually to handle business meeting with vendors, maybe he’d pop in to smoke a little dope and check in on the shop, sometimes it was just to get away from the trails of snails that followed him. That’s what I called his “girlfriends”, snails. None of these girls were what you would call “nice girls”, honestly I wouldn’t even call them decent girls. I will even go as far as to say that one or two were not even girls but that’s a secret that only Varno and his snails would know. On this particular day that the Hep Cream incident took place, he had snuck into the back room where we wrapped joints and packaged other cannabis products while I was in the restroom. It had been an unexpectedly quiet day at the shop. It was Friday, which meant pay day for many of our “patients” and was usually our biggest day of the week. So far I had only had a handful of patients come in, making my day drag.

I come out of the restroom, which also serves as a smoking room and a utility closet, and head into the backroom. Before I reach the door I hear him saying to Grigor in his badly broken English, “I am just irritated. People in this fucken town are stupid. Fucking dumb Americans! Where is this girl!? Mae!..” As he’s calls out my name I pop in, with a huge smile painted on my face. At this point, I’ve learned how to deal with Varno. Killing him with kindness was what I found to work best. With him being a constant cranky fucker, I wasn’t going to let him taint my always sunny disposition although it was quite hard to not take offense at first. Where I was from people weren’t “cranky” just because. Everyone was friendly and open to what life seemed to bring forth no matter how good or bad. It was a wonderful community where everyone supported everyone else in times of bad as well as times of good. It was paradise, hence why I left. Who needs paradise at 22? Adapting to this city I found not everyone was even remotely close to being cheery. But adaptation is what has allowed the human race to continue on in our ever long evolutionary existence, and I had adapted to not taking things personal.

“What’s up NoNo?” he hated this nick name I had appointed him. He thought it made him sound too negative. I happened to think it fit him perfectly.

Death Under Intoxication pt.2

So I’m a changed girl. It’s true what they say, people and circumstances can and will change you. Situations that we place ourselves in  allows us to encounter beings of another kind. These encounters mold who we are. They captivate our being with just one word or maybe a simple gesture, and POOF, our world is changed. We become slightly different.

Within seconds of getting my DUI (which recently has been dropped down to a reckless driving charge..another story for another time), I met people who with a look, a sentence, or just a simple vibe, altered who I was and how I thought. I went from being an outsider looking in to actually wearing the shoes and walking the path. From the moment the cuffs were placed on me and I sat in the backseat of that squad car, I had become one of “them”. My inner dialogue was pretty calm. I knew I was guilty and the fact that after multiple times of doing what I was caught doing without getting caught, I was resigned to the idea of just taking whatever punishment was going to be dished out. I was laughing at my self because I knew I had gotten away so many times before but yet time and time again here I was pushing my luck. Through out the entire time while heading back to the station I stayed relatively quiet and calm. I had seen so many shows, like Cops or Caught on Camera, where individuals get rowdy and rambunctious, trying to kick out windows and cursing at the officers, and I always thought… “Well, who put you there? Who’s fault is it? Not theirs! They’re doing their job!” Officer Good Heart was a doll. I don’t know if it’s because the moment he pulled me over I was cooperative and respectful or just because he was a good soul, but he definitely set the tone for rest of my ordeal and that is for sure. It wasn’t until we got into booking that it all hit me… the shots, the beers, and the realization of what the future was going to bring. I was cold and there was no way of warming up for I was in a tank top and a long hippie skirt. The inside of the booking station was depressing. made up of just cement blocks painted grey and cold to the touch. Officer Good Heart sat me down in a grey plastic chair that sat at the end of a long  grey table. I picked up on the running theme in this place. Grey. Cold. Depression. On the table sat the breathalyzer, a clip board with paperwork on it, and a couple zip lock bags. I agreed to the breathalyzer because again.. why was I going to fight it? He and I both knew I was intoxicated. So there I blew and his shock was apparent. “Ma’m I don’t know how it is that you passed the roadside tests and are coherently speaking to me. You just blew almost 3 times the legal limit. With your size you should be passed out in the corner.” He didn’t say this in a condescending manner, not rude, or angry. He said it like he was concerned. As if he actually cared. The amazing thing with this officer is that I never NOT looked into his eyes when he spoke to me. His eyes were deep blue pools of warmth. I fell into them every time and never wanted to get out. He wasn’t handsome by any means. He was in his late 40’s and wore a tire around his belly and acne scars on his cheeks. He looked as if he spent way too much time drinking ventie caramel frappaccinos and wasn’t ashamed to admit to having a sweet tooth. But still those eyes were kind and so when I heard him say this comment while at the same time looking back into those big blue eyes, I felt a ping. I actually felt like I had let this stranger down. I remember  my initial reaction to his comment and thinking to myself, “Well that’s because I’ve got a high tolerance. I’m a girl who can handle her booze.” But then thought better of it. Maybe that’s not something to be so nonchalant about.

Next up were the zip lock bags. “M’am, I’m going to need you to remove every piece of jewelry you have on your person and place them right in here.” I did what I was told. I took off my earrings, my necklace, my bracelet, rings, and finally my belly ring. I hadn’t taken out my belly ring in ages. I didn’t even know how long ago was the last time I had removed it. When I slipped it out and placed it in that bag, I teared up. That was when I lost my calm demeanor and went full on “blubbering like a baby” mode. Anyone that knows me, KNOWS that unless it’s a reallllllly sad movie or a bad ass book, I DO NOT cry. Inside I was yelling at myself, “Look at you! Wipe those tears away! Suck it the fuck UP!” But that simple gesture of me taking out my belly ring made me feel completely vulnerable and naked. He grabbed the clip board and began asking me basic questions. Throughout the entire process I was sobbing. I didn’t stop. It was like now the floodgates were open and there was nothing anyone could do to stop it… Except of course Officer Good Heart.

All the questions were over and it was now time to get my fingerprints and that infamous mugshot that would be forever lurking for anyone to see. I was still crying. My cries weren’t that of a beautiful movie scarlet where my tears just flowed down my cheeks, yet I stayed pristine. No. I was gasping for air like a child throwing a tantrum. Boogers were flowing so quick, no amount of tissues handed to me by the officers would put an end to them. I’m sure that by looking at my face you wouldn’t have been able to pin point where the tears ended and the boogers began. Officer Good Heart takes me to where my photo was to be taken and while we’re walking he says to me, “Hey. It’s OooKaaay. It’s not like you’re in here for murder. Think about it. In a few hours you’ll be outta here. You’ll be ok. I promise.” I simply nodded my head back at him but inside those words had meant the world to me. The fact that he wasn’t cold and demeaning about the entire situation was the most touching thing that could have happened to me that night. His words were comforting and almost supportive. Not supportive in the way that he condoned what I was in there for but supportive in the way that truly led me to believe that everything WOULD be alright. It wouldn’t be for another 14 hours later that I would realize not even the friend who had bailed me out of jail would be this kind to me. She who barely talked to me on the ride back to pick up my car from the impound, and when she did speak, the only words that came out of her mouth were condescending and belittling. A tone which not even my mother took with me once she found out about had happened. But that story too is for another time. So there I stood in front of the blue screen with his words echoing in my ear. I had stopped crying and had come to realize only seconds before the picture was taken. “You’ll be ok. I promise.” is what I heard in my head and SNAP..a flash of white light and presto my mugshot had been archived. Officer Good Heart and I parted ways. He gave me a tap on the shoulder and pointed to a holding cell that was wide open, “Just go in there and wait hear for your name. They’ll be calling you in a little bit. Good luck.” he said with a warm smile. I proceeded to walk towards the holding cell, but not before I  made sure  to say, Thank you.

