A Nicely-Dressed Woman

I feel nothing
I mean I feel cold, but that’s because it’s freezing outside
But I feel nothing inside
Like a Stepford Wife

I look normal, I even wore bronzer & mascara today
I fit right in with everyone else at the bakery
No one knew that the woman ahead of them in line buying cupcakes, was actually a creepy dead robot

They didn’t realize that I let you gut me
That I didn’t even put up a fight
And that now it’s too late
My psyche no longer glimmers psychedelically, it’s now dull – like Benjamin Moore’s paint color Cement Gray #2112-60

The other day a man tried flirting with me
But when I looked him straight in the eyes, he saw my shameful truth
He saw that I could no longer flirt, I’d lost the skill
I used to love flirting – the beautiful, innocent kind of flirting that makes a person feel good, that makes a person feel ALIVE
I wanted to tell him:
“I’m so sorry I can’t flirt with you, I’m dead inside, but I would if I could”

So I walk the streets, wearing my bronzer – just a Stepford Wife out for her daily constitutional
Imgine if people found out I was dead?
It would be mayhem
The police would be called, an ambulance too
But what would they do with a nicely-dresssed dead woman roaming the streets?
Is there a secret psych ward in the hospital for Stepford Wives?
Maybe I should go there, they’re my people after all
We could sit and drink tea and eat scones and chit chat
The doctors wouldn’t even need to medicate me since I’m already dead

Katharine Ross, star of “The Stepford Wives,” 1975. (Image is part of their promotional poster)

Witchy Vibes

Chapter One

“For the love of God, what is this music?” Jessica asked her daughter.

“Gloom-Core,” said Olive.

“Well it’s certainly not creating a happy vibe for the school commute.”

“Creating a happy vibe is toxic positivity Mom. I’m not going to pretend the world is not fucked. This music speaks to that reality but it’s also beautifully poetic.”

“Okay fine. Changing topics. Don’t forget – tonight we have dinner with your father and his new girlfriend. If you want to be morose that’s fine, but don’t say anything snarky. Last time you insulted his date.”

“No I didn’t. I just said that her dress was very Prairie-Chic Meets Forever 21. What a mortifying night that was. She was like college-age and kept styling our plates to post on Instagram.”

“I agree, that evening was brutal. But his new girlfriend is older – I think she might even be thirty – so let’s give her a chance.”

“You are way too understanding mom. And why aren’t you dating? I see men checking you out all the time at Whole Foods. You could have a fling with the man-bun guy who’s always near the Kombucha fridge.”

“I hate flings. Plus, I’m loving being single. I even signed up for a pottery class.”

“OMG MOM – you can’t take up pottery! That’s such a sad cliche of a middle-age woman giving up on life.”

“Olive, that’s very misogynistic. Plus, you know I love ceramics.”

“Whatever, you do you mom. But Tristan is coming to dinner tonight, I already invited him.”

“Who’s Tristan? What happened to Leila? I thought you liked Leila.”

“I thought I did too. But then we went thrifting together and she spent an hour getting ready. Like she put on a whole face just to go to The Goodwill. Can’t deal with that. AND she was using Kardashian makeup. As if I would ever date a Kardashian supporter.”

“You’ve got high standards Olive, I respect that. Okay hop out here, I don’t want to get stuck chatting with Mrs. Gotham, she scares me. Have a good day, love you sweetie.”

“Love you too mom. Oh and I forgot to tell you – Tristan’s dad is picking us up today.”

“Alright, but please text me his father’s number right away, otherwise you don’t have permission to go with him.”

“Will do. Now go cancel that pottery course and find the hot man-bun guy!” Olive yelled loudly as she got out of the car.

Chapter Two

“Olive, are you and Tristan ready? We need to leave now or we’ll be late!” Jessica called out.

“Hey Jessica – Olive told me to call you by your first name – thanks for having me to dinner tonight,” Tristan said as he sauntered down the hallway.”

“You’re welcome. I like your hair.”

“Thanks. I worked really hard on creating the perfect shade of florescent pink. I don’t know if Olive told you, but I’m an artist. Abstract expressionism but like abstract expressionism on acid; I’m not afraid of color.”

“Well as you can tell from our house, I’m not afraid of color either. In fact I hate neutrals. Where’s Olive?”

“I’m right here mom.”

“Honey, I’m not sure that outfit is appropriate for the restaurant we’re going to, it’s a very upscale Italian eatery.”

“Mom, this dress is everything. It’s a late 1990’s Betsy Johnson.”

