Oxygen, a Valentine’s Day Story

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Fascinating things keep happening. They probably always did, but now you’re an awake witness.

A year ago, I stayed up until dawn to write you a love letter, actively experiencing the emotion with each keystroke. I was gushing with a love for words, the devotion to my blog, and if ever so briefly, for all my co-habitants on the good earth. And then there was you, the reader — a vague collective, yet made up of the distinct mosaic pieces of your personalities. I loved you then and I love you now. I know this because in spite of sparks ricocheting in my head during the past four months on the occasions I wanted to (but didn’t) rush back to tell you a story, this love day is what’s compelled me to actually do it.

It is Saturday, brunch time, downright balmy, and my love is occupying himself with reading at the kitchen table while I finish “work.” You can hear about him some other time. Today I did not fire up any of my hard drives containing footage my hands ache to edit every morning. I know well the daylong fall through these editing holes, so on this sunny love day, it’s crucial not to turn on a hard drive.

“That’s my Valentine’s Day present to you,” I told him.

His Valentine’s gift to me was a flock of wild green parrots appropriating the skies of east Los Angeles.

You see, one late day while driving, I pointed to a massive flock of birds — the ordinary sort you’d expect in a city sky — mid-flight in formation. I was mesmerized as their undersides glowed white when the low sun hit their angling turns. It was then that my love brought up the wild parrots of the east side for the first time. I had never known of them, so my head filled with fantasies of forging to the artsy east in search of the emerald flock.

Then I forgot.

But this morning, he enchanted my mind once more with their surreal existence.

“Yesterday I came closer than ever to the flock of parrots,” he said as we were waking up. “They were shrieking, all of them at once.”

My love letter to you last year was my subjective, meandering way of reminding you that just as everyone breathes oxygen, everyone experiences love. Today I’m thinking that everyone receives gifts.

I don’t see Valentine’s Day as too different from Thanksgiving, other than there’s less tryptophan and more schmaltz. Both are days of appreciation that shouldn’t be relegated to one day.

I left you right before Halloween, and I kept wanting to come back. Instead, I digitally stored away all the moments I wanted to write for you in note files. So in the spirit of 365-day appreciation, let me present to you on Valentine’s Day what I had for you on Thanksgiving:

“I’m thankful every day of the year for health, wonder and the people in my life. But I’m most thankful that I’m not unthankful for anything long enough to remember it.

Having said that, let me tackle the paradox of thankfulness.

Superstition – I’m thankful for superstition because humming birds and butterflies are considered good omens, so every time I see one, I perk up in expectance of something good to come. I’m unthankful for superstition because I’m terrified of handling mirrors in case I break one and doom myself for seven years.

Coffee – I’m thankful for coffee because it makes the pain of being awake go away. I’m unthankful for coffee because its absence makes my mind stop and my nose run like a junky.

My Exes – I’m thankful for both the good ones and the bad ones. That’s because the good ones made me a better girlfriend, and ditching the bad ones made me available for someone good.

Hyperbole – I’m thankful for hyperbole because I’m not really afraid of mirrors, and even without coffee, I have it easier than the aforementioned junky.”


I stole this picture from the internet because I’m a criminal.

I still have to find them, but for Valentine’s Day, I did get my gift of green parrots in thought, as possibility. However, in deference to the eye-rolling bunch who find this day nauseating, I’m including a story that’s both vomitous and filled with Valentine-red imagery. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Last night, my body decided that for no reason at all, without a hint of nausea, it wanted to expel…stuff. Yes, we’re embarking on literal vomit. Because I’m not altogether normal, I have a tendency to analyze everything under creation, or at least in my field of view, whether it be swirling dust particles or the origin of “os” (having to do with bones) that exists both in English and my native language of Persian. To further venture on this oddball digression, let me give you the examples of osteopathy and ostekhan (bone), and in fact, osso of Italian osso buco fame, which I found delectable prior to becoming a vegetarian.