Later on I would look at my mugshot. I can’t say that I was too disappointed for it captured the overall experience perfectly. If I had to pick a mugshot, I would have definitely picked my own. In my photo there are two tears streaming down, one on each cheek. My nose is a little red but down below lies a slight smirk painted across my lips. My eyes look as if they’ve been crying but there on the surface is a glimmer of hope. I believe the photo captured the exact second I replayed Officer Good Heart’s words in my mind.

When I mentioned that Officer Good Heart had set the tone for how the rest of my dealings with this case would go, I meant it. I feel that if those last few words he uttered before my picture was taken would have never happened, I don’t think I would have carried on with the strength I did. It was like his kind words snapped me out of this negative reality that was swirling around in my head. I am a firm believer in the Law of Attraction and feel like I would have just found myself in a thoughtless cycle of desperation and depression. I would have just given in to the feelings of misery and anger for having put myself in the situation that I did. But ultimately he was right. I had made a mistake, Yes. But had I damaged my life permanently? No, of course not. I hadn’t killed anyone. I hadn’t hurt myself. The worse that could possibly come out of this entire situation was a very  healthy learning lesson. I look back on this moment everyday and I think of how grateful I am to have actually gone through all of this. There has been much good that’s emerged from my initial charge of DUI, many experiences and treasures that I will take with me forever, and that would have never happened if it weren’t for this. There are other characters that are waiting to be mentioned. There’s Toothless Tammy, Dirt Ball Joanie, Shawna, and Tamika, who were just a few of my cell mates for those 14 hours I was incarcerated. There’s my DUI School Instructor Andres, a Colombian native who had gone into law enforcement and had been held hostage by the guerrilla for 14 days, and later came to the states to further his career in Criminal Justice. I’ll speak of Judge Handlen, My therapist Mary Sue Jonesie, and even those involved with my community service. Each and every one, making an impact. Each and every one of those characters playing a crucial role in what is to be Natal Galvan’s life. For I am a watcher of people. I soak in my surroundings, every detail, every encounter, nothing goes unnoticed. Nothing happens in vain.

God Damn the Server Life pt.2

When you work in the “biz”… the restaurant “biz” that is.. there’s a LOT of shit one must endure. It’s not just the dickhead customers with their rude behavior and their cheap tipping abilities. Or their dirty faced, grubby fingered, ill mannered kids. It’s not just the working of nights, weekends, and holidays.  At times your co-workers can be the greater enemy.

Now normally when it comes to serving with the enemy, my nemesis always included either the ladies who have been serving since the 60’s. You know, those old ladies with the “smeared on their teeth” lipsticks. The ones that reek of cheap “old lady” perfume and stale cigarette smoke. The ones that sound of stale cigarette smoke calling all the old guys “toots” and everyone else “sweetie”. These ladies are tough cookies who are set, or shall I say stuck, in their ways. They’re the types to see a new girl come in, specifically young new girls, and have this entire vendetta against them, a drawn out plan to get them out. With all reason. I mean, how’s that saying go? “Out with the old. In with the new”? Usually these ladies, once they start to realize that I too am a tough cookie and that I won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, become civil, one could even say friendly.

The other nemesis that seems to follow me around are the young girls. Young girls meaning either my age or younger, who seem to think that having no moral compass is the “hip” thing to do. Funny thing is, they seem to really try to have that aura that they’re just too “cool” for me while at the same time I can smell the fact they need my acceptance (as well as everyone else’s) desperately.

It typically takes about two weeks for my amazing personality *wink wink* to win over any one that may be hesitant to befriend me. I’ve been used to it all my life and it’s something I actually find pleasure in. It’s almost like a game to me. “Oh you don’t like me?” Muahahaha “We’ll see how long THAT lasts..”  So anyways, When I began working at the latest “supper club” a few months ago I was sorta shocked to find such an easy going crew. The guys loved me. The girls were awesome. Everyone was funny and helped each other out. It was like working for the Brady Bunch if they would have had their own fucking restaurant. I felt like I lucked out really. Until… <— I mean you had to know that was coming right?… The Chef and I had a bit of an altercation on  Valentine’s Day.

If any of you out there reading this have ever worked in the restaurant industry you know how chef personalities can be. I’m not talking about just regular joe shmoe cooks that work in the kitchens of your regular chain restaurants who basically follow a recipe given to them by the higher up. No. I’m talking about those fine dinning chefs that actually create art with their dishes. They’re the ones who don’t follow recipes the make them. They are the ones when it’s slow at work and you’re just shooting the shit, they are amazing individuals. Big old teddy bears. Then once in the weeds, or god forbid they get a picky customer who tweaks their beloved dish, picking it apart to tiny little pieces, it is like the devil unleashed his wrath upon all who crossed its path. I have lots of experience working with these kinds of personalities. Growing up in South Jersey, I was lucky to have had the opportunity to a lot of job shadowing and internships in the casinos of Atlantic City allowing me to work at some of the top restaurants alongside of the cream of the crop when it came to chefs. With that said, I have never, not once, had an altercation or confrontation with any of them. So when Valentine’s Day 2016 rolled around and I found myself in a boarder line shouting match with this guy.. I was at a loss for words.

On this particular night, it had been busy, but for the most part it had all gone easy breezy. I mean to be honest, I was so focused on the shit I had to do to get through the night, that I hadn’t even realized the night had gone by so quick. Before I knew it, it was 8:30 pm and I was on my last reservation. My last table  consisted of a nerdy couple who were approximately in the early thirties. They were both tall, lanky and wore glasses. He was the type that wore grey knitted socks with is strappy Moses sandals, khaki cargo pants that tied in the front, and a Mr.Rogers sweater. She had a scarf on, even though this is Florida and in February it’s still quite warm out. Her hair was shoulder length and sported big white chunks that curled into her intensely black hair. Intellectuals for sure. They asked a million questions about the menu. He was vegan. She had a gluten allergy. what seemed like hours later they both ordered. They settled on a fruit and cheese plate for their appetizer (he ate the fruit, she had the cheese) and then she got a blackened salmon salad, while he ordered the vegetarian dish. All veggies, no butter, just a plate of veggies. I quickly ring in the order. Then within seconds I hear, “A GODDAMN VEGGIE PLATE?? WHO THE FUCK.. RANG THIS IN…. GET HER IN HERE!!!!!!.” I had been summoned.