“It’s a pretty dress and you look stunning. But you also look like you’re about to stir up a cauldron and cast spells. I mean can you take the witchy vibe down a bit?”

Tristan started laughing uncontrollably.

“Respectfully mom, this is my look tonight.”

“Jesus. Okay, okay, let’s just go kids.”

Chapter Three

“Olive, my dear beautiful witch!”

“Hi Dad. This is Tristan. Tristan this is my dad, Erik.”

“Tristan, that’s quite the hair. What year are you in? You look like a senior.”

“Nope. I’m a sophomore just like Olive.”

“Well any friend of Olive’s is a friend of mine, my daughter has impeccable taste. Speaking of impeccable taste, this is Annabelle, she owns a wellness boutique in Silverlake. Annabelle, this is my daughter Olive, her friend Tristan and my ex-wife Jessica.”

“It’s a pleasure meeting you all. I brought you a few goodies from my shop, just little things to help you relax, meditate, center yourself…you know, to help you on your journey.”

“Good evening, my name is Paul and I’ll be your server tonight. What can I get you to drink?”

“Oh hello Paul – thank god for you. I’d like a Negroni please,” Jessica said.

“Perfect. And what can I get for the rest of you?”

“We’ll have a bottle of Castiglioni Giramonte. Olive?”

“A limonata please.”

“Same,” said Tristan poking Olive in the ribs.

Chapter Four

“Jessica, I’ve heard so many lovely things about you. I’m very impressed that you and Erik are on such good terms, so often divorce become toxic. Erik told me you two consciously uncoupled like Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin.”

“Umm…I’m not quite sure that’s us. But we both love Olive and we still care about each other and respect one another.”

“Well, I want you to know that I included something very special in your gift bag, it’s called Essence of Rose Quartz Serum – hand-made in Santa Fe. It’s not for your face, it’s for your heart. Every night you rub a few drops of it on your chest and the rose quart activates your heart, making it more open to receiving love.”

“Here’s your Negroni, I sensed you needed it right away.”

“Oh Paul you’re a life saver, thank you.”

“My mom’s heart does not need activating – not that that’s even a thing.” Olive said, glaring at Annabelle.

“It was very kind of you to bring us gifts. How did you get into the wellness industry?” Jessica asked, sneaking a sip while quietly kicking Olive’s platform boots under the table.

“It’s actually a really trippy story: three years ago while I was hiking in Griffith Park, I had a vision – I saw myself as a Wellness Curator: healing women by finding the most beautiful wellness products and selling them in the most beautiful space. And I’ve just started offering workshops too. Next week I’m teaching my customers – actually I prefer calling them my Goddesses – how to make their own smudge sticks – really pretty ones that you can display in your home for that earthy boho vibe.”

“The wellness industry is an elitist billion dollar empire. It steals ancient traditions from indigenous cultures, repackaging them for rich white customers,” Olive said.

“And here are the rest of your drinks. Let me just open the wine for you.”

“Actually Paul, if you don’t mind I think I’ll open it myself. We’re having a bit of a moment here,” Erik explained, his forehead glistening with sweat.

“Not a problem Sir.”

“Olive, I see it more as being inspired by ancient traditions. I have a deep reverence for their original creators and I want to share their wisdom with people who might not otherwise know about it.”

“Do you donate a percentage of your profits to organizations that help the cultures you are stealing from?” Olive asked.

Jessica kicked Olive under the table again, a little harder this time.

“Olive, enough with the interrogation,” said Erik. “I propose a toast:
‘To new friends and to a beautiful evening together,’” he said a little too loudly.

“Cheers!” Tristan bellowed theatrically, kissing Olive’s neck with a flourish.

Despite twice kicking Olive under the table, Jessica was proud of her daughter for speaking her mind. And how cute was she in her goth-y dress with her pink-haired companion?! What an incredible young woman she was. What a privilege to be her mother.

“This is the best Negroni I’ve ever had! Thank you Erik for putting together this lovely dinner,” Jessica said smiling, as she raised her glass and winked at Olive.

The End

Image: Pinterest


If you fall I will catch you.
Like last time?
Yes, like last time.
But last time was painful.
It would have been more painful had I not been there to catch you.
I’m not so sure.
Don’t be ridiculous.

I was expecting you would catch me in a soft embrace, but it felt more like I was falling into a blanket of steel wool.
Well, it would have hurt more if you had fallen to the ground.
I don’t think so. In fact if I fall again, please do not catch me.

