I spent eight days in the hospital when I was born
and four when I gave birth.
I refused to drink a date shake in Dateland, CA.
I’ve found maggots in trash bins on two occasions.
I wore more dark lipstick the year I was sixteen than I have in all my twenties.
I was named for the year I was born: 1985 —
named for strippers, flowers, and a light shade of purple.
I twisted cones for six months at a Dairy Queen,
answered retail phones on Black Friday, all out of Tickle Me Elmo,
stapled thousands of copies by hand,
spilled iced tea in customers’ laps, and
sold my childhood toys at a fraction of the cost.
I’ve driven from coast to coast six times,
usually riding in between siblings.
I’ve lost a championship game for my team.
I’ve felt anxious after Googling symptoms.
I fear the opinions of the elderly,
the death of my teacher-issued laptop,
the passage of time.
I fear distance.
When I teach, I’m on stage —
I’m not a fan of being on stage
(a preference I formed in the year 2000).
My students believe that
“girls should act like girls”,
it’s alright to lie (sometimes),
and that in the end,
death always wins.
It is my goal
to change their minds.
I got married too early
and too fast,
and I liked it.
It took us three months to get engaged
and five years to have a baby.
My side of the bed is always warmer.
I once had a crush on a communist.
I once ate a full cup of horseradish on a dare.
I act like a Scorpio, but like to think I am more compassionate
than astrology has labeled me.
My mother still makes an Easter basket for me,
and I still get this excited.
Inspired by Mary Ann Larson’s “Random Autobiography”