i can't wait just like you can't wait / until we're out past familiar gates / those seven words shook the life back in / so let's just run 'til we lose our breath.

mid-week musings. and i need to go food shopping immediately.

Posted: Aug 1, 2012 | Posted by marcy | 3 comments

sometimes people pay me to sit in my peejays and watch men’s water polo and drool over these greek statues who defy the laws of practicality and put me in situations where i have to try and find enough upper body strength to pick my face off the ground.

[oh hi. have you SEEN them? my god.]

unrelated: i should buy some snacks. or really just anything edible because when you have company over and all you have to offer them is beer or grapes, your hostess status plummets.

here. have a grape.


<slams head into a wall. snacks are good. beer is not a food group. okay, yes it is. cracks the beers and just gets drunk instead.>

and speaking of things that go really well with beer.


(! ! ! ! ! !)


they make you pose in airplane mode.

you really can’t lose.

another thing that is so beyond awesome that it would make your head pop off your spine and roll around on the floor is when your best friend comes and visits you and the stars align and the world is perfect and you are complete.



[also. drawing on random strangers who get inebriated and pass out at pools is pretty awesome if you’re looking for some cheap entertainment this summer.]

and now i’m going to go to the dmv where one of 37 awful things are likely to happen.

because the dmv is the devil.

on steroids.

but it’s time.

i’ve been a north carolina “resident” for every minute since i was born.

i haven’t even lived in north carolina since 1998.

it’s 2012.

i think there’s something that borders illegality somewhere in there.

. . .

wouldn't it be hilarious if you were about to take an international flight and your passport was expired?

Posted: Jul 12, 2012 | Posted by marcy | 0 comments

why, yes. yes it would be.


no it wouldn't.

good news is that i have long legs.

. . .

boxes hold shit that you need and probably don't need and both.

Posted: Jun 26, 2012 | Posted by marcy | 0 comments

they say that moving is one of the top 5 most stressful things one can ever go through.

they say that if you're moving in manhattan, it becomes a top 3 life stresser of all time.

they (whoever they are) are right in ways that i had completely and regrettably forgotten about.

while i technically "moved" weeks ago, "moving" really only meant bringing an air mattress and a suitcase along and leaving the rest behind to deal with later.

later quickly turned into now and i am subsequently living inside this photo.

i wholeheartedly believe that the only way i'm even able to get to the bathroom is because of 15 years of ballet training.

i am taking this flexibility thing to an entirely new level and learning to hold my bladder for far longer stretches than i imagine is remotely healthy.

oh and when it is suggested to you, at two o'clock in the morning, that "doing something awesome" means building a giant three-thousand-pound wardrobe that you purchased at the beloved ikea . . .

it is not awesome.

hilarious and completely stupid, yes.

awesome is debatable.

boys get these ideas of lunacy in the middle of the night because they think they are superhero superpower macho craftsmen ninjas.

when really, they are just batshit crazy.

thank god for 24-hour corner bodegas that sell beer by the truckload.

thank god for that . . .

moving plus working around the clock plus a few other things.

Posted: Jun 8, 2012 | Posted by marcy | 0 comments





tomorrow will be the day.

this is where we are. this is who we are.

Posted: May 25, 2012 | Posted by marcy | 0 comments


[i’m digging the blue tile.]

you’re giving times square a run for her money.

and god knows, there’s nothing worse than times square in the summer.

and often in the winter, too.

110th street stop: glad to know you.

the second round of this.

Posted: May 18, 2012 | Posted by marcy | 0 comments

well, that was weird.


unexpected spacehog appearance at the brooklyn bowl.

where we went to eat because it was across the street and has rock ‘n roll fries.

and because we can get in with no hassle.

friends in high places.

[my fiends are so so connected. or just own great joints. or both.]

it brought it all full circle and left me with my jaw on the floor.

it’s like they can read my mind.

two point five hours of straight up inspiration. even of the home decor kind.

Posted: May 10, 2012 | Posted by marcy | 0 comments

edward sharpe and the magnetic zeros.

last night.

at the roseland.


killed it.

if you haven’t seen them live, run.

do not walk.

but you can skip.