Don’t be foolish. Who says “no” to help?
I’m saying “no” to help, the cost is too high.
I’m helping you for free.
No you are not. Nothing in life is free, including your steel wool blanket.

Photo: Pretty Pink Moon on Pinterest

A Short List

I once dated a guy who was a gigolo. Of course I didn’t realize he was a gigolo when I first met him. I just thought he was a friendly dude in my apartment building. One evening he knocked on my door and there he was holding a plate of homemade spaghetti – smooth move. He was very funny and used to sing Tom Jones songs until I was crying with laughter.

I also dated a guy whose house was full of cockroaches. I had never seen a cockroach before, therefore seeing a bazillion of them when I turned on the kitchen light in the middle of the night was terrifying. It felt like I was in an 1980’s horror movie – with fabulous hair, makeup and clothing by moi of course.

There was the boyfriend who literally passed me over to another man, like they were farmers and I was prized cattle. We had broken up and he knew the other guy really liked me, so he said something like: “She’s yours now, take care of her.”

Let’s not forget the “give your girlfriend cocaine on her twenty-first birthday boyfriend,” because of course as young women that’s exactly the gift we dream about getting. Not jewelry, but hard drugs.

Oh and the boyfriend who had a thing for long finger nails! That was a problem for me because I was and still am a nail biter. But thankfully the drugstore lady introduced me to “Lee’s Press-On Nails.” I’m forever grateful to her for helping me keep my man happy.

There are more men and more stories, but for now this is it. Just a little fun list to jazz up your Wednesday.


Photo: Periodicult on Pinterest


“Why aren’t you out there having sex? You’ve been single for almost three months.”

“I hate casual sex, it’s horrifying.”

“What? Casual sex is the best! It’s like trying on shoes to find out what type of heel you like – stiletto, square, platform…”

“Nice analogy. But no. Letting a man inside my body – like hi, come and put your penis in my vagina – without knowing anything about him is terrifying.”

“It’s liberating. Not knowing them and just experiencing pleasure is freeing.”

“Three years ago I had a one night stand with a beautiful man. As I was going down on him, he started talking about how his mother still buys his underwear. I almost got up and left the house, except that we were in my house. So for the rest of the night, as we were having sex, all I could think about was his mother buying him underwear at Target.”

“Nooooooo! That did NOT happen. You just made that up.”

“I wish to GOD that I made that up. But it’s 100% true. You can stop laughing anytime now.”

“You have ruined Target for me.”

“Or what if I sleep with someone then find out afterwards they don’t believe in global warming? Or that they own like ten semi-automatic rifles?”

“Ha! That’s why you sneak out early, it’s a skill you can master, trust me.”

“Once I accidentally slept with a high school student. I’m not even sure it was legal. I felt so gross.”

“Dying. I’m dead. What happened?!”

“I thought I was having a weekend fling with a cute college guy – Jackson. He was 22 years old and I was 32 at the time, so it felt kind of naughty and fabulous. Sunday morning he woke up early to buy us coffee and croissants – sweet. Except that he forgot his phone on the bedside table and it wouldn’t stop ringing – it was his mother. But I mean lots of people chat with their parents on the weekend right? Then I started hearing pings from incoming texts and because I’m a horrible person I read them. They were all from his mother:

Jackson, where the hell are you?!
You’re seventeen years old, you can’t just NOT come home at night.
Your father and I are worried sick.
Please text us so that we know you’re not lying in a ditch

Also, you have to finish your American History paper
Love you
, Mom

“That kid had major moves. Kinda gotta respect a teenager with that much swagger.”

“True. But you see my point right? I’m not cut out for casual sex.”

“Ya, I get it now. I guess you just have to wait around until you meet another “Mr. Almost Kind Of But Not Really Mr. Right,” then you can have sex again.”

“Exactly. In the meantime, let’s go shoe shopping.”


The New Romantic

“I miss living on the west coast. Would you ever consider moving with me?”

“California? Fuck no. America is a hell hole, or have you not been reading the news for the last seven years?”

“Just because there’s lots of bad stuff going on doesn’t make it a hell hole.”

“I could literally show you like a hundred articles right now to prove my point.”

“News flash: not everything is about winning an argument or proving a point. Jeez Louise you’re not even a lawyer.”

“You know what your problem is?”

“No I don’t, but I’m dying to find out.”

“You romanticize everything. Things are complicated, dangerous even, you need to be able to look at life through a clear, rational lens. There is no room for being a romantic.”

“But is there room for being a New Romantic? Like Spandau Ballet?”

