Dad

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6:41 AM September 29th 1990

A sun rose its head

through a hospital window

Catching the glimmer of a fathers eye

Todd cast his gaze on his first born daughter

The bond was immediate

Not once did he hesitate

Nor withhold his devotion

This was purpose

This was his initiation into fatherhood

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As soon as she could talk

she mimicked his walk.

Stomping on

soda cans

crushing them beneath her feet

or

running over them

with tires of a jeep.

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Laying underneath

oily stained cars.

Or laying in the backyard

looking up at the stars.

From bikes to automobiles

he taught her how to navigate life.

And even stuck around

when she got lice.

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Hasn’t been easy

watching his daughter turn into a teen.

Things get confusing

when a girl turns 13.

How does one reconcile

watching their daughter

drift away from his grasp?

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Sometimes they wished

they could go back

to crushing cans with their jeep.

Instead crushed hearts

will make grown men weep.

He patiently watched her

separate from their bond

and it almost felt like she was gone.
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She had to learn

to make her own mistakes.

Oh how long this process takes.
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She would touch the stove

burn

again and again.

Although she never forgot his lessons

and was resilient like him.

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In her 20’s

she realized how much she needed her kin.

She desperately needed her dad

whenever she got sad.

Of all the lessons he taught

the biggest one she never forgot

was that no matter what

he always loved her

and that she was sure.

Nothing would ever come between them.

His wild haired girl.
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Confessions of a Baby Stripper Vol. 2

What affordable Healthcare?

I spent hundreds of dollars every month to try and get treatment for chronic illness issues I had been having. The symptoms started June 29th 2016 and I am still suffering from them.

It was late Fall and I had been talking to my friend about her experience as stripper. She told me that she brought home $800.00 dollars a night. I imagined myself as her. I could visualize those hundreds in my hands and I imagined all the doctors appointments I would be able to afford. I imagined all the supplements. I imagined all the lab work. I imagined zero symptoms. I imagined a life where I got up in the morning feeling ready for the day. I fantasized about being a normal healthy 26 year old. 

 

Give Us Answers

stripperJacq The Stripper instagram [If you haven’t already, check out Jacq The Stripper. She is pure comedy. In fact she’s a comedian, as well as an author, blog writer, and makes hilariously accurate cartoons. The stripper character asks the horrible eye rolling and degrading questions that we get asked everyday at work, except in a different context. The character gives you a perspective on the way our industry is misunderstood by result of assumption.]

People have asked me why I started to strip. At first I felt like I had to answer.  I would tell them “Well what happened was I got sick and I couldn’t afford….”  I felt like I had to justify myself. However, medical stuff aside, I quickly became intrigued with the idea of getting naked in front of strangers. Expressing my sexuality was enticing. I talked about it with my friend who did burlesque. She had some insight and encouraged me to give it a shot. Since getting sober I have missed expressing my sexuality through moving my body. I used to fire spin, you know, do the whole festival naked circus freak thing. Although I didn’t realize it then, it was an outlet for me to express my sensuality. I missed my connection to my body.

A friend told me “I’m not judging you but I could never strip for various reasons. I get the money, this country’s health care is so fucked up but expressing your sexuality, yeah I don’t buy it. It was interesting to me how the money was more acceptable than the expressing my sexuality. To this day I still am confused as to why dancing seductively, getting naked and displaying your beautiful nude body isn’t a form of sexual expression. I am also confused as to what is wrong with making money off of the way I expose my body. This happens every day. Musicians in music videos, sexual descriptions in books, covers of magazines, movies, even a person at the park might catch your eye and you appreciate their body. Something about adding money into the mix makes people uncomfortable I guess. I’m at a loss why and frankly I don’t care to think about it too much because I’m having way too much fun being naked with a stack of money in my purse.. but I digress.

No one ever asked me what my motive behind my job was when I was a janitor, or a nanny, a barista, or when I worked in retail. I think it was obvious then…. my motive was money…. so what’s different about this? There’s this separation because they don’t take their clothes off for money which I have no problem with. Keep your clothes on and do your job, that’s awesome. So why do you have issues around me taking off my clothes for money. Why does that make you uncomfortable? 

Well let me tell you one thing honey, if I was cheap I sure as fuck wouldn’t be doing this for work. I could go back to working 60 hrs a week scrubbing toilets (a job which I absolutely loved by the way, my OCD + introversion loved making things clean and not having to talk to customers and being virtually invisible to all humans was amazing) to only barely scrape by and make my rent. I was by definition selling myself short.

