One New Message

Next to her hand is her phone. She glances at the screen. “No new messages.” In the past it would sit idle, ticking time, keeping record of her loneliness. The silence haunted her. A ghost sat on the other end. When she glanced it’s way it would mock her and remind her that she was all alone. Nothing on the other end could bring her solace. And yet she’d still reach for it hoping there’d be warmth somewhere on the other end. All she ever got was let down.

Tonight, however, it keeps her warm. On the other end is love. It waits patiently and always answers when she needs it. It fills the empitness with whispers of forever. She no longer feels the itch to reach for it to fill a void. Instead, it sits idle simply ticking time. Next to her hand is her phone. She glances at the screen. One new message. “I love you.”


Sleepy Boy

He takes deep breaths in and out, in and out.

It’s 8 am. His mother takes him for their usual walk, but he knows what’s coming. He sees her slip her boots on one at a time. She thinks he finds solice in the bone she leaves him before she slips out of the door with the words, “I’ll be right back!” But he doesn’t. His heart moves slightly faster when she’s away.

He knows she will return. She always does. But the days are so long without her.

Suddenly, he hears the familiar click of the keys. Excitement swells in his chest.

His day runs smoothly with her here. She replaces his worry with comfort and routine.

Now, it’s 10 pm. He takes deep breaths in and out, in and out.

Mommy’s home, so he can rest peacefully.

A Bat in the Cave

She looks around the room, scanning to make sure all eyes are off of her.

It’s been bothering her for three weeks, ever since the weather got dry. It sits in the darkness. Patient, waiting.

She raises her hand slowly, slowly, shifting her eyes quickly, just to be sure.

She reaches for it in one brisk movement. The relief is immediate.

She looks up and sees a pair of eyes quickly shift away from hers.

She goes on with her day, just like the others, never discussing what just happened. Never mentioning it again.





Ode to My Best Friend

My best friend wraps her warm love around me

as if a blanket,

shielding me from myself at times.

She opens up my heart like

a stubborn jar of pickles,

pickles which she eats at 2 am for a late night snack.

My best friend, who stands for dignity

and has morals stronger than tungsten.

My best friend leaks passion everywhere she walks

and she injects hope in every vein.

Best friend,

whose clammy hands

grope wildly at mine

in a gesture of love and awkwardness.

To my best friend,

who has filled my heart full of joy

and warmth

and companionship. Who has walked

like a shadow with me in my darkest hours.

Best friend,

I love you.

Happy Birthday.




I’m running on empty.

You’ve wrung me out to dry too many times, and now

I’m running on empty.

You’ve exhausted me in mileage, and now

I’m running on empty.

You’ve used up every last excuse, and now

I’m running on empty.

So when you need my help I’m sorry, but

I’m running on empty.

I have no more to give.

Find a way to fill yourself up, because

I’m empty.

I can’t run for you anymore.


Dogged Determination

Stubborn: having or showing a dogged determination not to change one’s attitude or position on something, especially in spite of good arguments or reasons to do so.

I am stubborn.

I remember a day when I was twelve years old. I went to the community park to celebrate the end of my softball season with my teammates. Unbeknownst to me, I had inadvertently offended a girl on the team. As a result, she convinced the entire softball team to ignore me against my knowledge. So, when I walked onto the volleyball court to join in the game they were playing, every girl walked away, leaving me completely, utterly alone.

Now, the point of the story isn’t to evoke empathy. That girl was a stone-cold bitch. I moved on. No, the point is to showcase that I have a very very stubborn mom.

After the incident, 14 years later, my mom still holds a grudge against that girl. If you wrong one of her daughters, you are damned to an eternity of fiery destruction in her eyes. I could give her a million and one reasons to move on, but she won’t. She will always dislike that girl. She’s stubborn. I never truly understood that…

Until I had a child of my own.

And, damn it, I’m stubborn too.

So, what is MY criteria for someone being damned to an eternity of fiery destruction? In what way do you have to wrong my child so that I wish upon you the most painful existence? What am I SO stubborn about, that if you do this, I will have dogged determination to NEVER change my opinion about you in spite of good reason?


Don’t love my dog.

Don’t want his precious snuggles. Ignore his adorable eyes. Think that the way he is sitting is just “normal” and not the most darling thing you’ve ever seen in your entire existence on this planet of earth. Don’t want to excessively squeeze him to death. Shy away from his kisses. Tell me that I’m “obsessed” because I post him sleeping from three different angles with four different filters and six different Bitmoji reactions. Don’t stop everything you are doing to greet him during your daily walks or when you pass him by. Don’t tell me he’s the cutest dog you’ve ever seen and OH MY GOD he’s so well trained. Allow your small, impressionable child to be frightened of him because you are. Seriously, don’t do that…tell them to suck it up and pet the nice doggie. Don’t ask to see all of the 23043475935 pictures of him I have saved on my phone.

You might try to say, “Well, maybe they were viciously attacked by a dog as a child.” Or, “Maybe they’re allergic and will break out in deadly hives.”

No excuse.

If you don’t love my dog, I WILL hold a grudge.

