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02 October, 2016

I'm Always Barefoot

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With the approach of the dark months here in Southern California, I decided to take some precaution and bring more light into my room. Prone to Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.), I can't take any chances, and since I'm not about to purchase a heat lamp, I figured I could create my own type of light therapy, and switch out my purple drapes for translucent white curtains. As a result, it got a little festive in my room.

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26 September, 2016

Praying in the Street

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Apart from the abrupt cold weather, a tell-tale sign of autumn arriving in San Diego is the fact that I can't hear cars at night anymore.  When the summer arrives, I open my windows, and they stay open for four months.  When it gets chilly, my windows are shut, and it becomes quieter.  The sound of autumn is complete silence.


I walk into my creative writing course with sweaty palms and shaky knees, and I sort of slam my body down into an empty chair.  I pull out a post-it, and I'm trying to write down BOTH RIVER PHOENIX AND PATTI SMITH HAD LAZY LEFT EYES, but my vision isn't cooperating.  My body feels very hot.  I'm shivering.

I was almost visited by a panic attack while driving.


On September twelfth, I open my socks drawer for the first time in five months.




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Before, I suggested that guarding your true emotions isn't a good idea, and being open about your intentions is the way to go.  But I'm going to rephrase:  guarding my emotions is a bad idea for me and being open about my intentions is something I need to do.

Sometimes you grow up in an environment where neither you nor the person taking care of you knows how to help your brain think normal human being things through.  It's a chain, you know?  The person taking care of your parents didn't take good care of their brain, so your parent's brain doesn't take good care of yours, etc.

I've noticed that my brain didn't expand on a lot of things that it needed to expand on as a child.  For example, I don't know how to ask for forgiveness.  I equate asking for forgiveness with shame.  My brain thinks that asking for forgiveness means that I lost, and not asking for forgiveness leaves a lot of room for interpretation (meaning, maybe at some point, the other person will think it was their fault all along).

Another example is, I assume that every action I make around another person has the potential to annoy them, and is actually annoying them at that very second.  I grew up not knowing how people felt about my actions.  Like, I'd do things that I thought were good!  Good things!  But the people taking care of me had bodies that didn't know how to work through their negative emotions, so they would explode a lot when I was around.  Since they didn't ask for forgiveness, I would assume it was my fault.

You begin to collect all these mixed signals, and you just don't know what people's actions mean.

"Hey, are you mad at me?"
"Jess, why in the world would you think I'm mad at you?"

And it's probably because they stomped up the stairs a little too hard, or slammed their bag on the table on accident, or maybe they're just quieter; whatever it is, I think it's because of me.

I don't want people to be confused about how I feel.  I don't want to be confused about how people feel about me.  I do reiterate that it is all about trial-and-error, though.  I hope that my transparency encourages people to be transparent with me.  I hope that I never make people feel guilty about how I feel, I hope that I'm not a person that is hard to be around: I just want to be honest, and I want people to be honest back.  I don't want to not know.  


"I have always found it odd that people who think passive aggressively ignoring a person is making a point to them. The only point it makes to anyone is your inability to articulate your point of view because deep down you know you can’t win. It’s better to assert yourself and tell the person you are moving on without them and why, rather than leave a lasting impression of cowardness on your part in a person’s mind by avoiding them."
Shannon Alder

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I know what is happening when I begin to get a strange sense of tunnel vision while driving.  It has happened before, panicking while driving, but there's always been someone in the passenger seat with me.  This time, I'm alone, stuck in traffic going north, in the lane farthest to the left.

John Mayer's Continuum always calms me down: I know all the lyrics in that album, and singing out loud brings me down from my whirlwind of panic.  I jab my fingers at my stereo.  Every action that I take is making my heart beat faster.

The existentialist thoughts arrive in a chariot of fire.  They park right in front of my car.  I can't see ahead.  My vision is getting alarmingly blurry.  My brain is trying to figure out which tactics to use to avoid freaking out; at the same time, the existentialist thoughts that burrowed into my head are growing larger in size.  I look at my hands, gripping the steering wheel, and I ask myself whether I'm real.  Whether I'm driving a car.  Whether the planet is real, whether the people driving their cars is real.

John Mayer begins to croon from the speaker and I feel like a child, trying to mimic his singing style.  Instead of sounding bluesy, I find that I'm shouting the lyrics.  ME AND ALL MY FRIENDS!  WE'RE ALL MISUNDERSTOOD!  THEY SAY WE STAND FOR NOTHING, AND!  THERE'S NO WAY WE EVER COULD!


