Poster for the UK Production in 2019

In his video analysis of The Last Airbender, YouTuber essayist Big Joel states that “An adaptation can or ought to maintain the essence of its source material. Thinking this, we’d watch The Last Airbender and say one of two things: either A) You got it. You zoomed in on the right parts and made something that captured the original. Or B) You didn’t get it. You zoomed in on the wrong parts and produced something that didn’t capture the original.” Part of what makes or breaks an adaptation is whether the essence remains the same. …


“A Mexican’s worst enemy is another Mexican”

Photo of cacti in front of a red wall, with neon lettering reading “México mi amor.”
Photo of cacti in front of a red wall, with neon lettering reading “México mi amor.”
Photo by Emir Saldierna on Unsplash

The call for representation has been an ongoing struggle in all forms of media in recent years. Rather than being tokenized or ignored, minorities such as BIPOC, as well as all members of the LGBTQ+ community, have petitioned and fought for proper representation in the media we consume; specifically, media pertaining to the United States.

While some dubious tropes continue to pervade books, films and even podcasts, nowadays content creators are striving to properly represent people who don’t fit into the categories of white, male, and able-bodied.

But what happens when that representation isn’t perfect? What happens when there’s a…


Four: Leaving Home

I work in an office.

I handle important documents (so important that I simply must know my employer’s first name *hint* *hint*).

I wish my name had “esquire” attached to it.

But, if you must know, I am…a secretary.

A glorified receptionist (because my job includes both positions up to a certain extent). But I run errands, I make coffee, I either let people into my boss’s office or I keep them out with a firm “I’m sorry” and taste the sweet taste of power in an otherwise demeaning job.

Though that isn’t fair to say to a barista. Cannot…


Three: Where I want to be

I see you didn’t answer my stale coffee question; I’m a little terrified [he says, taking a sip from his regular order].

The weather turned for the worst a few days ago; you must’ve taken the sunshine with you. It’s been raining non-stop and I was caught in a sudden downpour just as the bus turned the corner. Unfortunately for me, I handle sensitive documents so before taking care of myself, I found myself hugging my suitcase under my jacket to protect my life’s work.

While you may have given me a bullet list of attributes, your handwriting says so…


Two: Last Chances

upon receiving your message, I must say…

WHAT?

I don’t want to be that guy but I admit I rushed to the coffee shop, your letter in hand, just to ask for you. They already had my order prepared, bless them, so if you couldn’t tell by my frantic handwriting, I’m a bit jittery at the moment. Perhaps I should change my order, spice things up a bit, although you won’t be there anymore.

I’m sorry but, Australia? You didn’t have an accent? I don’t think you had an accent.

I feel now what you called arrogance is probably standing…


I am writing you a letter.

Enclosed is my address.

Please don’t lose it, I don’t give my address on random tissues to just anybody.

Til our next coffee break,


“I wished her story was over. I didn’t want to hear it anymore. All of a sudden I was scared, scared of the feelings she’d had, and I’d never had, and scared of what would happen next.” — Hard Love

Photo of a bookshelf, with the cover of A Little Life facing forward.
Photo of a bookshelf, with the cover of A Little Life facing forward.
And I went ahead and got the hardcover edition.

*First and foremost, because it would be incredibly hypocritical of me not to, I would like to issue a content warning. There will be mentions of heavy subject matter such as: sexual assault, self-harm, suicide, abuse, and death, amongst other issues. The driving force behind this piece is to explore just how much is too much when including these topics in the media we consume, using A Little Life as a case study. There will also be potential spoilers for: A Little Life, Radio Silence, and Grey’s Anatomy.*

I don’t think I’ll ever forget a moment during my ethics class…


How do we stop looking back when life carries on whether we stop regretting or not?

A photograph with the text “The End?” on a green background.
A photograph with the text “The End?” on a green background.
Photo by Alex on Unsplash

I briefly mentioned in my #PandemicReflections piece that part of what made 2020 a blunder of a year, at least for me, was a row with the neighbors across the street, who for years have harassed many of us in the neighbohood for feeding stray cats, alongside many other complaints. This all came to a head back in June when one of the members of the household crossed over to toss cat poop on our front step.

After trying and failing to initiate a polite dialogue with them, I spent the following weeks angry, anxious every single time our dogs…


Famous last words from my journal, dated January 22, 2020.

Screenshot of Frisk from the video game Undertale. They are standing in front of a mirror in a black-and-white hallway, a vase with golden flowers to their right. The text reads “Despite everything, it’s still you.”
Screenshot of Frisk from the video game Undertale. They are standing in front of a mirror in a black-and-white hallway, a vase with golden flowers to their right. The text reads “Despite everything, it’s still you.”
Say what you will, I hold this moment close to my heart.

At the end of 2019, as is customary for me during the holidays, I lay snuggled in my living room, reading. With everyone celebrating the end of the decade and reflecting on how different our lives were in 2010, I realized that precisely ten years earlier, in 2009, I’d been diagnosed with depression.

2019 marked the first time I properly went to therapy for an anxiety disorder brought about by an intense fear of illnesses and death. As I read that December evening, having picked up The Secret Garden for the first time, Mary Lennox was talking to her bed-ridden…


Or how media showcases true love by royally screwing over anyone not involved.

Photo of two arms around a person’s back, hugging them.
Photo of two arms around a person’s back, hugging them.
Photo by Christiana Rivers on Unsplash

I recently came across a Psychology Today article which details the main characteristics of couples whose culture can be described as true love. The piece, “10 Signs of True Love,” lists many key characteristics for a successful relationship, such as affection above all things, negotiating (thus communicating) rather than demanding, and recognizing that your significant other is your teammate, not your opponent.

What struck me as odd, however, was sign #6: “When irritated, [couples in love] generally treat each other well and the rest of the world badly.”

While it isn’t fair to vent your frustrations onto your spouse or…

Mika AM

Writer, daydreamer, procrastinator. Always late to the party but loves platypus(es)

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