I Don’t Want to Do This

I don’t want to do this. But here I am. Blogging. Tonight. Late. After 10pm. Hardly an hour or two to spare until midnight. Just in time for Day 20. Today’s a great example of doing something I don’t want to do after an entire day of doing what I live for. This morning, I ventured out to the Smokies, a two-hour jaunt from her close cousin, the Blue Ridge. There I reunited with a Californian friend I’d not seen […]

Hello, Mr. Moose Head with the Hookah: or, Escaping the Staleness

Tonight I hopped on my bike not knowing where I’d be riding it. The further away I rode from my house, the more the pieces fell into place. A street here. An uphill climb there. A brand new coffee shop where I’d yet to sit and sip and ruminate. This place I found downtown is part-bookstore, part-bar, part-coffee shop: a two-story mixed breed of the coffee shop species. Turquoise pipes line the ceiling, and a man plays guitar down below. […]

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 […]

You and I Will Be Okay

Earlier this year, I lost my beloved Mitsy to old age and a fuming engine on I-81S. I cried over her (wept, really), I memorialized her, and I spent the next two months of my life walking around Asheville until my sister’s old car became my new car — Des. She’s a 1998 Toyota Corolla, and her full name is Desdemona — a name I wasn’t wild about. Rather than christen her with a new name and inflict her with […]

Will the Words Still Come?

Today I’m halfway through my 30-day blogging challenge. It was fun and novel at first, blogging every day. Like I’d put on skinny jeans or a trendy scarf for the first time or decided to “go vegan.” 15 days later, it’s still fun. It’s become automatic that after work every day I come to a coffee shop to blog. Or on the weekend I go out and I know I can’t come home until a blog is posted. I’ve especially […]

Sometimes a sunset . . .

Sometimes you fall asleep in the Starbucks parking lot after a long day and a long week and you climb out of your car to find the sky ablaze, swirling with the comfort that a new night is here, a new weekend dawns, and rest is already among us. If we’ll only wake up to find it. A photo posted by Thomas Mark Zuniga (@thomasmarkz) on Nov 11, 2016 at 5:46pm PST This is Day 11 of #MakeNovemberTolerable. Keep checking […]

I Got Triggered Today

“Weekend Tom” returned to “Weekday Tom” at school today. One kid struggled with recursive sequences. Another kept falling asleep learning about dear sweet Pythagoras and his most beloved theorem. Yet another needed my step-by-step guidance, only to fizzle out of patience by hour’s end. It wasn’t the flashiest of mornings. No inspirational artist studio visits or personal hand at graffiti art. Just a job and a desk and formulas and lingering frustrations that one day life will feel epic again. […]

And the Message is Fun

The last two days, I’ve taken our students to the River Arts District here in Asheville to visit with local artists in their studios and even do some painting on canvases and walls alike. It’s rare that I get to go out with the students, as I usually aid them with math or writing in the classroom throughout the school week. To become “Weekend Tom” every now and then is good for my soul. I think it’s good for the […]