I don’t say that because being a janitor wasn’t a respectable job, I say that because I was underpaid. I watched my coworkers do back breaking work, pushing 60-65 hours, getting only two days off only to return back on Monday and do it all over again. On the weekends I would catch up on sleep and errands and spend all my money on my bills with nothing extra at the end of the month. I don’t feel like that’s fair and it cheapens people’s worth on a vocational scale. Just sayin’!
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What about your future?

Find a ‘real job’, finish school and get a career. Get the salary paid job with guaranteed income and a respectable badge to wear on your girl scout vest. First of all, I’m a writer and an artist. No one ever said financing your passion would be easy but it doesn’t have to be a soul killer either. Every writer I’ve met finds a way to make multiple incomes happen. Funny thing is, even if I finish school let’s look at what my income will look like.

Let’s break it down with statistics, fancy words, and visual aids shall we?

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Now that’s just broken up by gender. Can you guess if we break up by gender and race? I’ll give you one guess who gets paid the least.spring2017-the-simple-truth-figure-7

Link to the: Gender and Race pay gap depending on how much schooling

So if you have the privilege of having an advanced degree in college the most that you’ll make as an African American woman is $1,115 a week? What about a bachelor’s degree? $877 a week. Most places to rent in Portland are more than $877 dollars a month. This statistic doesn’t include if these women are mothers. Doesn’t include what it is that they do or how many hours they have to work to earn that money.

I would fall in between the white woman and Asian American woman, so between $1200-1500 dollars a week. And do you know how much of that income would go toward paying off my student loans? What about the availability on jobs for fiction writers? Oh and how about all the strippers out that who have master’s degrees because their jobs do not pay them enough to support themselves? 

Strippers can make $1500 in one night.

One day I earned $75 dollars during one set on stage (on average it’s about 9 minutes per set) while dancing to three songs. That night I worked at my pizza delivery job and made $80 in tips for an 8 hour shift. $75 dollars in 9 minutes versus $80 in 8 hours. Not to mention I make my own schedule or that I get to be naked at my job and eat my lunch when I take a break. I decide when I take breaks. I decide who I talk to and for how long. If a customer is a fucking asshole I walk away or I call them an asshole or both. And I no longer go home smelling like pizza every night.

Titties and Doctor Bills

By December I took the plunge and starting to show strangers my butthole. And what do you know… people actually paid to see it! The other crazy thing… I actually enjoyed doing it. One titty at a time I made enough money to get seen by professionals for my health care. Kaiser doctors, get labs done, nautropaths, AK doctors, acupuncturists…. all paid for by the customers who have seen me naked.

I am grateful I have the job that I have and the income to keep myself healthy. I’m grateful I can take time off if I am sick without being in fear of losing my job. I can take days off without having to get a doctors note to prove I’m actually sick.

I have immense freedom. Being a stripper has made me feel more empowered because I’m in control. I call the shots. I’ve had guys tell me the shut the fuck up and immediately were kicked out. I’ve had guys give me a bad stare and a bad tip, also have had them kicked out. I am not in a vocation where for minimum wage I have to take your shit. Thus, I will continue to strip until I find another job that will pay me more and give me the same, if not more freedom.

xoxo,
Al

Jonny Jonny Cool Big

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Jonny Jonny, what can I say. I met Jonny at Oregon Country Fair in 2014 at Fairy Market. I didn’t realize this until later but Jonny was the only guy camping in our section. There were about 25 women in camp that year. I have grown to respect Jonny as my friend and as an artist. And this is my ode to my friend, who, for the first time, will be in an entirely different city than me over this summer.

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Jonny’s first love is art. His girlfriend is art. His world, in it’s entirety, is art.

