Saturday, May 29, 2010

louisiana [TRUE STORY]

i depart from fiction today to write a long-overdue love note to the state that's been my home for the last three years. when i left home to go to law school in louisiana, i was really disillusioned with things as they were. i was in a rut, plain and simple. it was time for a change, time to shake things up. but i had no idea whatsoever what lay in store for me when i arrived in baton rouge on july 31, 2007 to start my career at LSU paul m. hebert law center.

leaving a major city to go back to a college town had its downsides. there's no doubt about it. but a funny thing happened to me as i grew into my new life: as much as i missed what i'd left, i came to love LSU, its people, and the state as a whole. LSU was an amazing place to spend three years. i had brilliant professors who broke me of my old way of looking at the world and rebuilt me into a sound legal mind. i am profoundly different intellectually than i was when i got here, and for that i will be forever grateful. LSU law center made me a mature thinker, and moreover made me a mature person. aside from the main business at hand, though, LSU brought me some incredible people. my nearest and dearest from PMH know who they are. i'm not sure i ever made this clear enough in our three years together, and if i didn't, that was my fault. but this is for y'all: thank you so, so much for all the love and support you showed me. i never would've made it without you. you held me up when i was sure i couldn't go on, you laughed with me, you listened to me. i only hope i can be as good a friend to each of you as you've been to me over the years. i love you all.

and it's weird; i never saw it coming, but it's true what they say about living in louisiana. it's unlike any place else in the country, and probably any place else on earth. i grew up in the deep south; 17 years as a gulf coast kid made me think i understood southern life. i had no idea what i was in for. louisiana is a jewel among places in our country, even with its flaws. there is no place more special. there's a way of life here that can't be replicated anywhere else, and it's something to be cherished. when you read about this oil spill and what it threatens, understand that it threatens something so valuable, so irreplaceable in american life that it should inspire everyone to demand solutions now. the people here have suffered long enough, as rep. melancon so eloquently stated this week.

there's a lot about this place that makes me angry. there's a lot that frustrates me. but for everything i don't like, there are five things i love about louisiana. the deep love i hold in my heart for new orleans alone could fill a book. if you ever need to know about south louisiana, others have said it way better than i could ever say. but know that once you've lived here, once you've laughed all night long on the streets of new orleans with your friends over rum drinks, once you've experienced boudin balls, crawfish boils and cochon de lait, once you've watched the sun find its home in the western sky as it becomes saturday night in tiger stadium, you just know. and you'll never be the same again.

i love my yankee, big-city mid-atlantic home. i am thrilled beyond belief to get back to what i knew before. but i am forever changed. i'm a law-school graduate now, and that's great. but i've also given a part of my heart and soul to the sportsman's paradise, the pelican state, the bayou, the big easy. louisiana is in my blood forever now, and i wouldn't have it any other way. the fleur-de-lis that hangs around my neck is only a small token of the way louisiana has changed me, got into me, and made me who i am today. i love this place for that. always will. so as i get ready to fly back to my old life, i leave a piece of myself behind. i sure never expected to fall for this place as i did. but for what you gave me, what you made me, and what you showed me, louisiana, i have only one thing to say:


Thursday, May 27, 2010


it doesn't look like much, that's for sure. it's an old, white giveaway t-shirt from some college something or other, just a random tchotchke designed to lull nineteen-year-old kids into throwing their money away on some stupid gimmick or scam. but what it lacks in elegance or style, this t-shirt more than makes up for in symbolism. see, i stole it from him. nothing he'll miss. i've known girls who'd take something near and dear to their conquests, wear them around like badges of honor. it's really conspicuous, and it makes a definite statement of "he's MINE, bitches." by stealing such a nondescript totem from the boy, i've made this a lot more about me than about him.

the night was long, one of those hazy celebratory evenings where the party never really ends, just sort of fades away. without really meaning to, we ended up outside alone together, unwinding in the sticky summer air, drinking beer and trying to one up each other in that subtle way that newly minted lovers do. a hand resting lazily on my knee, he smiled at me and suggested a more suitable environment for our discourse. i gladly accepted, and as we moved further into our relationship that night, i knew something had fundamentally changed in me. something had come loose, changed, altered itself, and there was no turning back. when he left, there was a rumpled white t-shirt lying on my floor. must've been an undershirt or something; i didn't really take inventory of what he came in with. i took it, slipped it on, and breathed in his scent as i drifted back to sleep, smiling at the memory and confident in the path we were taking together.

funny how things change over time. that ran its course; we parted ways on the best of terms, as well we should have. i still see him every so often, and that smile is still something that sparks in me. but there's a wistfulness in the way we interact now. we're very different people these days, and it's never clearer than when we talk. but i can look at that t-shirt, which still sits in my dresser drawer, and remember what it was like to take such pleasure in something so small. no greater gift a lover can leave you than the gift of just being happy. that's what he gave me, and that's what his t-shirt means to me.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


i know i'm grown. it's pretty much obvious at this point; i've lived outside a parent's supervision for over 10 years now, i've paid my taxes for just as long, and i know about things like buying insurance and paying doctor's bills. but tonight was one of those nights that reinforces to me that i am definitely, irrevocably and completely GROWN UP. y'know, a WOMAN and all that.