I walk into the kitchen and I see Chef just glaring at me. “WHO the fuck orders a vegetarian dish on Valentine’s Day?! I made a wonderful god damn specialty menu for tonight and you allow them to order the FUCKING VEGGIE PLATE?!” he’s throwing dishes and banging pans. I made the mistake of actually going ahead and answering his question. I mean how was I supposed to know it was rhetorical?

“Well Chef, a vegetarian does. Everything you put on the special menu for tonight is either meat or fish and…” I was cut off, almost literally. He points his knife at me and says, “I don’t give a FUCK! Do you even know if they can consume butter???” he asks, again I was stupid. “Yea Chef, he’s vega….” I calmly try to say.”Get the fuck out there!!and ask him!!!If he can have butter!!!! NOW!” I already knew the answer to this one…He’s Vegan. No he can’t consume butter. He specifically gave me the run down when we were talking about the menu, but I left the kitchen, made a loop around the dining room as to pretend I actually went over to ask him, came back in. “Chef, no he can’t have butter.” So he replies with “Goddamn cock suckers!!! WHY ARE THEY COMING OUT TO EAT THEN!!!?? WHAT THE FUCK!!” This time I don’t answer. As I’m walking away I hear him say to the expo guy, “She’s a fucking idiot. What’s this her first day? Why would she let him order that?” Now keep in mind that it’s Valentine’s Day. This couple had to make reservations to have dinner at the supper club that night. The menu that Chef created for the night was NOT the only menu that was available that evening. If people wanted to order from the regular menu, they were allowed to do so. The vegetarian dish is on our regular menu therefore they were allowed to order it. I was pissed. No one had ever talked to me that way and just because he didn’t feel like making it, didn’t mean he was allowed to give me shit for having to place the order for it.

Everything that could have gone wrong with that table did. Their fruit and cheese platter came out 45mins after being ordered when in reality it should have taken no longer than 10 and that was pushing it. Her salmon was over cooked and there were no pine nuts on the salad. His veggie plate looked like a pile of mush. It was obvious that Chef didn’t care about the product that he was serving these “cock suckers” and what bothered me even more was the fact that he didn’t care that ultimately it would reflect on my tip.  Needless to say, I did not get a good tip from this couple and you can tell they left quite unhappy. For the rest of the night, I spoke to no one. I was fuming. My manager that night spoke to me. Word had gotten out on Chef’s behavior and she came to see if I was upset. “Of course I’m upset! Who talks to another human being that way? I did NOTHING wrong and I get shitted on? What the hell?! He’s got issues…major issues.” She basically defended him by saying he had been working long hours and he was tired. She didn’t take into account that I too had worked a long week that week. At this point I had two jobs, I served breakfast from 6:30-3pm and then I would rush over to work 4-10pm at the supper club. Those aren’t easy days, especially as a server. You didn’t see ME snapping at anyone. No one deserves to get reamed just because one is tired or cranky. But whatever. He was the Chef none the less and if it came down to it, they would have definitely taken his side over mine any day. So quiet I stayed yet from that day on I was on the fence of whether or not I would stay working there much longer.

Fast forwarding on to a few nights ago. This night was not very different from any other night. It had been exactly a month from Valentine’s Day. It was a Wednesday which is a lot more quieter than a holiday or weekend day for that matter. The night had gone smoothly. It wasn’t too busy. All of my customers had been friendly and easy-going. I had spent the day joking around with my co-workers. In actuality it was one of the best days I had at the supper since I had started working there in December. It was about 9:30 and finally the restaurant had slowed down. I had one table waiting to finish their dessert and so I began doing my side work for the night. During this time it is customary for servers to make themselves a little salad to eat. It was the only thing we didn’t have to pay for so of course it was routine for us to make one. After a six hour shift of serving hungry customers and delicious food what server wouldn’t? Well here I am rolling silverware. I hadn’t eaten all day but hadn’t noticed until the second my stomach spoke to me. I walked into the kitchen, grabbed a small to-go box as I normally would throw my salad in there as to not dirty a plate, and went on to make myself my salad. As I’m adding shredded carrots to the mixed greens, I hear, “I hope that salad that you’re making isn’t for you to take home…That better be for a customer right?” I turn to look and see Chef with a drunken stare  just glaring at me. “No, I’m making it for myself to eat here.” I kinda laugh a little bit for I had no idea what was coming. “Who said you could make a salad?” He raises his voice just a bit. I for some reason think he’s fucking with me so I say, “What do you mean? I can make one if I want to.” I laugh and turn back to finish making my salad. “No YOU CAN’T!” By this point, the bartender had brought him his end of shift beer, which he seemed to have once an hour, but who cares right? I mean he IS Chef. So I turn to him and say, “Yea? and why not?” and that was the trigger that set him off I guess because he slams his precious beer down making most of it spill onto the cutting board, “Because this is MY GOD DAMN KITCHEN THAT’S WHY! I AM THE GOD DAMN CHEF! I SAID SO!!!! WHAT? YOU THINK THIS SHIT IS FUCKING FREE??!!” He is yelling so loud that he’s turning almost purple. His veins are protruding from his neck. Spit is literally foaming in the corners of his mouth. Every server was in the kitchen and every single one of them was standing there wide eyed. They had lucked out, for most of them were about to go on a make a salad too. I guess that day was my day to be the martyr. I stood there frozen. The only thing I said back was, “Since when??! Clara (my boss) has always said that we were allowed to?” “I don’t give a FUCK what she says!! THIS IS MY FUCKING KITCHEN!” I had a million scenarios playing out in my mind for that split second. None of them would have helped the situation any other than allowing me to feel better. At that point Clara, who had been standing there the entire time watching in horror, walks over to me, grabs me by my shoulders, and leads me out into the kitchen. But not before I call out to Chef and when he turns to look, I slowly dump out all the contents of my to-go box in to the trash, just to piss him off. Everyone stayed quiet. No one knew what to do or say. It wasn’t until a few mins later after I come back from cashing out my last table that a few of my fellow servers came by, one by one, to tell me how fucked up that was. Clara had spoken to me saying how disgusted she was with him and to not take it personal. “It’s not you. It’s him.” No shit! She continues on to say, “Have you ever read the Four Agreements?” I want to say yes bitch I have! I read that book my sophomore year of college, of course! but instead I nod because I am just to pissed and drained to say anything. “So then you know about the agreement not to take it personal. Don’t take it personal. He’s had a long week. It wasn’t right what he did but don’t let it get to you…” And with that she walks away to call the owner to let him know what went on.

