Category Archives: Self Discovery


Thanksgiving was harder than I thought it would be.

After ten years on the road I am no stranger to lonely hotel rooms during the holidays. I’m thankful for my good friends — my family, really — out here.

We had a lovely dinner and I went to bed early but was wide awake at 3:30 am, lyrics screaming in my head. I didn’t stop writing until 6:00 am. Who knows if they’re any good? That’s not for me to judge right now. I’m not throwing anything away.

Last heartache, I wrote a book. This heartbreak, I am writing lyrics.

Maybe I’m just meant to suffer. But I will not be silenced. And I will never give up hope.


Here’s a picture of me working out at the gym. Isn’t it great? I’m all sweaty and don’t have makeup on. I didn’t even hold the camera up at the right angle. Gasp! But I’m still posting it so I can prove to you, social media-infested world, that I care about my body and body image.

Guess what?

I have been aware of my body and body image ever since I was told I was fat at the age of ten. The dieting started in high school. When I got to college, I gained the typical freshman fifteen, only to lose it that summer. I gained and lost, gained and lost. Right out of college, I worked as a Production Assistant/Assistant Producer at a prominent television news station and was told I should lose weight to guarantee future work.

That would not be the last time I would hear that statement.

After having been married two years, I joined Jenny Craig and lost 20 pounds in six weeks. Once I hit my goal, I quit the program but was terrified of gaining any weight back. I became obsessed with exercise and counting calories and managed to lose ten more pounds. My friends were worried about me, but I scoffed at them. I was finally skinny!

Yet, even at my lightest weight and smallest size, I wasn’t happy.

So I became a fitness instructor. I loved it. It came naturally to me. I had energy and athleticism and people flocked to my classes. I once spontaneously ran a 5K without training and placed third in my age category. I walked into the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center and joined the Masters Swim Team without having any experience. I was good.

But I still thought I was fat.

Enter divorce and the divorce diet. Weight loss is inevitable because you are so emotionally fucked up, eating is the last thing on your mind.

And then people validate it.

“I’m so sorry your husband cheated on you and became a bigamist, but oh my GAW, you look FANTASTIC! Are you working out more?”

Nope. Just starving myself because it’s the only thing I can control.

When my divorce was final in 2011, I traveled to Paris with one of my best friends. We ate delectable food, drank amazing wine, rode bikes all over the city and I kissed random Parisian strangers. It was the highlight of my life during an extremely dark time.

But part of it was overshadowed by fear and anxiety. I was slated to open a show almost immediately after returning from my vacation and I lost sleep because I was worried about not being able to fit into my costume.

That is so unbelievably fucked up.

When I moved back to New York in February 2013, I slowly started to gain weight. This was due to a number of reasons, including the drastic change of weather, lack of exercise, stress and eating too many hors d’oeuvres off the catering trays while trying to make ends meet. I missed teaching fitness classes, terribly. One chilly evening, I randomly met up with an old boyfriend who told me I “looked hotter than ever.”

Maybe I’m not as fat as I think I am!

A few months later I was told – again – I needed to lose weight for work.

I was devastated, but immediately joined an expensive weight loss program. I shocked my body into submission. I ate one small meal a day and “supplemented” the others with what was basically overpriced Slim Fast shakes. With exercise expediting the process, the weight fell off in less than a month. But it came back with a vengeance once I returned to eating any normal food, at all.


I just finished a grueling-yet-satisfying tour. Despite it looking carefree and glamorous, road life is extremely difficult. You eat whatever you find, sleep where and when you can, and if you are lucky enough to have an hour to yourself before load-in and sound check, you’re too exhausted to even think about getting on a treadmill.

It all adds up. And when you start to see unflattering pictures of yourself on stage, you are the most aware; embarrassed; judgmental; the harshest critic. It isn’t the angle from where the picture was taken. It’s you.

Oh, my god. I’m so fat. 

It’s a voice in your head you battle daily; almost hourly.

Enter social media news feeds, infiltrated with bikini and workout selfies (you’re welcome for adding to the mayhem!); your already-thin friends squealing about their new and improved lifestyle change, how magic and delicious their brand of overpriced Slim Fast is. On top of seeing old photos of yourself from ten years ago, raging PMS-style annoyance and a gaggling of unfollows, it simply makes you feel bad.

But you’re done with the expensive crash dieting. You know what works. It’s about balance. It’s about burning more calories than you consume. You already exercise. You just have to step it up. And that doesn’t mean jumping around like Jane Fonda at home. Run faster, longer, harder. Lift more often. Cut more calories. Eat more vegetables. Drink more water.

Remember that any lasting change doesn’t happen overnight. It’s simply about balance. And balance should be authentic and consistent.


In four days I will turn 39 years old.

Do you want to know a secret? Despite being at my heaviest weight, I AM THE HAPPIEST AND HEALTHIEST I HAVE EVER BEEN IN MY LIFE.

So I’ve decided to do something new for my birthday this year.

I’m going to love and accept myself for exactly who I am, at WHATEVER SIZE OR WEIGHT I AM.

Who I am is not about what I look like. At all. Ever.

My physical body is bikini-and-beach-ready now, because it functions. And well.

I am a beautiful person. I have a good heart. I am loyal. I love freely and fiercely. I sing and write pretty damn well and I have great legs.

Just because I like to eat doesn’t mean I am fat. I don’t need to look like you, my roommate, other singers, an Olympic athlete, or some random celebrity that we will inevitably end up body-shaming, anyway.

I’m going to be me.

Because I’m fucking awesome.

Dear 21-Year-Old Leslie


Dear 21-Year-Old Leslie,

I came across a bunch of your journal entries today. I read through your pre-marital struggles, your very evident unhappiness in your two-year engagement to X, your breakup, re-engagement and your enabling and tolerance of his wishy-washiness about you, from early on.

I wish you would have had the strength to stay broken up with him, from the very minute he had doubts about you. I wish you would have heeded your instincts. I wish you would have truly believed what you wrote about knowing you could be happy without him; knowing you deserved better.

I wish you had never married him.

But you did, because you loved him. And that’s okay. I want you to know 36-year-old Leslie forgives you. Your struggles, your cries to God even this very day are similar. You crave love and partnership, but I’m proud of you for finally standing up for yourself. I’m proud of the woman you have become. I’m sorry for the pain and suffering that got you here, but I’m really glad you made it.

I want you to know it’s okay to have loved and lost. It’s good to love people. It’s okay to open your heart and be vulnerable. It’s scary and painful, but it’s better than the alternative, which C.S. Lewis so beautifully illustrates:

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.


