Thursday, August 30, 2007

Trading Up

“The number one rule in relationships has to do with trading up, not down.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean that every time I get a new girlfriend, I make sure she’s better in some way than the last.”

“Like better for you? More in line with your goals and stuff? Huh. Actually that makes a lot of sense.”

“Well I guess so. That too. But I just meant hotter. And better in bed.”

“We’re not talking about this any more.”

“We’re not? Why?”

“Because your idiocy borders on brilliance.”

Our Health System is Cool

So I was at Duane Reade and I was filling a prescription, well actually, buying some Vicodin (who’s the life of the party now, eh?) because I really hurt my knee* and my doctor is a pretty and generous man on Park Avenue and well, I hadn’t had such a prescription ever really, and I figured that it would be sort of hard to get (nope) or fill (nope). In fact, it was filled while I flipped through a magazine (Guns & Ammo followed by Teen Beat, natch) and the lady rang me up and the prescription total, for 20 pills of what is basically a controlled substance was…

Take a guess. I’ll wait.

63 cents! So I’m standing there, well sort of hopping on one foot because of that knee injury and she just says, okay, that’ll be sixty three cents and I instinctively look around the store, as if Ashton Kutcher is going to jump out or something (we totally dated) and she looks even more annoyed (than she did to begin with) that I’m taking too much time and I’ve been living off my debit card for about a week and was planning on slapping down like five bucks per pill (or is that Viagra?) and I was just sort of leaning forward with my eyes all big and I had to say, oh um, is that right? Because my health plan is really, really budget (thanks, sweatshop employer) and that doesn’t seem right, right? And don’t you need to ask me if I’m over a certain age because on a good day I could pass for seventeen and on a bad day, fourteen, and don’t you have to ask me if I really need this?

And she narrows her eyes to my widened ones and is all giving me this look like who went to pharmacology school here (“that would be me, not you, Gimpy”) and simply repeated what she had said before (“sixty three cents and sign here”) and I asked then, oh may I please use my debit card and she shrugged like it was no big deal. So in effect, I just filled a prescription for a sort of serious drug for sixty three cents with no ID which I paid for on my debit card.

Take that, Canada.

*Man, I’ve got to get me some more knee injuries. This is great!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I remember this level

And I can't stop laughing.

Conflict of Interest

Sort-of-celebrity: “Are you going to come to *insert fabulous location here* this weekend?”

My bangs and my shorts: “Yes, of course. Look at us! We just scream ‘part-ay’!”

My mouth: “No. I mean, I haven’t been invited.”

Sort-of-celebrity moving in close: “Consider this an invite.”

My bangs and my shorts: “Woo hoo! Validation! See? See? Look at how far we’ve taken you!”

My mouth: “Oh gee thanks, but I really was planning on finishing this book this weekend.”

Sort-of-celebrity: “Are you kidding?”

My bangs and my shorts: “That’s it. We knew you were too awkward to handle us.”

My mouth: “No, I mean, I just like, I mean…I just really like this new book I’m…uh. Yes. I am kidding! Reading sucks! Reading's for dicks!”

My bangs and my shorts: “We’re out of here, nerd.”

Let this serve as an open apology to the bangs, shorts and sort-of celebrities who may have been harmed during this conversation.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

But empanadas ARE the new cupcakes!

And unicorns are the new empanadas.

Hipster Olympics. Tie for my favorite part is the throwing away of sold-out bands and the very end.

Backlash to the backlash.

What I say to myself every morning in the mirror.

Someday I will be hip, I promise...

Fashion Cues

I'm sniffling. Who gets sick in the summer? So last night I rummaged around my room in an attempt to entertain myself and take the edge off the Benadryl.

Going through old pictures always works. I found this one. And I thought I'd share.

This is more than a little embarassing, but when I saw it I that...not an exact, albeit cooler, replica of the LES "jumper" I wore to Thursday's party?

At first it was an issue of me peaking at ten, now it's me peaking at four.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Quote of the Day

Overheard in our apartment:

“Are those crystals on your nails?”

“Um, yes. I figured I’d go the whole way. This fall I’m going to be into dancewear, remember?”

“Oh yeah.”

“Dancewear and judgment.”