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19 September, 2016

Rio Jude

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✍ CURRENTLY WRITING FROM: ST. GEORGE, UTAH

One of my biggest insecurities is being useless in my relationships.  I want to be useful in every situation.  This isn't healthy, or right: this insecurity of mine leads me to be disingenuous in a lot of the things that I do.  In my head, I think I'm doing something kind to be kind; however, a large part of the "kind" things I do is to be loved more, or to keep being loved.


During the month of August, I became unhealthily obsessed with River Phoenix.  Thinking about him makes my body jolt.  I feel like my connection to him is haunted: I don't feel calm when I think about River Phoenix.  I first acknowledged him when I was in high school, and had a crush on Joaquin Phoenix, and a google search revealed that he had a brother who was also famous, but was dead.  When I saw his birthday was August twenty-third, I felt a kinship with him, but I didn't think about him much after this, not even when I saw Stand by Me for the first time.

I read what people said about River Phoenix after he died, and that's what made me feel even more attached to the idea of him.  An incredible article was written by Tad Friend for Esquire in 1994, which I definitely recommend.  It was published five months after River passed away.  The journalist narrates River's funeral, and plugs in a lot of flashbacks and commentary on Rio's life.  It's very honest: he doesn't erase what happened to him.  But!  Oh man, there's something so addicting about the testimonials people have on River Phoenix.

It's unsettling... but I want to have a similar effect on people.  I want to be timeless.

"Run to the rescue with love, and peace will follow."
River Phoenix


baja california, mexico
baja california, mexico

That's the larger problem, too, and I recognize it: my gross need to be immortal.

I was lying on my bed as a tiny nine-year-old one day.  I was thinking about death as seriously as a nine-year-old can.  Earlier that week, I had expressed to my dad that I was afraid of dying.  My father, a no-nonsense, get-it-together-young-lady sort of man, said, "Sweetie, you don't have to be afraid, because when you die, you're going to go to heaven!"  I believed him immediately, and then I was not afraid of death.

I began to think about heaven instead.  The Bible says that in heaven, the streets will be paved with gold; my dad told me that in heaven, "you won't be sad, and you will never cry."  I began to think about this, when suddenly, I sat upright, and my body began to get very hot, and my breath quickened, because I began to think about eternity as a concept.  In my head, I saw images of me playing ping pong with Jesus and Abraham and Esther... forever.  My vision began to blur as I thought about how there would probably not be night time in heaven, would I even eat in heaven, where is the line drawn, where does human behavior end in heaven--

I don't like thinking about eternity and I don't like thinking about my death and I don't like thinking about my existence... but goshdarnit, I want to exist forever.

I read once that you die twice: your body’s physical death, and the last time anyone utters your name. I’d like to stretch these two events as far apart as I can. William Shakespeare has been dead for exactly 400 years, and everyone knows who he is. He can never die. The idea of him transcends chronology. I want my existence to have not been in vain: I want to be admired. I want my colossal ego to be laid to rest peacefully, with the knowledge that there was something honorable about me.


les étoiles et palmiers
the moon, my girlfriend

I'm re-reading the first part of this post, and I'm thinking about how it begins with, "One of my biggest insecurities is..."  And I'm thinking about how a lot of people are very afraid of being vulnerable.  Jack Kerouac wrote in his journals:  "Don’t tell them too much about your soul.  They’re waiting for just that."  And I'm wondering... what is so special about our souls that has to be kept private?

Who's waiting?

I've been cynical for an uncomfortably long time, so maybe I'm being extremely naïve on purpose, but are we all intentionally out to get people?  And even if those people are out there, aren't we smart enough to decide who to tell what?

Whenever I'm having bouts of panic in public, I tell my friend I trust.  They will pause with me until I feel better (which usually happens after I've communicated how I feel), and then the problem is gone: they are back to thinking about themselves (not a bad thing) so I don't have to be embarrassed, and I also don't feel panicked anymore.

When Sabrina asks me how I feel, I'll say "I feel sad" if it's true.  She'll ask me why.  I'll frown, raise an eyebrow, and say: "I have no idea!" After saying this out loud, I immediately feel like I don't have to act out my pain for her to notice it, and we won't have any miscommunication.  I also know that Sabrina doesn't like to dwell on any negativity, so me sharing that I feel sad won't affect her day.