‘cause they are a skippy kind of bunch.

and you guys, THIS.


is going in my bedroom.

it’s happening.

or a smaller, less global-size version of it.

china ball lights are sex pot.

i fumbled with how i would rig it and then i realized one of my best friends is an interior designer and rigs shit for a living.

good shit.

like the china ball light that will be going in my bedroom.

it’s your word to God’s ear. and everything else will just have to be.

Posted: May 8, 2012 | Posted by marcy | 0 comments

east harlem is an oasis of purity.

[um, what?!]

just as long as you understand that it’s not greenwich village.

[well. um. duh.]

and so long as you don’t wander past the jefferson projects at night.

[huh? that’s 2 blocks away! and for 5 months out of the year, “night” begins at like four o’clock!!]

and don’t wear any jewelry.

[hang on. i’m a girl. come again??]

just keep your wits about you.

[okay, done. check. i’ve lived in these parts for long enough to know even that.]


i will say this about it, though . . .

it’s about as authentic as they come.

[and i like love that.]

and not riddled with the yuppie imports of select neighborhoods which will remain unmentioned.

[who has time for that anyway? oh wait. i’m an import. scratch the import bit.]

it’s as raw as the infection once was that sent me to the emergency room.

[which was well over a month ago. meh. moving on.]

he tells me there’s a cuban joint on the next block with great food.

[i can do cuban food.]

the fire department is within spitting distance.

[ya know. in case i want to set something on fire.]

and the bar next door is hailed as the dive of all dives. and only plays country music.

[okay, this will work. i can tap into my southern roots while getting knee-knocking drunk on the cheap at the same time. two birds. one stone.]


i can promise you absolutely nothing except this . . .

i will rock it.

[one way or another. and possibly multiple ways. yes. multiple ways.]

this is what happens at 2:00am when your best friend decides you need to pretend you are an artist (you’re not), slaps a 90”x 70” canvas to her wall, hands you 20 cans of paint, and says “go.”

Posted: Apr 28, 2012 | Posted by marcy | 0 comments

there are few things i wouldn’t do for my friends.

there is almost nothing i wouldn’t do for jordan.

friends since we were fourteen, she taught me the meaning and importance of road-tripping to new orleans in the middle of the night on a total whim.

[do this. it’s amazing. just bring some red bull.]

she tells me like it is and accepts it when i do the same.

she’s abundantly funny.

and makes me asks me tells me is my wingman to do some crazy shit.

[like road-tripping to new orleans in the middle of the night on a total whim.]

so it was only appropriate when, at 2am a few nights ago and in the throws of trying to redecorate her west village apartment for the NINE THOUSANDTH TIME, that she would ask me to paint her some art.

[you mean me? as i survey her otherwise empty apartment, hoping someone else is standing in the middle of the room. wearing a smock.]

and only appropriate that i would so quickly oblige.

[sure. it’s only 2am. this will undoubtedly be incredible. just don’t hold your breath.]

and so, it began. what began? i wouldn’t actually know until it was sun-up 7am and i could barely see straight and had already made a 5:12am run to the bodega across the street for a 6-pack. don’t judge. and by god if you ask me to do something with so much lunacy behind it as paint you a massive mural at 2am, you can bet your sweet ass i will make a run for a 6-pack at some point. if you want a beer too, get your own.]



oh. so you really weren’t kidding about this project. fantastic. i’m only 3 seconds away from passing out, but BRING IT. MEASURE THAT SHIT, HOMIE.


okay, hang on. this thing is a beast. and you want me to do WHAT with it exactly?

because it’s now about 3:47am, you batshitcrazy perfectionist.


i’m really tired. can i please stop soon? like six hours ago soon?? like how did you rope me into this soon? oh yeah, and now it’s my birthday (for reals) and i’m going to be a zombie all day. thanks. let’s do this again sometime never.


aaaaannnndddd now it’s seven o’clock in the morning. i’m done. i hope you love it. (she does.) and i hope you don’t put it on the curb like you did those bedside tables you made me spend 49 hours in ikea mulling over.

and i want to go home.

i NEED to go home.


except that i’m not.

because now you want me to overanalyze some army green metal desk that you think is going to change your life.

well, here’s my 2 cents.

i hate the fucking desk.

it belongs in an insane asylum.

and right now, so do i.

an irishman tends bar in a mexican restaurant in little italy.

and that is why i love new york.

mexican radio is likely one of my favorite places in this town and i'm not even sure why except that i've never been able to spend fewer than 8 hours there, or had fewer than 39 margaritas, and certainly never had fewer than way too many inappropriate conversations while positioned tummy-facing-mahogany.

i'm assuming it's mahogany.

then again, i couldn't care less. at all. margaritas will do that.

atop a stool, and power driving green mac n' cheese [why was it green again? is this a mexican thing i'm apparently super virgin to? because holy hot damn, that shit was food on crack-infused steroids.], i tried so eloquently to describe the love affair i have with the eastern shore of maryland and why i think certain male and female "landscaping" options border on just plain silly.