Laughter ensues.

“You know what’s sad? Right now someone is saying that unironically. Most likely in Brooklyn.”

Laughter stops.

Good thing I didn’t mean it. Yeah, it was uh, just a joke…

Lost without him...

In the meantime I will continue to foster infatuation of my imaginary-but-at-least-we're-talking on-myspace boyfriend; Derrick.*

*Who wouldn't love the guys who came up with this rejected theme song?

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Past tense

I’ve spent my days hiding under a stolen bedspread and singing the wrong lyrics to Hot Chip. The nights have been different. We talked for a long time while I uploaded her music files.

Relationships, always the topic at hand. And the sound bytes were of a new quality. The coining of a new term; busboy (for the person who always takes away and never brings anything to the table). It was one of those endlessly important dialogues where you keep interrupting each other with mild epiphanies. Such as in a relationship when you begin to bargain with winning that mental tick mark against actually getting what you want; it’s time to tap out.

What I mean is the moment it’s me versus you and not “us”—and when it comes it is so surprising, so wrong, so not what could ever happen to you, you were picking names, imagining each other old and even stomaching, taking concessions for one another’s dreams, world, your tastes and faults and all that is special to just the two of you.

Not because people complete each other—they only compete against one another—but because it’s nice to wake up from a nap with your best friend right there. You get to have her whenever you want because she gets to have you in return, and sure it’s no longer rare, but it’s so meaningful to have one person who always, in theory, chooses you first. That always finds you adorable, brilliant, or just prefers you, every time, even if just slightly or begrudgingly, to anyone else.

And she says to me she’s glad, so glad we can think clearly now, but I know what it’s worth. Nothing at all. Because that didn’t stop that moment where we were talking about something…

Was that dinner on Tuesday or Wednesday—and I knew it was one and he knew it was the other and I knew if I pushed it, it would not be about that dinner, it would never be, it would be so much more than that, it would be justification, for later, with them for both of us, it would be all about that other person’s me me me, that salient harping point that they would not let go, though it meant nothing, nothing at all, to him or to me, it was everything to us later so we could hate each other in the moment and so we could tell them why.

And I looked at him and I nodded without saying that he was right, it was Wednesday, and still it did not help, it made things worse and I was surprised. I am still always so surprised that something precious to me will never be again and I said to myself—

Do I want to be right or do I want to get what I want, which is for us to be happy and complacent and it is no prize to be right, it’s all getting pissed off and poking each other in the ribs with “See? See?” when someone stops the fight for us, this unspoken boil between two people, how we fall away, how we don’t do what is kind because it’s only our boyfriend/girlfriend, no need to dress up, it’s just them, just that extension of myself which I need not tend to. We decided already it was meant to be and we did the work, we did the work already! We met each other, and that was all that we had to do, it’s all that you have to do when it’s meant to be, right?

And I told her, a different girl, because I am almost one year older, don’t you dare push, these are crucial times and while you are having your quarterlife crisis and he is having his and you keep pushing him to move it forward to feel like you have something, just one thing you can count on, you will blame him, he will blame you and you can’t ever go back.

You will want to and you can’t ever go back to when you jumped just to get a text from him, when you dreamt of his mouth, when you couldn’t fall asleep for the life of you, when you saw him up close and you were privy to the sight of his face sideways and you could not believe how lucky you were to see him this way, and how he looked so different than any other time, he looked so young and it amazed you. You can’t ever go back, you can trade it in for something else, a sparring partner, an extra ipod, someone to reminisce with, and maybe some other things, but you cannot go back, you can’t ever go back, so don’t you dare push it forward if you can help it, don’t do it.

I told her this, you know, and she couldn’t hear me and it made no difference even though I thought it would, even though I told myself it would.

Because I said to myself that I wished someone had said it to me—this is so sincere—how I wished someone had, but I knew as she looked at me scared and then unbelieving. I knew.

When it’s you and yours…

It doesn’t apply.

She told me that without saying a thing. That’s all well and good but you don’t know us.

We’re different.

We’re meant to be.

So we don’t have to try.

