Source: Me (@dangobeats on Instagram!)

Does a phone call count as cheating?

To my most recent ex-girlfriend (let’s call her “Marisol”) it does.

Marisol and I had reached the nadir of a toxic relationship. Constant breakups. Fights. Name calling. Screaming before walking out in the middle of the night.

You know, fun stuff.

So one day, out of weakness, I returned the call of an ex (let’s call her “Naomi”) who recently attempted to reach out to me. Why did I call her back? I don’t know. I needed a recommendation for a good psychiatrist (and I got one!), …

Photo source: Me (click here to see more on my Instagram)

“My tongue will tell the anger of my heart, or else my heart concealing it will break.” — William Shakespeare

What does anger feel like?

Here’s how I tried to describe it when I first started writing this:

“My body trembled in that particular way it does when it can’t comprehend the emotion it’s feeling, even though in your mind you know it’s anger.”

This didn’t sit well with me. So I sat back and thought of other ways I’ve seen anger expressed in writing, like:

- My blood boiled
- My soul trembled
- It ate me from inside

Photo credit: ME!

The sky was an angry shade of dark red. Hanging tightly to it’s last breath over the horizon, the sun set quickly, as the ripples of the water — made sludge-like in the darkness — carried our boat out of the harbor.

I was onboard a ship named “Athena” for a wedding, and amidst the festive energy that filled all three decks…

A fight broke out.

It was anything but overt. A family spat between siblings. No one not close enough to them would have known.

But I, the ever observant bystander (a master at being alone in a crowd)…

Photo credit: Me

He looked me straight in the eyes and said, “no.” My heart sank and the feeling of rejection fell over me more quickly than I had anticipated. Just then a sports car tore down the narrow street, the engine cackling at me when it zoomed by, as the sun hung low in the sky birthing the hot Los Angeles summer air.

The question I had asked which warranted this response from my friend, who stood next to me was, “so you’re going to take ME out to dinner tonight then huh?” …

Photo source: Death To The Stock Photo

Without ruining everything

We sat there and looked at each other through foggy, teary eyes and I told her, “I don’t let anybody ‘in’ unless they worship me or completely destroy my sense of self.”

“Which one am I then?”

She knew the answer — she wore it all over her face.

In that moment, I didn’t have the energy to trade jabs with this person. We’d been prodding at one another through our screens all day already; the click-clack of my texts to her was the only sound I heard for hours at a time.

She cried and told me it wasn’t…

Photo source: Me

The house was built in 1912 and I knew it was haunted. I knew because I’d spent a better part of my teenage years sleeping in the library, and had felt a ghost one or two times.

Or not.

When I was 15 my parents caught me with a 1/4 pound of mushrooms, which is indicative of where I was, at that point in my life. The house belonged to my friend’s family, and whenever they’d go out of town, we would fill it up with all the bad kids and take lots of drugs.

So I might have felt…

Photo source: Me

By Michael Lopez

“If my aim is to prove I am ‘enough,’ the project goes on to infinity — because the battle was already lost on the day I conceded the issue was debatable.”- Nathaniel Branden

I lied to just about everyone I know recently, friends and family alike. If you follow me on social media, I apologize. Reading is a passion of mine, and I sometimes like to gloat about it.

Last month I posted this picture on Instagram:

Photo source: Death to The Stock Photo

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” — Will Durant

We spend our whole lives trying to fix things. Putting out fires, some of which we create, though most being out of our own control. To have power over our own lives and decisions seems a flattering way to portray ourselves, to ourselves. …

Photo Source: Me

A bipartisan approach to the war between introverts and extroverts

“There is no such thing as a pure introvert or extrovert. Such a person would be in the lunatic asylum.” — Carl Jung

A friend of mine from high school became a prostitute and is now living on Venice Beach in a tent selling jewelry. Before she was homeless, she lived in Hollywood. One night I was out and about and thought I’d give her a call to check in on her. I liked to do that from time to time. In retrospect it was probably selfishness and ego that drove me to keep in contact with her. …

“I don’t very much enjoy looking at paintings in general. I know too much about them. I take them apart.” — Georgia O’Keeffe

Heroin never looks better than it does when you watch your blood spiral through it like vinegar shooting through oil. For junkies, the penultimate feeling of euphoria happens when the the syringe marks a successful blood pull, when you know you’re seconds away from relief.

I’d say that no one knows this better than Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, but I do think there are scores of regular, non-rockstar human beings who do. To suggest that people…

Michael Lopez

Copywriter & Screenwriter living in Los Angeles.

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