This obviously requires trial-and-error.  I used to bare my soul to everyone who would listen, which was very damaging for me, because I'd feel incredibly hurt if people didn't react the way I wanted them to.  Also, you can be careful about what you share with whom, and how: perhaps don't one-up someone else's pain, and also, don't make others feel anxious about how you feel.   Don't make it their responsibility to make you feel better.

I'm wondering whether it's true that people are attracted to the ugliness in others.  The imperfections that you can relate to.  Can you feel like you can comfortably be you around someone who appears non-relatable?

"A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved."
Kurt Vonnegut, The Sirens of Titan

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12 September, 2016

Shrinking Before Expanding

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✍ CURRENTLY WRITING FROM: SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

Usually, I’ve stopped writing for one of a couple of reasons. The most likely is: something very large and detail-specific took place in my life, and recording every aspect of it is going to require of me an hour or two of silence, attention, and a strong memory. As a perfectionist, I’d rather not begin something that will barely meet my personal standards of “good work”, so I don’t write this event down until the time is perfect. However, I can’t bring myself to continue journaling my day-to-day life until that event is taken care of. So I don't write at all.  It’s a very long cycle of evading.

Until one day I’ve had enough! And I can’t bear it any longer and I must, I must write! Except not for any heroic reason: more, like… writing is the only place I built any real identity, other than my self-pity. And I gotta reconnect every once in a while.

That’s something I deeply resent about myself, by the way. Pessimism turned into a defense mechanism when it suddenly became uncool to be enthusiastic and high-pitched. Through the years I began to believe it. The voice in my head? That said, “Well, actually, have you considered…” every time I thought a nice thought. It’s so uncool!... but it’s so easy! How does one stop believing this?

I'm looking forward to the day where what I write doesn't sound so sad.


a walk with dani

Dani and I take a hike through the highlands by her home. I haven’t seen her since I pointedly secluded myself in my home months ago. She is very lively, shiny and bronze. Her long, wavy hair is beautifully caught in a tangled ponytail, woven through a baseball cap. She has a lot of things to tell me about herself, which I love: I am very submissive, and prefer any one else other than myself to be in control of a conversation, or any interaction in general. Not to mention that she’s a fantastic verbal communicator, a gift I’m, unfortunately, jealous of.

Romance is one of my favorite topics to meditate over: I love trying to prove it, trying to disprove it, trying to figure out at which moments it exists. Talking about it with Dani is very fun: She tells me that a large part of her enjoys the attention she receives from guys, and that’s enough for her. I tell her I support her doing anything she wants for attention. She laughs and thanks me. “Most people would judge me,” she says, and I know that she’s right. I wonder whether she has found herself feeling worn out by a man’s detachment in the past, a position many women find themselves in regularly. I wonder how anyone could possibly blame her for wanting attention.

I take pictures of Dani as we walk and talk, and she calls me her little photographer, which makes me beam. We reach a fork in the road. “We can hike up the rest of the mountain; it’s very steep, but it’ll take us directly back home. Or! We can go down this slope. I’ve never been down there, but I’ve heard this trail circles around the mountain.” Not one to pass up a chance at a significant event to occur in my life, I say, “I don’t know that I’m feeling up for hiking a steep mountain right now,” and she grins and says, “Thank God, neither do I!”

The further we are from civilization, the more afraid I get. I begin to see images of scary men hidden in the trees, wild coyotes, a stray rattlesnake. Worse, I wonder whether we’ll be lost out here.


I wonder, can it be understood that I am aware and I am grateful for the things that I have, most of them which I don’t deserve, and I am still unhappy?


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I’m sitting on my bed, right next to my window. The sun is setting to my left. I re-arranged my room last October for this very reason: to be able to watch the sunset every single night.

I’m writing and Paolo Nutini is crooning from the other corner of the room, the sound escaping from a tiny speaker. He’s singing about his girl making him want to be a better man. Can I just say? That Paolo Nutini makes me feel something on the surface of my skin? I’ve been trying lately to avoid using clichés, whether I’m speaking or writing, so I don’t know how to put across the idea that Paolo Nutini is very important to me without using a tired phrase, and also, my love for Paolo Nutini isn’t important at all, but one of the main characteristics of my personality is record-keeping: I have to remember that Paolo Nutini was very important to me August of 2016.