And then we were together all night and he never called her and she never called him and she went home alone and it didn’t matter. The warning, my eight more months of knowing, my year of bruises…because that’s the thing. You can’t ever go back once you cross that line. And you have to learn it all by yourself.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Next up

There was Justin Timberlake and flashing plastic cups and slipping my silver-clad foot in atomic nachos and the crowd at Butter at two in the morning and kisses on the cheek and too-low touches on the back and illicit texting and then there were the next few days, stretched out on my mother's bed, watching Scarface, pushing the cat with my feet and re-telling the story for the hundredth time. Knocking over the universal remote. Cringing at that family picture of us in Hawaii where I'm proudly flaunting the "hang ten" sign.

I'm questioned on my ID. Life plan, etc. The usual interrogation.

I can go from having an assistant to being one to an internship in which they have already told me I am far overqualified and may even condone stolen moments for the book, but little do they know. I'm qualified for nothing, never have been, I have pages to write, ice to chew, beds to make. It's too rainy to touch the pool and it's so quiet in the countrified setting amid my parents' antiques and neuroses that I don't mind. I sleep next to the dog and tell my brother to buck up. Junior year for him is days away and my sophomore life has never stopped.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


My mind has been elsewhere recently, and everything practical has suffered.

I can’t concentrate, I can’t see a goal into next week, I keep thinking about swimming, and before that, sliding my shoes off on this dangerously staple-strewn carpet and doing a cartwheel in the hall outside of the creative director’s office. In a dress.

I’m no stranger to inappropriate behavior in the workplace, but this is getting ridiculous. I’m laughing all the time and my boss is starting to look at me sideways. Worker bees are not supposed to be hysterically giggling at their monitors, because that means either they aren’t doing what they’re supposed to be doing, or they find Excel really interesting. Both are frowned upon.

I think I’ll go home for a little bit. Being there after a few days always makes me want to reach out, grow up, act right. I always have that one minute where I am slightly panicked by closure, of moving back to the dreaded suburbs, my brother and me punching each other in the ribs, all the holidays we’ve ruined.

I want to stay up all night watching Saved by the Bell and draw and freak out the cats with the reflection of my dad’s watch. Dig through the boxes in the attic and marvel at how our family looked when I was too young to even care and dodge weeding responsibilities and test drive my playlist on winding roads. Remember my childhood dog, Zydeco, who slept with me every night until I left her for boarding school and without me she breathed last, a painful end to her neurological disorder, only to be buried in the back yard of a house we no longer own.

All those summers where we ate dinner together almost every night, the month I worked at the organic vegetable stand, the several I bussed tables while the chefs cooked up green butter, me being walked home at two in the morning from the field parties, when Shannon and I would go to the playground and smoke cigarettes even though we didn’t like them, the things the Hanson brothers would bring back from Bread and Puppet, the time my dad almost let me go.

And then the day I realized I could never go back, long after when I was a high school sophomore and he was a senior and I felt lucky to be chosen, and then the Monday night I was back from college, and he was there again, coming to our house, delivering a pizza, wearing the same baseball hat, saying how much I had grown, and asking me did I want to leave with him, go back to his mother’s basement and do something I wish I had never heard him ask.

I can’t exactly go back to being a kid, or even fifteen. But that has never really stopped me from trying…

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Boys v. Girls

Further evidence that I am not-so-slowly, but surely, turning into a dude:

I am using ridiculous sports analogies with increasing frequency, hilarity and offense. Particularly within the dating/romantic realm. Examples include “Relationships are for benchwarmers” and “I had to cut him from varsity”.

I was the only one who wanted to go to Scores on Saturday.

No matter how fancy a dress or how much lipgloss I am wearing, I swear like a sailor.

I think whale tails, push-up bras and fishnets are making this country a better place, one butterface at a time.*

I look fondly upon the time I ate a beer and then almost won that game of rooster on the roof of Steve’s Jeep.

I can’t stop laughing about the following inside joke: “Jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjewwwwwww”, which actually has nothing to do with Judaism, but is the slurred and shortened version of someone being really drunk and saying “Do you want to make out” which comes out instead “Jewwwwanna makeout?” and now is of course, just shortened to saying “Jjjjjjjjjj” over and over again.

The more abrasive the come-on, the better chance he has.

I might be able to quote every good episode of the Simpsons (inclusive only of the Conan years).