And no, you won’t change my opinion.

I guess that’s why they call it “dogged” determination.

Pick Your Battles

My dad was the lone man in a house with 4 strong-willed and stubborn women. Whenever I’d butt heads with my mom, my dad would give me sound advice: pick your battles.

I feel as though this is a philosophy I carry into my adult life. Sure, I’ve run across situations in my life where I become piss hot angry, but my dad’s voice in my head reminds me: pick your battles.

When my boyfriend decided that wearing an olive green shirt with dark green pants and a fishing cap was a good idea and insisted that he didn’t look like a dad going on a shopping trip to Bass Pro Shop, I heeded my father’s advice: pick your battles.

So, when a woman approached me today as I stood in the warm comfort of the doorway as my well-trained and perfectly obedient dog peed out in the frigid hale while I remained contentedly dry and reminded me that my dog must be leashed as per the leash law, I decided this was a time to heed my father’s advice and pick my battles.

Did I know that my dog should’ve been leashed? Of course. Did Jack run away when he was off leash? No. Did Jack pee promptly and then return to the door immediately after? Yes. Did he viciously impede on this woman’s space? No. Did Jack get any closer to this woman than he would have if he were on a leash? Not even close.

So, in other words, Jack in no way shape or form did anything to bother this woman than simply be off leash. He didn’t misbehave. He didn’t poop, and then I blatantly ignore it. He was a perfectly friendly dog taking a whiz while his owner remained proudly watching from the doorway admiring her hours and years of training it took in order to be able to do this.

Unfortunately, this woman decided it was a battle she wanted to pick. I don’t understand the point. Do I get that I didn’t follow the rules? Yes. I’m not saying I’m not at fault here. I’m just not sure what she was hoping to accomplish. Perhaps the idea that someone would break the rules was so far beyond her realm of comprehension that she simply had to stand up for what she felt was right. Perhaps she thought she’d make me second-guess my decision (she didn’t) or feel guilty (I’m not). Perhaps she had seen one too many dog owners abuse the leash law.

Who knows?

All I know is that if she doesn’t want to deal with dogs off leash in an apartment complex, maybe she should move someplace that’s not dog-friendly.

Just a thought. I don’t know, at least it’s one less battle she’d have to pick 🙂

Vicious, right?




Do you ever eat so much food you wonder if you’ll ever have an appetite ever again? You know, where you are in so much physical discomfort that you’d rifle through everyone’s purses and cabinets just to get your hands on some antacids. If you lay down, somehow gravity decides to work in mysterious ways and send the food from your stomach UP to your throat. You curse yourself wondering why you simply had to eat that handful of fries. You try to drink water, but even the slushing in your belly of those empty calories makes you feel more bloated than an orca whale. You swear you’ll eat better tomorrow. You’ll even maybe possibly perhaps go for that jog you’ve been planning on going on for the past 4 months. Yeah, you’re gonna do better! You’ll never allow yourself to feel this way again!

And then you remember that you have cookie dough in the refrigerator…


Wine, Dogs, and Friendship

It’s impossible not to feel hopeful tonight.

A friend that I haven’t seen in a while walks in and drops the news, “I got let go today.”

My first instinct is to comfort him. However, he’s optimistic. He’s one of those rare people who knows that this was life’s way of saying, “A new opportunity is open for you. Now, go take advantage.”

I would be terrified. I would feel scared. Then, I look over at my dog, my friend, and my glass of wine and remember that I have everything in my life I need.

And he does too. He knows that adversity, above all, makes you more appreciative of what you have and what you are able to accomplish.

I have found love. I have passions. I have companionship and support. If life throws me a curveball, I’ll know how to drive it out of the park. I’ve had enough curveballs thrown in my life that I’ve learned how foul it off a few times until I get the pitch I want. (And I’m not just talking about all my years in softball)

Needless to say, I am hopeful that, no matter what life throws my way, I’ll make it, just like my friend.

Especially since tonight, we both have wine, dogs, and friendship to keep us smiling.



Two years ago, every morning, I would wake up to the pounding of my heart. It was as if it was excited by a battle cry. My stomach churned. I felt bile rise in my throat. My mind awoke with thoughts of “what if..” “why didn’t I?” “I’m screwed.”

Anxiety paralyzed me. All because of one thing: worry.

People don’t always understand what anxiety looks like. I didn’t. I wanted to deny that anxiety had weaseled its way into my head. How could I be anxious? I was tougher than this? Pull it together, Brooke! Suck it up! Stop worrying! Just do it! You’re lazy! Pathetic! Scared! It’s not good enough! You haven’t done enough! Stay up later! There’s no time!

Worry was personified. It strangled me. Choked me until I could barely breathe. Paralyzed me. Drip dripped on my forehead like some twisted torture keeping me up, reminding me that I had more to do. It never left me.

The future was every minute. The present didn’t exist.

That was two years ago.

It reminds me that thoughts and behaviors aren’t permanent. With help and diligence, anyone is capable of changing their mindset.

I will never stop fighting for the present. And I will never again live in fear of the future.