So naturally, last night, the red fluid with the translucent particles looking like half-bitten jammed cranberries, having been transmitted from my insides in spite of the fact that I’d eaten brown lentils, was subject to my inspection. Sure, there may have been some modest amount of red wine accounting for color, but not for the translucent, vaguely heart-like shapes. Unhappy tears streamed down my face as I called out to my love, “The devil just came out of me in tiny red chunks.”

Except that’s when it occurred to me: the mysterious heart shapes weren’t chunks of the devil at all, but exactly appropriate for Valentine’s Day Eve, since on varying romance-o-meters, the day is both gag-inducing and heart-filled!

One of the many reasons my vivacious Whatsapp partner-in-crime — whose-name-I-will-now-invoke-so-that-her-blogging-fame-might-rub-off-on-me — Aussa and I get along swimmingly, is our mutual inclination to draw the extraordinary out of the seemingly ordinary. Once on this glorious path of bizarre gifts, fascination flutters around you like a flock of urban parrots. It probably always did, but now you’re an awake witness. I’ll have more to say about this later with accompanying photos. But for now, I’ll leave you with this:

Even the saddest swan gets a wishing star. She just needs to look up to see it’s right there with the oxygen (see picture).

A Love Letter for you.


Last night, walking to a house in the hills

Cathartic Monkeyism

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  1. I haven’t read a word and you’ve made my day already. Now, I shall read…


    1. Hearts to you.

    2. …and now I am in love anew…

  2. Mandi · · Reply

    So happy to see a new post from you. I’ve been in hiding, so I probably missed a lot more. At any rate, it sounds like other than the red chunks, things are going well for you. The green parrots sound fascinating as does your love. I hope to see more of you around. And hopefully more of me too.

    1. Why have you been in hiding? Last I knew, we were going to lip sync like the Jimmy Fallon video you sent…

      1. Oh that’s right. I have great ideas. Let’s do it! I’ve not been so much hiding as getting my novel ready to publish, but hiding sounds less scary. Who knew there was all of this work after the actual writing?

      2. If I go to blogHer this year, and I am going…I think we need to make this jimmy Fallon recreation happen.

    2. Woah woah woah. If one of my lovely lady lumps is going to BlogHer then the pull is growing that much stronger… So many videos could be made…

      1. My lovely lady lumps. Check it out. I drive these brothers crazy. I do it on the daily…see we should lip sinc.

      2. The lip sync can’t not happen now — we’re blog bound and anything that alliterates is doubly binding.

      3. I concur. Like a doctor.

  3. Mike Vogler · · Reply

    Holy smokes, I was thinking of you just two nights ago when there was something on the tv about actresses! I don’t remember specifically…oh, maybe something intertwined with a reality show. Annnyyhoo…I did think of you and so thrilled to see a post from you, Gunmetal! Awesome V-Day gift from your beau and I hope your porcelain goddess exorcism has you feeling much better now 🙂

    1. Hello! It’s nice to see you, Mike.

  4. Your brain is another I frequently want to lick, Gigi, and DAMNIT you made me learn. I love that 🙂

    But alas, I see that the Red-headed Ninya has replaced the dye-headed ninjin, and I shall try not to choke on the witches brew of delight and usurpment I find here.

    I’m glad for you and your love, that you didn’t open the files, and I hope that you felt better and were able to enjoy your day.

    (I distinctly remember a poem where ‘os’ was involved…I can’t find the poem, but there was an osseous casket involved)

    1. Now, now, she who plans a trip to the US two years in advance and fails to include GG’s West Coast on her visiting route may not speak of de-thronement, etc.!

      (You often make me learn, so I’m glad of the opportunity to have done the same.)

      1. One year. And the west coast needs its own tour, n’est ce pas? I have too many people and not enough time. Will save. Will return. I feel I will have to, for I think I’ll be leaving pieces of my heart behind…

    2. THE NINYA SEES ALL! And all thrones are to be inhabited. Also, I heard a rumor that California was going to fall off into the ocean so it may not even be there in a year.