After my class insisted I write a sex scene into the book, I kind of think I should write a lot more for the squirm factor alone.

I would love for someone to dare me to subsist on ice cream and fries for a month.

I don’t think of DSL as a router.

I can’t remember the last time I said I was sorry. And I'm almost sure when it happened, I didn't mean it.

I found myself not minding if the guy who gropes/stares/steps on me/steals my bag on the subway, is hot.

Most of the time, I’d really rather not cuddle.

I’m not sure if I’ve ever taken anything that I’ve said seriously.

See what being single for two whole months has done to me? On second thought, I think I might have always been like this…

*This is only half true.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Quote of the Day

“I have the perfect guy for you.”


“But, he’s a poet. And you’re almost a writer.”

“A poet? Ew! Wait, unless ‘poet’ is a new euphemism for ‘rapper’?”

“No, it’s not.”

“Okay then.”


“I said, ‘ew’ and I stand by it.”

Sensitive, whiny people who are constantly searching for the meaning of life don't belong together, right?

Monday, August 13, 2007


The next night, Becky dragged her off the bed. “We’re going out. Stop moping.”

A. stood next to her as they crowded for mirror space, Becky shaking her butt to a thumping rhythm of an explicit rap song.

They straightened their hair, hung dangly earrings, lacquered their lips with plumping serums. A. barely spoke, but followed Becky’s motions, sliding bracelets over her wrists and stilettos on her feet and took shots of Patrone as Becky danced around the apartment, scuffing the wide pine boards with her pointy shoes. Becky’s crew of girls came over for pre-gaming, and they passed around bottles of white wine (as Becky explained, red would only make their teeth gray) and drank from the necks. A. fake-smiled, and kept finding her mouth around a bottle. They were nearly falling over when the rest arrived.

Trip came over with a gang of boys and a bag of laced weed. A. learned quickly that Trip was actually not the ‘man’ in Becky’s life, the one that wanted to whisk her away to Monaco (that guy’s name was actually William, and was noticeably absent from their parties and club nights), but that he was merely Becky’s “f-buddy” for her to use as she saw fit. Clearly, Trip didn’t mind.

The rest of the boys all had last names for first names: Smith, Mayer, Ewing, Hollings, Stackhouse. And they were all cut from the same lacrosse stick, a sampling of the sought-after young graduates of Ivy league schools like Blackwell, trained first at prestigious prep schools dating back to pre-school. The castaways of the group (Trip and Becky herself) had almost made it to the top tier, but brushed off stellar state schools like Penn and instead went to the two places notorious for high tuition to cover the underlying obvious fact: when the parents were rich enough, the merits of their children were merely superfluous (namely Affinity and Wellington, both sub-par, but at least the student body only came as west as Westport).

This was the thing about the inner sanctum, there were many levels and those who saw A. as a rich snot who sailed through life on a weekender yacht would never know that her world was a white onion and she was a sad four layers deep. There was the periphery where new money was the first separator (this was, as Kyle mentioned once while drunk, an age in which anyone could make millions, it was easier than ever and more and more people who, let’s be honest, did not deserve it in the slightest could gain admittance), then political stance (rich liberals were more glamorous and popular, some of them were movie stars and innovators, but they always ranked below the conservative elite), then religion (Protestants ranked higher than Catholics), then lineage (what industry did the wealth originate—fishing empires weren’t nearly as high as oil, oil wasn’t nearly as high as generations of bankers), and finally, standing in the famed Social Register, the book that launched a thousand socialites, and which edition (New York always trumped other cities as it was the oldest), when the induction of the surname occurred (the first half of the 20th century trumped the second, existence in the charter copy trumped all). For a man who consistently referred to Kofi Annan as “that douchebag”, Kyle was actually chockfull of such useful information.

And it seemed the higher the level of social acceptability, the worse the kids acted in private—they knew their fish forks and salt cellars, would never under-tip or glean anything less than the most grounded stance at a dinner party with their parents and here they were, destroying, smashing and fornicating with everything in their paths. Trip humped a couch--to the delight of Stackhouse--while checking stocks on his Blackberry.

Bits of conversations ran over each other like an Altman film.

