You are my past, and Oh, how I cherish you.
The artwork, the books; the fine furniture saturated with memories.
You showcase five decades of my successes.
But once I could not pay, none of that mattered.
The storage company will auction you off, breaking my retirement heart,
Monica Perez Nevarez is a sustainability consultant during the day and a writer by night, bearing witness to Covid’s ever-expanding collateral damage.
“What do we have here?” asked the detective.
“Female, single, 60-something, sleeping pills,” the coroner responded.
“An empty Cuervo bottle, a pink slip, an eviction notice. A bare cupboard; wearing a new Gucci nightgown…”
“Cause of death?”
“A lethal mix of economic strangulation, diehard aspirations, and early-onset poverty.”
Monica Perez Nevarez is a sustainability consultant by day, and an aspiring writer and social critic at any other time, researching the many everyday things that can kill you while living in a collapsing economy.
I never thought the absence of your troublesome door-scraping could make me cry inconsolably. I didn’t think the cavernous silence replacing your joyous yips would cut me deeply. I can’t believe I can live my life while my heart beats breathless and shallow, mourning you, my darling boy.
Monica Perez Nevarez is a sustainability consultant in climate-challenged Puerto Rico, a doting mother to her four-legged children, and inconsolable when they leave.
“Wishing you merry days and happy smiles during the holidays,” says the hand-written card, a picture of a well-dressed family traveling through China inside. The Christmas tree on the cover made me forget the cold, the hunger, the loneliness, but not the family resentments.
Sisters are sometimes the roughest critics.
Monica Perez Nevrez is a Sustainability Manager by day and a writer at night.
At drab Shelley’s checkout counter, Dan’s gaze stripped her bare.
He hung around until closing, and murmured in her ear, breathless.
With one kiss, he stole her heart.
Giddy, she took him home.
Next morning, she awoke—groggy and alone—to a bullhorn screeching “Come out with your hands up!”
Monica Perez Nevarez is a sustainability manager by day and a writer by night.
“Write what you know.”
Posit: the here and now.
Twist: the here is grubby, the now is relative, but menacing concerns lurk in the shadows.
Outcome: blocked; none of it matters.
Not knowing how long my cardboard shelter will last isn’t letting me think straight.
Monica Perez Nevarez is a sustainability manager by day, but is trying to transition into writing full time.
Closing the busted townhouse door, I enter, breathe in the clean air, the quiet, the warmth. A foreign-feeling sense of security envelops me. The “Bon Voyage” balloons in midair are slowly deflating.
I wonder how they’ll feel about this, after ignoring my “I work for food” sign for so long.
Monica is a sustainability manager by day and a writer by night.
Inside the empty cottage, shadows of ghosts: smudges where your picture used to hang; discolored floorboards where your cactus stood guard; a sepia burn on the kitchen counter; air stained with your perfume.
Six hundred bucks to show for a lifetime’s work.
Your gifts whisper to me in my dreams.
Monica is a sustainability manager by day and a writer by night, who used to visit Cape Cod every summer and every Christmas.
The picture on my timeline shows a victorious twenty-something in a designer wedding dress, studiously ignoring the besotted groom beside her.
I thought I had healed the wound carved by boyfriend-snatching ex-friends and wayward lovers months ago.
But Facebook is filled with daggers and I have no armor against them.
Monica Perez Nevarez is a sustainability professional by day and a writer by night.