[i may or may not elaborate on that at a later date. i probably won't, but if i do then rest assured it will be detailed and educational.]

17 of 39 margaritas later, this bit of information fell into my lap:

"marcy, the reason people fall in love with you is because you say weird stuff like 'i grew up like a pirate.'"


um, thank you?


um, what?!

this should be titled: why brunettes have more fun and kick more ass. but i’m actually going to title it: top 2 reasons not to leave your iPhone in the port authority bathroom stall.

Posted: Apr 20, 2012 | Posted by marcy | 2 comments

this was apparently  t h e  w e e k  for stealing phones.

it’s like the assholes of the world all got together and said “go, team, go.”

and then i said:

“hey, assholes. hows about you go get yourselves some JOBS and buy your own overpriced handheld device.”

here are the reasons why the above situation blows.

[apart from everything.]

1.) you don’t got a phone no more.

2.) you gots to buy a new one.

[secretly i was just searching for an excuse to drop a quick four-hundred bucks on something i’ve already bought. twice.]


and then i saw this and everything was instantly better.



to all past, present, and future love interests of my life:

if you buy me this, i’ll shoot you in the face.

me thinks today would be a stellar day to play a round of hookie and go to the beach.

Posted: Apr 16, 2012 | Posted by marcy | 0 comments

me also thinks this is just not going to happen.

there are people to meet.

a person to greet.

and a one o’clock meeting in midtown that’s going to throw that daydream believing situation into an overdriven level of impossibility.

[monday, you are awesome.]

only one of these things interests me in the slightest. allow me to bust this secret wide open and let you know that it’s not the meeting in midtown.


in completely unrelated news . . .

[which isn’t news at all.]

here’s something to either make or break your monday.

and you’re welcome.


i can’t for the life of me remember how or where i acquired this piece of photographic wonderment, but i do remember posting it on facebook (because why the hell not) and having someone ask me if i was related to these people.

bitch please.

[although for half a heartbeat, i won’t argue that i sort of wish i was. because this looks like a real good time.]

i’m not sure which part i like better:

the american flag wall art, the old lady vomiting into a plastic trash can while also palming a can of what looks to be coors light (boot-n-rally, granny . . . boot-n-fuckin’-rally), or the fact that the dude with the sweetass haircut is tripping his balls off on booze.

or meth.

or both.

and i’m not even going to mention the orange polyester.

except that i am.


okay that’s all.


salt water collides with salty tears and then wipes them dry. or maybe then they just become one. and then you are the ocean.

Posted: Apr 10, 2012 | Posted by marcy | 0 comments


if i could be a fish, i would be.

a while ago, one of my favorite people [who is currently a wee bit farther away than i’d like …. and without phone or internet, which i like even less …. especially now …. COME BACK …. okay. a few more days …. i can deal ….. ] told me:

“i thought you’d moved.”

i asked why.

[because i hadn’t moved. at all.]


“because you’re always on a beach somewhere.”

and it’s true.

sort of.

well, not really.

i mean at least during the summer months, i spend as much time at the beach as humanly and as inhumanly possible.

if i can be on a beach . . . i can be happy.

[well, really, i can actually be happy anywhere. the beach just amps this up a few.]

so some time spent amidst the salty seas and currents that ran so furiously that we had to abort our initial planned mission and settle for the “megadock” [mega could be a new favorite word. use it in a sentence. twice. and then tell me you don’t feel empowered.] and i found a little restoration.

except for the fact that i slept zero. which is weird, but not. and it reshaped the meaning of “vacay” into something more like “fake it ‘til you make it.”

faking it.

making it.

what else would you like to know?

i’m on a boat. drinking beer. reading a shitty magazine.