“Great Barrier Reef? More like Good Barrier Reef. Overrated.”

“You are such a liar! Don’t even act like all you read is FT. I so saw you with a Money magazine, you white trash.”

“So the kid was from Pittsburgh and he was talking about this nice dinner he went to and Stack goes, ‘Where’d you go? Red Lobster?’ I almost pissed my pants it was so hilarious!”

The boys trashed Becky’s apartment and disrespected at every turn, grinding cigarette butts into what must have been a real Persian rug, urinating with the bathroom door open, ordering hardcore pornography on the plasma, cupping their hands beneath their chinos on their genitals as they sat with their legs splayed on the couch and scratched.

They used hundreds to roll tubes up their noses, they passed pills, they had joints that were dipped in formaldehyde that they lit and blew on each other and even as A. defaulted to drinking and smoking mere cigarettes, though she herself had done these things, but not in the company of a group she did not know, she couldn’t help but cough on the fumes and squint from the buzz.

Throughout all their ill-manners they showed cracks into a vacuum of good breeding. They passed politely. They inquired “pardon?” when they didn’t understand a question. They had a game of quoting famed poets and politicians at inopportune times. Mayer declared his love for Becky when she opened a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue. She slapped her hands to her dainty waist and threw him a look.

“You don’t even know what love is.”

“ ‘Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.’” Mayer looked around the room.

“Wilde?” Trip guessed.

“Frost.” A. said to the approving, collective nod of the room. Becky drew her arm around her and kissed her on the forehead before calling her a bitch.

When they went out, they piled into several cabs and cursed at the drivers when they went too slow and smoked out the window and groped each other. A. felt the hand of both Mayer and Stackhouse simultaneously creeping up separate legs in an effort to get under her dress.

She rolled her eyes and slapped them softly and tried not to pass out.

At the sushi restaurant’s most private room, Mayer snorted a large green glob of freshly grated wasabi to the horror of the business clientele beyond the low screens and kimono-clad servers.

At the west side bar they were whisked to the back, and had what would come to be the usual bottle service, inappropriate dancing, screaming evening. She looked at the boys and the girls tripping on them, and felt an unmistakable rush of sadness.

In the past 48 hours...

I joined a spiritual book club. No laughing.

I somehow had the apartment to myself and I wasted every minute of it. Particularly by re-watching my favorite new video* on BET.

I regressed with my freshman year dream team, was forced to dance with an overzealous partner, possibly invigorated by last week’s episode of So You Think You Can Dance and the shame was documented by aforementioned dream team, now dethroned, who then woke me up at 9:30 in the morning for no reason at all, to let me know said shame was still indeed documented, and would be shown in great detail later that day, thereby regaining their title.

I saw Weird Al Yankovic in my building’s lobby.

I tried not drinking and, after being heavily chastised, berated and pressured, stayed the course, perhaps exactly because of the incident(s) at Kate’s Joint. Does something embarrassing have to happen to me every single day? In a word; yes.

I learned a very important lesson at J Sisters, when the pintucked woman across from me squawked into her phone that her day would consist of a bikini wax, returning a purchase at Bendel’s, picking up her re-soled Prada shoes, and promptly going home to the pool because it was all so exhausting. And felt a little jealous. And then a little soulless.

I went on a very confusing date in which I realized I sort of missed someone and I sort of didn’t miss someone else…weekends in the summer have a strange star-quality and lately, they have been even more so.

*Anything involving Slick Rick and race-changing make-up gets an automatic two thumbs, sky-high.

Friday, August 10, 2007

On Assignment

My little rave birds are coming, out of the blue, just when I was thinking about them. Funny that. Coincidentally, it’s like we see each other every time Daft Punk rides the cool wave again. First 1999, now this. Yes, this is simply bitterness for not being there last night. Of course it is. I subsist on bitterness. Bitterness, gingerbread and one moment of clarity per year.

Back to the birds. The last time we were together I had transferred schools and we were all erroneously banned from the previous for life. That was when being almost bad was a badge of honor instead of a shrugging mistake. When our experiences together could be distilled into just one. That time we went to that house party in the dead of night after that show in Baltimore and every guy in the world was a DJ or liquid and these guys were spinning in the basement and there was this insane European disco rapping that just busted in on the track out of nowhere and we turned around and saw that it was an impossibly cool guy who had somehow whipped out a microphone for an audience of seven and we doubled over laughing and eventually had to leave the room.

