August playlist. A little slower, a little more melancholy, but maybe with the feeling of something coming to a boil beneath the surface. A playlist for entering your prime, and figuring out what to do with it.
As anyone born May 21-June 21 has learned, if somebody who’s into astrology asks your sign, don’t tell them you’re a Gemini, it’s the start of a whole bummer conversation.
Before you start reading this I had might as well tell you that I started the day rapturous and didn’t end it so, and it’s only fair to warn you that nothing much at all happened in between. Don’t hold your breath.
I went to bed at 3am last night and should have been miserable getting ready for work this morning. But it was the most beautiful morning. It was blue sky cool breeze fall is coming beautiful and I haven’t missed a New York fall in 4 years, I’d never miss the important part. Fall’s the deep breath before the plunge of winter, I guess. It’ll get you through.
I got my coffee from the cart on the corner of Spring and 6th. I have to tell you about this coffee cart. There are always two guys working in there, working in concert, that Tom Cruise ‘Cocktail’ scene in miniature and sober. The cart is so small and they are so smiling and well-choreographed and only their torsos are visible in the window and I always half expect them to break into the patter of those old puppet shows. They always half do, one cracks the eggs and toasts the roll and hands over the cup to the other who beams, asks, with the rhythm of a one-liner, “Cream or sugar?” and fills my cup, slipping it into the paper bag the other has slapped open while waiting for the eggs to cook.
What else was there? Did I tell you about the blue sky? There was a good lunch in the cafeteria at work. I sat with a coworker who always makes me laugh and she told offhand about her childhood dreams of being a professional athlete, dashed by an ACL tear, “That took a dark turn,” I said through mouthful of roasted potato. She laughed, “I mean, I’m fine.” Somebody else said sardonically, ” you have all this,” gesturing around to indicate the table, the cafeteria, the potatoes, and also all of our coworkers and the hotel itself and I guess everything that’s ever happened to us all there. But it hasn’t been so bad. I mean, it’s been terrible. But it hasn’t been so bad. We have all this.
We’re out of green tea in the breakroom but I found a secret stash in a cupboard. I haven’t told anybody else.
You can’t be ripe-grape happy all the time, though. It’s impractical.
The workday grew longer and longer. I got overwhelmed. I made dumb mistakes, and got so flustered about them that I made more and dumber. There was shouting in the office, heard echoey behind me and on speakerphone across the hall. My work piled up, every time the phone rang I wanted to cry with frustration, every new email stacking at the top of my inbox made me lose my breath, the boldface Unread subject lines weighing on my chest. I felt greasy and gross and worn down.
We went to a reading the other night in Greenpoint. A couple of the writers had a writing style that I frequently describe as “Vice-y”. It’s that chasm of insincerity covered by a confessional tone and it makes me very uncomfortable for reasons I can’t quite name. One of the women, though, read a line that sticks with me, “He did force himself on me, but I had stayed at the party waiting for something to happen.”
I worked two and a half hours late, was the last one there with the air conditioning rattling the vents loudly. I was restless and panicky and sad. I wanted to get out, to move, I thought about walking all the way uptown, I thought about catching the Staten Island Ferry or the East River Ferry, but when I finally pushed open the heavy office lobby doors out back into the street, looking around and breathing deep like surfacing, it was dark and late and I did none of those things. I thought about walking home across the bridge. I even remembered the reason I don’t walk that way anymore—the mugging—and thought how at least things used to happen. But they used to happen to me. And now I don’t let them. And that’s the thing. Once you stop letting things happen to you, you can’t go back even if you want to. You can’t be that kind of girl, always forward never back, even if sometimes you get bored and you’ve fallen into this doldrum space between waiting for things happen to you, and the next step, which is making things happen.
So I let my restless sticky panic surround me on the two trains home. I let it surround me and then I got off the G train to walk to the supermarket for ice cream. I stared into the freezer for a while and finally picked chocolate chocolate chip because it’s my mother’s favorite and that always seems comforting. By the time I checked out and walked back outside, I felt tall again, strong and secure and the good honest tired of staying up too late because too much is happening to leave. I’m fine. I’ve got that little pilot light inside now. I was still a little restless, a little vulnerable, but here I was, the kind of woman who accepts that feeling sometimes, who sometimes feels greasy and tired and overwhelmed, who modulates her tone on the phone, who tries to understand where other people are coming from, who doesn’t stay and wait for things to happen to her. Who goes home to sautee the baby kale and tofu in the fridge before it goes bad.