Posted: Apr 7, 2012 | Posted by marcy | 0 comments

i dare you to tell me you’re having a better day than me.


a very short letter to an inanimate entity that may or may not be reading. [file this under: if you put it out there, it just might become truth.]

Posted: Apr 3, 2012 | Posted by marcy | 0 comments


dear east harlem,

please be nice to me.




[*and by “yours” i do not mean you own me. i do that part. you’re just along for the ride. let’s get that clear from the get go. k? k.]

spacehogs: you always knew what you were talking about.

Posted: Mar 24, 2012 | Posted by marcy | 0 comments

2nd ave




things are happening.

stay tuned . . .

this will blow the lid off.

and, yes, the above photo is involved . . .

and then this happened.

Posted: Mar 18, 2012 | Posted by marcy | 1 comments


okay, so you might not be able to tell.

but THAT, people, is a broken nose.

i didn’t get punched in the face except that i absolutely got punched in the face.

by a door.



on the walls.

[how the fuck did blood get on the walls? he says. i don’t know, jackass, you tell me. you’re the one who opened the door on my face. i said.]

409 and a roll of paper towels handled what looked like a murder scene.

blue moon and an orange is handling how i feel about this whole situation.

it’s multifunctional.

Posted: Mar 9, 2012 | Posted by marcy | 1 comments


because let’s be honest: solo cups serve two purposes.

one. drinking keg beer like a frat boy who is way too underage to publically manhandle a bottle of some horrifyingly bad beer (think: bud light) just.in.case. the fuzz rolls in and shuts the party down, thus avoiding a free ride to the local slammer for being way too underage to publically manhandle a bottle of some horrifyingly bad beer. (still thinking: bud light)


two. trapping bugs.

i came home the other day from a shoot which had required me to put two feet on the floor before the clock even read anything remotely close to 4:00am and found this.

with explanation.

djm: i trapped one of those long skinny bugs with a thousand legs under that cup.

marcy: okay.

djm: i chased him and suffocated him.

marcy: okay.


fast forward to something like 4 days.

it’s still here.

[quite obviously, as i just took this photo 7 minutes ago.]

you trapped it. you deal with it.

i can only imagine what’s inside is the carcass of said long skinny bug with a thousand legs.

but i can equally imagine that while nestling within the pitch-black of its new prison-like environment, and all kinds of pissed off, it deemed it wise to set vengeance upon the human species, thus laying a copious amount of eggs, and is (as we speak) anticipating that coveted moment when the cup is lifted and a billion creatures run full-steam across the kitchen floor.

either scenario isn’t one i’m prepared to take the reigns on.

you trapped it. you deal with it.

and as for the empty arizona iced tea and apple juice bottles also taking up residence on the kitchen floor:

you would think they’re there awaiting recycling day when the world stops for a moment and goes green in attempt to save some sector of the universe.

but they’re not.

there are no recycling options at this (soon-to-be-vacated) abode.

which i think might straddle some line of legality.

never mind moral ethics.

my posture a’int great and neither is my american-bred-english language.

Posted: Mar 3, 2012 | Posted by marcy | 1 comments

i used to have pristine posture.

the kind people would envy.

but it came at a price that i still haven’t come to terms with.

40 hours a week in a ballet studio. 40 hours a week of staring at myself practically NAKED in a room full of girls who were also practically NAKED. 40 hours a week of trying to be perfect. 40 hours a week of trying to have the best posture . . . the best turn-out . . . the best legs . . . the best collar bones . . . (yup, there is such a thing. who knew.) . . . the best arabesque . . . the best everything.

fast forward to 3 knee surgeries, a little growing up, and a resignation to the ballet world . . .

[before it killed me from the waist down]

. . .

. . . and i tend to slouch.






is this a subconscious act of rebellion?


[of all the photos i could have selected. this one. this is the one. because

(a) try and put your leg in that position above your head and not pull a muscle in your back. i dare you.

(b) it’s just so seemingly random.

(c) this is one of the very few pieces we ever danced in flats and dancing in flats meant that were weren’t dancing in pointe shoes and anything that gave our feet a break from balancing on our tippy-toes, crammed inside some satin and a block of wood, was a good thing.

(d) this was one of my favorite pieces of choreography. ever. more favorite than swan lake. but not more favorite than the nutcracker which i still, to this day, can not sit through because it yields a nostalgia that is almost unbearable.




and i curse like a sailor.


one has nuthin’ to do with the other.


so, there’s that.

just for once, i’d like to know who buys this stuff and what they actually do with it. do they boil it in a pot? and then what happens?