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Once he got sick and I went to visit him at the hospital. I knocked on the door and I heard Jonny say “oh, yeah, come in.” I took a deep breath and I prepared myself to walk into a morose situation. Tubes up his nose, sitting in the hospital gown, I saw him sitting upright with a sketch pad in his lap and heard his phone playing music. He was making beats and drawing. Per usual. Nothing about the environment or circumstances compromised his art.
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Man if there’s a layout on how to build your artist empire I tell you, Jonny is the one who’s designing it. I have respect for his person and his work ethic. He’s taught me a lot about never using anything excuse not to create. I’ve watched him be homeless, walk through losing a parent, uncertainties, fears, no phone, no food, no resources and not once did he give up. He tells me, “You can’t give up. You have to remember that you are here to create and give that to the world. You might be what people are praying for.” Above everything he always encourages me to create and for me that’s a rare thing. It’s important to surround yourself with folks who truly believe in you.
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Ultimately though, I just love being with my friend and acting like little kids. All the laughs, all the impersonations, doing Bill Cosby dances or the worm, all the Michael Jackson songs and dances, all the philosophical conversations, the food truck gyros and sharing french fries, creating poetry with the word magnets while riding the elevator, trips to Seattle to see Princess Nokia and punk bands, to watching the starlight parade from the fourth floor. Always listening to the lullaby of the beat of a drum.
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Confessions of a baby stripper Vol. 1

The baby stripper speaks! 5 months ago I started stripping and damn it’s been an experience. I thought about keeping my job a secret to most of the world. However I’ve gotten used to being candid both on and off the screen. I’m a terrible liar and I see more harm in denying working in this industry than being honest about it. I notice the more honest I am the less opportunity there is to feel any shame around it. At this point I am fully comfortable disclosing to anyone what I do. It provides as a good filter for me weed out the folks who I’d rather not interact with.

This is how it started…

One day before Christmas Eve I walked into a strip club in Portland (my 4th ever in my life) and I started my first shift as a stripper. What the fuck was I was doing?
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First Exposure

nydailynews

[this image is from NY daily news-photographer:Debbie Egan-Chin from article: Underground strip club out of Bushwick apartment run by dancers, it was an interesting read, link here ——>>> underground goddess strip club ]

I went to my first strip club in the summer of 2016. I sat there with my two friends one woman and one man. I noticed my male friend was mesmerized. He continued to trail off from our conversation with unfinished sentences. Where as my female friend and I kept a steady conversation going. I mean, I can only so many cervixes before it gets a little repetitive. At one point she said: “If my job ever doesn’t work out, I would totally do this.” while I responded with “I don’t think I could ever do this.”

However something inside of me felt liberated by the fact that she had said that out loud.

The Audition

In the middle of December I was sitting in front of the TV. In between commercials I continued to look up places to go audition but I continued to chicken out and watch the sun go down. The night time rolled in and I finally made a decision to go to a trucker bar. It looked fine enough, nothing too nice, someplace where no one would have expectations of me. It was a dingy bar far away from where I live. It looked like a place where I wouldn’t see anyone I knew. I called them and they told me auditions were open until 7:00 pm. The bartender told me that the booker was a female and used to be a dancer too. She was super nice on the phone and she told me that a lot of new girls come there to dance. Nice bartender + female booker + new girl titty bar… that was all I needed to hear.

I arrived to the audition with my outfit under my clothes because I was so nervous! I don’t know what I was thinking?! What, was I going to have to stage dive onto stage and rip my clothes off? Like Clark Kent? Going from off duty stripper into Super hero Stripper? I don’t know. Needless to say I was ready for immediate birthday suit action.

The audition was painful. Awful. I wish I could have recorded it because I would love to look back at it all the time. I’d show other performers who were going through their first audition and were nervous. I’d show them and say “Yo, do not even worry there’s no way you could be any worse than this. Watch.”

The audition was two songs which doesn’t sound that long but when you’re going on stage for your first time two songs feels like an eternity. It takes me 10 seconds to take my clothes off, what the hell am I going to do with the remainder of the time?

I got my plastic leather boots on and took one step toward the stage and thought to myself I don’t think I can do this I have to leave and somehow my legs continued moving forward until I was on stage. I remember circling the pole probably about five times with my head down. When I finally looked up there were 3 people sitting there. Two customers and one of the dancers. I attempted to do some tricks but would completely bail in the midst of it and get afraid. What the fuck am I doing? What the fuck what the fuck I kept thinking to myself. Finally I did what I knew how to do. I dropped into a split. In theory this was a great idea, however, I was wearing the sticky leather boots which got stuck on the floor of the stage and made a loud screeching noise and held me in my position for a while. I mean a while. Slowly my legs managed to wiggle and wiggle and wiggle until I fell into the most ungraceful split anyone has ever seen.

