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Last year, I spent three days in the mountains and twenty one days vomiting. Technically, three days in the mountains, twenty one vomiting, and two days in the mountains, vomiting. Or three days in mountains, two vomiting.

Not that it matters.

When you are vomiting, it doesn’t matter where you are. You are vomiting — kneeling from the inside out, bending every bone in your body to meet the angle of a bathroom floor, perhaps the most alone a person can be. I’ve grown accustomed to it as a person who gets migraines. It’s part of the deal, which in…

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I will start by saying I received two disciplinary warnings in junior high.

The first one was for the unthinkable offense of chewing gum during sixth grade gym class. If there was a system I was invited to fight, I would still be fighting. If professional baseball players have done it for decades at bat, I should’ve been able to do it for twenty three minutes of outfield confusion.

The second disciplinary warning I received was for passing a note during my seventh grade Communications class.

The irony is not lost on me.

The note didn’t even make it halfway…

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Nobody knows where they’re going, so everyone has decided to stay still. It’s a ritual of sorts when weather goes south in Southern California. The city becomes a small town, headlights muted and streets too slick for even the smoothest movers and shakers. I don’t quite understand it, but I respect it and I stay still, at home, too. I think about feelings and I take a bath. I recognize that I have chosen to take a bath on an evening devoted to staying dry. …

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The Health Screen
Artisanal NyQuil, cruelty-free soda water, saltine cracker garnish, evaporated anxiety, hand-poured in a discarded latex glove.

The Welcome Toast
LinkedIn-endorsed coconut, oxygen compote, expired rum from a locally shuddered business, warmed with the embrace of a should-we-shouldn’t-we hug.

Movie Night Mojito
Blended shards of Paddington 2 DVD, stifled yawn, juiceless lime, poured over Faberge ice. #Ad #Paddington2

The Circle of Friends
Fermented diamond gelatin, served in a hollowed out bagel.

The Taste of Normalcy
Bottled Budweiser, dumped in the sand, refilled with liquified Bitcoin, wrapped in vintage Hermès gauze koozie.

The Birthday Cake
Archival Funfetti batter, gluten-free illuminated Bible mist, spiked with a whisper of antique rum sourced from the Temple of Doom.

The Humble Tweet
Yeezy sneaker with a single sip of organic chicken broth; blessed by eleven Calabasas monks via Zoom.

Let me be clear: I am not my sister.

Pumpkin was legally born Jessica. Even as a child, she feared being anything short of extraordinary. She changed her name. She bleached her hair. She followed a married tea leaf to Seattle. She got dumped and flirted her way through most of his friends until one decided she deserved her own season. The rest is history.

Let me be clear: I am not bitter.

I am 6000% sugar. If I wanted to be in the spotlight, I could be. Gourd Spice is just as interesting. Gourd Spice can surprise and delight…

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This is where I tell you I am made of glitter glue.

I don’t have a record to prove it, but I am certain it runs through my veins, which is greater, in my opinion, than proof itself. Others seem to believe it, too. I’ve been lucky in that way, many, many times. To be trusted to create is a gift I don’t take for granted. …

The times may be unprecedented, but your gift can still be lackluster.

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A bulk order of lukewarm mostaccioli

A party may not be in the cards for your grad, but you can still capture the spirit of a catering order. Find a lasagna recipe, multiply it by 30 and advise your grad to leave it out in the sun for 4–6 hours. *Best served near an above-ground pool.

A ticket to your high school Zoom reunion

Your grad might have missed the chance to say goodbye to their classmates, but they still can say hello to yours. Invite him to…

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Dear Yoder Amish Academy Families:

As of Monday, the use of all “TikToks” will be strictly prohibited on/near learning grounds, due to recent safety concerns reported by an archived city folk newspaper.

Furthermore, “rollerblades” (feet buggies), PG-13 tall tales, and revealing turtlenecks will also be prohibited upon the passing of tonight’s dusk. If one feels the need to indulge in such activities, one should feel free to take a hard look at oneself in the puddle near Old Winslow’s Shame Dune.

Again, for your personal records, “TikToks,” “rollerblades,” PG-13 tall tales, revealing turtlenecks, “zippers” (devil’s ladders), “contact lenses” (peeper pieces)…

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It’s 11:30 am and a man is holding a turtle up to a laptop screen.

“This is Colby Jack,” he says, the man, not the turtle, in a voice I have heard on some other wavelength reserved for data analysis. The turtle seems unsure about most things: the people applauding from a digital distance, the free fall air under his belly. He decides to disappear and I don’t blame him.

This is the what it means to work from home during a global pandemic.

Of course, it isn’t all shell shock. We’re lucky to be working at all and we…

If it’s not one fight, it’s another.

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Illustration: Aura Lewis


After a run-in with a Frappuccino, Fuck Your Privilege now resides in a westside landfill. She has befriended a Lean Cuisine and a 2010 issue of People Magazine. Together, they have established a literacy program for local mice.


Now 1/4 of her original size, Strong Women is folded up in the glove compartment of Jenny’s boyfriend’s car. His name is Jared and he still listens to Ryan Adams. But he also calls his mother on speakerphone, often. Strong Women approves. For now.


Marina Mularz

Writer, Reader, Animorph

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