I went back to rolling my silverware and during that time is when I decided that THAT night was going to be my last night at the supper club. The schedule was up for the entire month but I didn’t care. I refused to be talked to that way. I could care less if I wasn’t the first person this had happened to. I was going to be the first person to actually respect myself enough to not allow to someone to degrade me like that. I didn’t care how much I needed my job, I loved myself more than that. I cherish my peace of mind more than any dollar could give me. From the moment the incident began, I wasn’t taking it personal. I knew I had nothing to do with why he went off on me. But still, I had the right to be upset and I made the conscious decision to never set foot in that place ever again.

I was vocal about it. Whenever anyone came up to me to talk about it, I simply replied, “Hey it’s no problem. I’m just not coming back. Just giving you guys a heads up. You’ll be one man short until Clara gets someone else to work.” It being the middle of our busy season, no one was happy to hear that, yet they all understood. I kept my word and I didn’t return. Its been three days since it happened. Clara sent me a message or two about how sorry she was and how wrong it was for him to have done that. But in all reality I believe that was said just to go through the motions. If any of them really cared they would have at the very least spoken to him. Mike, the owner, would have apologized for what happened. I never heard a word. Not from him and definitely not from Chef. But that’s the god damned server life for you. One thing I know for sure is that this is the Universe’s way of telling me that the supper club was just not right for me. I’ve got bigger and better things heading my way and now I have the available time in order to seize the moment when it comes knocking on my door.


I seem to leave a trail. My scent, I guess, is what pain picks up on because no matter where I seem to go, it finds me. We do this dance where I try to spin away from it. Yet it twirls me back in with elegance and grace. Like two ballroom dancers that have been partners for a decade. We know each others bodies well. We don’t have our own rhythms for we even breath as one. There is no resistance for our energies rely on one another. Where ever pain is, I am there. Where ever I am, pain lives. It’s a dark romance that I see to fully understand.

Since childhood I have had to deal with trials and tribulations that seemed unfair. Divorce plagues my family. I used to think that divorce ceremonies would be better to attend than fictitious weddings that were draped in “Happily Ever Afters” then within months, at most a year, love turned into hate. Love turned into ugly.

I was molested as a kid. Yea, you can just tack that onto the other statistical attributes that I’ve got going on. He was a family friend just like studies say the probability of that is. During that same year, I spent 8 out of my 9 school months being severely bullied. Did I bring this all upon my self? I want to say not. What child at 13 wants to live in such emotional misery? Yet from most of this I grew strong. Yes, there are minor flaws in my thinking, in my self, from all that’s happened to me. But I could have turned out worse, no?

As I grew older I realized that the current state in which you’re living has a lot to do with your inner self. How you talk to yourself, your thought process, your inner dialogue. I began to change it and life seemed to get better. My thoughts of hating this place,life here on Earth, dwindled. I didn’t have such an urge to want to go “home” home. I found beauty in the small details around me, bringing about a more fuller, prettier,”larger than life” way of thinking. Slowly I became awakened. I am still going through that process for it’s not something that happens over night. It’s not something that you conquer and then move on. It’s continual. It’s a way of life

One aspect of pain though that I cannot seem to shake off are the pains of Love. How ironic, no? Does that even make sense? How can Love possibly bring pain? Love is LOVE!

I am a romantic soul, some may say fool. Since childhood I have always wanted to find that one true mate to live life with, just building fond memories one life given moment at a time. A partner in crime to accompany me in taking on the world. I imagined us chasing dreams, accomplishing goals, truly obtaining all that we’ve wanted, with very few hiccups while on that path to shared happiness. I have encountered many loves in my life. I’ve dated for I am not one to turn away from an opportunity to find this person. But they all seem to come and go for one reason or another. I was telling my mother the other day, “I feel as though with every person I meet and become entangled with, I get closer to the perfect person for me. Once I feel like I found them, they slip through my fingers, and I am unable to grasp. They just slip away like it was a phase. A quick affair with love, a prank of life. A tease.” I do try to look at what role I play in all this. In some relationships I have had, I knew that they weren’t for me. But of course that humanistic nature of feeling like you can change that took over my intuition and therefore I found myself in once again another heart wrenching situation. Other times, they played me like violin. It started off slow and sweet, then turned abrupt, ending in a quick finish, putting on a show for god knows who. Me, being left there, totally used. Once, I found love, but life at that point was difficult and I had to move away, leaving them behind. It was one of the hardest things I had to do in life. We kept in contact for quite awhile but with time and distance that love slowly faded away.

Recently I found joy and bliss in the arms of someone. They aren’t perfect but I believe slightly perfect for me. It’s only been three months since we began building our relationship yet now I am seeing things, feeling things, that are filling my heart with doubt. How wonderful could life really be if at least once a week we are arguing over things that in the overall scheme of life, hardly matters at all? I am now beginning to dread any time we spend together because I feel as though at some point while spending time together, SOMETHING is going to happen to make our sunny days dark. Where once I cared to have no guard up at all, now I found that I have built a Great Wall of sorts, just to keep the negativity at bay. Is that fair to anyone? There are moments when I feel my intuition is telling me to let things go, at least for now. But then I wonder is that me just simply wanting to give up? Nothing beautiful comes from giving up for beauty is sometimes found in the struggle.

So here I am doing this little dance, once again pain and I. In the next week I will find myself busy with life and all of its demands of me. I’m hoping that within the chaos of my life, I am pointed in the right direction of what it is I need to do. For although I am a lover of love, I will not settle. I know what a beautiful relationship consists of. I know what happiness is. I will not settle for something cloaked in the robes of the imaginary. I rather wait, no matter how long it takes, to be free and love nakedly. I shall wear love on my skin. A sincere, genuine love.

I will end today’s piece with reminding myself, and all of you, nothing is in vain. There are good things that come out of everything. Every bad breakup, every bad decision, every bad…well ANYTHING, you can find some good of it. Sometimes you may have to look a little harder to find it but there is always some good there. And like my man Kurt Cobain once said, “Thank You for the tragedy. I need it for my art..”

Death Under Intoxication

In the months following my DUI, life for me did a complete 180. Nothing to me mattered other than buckling down, saving money, and making sure I completed every step and order demanded by the courts. I did everything with no complaints and no hesitation. When I initially succumbed to all that was going on (not to me but BECAUSE of me) I told myself that I would just go through the motions. I would do what I needed to do and just move on with this chapter of my life. What I didn’t expect to happen was that I, the person I was on the inside, would truly change.