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First Shift

I woke up stressed because I had gotten my face waxed the night before which I never do. My skin freaked out (go figure) and I had to cover it up with make up. Thus I walked into the bar 30 minutes early and the cocktail waitress said “Hi honey.” I got into the dressing room and acted like I knew how to apply make up to cover up what looked like a sunburn. I put on Fleetwood Mac’s Gypsy which would later become my morning song everytime I worked a morning shift.

My strip club is a titty bar, it’s been around a long time and it’s small. We choose the music off of a jukebox and there’s no more than 8 girls on a time. In the mornings which is what I was working initially there were no more than 3 girls.

Soon the other two dancers arrived and not much dialogue was exchanged between us. I just followed the other two girls leads and tried to keep to myself although I honestly didn’t know what the fuck I was doing. The cocktail waitress came back and told us someone had to go on stage because they were opening the bar. The enthusiastic young girl volunteered, smiling through her braces, and marched on stage.

Before I knew it I was going on stage and began to shake my butt and acted as if I knew what I was doing. By the third song I always would be naked. I wasn’t making hardly any money! It sucked. Then, one of the girls who worked there and approached me. I’ll call her R.

R said: “Honey let me ask you something. When are you taking your clothes off?”
I said: “Well by the third song I make sure I’m naked.”
R: Well here’s how I do it. I won’t take anything off for less than $5 dollars. $10 dollars I’ll take my top off, but only at the tail end of the second song and if they tip me $20 then I’ll take my bottoms off during the third song. You can tell when they’ll want to see your pussy and make sure you milk it.”
I said: “What? I didn’t know you could do that! I thought we had to get naked no matter what.”
R said: “No sweetie. The other girls here get mad because other dancers take their clothes off for so little money but I always ask them, well did you them not to do that?”
I said: “Oh my god thank you so much for telling me. So I don’t need to get naked if no one is paying me?”
R said: “Fuck no!”

I took her advice and the next set I walked off with $21 dollars. It was an amazing feeling! I was incredibly appreciative of her to take the time to explain that to me in such a sweet manner. Most dancers I’ve met since then have yelled at me when I’m doing something ‘wrong’ or something that fucks with their money.

I would change my outfits a lot when I first started. Partially because I loved wearing all the different kinds of outfits that I got. I felt like I was playing stripper dress up. It was a lot of fun for me. I think costume changes are good but not necessary. Now the outfits that I know work are what I’ll wear over and over again. This outfit below is basically my uniform.

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Pricks

Shockingly, asshole customers actually haven’t been as frequent of a thing. Trust me, they happen, but not as much as I thought they would. My second shift introduced me to the ‘young i want to be a thug so bad’ prick. Amongst the blue collar men with dirt stains on their hands and steak stains on their shirts were two boys with chains on and white pristine sneakers. One was wearing a sweater with an Illuminati print all over it, surprise surprise.

I began to do floor work on stage when I felt a dollar crumpled into a ball hit me in the chest. $1 fucking dollar. He proceeded to ask me to put a dollar in between my butt crack. Cute. Real cute. You think I’m putting $1 dollar in between my butt crack for your stupid ass? This was my first lesson in a cheap customer who wasn’t going to pay. Since then I’ve gotten a lot of customers like him in the sense of the guys who seem to have the least amount of money. They continued to ask me questions that were supposed to be degrading but I wasn’t entirely sure what they were even getting at so I just ignored them.

One good thing about this interaction was learning who was in control. It wasn’t them. Not today, not ever. I proceeded to basically lay on the floor and not look at them. I took my top off but I faced my back to them and didn’t show them a thing. I continued to sit on my knees facing the wall opposite them. Finally at the end of my last song a guy walked up to my rack and I rushed over to him. Just to piss the Illuminati wanksters off I took off my clothes immediately. He gave me more money than what a lap dance cost and even waited for me to return to the rack on my next set. I walked off feeling like karma had immediately instated itself.

What Club Do You Work At?

In a city that has the most strip clubs per capita (yes, even more than Las Vegas) you have a huge menu of choices to choose from. There are 54 strip clubs in Portland (curious if the number has changed in the past 2 years).

cities1photo from->>why Portland has so many strip clubs

There’s Casa Diablo the vegan strip club, Devil’s Point where the performers seem like they’re circus performers, Kit Kat club where the sets are as much theatrical as sexy, or Acropolis, a 30 year old club, that’s partially owned by a cattle farmer and offers their customers $7.00 steaks. I love working in Portland because if I don’t like a club I find solace in thinking, well I have 49 more to choose from.