Speaking of August of 2016, I celebrated my twenty-first birthday on the twenty-fourth of August. For my birthday, I got a piñata (shaped like a colorful donkey) filled with Hershey bars, and a gold necklace with a pendant in the shape of California. It was the happiest birthday I had ever had in my entire life. The reasons for it are somewhere in my journal.

Paolo Nutini just finished crooning about being a Better Man and two helicopters just flew above my home. More than three families on my street are moving out. I feel like something is stirring outside my universe, and every one else knows but me.


After thinking about it for some time, maybe I don’t know how to describe how I love Paolo Nutini because I’m not interested in explaining myself. Which I understand sounds harsh, but as someone who considers herself one of the biggest people-pleasers she has ever met, this is very good news.


My first day of my senior year of college began this week, after taking a semester off. This is the first year I attend college back home, in Southern California, after having studied in New York City. The school I attend now is in the city also, which gives me a false sense of being back in Manhattan. And that’s enough to keep me going.

I’ve had a rough start, though: my courses begin at 9 am, and I have four classes back-to-back. The night before my first day of classes, I was so nervous that I wouldn’t sleep enough. I was so nervous, in fact, that it kept me awake all night. I didn’t sleep not even ten minutes. It was a trip driving to school; however, I was forced to ask my parents to pick me up from school when I figured I could probably die if I attempted to drive back home. I’ve never been drunk in my life, but I wonder if the feeling was similar.

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10 August, 2016

But My Name is Lame, I Can't Walk and I Ain't the Same

writing on sad uneventful days

✍ CURRENTLY WRITING FROM: SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

Angel left for bootcamp. The evening he left, he sent a message explaining that he only had a short amount of time left before he couldn't communicate over the phone anymore. I sent a long string of hurried messages, explaining that he'd be missed and a reminder to write and to take care of himself. Then, he sent Dani and I one last message: "Girls, I love you. I gotta go now." I'm not sure why I feel it so heavily, but I do.


I begin to do that shitty thing in which I re-read my old journals, where I was decidedly happier. I compare who I am to who I was. I decide I don't want to be around either version of myself.


the moon, my girlfriend

I am sleepy and nonverbal for a couple of days in a row, and I ignore this warning sign, because I routinely punish myself with isolation for pitying myself. I observe my mind feeling sorry for itself for being sad and alone, and I stick my nose up at it, and say Well, you should have though about that before making everything about you. However, the couple of days turn into a week and then this turns into two weeks which turns into a really long stretch of time in which I vacantly stare into space and I realize that I don't remember any specific activity I did during that time, it seems like the days are repeating themselves and I'm stuck in a loop of being apathetic and irritable.


I try to let Eckhart Tolle convince me that I don't have to feel what I'm feeling by closing my eyes and meditating on this, but after struggling and squeezing my eyes shut for a couple of minutes, I think to myself that I'm not feeling anything, that's the problem, and I don't know where I want to go.



On a bus ride in Los Angeles, my phone's battery drains, and I become lost trying to reach West Hollywood at 10 PM.  Next to me, a group of teenage boys toss a foam football from across the aisle to each other.  They're talking about so many different, innocent things, which I find so amusing, that I need to record somehow.  Unable to type it into my phone, I pull a pen from my bag and begin to quickly transcribe what I'm overhearing on to my hand, as inconspicuously as I can.


A month passes.  In the middle of my apathy, Amani visits me all the way from New York City.  She brings with her: love, unconditional love; warmth, despite how much colder it is where she's coming from; good habits.  I spend a week loving and being loved by a group of people that doesn't have to bother loving me.  They don't have to, I'm no where near them any more.  Still, it feels as though no time has passed since I saw them last.  I laugh just as high-pitchedly as I would have if I still lived on the East Coast.  They spend a week in awe of Southern California.  When I drop them off at the bus station on their last day, I cry hot, quiet tears.  I keep crying as I get into my car, I cry as I drive past them and wave solemnly out the window, I cry all the way home, and the tears pool in my lap.


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i was trying to write down what this group of boys was talking about on the bus

29 February, 2016

I'm Not Entirely Here, Half of Me Has Disappeared

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✍ CURRENTLY WRITING FROM: SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

On a February night, in a darkened parking lot, Dani slaps my thigh with a rubber knife.  We're learning to deflect knife wounds.  This one, in particular, stings.  I squeeze my eyes shut and make note to check what it looks like the next morning.  I wake up with a heart-shaped bruise.