Leslie, I want to encourage you to keep believing in yourself. Keep moving forward. Look where God has brought you! Look at the cherry blossoms blooming in your gorgeous New York City apartment. You have prayed and longed for this city for years. And now you are here. It took time, heartache, tears and a massive leap of faith, but you are right where you are supposed to be.

Keep believing. Keep loving. Keep trusting your gut. Keep trusting the Lord.

God’s got you. He’s never going to let you go.



Autumn in New York

Autumn in Central ParkI’m lying on my back in the middle of Sheep Meadow in Central Park. The clouds above me appear ominous, threatening to reveal the heavens and pour torrential rain upon the earth.

Yet, not even a drop falls. The breeze is refreshingly light; the air warm and fragrant with fall.

My phone buzzes, and I reach into my heavy, oversized bag to respond to a single text message. It’s from my best friend, Joy.  Her first child – a healthy girl named Autumn — will be delivered via C-section on the first day of autumn.  At the same time, Joy’s grandmother is dying. I immediately call her. We talk for over an hour, laughing, crying and marveling at what this week entails.

We conclude a new season has truly begun.

After I hang up the phone, I wander out of the park and through a neighborhood of Upper West Side brownstones. The comforting smell of incense hits my senses and I am drawn through the open door of The Church of the Blessed Sacrament. Several individuals are scattered throughout the sanctuary with their heads down in fervent prayer. The organist rehearses the same sixteen bars of music, over and over again.

Blessed Sacrament

I drop my heavy bag on the wooden pew. It makes a loud noise and startles a sleeping homeless man on the far end. I didn’t even realize he was there.

“Sorry!” I whisper loudly, as he raises his head to see who violently roused him from his peaceful slumber.

He groans and rolls over. I close my eyes and inhale, deeply. It smells of musk, smoke, incense, urine-soaked clothing and fresh rain.

It has finally begun to sprinkle outside.

I don’t spend too much time in church. My neck, back and shoulders ache from sleeping the past week on a well-worn couch. My eyelids are heavy, and if I stay too long in that hard pew, I might end up cuddling the homeless man.

I’m tired. I’m kind of lonely; longing for human touch and affection. I haven’t realized it because I’ve been so busy. I also have a sudden urge to write.  I just want to write and write and write and vomit everything on the page so I can process.

I’ve missed New York. I’ve missed myself in New York. New York is the best date I’ve ever had. It’s the place I can fully, truly be me.

Since it’s finally fall, I decide a pumpkin coffee drink is in order. I head to overpriced, corporate coffee land and plant myself at the tall bar in the window.

I throw a few words up on the computer screen and decide they’re shit. I distract myself and post a picture I took of myself in the park. Look, I know: selfies are annoying. But I don’t care. I like myself.  Actually, I love myself. I’m as happy as can be.  I never want to forget these beautiful days.

Central Park selfie

Go ahead. Click on it. It’s a good one.

After I receive substantial validation on social media, my gaze extends outside. I watch all the people briskly walking by.  A school of yellow taxicabs swarm in the background, as does an occasional, hurried ambulance. The high-pitched sirens and flashing lights aren’t much noise pollution anymore. They just go with the territory. It’s home.

A homeless man in a fairly clean, blue jacket has positioned himself next to a tree, in between a smoothie cart and a newsstand. I observe him for several minutes. He never asks for money, just patiently waits for people to read his sign. Most pass him by, not even noticing.

Autumn in New York

Autumn in New York

I watch a man in khaki pants, a canvas jacket and white New Balance sneakers go out of his way to offer the man some money. The exchange is brief, yet pleasant, and New Balance Sneakers Man walks away with a smile on his face, visibly pleased with himself.

I smile at him and keep writing.

An hour later, the homeless man by the tree has left his station, and a more vocal homeless man has taken his place.  I can’t hear him through the glass, but he’s dancing on one foot and talking a mile a minute to all who pass him. I gasp and realize I recognize him. He’s the same man who offered me chocolate on the train, on Valentine’s Day.

Almost as soon as I’m finished typing this last paragraph, he, too, is gone.

I smile, remembering that blustery, lonely, wintry day. I was different then. I’m different now.

Now it’s autumn.  Autumn in New York.

Autumn in New York
Why does it seem so inviting?
Autumn in New York
It spells the thrill of first-nighting

Glittering crowds and shimmering clouds
In canyons of steel
They’re making me feel I’m home

It’s autumn in New York
That brings the promise of new love
Autumn in New York
Is often mingled with pain

Dreamers with empty hands
They sigh for exotic lands

It’s Autumn in New York
It’s good to live it again

Autumn in New York
The gleaming rooftops at sundown
Oh, autumn in New York
It lifts you up when you run down

Yes, jaded rou’es and gay divorceés
who lunch at the Ritz
will tell you that it’s divine

This Autumn in New York
Transforms the slums into Mayfair
Oh, Autumn in New York
You’ll need no castles in Spain

Yes, Lovers that bless the dark
on the benches in Central Park
Greet Autumn in New York
It’s good to live it again 

Autumn in New York
That brings the promise of new love
Autumn in New York

Is often mingled with pain
Dreamers with empty hands
They sigh for exotic lands

It’s Autumn in New York
It’s good to live it again


To my sweet, precious, soon-to-be-born niece, Autumn, whom I love as my own already:  I cannot wait to meet you.

Welcome to this world. You are loved beyond anything you can ever imagine.

Hot French Waiter Part Deux

Andrea and I landed at Charles de Gaulle in the early morning.  We fumbled around the airport, found a way to purchase train tickets into the city, and, although exhausted, we happily planted ourselves on the commuter train.

I glanced around at the passengers and noticed a young woman reading the bestseller, Eat, Pray, Love.

“That’s what we’re going to do, “Andrea joked.  “Except we’re going to Eat, Pray, Love in a week!”

We burst into excited laughter.  Our adventures were just about to begin!

Once we made it into the city, we navigated ourselves  — and our ridiculously heavy luggage — through the underground Metro.  We had rented an apartment in the Marais for the week, and were desperate to settle in.

Thankfully, Andrea speaks fluent French (I told you I have amazing friends), so we were able to make our way to Rue de Quincampoix looking far less touristy than we actually were. We met up with the apartment owner – a lovely young artist – but quickly realized that neither of us had Euros to pay the rent.  (Note to self: change money before getting on the plane!)  Delirious, we scrambled around the neighborhood to find a bank.