“I’m being serious.”

“No, you’re being irritating. Who are you to go off on what you perceive to be my problem? Did God quit and put you in charge?”

“You know I don’t believe in God, religion is the opium of the people.”

“Ya, ya, Karl Marx – what are you, a first year philosophy student?Anyway, if we’re gonna argue, I would argue that now more than ever there’s a need for Romanticism. The world is desperate for it. The universe is asking us to look at each other through softer, sepia-toned lenses and to not be so binary. To come together, recite poetry, eat cake and drink wine. It wants to hear us roar with laughter and moan in ecstasy. The world isn’t interested in your clear rational lens right now, it’s desperate to be softly petted like you would pet your beloved dog. It’s hurting – the world is fucking hurting. It needs love and tenderness to help it get back on track.”

“That’s the biggest load of Instagram-y horse shit that I’ve ever heard. It actually scares me that you think like that. When we first met I thought you were an intelligent woman, even a bit of a nerd. But now it’s like you’re a sage burning, crystal wearing, astrology-believer. What happened to you?”

“I’ve actually always been this way, you just chose not to see it. And a person can be smart and burn sage, the two are not mutually exclusive.”

“But they are mutually exclusive. A smart person would never believe that burning a few leaves would clear out negative energy, because that same smart person would never believe in the idea of negative energy.”


“Okay what?”

“Just okay. Like we have four more hours in this car together so I’m gonna peace out of this conversation and put some music on.”


“I’ve got a new playlist that I made last week, it’s really good.”

“What the hell is this?!”

“It’s an 80’s compilation of New Romantic music.”

“You are unbelievable.”

“I know. Thanks.”

New Romantic Vibes c/o Steve Strange and Julia at The Blitz Club,
London, Feb 1980.
Photo by Graham Smith.


“Stop trying to control everything, let yourself fall apart. Just let it all go.”

“Great advice. Where’d you get it, Instagram?”

“Yes it’s from Instagram, but it’s from a psychologist not like an influencer.”

“Love getting my mental health guidance from Mark Zuckerberg. Maybe I’ll film my breakdown, make a reel and post it. Should I add Harry Styles’ music to keep it upbeat and trending?”

“You have a bad attitude. Clearly you’re not happy, yet you’re holding on for dear life to everything and everyone that doesn’t work for you. I hate watching you do this, it’s like watching a car crash over and over again.”

“Nice. Really nice. Thanks for the support.”

“I am being supportive, but I’m not going to sugarcoat things, that’s not being a true friend. I’m telling you like it is.”

“Fine. But I mean I can’t just fall apart completely, I would be a mess.”

“Umm, news flash – you’re a mess now girl. Falling apart is going to help you not be a mess. Or, you can keep doing what you’re doing and be miserable and also drive your friends and family crazy.”

“Thanks for the added pressure. I didn’t realize I was such a burden to everyone.”

“Don’t be so dramatic. You’re not a burden, but it’s hard on your loved ones to watch you not take action. We kind of want to push you over the cliff, symbolically of course.”

Of course. I mean I get it, I’m driving myself crazy too. Every morning I look in the mirror and it’s like welcome to the shit show, day number 289.”

“What ever happened to your therapist?”

“She retired to Boca Raton. And the therapist who took over her practice is obsesssed with spirit animals, she said their guidance is the ultimate wisdom.”

“That sounds cool. So what’s your spirit animal?”

“I don’t have one – that’s the problem. Apparently the spirit animal chooses you, but they haven’t yet, so I feel like a total loser.”

“You’re not a loser. Your spirit animal just can’t get through to you because you’re in a tangled web of emotions. They’re waiting for you to untangle yourself – just a little – then they’ll reveal themselves.”

“I hope so. I’m exhausted. I am so so tired of feeling like this. It’s like having a new variant of Covid – ‘Emotional Mess Covid, variant #32X’.”

“HA! At least you still have your sense of humor. And don’t forget: I love you fiercely, I believe in you and you’ve got this kid.”

“Thanks sweetie. I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

Fox Spirit, an art print by Luluko

The Perm


“Mom, I wanna get a perm.”

“Absolutely not. You have curly hair. Perms are not for curly-haired girls.”

“But I want ringlets like Lisa Bonet.”

“Lisa is a beautiful young woman and you’re a beautiful young woman. Embrace what you have.”

“But you get perms.”

“Exactly. I get perms because I have straight hair, that’s who perms are for.”

“That’s not fair.”

