i ordered two more bottles of french rose.

light pink and dry.

to celebrate 51.

unshowered. unshaven.

those things do not matter anymore

after this sense of undiscovery

of why i lack trust.

am always guarded.

why the ebb and flow of pain and loss


did i mention pain.

with 40 minutes left

i think i cannot

disappoint another soul.



i was in my 30’s when I started 18 years ago. i don’t like change. so i gutted out working, in broken systems, with some of the most beautiful souls in DC. it has been an honor and a true privilege working with DC residents who took a chance and trusted me. cried with me. let me witness their pain and try to do something to fix it. i am sad to say that system failures on all levels has made me depressed. the kind of depression that creeps back with every success. that when you love the work and the people so much but resistance is met along the way from the systems and the people in them. i hope that now, in my early 50’s, that a new generation will experience the joy and heartache i have felt over the last 18 years.



just because i am a warrior

a 51year old survivor of verbal violence

of violence of all types

does not mean

i am not fucking tired.

because i am.
tired of explaining myself

tired of finishing the dry white wine from

italy; when i was told only red grapes grew

only producing red wine

which was a fucking lie

like everything else

you whispered.



i prefer the darkness of a sunrise.

it is forgiving. non-judgmental.

it allows me to feel how i feel most mornings.

childless. motherless.

the guilt that comes along with it.

i remember all of my dreams.

in them i do everything differently.

write my history differently.

i erase losing loved ones to addiction

other diseases too; depression and self-loathing.

erase drinking at an early age.

erase dating losers at all ages.

choosing the country over the city.

picking an introverted career like

helping my zio in southern italy herd his sheep

over working in behavioral health.

at age fifty not able to forgive myself

for appreciating the darkness of the sunrise.



“Dad, I tested positive for COVID.”


“Dad, I cannot come Christmas Eve.”

In the tradition of my Italian culture, fish is eaten on Christmas Eve. This would be the first Christmas Eve my dad ever hosted without my mom.

He was proud when he told me he found the perfect dried cod. “It soaks for days to get all the salt out. It will be ready and perfect on Friday.”

I had perfected a chilled grey goose vodka and cranberry juice since testing positive. On our nightly video chat, perfected drink in hand, my father asked with a sincere and thoughtful tone, “What the hell am I going to do with all this fish?”



adriana suriano

adriana suriano

i am a first generation italian-american who grew up in southern new jersey. Life is amazingly beautiful and devastating. Sometimes in the same day.