Ms Lopez

Ms Lopez wore her lavender glasses on a chain around her neck. She spoke softly, like a librarian should. It seemed impossible she could ever raise her voice above a whisper. Ms Lopez moved with purpose. Every movement felt considered and thoughtful. Ms Lopez was actually Andrea Marie Lopez, but she preferred to be called ‘Lo’ by the patrons at the library. It’s less formal she’d tell them with a small smile. 

It was wonderful to watch Ms Lopez interact with each person who walked through the broken automatic doors of the library. She always used the same polite, yet firm tone. 

“Only six library books can be borrowed at once. And you must be a member to borrow. No address or email needed. Just a name and a promise to respect the books”, Ms Lopez would inform a person on arrival. 

All the local teenagers and kids loved Ms Lopez. She always had a stash of muesli bars to give them when they came in. The kids often wore the same clothes, which were always dirty. They knew the library was a safe space. It was a space in which one could make their own. She could tell they were starving. The school lunches were never sufficient. They never asked so she would always offer either a chocolate chip or cherry and coconut bar – which one? 

“Thank you Lo” they would mumble as they scoffed the muesli bar down. 

Ms Lopez liked to show the kids all the different types of books in the library and how each section was organised. The kids would then grab one or two books of their choosing and read them quietly in a corner. They would be swallowed into the world of the story. It was a welcome escape for them. 

Three cups of Earl Grey and a chicken mayonnaise sandwich was all Ms Lopez needed to sustain her. After the library closed for the day, she would walk the fourteen blocks to her home. It was simple but bursting with character – must like Ms Lopez herself. A cup of French Earl Grey and the latest Lynda La Plante novel awaited her. 

It was the small things, Ms Lopez thought as she sipped from her favourite porcelain mug. It’s the small things that make life bearable. 

This short story was loosely inspired by an episode of This American Life. The episode can be found here:

My recent love affair with Goodreads

I have recently found myself infatuated with social networking site Goodreads. I think of it as a Facebook for intellectuals, but in actual fact it’s just another platform to brag on. And that’s exactly why I love it. An any opportunity to show off how cultured you are is one worth taking. On Goodreads I can update my page count and provide thoughts on the current book I’m devouring. Something no one gives a rat’s behind about on Instagram, and my God, if you are still using it Facebook. Which is exactly what makes Goodreads so delicious. It is solely about the books. Better not be posting about your holiday Greece or new engagement. Goodreads is simply too cultured for that, too smart. You better live up to it’s good name otherwise you’ll be outed as a fraud. So I make sure to keep up appearances and lay low as the common book nerd does.

“Not too sure about this Helvetica” I’ll post hilariously to my two friends/followers (still working out the difference between the two). No one replies of course. Occasionally I’ll receive a juicy like when I add something worthy to my ‘to-read list’, but that is once in an aquamarine moon.

Goodreads does nothing if not humble me. I’m so aware that there are hundreds of thousands of books that I should have read, but haven’t. And probably never will get round to. There are people (readers? GRS? Book bros?) who are absolutely tearing through a diverse range of books quicker than you can say Ulysses. They are then leaving the most thoughtful and eloquent reviews for each individual title, which are probably more poetic and philosophical than the last book you actually read. And I feel honoured to be among them. I will continue to pretend like I know who Jeanette Winterson is and Google that character from To Kill a Mockingbird*, because God damn it! I finally feel a part of something special.

So, take a peep at my reviews and prepared to be mildly amused (I hope). Cheeky secret, I have reviewed two books I ‘technically’ haven’t read.I had to write reviews for work so thought I’d take a stab at reviewing something at a first glance – I’m crazy like that. Please try and guess which ones…Oh and follow me on Goodreads!!!! (@india_alessandra)

P.S this was not sponsored (obviously), but @Goodreads happy to chat if you are interested X

*Yes, I am part of the 1% who did NOT read or study To Kill a Mockingbird in high school. To think my parents paid all that money to send me to a private school, and yet I remain an uncultured swine.

Spice it up

We dance in a literal cage at this club. Is it empowering? We aren’t too sure. But it’s fun and people look at us. We are always wanting people to look at us.

Older men dressed in semi expensive suits move in packs. They circle us like sharks, hungry for our youth and our innocence. But we aren’t here for hook ups. Only free drinks and attention. Luckily we are served both.

Delete that photo. I fucking hate it. Wait, don’t put your phone away. We’ve gotta keep projecting that image, the one of perfection. The club photographer takes a snap. Oh god. How will it look tomorrow? In two days? Why do I care so much? Wait, why isn’t anyone looking at me?

Swing your hips in time to the music. Face twisted in what you hope is an attractive pouty expression. This is your moment to show off those moves you practiced in the mirror. This is your moment to prove you are attractive, to prove that you are truly fuckable.

