“California, did you say that’s where you’re from? You must be crazy!”
I grew up in a desert land shucked with transplants
and gentrified because LA grew up and out.
All my friends were different and I was different,
the first time I had sex I was in a room that was dark,
not long after that I began the tally marks:
I skipped class and no one noticed, I wasn’t a huge fan
of drugs or alcohol but I was less a fan of high school.
My first ‘cool’ boyfriend was also named Alex.
He spent most of his time in a dank garage wasting
his well procured talent for guitar in a dead-end metal band.
I would go to his practices and pretend to care but really,
I was just afraid of being alone and too jealous to trust anyone.
Sometimes I would drink.
This was before I discovered Negronis so
I thought Pinnacle whipped vodka was a goddamn remedy to life’s ailments.
This was also before I discovered women.
Sometimes, I would get to a point where I was able to move
In those moments,
I was dancing to Beyoncé and pretending
I was out of the beer perfumed garage;
using the tri-colored stained carpets as a personal disco floor,
adding to the wreckage of spilled drinks and vomit.
But it was better than home.
Home, as I remember it,
was a war scape
a darkened doorway
where people like me were not welcomed—
So I was always ‘out’
Alex Machado is a poet/writer/bartender living in New Bedford, MA with her girlfriend and cat, Luna. She has a love for cooking vegan meals and obsessively pricing flights around the world. You can follow her on Instagram @alexxmachado.