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Tonight I talked to Amani. She was 2,763 miles away from me, huddled up in a student lounge in Manhattan, while I sat criss cross applesauce in my room, sporting a clay mask and a raggedy I ♡ NY t-shirt. We recounted what had happened to each other since the last time we spoke. I laughed and I laughed and I clutched at my stomach and I realized that Amani radiates the sun no matter what time of day it is.  At one point, she switches to a new topic and begins by saying, "You're an observant person, aren't you?" and my heart swells.  She makes me take a quiz to find out what kind of element bender I am, and one of the questions inquires whether I’m consistent with my emotions and moods, or whether I’m all over the place. I come to the harsh realization that I’m actually very emotionally unstable in the gentlest way possible, and then I laugh about that, as well.

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Somewhere during my freshman year of college, there was a shift in my spirit. That Manhattan winter of 2014 was one of the saddest Februarys I had ever been alive. I noticed there was something different when I walked from Union Square all the way down to Brooklyn Bridge / City Hall, crying at nothing in particular, while snow flurries frizzed up my hair, made my nose pink.

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friends
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Cait and Lizzie visit me one Saturday night, which makes me giddy inside, because the space I live in is my favorite place in the world. L. tucks her legs under her and she bounces animatedly, telling us stories about her new relationship. We all begin to talk about what we think love is, and we all come to the consensus that not only are there different kinds of love, but it’s difficult for someone to come up with a correct definition of love if they haven’t been in it.

C. says that she thinks the city we live in is small-town mentality. This makes me frown, because I realize that she’s correct, and I begin to wish I hadn’t left New York and that life hadn’t happened to me and that I was a stronger person than I am now. The wheels in my head start turning, and I become resolute on the fact that I will not grow up and die here.

At some point in the night, C. and L. are curled up in different corners of my bed, busy on their own, a speaker plays chillwave music, and I’m dicking around with a camera. Sometimes they’ll look up and ask, “What song is this?” C. says, “This has been such a good Saturday. I love hang-outs like these. I love your room.” And I feel happiness bubble up inside me, at the thought that people that I love made themselves comfortable in my space.

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summer in februarysummer in february

My mother points at The Kiss by Gustav Klimt, printed onto a canvas and on sale at Goodwill for twelve dollars. Realizing what I’m looking at, I squeal and begin to jump up and down and I grab on to her arm and I’m bouncing and laughing maniacally. Trying to indulge my recent zodiac mania, she tells me that she read in my horoscope that morning that I’d be receiving a surprise from a family member today. She pays for one half, I the other, and I walk out of the store with a canvas that’s larger than half of my height, unable to control my cackling.

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summer in february

Cherry blossoms have started budding in San Diego. I decide that whenever I see one, it’ll be a reminder to stand upright and keep blooming.

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On a day like this one, where communication falls through with another person, I feel it deeply in my heart and it fills my boots, they're heavy for the rest of the day.

I go to sleep and I turn off the light in this room and I put my hands out and walk, in the dark, to my bed.  As my autopilot pulls me there, I remember how, when I was a child, I used be deeply afraid of the dark and its hidden, paranormal unknowns.  Inevitably, I think about M. again.  Twice in one month.  I find that whenever I feel spooked, I think of him, and I wonder whether he'd take care of me and protect me today.

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S. calls me as I'm painting my nails brick red.  "Jess!  Look out your window!"  I tiptoe in my bare feet to the other side of my room and peer into the bushes outside.  In my ear, she says: "Can you let me in?"  I swing the door open and she says she was this close to throwing pebbles to get my attention.  I wish she would have.

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my beautiful yellow tree
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A man much larger than I is on the ground, sparring with me, and at one point, he presses my head down on the mat.  He slides his arm around my neck and tries to choke me, and my starfish earring gets stuck to his sleeve.  As his arm keeps pulling, so does my earring.  I tap; he releases.  I reach my hand up to my ear and I feel sticky blood.  I put my fingers to my face.  They're red. I grin at him with satisfaction.

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He says I love you and that's enough for now.

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Traditionally, my brain shuts down emotionally after I've had a good day.  This was no exception.  My boots get heavy while I'm sleeping.  I wake up and my mind is cloudy, my eyes don't want to open.  Where sweet words are lacking, my joy is found in chocolate pastries and the bubbles that form at the bottom of a glass as you're filling it with water from the tap.

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I sit still for the first time all day and I continue to think about my life.  I realize that I'm daydreaming about sabotaging my future.  I wistfully imagine what it'd be like to fall apart and crumble every single damn day, have it reset at night, and begin again the next.

