January 15, 2014 — 78 Comments

howwp (1)

Part 1



Jess stood in the doorway, calling out to me on the front lawn. I was practicing The One Handed Vortex on her hula hoop.

Little Dude took pictures that day. Jess had borrowed my favorite tee

Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe.”

She was my ex- student turned summer intern. Social media guru.

“I put your blog on WordPress!”

There was no “blog.” I had written an “about” page on my company’s website. Whatever.

She took the hoop. Performed an expert Twin Revolving Door. Little Dude came out and snapped the pictures. She chased him, both of them laughing.

Beautiful Jess. Champion Babysitter of the Universe. Little Dude adored her. Everyone does.


She was nursing a killer broken heart this summer. While TA’ing, interning, busting her ass at school, she still found time to write her boyfriend Brian’s papers. Do his take-home tests.

While he screwed some girl from community college.

Some days, her eyes were swollen from crying.


“Hey, Samara, after we finish LinkedIn, wanna go get Fro Yo?”

I had a better idea.

“No. Let’s go to Moore’s and key Brian’s car. That asshole.”

She started laughing.

“Are you serious?”

“Nobody fucks with my girl and gets away with it.”

“Oh my God, it’ll kill him! He just got a new paint job!”

Even better.


I didn’t actually blog on WordPress. I made snarky comments. Me and writing – we don’t mix.

When I write, bad things happen. I get addicted to heroin. Stuff like that.

I started getting emails from bloggers.

How the hell did they get my email address?  I’d made some provocative comments. Some of the emails were creepy.

“Dear Samara,

Would you mind masturbating and mailing me your panties?”

Franklin Horshucer, Serial Killer

I could hear his heavy breathing. He sounded like Darth Vader with a sinus infection.

This is what happens when you behave like Slut Bags McFuck Stick on WordPress. I ignored them.

Wait. What’s this?

“Dear Samara,

May I email you privately? Only if you don’t mind, M’am. If you do, I promise never to bother you again. But I am a Nice Guy and I do not breathe like Darth Vadar.”

Sweet Midwestern Boy

I liked him. He was a good writer. And he was very sweet; the antithesis to my terrible year. Like balm to my battered soul. And he called me “M’am.”

Is it weird that turned me on?

Don’t answer.


Midwest Boy had urged me to hit “Publish” for 2 weeks, in his comment section.

I was terrified.

But on WordPress, I wasn’t a Had Been Ex-Junkie Never Was.

I took a deep breath.

Hit Publish.

Midwest Boy read it. Commented. “I loved this.”


My heart lifted. After years of bad creative mojo, I had another chance.

His email I answered.

We emailed constantly for several days. I had a new friend.

He said I was a kindred spirit.

And I met someone who also made his child his top priority.

Someone who considered me a WRITER.

My entire life changed.

The Ex’s constant haranguing, his ongoing battle for alimony. Whatever.

My bankruptcy. The financial damage to my company by a former employee. Who cared?

My best friend of 27 years, my college roommate, diagnosed with cancer? We could beat this.

My son’s draining special needs; his 23-year-old horror of a teacher who demoralized him daily. I could handle it.


Barring the birth of my son, it was the happiest I’d been in 10 years.

My feet never touched the ground.


I came plummeting down. Hard. Because what goes up. must come down, right?

Abruptly, silence. No more emails.

I panicked. What had I done wrong?


In 3 days I was headed to Boston to take care of my college BFF post mastectomy. She was vacillating between depression and anger.

Most nights, I stayed up all night with her on the phone, watching the sky turn to milky dawn.

Friday became Saturday. Saturday I was teaching.

The sun shone brightly into my Saturday classroom, reflecting off the glittery purple case of my buzzing IPhone.

My cousin’s number came up.

My ice-cold reaction was as involuntary as a sneeze. “Oh my God, my cousin.”

My students chirped, “Answer it! He’s just calling to say hi!”

They’re so impossibly young.

When you have an 80 year old uncle, and your cousin calls you on Saturday at 7am, California time, it’s NOT for a casual chit chat.