Money and keys finally changed hands, and we were officially Parisian residents.  The two-story, 290-square foot apartment was much smaller than either of us had expected, but it had everything we needed.  As soon as we climbed upstairs, we didn’t care.  The view of the Parisian rooftops, not to mention the steeple of St. Paul- St. Louis Church (and the sound of its glorious bells), was worth the price alone.  Sharing a bed was funny, but we were used to it.

We headed out, still dressed in almost two-day-old clothing.  I was convinced that I smelled like re-circulated air from the plane, but it just didn’t matter. 

We were in Paris. 

We lunched at an outdoor café, just blocks from our apartment and the Pompidou Center.  I turned my face towards the warm, glowing sunlight and inhaled the sweet afternoon breeze.  It smelled of cigarette smoke, baked bread, history, B.O., champagne, romance and hope.

I suddenly realized that I had fallen in love.  Paris had my heart.  I was transfixed, and hungry for more.

We finished our light lunch and were off to the grocery store to stock our tiny kitchen with the most delicious French cheese, bread, jam, yogurt, tea, lettuce, fruit, vegetables and, of course, wine.

We returned to the apartment, took turns hovering in the Barbie-sized shower, and headed out again.

Over tired/excited, I dressed in the most ridiculous outfit I had packed – a green mini dress, a gold scarf my sisters had bought for me in Italy, a black leather jacket, and brown, almost-knee-high boots.

What not to wear in Paris…

There was no set plan, but to explore.

We strolled towards the Seine.  Our first stop was at a little café on the corner, overlooking one of the many famous, picturesque bridges.  We had easily been lured in by a Hot French Waiter (Part Deux!), who eagerly served us.  We nibbled on cheese and sipped little glasses of Kir as we watched the afternoon sunlight start to fade into a glorious, bustling city glow.  Somewhere beyond my view stood the Eiffel Tower, in all of its glory.

I can’t believe I’m here! 

Inevitably, I had to make my bladder gladder, so I excused myself inside the restaurant.  Not looking where I was going, I ran into Hot French Waiter Part Deux and almost knocked over his tray of wine glasses.

“Oh!!  Je suis désolé! Pardonnez-moi!!”  I blushed, and tried to fake a good French accent. Maybe he wouldn’t notice that I couldn’t speak a lick of his native tongue.

He smiled, and grabbed my hand.

Êtes-vous marié?

I stared at him. My hand started to tingle.

“What?  No…no, my name is not Marie,”  I replied, and then I realized I had blown my cover.  Actress fail.

He threw his head back and laughed.

“I ask yooooou? Eeeeef yoooou? Are married,” he repeated, slowly, as if I didn’t understand English, either.  His thick French accent was palpable.  I took in a deep breath.  Paris felt so good.   And, there I was, standing in the middle of a romantic café, holding hands with a man.  Just like that.

That familiar, wide grin spread across my face.

“No, I am not married.  I am very single!”  I laughed.


Still holding my hand, Hot French Waiter Part Deux got down on one knee.

I gasped.

“Veux-tu m’épouser?  Will yooooou?  Marry me? Beaauuuutiful, smiling woman!”

He stared deeply into my eyes as his lips lightly brushed the top of my hand.

Oh.  My.  Lorn.  

My heart fluttered, my knees grew weak, and my bladder screamed at me.

“Uhhh, can I get back to you on that?  I have to find ‘les toilettes’!”

Good one, Les.  

He laughed, jumped up and gently guided me towards the restrooms.

Hot French Waiter Part Deux was busy when I returned to Andrea and our table.  I gave her the quick replay.  Why, yes, I had just received a marriage proposal within hours of landing in Paris.  My life really wasn’t all that bad.

“You have to kiss him!”  She urged.

“What?!  No!  No, I can’t do that!”  I shook my head, and felt the hot flush of embarrassment rise to my cheeks.

“You said you were coming here to kiss somebody,” Andrea pointed out.  “He just asked you to marry him.  You can certainly give him a kiss!”

She was right.  I was just so overprotective of myself, not to mention inexperienced.  I had been on a handful of dates and only kissed three men since filing for divorce from X.

I took another sip of my Kir and reflected on my “love life”.

In August of 2010 — on X’s birthday, to be exact — I had a wild, unexpected makeout session with an old college crush.    It was our second date – the first having been three months earlier.   It was new, exciting and dangerous, and everything felt so…wrong.

He never called me again.

In December of that year, my friend basically dared me to kiss him, so I did.  It was actually very sweet, but I insisted that we remain friends.

And, I had met a guy just a couple of weeks earlier, while in Minneapolis.  I was out to dinner with my lovely friend and fellow Vixen, Julie (she is married to Brian Setzer).  The restaurant was packed, so we sat at the bar.  I thought nothing of it as I struck up a conversation with the friendly, cute bartender.  He happened to be extremely smart, and a talented filmmaker, as well.

He asked me out on the spot.

I was shocked.  That never happens in Los Angeles.  At least not to me.

Why not?  I thought.  I was leaving town the next day, so nothing was going to happen.

Much to my own surprise, I found myself agreeing to kiss him, as well.  He was old-fashioned, chivalrous and sweet.  He treated me well and respected me.  He also begged me to keep kissing him.  He told me that he had never met anyone like me before.  He was crazy about me, all in a matter of a few hours.

What was happening?

My self-protective, Don’t-come-near-me-and-hurt-me-you-douchehound signal had begun to flicker off.  Apparently a stronger, Come-ask-me-to-marry-you signal had switched on.  I needed to find a balance.

Andrea and I finished our “happy hour”, planted a few Euros atop the bill, and got up to leave.  Hot French Waiter Part Deux swiftly re-appeared.

He held out his hands, as if I had mortally wounded him with my sudden departure. After all, I had never responded to his marriage proposal.

I walked towards him, put my arms around him, and hugged him hard.  I then planted a bold, firm kiss on his cheek.  He seemed rather surprised at my expression of affection.

“Merci,” I whispered, and then turned and sauntered down the cobblestone street, feeling happy, confident and – I daresay – sexy.

My French kissing warm up was complete.

Paris, Part 1

Saturday, May 14, 2011                                                                                    Dallas, TX           

Finally left Minnesota.  It was not at all what I had expected.  I didn’t think I’d meet some guy and have a pleasant “date”.  I didn’t think Bemidji would be what it was.  I didn’t think I’d have more grief to process.  I just don’t have it all figured out, and that’s OK.  Part of me is scared to go home; scared not for Paris, but the aftermath.  I am scared that I’m unworthy; that I have to figure it out before anything can happen.