Those four tequila sunrises are beginning to catch up with you now. You watch as other girls dance in the cage. Early thirties wearing tight leather pants with an unmistakable stench of desperation. They need this and we don’t, you think coldly. Something about them actually trying to sleep with the men in this club makes your skin crawl. They are a cautionary tale of what you could become.

But never mind all that. Slam another tequila shot and continue indulging in this patriarchal bullshit. Free drinks and male attention will suffice for tonight. Tomorrow you will nurse your hangover, and perhaps try to remember your Feminist values

I Hate Writing on My Blog

I use to ask myself would anyone care about the work I was doing? A question which has slowly evolved into docare about the work I am doing? It makes no difference if no one else cares about my writing or creative dreams, but if I do care it changes everything. If I do care than it is a thing worth doing. 

So, I set this blog up when I created my website for a University assignment. I thought the expense of paying for a professional looking website with a blog attached might help my career. I thought I’d practice my writing skills, maybe gain a few faith readers, and perhaps even a job offer could float along. But none of these things have happened. Because, well – I hate writing on my blog. Anytime a thought along the lines of ‘maybe I should I write on my blog’, I quickly stomp it down with the don’t be ridiculous lecture of a stern parent. Write on this blog? Don’t be absurd! Due to this unhealthy (and perhaps even insane) mental discussion, any motivation to create a post for this blog has long been lost and the website remains depressingly neglected. 

To be perfectly honest, I’m embarrassed I even have a blog. I mean, what is lamer than having a blog? Having a blog that no one reads. Nobody even gives a shit about this blog – not even me. Quite pathetic really. But, I’m beginning to take pity on it. Perhaps this unlovable orphan presents an opportunity to me. This blog is like my little secret. I can write whatever I damn well please. I can treat this blog like a void. An empty, lifeless void in which I shout my ideas and thoughts into. There’s a strange freedom in not giving a damn. No expectations from loyal readers to produce the same old content they know and love. No pressure that I could destroy a career with one dumb joke or comment. There is nothing to destroy in the first place. No career or extensive body of impressive works. Just endless opportunity. 

So, I’m committing to this blog. At least two posts a week must be uploaded onto the blog. Quality will be sacrificed for quantity, just like everything else in this capitalist nightmare (rant on capitalism will most likely feature as a future post). And I will lean into the fact that no living (or deceased) soul gives a rat’s arse about what I write about. The content matter and medium types will most likely swing more erratically than your drunk uncle’s mood. A terrible poem will sit comfortably alongside an unimaginative story about a talking bruise. But as the old saying goes ‘when no one gives a shit, life creates another blog’ or whatever that expression is… 

Happy Snaps

When I take pics on my Iphone they are often a blurry mess, an uninspiring sunset or a selfie. They are different to the images captured by my DSLR or a Polaroid camera – less intentional. I just wildly snap and hope I’ve got something that vaguely captures the moment. I’m so desperate to try document my life like most millennials and Gen Z’s. “Pics or it didn’t happen” often rings in my ears as I reach for my iphone.  It’s embarrassingly tragic, but I feel the urge to prove I’m living some sort of exciting existence by posting these snaps online. 

I like to occasionally flick through my photo library and let the images trigger memories and stories. I’ve picked a few which resonate with me. More often than not, it’s the story behind the image that is more intriguing than the actual composition and colours. These photos are important to me because of what they represent (lame, I know).

I’ve tried to summarise these stories and emotions in fifty words or less.

I locked the car keys in the boot of Siena’s car. We waited for road assist and were grateful for the kindness of strangers. Afterwards, we celebrated with a smoke in the nearby park . Back to old habits – following one dumb decision with another.
The After Party for the opening night of MIFF 2018. Somehow, I snagged myself an invite. I greedily lapped up the free alcohol and industry ambiance. Ivana and I boogied to Janelle, and maybe one day I will feel like I belong here.
Left my wallet in an Uber. It eventually turned up at the Craigieburn Police station.
Can you describe the contents?
A Canberran ID, a debit card and a degrading cigarette. All one needs.
My friends decided to turn the wallet retrieval into a road trip.
KFC and good tunes.
Wandering the streets of Fitzroy, going from 21st to 21st. Drinking expensive cocktails which were covered by the generoustabs.
The infamous LUSHSUX artwork on the wall felt like the perfect backdrop for insta post. I added a stream of conscious caption, so you know. People would think I’m ‘deep’.  
I was walking around the neighbourhood stalking
looking for this cat I like. The roses were in full bloom and the light was doing that thing where it beautifully bounces off the soft petals and hard concrete. I took this shot feeling incredibly smug and artistic
content and grounded.