Ray of Light

On February 3rd, 2017, Mike, one of my best friends and co-worker, didn’t come to work. It was very unusual of him because he would always call in. After several attempts calling and texting him and his family, who also hadn’t heard from him, I went to check up on him. I found him with disoriented in bed, the ambulance arrived, I dressed him, I put on his sweater and shoes, we took him to the hospital and found out he had a stroke.  He survived for ten days until he suddenly suffered another stroke on February 13th and died, he was 30 years old.

I met Mike when I was twenty-two, he was twenty-seven. I went to this interview in SoHo for a job and he was the office manager. It was for a small office where mainly it was just me and him. We turned out to be neighbors and took the train together everyday. We bonded very quickly after we met and we spent three years doing everything together, he was the person I saw the most in my life. We ate together everyday, walked to the station every night. We were very alike so there was always something to talk about. We grew together in those three years, he started producing and blossoming in his field, while I did to, with him. 

He loved Madonna, Lana Del Rey, Britney Spears, Future, Tallest Man On Earth, these were just some of his favorites. He loved dinosaurs so Jurassic Park was a must. He also loved scary movies like The Witch and psychological dramas like Moonlight and movies from Xavier Dolan. He ate very healthy, he loved Juice Press and Dig Inn for lunch. He liked going out and partying, although his last year alive he really calmed down because he started getting sick from random illnesses every couple months. First it was mono, then glaucoma, then strep through and lastly it was the stroke that took his life. He was a very kind person, similar to her, he always made people comfortable. He never judged, he was a good listener, a good friend, supportive and caring of those he loved, mainly his family. I had never met anyone so close to his family. He was very attentive, always making sure we got a birthday cake, a christmas gift, shots. He loved art, contemporary mainly. He felt strongly about Hilary, he really wanted her to be president, to have a woman president and he was absolutely devastated when Trump won - we were together during election night. 

Somedays when I was feeling down, he would play Madonna and dance around me, we loved to make each other laugh, either dancing or by making impersonations of British, Southern and old people. I think 80% of our conversations were about nothing, long jokes we’d carry on about us being a married couple in the south where he played the abusive husband or us pretending to dislike each other in a passive aggressive way with our British accents, inviting each other some tea because there was no one else to offer it to. My time with him was just, lovely. I just lost him, I don’t know how much his loss will change me, but it always does when it’s someone you loved so much.

I looked around the subway thinking, 
All these people are alive, 
The old woman, the kid, the middle age man, the teen, 
But you.

You really are gone. 
You were just alive. 

I spend most days acting like a zombie.
Your loss broke my heart into a million pieces, 
I spend most days trying to find where my heart is.

Lovelier Girl

I met Nancy when we were thirteen, and we fell in love naturally, before even knowing we were queer. She liked to play the violin, but in high school she started getting into becoming a DJ. Music was her thing. 

She liked dark dramas like Requiem for a Dream and Trainspotting, she really liked the beach and for a while she worked at Six Flags. She was a very sweet and trusting person. She was lost in life, she didn’t know what she wanted to do with it and that made her really upset. She loved her friends but she would often have problems with people, including me because she had a hard time communicating and actually figuring out what she was feeling. She liked to escape her pain using drugs and going to raves. When she didn’t do that though, we liked to go to this park near her house. We would usually buy a small bottle of tequila and drink it slowly, talk about life. She was very funny and blunt but careful with her words. She would make fun of me a lot because at the time I was very anxious and guarded. If there is something I learned from her was not to care so much about how I look to the world and to be more honest with myself, to accept myself. She liked making people laugh and making them comfortable, if there was someone quiet in the room she’d introduce herself to them and make a connection. She was all about making a connection, without it, it was like she didn’t meet the person. 

I never knew exactly what it was that made our connection so strong, I guess it was more of a feeling that I can’t put in words but if she were alive just now, we’d probably stare at each other smiling and say ‘what?’. We always did that, it was so funny to us because it’s such an awkward thing to do.

I remember her peachy skin, her soft short hair, her powder scent, her high pitched voice, her grunt - she would grunt at me a lot when she was frustrated. I remember the way she looked at me and how I felt when I looked at her, it was just this warm excitement that went all over my body. I remember when I found out when she died and how anxious I felt. I’ll never forget that, a part of me died that day and a new one was born, a kinder, ultra-sensitive version of myself was born. Now, eight years later I still remember all of that and more, I’ll never forget someone who made such a huge impact in my life, who made me grow into a better person.

'You will stay young and I will be old, forever.'

Beyond Love

New York City, 1999. A young couple break-up after they find out both had been casually sleeping with other people, opening a sexual pandora's box that unleashed their desires and forced them to be honest with each other and themselves. After several attempts to get back together, what was broken, shatters during verbal and physical arguments that leaves them no choice than to leave each other alone, proving after all the love they have for each other still by deciding to let go.

Reds & Blues

Asbury Park 1997, Daphne shares her thoughts in this visual journal of her life with her girlfriend as they struggled to maintain their relationship alive despite Haylie's homophobic aunt Dolores who will do anything to keep them away from each other.

Valin: Flashbacks of a Teen

'Valin: A period of time where one can express him or herself in one's most raw, natural form. Where no roles are played and you just exist.

My highschool experience changed per year. From a crowded school in Marana county to a small art school with forty students, I moved around from school to school, my reality seemed to be slipping away from me so I decided to capture every moment I could with my friends from all these schools. Looking back I watch these tapes and realize I met some of the most amazing people in my life during this journey and I decided to edit different batches of these tapes and show who were were, the simplicity of the teenage mind, the transparency of a strong friendship and the authenticity that stuck with all of us to this day.