Impatient, I undercooked the kale and it was bitter, but not really because it’s baby kale. Give it a few years and a couple heartbreaks. That was a bad joke, I’m sorry, it seemed funnier when I thought it to myself standing over the stove.
Gchatting today about a guy I like that we both know, Caroline joked I’d have to start things with him with a text, “Get your shit together. I’ll be waiting.” But the thing is, I realized, remembering it while I cooked my dinner and thought of bad jokes half a day later—no, I won’t be. I don’t wait anymore.
Anonymous said: does it matter to you personally if people consider you pretty? why/why not? (this isn't meant to be rude at all, you are beautiful, i just wondered if you cared about that)
1) you have some timing my friend, i was just talking about this with my husband, and 2) your wording gave me pause because I don’t know how to answer this honestly without stipulating “gross dudes should really leave me alone tho”
like, yes, it does matter to me, but only under certain circumstances. it feels good to hear kind words from mutuals or friends but when someone photoshops nipples and semen splatters onto my selfies, it doesn’t make me feel pretty, it just makes me feel violated. and i wish i had an invisibility cloak. i wish i could live my life like facebook security settings: “only these users can see you”
i know i write about it fairly frequently, but i am deeply insecure about the way i look. i never really “feel” pretty because I’m always so entrenched in this unshakeable self-loathing. -I- know I have bad skin, -I- know I’m a size 14-16, -I- know what I look like without makeup, -I- know I’m covered in vicious self-harm scars. So, having an insider’s knowledge, I can’t draw any confidence from the way I look. I’m always under construction. I do want to be pretty, I want to feel confident standing next to my (incredibly hot) husband, and I definitely get something out of being considered pretty as long as it doesn’t cross a line (i can’t stress that enough because it happens too much)
TL; DR - yes. like. yes. i daydream about being pretty.
Hope you don’t mind reblogging this because, like, !
I mean honestly how is this not for me? How is this not my fate?
I mean, like, heart-eyes-emoji diamond-ring-emoji.
I’m bored and restless and unwilling to remain so. If anyone knows of any cool things happening with regards to books, running, comedy, and/or music in Brooklyn or Manhattan this week, speak now or hold your peace until I ask the same question next week.
My roommate Freshman year was named Ariela and on the first day when we had our dorm hall get-to-know-you “tell your name and one fun fact” huddle, she said “Hi, I’m Ariela and a fun fact about me is that in high school people used to call me ‘Areola’,” so the get-to-know-you game was won in August of 2008 in Southern California, if you were wondering.
Today someone described Caroline and I as “effortlessly confident” and “like the cast of a 90s movie like Empire Records or something” so no one describe me ever again, let’s leave it at that forever.
The thing, when people ask me how Portland was and if I’m happy to be back—they keep asking everyone keeps asking so I keep coming up with answers—I say Portland was sleepy but rejuvenating, I say I’m so happy that it’s disgusting, I say I walk down the street smiling at strangers and making them uncomfortable, and all these things are true. But what I don’t say is that in Portland I love people who are soft and warm and reciprocal, and here I love people who are prickly and difficult, people who have other plans and strange needs and who constantly rebuff my overwhelming affection so that here, still so happy it’s disgusting and still walking down the street smiling at strangers, I have the ongoing semi-reeling sensation of having bumped up against a wall with my love and having the dizzy penciled stars circling my head like a concussed cartoon character.
There’s something really important to say about morning transactions at street coffee carts but I haven’t figured out how to say it or even quite what it is.
last fall i met a guy with an expensive camera and too much hair on a bus trip to salem and i knew he was going to be a problem because he thought...
True life: sometimes if I think too much about the Beatles I cry about it.
*movie preview voice* IN A WORLD……………………..
(long dramatic pause)
*movie preview voice* WHERE WOMEN CAN DRIVE CROSS-COUNTRY SAFELY
“"Does this contain corn syrup?!" my mother shrieks. "Because that makes me misbehave!" And sure enough, before we know it, she has hurled her cone...