Performers will say “What other clubs do you work at?” or “What club do you work at?” When someone is asking about other clubs they’re trying to get a feel of what other options are out there and rightfully so. If there is money to be made wouldn’t you want to know?

When someone is new I’ve noticed that girls will ask “What club do you work at?” Kind of like, “I haven’t seen you here before, what’s your primary club.” Or, what I have labeled as a ‘home club’. To me, a home club is where you primarily work. Money is good there, you like the staff, the aesthetic, the vibe, or you’re generally comfortable there. Now, the last three are bonuses. A home club ultimately is where you’re making the most $$$. Again, this is my own personal definition.

Now my titty bar is different than other places I’ve worked so far. The girls I work with are either really nice or civil. The staff is kind as well. Everyone calls each other ‘honey’ or ‘sweetie’, except the male staff, they just call me by my name, Plum. It’s super old! I hear it’s been around for years and years and years. Someone told me one of the cocktail waitresses has worked there for 28 years! She even has her own parking spot.

The Stripper Super Hero

To do this job successfully you must be a body builder, have a master’s in psychology, and be the best car salesperson on the lot. I watch women who make it look so fluid. For every remark, statement or question a customer has, the best strippers always have a quick witted comeback they throw back like snapping a whip. It’s actually incredibly impressive in my opinion.

You want to be fit enough to not only fit into your outfits and feel confident but you also want to be able to keep up with your stage sets, pull yourself up on a pole using your abs, spin around, land in spilts and all while doing it in 8 inch heels (mine are 7 inches), and if that isn’t enough you then have to get off of stage and wrangle in lap dances which is not only a physical feat of seeking out your prey but even more so psychological.

You begin to get a sixth sense around people who notice you. You can feel it. They don’t even have to look at you but you can feel their attention on you. You figure out what they like. Do they want you to talk dirty or do they want you to listen to their problems? Do they want to see you naked as quick as possible or are they in it for the tease? Do they want you to be their girlfriend (and actually believe you might leave with them) or do they just want you to be bright and bubbly and get their minds off of what ever is happening in their lives that they are trying to escape from?

Whatever it is. It’s your job to figure it out within seconds of meeting them. You want to read them psychologically then manipulate them into paying you. Sound hard? Good because it fucking is. I thought it would all be about taking your clothes off. Honey, if that was the truth I would have made a lot of than $3 dollars on my stage set with my clothes off. Trust me, it’s a lot less about your naked body, less about your dance moves even, and more so about  your ability to engage them. Don’t get me wrong. Their preferred engagement might be seeing naked and if that’s the case you’re in luck. You simply do your slowest most sensual strip tease, show them a titty or your butt and your golden.

However, the girls I notice make the most money are the ones who are good at sales. The ones who can read a person real quick and manage to pitch their ‘product’ to them just right. Once hooked they reel them into the private dance room for multiple dances. Just like anything in life, keep it moving. If someone ‘rejects’ you, it has nothing to do with you or your self worth. You are the product, and sometimes people are looking for something else. Aesthetics and this persona ARE NOT YOU. Remember this is a character. Oh and HUSTLERS, I.have.respect.for.YOU! I will say, I’ve never had a vocation where I am in sales. I’ve never had to be so relentless in pushing my ‘product’. It’s a challenge I’ve been enjoying.

I love doing it. I love dancing and I love taking off my clothes. Sometimes when I’m on stage I just look at myself in the mirror and I’ll think “Damn you look good. You are so damn beautiful. You have such a sexy body.”  I really truly will. It’s given me back so much about my self esteem and the way in which I respect my body by keeping it nourish that I don’t feel any shame around what I am doing. I also don’t carry around the shame of how other people view me.

So far what I can tell you are the pro’s outweigh the cons, otherwise I wouldn’t be here. I have to say, I do love walking into my bar and having all the staff greet me as honey or sweetie. I do love being able to eat lunch naked. I love hearing the funny stories from my coworkers. I do like how the perspective on my body has changed. At the end of the day, it’s a job, and a job that pays well giving me the freedom to navigate through life with a hell of a lot more fluidity and convenience. Until next time…

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xoxo, Al

The Artists Way

Last Spring 2016 I started the Artists Way for the first time. A friend of mine told me he would be assembling a group of four of us. For 12 weeks we went through the book together with regular check ins once a week. The artists way consists of 4 components.