i had dinner with some friends, and we chatted about everything and nothing for awhile. one of these folks has a distinctly entrepreneurial bent, and somehow, he got inspired about something as we talked. fast-forward two hours, and he, with a few items of input from the rest of us, is well on his way to hatching the NEXT BIG IDEA. he even had questions for me. stuff like this makes me nervous. i know that i know a fair amount, but i'm not always 100% confident in my intellect, especially when i've been drinking (like i did tonight - hell, it was a birthday party). but he was genuinely interested in a) what i know about my field and b) how that knowledge could work for his idea.

now if that ain't adulthood, i don't know what is. i don't recall exactly when it was that we passed the point where all we talked about was relationships, TV shows, sports and hooking up. but i guess this is how it goes. we're all almost 30, if not already there. there's a thirtieth birthday party for one of us (not me, thank the gods) coming up in a couple of weeks. we talk about business, our livelihoods, our careers, etc. now. good god. i have relevant things to add to these conversations. we all do. we are so not kids anymore. i don't know whether it's liberating or scary. a lot from column A, a little from column B, i think.

tonight drove home some truths about my life, my attitude towards things, and how i've evolved over the years. but it also shows me that it's not just me that's evolving; it's all of us. well, almost all of us, anyway. to quote the bible (i know, an atheist quoting the bible; it's weird): when i was a child, i spoke like a child, i thought like a child, i reasoned like a child; when i became an adult, i put an end to childish ways. (for those keeping score at home, that's 1 corinthians 13:11.) this is really what's happened in my life; i've (largely) moved past the silliness of my childhood. i'm grown now. and because i am grown, it's time to check in with all the things in my life, no matter how good they are, and see what matches my adulthood. if something i'm clinging to can't match up with the reality of adulthood, it's time to put an end to it.

well. to quote the immortal blink-182, i guess this is growing up. in a way, it sucks. but really, i wouldn't have it any other way.

Monday, May 24, 2010

open up

and then there are nights like this, when caution is thrown to the wind, artifice is dropped, and, frankly, demands are made. a girl can only be coy for so long, especially when it comes to a man like you. you know it, too, don't you? you have to understand by now that the admiration society we've built for each other goes way beyond a love of sarcasm and overtime hockey games. and the fact that no one really knows how you are makes it that much more attractive. mmm. you're my best-kept secret, aren't you?

so this is when i show you just how much you rock me. how much you cut me to my core, move me in ways i don't fully understand. i can hear you now, being confronted with this. "oh, really." it's not a question. it's more of an acknowledgement. your arms close around me, your lips find mine, and you're officially in control. you like it, too. i know you do. it suits you. you know that kiss is almost more than i can bear, and you use it with deadly accuracy. target hit.

in the dark, i can show you exactly what you mean to me. i can open everything up, lay myself bare, and offer you all that i have to give you. you confess quite a bit yourself. with every move you make, every brush of your hand against the small of my back, every sweep of your mouth across my skin, you show me who you really are. i want more. i want to curl myself around you and drink from you over and over again. you always oblige. as the night becomes the morning, we tear into each other, first tenderly, then viciously. the walls come down and our true colors show. we wear each other out, falling limp against one another as the gray light streams into the room. one last kiss, cementing what we've done, and the moment is gone.

in your way, you're a predator. but you're also a benefactor. you walk through me, take what you want, and leave so much more behind. you could never say aloud what you tell me when we're alone together. words don't do it justice. only this, only what we've done, and what we continue to do, can show what we are to each other. everything we've ever been, summed up in that slow, smooth kiss. i open my lips. tell me.

moving in monday minute [TRUE STORY]

courtesy of ian, as always...

1 - Do you *snort*?
not in the context of laughter. often, i snort with derision.

2 - Our friend has a nickname and it's Daffy. What's your nickname?
magnolia is the one i use the most. in undergrad, everyone called me by my first initial. see, if you put my boyfriend's name together with my first initial, it formed a word. in retrospect, it was pretty freaking retrograde; the man's name, the woman's initial. gaah. i like magnolia. but in law school, people occasionally called me "city girl." that was cool, too.

3 - Do you know sign language?
nope. i went through my ASL phase when i read the baby-sitters club books about the deaf kid, but it never stuck. i wish i knew some, but there are only 24 hours in every day.

4 - What's a sample convo from your hood?
around here, you're likely to hear anything from a mom talking to her kid in spanish to hipster weirdos on their way to the hipster weirdo bar down the street. i have SO missed this neighborhood.

5 - Do you sleep with electronic devices - i.e. laptop, Blackberry, iPhone, etc?
absolutely. just today, i awoke with my iphone next to my head. i ALWAYS have my phone nearby, regardless of circumstance.