Note: this essay started out as a blog post in 2008, evolving over the years until it assumed it’s final form as a piece I performed for the late, much lamented live lit show “That’s All She Wrote” in 2014. Rosamund Lannin just asked me for a link and when I said “i think it’s on the old blog but i can throw it up on Medium” she replied “PUT IT ON MEDIUM” so here you go.

I got my first green card when I was four years old.

My name as it appeared on the card was MARIA JASMINE…


This is as written for Write Club Chicago, which invited me to participate in their bout on August 18. I took up the cause of shield while my opponent wrote for mask.

Hello. My name is Jasmine Davila, and I am coming to you live from inside my recording studio, by which I mean my studio apartment. It’s August 18 or, as I like to think of it, March 174, 2020.

If you don’t know me, that is fine. I talk fast, I watch 90 Day Fiancé, and I am afflicted with a few medical conditions such as high blood…


Presented as written for FIRST TIME, a live literary event produced by the Chicago Independent Radio Project (CHIRP), on Wednesday, October 16, 2019, at Martyrs’ in Chicago.

Picture it. Okinawa. 1984.

A chubby eight year old with frizzy hair runs around the second grade classroom at Bob Hope Primary School, bragging to anybody within earshot. Her family is leaving. Moving. Trading in Japan for the U S of freakin’ A.

Most of my classmates were Navy brats. American at birth, but born abroad, and young enough that they had never visited the places in the States from where their…


This year, in the spring, I went back to New York City for my twenty fifth high school reunion.

source: Giphy

My alma mater has many traditions. We wear uniforms. We sing William Blake’s “Jerusalem” on the first and last day of the school year. We get super defensive when asked why we, an all-girls school founded in 1884, continue to claim the homely and industrious beaver as our mascot.

Reunion weekend started off on the last Friday in April, with morning coffee in the headmistress’s office. Tours of the school building were popular, with women ranging in ages from twenty three…


I know there are all these new television shows that I, as a woman of the twenty first century should be watching. I feel like I am supposed to have definite opinions on Veep and Killing Eve and any number of shows about difficult White women. But all I ever like to do is watch RuPaul’s Drag Race, 90 Day Fiancée, and old episodes of Sex and The City.

Sex and The City. Remember that show? It’s the one about four ladies terrorizing the island of Manhattan with their questionable taste in men, fashion, and cocktails. …


In September 2017, I stood on this stage and told you a story about a time in the summer of 2012 when I hung out with my friend Poppy. She drove us up to the Muvico Theater in Rosemont. It was there that we spent a sometimes strange, definitely surreal evening in the company of the actor who played Spike on the WB television series Buffy The Vampire Slayer. I said:

Inside the theater, we found the auditorium reserved for the concert right away. It was the one where a line fifty women deep had already formed, a line of…


My parents spent the week before my college graduation driving around the Chicagoland area, with my aunts yet without me. They skipped out on tours of campus and the opportunity to meet the professors I hadn’t managed to alienate during my four years at school.

I thought they would at least show up for the massive pre-graduation party at the Museum of Science and Industry which the University hosted for graduates and their families. Instead, they went to somebody’s house in the suburbs to watch the Bulls play the Jazz in the NBA Finals.

I can’t say that I…


When we meet them in Walter Hill’s cult classic The Warriors, the eponymous leather vest wearing street gang from Coney Island are preparing to leave the safety of their home turf in Brooklyn for a gang summit all the way up in the boogie down Bronx.

The nine of them — Swan, Ajax, Snow, Cochise, Cowboy, Rembrandt, Vermin, Fox, and Cleon — are unarmed, as specified by their host, Cyrus, the president of New York City’s most powerful gang. They come, if not in peace, then in compliance with a city-wide cease-fire. …


I remember it like it was yesterday.

It was a wet, gray Thursday in December. I brought neither guest nor witness, which was fine because I didn’t want to make a fuss. We had no flowers, neither ribbons nor rice. Not even music, but I didn’t care.

I wore a black sweater and skirt, my hair was down and there were pearl studs in my ears. I don’t remember what lipstick I wore that day, but I know it must have been flawless. …


source: Getty Images

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the first annual ASIAN Awards. ASIAN, the American Society for Independent Asian North Americans, is grateful for the sponsorship and support of The Skewer and, of course, Cafe Mustache.

2018 has been a landmark year when it comes to the representation of Asians, Asian-Americans, and Asian-Canadians in mainstream film and television.

It came to a head in August, which saw the premiere of Crazy Rich Asians in theaters all over the world, and the long awaited tv movie adaptation of best selling young adult novel To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before on Netflix.

Hollywood…

Jasmine Davila

lady, busybody, rascal

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