It’s just not true.

I’m growing.  Learning.  Changing. 

Am I running?  A little bit.  Los Angeles has been difficult these past eleven months (when I last got out).

I am realizing that I can’t push anything.  I can’t force anything to happen.  I have to allow life to be natural.

And then I wonder, where is he – this magical, mythical man that everyone thinks I’m going to meet?  I’m sitting in an international airport in Dallas, Texas, soon to be heading to FRANCE.  And I just can’t help but wonder what he is doing right now. 

Where is he?  Who is he?

I have to let him go even before I know him.  I have to be open.  I AM open, but I have no idea how much further You want me to go.  How much deeper?  How much more self-reflection and introspection does one have to go through to heal?

Healing.  Heal, heal, heal.

I think I’m getting there.

Four days later, Andrea and I excitedly boarded a plane to Paris, France.  We skipped down the aisle to our respective seats (I danced and sang), flopped down and kicked off our shoes, ready for the ten-plus hour flight to the most romantic city in the world.

The male flight attendant sensed our excitement (who isn’t excited about boarding a plane to PARIS?!), and asked us what the purpose of our trip was.  Andrea giggled and exclaimed, “We’re celebrating Leslie’s divorce!”

Someone on the plane clapped.

Suddenly, we had somewhat of an audience, so Andrea and I tag-teamed sharing my story.  The flight attendant’s eyes grew wide, as he listened.

“Wait – hold that thought,” he interrupted, and raced to the back of the plane.  He returned with two mini bottles of vodka, and the female flight attendant, who wanted to hear my tale, as well.

I have to admit: “Sister Wife” hooks ‘em, every time.

“Girl, you are going to get laid,” the flight attendant squealed, and then proceeded to tell me how she would be living vicariously, yadda, yadda, yadda.

I laughed, nervously.  I was not — and am still not — interested in casual sex.  I believe that sex is sacred; special.  And since my self-esteem had been in the toilet for so long, I couldn’t flush it further, no matter how much I long(ed) for a romantic, passionate, hormonally charged encounter (in Paris!)

I had, however, made up my mind that I was going to kiss somebody.

I explained that my divorce had been official for a couple of months, and an 8-day jaunt to Paris with my “wife” was the perfect ending to the madness of the past two years.  It was exciting to think that the world was finally starting to become my oyster.

As Los Angeles rapidly disappeared underneath the wings of our 747, I started to think about the last time I had been to Paris.

It was September, 1997.

X and I were both studying in England for the semester: I in London and he in Oxford.  We decided to take the Chunnel one beautiful September day, and, a little over two hours later, found ourselves wandering the streets of Paris.  I remember it being beautiful, and so much more exciting than London.  I remember the Louvre; I remember the croissants and coffee.  I can still sing the song we made up to remember the Metro station closest to where we stayed.  I remember snapping pictures of the Eiffel Tower, and “stalking” the tunnel where Princess Diana had been killed, just weeks earlier.

It was completely adorned with flowers.

I remember my short, choppy blond hair, my chunky belly and my horrifically bad choice of shoes.

I also remember being blissfully in love, and engaged to be married to my favorite person in the world.

We were in PARIS!

X and I only stayed for the weekend.  One night was spent in a small, dark hotel (in separate beds, of course!), and the other was spent on twin bunk beds in a youth hostel.

It was a rare thing to have a room to ourselves in a cheap hostel, so we were excited.  We were determined to be good; behave ourselves.  After all, we were saving sex for marriage.

Of course, we inevitably ended up messing around.  Clothes came off, and we passionately pushed the boundaries of our pledge to stay pure until our wedding night.

The next thing I remember is a lot of blood.  Blood everywhere.  On the sheets, on X’s hands, on the pillowcase.

When I finally realized what had happened, I was mortified.  Guilt, shame and embarrassment flooded over me.  I cried.  X held his head in his hands. We prayed, and asked forgiveness for our naughty behavior.

Although we hadn’t had sex, we clearly had broken…well…you know.

We cleaned up the mess and made up some story to get fresh sheets.  I slept alone, on the top bunk that night, feeling like a terrible, dirty slut.  I actually wasn’t naïve enough to believe that my virginity had been taken from me, but something in me changed from that moment on.

I remember telling X that Paris wouldn’t ever seem as romantic again.

And, because of my guilt, I didn’t want to return.  I wasn’t interested in Paris anymore.  It held our shame, and we left it there.

X and I maintained “good” behavior until our wedding night, which ended up being a long, drawn-out, two years later.  It was a terrible struggle, but we managed to stay virgins, however you look at it.  It is something of which I will always be proud.

At the same time, it made the betrayal of X’s infidelities slice even deeper into my soul.

Cut to: Fourteen years later.  Divorced; unsexed; unaware of my actual attractiveness; free.

It was time to re-claim Paris for me.

It would only be a matter of hours before I would kiss my first Frenchman.

“I’m Going to France to Kiss Somebody”

Friday, April 15, 2011

One year ago I was moving out of my house.  One year ago I knew my marriage was over.  An entire year.

So much has happened since.  I am so thankful

Should I go to Minnesota?  And France?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Oh, Lord.  What a glorious day.  Such beauty!  I am so thankful to be alive, to have my health; to have such amazing people in my life.  Most of all, I have You.

Andrea and I are going to France in ONE MONTH!  I bought our tickets last night.  I am a bit scared, but why?  Scared of things I cannot control…? I am not in control.  It’s not up to me and it never was.  That is freeing.  I guess I’m scared of being stopped at the border – knowing my fingerprints are in the system as a “criminal”.

A new season begins in my life.  The tax job is over.  I do not want to be wasteful with my savings but I am so excited to go to Paris. 


To see, to live, to LOVE life.  Oh, Lord, what a gift!

2 Cor. 5:7 – “We live by faith, not by sight.”

Thank You for getting me through tax season with the ability to drive.  Thank You for helping me through the emotion and pain of dealing with X.  Thank You that he sent (part of) the money.  Thank You for the doors You will open up for me – even now. 

PARIS!  I am so excited.  Adventure!

Oh, may I learn and see and capture everything in this new, blessed life of mine.

Monday, April 18, 2011

I’m going to PARIS.

Talked to my lawyer today, and, regardless of the outcome of my court case (DUI or Wet Reckless), I will lose my license for a month.  I elected to have it suspended right after my hearing. 