It has been only three months since the fortunate night I got pulled over. *Note here that I said “Fortunate” for I am firm believer in that every thing that happens, happens for a reason.*  This night was peril for my soul’s evolution. A change I always knew I needed. A change I desired but never knew how to set those wheels of change into motion. I’ll begin today’s blog with who I was before all this. I’ll speak of that ordinary night when I was pulled over (because for me it was just another ordinary night), and how it completely changed my life for the better. If you’ve just begun to read this, I hope that you’ve got time for a little bit of family history is needed for where I’m going with this.  Do also realize while reading and taking in a little snippet of my life, that although I have been more than honest with friends and family about this incident, this will be my first time speaking so openly about it with people like you.. strangers. So here goes nothing:

Growing up in in a Colombian household, the motto always was work hard, real hard, and when you got the chance, play harder. During the holidays, it was the norm to watch the adults drink, and drink to excess. Christmas, New Year’s, birthdays, ect… are all memories wrapped up in blankets of liquor induced laughter and roaring good times. As kids we would watch our parents work their asses off, strictly. Most of them worked back breaking jobs and not just one, but two even three jobs at a time. When they were given time off and were able to all get together, they drank. I always knew it was going to be a party when I’d watch them come home with bottles of Aguardiente, cases of beer, tossed within the bags of food they’s be cooking that night. The excitement within me would build because I knew this was their time to let loose and enjoy themselves. I loved watching them tell jokes and stories of when they were growing up. They’d play music all night long and dance. You could always tell once they started reaching past the point of being drunk because their dance moves weren’t as precise, their jokes became more absurd, and the laughter was just non-stop and over everything. I loved it.

10616553_800352903319854_1642631823_n-2  Photo Credit: Natal Galvan Location: family gathering in NJ ’14

I’ll never forget the first time I ever got drunk. It was Christmas and I was 14 at the time. I was at that stage where I was no  longer a kid who wanted to hang out with the little ones and was slowly making my way into hanging out with the grown-ups. That night I was in charge of pouring the shots of Aguardiente for them. What they weren’t aware of was that I was being sneaky (imagine that). Anytime I saw that one of them didn’t finish their entire shot, guess who’d make sure to clear it to make room for the next shot? THIS GIRL of course! Before you knew it I was letting loosey goosey. I was funny and goofy, making sure everyone’s eyes and ears were on me. It wasn’t long before they realized what had happened and instead of being upset, they let me steal the show for the night. Even my super religious, always serious grandfather (whom I adored so much) was laughing his ass off at the ridiculousness of it all. The very next morning I was awakened by my crazy aunt (who we now know is literally crazy) nudging me, “You were grown enough to drink last night, you’re old enough to get up and clean with the rest of us adults. Now get up.” As I went around picking up shredded wrapping paper, empty beer cans, bottles with only about a shot or two left in them, dishes, all and any evidence of a good night before, I had realized how “fun” could be amplified by what I call today, the devil’s brew. It didn’t matter to me that my head was pounding like a jack hammer, or that the smell of food was making my stomach churn. The night before had been FUN for me in a different way.

Now don’t go thinking that this began my love for drinking. At 14 I had no time or business getting drunk. It wasn’t for  few years later that I began to have a drink here and there. Be it at a house party, special occasion, or on the rare nights I was able to sneak into a club or bar, which was extremely easy to do in the city. When you’re a girl all you have to do is bat those lashes and slip the bouncer a $10 and presto, this 17 year old was being let in to 21 and over clubs left and right. Normally, I was always known as mother-hen among my friends. Sure I would drink but not enough to loose my senses. I always felt like I had people to look after, friends to help out once they had a bit too much. When I began sneaking into the clubs and bars, I tended to just have one or two cocktails. I loved to dance so for me I had just enough to help me feel the music better. With maybe just a night or two of over doing it in public, embarrassing myself by falling or what not, that at the time was enough for me, for I knew I didn’t want to be “that” girl. It wasn’t until I was older that I began to overdue it.

I’ve got a nomadic nature. A care free spirit who wants to roam every inch of this earth and experience anything and everything. So it was no shock to anyone when I moved out of state at 19, away from all I knew, to a place I knew nothing about. The first few years all I did was work. I was responsible, I paid my bills, went to school, saved up money, ensuring to make my momma proud. By 23 I began to really follow in the steps of my elders. I worked hard, real hard, and played harder. By this point I was what you would call your average stoner and in many ways I was totally ok with that. I found that under the influence of pot I was able to control myself and my spending way better than when I went out to drink. Weed is what I would say my substance of choice was. It relaxed my always “on the go” nature as well as sparking my creative juices. Still, I would join my friends out for drinks a couple times a week. By 25 I was an expert at handling myself no matter what influence I was under. Or so I thought now looking back. Hindsight is truly amazing. How many times have I not driven knowing I had one too many? But I was ok. I made it home every night safe and sound. Even on the mornings I would wake up, not remembering half of my night, not knowing how I got home, yet looking out my window and seeing my car there, I felt ok. I hadn’t harmed myself, or most importantly anyone else. I was a happy drunk each and every time. I never once woke up feeling down about myself or my life. Again, drinking was my “fun” juice. It amplified my inner joy and unless I KNEW I was going to overdue it, I always drove. I was what my friends could call the designated drunk driver.

In March of 2013 I decided to move all the way across the U.S to California, my dream. No I wasn’t headed out there to find fame or fortune, but adventure and change. Originally from Jersey, then living on the gulf side of Florida, life for me became boring and stagnant. I had money saved and had one day randomly decided, “Hey, why not?” As a kid I had read so much on California. I’d seen awesome pictures of the mountains and hiking trails. The beaches looked way cooler to me than those here on the east coast. I was young and thought better now than never. When I arrived, I was bombarded by how cool it was. There was anything and everything to do. The art scene was awesome. The music scene even better. I was centrally located to all I loved to do. Naturally I went ham.

It was maybe my second month there when I had my first thought to lay off on the drinking. My sister, who had also moved with me, and I were at a bar we both liked to frequent. It was quite a ways from where we lived at the time but the drive through the mountains and into the city was totally worth it. That night we had both had way too much to drink. So much, that on the way back to the car, I tripped on an uneven sidewalk and fell face first busting my entire face. Neither of us truly remember the details of the fall and the reason I even know this was because once on your way back home, my sister who was black out drunk at the time of the fall came to, and was horrified by what she saw. There was blood all over my face and clothes, “What the fuck happened to YOU!!!!!” I too barely recalled what had happened. I was so concentrated on trying to get back home that I hadn’t even looked at myself to see how bad it was. Needless to say we were BOTH freaking out. In all this, I get lost, and there begins an argument between her and I. That night there are bits and pieces of what I remember. Sort of like snap shots taken of my life. I do remember that at one point, we were shouting at each other, loudly. I went to take a u-turn to head back on the right direction, and I was so angry that as I turned the wheel (quite aggressively) the car turned and at one point was on two of its four wheels. We had almost flipped.  By the grace of god or some unseen force we made it home that night. We went to our separate rooms and it wasn’t until morning that we both put the fragmented bits of our memories of that night together.