Posted: Jan 31, 2012 | Posted by marcy | 1 comments





the corner of this city where things go to die.


i once worked on a tv show whose production office sat smack dab on the border of chinatown and little italy.

i worked there for 5 months. which, in film world, is an eternity. the entire summer took place within this amount of time. and there’s purpose in my telling you this.

the parking garage i frequented at 8:40am, everysingleday, was situated in the very heart of asia-meets-america land, and at 20-buckos a day, it was by far the cheapest in the neighborhood.

so i parked.

but (BUT) then there was the 6 block walk to the office.

wherein i held my breath the entire way.


i’m positive i could probably break records for the length of time one can hold their breath.

[do they give out awards for that? could i win a prize or something?! or have my picture taken with someone really important? who do i need to call???]

new york city summers are unlike anywhere else. and believe me, i know heat and summers.

[oh hi, i grew up in the humidity mecca of the south. thank you, i know my heat.]

it’s different here. mainly because the steel trap of the 900-floor buildings, positioned every 3 meters, seals shut said heat . . . and muck . . . and other people’s body sweat . . . and anything that’s dead or dying . . . in one big vacuum for all of us to trudge through like swamp men fly-fishing in a river with no fish while sword fighting their way through swarms of gnats that multiply by the microsecond.

add THAT to those 6 blocks lined with tins and bins of rotting fish and pigs and a vast array of other things (like dogs, i’m sure. the chinese eat dogs. i know this. i’m not judging, it’s just not my thing.) in the rising morning blazing new york city sun and


by the time i got to work each day, i either stuck my head in the toilet like some bulimic chick tossing up the 3 grapes and 1 almond she ate on the way to work, or with my head on a desk just trying to regain consciousness long enough to remember my middle name.

[which is rankin.]

a few weeks in, i moved to a different parking lot.

and at a step up to 33-buckos a day, i hardly gave a shit because by now i’d convinced the suits over in los angeles to allow me to submit my receipts for reimbursement, thus keeping the 33-buckos in my own pocket, and calling it a day.

[SUCKERS ! ! ! !]

i don’t spend a lot of time in chinatown.

today i spent a lot of time in chinatown.

and this is how i’m dealing with it.


yeah, we’re making belinis over here.


i don’t really care.

it’s a happy collision of liquid parts and i’m pretty effing stoked about it.

and the guy at checkout counter told me he liked my pigtails.

so, there’s that.

cubicles are for suckers. now watch me get forced into a cubicle for saying that.

Posted: Jan 24, 2012 | Posted by marcy | 0 comments


don’t be fooled by the giddy expression splashed across my face.

[or do. your choice.]

there are approximately 7 people i want to stab in the face even as we speak.


they pay me to be in this position.

[not all the time. but sometimes.]

at home.

on my couch.

in a tank top.

[i can wear a tank top because i’m indoors. which means i’m not outdoors.]

clutching my boob?


go figure.

i didn’t put any make-up on today. (obviously.)

why, you ask?

because i don’t have to see anyone.

no one.

i like days when i don’t have to put on make-up.

or real clothes.

or even brush my teeth.

[which i do anyway because i’m just that kind of girl and take pride in the pearlies and am acutely aware that gum disease is directly related to heart failure. i’m not so much into heart failure. or gum disease, for that matter. keep brushing, folks.]

but don’t worry.

i’m just like you and have days when i hate my job more than anything in the universe and want to set all of hollywood on fire and watch it burn slowly to the ground while sitting in some villa in the south of france. picking grapes. or my nose. that’s gross. like gum disease, gross.

today isn’t one of those days.

tomorrow could be.

it’s way too early to tell.

call me when you know something. anything.

Posted: Jan 17, 2012 | Posted by marcy | 0 comments

producer: i’d like to hire you for this shoot. you come highly recommended.

marcy: thank you. so, what’s your budget?

producer: i don’t know.

marcy: ok. well. how much are you offering me to do the job?

producer: i don’t know.

marcy: ok . . . . um . . . . want to call me tomorrow? like, when you know something?

producer: sure.


i could slam my head into a wall.

and might.

who do i sue if i get murdered on the job?