      1. E tu, Brute? (That’s California asking.)

      2. Cali’s ALWAYS going to fall into the ocean, if it doesn’t shake itself apart first, sweet seedified NinYa 😉

        I shall be content with a cardboard box throne I can crayon on 😀

  5. Lance · · Reply

    Happy day of the valentine. This was stellar.

    1. Thank you, my friend.

  6. I am so glad you are back! Your post brought back a memory of an episode I had about six years ago where I threw up raw tuna and red wine. The bathroom looked like a murder scene.

    1. Haha, I guess I asked for that!

  7. Paul · · Reply

    If I recall correctly you used to be a ginger…. until you woke up one day and it was black – but for sure you were a ginger. I can’t believe that some just don’t see that in you – it is obvious to me, that you used to be a ginger. Ha!


    I was actually checking a few days ago to make sure I hadn’t unfollowed you in error, and while I was on your website, I reviewed the videos – including the BLOGHER14 vid where you clearly said you were a ginger.

    Love the stolen picture of the parrots – you steal only the best GG – we all count on you to produce the quality be it by wealth or stealth. Other thoughts: the last picture looks as if one tendril of a green alien is waving to an approaching space ship trying to flag it down for a lift.

    Also, I noticed that your writing seems to bear a resemblence to Alanis Morissette’s singing – very cool. Her Jagged Litle Pill album was the best. Hey, she’s from here in Ottawa ya know.

    Anyway, great post GG and we are so pleased you came back to visit. Hey – We need the deets on the new love – don’t keep us guessing now!

    1. Thanks Paul! Deets coming soon. Alien is good. Someone else said shy octopus hiding behind tree, which I also like.

    2. Hahaha! YESSSSS I love that part of the video. That was post-dance party, pre-Jello shots…

      1. Seriously? Before jello shots?? I’m more ginger than I thought.

  8. I can’t explain what it is that I love about your writing but it’s somewhere between green parrots and cherry red, heart-shaped chunks of hurl. ❤

    1. HA, thanks!

  9. the mysterious heart-shaped bits weren’t chunks of the devil at all <<<<<<<<<<< You are so freaking funny! And I absolutely love Aussa. :0) Aussa is the best thing since sliced bread!

    I've missed you! Right now, I'm battling a pretty severe case of strep throat, and my nose is running like a junkie too. On the bright side, i'm allowed to be lazy today in my jammies on the couch, with my laptop and remote, watching Judge Judy all day. (When I feel that my bitch-o-meter is lacking and I need a charge, I watch Judge Judy. That woman can put the bitch back in me faster than anyone!)

    Happy late V-Day. ;0) x

    1. Ok listen… Gargle with warm saltwater every four hours. You will kill those buggers in your throat within two days. I had strep throat in NY and I beat it in about 36 hours. I have the disgusting up-close before and after pictures to prove it and may have even sent them to Miss Best Thing Since Sliced Bread. Or I may have balked in the end. The important part is, the pictures exist still and saltwater is a miracle…

      1. Yeah, I know a.bout the saltwater: I’ve been doing that too- with Himilayan pink sea salt. :0) And Mediterranean sea salt.) It’s helped a little bit, but not entirely. I’ve dealt with strep only once before. (I was sick once, a year ago, but haven’t been sick for 4 years before that. I take loads of vitamins,, etc. daily.) The good thing is the strep is mostly gone but has now transformed into a full-blown winter cold. (Runny nose, cough, blah. Miserable!)

  10. I just massacred your comments section.

    So sorry for chunks
    That spew in fountains of red
    At least you have love

    A haiku seemed fitting.

    1. My comment section needed this massacre, especially since massacres are red too, so thank you. And for the Valentine haiku. Yes, I know that’s rhyme or two.

  11. Welcome back.

    1. Thanks, my friend.

  12. I’ve been remiss in keeping up, trying to keep up with the HuffPo gig, my blog, and life… but so glad to see a new post from you! Wondered where that lovely Geisha went. 😉 What a beautiful way to come back, even if it’s just for a visit.


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