And later that night, when I was wearing the insane European rapper slash DJ’s sweatshirt (because I was cold, not because it was a good time) and a fifty year old man with his adopted daughter at a gas station tried to give me a hundred dollar bill because he’d “been there”. Yeah, I didn’t understand it either, though I still regret not taking it. Maybe because my yellow UFOs had a million straps he thought I was a scrubby runaway, about to be roped into a ring of sin that I could never escape. His imagination was far, far cooler than my reality.

We’ve all grown out of it; maybe just grown too old for it, as it was. Everything that seems cool at the time usually isn’t in retrospect—part truth and part wistfulness that it can’t exist anymore. And yet, I can’t stop thinking about it this week, because in variant forms, it keeps popping up. The opportunity to go to Paris for Thanksgiving and finally meet the older version, the 2007 version of what I suppose I gave up that night when I took off with the sweatshirt instead of the man…

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Under Pressure

My dreams are starting to involve complicated life lessons taught by David Bowie and Freddy Mercury. The outfits are spectacular but the end result is kinda disturbing.

I do not have a goal, commit an act, or decide a thing that is not wrapped in confusion and wracked with self-doubt. Is. This. What. Is. Supposed. To. Happen.

Or am I distracting myself and veering off course? Where are the checks and balances for this shiz?

This may or may not be related to my hard-won issues with attachment.

I don’t want it; I want it. I don’t have it; I have it. My five year plan has to be scaled down to months because I have too many ideas and not enough hours. I still plan on going to grad school. And finishing my book. And volunteering to teach underprivileged kids art lessons. And intern somewhere because my freelancing has all but halted. Not even planning on it, I’m actually seriously taking the steps for all these things. But are any of them right? And what will I have to give up to gain access to them?

I want to make a palpable difference in the world. No, actually, here’s my horrible secret. Sometimes I merely want to want to. Sometimes this makes me a bad person, I know. I’m coming to terms with it. Very, very slowly. I wonder about the cost of going after what I want. Because so little of the time do I know what I want.

My brain is not unique or powerful in the slightest, yet it doesn’t know that. It instead thinks, about everything, all of the time, regardless of its unachieved potential or state of worthwhile. I have to slow it down with my patented one-handed clapping or else something is going to give, or be given up.

To come? Shiny pants and—if we’re really lucky—answers, for all.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Quote of the Day

“So why can’t you be friends with your ex?”

“Well, all my ex-boyfriends want to.”

“Okay. And?”

“And I’d prefer they die.”

“I see the problem.”

Do exes ever make good friends? I heard somewhere that one of the two will always want to hook up and so it can never work in a real way...

Monday, August 06, 2007

Summer Songs

Once I was gifted a mix, and it was the soundtrack to the best summer of my life. Marine biology, two weeks in Tokyo and the one were just forming in front of me.

Listening to that mix was a transporting swell, a wave that fell into me and then out of my hands in such manic happiness, and this morning I remembered it wrong and somehow added on other songs that never even existed in the same space. Good memories are like that for me. They bleed into each other, pooling in a long strand of endorphins that can't be separated.

The songs just felt like grass and the pool, long days and elbows out of car windows, star-studded nights and barefoot running in someone else's driveway. Wearing a bathing suit at all times just in case, throwing tomatoes at the dog, popping a new can of tennis balls, the smell of wood chips and washing the car by hand.

The Male Perspective

"You don't have to respect the person, just think they have a nice a*s or something."

-friend, who is a boy, on why guys hook up with girls they "think suck".

So this is why I have a mild girl crush on my Pilates's all becoming clear...

Night and Day

Once upon a time, I used the term “rave cave”. What it meant then was the idea of existing only at night. Say, to stay out until eight in the morning dancing like an idiot in enormous neon pants and a hooded sleeveless half shirt with both wrists slapped with candy to come home exhausted, sleeping all day, waking in a pastel mess at around 6 PM, only to go do it again. It could mean for several days at a time, you would not see any light except that of the encroaching morning. It was my freshman year at college and it felt like a little community of Teletubbies was guarding me at all times. Club kids were then, just as they are now, not quite right per se, but very, very welcoming.

