I woke up on Valentine’s day to more tears. The night before the big love fest holiday I was doing more of the same. I was crying, alone in the quandary of my quest.

Love. I want to do what I love the most. A felt a tear slide to the slope of my nose before it was pushed by another to fall into the booze I wasn’t trying to nurse. I made a shot glass out of the tumbler and slammed my double tonic. My love is an elixir of pain: shackles and whips and lust. I long for it on knees quivering for the next taste of “nice” or will it be? I need more of the hair that bit me until it shows up like a pitbull pimp, kicking my ass with every trick and then taking my cash despite the fact I worked it and I worked it well. Amber Garibay is and always has been a working girl.

It was work that had me crying this night and into the next morning. I feel like Marshawn Lynch, not that I could possibly know, but I do. I know how it feels to be the best at something and to want to leave it.

“Marshawn Lynch still doesn’t know if he wants to come back to play football next year,” my boyfriend was right to be concerned. “People are talking about it,” he continued, scrolling through his tweets which are all linked to football like it is life and for him it is. “He might not come back babe. Can you imagine what will happen to the team if he retires?”


My answer was silent.

Words I did not speak, but truth I carry.


If Marshawn Lynch leaves the Seahawks the team will go on to win again and this time he won’t be a part of it. His name will start to lose value until eventually people will start to forget and they will. Eventually, people will forget that he was a star because their eyes will be fixed on the new twinkling light on the field helping our Seattle win: our gladiator of city namesake pride. We are TWELVE, an emerald city treasure trove nestled along water of Sapphire blue. When in Rome remember that it was a fight to the death for we so loved our empire as to need to bleed for it. Death as inevitable glory.

Is he prepared for that light to go out? Mr. Business. I’ve noticed that Mr. Lynch is making gains in that regard. He is quite brilliant business. I wonder if he is working with an adviser.

“I’m all about that action boss.”

There is a trademark request for that catch phrase care of Mr. Lynch.

(Click Here For Full Story)

He will use the phrase for branding?

What is he branding if he plans to retire?

“I am all about that action and my action is quitting?”

I am speechless. No press conference required.

If I were more than an just an ordinary girl I’d ask to sit down with Mr. Lynch, not for an interview, not to press him for more regurgitated replays of every detail of the game, not for any reply at all if he should care to hold his tongue, but what about face? I’d ask him about that as we sat. “Can you still see yourself? Do you still recognize your own face?”

Of course he would not have an easy answer if he needs one at all. He doesn’t owe us anything more than what he promised and that was that he could win football games. Perhaps that is why he’s thinking about leaving. Maybe he knows he can’t win, or maybe he feels like he’s being cheated out of his freedoms. It seems that the league and the press have hard-ons for poking the man like a monkey in a cage. It’s like they want to own every part of him. Every action, including his freedom of speech. “Speak up boy, or are you dumb, deaf, or stupid?”

I wondered about that at one time. I wondered if he has a brain like, ‘Of Mice and Men’. If you don’t like to read books you will not know what I mean by the reference, but the book is about being misunderstood. George is murdered in the end because he could not be understood by the many that needed to. I often wonder if I will die that way. I think the same could be true of Marshawn Lynch. He could succumb, but I don’t imagine that he is approaching this philosophically.

The man who says the least says the most. His action is the direction of his vision for himself and I see Marshawn Lynch aligning himself with products that do not require continuous abuse and inevitable pain. Football is a multi-billion dollar industry. According to USA TODAY SPORTS, around ten billion annually. If Marshawn Lynch were removed from the corporation, from the team, what business would he be?

A sole-proprietor? An L.L.C? Could Marshawn Lynch build his own company free of the NFL?

Why not! Of course he could.

If he stays this year he will add another $5million to his ability to invest in himself and he should be investing wisely. He should be looking at his life in terms of profit and loss because football is a savage sport. I watch men snap like twigs and sometimes I am cheering when it happens. I do not listen to sports radio like my obsession does. By obsession I mean my boyfriend and yes, I am obsessed to fully understand why he loves football the way he does. He is trying to understand me the same way. He wants to know why I crave business when we both want the simplest life. I could spend forever hiking in the woods with him, if it could get me somewhere more than moving through trees.

People ask me what I hope to gain by writing and I have been writing like this for the span of three years to the ends of nothing more than I still have empty pockets and I could have chosen something more productive than love. “Stick to your photography Amber. You make really good money with that talent.”


A Smile Like Yours Photography is a thriving and successful business. It is also a brand new business, though I have been a sole-proprietor now for the span of ten years. I will tell you now in hindsight: it was the easiest business to start, but it was not the smartest, or the most efficient, nor is it sustainable as a legacy. I intend to leave that legacy for my daughter, my name, which is her name, because she is my one and only daughter. The only one who will truly care when I am no longer here. I wrote that last sentence and I thought of her father. It was heartbreak that started me forward to realizing that I could never count on love more than I needed to be a foundation for it. What if my daughter finds herself standing in my shoes someday and I am too weak to hold her up? My parents are that to me. They nudge me forward by noses and advice, because they are already crippled by life, and if I fail I have nowhere to go.

I almost killed myself that first night of being homeless. There was a roof of opportunity, but no walls to hold us home and isn’t that were the heart is supposed to be. I felt completely unloved. We were living in the commercial space I had secured for my business. My first night without a home found me alone, losing sight of my own face, even with all of my talent. It wasn’t so bad because I had my business, and at least with that I had a seed of hope to save myself from more than the ghetto I had been evicted from. The homelessness was temporarily. I knew it as I huddled in a little room, big enough for two mattresses, hers and mine. I tacked a Minecraft poster above her bed. I tried to make it feel like home, and in fact it was for a time. Everything I owned made up the décor of the business, but the reality was that we didn’t even have shower. There was no food, no assistance, no place for my daughter to bring her friends, and she was disgusted in me. I was disgusted in me.

My first photography business, my studio, was in our home before the divorce. It fell like the market crashed in 2008, if it was the same year, and it might have well been. I lost everything. My whole identity, and everything I love. All I valued was gone after ten years of investing everything I have to the destruction of my body and anguish of a soul that could not keep feeding the machine. How long can a person keep feeding the machine? Are we planning for retirement?

I couldn’t keep feeding the machine.

Small business is a dead end road because it is not an efficient method. It leads to burn out. My first clue to this phenomenon was found in a book written by Michael E. Gerber. “The E-Myth Revisited: Why most small businesses fail.” I started to find myself in those pages. I began to understand value and profit and loss. I think about Marshawn Lynch quite a bit. I think of him as a man and as a business. I think about him because he is the opposite of what I am. He is silent and deadly and I keep talking and where am I getting? Do any of you out there see me getting somewhere because I am. I’m also chuckling because my dad is of the school, “Loose lips sink ships,” but then he’s glued to Fox news and what ship is sinking? What ship is sinking? and what does Marshawn Lynch have to do with anything in my life? He is our life. The entire team is. I hope he knows that when he retires. We gained with him, never a loss. I’m thankful he’ll make it out alive. #gladiatorslive #brainsvsbrawn

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