After class, I played the message. My uncle had fallen, was in a coma on life support. He was no longer a person. He was biomedical engineering.

My cousin asked, did I want to fly to Florida and say my goodbyes before they let him go?

I couldn’t. I was Boston bound. I would not even be able to attend my uncle’s funeral in New York.


My uncle. My father’s brother. The only connection I ever had to my father.

I was unabashedly his favorite niece. He never tired of bragging that I had made it out of a housing project into an Ivy League school. I downplay this in my life.

But I surreptitiously basked in his attention.

My mother, who never went past the 8th grade, worked 70 hours a week feeding six children. She dwelled in survival mode, where the nuances of higher education are lost.

For 40 years, my uncle fed me anecdotes of his beloved older brother.

I never grieved my father’s death. Never knew him. Never spoke of him.

Who cared?

So why was I suddenly shattered by the loss of him?

It was my uncle I had just lost.

But now – for truly and forever, my father.

There would be no more stories of him, ever. All that remained of him was buried under 6 feet of cold earth at Mt. Lebanon cemetery.

At a funeral I wasn’t even able to attend.


While in Boston caring for my college BFF, I emailed Midwest Boy.

Apologized for anything. Everything. I was desperate to have my writing friend back.

A day went by. Two. Three days later, he sent me a brief, dismissive email

I never heard from again.



Exhausted. Confused. Broken. Scared. Grief stricken.

My life was fragmenting; the different shards juxtaposing irrationally.

I checked in on MB’s blog.

His blog was bleach on an open wound. He’d found new flavors of the week. He called another blogger his “favorite new person.”

That’s exactly what he’d called me. I realized this was his pattern.

Pick a new favorite, and discard the old. But why me?

I knew.


had found me out. I was a HACK. I was no writer. I couldn’t even sustain his interest for more than a week.

He never spoke to me after he realized I was a fraud.

It was 1994 all over again.  FAILURE.

I relived the horrible mess I’d made of my life.

I stopped sleeping. Couldn’t eat. Talked to myself. Judged myself brutally.

His realization of my deception and talentlessness opened an incessant screening of home movies in my brain:

Now Playing:

Samara’s Childhood: An Abyss of Feeling Unworthy and Unnoticed.

“Mommy, I won the spelling bee. Mommy, please. I’m begging you. Notice me. I’m working so hard so you’ll love me. I got the lead. I’m Valdictorian. Please, mom, just look at me. Just once. I got a full scholarship. Please tell me you’re proud of me.”

My father my uncle my writing my life midwestern boy my mother my career my sick BFF my opportunities

everything became intertwined.


Midwest Boy, during that precious week when I thought I’d been given another chance, called one of my blog posts “brilliant.”

My head hurt. I remembered a review I’d gotten long ago…no.. it was a.. it was.. an interview?

“audacious… provocative…frequently brilliant.”

That was…the The New York Press? No, the Village Voice.

No. I never bothered showing up for that interview.

Even worse. I had.

I spent it nodding; fucked up on potent Hellraiser brand smack. Shit was fire.


After 72 hours straight of no sleep I had an epiphany.

This whole thing happened:

To punish me for past mistakes.

To remind me that I was a failure.

Before this, I wasn’t writing. But I lived life as contentedly as possible.

Now I was a ghost.


Tomorrow: Part 2

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    I don’t know what the hell is going on here, but I’m intrigued and the writing is fucking great. I look forward to part deux. Does that mean two?


    Oh, Samara, we have MUCH to talk about privately regarding what you’ve written above. All I can do is send you big hugs for now, and let you know I’m eagerly awaiting part 2.


      I know we talked about this- I wasn’t sure I was ready. I’m still not sure.

      Let’s finish this in private, as you said. Part 2 gets so bad. I don’t -yikes. But I had to get this out. with everything.


    Anybody who reckons you can’t write is a dead set douche-canoe and needs a darn good smack in the ear with an open palm. I love your shit…in fact, you ARE the shit!



    Well, all I got is that my father asked me today if I could deal if he was gone. As in dead.


