The Truth Board

A Blog by the Editors of
The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Something In Me.

Something In Me

I had you
You were all mine
And it could’ve been that way
For all time
I have a restless soul
With only so much it can hold
When I opened up my wings
I let you go

I feel you
Every time I try
To open up my eyes
Beneath these lights
We’re at a different stage
From how we used to play
But I’ll still hear you
When all the echoes fade

You stayed back
Is it safe there on the ground?
Who would I have been
If I hadn’t found
How to go round and round and round

Something in me lights up piece by piece
Something in me knows there is so much more for me
I want to go over the edge
And find out what I haven’t yet
But I can never forget
You always saw something in me


A Late Self-Discovery at LMU: Finding A New Voice

Prior to blogging on the Truth Board, I wasn't particularly active in social media—Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of self-promotion via social networking. I don't mean that in a judgmental way, but I guess I didn't think my "voice" on the internet was particularly important. How influential can a "status update" on Facebook about the type of cereal I ate this morning be meaningful? Who cares?

I consider myself a politically active and opinionated person. In these matters, I do think my voice matters, but I haven't had the opportunity to express myself adequately until now—until taking this class and posting on the Truth Board.

Blogging has provoked me to examine my life, experiences, and aspirations in a new way. Over the past year or so, I've begun to develop my "roots"—where I come from, how I identify myself, what I want to do after college.

I'm proud of where I grew up in Boston. I love myself as a lesbian and a part of a larger, marginalized (but passionately empowered) community. My desire to "change the world"—as cliché as that may sound—relates to politics. I want to influence policy, advocate for gay rights and women's rights; I want to encourage people to be more accepting of those outcasts known as "others" in America. Finally, I want to encourage political dialogue—productive but not contentious.

All of these new aspirations have sprouted from the painful experiences in my life—the suicide of my step-mother, my substance abuse, realizing that I am gay. But overcoming pain allows me to walk a little taller, feel a little more confident, and be more open to others about who I am.

While I have so much to say, I don't know where to start...

First, start a blog or something like it...

Second, find a following (this is the part that terrifies me—what if no one wants to hear me and listen to me?) Perhaps the solution is to get a group together, somehow, to have multiple voices engaging and talking about important subjects. Then, it's not just my voice, but it's others voices, too. People like to talk about themselves—why not turn that desire into something meaningful?

Third, get people interested. Market it. Encourage people to read it.

But when I think about this, this very process of gathering voices together and spreading them out into the world is exactly what the journal—The Truth about the Fact—does.

Whether my future leads me into political media, running for office, or simply writing about important issues, I'm happy to realize I have a voice in such a large and diverse world.

Writing is therapeutic and an introspective process. But taking this a step further, interpersonal dialogue is even more important. When I started as a transfer student and commuter to LMU, I was silent in the college community. I knew no one and didn't reach out to talk to any of my fellow students. The only true dialogue that occurred was with my professors. But then this Spring 2013 semester began, and classes were smaller. I felt more comfortable reaching out and talking to others. Hearing someone call my name, "Mikayla!" down the hall sent chills up my spine because it made me realize I was a somebody—a contributor to the community in which I live, and people notice me.

The transitional years from high school to college to the real world are difficult for everyone, and I'm happy to say that I've found peace with myself and a direction I want to pursue.

Whether I am the silent, insecure early version of myself or the more open, comfortable version of myself, I appreciate those simple gestures that people have made to me—whether it's someone holding the door for me, waving to me, calling my name, or asking me questions about my life, I am so proud to be a part of this community at LMU...and even prouder to know that I have an influential voice in this world that I should use. So thank you.

