Secret Summers

Pornography: Boys Are Naughty

BEVERLY HILLS—Why is it that men are ashamed of their internet movie addiction? Hint: I’m not talking about YouTube or Netflix. Why do some say the habit creates violence, rape, and even murder, yet some cannot live without it? What makes women so mad at their boyfriends for viewing it? What is it about the word pornography that makes everyone momentarily freeze? You...

Suicide Is Contagious

LAUREL CANYON—My mum used to say, "If your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?" Of course, she was being facetious. Her intention was to get me to think for myself and not follow my friends’ poor choices, or more specifically, the modern American culture. People thought I copied everything Tara did. She had a tattoo on her wrist. My mum...

Snowboarding On The Slippery Slope

WRIGHTWOOD—Word on the street is if you want to really have fun on the slopes, avoid Mountain High. However, I had visited before and besides the icy and slippery slopes at times, I wondered why people said that. After all, it is close to Los Angeles and you can often get there without chains. So what is the big...

A Statin-Induced Nightmare

Editor's Note: This is Part Two of a four-part series chronicling the medical history of Hazel's father and the complications of his prescribed choleserol treatment. To properly orient yourself within the story you may read Part One Here. MALIBU—My beloved, once-healthy father was withering away. It broke my heart. I channeled my despair into determination. Fueled by a desire to...

The American Dream Of Secrets

BEVERLY HILLS—Secrets were a way of life, a way of survival. I don't think this was my parents' intention, but this was my interpretation of their parenting. My dad always implored, "You only need to share the bare minimum, the pertinent information." This was contrary to my innate character. It was natural for me to be a free spirit, to...

Deaf Not Dumb

BEL AIR—Becoming deaf as a teenager who adored music wasn't easy...I think I would have accepted blindness if given a choice. Surely, my ears were my biggest gift of life but there was one person who seemed to suffer more than me... my mother. The first year was about seeing specialists, taking tests and getting opinions... 2nd… 3rd…4th…12th from basically...

The Four Stages Of Dating Theory

BEVERLY HILLS—Of my eleven closest girlfriends, I had the fewest relationship problems. My ongoing examination of why they were continuously crushed by their short-lived relationships helped me discover my secrets of dating theory. I wasn't the hottest of my clan, but you'd think I was considering my dating success. They would attract good catches, but only for a limited time. I learned...

Cultural Secret: Boys Are Better

BEL AIR—Freedom and opportunity led my parents to America. Once they arrived, they built an American Dream upon a foundation of their native cultural beliefs and ideals, loads of love, and a sense of liberal freedom. My mother valued the freedom she never experienced in Lebanon. And yet, she remained tied to her cultural secrets. She firmly believed the...

Good Enough

BEVERLY HILLS—It’s 6:00 a.m. as I sit here in a cold, dark, lonely flat with my heart shattered into countless pieces. They tell me I’ve checked-out again. I’d have to agree that is the best phrase to use for my disconnection from the world. I think I’m back, at least temporarily, thanks to waking up to my fluffy-faced German Shepherd...

Nexxus Blew My Curly Secret

BEVERLY HILLS—What do you tell your plump-lipped, chubby-cheeked daughter with curls down to her bum? Her peers are stick-thin and tight-lipped, boasting perfectly straight shoulder-length hair. They are the standard of beauty, she's not. You do the only thing you can for your distraught princess. You appease her, finding the best hair product to relax her nagging curls. You buy...
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