So, I might go to Minnesota to visit friends; to be there for love and support.  I want to be free from license suspension and all that crap. 

Why am I so afraid?  NO FEAR!  Lord, I need You; I need a break from myself and craziness and dating and worrying.

I need to get OUT of here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2011

Oh, Lord, what freedom there is in recognizing YOU and YOUR power and glory; YOUR control over the world; my circumstances; everything.

Father, I GIVE THIS DUI TO YOU.  I GIVE OVER my fears, my worries, and I KNOW You have already worked it out for good.  For my good.  I am not entitled.

 Perhaps You are calling me to a simpler life.  I want to follow You, no matter what.  I NEED You; I NEED help.

I pray for peace as I travel to Minnesota.  I am disappointed that there is no Christmas tour this year.  Father, I need work.  I need a job to support myself.  I am worried that a court conviction will affect my ability to be employed in the future.  I cannot worry about that.  I CANNOT CONTROL ANY OF IT!

These are such hard lessons to be learning.  Humbling.  Lord, take my life and let it be, always, only, ever to Thee.  God, I give You my yearning for love from a man.  I give You my longing for children. I give You my longing for a career. 

I have no idea what You are calling me to, but I want to be used by You.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Oh, Jesus!
Thank You for this day!  YOU ARE RISEN!  Resurrected from the dead!  You have called me out of the shadows; out of the darkness into LIGHT.  I am YOURS.  I am YOURS.

I can’t do this on my own, Lord.  Any of it.  I need You so very badly.  Thank You for accepting me just as I am, with all my ugliness and sin.

DUI or not – it doesn’t matter.  I am a sinner.  I am not able to do this life on my own.  Thank You for this time in my life, Lord, where I am facing hard truths and making idiot mistakes.  Yet You still love me – You don’t judge me at all.

May I extend that grace to myself!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

As my court date looms in on me, I am starting to get scared.  I know I’ll be guilty.  But, Lord, would You show mercy?  I know You already do.  I know that You will carry me through this.  I will be OK.

You are showing me new things, and new people are coming into my life.  I am broken.  I need You.  I need Your approval and not the legal system’s; I need YOUR love and not the affirmation (or lack thereof) of some dumb guy.


Finished AA meetings.  Not for me.  I am proud of myself for doing it – seven meetings in two weeks.  Hopefully that will help my sentence.  Oh, Lord.

I am scared.  I am also free.

Lord, I give my trip to Minnesota to You.  Also France.  I am scared.  Of what?  Making further mistakes?  Being disappointed?  I don’t quite know.  But I do know that I am content: right here, right now.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Court is Monday morning.  I will be sentenced.  And then I will face my fears, everything.  I just want to move forward with my life.  Oh, Father, I do not want to take anything for granted!

Thank You for yesterday’s birthday celebration with X’s brother and his family.  Thank You for that healing experience.  Thank You for their acceptance of me.  I pray for them and their relationship with X’s parents.  They have been hurt by the fact that X’s parents have basically refused to meet their new baby.  

Who does that?  

Sunday, May 1st

Beautiful day at the beach with Joy today.  I felt Your love and peace all throughout!  Lord, I pray for a reduced sentence.  I pray hard.  I also give the outcome of my case to You.  You know.  You are in control.  You will go before me.

Deuteronomy 3:16 – “Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified…for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

Monday, May 2, 2011

In court.  Shaking.  Possibly will be able to get the Wet Reckless.  LORD, I trust You.  I PRAY for mercy. They have to run my married name and check my records.  If no arrests – OBVIOUSLY – I might be able to get the reduced sentence.  Oh, FATHER GOD!  I pray, pray, pray for Your guidance.  May the Prosecutor be merciful.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Oh, Lord!
I was able to get the reduced sentence in my case.  I plead “no contest” to Reckless Driving.  It still stinks, but it is not a DUI. 

Father, I am so grateful for the mercy and grace You continue to show me.  I will still have to take a three-hour class every Monday night for three months starting June 6th.  But it will be done.

Expensive, horrific and scary lesson.


Now I’m going to France to kiss somebody.

“Where Can I Find Happiness?”

As I waited for the divorce lawyer to return my call regarding Bigamy and Contempt, I had another court case to tackle: my DUI.

When I first got out of jail, I immediately called a friend who just so happens to be a judge.  He was extremely kind, sympathetic and nonjudgmental upon hearing my plight.  He pointed me towards a good (expensive) criminal attorney.  I hired the firm right away.

It was suggested that I take a proactive stance in my case.  I did have a good chance of getting the DUI dismissed, but I had to show some earnestness in my “desire to be rehabilitated.”

I was definitely earnest.  I would do just about anything to lessen my punishment.

“You should probably attend some AA meetings,” my lawyer advised over the phone one afternoon. She went on to explain that some judges require defendants to attend meetings, or work in the morgue.  It was a fairly standard punishment.

“I’ll send you a court card and you can get started.  You just have to get the secretary to sign off on your attendance and you’ll get credit for the meeting.  Try to get five or six meetings in before your court appearance next month.  I can’t guarantee anything, but it certainly won’t hurt your case.”

I hated the thought of having to attend an AA meeting.  I couldn’t believe that I had found myself in a situation where Alcoholics Anonymous was involved.  It was humiliating.  Furthermore, I was way more interested in going to the morgue to see dead bodies.

Nevertheless, I obliged.  I wanted to get it done – out of the way – and show the judge assigned to my case that I was a GOOD girl who had made a mistake, and would never do it again.

I’ll never forget that first AA meeting.  I rose early to attend the 6:15 a.m. gathering.  It was held in a Fellowship Hall at a Presbyterian church.  I pulled up a chair and sat in the back, and listened to people mumble for an hour.  The room echoed and it was difficult to hear.  Occasionally the attendees shouted in unison, and a few pounded their fists on the folding tables.  They laughed, listened, hugged one another and repeatedly sipped coffee from little styrofoam cups.

I brought my own coffee.  I sat with my arms folded tightly against my chest for the hour and didn’t say a word.  I dropped my court card and a crumpled dollar bill into the basket as it passed.

After the meeting adjourned, I raced to the front to find my signed card.  Several people sought me out to welcome me, congratulate me for being brave, and offer me literature.

I just smiled, nodded and reached nervously for that damn card.  One down.

I didn’t need salvation from alcohol or drug addiction.  I didn’t need to make any new friends.  I didn’t need any more suggestions on how to live my life, even if it had been excessively hard lately due to circumstance and/or poor choices.  I just needed to endure the punishment and get the hell out.