Posted: Jan 13, 2012 | Posted by marcy | Labels: , 1 comments

i once (or maybe more than once) wrote a diddy about how one of these days my job is gonna get me killed.

i also have an incredibly wild imagination. but i’m as equally trusting of everyone (hello, southerner) as i am completely aware of my surroundings (hello, big city dweller)

today i climbed a series of spiral, almost impassable staircases, followed by a zilllion-story ride up a century-year-old elevator shaft, and some time spent navigating my way across scaling a rooftop.

with a newfangled, seemingly out of sorts, “custodian.”

[i will call him a custodian because i actually have no idea who he was or what he does. i just know he had a bunch of keys and wore a prison-inspired janitor-type jumpsuit. and some guy named max, who i also do not know, put me in his company on a journey to climb to the top of a clock tower that no one ever goes up to, but yet one that an army of people were breathing down my neck to investigate.]

all for this:


sure, let’s send the white chick in the skinny jeans and see-thru top up to the bell tower. alone. with the custodian. and no weapons.

[and when i say see-thru, let me bring it home by explaining that you can see my bra and everything in between my collar bones and hip bones way better than if i’d voluntarily partaken in an impromtu wet t-shirt contest sponsored by a hoard of derelicts in the bowels of the special section of myrtle beach. thank you, j.crew, for not putting a disclaimer on your garments. and thank you, marcy, for not looking at yourself in the mirror before you raced out the door.]

the custodian was relatively normal. by what standards, i’m not sure. he hummed an unrecognizable tune the entire 30 minutes we spent together (alone. in the bell tower. with no weapons. and a see-thru top.), but he also rocked a demeanor that suggested he was tripping his face off on a variety of hallucinogens while serving out his first week in a parole-appointed occupation.

did i mention that no one goes up here? ever?


if he stumbled into a psychopathic mindset, and did the unthinkable, NO ONE WOULD EVER KNOW.

[but you can bet your sweet ass that keith morrison would host an applaud-worthy segment about me on dateline. with cool sound effects and an array of photos from my youth, carefully wound together in a montage portraying the life and mysterious disappearance of a brown-eyed girl from a good family. and then i’d be famous.]

my mom gave me mace once.

it’s sitting on my dresser.

i’m doing this wrong.

sometimes you just have to take a step back and say woah. and then say happy new year.

Posted: Jan 4, 2012 | Posted by marcy | 1 comments

as the oldest of four and the oldest of eleven (ooookay, that made no sense. oldest of four siblings . . . oldest of eleven grandchildren), i think it was scripted in my DNA to always have it together. to do things first. to do things right.

well, screw right.

i’m gonna fuck some shit up, do it backwards, do it last, do it on my own accord, and by god make no apologies for it whatsoever.

and i’m [finally] okay with that.

i sort of always did it that way anyway.

[after all, i’m the only one who ever really left. and by left, i mean packed ship from the confederate states, left the safety net of home, and made no promises that i would see anyone within a calendar month. or even two. and sometimes multiple months may pass. and that’s okay, too. we have phones.]

as the new year rolled in, i made no attempt at making any resolutions. primarily because i didn’t really think about it. and subconsciously because i didn’t want to let myself down when i failed one (or all) of them by january 3rd.

screw resolutions.

and screw right.


what i did do as the new year rolled in is drank and abundance of cheap champagne, sang songs of my liking at the tip top of my lungs, probably danced (who am i kidding. of course i danced.), rubbed an aloe plant on my skin for no better reason than someone actually brought an aloe plant to the party (?!?), told the people i love that i love them, made some people laugh, made myself laugh, sat by a bonfire and took and absurd number of photos (with my mouth wide open, apparently. why do i do this? okay, maybe this is my resolution.), and played the harmonica (poorly) while wearing a soccer ball-inspired bucket on my head.






what the hell did YOU do?

i did make myself one promise, though. and i’ll be damned if i break it.

2012 will be the better of years i’ve ever known.

a lot of things may change. and some things may stay exactly as they are.

but there is one thing that will not change.

i won’t change.

not the real me.

the me that i like.

the one that makes people laugh.

the one that makes myself laugh.

the one that is there when people cry.

the one that is there when i cry.

the one that sings.

the one that dances.

the one that wears buckets on my head.

the one that, at the very essence of my core, i have always been . . .