-Mikayla Galvin

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Closing Chapter

The metaphorical “closing of a chapter” within a person’s life is always a precarious time, and my senior year at LMU has proven no different. My last year at LMU gave witness to countless breakups and breakdowns amongst friends; couples that once swore they would never leave each other are now realizing that their future does not hold a place for their other half and the people that wore perfectly tailored façades of having it all figured out drunkenly admitted on shadowed corners in Santa Monica that they have no idea what their future holds for them. 
Despite these moments of vulnerability and uncertainty, senior year, like all endings, has sparked beautiful moments of appreciation within both my peers and myself. The drive past Uhall to upper campus has no longer been a race against time in which I curse slow drivers and roll my eyes at P-Safe officers that remind me to stop at the stop signs. Instead, I’ve been touched by the beauty of the campus that I will soon be leaving and that will no longer be my home. The way the sun shines through the foliage as I drive under the bridge; the tranquility that I feel while looking at Sacred Heart Chapel from St. Robs as the sun sets. This appreciation has also found its way into my classes; the corny jokes told by professors no longer elicit a blank face, but instead a smile because of the respect I’ve garnered for them and the unbelievable talent of my peers has grabbed hold of me as I’ve scanned the pages of The Criterion and perused The Truth About the Fact’s blog. These are all forces that I have been surrounded by since freshman year, but that I am only now starting to fully appreciate because of my increasing knowledge of my dwindling time left at this school.
During my senior year of high school, I remember feeling excited about leaving. My friends and I laughed our way through high school graduation, quietly chuckling at the teachers that we felt didn’t care about us and that we had grown to dislike  and rolling our eyes at the peers that had started endless amounts of drama. My experience at LMU hasn’t been perfect, there have been dark moments, but my feelings about leaving this school couldn’t be further from my feelings about exiting high school. I have grown to love the people and places that comprise the LMU community and my senior year has presented me with the opportunity to reflect on both my time spent here and the growth and opportunities that I have experienced. I do not feel the excitement that I felt as a high school senior, anxious to move onto bigger and better things. Instead, I am grasping on to the short amount of time I have left here, determined to collect every memory that I have made at this beautiful university before I drive out past its exit as a student for the last time.

My Grandfather

Born into a world recovering from one of the greatest wars,
war that was fought on Flander’s fields with now growing poppies,
poppies that represent fallen soldiers,
Soldiers, he knew a lot of families that had broken families,
Family, his was small. A little boy with curly blonde hair,
hair that would find itself in the stems of my existence. 

He was an engineer, a man of great mind,
mindful of the family he wanted to create.
Created a base for me by marrying my grandma and birthing my dad,
dad to my dad, their relationship was too close for their own good.

Now, I see his name on books he had written,
written in the prime of his years,
years he had spent forming incomprehensible words into a work of art. 
Art that he once so loved hangs there now or is locked away,
away he is from me since almost three long years.

92 years of thriving life, achieving things I could never dream,
Dream big, he always said as things just didn’t go right,
right about so many things he was, always so wise and true,
true emblem of what a man should be after having been taken by the Gestapo years before,
before my father was born, before the world became a place of hate,
hate in his eyes when we taledk about the concentration camps where he was forced to work.

That one phone call that everyone dreads,
dread flooded through me as I held the phone crying,
crying more than could ever be possible,
Possibility of flying back home to see my passed away inspiration,
inspiration he still is as I do everything he would have wanted me to,
“To hell with things that don’t always work out.” 

- Beatrice 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Hollow Bells

"The world is lunatic",
Or maybe I’m just having a bad day.

Who cares what we look like?
Ice cream is great.
Have you ever been unhappy?
Can you catch what I implicate?
Sprinkles and rainbows,
You call it all gay.
But I’m happier than you are
On any given day.
Especially on this morning,
The wind chimes sing their song.
No one notices except me,
Ring-a ding ding dong.
In that case I suppose I’m alone
As I sit here polishing this poem,
My fingers sweat with every stroke
But I’m gonna’ show ‘em,
All the faces at this coffee shop
Glaring in my direction.
I order a bagel, the barista rolls her eyes,
Though she toasts it to perfection.
Its crispiness makes me shutter
And life is almost revived.
Until I hear a girl complaining,
She thinks she’s so deprived.
And now this feeling is returning
And it’s not because of my bad day.
I just want to drown everyone’s sorrows
In a chalice of Cabernet.