It was a backwards step to move forwards. Worshipping cartoons. Subsisting on Pixie sticks and after parties. Being swallowed by colors not found in nature and skipping around, kids making up silly new names for themselves like LaLa and Scooby and passing Ring Pops to an “unce unce unce” beat in the dark.

It was for many reasons. My friends loved it, venues would let me in even though I was only seventeen, I thought Bad Boy Bill might be a soulmate of mine, or at the very least, bt.

It was leftover from high school, somewhere between Connecticut and DC were the last vestiges of the 90s that we were too young to experience so we play-acted with everyone else.

I listened to the yellow album and danced in my room with my two best friends at the time and we were all small so it felt right. A sleepover where we couldn't get into trouble for blasting the music loud and jumping on my single bed. It was, for all intents and purposes, pretty ridiculous. Also, to look back and see me running around with a facefull of glitter and jumping like a fool to anything with a beat is pretty embarrassing. But then again, I imagine looking back on me now, lost in the cave of work, where the only light of day I see is a gray slant from the window at my back, coming home just to sleep, may not be the prouder moment either…

Today it is gray outside and I am drinking lots of coffee and thinking about where the time goes and why. There are no clocks in my cube cave. Unce unce unce.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Not Just Yet

Grown up parties are different. Shattered glass is promptly vacuummed. Creative directors arrive hurriedly, planting down Red Stripe and the day’s events. Heels, candy-coated almonds, sloshing wine. It’s exactly as I imagined when I was seven; the expensive liquid everyone is drinking is a right of passage, people get louder and happier with each bitter sip, and conversations about work remain work.

In a word: weird. This is how parties, real parties, adult parties, are. I think, inexplicably, of lipstick and sake. My mother and father at thirty. The eighties. Our green Buick and going to bed early on Thanksgiving. When Vicky and I sat on the carpeted stairs and watched them all from in between the rails, our family and their friends, their increasing crescendo, politics, topics that they said they’d “tell us when we were older”, precious and forbidden things like scotch and tobacco and jokes that didn’t seem to us to be funny in the slightest.

And then the birthday girl does a backwards somersault, narrowly missing the puppy’s “wee-wee” pad. And people start eating cake with their hands. And I am very glad that we’re not quite there and we don’t refer to anything tonight as the year it might be ushering in: the year we figure anything out.

We talk about home and we only miss it for the moment. The breeze comes in over the terrace and we can do whatever we want without reason.

And what I want, today in the heat of Friday, is just this.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


There is what I’ve lost and what has lost me and today I am thinking about the difference. Which of them, if two opposing sides, has been injured too far to ever attempt a comeback?

The distilled conclusion will elude me forever, I’m sure, because it seems to be less about learning and more about the actual fact that humans are destined to struggle with the same, boring searches forever. Emotions can’t just be regained, respect doesn’t materialize out of the fog of contempt, et. al.

We want. End of story. Children of the eighties want it all and more. Fame. Validation of the heart. To be told we’re special and, more, to be shown so. We want to remember things we were never integral to and hold them close, fists bunched, outwardly apathetic and inwardly conflicted. We don’t care what people think of us, we insist. And then of course, it means everything.

There is nothing unless you are liked, wanted, revered. It’s ridiculous. It’s shallow and silly and self-serving and pervasive selfishness is precisely the opposite of what we are supposed to do in this life and yet…the motives behind so much seem to be to only prove this:

I am worthwhile. I am important. I am good enough, even better than you ever could have hoped.

How else would we make art/get jobs/buy houses/have relationships/wear clothes that weren’t burlap sacks/etc.? To express ourselves with anything more than the bare minimum? Or to actually achieve such essential feelings—that we are living and for a reason. That what we have lost has only served to improve our game, that what has lost us will regret it for as long as memory exists. That the pulse of the world around us reverbs just slightly because of our banging.

And, maybe then, the most heartbreaking conclusion of all appears. That it might not is overshadowed by the rest. That this is nothing new, and will never be new, and yet, I for one, have learned nothing from experience; past, present, mine or otherwise, at all.