You’re just gonna leave me, so what’s the point?

I’m a sarcastic fellow. A dark fellow. A sad and sickly fellow with a twisted sense of humor that must often be tempered among the sunny masses. The older I get, the more cynical I’ve grown — or devolved. However you look at it. More and more frequently, I tell myself there’s just no point in reaching out to others, again and again and again, just to maintain a friendship that will ultimately prove fatal. After all, I’ve been there, done that too many […]

That Boy is Dead

I recently went home to celebrate my mother’s 60th birthday (she doesn’t look a day over 38). It was a weekend of laughs and meals and car rides that reminded me how blessed I am to be a Zuniga. And yet part of that weekend pricked a wound still in me. As part of our collective gift for our mother, my siblings and I converted a dozen home movies on VHS to DVD. We watched one over the weekend, featuring […]

Hey, Jude

2016 introduced me to not one but two seasons of carlessness — my first bouts without a vehicle since becoming an adult many moons ago. These seasons without wheels humbled me. Most of the world lives without cars, after all. I was still among the 1% wealthiest people, even without a car. Walking to work without a car, I realized how blessed I’ve been over the last decade to have had one. To roam from one coastline to another and […]

Snow That Traps and Beckons

I still remember sitting in that YMCA conference room last March, my third day of training for this new job and just my fourth day living in Asheville. I stared out the giant bay windows, mesmerized by flaky snow drifting downward from a vast gray expanse. This city I’d only ever known for summer camps and tanktops now threw me a new, wintry contrast. Last year’s snowfall only produced a thin dusting, and it wouldn’t snow the rest of the year. Wouldn’t […]

Another disaster of a year begins . . .

I hate new years. I hate resolutions. I hate the assumption that just because the calendar changes from one month and one year to the next, the past is wiped clean and anything is possible — well, for about two and a half weeks. And then it’s back to tubs of ice cream and pornography. While I, like many people, was happy to see the coffin close on 2016, I also entered 2017 feeling fast doses of reality flowing in […]

And to All a Good Riddance

As the grotesque mass of space garbage we call 2016 hurtles toward oblivion, people everywhere are cheering the prospect of a new year. Myself included. We’ve proclaimed this the worst year ever, what with a most bizarre election cycle, the deaths of numerous beloved celebrities, raging wildfires and natural disasters, and the opening of the first seal of the Apocalypse. 2016 wasn’t that great a year for me personally, either. I lost my first car. I lost my second car. […]

I Watched Gilmore Girls and Now I’m Thinking Too Much

I watched the Gilmore Girls revival over the weekend. There. I said it. Laugh at me. Deride me. Label me with your sharpest effeminate nicknames. It’s not like I have masculine issues or anything. I grew up with a little sister who loved Gilmore Girls, and as such, I saw more than a few episodes. I was the older brother “doing homework” in the living room while Gilmore Girls was on, but truthfully I was watching along with the family as Lorelai […]

Shackles and Freedom and the Space In-Between

Your bike chain breaks. The rains pour down. But still you soldier forward into the crosswalk and down the sidewalk. Because inside your wallet is a coffee shop punchcard with 16 holes, the magic number, the promised land, and you’re power-walking toward the place wiping raindrops from your brow. You step inside and reveal the punchcard with an irreplaceable smile. You hand it over, and within minutes you’re sipping a free mocha milkshake. It’s the little things. Since surrendering my second car […]