Instead, I’ll jump to my death
With a dramatic arched spring
All the while down screaming, “The world is lunatic!”
…Ring a ding ding.

- Carmen Iben

My Cousin

My cousin and I have always been weirdly alike. Before his voice cracked and before his shoulders became more jacked, we were almost mistaken as siblings. Strangely enough, we have the same olive complexion, the same sandy blonde hair and the same facial shape. When we were younger, I would shout downstairs to my mom, only to have his mom respond, “yes, Pascal?” When one of us called our grandma on the phone, she would have no idea who was calling. When we realized our uncanny uniformity, we loved playing tricks on those that couldn’t distinguish us. To everyone around us, we were one and the same person. 

Our similarities lay everywhere: we lived in the same city, liked the same things (yes, he got me into wrestling and Tekken), and loved spending time together. To both of us, we were the sibling that we never had but always wanted. Because we are the only cousins in our family, we would spend numerous vacations together at my house in Spain, or travel to Dubai together so I could have a play buddy and brother. My brother - that’s what he is to me.

Now, although we couldn’t be more different and our locations couldn’t be further apart, we are still as close as ever. He smokes and I don’t. His nights consist of getting drunk with his friends at a rundown pub, whereas I will go clubbing with my friends. I live in Los Angeles, he never left Dusseldorf. I am going to graduate school, he didn’t even finish high school. I have all the luck, and he struggles to get by. My parents are still together, his divorced when he was three. He’s the dgaf lone soldier, and I’m the one that stresses about everything.

Yet, he’s still the one that I call when I need advice about the stupid boy that broke my heart, when I got into an argument with one of my roommates, or when things in my life are just not right. He puts things into perspective for me, saying that I’m the lucky one. And I agree - I’m lucky to have the best cousin in the world. 

- Beatrice 

Friday, April 26, 2013


             I first became interested in self-defense after watching two girls scuffle like a pair of roosters but instead of feathers flying randomly, pieces of silky, brown hair soared in the air.  Given that I was in middle school when the incident occurred, any mistake or defeat was mocked by the student body.  I knew I did not want to be humiliated, let alone defeated, so I “practiced” my defenses and attacks attempting to gain experience just in case I would ever have to brawl.  Fortunately, I was never involved in a fight until I began to practice the art of Ninjutsu.
            From the first time I walked into the dojo I knew it meant business.  The first thing I saw was students grappling on the Zebra Tatami mats.  Their faces were flushed, the mats soaked with their anxiety and their eyes glowed with determination.  Five minutes of intense full-contact pass and the captive student in submission gasps for air and taps the mat to surrender.  It was as though I was looking into my future.
After weeks of bruises and agony, Sensei decided it was time for me to grapple.  My challenge was to overpower Marcia, a yellow belt, twice my rank.  We each got on one knee and joined palms.  “One, two, three,” we count down and begin to grapple.  In seconds I’m sweating, furiously attempting to bring her down.  Within a minute she manages to drop me plus put me in a head-lock.  Struggling for breath I had to tap out. 
            Although I was discouraged I had to preserve and adapt to any difficulty.  I persisted to train for three months, six days a week, and two hours a day until my body shivered from the friction of the mats.  As a result of my strength of will, my friends dubbed me D.D., Determined Diana.
            Finally, it was time to grapple with Marcia again.  I reminded myself that confrontation was more than responding physically but mentally as well.  “Dong”, Sensei strikes the gong and we begin to grapple.  Again she manages to put me down.  I pause for a moment, take a deep breath and quickly break her balance by locking her ankle and heave her boiling body off of mine.  In a flash I pin her down with my knee on her stomach. Suddenly I begin to wrap my arms around her neck and hold her in a head-lock. At last I had heard the abrasive sounds of submission, tap, tap, tap.