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Thank you for the red flags, sir.

Photo by Moncell Allen on Unsplash

Thank you for calling me a whore.

Thank you for explaining my own job to me.

Thank you for telling me that you’re a dying breed.

Thank you for saying, “You probably don’t know this band…The Red Hot Chili Peppers?”

Thank you for using Bible quotes in your profile about purity.

Thank you for telling me that “everyone is racist” and you’re just “keeping it real.”

Thank you for telling me about my vagina, about how used it is, about my period.

Thank you for telling me that you like to fix people, that I have potential, that I can…


Snippets of Spaces.

Photo by Alexandru Acea on Unsplash

It is late. A pandemic rages outside. The borders were closed. But now, I made it.

I am here; I am home. I remove the two masks I’m wearing.

The place is dusty.

It is my childhood home, but not my childhood nation. Am I a colonizer in my own house?

I clean the dust and find a scorpion in the pillow. My father’s ex-wife still has all of her furniture and photos here. She has not returned for them; He hurts too much to do it.

I feel foreign in my own house. I am a ghost, a witness…


On Coming Home.

Listen to the Queen. Photo by Ussama Azam on Unsplash

🤷🏽‍♀️: What are the rules to re-enter Costa Rica? Do I need to take a Covid-19 test?

😨: They’re going to stop you. They’re never going to let you see your family again. You’ll never swim in your grandma’s pool, or go to the casino on the beach, or take a surf lesson from the woman who calls herself Luna on Instagram. All those places you went to as a kid…you’ll never see them again.

👸🏽: Of course you can go to Costa Rica. That’s been your home since you were a child. You’ll get there. Look how much cheaper…


A work question.

Photo by Dim Hou on Unsplash

I have to make a list of words that will not be allowed on the app.

I start with a master list that was made by someone a little too sensitive.

LMAO is probably fine.

The list includes racial slurs I have never heard of. I search for them, and immediately regret it. I find some things that are related to taking a steaming hot shit on someone’s chest.

I don’t want to kink shame.

I’m a bit liberal with the list when it comes to sex, and then, I come across that word: Bitch.

Who is allowed to use…


Chances are, they already know.

Photo by Alvaro Reyes on Unsplash

I keep seeing articles about people who have had children…and their regret.

Having a child by accident, doing it because of social pressure, or doing it to fill a hole in your life.

When women express regret, they’re met with attacks. What if your kids see this? What a terrible mother you must be!

And these parents are affirming and validating their feelings. That’s excellent, and as a child who was 100% a mistake (teenage pregnancy, put up for adoption, and eventually came back to my biological family), I can tell you all one thing:

Chances are, the kids already…


Getting help is the crisis.

Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

The crisis is not the crisis.

The crisis of killing yourself, of having paradoxical beliefs, of believing Covid is real yet not, of believing in having a job but longing to be free, of knowing the facade, but having those secret delicious beliefs, the bad beliefs like ice cream—

I hate myself. I am no good. I am cursed. I am in a pain unimaginable. I am not salvable. I am somehow dead and alive.

The bad beliefs like ice cream—decadent, indulgent, and the last thing left. The last thing left in the room. Everything else has fallen down. Everything…


Are you serious?

Photo by Deon Black on Unsplash

I recently saw a post about an anti-vaxxer who said he would start selling his unvaccinated sperm at a premium once most people were vaccinated.

When I was able to come up for air (thank you for the ab workout; I haven’t laughed that hard in a while), I was able to formulate this response—

First point: We want LESS sperm, not more.

What makes you think, in this Handmaid’s Tale scenario where I’m currently fighting for choice, that I want the sperm of ANYONE, much less the sperm of a dude who chose not to be vaccinated during a…


On Advancing…Boringly.

Photo by KAL VISUALS on Unsplash

Most drama, I’ve realized, is just people wanting other people to do something they don’t want to do. So they talk about it, or argue over it, or gossip over it.

Should they get divorced? Get a new job? Should they work harder? Are they lazy? Are they ungrateful? Should they have more kids? Should they have had fewer?

The same topics swirl around and around. I’ve noticed the same people always have the same types of drama. They build it around themselves. They like it; they want it; they hurt their own feelings over it.

I’ve grown up in…


Everyone knew if you slept with the dudes who ran the halfway house, they’d bring you booze and drugs.

Photo by Nareeta Martin on Unsplash

The dudes who ran the halfway house had a good thing going on. Problem was, she had gained a lot of weight between the second and third rehab, and now they were less interested in her. They wanted someone younger, someone thinner, someone easier to manipulate.

She knew it wasn’t just her weight—She was more likely to rat them out and turn them in. She didn’t see them as cool older guys anymore. She didn’t see it as cool to trade sex for drugs, not like these younger girls. …


Am I “The Man”?

Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

I am voluntarily nomadic.

I have online jobs, and I live in Airbnbs, sublets, and hostels with coworking spaces. I watch cats and dogs in exchange for rent discounts. I find really excellent deals sometimes. I require fast internet. I’ve been doing this for about five years.

I’m not making enough to buy a home. I really would like to buy a small condo in Costa Rica, the country my family is from, and invite them over for day trips to the beach. …

Lisa Martens

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