    Wowzers. This was riveting. I am looking forward to Part 2. You are a WRITER I can tell you that much. I loved it


      I love that you are telling me that.
      I still have trouble accepting it about myself.
      It’s just one of those things.

      Thank you for reading, and commenting, and supporting.


    Samara, You are a WRITER. (Though, because of a cold, I have said it in the voice of Darth Vader with a sinus infection).


      Oh, X! You poor thing! I make the world’s best cold remedy-homemade chicken soup. Your cold would not stand a chance.
      Or, you could try some heroin.

      I’m sorry, I’m just on a heroin-saying kick after posting this!


        Heroin to fight cold? I think this might be like using a Death Star to boil an egg. Besides, I’m already snorting chicken soup.


        No, not heroin to fight a cold.

        Just, this post. makes me think back…

        Are you feeling any better? Chicken soup, and also- echinacea – it’s an herb. it’s really good when you have a cold.

        Also, the soup is best if it’s homemade.

        And keep socks on your feet at night.


        Samara, I’m already feeling better, thanks. Homemade chicken soup is my family’s traditional remedy for a cold (which I usually recall only after I’m a couple of days into a cold). My mother calls it “Jewish penicilline”. 🙂


        Death star to boil an egg!! I’m stealing that!!!


        Go ahead. I can find another use for a Death Star.


    Couldn’t take my eyes off the screen reading this as children rioted around me yelling, “Give me milky, “, “Wipe my butt,” and “Fix my Lego truck!” You have made me a worse mother for five minutes but an eager reader and writer. This feels so raw and authentic, it inspires. Thank you.


      For a minute I thought you were having sex, but then I realized you were talking about kids.

      Cool. It’s all good.

      Thanks for reading, for commenting, for supporting. I kinda need it now, more than ever.


    Well, you are a writer, that is for sure. And that dude is a total douchecanoe for blowing you off. And I am sorry about your uncle/father. Death sucks and I am really not good with dealing with death and loss..


    I’ll wait until part 2. But I echo X’s comment above. You are a writer.


    I’m not exactly sure what’s going on here, but I can tell you this much…you’re a writer. I know I’m a newb here, but I’ve been impressed with everything I’ve read so far.


      Man, TD-
      I cannot believe you are HERE.

      I’m kinda blown away. A little intimidated.

      You’re a blogging force to be reckoned with. And an inspiration.

      I had such a breakdown with this, I know you would relate. And empathize. I get you. Thanks for getting me.


        Pfft. I’m not a force. I’m just some dude with a blog and a mysterious avatar. Keep on writing, no matter what anyone tells you. That is the only way you’ll get better.


        Fuck that.
        Everyone knows you, everyone’s heard of you, you post constantly, your gravatar is everywhere, you stand up to anyone-

        OWN IT. You’re a blogging superstar.

        TD- I saw your blog bling. Just sayin’

        Just next time, bring a few refreshments. It’s more hospitable. Donuts, or beer maybe, for Art.


        Um, we’ll just agree to disagree, I suppose. I don’t feel like a superstar and certainly don’t want to believe I am.

        And I’m definitely down for some drinking. Always down for that.


    Great piece, Samara. I will be watching for part deaux. No abandonment.



      Those might have been the 2 nicest words I’ve heard today.

      This is going to sound ridiculous – but I just started to cry.

      Shit. I’m a feelings machine.

      Thanks, Mark. Just for saying that. I never really heard or so those two words put together, but I think I might want a tattoo, or at least a tee shirt, that says that.

      And you’re my new best friend.


    This was riveting, Samara. A Writer, yes you are! I look forward to the second part.


      Thanks! I was so terrified of publishing this post. And got a lot of support.
      but the next part is really hard for me to publish.
      because things get really bad.



    That grabbed me by my naughty bits and made me laugh at the same time. Deliciously weird… and you mentioned your underwear, so win/win…


    Waiting patiently for Part 2. You go girl!


    New to your blog and am officially hooked. You absolutely ARE a writer. Carry on, boss.


    This is great writing. I’m eagerly awaiting the next part.