  1. Morning Pages-Every morning you wake up and write 3 (or more) pages as soon as you wake up.
  2. Artists Dates-Once a week you give yourself an hour of alone time. Whether that’s going out for a meal, sitting down and making are, watching a film etc.
  3. Reading the chapters and doing the prompts at the end.
  4. If you are doing this with a group you have a weekly check in with each other and discuss challenges and triumphs. A key part of this is being vulnerable and honest with the group as well as yourself.

Now I want to preface that this book was written in the 90’s by a white woman. Some of the language is dated, she isn’t the most inclusive and (as my friend pointed out) she’s a bit of a name dropper. I do urge you to take the concepts and apply them and disregard the rest. I encourage that with anything in life.

This Winter I picked up the book again with my dear friend who lives in California. We skype once a week and check in with one another to see how we’re doing. We also do check ins by text message about whether or not we did our morning pages. It helps keep us accountable and we also get to talk to one another when we’re struggling.

This is my second time and her first. I have been honored that she would take this journey with me as it’s a challenging course. So challenging in fact that the second time I read the book I found myself learning even more about myself along the way.

Thus far I’ve experienced feeling more confident in areas that we’re problematic before and in other areas I have found myself very resistant. There’s a section on something called reading deprivation. No reading anything for a week. No news, no internet, no social media, no reading books, and no reading magazines or the newspaper. That week is where I found myself having the biggest breakthroughs. She also goes over money, our censor, and her prompts have you engage in your creativity in fun constructive ways.

This is what my morning pages look like. They aren’t a glamorous display of me writing with a cup of tea next to me. I try my best to write them as soon as I open my eyes. I avoid picking up my cell phone. There have been times were I’ve even started to write them with my eyes closed just to get the pen moving and my wrist going. Not only have they helped with breakthroughs but I argue that they helped me immensely with my depression.
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Someone wanted to be in the photo. Sometimes I do my pages on the floor in front of my altar. yukiunnamed (5)unnamed (3)

One of my artist dates.

One of the suggestions in a chapter is the environment you live in. She talks about making your space a sacred space. It should be your own special place to exist in. I ended up purchasing a stripper pole, getting rid of material possessions, revamping my altar, and hanging up these mermaid twinkle lights.

The morning pages and the artist dates are something that I feel is a lifelong process. It’s an integral piece to my creative recovery. This is a process I would like to do for the rest of my life. I hope to see my other fellow creatives to give this a shot.

Smack me please

These songs were unlike anything I had heard, and still to this day I haven’t heard anything like them. DatGirl drove me to different parties because I didn’t witness many female DJ’s at parties as it was. On top of that she introduced me to live hardware.

Narrative playlist

I made a lengthy playlist dedicated to my dear friend Earl. It’s the first time in a while I’ve made a playlist this long. It’s one of the few playlists I’ve made for a friend. And it’s the only playlist I’ve ever made to include a narrative with it. I highly suggest you give it a shot someday when you have time to kill. It was a quite cathartic experience for me and I got to listen to a lot of old tunes that I haven’t listened to in a long time. It reminded me of different times in my life, different phases of me, and music is so very powerful in that way. Music is a time machine. Art is a time machine.

Plus creating something for someone else, even if it is a measly playlist is fun! It adds another element to creating a list of music. Hopefully he enjoys it!

Here is the story behind it: It starts as someone who is coming into their own self identity. They feel energized and are optimistic about their life. They enjoy who they are. They meet someone at a party and they quickly fall in love. These two have a romance unlike any this person has experienced before. Everything is loving and they become engrossed with one another. It’s a fearless love and hearts float above their heads. However something begins to feel awry.

It ends suddenly when their partner cheats on them and gets lost in chaos (drugs, people, etc.) but the two break up to make up. The whole pull and tug of hearts. Anger, disrespect and depression begin to ensue.

Painful yet nostalgic memories flood into their minds but they remain single. They’re just too heartbroken to open up to anyone else. They get lost in their depression and things get really hopeless. They become self deprecating and enjoy sadness and pain. They shy away from any form of happiness.

Then something happens and one day at a time they begin to feel like themselves again. This empowering feeling opens them back up to the idea of happiness. They begin a series of breakthrough and fall into a romance with themselves. Their life becomes as cinematic whimsical world.