“Life’s not fair. Embrace that concept too.”

“What if I use my own money?”

“You’re welcome to fry your hair on your own dime, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

“Okay. I’m calling your salon to see if they can squeeze me in today.”



“Mom, can you come pick me up? I’m finished at the salon.”

“Okay, I’ll be there in ten minutes. Are you okay? Your voice sounds weird.”

“I look like Mr. Vanderhosen’s poodle.”

“Oh sweetie I’m sure it’s not that bad. We’ll figure out some styling options. See you soon.”


“Oh wow, it is pretty bad. Yikes. At least it’s big though – you wanted big, right?”

“I wanted big and ringlets! Not big and frizz! You’re gonna have to homeschool me because I’m not leaving the house until this perm is out of my hair. What if I wash it like twenty times? Would that get the chemicals out? Stop laughing mom, it’s not funny!”

“Should we get Dairy Queen? I feel like this is a Dairy Queen moment.”

“This is a cigarette moment mom.”

“Well I’m a liberal mother, but I’m not giving you a cigarette just because you don’t like your hair. You’ll have to steal one from me like a regular teenager. Do you want a hot fudge sundae?”

“Sure, a hot fudge sundae and maybe a large hat.”


“What if we use gel, like a lot of gel, and slick the whole thing back into a low braid like Sade wears? You already have big hoop earrings – you’ll look beautiful. We’ll stop by the drugstore on our way home and pick up some supplies.”

“There’s not enough gel in the universe to slick this hair back. You better brush up on your algebra skills because homeschooling starts Monday.”

“Darling I hate to break it to you but there is no way in hell that I’m homeschooling you, that’s for granola moms – which I’m not. Call Jenny, she’ll know how to help.”

“What about boarding school? Can you and Dad afford boarding school? Just ship me off somewhere. I don’t want Mark to see me like this.”

“Who’s Mark? Haven’t heard a wink about him. I thought you liked Todd.”

“I found out Todd is in the Young Republicans, so he’s out. I told him I only date Democrats or Independents. Mark just moved here from New York – like Manhattan New York. He’s super cool. But if he sees me like this he’ll never ask me out.”

“Why don’t you start a trend? A big perm frizz-head trend.”

“Not funny mom.”

“I’m serious. How do you think trends get started? With one brave and fashion-forward person. Do it. It can be like a social experiment, maybe you can get extra credit for it in school if you write a paper.”

“You’re insane.”

“Oh I’m loving this idea sweetie. I’ll help you with it. The key is to act like you meant to get your hair done like this. Commit to it 100%. Strut those hallways like you’re Cindy or Naomi—

“Stop it mom.”


“Love, open the door. You’ve been in there for a long time. I don’t have a good feeling about this. I think you might be making a bad situation worse. What’s that sound? Is that your father’s electric razor?”

“Mom, chill. I’ll be out in a few minutes.”

“Oh. My. God.”

“Do you like it? I think it’s cool, very New Wave. I shaved off the left side with dad’s razor and then I chopped off like seven inches from the right side – it’s an asymmetrical bob.”

“I can see that. Well done love, it’s very…asymmetrical.”


“Dave, don’t say anything about Jess’s hair.”

“Why, what happened?”

“Hi Dad. I used your electric razor, hope you don’t mind.”

“Wow. Um…very cool Jess. Very London UK.”

“That’s what I was going for! Like on that fashion television show where they interview cool kids in Paris, London and New York – that was my inspiration.”

“Well, you totally nailed it. Was that the doorbell? I’ll get it. Are we expecting anyone?”

“No, Jenny is away for the weekend. Maybe it’s our creepy neighbour.”


“Jess, you’ve got a visitor.”

“Be right there.”

“So Mark, you go to school with Jess? You have a NY accent, did you just move here?”

“Ya. My dad got transferred. Kind of feel like I’m living in a twilight zone episode in this town, it’s so different. But your daughter is super cool sir.”

“I agree, she is super cool.”

“Mark?! Hi! Oh my god what a surprise, come on in. It’s okay Dad, I’ve got it from here.”

“Your hair looks rad Jess.”

“Really? Thanks. The hairdresser ruined it so I had fix it myself. It’s not too much is it?”

“No. It’s very downtown cool, very Soho. Hey, I brought you a couple copies of The Village Voice, you seemed really interested in NY.”

“Wow, thanks! Can I get you something to eat or drink?”

“I’ll take a coffee with sugar if you have it.”

“How about a coffee with Bailey’s Irish Cream? It’s so good.”