    Samara = Writer. See that period there? Enough said.
    I’m intrigued to see where this story goes. I’m wondering if I should be lighting the torches? Are we going on a hunt for MB instead of trolls this week? Seems like there may be little to no difference between the two.


      Matticus love,
      I don’t think he’s a troll.

      He is,however, a major DOUCHECANOE.

      Which is actually how I started using the word. In my very first post, I referenced this incident, and called him a douchecanoe.

      However, back then, I had 7 followers. So the phrase hadn’t stuck.

      Sadly, the story gets uglier and sadder. I wish it weren’t true.

      I may be pouring myself the VRBs after posting part 2. With a xanax chaser.


        I wouldn’t mix things like that. VRBs are plenty potent enough, don’t you think? Based on how they hit you last time…
        But, maybe I’m just saying that because I’m jealous I have no Xanax to use as a chaser. 😉

        I wasn’t trying to imply that MB was also a troll, more that he should be treated as such. Do we not want to hunt down and eradicate douche canoes as much as we want to rid the world of trolls?


        Yes, perhaps we should.

        Or perhaps he’s just a deeply flawed human being, like we all are, just doing his best to make his way in this complex world of multitasking and miscommunication.

        Don’t I sound fucking ridiculous???

        I actually sound like a commercial FOR A FEMININE DOUCHE PRODUCT.

        Light the fucking torches. Fuck this motherfucker!!


        Game. On.
        (While that looks like my happy grin, it’s actually my maniacal – going hunting – grin.)


    Hi Samara, Wow you amaze me with your words. No one can ever knock your writting, I have read everything you’ve blogged so far and I can’t wait to see part duex (as your French speaking friends said). I have a lot to write about but I am so panicked that no one will like my work. I am not a very good writter, I don’t possess a big vocabulary probably because I didn’t pay much attention in high school english class. I was too busy smoking weed back then and doing a large assortment of other drugs. You mention heroin abuse in a few of your blogs. I loved doing many drugs in my day but I tried heroin a few times and stopped it. I was too scared I would have to bang it up. Maybe I will be inspired by you to write about my drug days. I don’t talk much about it because I have been clean from going to many rehabs and NA meetings for about 20 years on and off. I am sorry to hear about your uncle, I know how that could be because my mom died young and there isn’t anyone I can speak to about her life. All the old timers have departed unfortunately. I do have an older sister but if I talk to her about mom she become a maniac and tells me her version of things. Oh well thank you for posting and by the way I ride Harleys too. I would take you for a ride one day. I’m heading down to Daytona March 5 for the week. It’s the best bike week on the planet. I’ve been to Sturgis 5 times. I saw on one of your comments that you look good on the back of a HOG.



      1. Don’t ever bang heroin. Ever. You will never want to do it any other way.

      2. I can’t go to NA meetings. I find inventive ways to do/find/sneak/abuse drugs. Too many junkies. But I’m glad they work for you.

      3. What bike? RedDOG is getting a Fat BOB; and he’s coming in from Australia for Sturgis next year.

      I went to Sturgis with The Ex, when it was good between us, and THAT. SHIT. WAS. WILD.

      4. Please post. I’ve asked you this before. I promise I won’t do what the douchecanoe did to me, and get all up in your grill like we’re best friends and then never speak to you again. Just post.



    Damn, Samara. Let me know anyone who says you are not a writer and I will go REDdog all over them.


    Now then, not sure why I didn’t see this til now, but HUGE glad I did. It makes a bit more sense of a few conversations we’ve had.

    You’re a writer, but you know that. I can do no better than paraphrase Sister Act at you – “If the first thing you wanna do when you wake up in the morning is write, then honey, you a writer”

    As to the guy. The dickhead one. Perhaps he was useful for the time when you were a new blogger and didn’t know many people. When I come here now, I see the same people again and again and again. You’ve built your own following and I’m glad to now number myself amongst them 🙂


    eeeek…all too familiar feelings written here 😦


      I know.
      Too many women are.
      Isn’t that sad?
      I’m super protective now. On lockdown, almost.
      But I’m here, so I survived!
      xo love you

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

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