By Juulia Smith
I am a member of the silent majority, but I can’t be silent any longer. I have to wheeze out, because I can’t live like this.
My mother vapes. She vapes all day long, and I can’t stop her.
Everytime she takes a puff, a strange feeling overcomes me. I lose my sense of identity. I’m supposed to be the cool kid, not the soccer mom on the sidelines making jokes about wine. I walk around, utterly discombobulated. .
A string of incidents present themselves.
It’s my parent’s anniversary. He gets her a strand of juuls.
A faint smell of grape-juicy apples-tango melon fills the air. I choke.
An e-cigarette ends up in the salad instead of a vinaigrette. We all stare at it.
We drive to the supermarket in the car. I stare straight ahead. The light flickers. Out of the corner of my eyes, I see a Vineyard Vines visor. The light changes again. She takes a drag of the e-cigarette. I pretend not to notice the khaki shorts peeking out under the seat.
I can barely remember, but it didn’t used to be like this. I remember when Saturdays weren’t for the boys and puff, there she goes again. I sink back into the haze and dream.
By Melissa McGilloway
“When my girlfriend broke up with me and moved out, I had to learn the hard way that I didn’t know how to feed myself. So every evening, I would walk down to the CVS and pick up a microwaveable box of Velveeta Shells & Cheese and pair it with a can of Hormel chili or canned ham. Sometimes I would even get a can of cheddar Pringles to crush up and sprinkle on top. After doing this for several months, I decided it was time to put myself back on the market.”
- Cole, 31 year old freelance graphic designer
“During my parents divorce, my mom was often too hysterical to pull herself together and make a balanced meal. Dad never knew how to turn on the oven. These times were tough, but CVS dinners helped. Hungry Man, Lean Cuisine, Digiorno French bread pizzas- those were the real heroes of my pre-adolescence. And when I was having a really dejecting day, I would opt for a Kid Cuisine. The dinosaur shaped nuggets, amorphous mac n cheese, and liquid brownie evoked a feeling of nostalgia and brought me back to a time when my parents were happily married.”
- Erica, 14 year old high school student
“I thought my life was over when I lost my job. I didn’t know how I was going to pay my bills. I was spiraling. The only thing keeping me sane was my CVS dinners. Bumble canned tuna, Gold Emblem dried mango, and Skinny Pop really became dinnertime staples followed up by a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Pecan Sticky Buns. On my worst nights, I’d make a second trip to CVS and the glow of the freezer aisle alone would make me feel warm inside- as if to remind me that everything is gonna be okay. The store employees know my name and have even given me job referrals. They always ask me how I’m doing and if I’m aware that I’ve been in the same pair of pajama bottoms for the last six days. That’s what I call caring for your customer.”
- Deanna, 43 year old job seeker
Oh boy. You gon’ wish you ain’t ne’er say such foul thing at me, Big Guy. No no no. This my town! Not a place where you can whip that stick back ‘n forth especial’ in fron’ me, the biggest guy in place.
Whoa whoa there! Slow down, large man. Britches and steeds might make some mead but one more step and I make you no read, comprende Niño Grande.
Now take ten back, turn ‘round, try to shoot. Five. Four. Three. Tw --
AGHHUHG FUCK WHAT THE FUCK
YOU FUCKIN SHOT ME OH GOD
Aughgyh please … please … i guess you really be the Big Fella and I just a Dead Guy.
The news has been pretty hard to swallow lately. That’s why every once in a while, it’s good to take stock of what’s going well in your life, and what could be worse. For example, researchers from Fordham University have recently discovered that if sand were a living creature, we’d be totally screwed!
Phew! That would have been rough, y’all.
“It’s really quite simple when you think about it. There’s so much sand,” study co-author Professor Layla Richardson observed as part of a panel entitled Times of Sand: Imagining if We Were on the Ground and Sand Walked Like People. “Where would it live? There’s not enough houses for that. We would have to start life all over.”
You don’t have to tell us twice! The study goes on to outline how right now, it’s okay to eat sand because it’s not alive and no one will get mad at you. But if sand could hear and talk like humans, then you’d have to ask permission before eating it, and the sand might not always say yes. Anthropologists who contributed to the research also noted that if the sand got thirsty and wanted a Diet Dr. Pepper, someone would have to get it for the sand and then the sand would maybe be rude and not say thank you.
We sure dodged a bullet on that one.
Critics of the study have questioned whether sand would actually be pretty cool if it were alive, citing diagrams which show sand potentially helping you parallel park your car and saying happy birthday to your parents on Facebook. But the scientific consensus is clear: sand having consciousness would cause more harm than good.
So if you’re feeling stressed and wanting some Monday Motivation, look no further: you do not exist in a universe where sand can contemplate its own existence. Bless up!