I found a noon meeting to attend.  After about four gatherings, I realized I was learning something.

I had to write.


The familiar smell of “thrift shop” wafts through my nostrils as I enter the darkened room.  Cushioned folding chairs are aligned with care, and icicle-like Christmas lights hang over the main table.  The wall is adorned with wooden placards, and old felt banners read, “ONE DAY AT A TIME!”  I am positive the room was decorated in 1974. I find a seat along the western wall and clutch my phone, as if it will save me from…what?

I’m five minutes early, which can be a good and bad thing.  The smell of cigarette smoke drifts in and out of the room, as the men gathered at the front of the building inhale their last bit of carbon monoxide before the meeting begins.

I glance around the room.  Directly in front of me sits Justin Bieber.  He is hunched over his phone, furiously texting with one hand and biting his nails on the other.  I do about seventeen takes and cannot actually figure out if it is Justin Bieber or not. Regardless, it makes me chuckle, and I relax a bit.

A small Chinese man storms through the center aisle, hugging everyone in his path.  He is fierce in his intentions, and laughs extremely loudly as sarcasm drips from his lips.  I didn’t realize that such a loud voice could come from such a small body.

At the main table sits a doughy woman whose arms are adorned with tattoos.  She cracks open her first of two sodas (that she will drink in the span of one hour) and looks at the clock.

The meeting is called to order, and people straggle in at 10, 15, even 30 minutes past the hour.  One latecomer plants himself right next to me.  He’s a soccer player in his early 20s. I notice his freshly shaved head and manicured toenails.  He sniffles throughout the entire meeting, keeps his back turned away from the main table and barely listens to what anyone has to say.  At times I think he might be crying, but I soon realize that he is just wiping his nose and snorting the mucous back up into his brain.  Later, I remind myself to wash my hands, since I end up holding his, reciting the Serenity Prayer.

It is time to reward achievement, so the little Chinese man jumps up and jubilantly passes out little chips, screaming, “Chips from the Chino!”  I laugh at his unabashed racism, and relax a little more.  I decide that if they make “Hangover 3”, this guy could give Ken Jeong a real run for his money.

Later, the little Chinese man shares his story.  He is an alcoholic and a drug addict.  He begins speaking in anger towards a few other relapsed alcoholics whom he had helped find jobs.  Subsequently, he lost his, and needs prayer to deal with both.

The room nods.

Little Chinese Man opens up about his days as a “skilled outdoorsman” (homeless man).  He would stand outside the local 7-11 and beg for money.  Once he made $5.00 he knew he’d be able to get a “fix”.  He finally checked himself into rehab.  A few days into his sobriety, Little Chinese Man offered to wash his counselor’s car.  He detailed it with precision and care, and, in the end, his counselor handed him a crisp, five-dollar bill.  His eyes fill with tears as he describes the realization that he had earned every penny of that $5.00.

He goes on to explain an old Chinese parable of a puppy that asks his mother where he can find happiness.  The mother tells the puppy that his happiness is in his tail.  So, the puppy spends years chasing his tail.

Frustrated, the puppy goes to his mother again and asks, “Where can I find my happiness?”

“I told you,” his mother replies, gently.  “Your happiness is in your tail, and it will follow you wherever you go.”

The room sighs.

Little Chinese Man thanks “the rest of you low life’s” for allowing him to share.

A big, fat biker guy in the back demands his time to share.  He curses and speaks with authority, and talks about “these rooms”.   He wouldn’t be alive if it weren’t for “these walls”, so we’d all “fuckin’ better fuckin’ keep coming back, because it fuckin’ works if you fuckin’ work it!”

Later, he falls asleep.

A former dentist speaks up.  His drug of choice was crack cocaine.  Little Chinese Man gasps.

A slender, tan and weathered woman speaks up.  She is dressed in a striped mini-dress with matching espadrilles.  Her nails are painted lime green, and look like they are straight out of a travel advertisement for Thailand.  Her nails keep clacking her soda can.  She sheds tears over the years she lost, drowning her sorrows in her wine glass.  She doesn’t want to feel bad anymore.

Justin Bieber has switched from texting to playing “Words with Friends”.

As the hour passes, more and more people share their stories.  Some share the same story they did the day before.  Some shed tears.  Others sit in stoic silence.  But, all in all, they come together as humans with a purpose:  humans who are wanting to end their addictions; humans who are seeking God.  Humans who are broken, ashamed, torn up, spit out, rejected, abandoned and hurting.

Human beings who are beautiful, precious children of God.

I will return to “these rooms” for a few more hours, out of an act of service.  Preventative action.  Punishment. Hope.  Perhaps I will share my story, perhaps not.  One thing I have learned so far is to face my fears.  I may not identify completely with the people who attend the meetings, but I am just as broken and hurting as the rest.  And, for that, I say, bring on the styrofoam coffee cups and the stale sugar packets; bring on the strip mall parking lot adorned with the stunning view of the San Gabriel mountains.  Bring on Justin Bieber and his Honda.

I will laugh and cry with my fellow human beings, and I will even hold their snot-ridden hands.  It feels good to be alive.


Less Like Scars

It’s been a year.

Today is important for me.  It’s a milestone. It’s a big deal.  I am proud of myself.  I have quite often wondered where I would be a year after my divorce was final.  I wonder where I will be after two.  Five.  Ten.  Twenty.

My divorce (and subsequent criminal record) does not define who I am.  It is a part of my life – a part of my past.  My choice to open up and share my story in such a public manner might be a totally stupid one, but I have seen how God has used it/me to help others.  It’s so exciting! Somehow, my bold vulnerability has spoken; resonated.  I’m beyond grateful for that.

Today, my fingers are poised above the keyboard, wondering whether or not I should bring the present into the picture.  I told myself that I wouldn’t write about future relationships.  Any man endeavouring to date me might be completely turned off by the fact that I have this blog in the first place.  It’s intimidating.  It’s dangerous territory.

Chalk me up there with Adele and Taylor Swift in the “don’t fuck me over or I’ll write about you” department.  Ha.

But it’s me.  It’s my life.  It’s my heart.  I can’t hide it – I don’t want to.  I want to grow, I want to learn, I want to continue to change, and become the person that God dreams me to be.

He dreams much bigger things for me than I do for myself.

So, here I am: one year after my divorce was made final, two years after I left my husband, and three years after the shit went down in the first place.

And I think not of my ex-husband at all.