We made it exactly a year in Cali. We were both flat broke. So broke that in order for us to get back home to Jersey we had to borrow money from friends and family (and paid back every penny). You would think that a night like that would have scared anyone straight. But no. We were lucky and what do lucky people do? Well they push their luck of course because in all reality, things happen, but horrible, worst case scenarios never happen to you. They happen to other people, right? I could tell you all the drunken stories I have up my sleeve but this would turn out to be a novel not a blog. So let’s fast forward to the night of my DUI.

I’m in Florida again. I decided to move back since Jersey was just NOT for me, hence why I had moved away in the first time. So here I am in my own little comfort zone of familiar places and new friends. On this night, I was out with two girlfriends of mine. I was to spend the night at Emily’s house. I had to work quite early the next day and at this time I was living out in the middle of bumble fuck in order to save up for a better place (this is another blog for another valuable lesson to be learned). In the mist of hanging out with these two girls, I ran into a buddy I had not seen since I had initially moved away to Cali. We’ll call him Jake. Jake isn’t the best of influences. He’s a business man who wheels and deals in the drug trade. Whenever you hang out with Jake you KNOW it’s going to be a hell of a hangover day the next day. The girls I was with at the time know of Jake and don’t like him very much, which is understandable. They’re “nice” girls who’s idea of going ham (a term I stated earlier) is going out for beers to the same bar, sitting in the same bar seats, while chain smoking cigarettes, as Papa Roach plays in the background and ordering soft pretzels with extra dipping sauce. I don’t mind Jake. Yes, he’s trouble. But I have never been one to judge people on what they do in their spare time. If I can laugh and have a good time with you, hey, we’re friends. Anyhoo- on this particular night I gave in to the pressures of Jake and had shots, which I RARELY ever do, especially if I have to work the next day. But after being at the bar for a while with my ladies, by the time Jake came into play, I was pretty boozed up on craft beers and it was easy to talk me into shots. By the time “shot” time came around, the mother hen of this group had gone home. Before leaving she had told me to make sure I stay at Emily’s that night and not to drive home. By this point Emily’s boy toy had also arrived on scene. The four of us had decided to take our group to another bar right down the street since they also served liquor vs only beer.

010-2  Photo Credit: Natal Galvan

A long story short, and many shots later, I had begun feeling uncomfortable for Jake had begun to insinuate I stay at a close by hotel since I was pretty toasty. I wanted to go home. Emily was having a great time with her guy and in my drunken stupor I had thought that the two were going back to her place and I didn’t want to be the third wheel. It was getting pretty late, midnight was creeping up and I had to be up for work by 5. As we got back to the cars, I reassured everyone I was with that I was ok to drive home.To be honest, I had driven home in even worse conditions than the one I was in so I felt quite confident that I’d make it home just fine.

I tore out of that parking lot like there was no tomorrow. In my mind, I had almost an hour drive home. That meant if I hurried, I could make it home and at most have four hours of sleep before heading into work. Tunnel vision kicked in. All I saw was the road ahead of me, so 30 mins later it was a shock to me to find cop lights flashing in my rear view. “Where did HE come from? Err, No problem. I got this”, I said to myself. Once pulled over and asked the typical initial questions, “Mam, Do you know how fast you were going? Do you have license and registration with you? Proof of insurance? Have you been drinking? How much have you had to drink? Do you have any weapons on your body or in your vehicle? Any weapons of mass destruction? Any drugs of any sort or drug paraphernalia?….” He took my information and ran my plates. I at this point still wasn’t worried. It wasn’t until he came back and handed me my documents and asked, “Would you be ok with doing a few field sobriety tests just to make sure your not impaired to drive?”, that I kind of became a little worried. I obliged. What was I going to say, no? So I played his game. I followed the pen with my eyes. I walked the line while looking straight ahead. I touched the tip of my nose with my index finger. Passed every one. So WHY was I arrested for drinking and driving? The police report reads, “due to the heavy scent of alcohol present on her breath and watery eyes..” Cuffed.

The police officer was doll. You can look into his eyes and see he wasn’t a mean cop. He was doing his job. He left the cuffs loose on my wrists, so  much that while I sat in the back of the cop car on the way to the booking station, I slipped my left wrist in and out quite easily. He made small talk on our way, much of which I don’t remember. My mind was too wrapped up in the situation I had found myself in. I laughed at myself for how stupid I had been. I even told myself that this is what I deserved and more since I had been so careless not only this time, but many of times before. That night, sitting in the back of the cop car, the girl I had always known had died. Death Under Intoxication. In her place sat, a humble young lady who stood at a fork in the road. She looked to her left and saw a path in which she could just step over the twigs and branches that stood in her way. I was a semi familiar path, slightly darkened, but still it was familiar and not all too scary, so it would have been easy to find her way through. It was a path she seemed to have taken many times before. Then as she turned to her right, she saw a forest full of thick trees and hardly a path to follow. It was unfamiliar, but as she looked deeper down this direction, off in the distance she noticed the brightest light she had ever seen. She knew that if she truly wanted to, she could make her way through the thickness of mother nature’s greenery and appear on the other side, with not a scratch on her. Only life.

The details of my ordeal while going through booking, then being locked up for 14 hours and within that time having to stand before a judge, and even all that has happened since then will be for a later blog. But for now I will leave you with this. Although I am still in the beginning phases of my “punishment” for the crime I had committed, I feel victorious. In this small chapter found within the novel of my life, I did come out sitting on top of the world and although what goes up, must come down for even briefly, for now, I am a very happy and positively changed girl who’s been living happily so ever after.


Daddy’s Little No One

Hardly has she a memory of fond moments with him. Even those that linger have started to fade away. The life she’s lived alone outweighs any time ever spent with him. How could he ever ask any thing more from her? How does he expect her to hand over so much to a mere stranger? Memories are something so special and so cherished. Her treasure is what he asks in exchange for what? Blood? Even strangers ask for far less and yet know so much more of who she is than her good ol’ papi. A shame it is in all honesty because at one point he was her god, her king! Her everything. Her almighty.

Amazing how life can play games on one. One second daddy’s little girl, the next? Abandoned. Oh the trickery! Left all alone since her almighty no longer there to care.Only on those set days when the law required for him to be there. A dead beat dad made her just another statistic and instead of settling for that, she made herself non-existent. She simply said no to they joys. She said no to the stresses. Sure, it was tough being on her own and to be numbed of emotion made her fonder of independence. Younger than most she learned to think for herself. Wrapped up in books and writings helped her grow up and handle life’s toughest situations. So here’s a little letter, a forever farewell to him from that tiny little no one trapped within:

Hey you,

I won’t even ask how you’ve been. I hear you aren’t doing fine. In all honesty I’m not here to inquire about your well being because truthfully I say, it is of no concern of mine. I write to you of selfish need. I’d like to finally clear the air because to let go it needs to be.

