I received a mysterious note in my Couchsurfing inbox that read:

“Take the bus to Orgiva, walk two miles to Los Tablones, go down to the riverbank and follow it until you arrive at an old tour bus. My camper is behind it. An English girl named Lucy is staying there and will let you pitch your tent. Bring beer.”

I had inquired in a group about low-to-zero-budget stays in the Spanish countryside, and this was the only bit of information that ever made it back to me.

I had been hitchhiking from city to city for nearly three months…

“Life and Death” by Gustav Klimt

Popular depictions of birth often go like this: first kiss, pregnancy, dramatic water breakage, fade to black, and– voilà– a pink and clean baby appears in someone’s arms. It is blissful and cinematically-induced amnesia of a universal fact. The feces, fluids, and bodily expulsion of a whole organ are details that we simply need not think about and we go to great lengths to shield ourselves against the full image of life. From hyper-private delivery protocol to vague general education, we have refined barriers to ensure that the living do not have to look life in the eyes. …

cordoba, spain

Surreal [ suh-ree-uh l, -reel ]


1. having the disorienting, hallucinatory quality of a dream;

When I was a child and could not fall asleep on my own, I’d close my eyes and use the pads of my fingertips to push down on my lids. In that darkness, I’d see the vestiges of storm clouds filling the back of my head, and, if I could tolerate the dull ache of pressure, these clouds would dissipate and reveal a birds-eye view of a complex and colorful city landscape, almost like a circuit board. If I lost concentration, I’d be pulled…


In 2004, before I even knew what the word “sexuality” meant, Massachusetts became the first state in the US to legalize gay marriage in a defiant Supreme Judicial Court ruling. Though I could not understand the historical significance of this moment at the time, it had unequivocally changed my life for the better. Unlike a vast majority of the world’s LGBTQ population, I was suddenly afforded a reality where queerness was neither strange nor legally persecuted– it was celebrated.

On August 31st, 2019, I spent a sunny Saturday afternoon flushing pepper spray out of the eyes of protestors as a…

Sophia Belle

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