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 […]

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 […]

Don’t Ruin the Future

Last weekend, I returned to one of those pivotal places of the past. The city: Gatlinburg, Tennessee. My last official #RunningTo stop before retreating to a cabin in the woods for 36 solitary hours to figure out whether I’d move to Milwaukee or Gettysburg or Charlotte to round out my 9 months on the road. I’d walked the glitzy strip that reminded me of Las Vegas and Niagara Falls, complete with ridiculous Ripley’s and Guinness museums and approximately 17 separate […]

A Decade Without Annie

The vortex of my loathing for November stems from this date a decade ago. The day I lost my dog, Annie, to a freak accident. An accident I was convinced was connected to my first bout with pornography and God’s judgment. A decade later, I’ve laxed on the whole God punishing me thing; a decade later, I still miss that dog dearly. I hug and cuddle all these other dogs in Asheville, daily at my job and dog-sitting at people’s […]

What to do when you’re lost and lonely and sad

One of the perks of living in Asheville — a big one, really — is the opportunity to escape to the mountains anytime I please. Growing up in eastern Pennsylvania and then eastern Georgia, I never knew about daily life with mountains. My vision and expectations always encompassed a flat horizon preceded by fields and trees. When I moved to California, I might as well have switched from black-and-white to HD color. I didn’t know people could live next to […]

Why Would Anyone Want to Visit Me?

Prior to now, I’ve only ever lived alone once — and even then, it was just for six weeks while studying abroad at Oxford University. I was only 21, and it was the strangest thing to walk to the grocery store and purchase some Coco Pops (Britain’s monkey-adorned version of Cocoa Krispies) among other nutritious items, and then walk back to my very own dorm to restock my mini-fridge, not having to worry about marking said goods as mine because nobody else inhabited my […]