Our history has never been good and though I won’t go into details I will tell you this, I never allowed you back in, not because you made a mistakes but because you continued to make them over and over again. Not once has there been a time I could say to have ever been proud of you. Life I have learned is something so sacred that one should only allow those who bring in joy and positive vibes around you. I’ve also learned that sometimes the people who bring you down the most are those you at one point held closest. So plain and simply I say to you, you are not what I want or even need in my life. You are a stranger who at one point made my soul ache in your absence. That’s why I say that time was one of my greatest assets. I shall not waste her for she has been my greatest friend in this ordeal you’ve placed us in. I have moved on now… you should too.

I’ll leave you with at least this, I shall not blame you for any wrong that’s been done. Nor for all those moments although tough, have made me strong. That’s as far as my gratitude towards you goes. Anymore than that and I’d be a lying asshole 🙂 So good-bye dear one for it was nice learning you. The toughest lesson in life. I owe that all to you.

dscf0540 Photo Credit: Natal Galvan, Location: California Yoga Fest



Love and Instant Gratification

In an age where technology has made everything so readily available one must wonder are we conditioning ourselves to believe that anything and everything is easily obtainable? Before, society used to have to work hard in order to achieve anything that was remotely satisfying. Your kid needed to do a 10 page research paper, the assignment was given weeks in advance for teachers knew that it would take time to gather such information. Kids would have to go and spend free time at the library or maybe even have to go so far as to visit a few museums in order to get the information needed to write a proper paper. If you had a dream of becoming a model, you knew there was serious work to be done. There were portfolios to be put together. You’d have to truly grind and figure out ways to make appointments with agents or show up for auditions. The ability to pose for a picture, edit it with a few different filters, and with one click post it on your Instagram (today’s portfolio) for the whole world to see, that was almost unfathomable. There are many who have gained, what I’ve termed Insta-Success, in dream careers that for them was once an almost impossibility yet today they are rolling in their passion. These are all great examples of how technology has helped humanity exceed and advance in many aspects of their lives such as knowledge, success, exposure.. But what about the downs of such advancement? There is always a negative to counter a positive. Life is about balance and I’m here to speak on whether or not the negatives balance or outweigh those positives.

One of our most important purposes here in life is love. I truly believe that love is something that not only every single individual on this planet strives to feel in one way or another, but it is also what makes the world go round. Not just the love of money, or success, the love to travel, or the love of food, or a hobby, but most importantly the love of an individual outside of yourself. To obtain true love whether it lasts forever or not is something that we all try to experience at one point or another. Some may have loved once, and got burned in doing so. Maybe those individuals have given up on feeling that emotion, but the point there is that they have experienced it. Others  may be looking for love and a percentage of those will find it while others will spend their entire lives in search of it. So how does the topic of “Love” come into play with “Insta-Sucess”? Take my friend Janet for instance. Janet falls under the percentage of those who are on the constant hunt for love. She’s got a profile on every single internet site or dating app that is out there. Whether it’s free or she pays a monthly fee, that girl’s heart is on everyone of them waiting to be captured. I know many people who are reading this may have or have had a profile up or two. I’ll be honest and say I’ve had one or two up and took them down for the simple reason that it just didn’t work for me. There is nothing wrong with having a dating profile. In fact, for many it is a godsend and truly their only way of being able to find love. Whether they’re to shy to go out and mingle, while there are others that are maybe too busy. Some prefer to have an array of choices at one time to date versus having to go out and pick up a date here and there. There is no wrong when it comes to having a dating profile, unless of course you’re looking for that Insta-Gratification from your Insta-Meet like my friend Janet.

Janet is trooper. She has a date pretty much every night of the week. Sometimes they are with the same guys. Most times her dates are with someone new and different. The problem doesn’t lie in the fact that she’s got numerous dates under her belt. If fact, before I would say “Good for YOU!” for I believe that in order to find out what you really want in your ideal mate you must first find out what you DON’T want. Her issue lies, and this is where most people’s issues lie in the online dating scene, is with the belief that with a few dates you either got it or you don’t. God forbid there be a flaw or a not so ideal quality in a person (because we’re all so perfect, ya know) it’s DELETE and onto the next one. No if, ands, or buts… You’re OUT. Many of you may be thinking “Well good for Janet!! She’s picky! and that’s important when it comes to not settling for less than what you want!” And I hear you. But what if that ease of “deleting” and moving onto the next one is exactly what’s keeping her from being in a happy relationship?

This is where today’s society and its entanglement with technology comes into play.For years now we have been able to be a  click away to learning and perfecting almost every aspect of our life. From typing up the perfect resume, or editing your pictures to look like a Hollywood starlit, to ordering groceries online while also paying your parking ticket at the same time. Everything is instant. Everything SEEMS perfect. We no longer have to work hard for anything. We’ve become a society who’s number one focus is physical appearance and instant gratification.  People are no longer patient enough to work hard for something. Actually it’s now the complete opposite.It’s as though in today’s world, if you’re working hard for something then it’s not worth to pursue so it’s time to move on and when it comes to love, I often hear (not just from Janet but many others her age and younger) if it’s meant to be, it’ll just work. The pursuit of “Perfection” has become such a norm in life that we have forgotten that we are human and we each have flaws or certain issues within us that make us far from perfect. Yet those very same issues or flaws are the very things that set us apart and make us unique from the next person. To be able to look past that, not only accepting it, but to the point where you cherish those flaws, that’s where true love for someone else lingers.

Janet, as well as many others out there, finding out that (insert name here) isn’t perfect, or doesn’t have all the qualities she looks for in her ideal mate, that instant gratification or her idea of perfection she’s in search for, that Insta-Love, is exactly what’s getting in her way.  The belief that you can meet someone and just love them immediately and them love you unconditionally without having to put in any work is absolutely absurd. One disagreement, one fight, one of anything negative, and good-bye. You are dismissed and onto the next one. Yes, there are those cases in which you will find what they call “love at first sight” but still to MAINTAIN that emotion for someone, it takes work. It’s not easy to maintain a relationship of any sort. There is time and effort that’s to be put in, and that is exactly what life today is lacking… Time and Effort.

I share this with you because everyone is deserving of love. When you’re out there looking for it, or it just so happens to find you, don’t get into your own way simply because you’ve been conditioned to believing in the hype around you. Listen to your heart and intuition. Understand, no one walks around wrapped in vintage filters and cropped out problems. We are all imperfect and that’s what makes us each so perfect.