My heart has been distracted by a very recent, painful break-up.  It was a short relationship – just three months.  And, for the most part, it was wonderful.  I was so happy I didn’t even know what to do with myself.  I was also scared out of my mind, but, with the encouragement and support of my therapist and my friends, I settled into it.  I didn’t run away.  He pursued, and I responded, eagerly.

I finally learned what it felt like to be treated right.

He liked me for me.  He didn’t care that I was divorced.  He laughed at my sense of humor.  He appreciated my talent.  We shared similar interests and beliefs. We clicked.  We had chemistry and compatibility.  He opened the car door for me.  He bought me flowers.  He introduced me to his friends and some of his family members.  We spent as much time together as we could, in those first two months.  He took me on a couple of trips to some fantastic places.  He respected me.

I felt safe.


It was easy to fall in love with him.  I never told him, though. I didn’t think it was appropriate.  I wanted to do this new relationship the right way.  I wanted to settle in for the long haul, and take things slow.

But then, things started to crumble a bit.  I made some stupid comments in front of important people in his life.  I felt terrible.  He forgave me, but I started to worry that my bad behavior would become a weekly issue.  I saw less and less of him.  He wasn’t able to communicate with me as often.  He was busy with his job, business trips, and other responsibilities and interests.  I felt him pulling away.

I didn’t feel like a priority anymore.  It hurt so badly I couldn’t breathe.

So I broke up with him.

He was hurt, confused and angry.  I tried to make things “right” by over explaining myself, my reasons and my emotions, but ended up making things even worse.

I de-friended him on Facebook, and then re-friended him. (Yes, I am twelve.)  He never accepted.

He told me that I gave up too easily.  I told him he didn’t fight for the things that he really wanted.

We haven’t spoken since, and I’ll never see or hear from him again.

It hurts.  Breaking up is hard to do.

But I have learned.

On this day – this one-year divorce-versary, I realized something.  A few things, actually.

The “issues” that I had in my first (albeit very brief) post-divorce relationship were not things that couldn’t have been worked out under “normal” circumstances.  Yet, I am not normal.  I am a divorcee.  Little things that might have not been a big deal to another person were stupendously huge hot buttons for me.

These things may take time, and extra patience.  Sometimes I feel like I, myself, have neither.  I don’t know what man in his right mind on this earth would want to take me on.  I don’t say that to be cute, or garner sympathy.  I have been hurt, yes.  I am afraid of being more hurt, sure.

But I am willing to get hurt.  It’s worth it.  I’d rather die with my heart broken twenty times over than live with it seized, overprotected or ice cold.

Love is always worth it.

Nothing will hurt as deeply as my divorce.  Yet, it is behind me, and it will become more and more of a distant memory.  My scars are, indeed, fading into beautiful character.

It’s been a hard year
But I’m climbing out of the rubble
These lessons are hard
Healing changes are subtle
But every day it’s 

Less like tearing, more like building 
Less like captive, more like willing 
Less like breakdown, more like surrender 
Less like haunting, more like remember 

And I feel You here 
And You’re picking up the pieces 
Forever faithful 
It seemed out of my hands, a bad situation 
But You are able 
And in Your hands the pain and hurt 
Look less like scars and more like 

I’m still cleaning up my freshly broken, hurting heart.  It, too, will take time to heal.  Whether or not this man was the right one for me, or I for him, I’m so grateful to have opened up, to have trusted, to have laughed and learned; to have loved again.

White Girl (Jail, Part 4)


A different officer was standing in the open doorway.   I lifted my head from my hands and looked up at him through bleary eyes.  A couple of hours had passed, and my body and soul felt every minute of them.

I helped myself off the bench, and silently followed the officer.  I guessed that the more jovial night shift had left.  The morning crew was less friendly.

He led me back to my original cell.  I wanted to grab his neck and wring it.  Surely I had served my time.  I finally spoke up.

“I’ve been in here a while, do you know when I’ll be able to leave?”

“You’ll be out of here soon,” he answered, flatly.

“That’s what they all say,” I murmured, under my breath.

And there I was, back where I had started.  My original cellmate was long gone. Over the next hour or so, I would have a few more.  Enter a pretty, young gang member dressed in 5” heels and club attire.  She paced the room and threatened to kill her cousin for landing her in jail – again.

“What happened?” I asked her, calmly.  I definitely needed the energy level in the room to feel less threatening.

“THAT FUCKING BITCH GOT DRUNK AND DROVE MY CAR INTO A TREE!”  she screamed at the door, presuming that she could be heard.

Her cousin was being held across the way, and was, indeed, drunk.  She was laughing, cursing, and wailing in the solitary cell.

“I SWEAR I’m going to kill her.  I am going to MURDER that bitch!  She is GOING TO GET IT!”

Ohh, boy.

“But why are you here, if she was the one driving?”  I asked, genuinely curious.

The girl sat down and adjusted her tight, tiny skirt.

“Because I beat her ass up, and the neighbors called the cops.  I have a prior, so I’m fucked.”

“Oh.”  I didn’t want to know what her “prior” was.

“So, what the fuck is some white girl like you in here for?”

I chuckled, albeit nervously.

“Um, I got arrested for driving under the influence.”

“Psssshhh.”  She dismissed me.  “That ain’t nothin’.  Sucks for you, though.”

“Yeah,” I nodded.  Never a truer word spoken.  “It sucks.”

The pretty young gangster was held for about 30 minutes, then taken straight to arraignment.  I was almost jealous of her quick turn-around.

My next cellmates were rounded up and deposited into the concrete room.  We huddled together on the bench, awkwardly.  One woman was arrested for a DUI because she was smoking pot on her way to work.  She lit up at a stoplight, right in front of a police car.

“Why’d you do that?!”  I inquired, incredulously.

“I dunno, gurrrrl, I jus’ felt like it,” she responded.  “It was stupid.  Annnn now I’s here, instead of at work, and that’s some fucked up shit.”

I twisted my lips in sympathy.  Fucked up shit, indeed.  I couldn’t judge the woman.  After all, we were all equal.

I turned to the frightened Hispanic woman on my left.

“What happened with you?”

She stared at me with terror in her eyes, pursed her lips, and vehemently shook her head.

I tried again, in elementary Spanish:

”Uhhhh, ¿Por qué estás aquí?”

Fear turned to sadness.  “Yo vendía tamales, “ she replied.

“Tamales?  You sold tamales?”  I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.  “That’s why you are here?  You’re in JAIL for selling TAMALES?”

“Hooooooo!  That’s some fucked up shit, lady,”  the pot smoker cackled.