“Cool. Your parents let you drink?”

“No they don’t, but they won’t notice.”

“You’re funny. Can I help you?”

“Grab that box of cookies, they go really well with coffee and follow me upstairs.”


“I gotta warn you, my room is a total freaking disaster right now.”

“No problem. I don’t trust people who have really clean rooms, they’re like psychopaths.”

“Totally. Let’s open the windows, then we can smoke.”

“Jesus, Bailey’s in coffee is fucking good.”

“My grandma introduced me to it, she’s the best. Whenever she takes care of me, like when my parents go away, she lets me have wine with dinner. How are you liking Brownsville? It must seem kinda lame compared to Manhattan.”

“Ya, at first I totally freaked out. I mean you need fake id to drink, the record stores sell almost no Punk, there’s no decent Chinese food…”

“I can hook you up with a fake id. I know this guy Jeremy who makes them, he charges ten bucks.”

“Oh right on man, thanks Jess. By the way, you’re not dating that Todd guy are you?”

“Todd The Republican? Oh my God no. I mean he supports Reagan for fucks sake.”

“Oh good. Cause I was wondering…do you wanna see a movie next weekend? Hitchcock’s The Birds is playing at The Revival Cinema.”

“Ya, I would love to. I’ve never seen a Hitchcock film, which I know is totally lame. But if we’re going to a movie together I need to ask you an important question.”


“Do you eat popcorn before or during the movie?”

“Before, like during the previews. I’m not a complete asshole. I can’t stand when people are making loud crunching noises during the movie. Drives me fucking batshit.”

“Oh thank God. Okay then, we’re definitely on for next weekend. Cheers.”


Photo c/o Hair Romance

The Mess

Life is all about the messy moments.

To get to the good stuff – love, creative flow and thriving – we have to live in the weeds for awhile. Sometimes we have to live in the weeds for a really long time and we’re not talking Instagram-pretty weeds displayed in a vintage mason jar.

We have to live in the ugly, prickly, yucky weeds and it ain’t fun.
But, then we get a few beautiful days, or months, or even just moments and it makes it all worth it. It’s like having six days of grey skies and then the sun comes out.

The messy is exhausting but also liberating, because when you’re really in the depths of the messy, knee-deep in the weeds, you kind of have nothing to lose.

Think of the messiness like your tripped-out, Burning Man alter ego who gives you permission to just say “Fuck It.” Spinning around on their 1970’s lowrider bicycle, your Burning Man alter ego yells out random bits of advice:

Ask for what you need, ask for what you want. If they can’t give it to you, then just Peace Out and Keep It Moving.”
“Dude, fall in love with yourself!”
“Take up more space. Why are you letting all these clowns crowd you out?!

And actually your Burning Man alter ego is pretty damn wise. They’re like having your own personal psychedelic therapist living on your shoulder. Best listen up. They’ll get you out of the weeds and into the sunshine in no time.

My Sweetness

Oh my sweetness. My lovely young girl.
There were so many times that I wasn’t there for you. I was supposed to be your spirit guide, watching over you and keeping you safe, but I failed.

Remember when that boyfriend commented on your “cute stomach?” It wasn’t a compliment. You had just had sex with him in his parents’ house on their carpeted staircase – which by the way is really uncomfortable, it’s not like it is in the movies. Afterwards you were sitting in front of the fireplace, naked and drinking coffee. Your stomach was flat as a pancake, not that that should matter. The point was he wanted to make you feel bad. He liked really skinny girls. His last girlfriend had been anorexic. She suffered from one of the scariest, most difficult to treat mental illnesses and he idealized her frail body.

So there you sat, twenty years old, vulnerable, doing your sparkle thing, but secretly feeling like shit. Probably smoking a cigarette because he was a smoker. Probably getting some gross infection from the shag rug on that damn carpeted staircase.

I want to embrace that small body of yours with the big 80’s long curly hair. I want to dress you quickly in whatever you were wearing – probably a black, slightly goth-y dress with an oversized menswear coat. I want to hurry you out into a waiting cab and whisper in your ear:
My darling, you are magic. This young man is broken, though it’s not his fault, but don’t let his broken pieces wound you. Don’t let his jagged edges make you bleed.”

I’m here for you now. Better late than never, right? Think of me like your own private Amazonian Goddess: ready and able to take down anyone who tries to harm you. You’re protected. So go do what your heart desires and don’t worry ~ everything will be alright.

Lucy Liu photographed by Peter Lindbergh, Harper’s Bazaar August 2008