049-2 Photo Credit: Natal Galvan Location: Santa Monica, CA

God Damn the Server Life

The frigid mornings I wake up on the days in which I have to work KILL me. I call them “frigid” because there is no other word better to describe them. They’re cold and dark and I shiver as I pull the blankets off of me, even though I live in the sun shiniest state in the U.S. I make sure to set my alarm HOURS before having to go into work because I need my “me” time and it doesn’t matter if I had two days or four days off that week. I can’t seem to find enough “me” time to better prepare myself  to go in to battle.

It is a war out there in the server-life. Between hungry customers ignorant to how the restaurant business actually works, to the incompetent hosts who are usually too young to serve and therefore too dumb to care, and then to the unhappy, unsatisfied, servers who must at every second of their shift put on a facade and switch vibes and characters from table to table to better fit their customer’s needs… One must say we must be insane to work in this type of environment.

Sometimes we luck out and have amazing managers or restaurant owners who make work a little less like “work” but those are too and far in  between and though one may have cool bosses or alright co-workers, a server never really knows what a work shift will bring. It could be a day where it goes smooth like butter. A cake walk one might describe it as. All of your customers are easy going and maybe one could even go as far as saying they’re pleasant. Other days it seems you have waited on every coo-coo that breaths on this planet. Some days you’ll have a barrage of amazing tippers, setting up the trap to disable you from walking away from this job you loath so much. Other days, your self worth dies at every moment you close out a check and realize you have literally slaved yourself for someone else’s pleasure for a measly couple dollars. Cheap fucking bastards.

Many of you may be reading this and are thinking “if you hate it so much why do you do it?! QUIT! Find your true passion! Do what you love!” I say to you, Fuck off. Obviously that’s something to strive for…yet it takes time, no? So until then, am I to not eat? Not maintain a roof over my head or clothes on my back? Am I not to try to finish an education or at least take steps towards achieving my happiness?? Maybe these years of hatred for what I do currently will feed the fire for what I will achieve later on in life. Who knows?! All I know is that I have an opportunity right now to tell it like it is, while also maybe enlighten some people out there. Yes, at times we make good money. Most of the time we are whoring ourselves to our tables, bending over backwards (some may say “over”), eating up all the disrespect you customers dish out, all for a 15- 18% tip…20% if we lucked out.

One myth I would like to bust right here, right now, is the saying, “The customer is always right..” Let me enlighten you folks out there. The customer is not always right. In all honesty, they are hardly ever right. Most of the time we give into your shenanigans because it is easier (and looks better for the restaurant) to take the higher road and walk away peacefully from any sort of confrontation with a customer. The fact that in today’s world with online reviews dictating whether or not a business prospers or fails, one can’t run the risk or arguing or even remotely debating with a customer on whether they are right or wrong. For us people working in the industry, this is the biggest lump of BS we have to swallow, the fact that customers think they’re always right. It’s like saying, “Pedestrians always have the right of way.” Think about it. In a normal situation it is true. There’s someone standing at a cross walk, you yield to them and let them go. Now take someone who is crossing in the middle of a busy intersection, and doesn’t even bother to look both ways, they just walk out in to traffic and assume that because they are a pedestrian all traffic will come to a screeching halt just to let their inconsiderate asses cross. A car hits them… Guess what? You know who gets in trouble?? THE PEDESTRIAN. Each party in any given situation needs to recognize the part they play in whatever altercation or scenario they find themselves in. So let us put this example in a Server-life Vs. Customer prospective.

Scenario #3786- A table sits down. Mom, Dad, their two Kids. In today’s world technology has completely taken over, even those precious family moments that everyone wants to cherish so much. Kid#1 lets say, is a preteen who honestly could care less about spending family time, is on their cell phone checking FB, IG, Tweeting to her Twit friends, they are doing everything possible to stay connected while disconnecting. Kid#2 is a younger sibling who can’t stay still or focused for more than seconds at a time so to keep them calm and quiet are given a tablet in order to keep them occupied. Mom is on the phone speaking to Auntie Sharon telling her all about their awesome vacation, detail to detail, nothing missed, with the exception of telling her how awful of a time she’s having. Dad seems to be the only one focused on settling down and zeroing in on the menu, but in a reality, is back at the office thinking about all the work that needs to get done in order to make the money for next year’s family vacation.  Insert Server Here… “Hey there!! (insert whatever lame introduction they’re told to say..) What can I get for you drink today?!” CRICKETS…

Alright, let’s try this again…

“Can I maybe interest anyone in one of our specialty drinks or maybe you’d like to start with a round of waters while you decide?” Not one person at the table even acknowledges her/him. So now it’s awkward to say the least…

Or we can even switch the scenario and say, Server walks over, “Hey there!…My na….” “We’ll just take some waters with lemons..” says either parent without looking up.

Either scenario has already set the tone for the entire duration for both customer and server. If it’s a seasoned sever they’ll handle it with the utmost professionalism and will slather them in kindness throughout their stay, while inwardly killing them with machetes and machine guns. But for the majority of the servers out there, they will semi-neglect this table and focus on the others who DO treat them like a human being and not some worn out shoes strewn  over a cable wire to be ignored. They will provide this table with the most basic of service which in turn aggravates the customer who sees this server happily and attentively serving other tables around them. Here is where vicious cycle begins because once the the customer becomes aggravated, they will find everything wrong from that point on from the food.. to the atmosphere.. anything and everything will be sub par. They’ll complain to management, which in most cases will fall on deaf ears, for servers are very vocal and would have most likely already mentioned what “douche bags” the people at that table are.  No one likes to be ignored. No one likes rude individuals. So who in their right mind would want to be attentive to such people? People who have proven within the first 15 seconds of interaction don’t care enough about them to even acknowledge them as human beings.

Like I said before, it is a vicious cycle. It’s not just seen in the Server-Life but in all areas of customer service. It’s very difficult to deal with the public especially in an age where values, morals, and respect for one another is almost nonexistent, and technology and disconnect from the real world around you is prominent. If only we took more credit for our own individual actions..owned our “mistakes” or lack of education.. We could all move on, be better people, and make everyone’s life around us just a tee bit better.. and the things we wouldn’t want to do (such as work) could at least be a BIT more enjoyable. There wouldn’t be such a sense of dread when it came to going into work or doing the other countless things in life we may have to do instead of wanting to do.  I mean that’s the way I see it, and for most of whom I speak to.

This is my first official “blog” piece. I’ve been a writer for more than half of my life but today starts a new wave for me and my writing. I will not only speak of my Server-Life.. but of all Life around me, as I see it. My mission is to change an outlook, to give people the opportunity to see things from a different perspective.

Stay tuned for not only more Server-Life stories, but also stories from the day to day encounters of Life around us, as I see it.

My name is Natal Galvan and I am here to write to you.


Photo Credit: Natal Galvan, Location: Vagabond Tap House, A.C, N.J

If you ever find yourself in Atlantic City, NJ make sure to stop by this place!! AMAZING food and a wonderful selection of craft beers, and let me not forget to mention an incredible sunset view 🙂