Tamale Lady giggled nervously.  Then we all laughed, and the room relaxed.

The two women stared at me, expectantly.

“Oh, I was drinking and driving,” I offered, apologetically.  “El borracho,” I pointed to myself.

Sigh.  Wish I had a tamale right about now.

Footsteps.  Keys.  Door opened.


I got up, and wished goodbye and good luck to Pot and Tamale Lady.

“Bye, gurrrrl!” Pot Lady yelled, as the door closed and locked shut.

The officer led me down the hall, past the holding cells.  We continued up the stairs.

Oh, my goodness!  I’m finally going home!  HOORAY! 

“Grab a blanket and a sheet, Spencer.  You’re going to the beds.”


“I’m sorry, what…what are ‘the beds’?”  I asked, trying not to panic.

The officer was clearly annoyed.

“You could be here for the weekend.   It’s Friday, and the courts close.  So, grab your bedding and let’s go.”

“But, but…” I sputtered.  “I’m supposed to be getting out of here now.  I’ve been here all night.”  I waved my Prisoner’s Receipt in his face.

The officer took it from me but barely glanced over it.

My breathing became labored.  I couldn’t be there all weekend.  I had a life to live!  I couldn’t bear the thought of one more minute in that jail, regardless of how many friends I would try to make to help pass the time.

“Please, sir.  I need to get out of here.”

“Well, Spencer, you have to sober up,” he retorted.  “And it takes a while for you to be processed.”

I will never live this down, will I. 

“I blew a point 1-0, probably about eight hours ago,” I said, as the panic rose in my voice.  “I really need to get out of here.  I need to go home.”

“Well, Spencer, you shouldn’t have been drinking and driving, then.”  He motioned towards a large laundry vat.

“No kidding,” I muttered.  I angrily grabbed a blanket and a sheet, and bit my lip hard to hold back my tears.

The officer led me into a much larger cell.  In it were fresh, new faces.  As soon as I walked in the door, I realized I was very much the minority of the group.  For the first time all morning, I felt afraid.

“Heeey, look at the pretty white girl!”  A pock-faced young woman called to me.  “Ooooohie, look at that great ass!  Wow.  If I were a lesbian I’d eat you up!”

Oh, God.  Please don’t kill me.

I smiled at the group.  I could feel their eyes boring holes into every inch of my body.

Next to the pock-faced girl sat a beautiful African-American girl with smooth skin and perfectly formed lips.  Her thin frame was covered in a short, glittery dress.  She chewed a piece of bright pink gum and casually played with her hair.  I walked towards the pair and sat down, right between them.

Pock-faced girl was missing a few teeth.

“Mmmm, girl, you are in the wrong place,” she glared at me.

“Not really,” I said.  I didn’t look at her.

The pretty girl to my right laughed, and snapped her gum.

“She damn straight – she in jail.  She did somethin’.”

Another woman spoke up.  She was pacing the room, tugging at her midriff.

“She probably druuuuuunkkkkk!  Look at her!  She in here because she fucked up, jus’ like the rest of us.  You – (she pointed at Pock Face) be in here for possessin’ some kinda whacked out drugs, and you (Pretty Gum Chewer) be whorin’ youself on the street.”

The girls bristled. I tightened my grip on my blanket.

Oh, no, please don’t get in a fight.

The pacer continued, and her voice got louder.

“I be in here because I be sellin’ CRACK.  You know, I don’t need to be sellin’ no drugs, but I did it, and I’s got caught.  And now what am I gonna tell my two-year old baby guurrl?  Who gonna take care of her?  Crack ain’t gonna help nothin’.   So I’m ownin’ my shit – just like all y’all should be.  When I get outta here, I’s goin’ ta make some CHANGES to my life.  Dayyyum.”

I felt inspired.  I was proud of her.

“Amen!” I cried.

Everyone stared at me.


Pock Face started laughing.  “Damn.  I like this white girl.  She funny.”

I turned towards her and smiled.

“Thanks.  I like to think so, too.”

She flashed me her near-toothless smile.

“You gonna get outta here soon, white girl.  They always let the DUI’s go first.”

The door opened, and a female officer called to all of us to gather our bedding and wait for our name to be called.  We formed a line in the hallway.

The female officer separated the women into groups of eight, then marched us a few feet down the hall.  Pock Face and Pretty Gum Chewer were in my group.  When the officer opened the door to our “bedroom”, the women rushed to the bunk beds, grabbed the mattresses and immediately pulled them to the floor.  A couple of women used the toilet, which was concealed by a low, brick partition.

At least there’s some privacy in here.

I walked to the bed closest to the door, carefully placed my sheet atop the plastic mattress, and lay down.  I was too tired to think about what germs or diseases were crawling along the bed or mattress.  If I were to be there for the weekend, I’d have to get some sleep or I would lose my mind.

I pulled the blanket up to my face and shut my eyes.  I listened to the girls chatter on about their lives.  Pock Face and Pretty Gum Chewer both had young children.  They were young, themselves.  Barely 20 years old.

“When I get out, the first thing I’m gonna do is find me some good tweek, and then sleep for days!” Pock Face announced.

Oh, Lord.  Help me.  Help these girls.  I know You’re here.  You are here with me, in this jail cell. 

A few minutes passed, and then the female officer’s voice came over the loudspeaker.

“Spencer?  Spencer!”

Pock Face mimicked the voice.  “SPENCER!”

Pretty Gum Chewer giggled.

I sat up.

“Spencer, you’re going home,” the voice over the loudspeaker said.

The room burst into applause.  Pock Face shouted.  “SPENCER’S GOING HOME! YEAH, SPENCER!”

Women laughed.  I grinned, and tears of pure relief flooded my eyes.

Pock Face continued.  “Hurry up, Spencer!  Get your white ass on outta here!”

I couldn’t get up fast enough.  The key turned in the door and the female officer motioned for me to follow her.

I paused, and turned around.  I looked at Pock Face, and Pretty Gum Chewer.  I looked at the five other women’s faces. I wanted to remember this moment.

I wanted to say something poignant – memorable.  Something inspirational, perhaps?  I was so overcome with joy to be leaving that jail.  I took in a deep breath.

“Well, goodbye girls,” I squealed. “Be good!”

“Get outta here, Spencer,” Pock Face waved her hand at me.  “And don’t ever come back, or I’ll beat yo ass.”

I smiled.  I was going home.  I had made it through a night in jail.

But the greatest surprise was yet to come.