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I listen to 'That I Would be Good" on repeat at noon, and I wonder whether I'm going through an Alanis Morissette phase at twenty, in the year 2016.

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journaling around boys

Dani drives through the long back road at night, exiting the ranch-and-equestrian community she lives in.  I told her before I hate driving through here; it reminds me of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  The road merges and we're in a deserted, winding road.  Over the music she yells:  "Is this the place you're scared of?"

I smile sheepishly and nod,  "Yeah, dude!"

Dani turns her face back to the road, and before I realize, she switches off her headlights and she lets out a long, high-pitch scream.  She begins to cackle as I smack her shoulder.  She rolls down her window and turns down the music and she screams again as I alternate between looking bewildered at her, and watching the road.  It seems like the sound of the engine has gotten louder, my knees feel weak, but I still throw my head back and laugh while shaking.  My teeth begin to chatter and I still chuckle here and there.  Dani lets out a Whooo! and she turns the headlights back on.

22 February, 2016

My Worries as Big as the Moon

my worries as big as the moon

✍ CURRENTLY WRITING FROM: SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

I grew up a person that scoffed at the zodiac, but, like every mild narcissist and / or young person caught in the constant influx of horoscope memes circulating the internet today (this post has already dated itself and it’s only one sentence in), I appreciate hearing about myself. Or at least, what I’m supposed to be like. Whenever someone does something that either poignantly reflects or deflects me, I ask them what their birthday is.

I’m prone to anxious tendencies, so I’ve naturally worried about what the zodiac means lately. I’m a Virgo. My sister, my best friend, is a Gemini. We’re aggressively incompatible. She doesn’t find this a big deal. I, naturally, do. 

I’m obsessive by nature. 

I’m not an astrologist, and my knowledge of the zodiac goes as far as astrolocherry updates. But… Dakota Johnson is a Libra and Jamie Dornan is a Taurus and that compatibility is low so it’s no wonder they hate each other, allegedly, so obviously astrology is correct and I’m doomed to never get along with anyone ever again.  



It’s amazing how much the world shrinks when you have anxiety. I’ve been re-reading the posts I wrote while I was still in high school, and reading my words and listening to songs I used to when I was sixteen has re-awakened a lot of the hope I used to feel, reminded me of all the aspirations I used to have. I used to not be afraid of riding on airplanes, now just the thought of being in one for more than thirty seconds makes me nauseous and irritable. My world has gotten so small. I will never leave the American continent again.


summer in february




Me obsessing over the Zodiac is inherently selfish and egotistical. Because, subconsciously, I’m trying to decide which kind of person is right for me. And that can be a form of self-care from one perspective, but the principle is still selfish. Like, what am I offering to those people? This is me aligning my principles, maybe other people have a firm belief that they should not associate with people they don’t connect with, but it’s always been my modus operandi to serve and be helpful and make other people feel better and safe and okay. And worrying about whether other people will understand my humor or whether they’ll be easier to communicate with doesn’t seem to be as equally important as being with these people and loving them.


I don’t know what this says about me, maybe my future Psych major boyfriend can psychoanalyze me (and then I’ll grow up resenting him for it, but subconsciously, it won’t be until years down the road when I’m ready to leave him and flee with our kids and all the carbohydrates in the house in the middle of the night that he’ll intercept me and he’ll shove his hands in his pockets and look down but flick his eyes up and softly say, “It’s cause I tried to psychoanalyze you back in 2016, isn’t it?”), but it’s nearing six o clock in the morning and I haven’t been able to lull myself to sleep all night, so I’m watching the opening scene in Footloose (1984), where many feet are dancing… footloose… and fancy free… and I feel something welling up inside me, are these tears pooling? They are and I feel something growing in my chest, in my heart, and in this very moment I realize that we’re all human beings and we’re all the same and dance connects us, art connects us, expression connects us, we see ourselves reflected in other people through the expression of their emotions! I throw my hands in the air in the dark and I close my eyes! Oh! Oh, what a revelation, says I! I’m on to something here, I really am, and I feel such a fervent love for the human race all of a sudden and and!


It’s 7:20 am. I sleepily realize it’s 4:20 in Hawaii, and I point finger guns at nobody in particular. A couple of seconds later, I softly wonder to myself whether I could think about growing the hell up anytime soon.



My hair is shorter since the last time we spoke, Selena Quintanilla short, and it brings me a sense of freedom. Short-lived, of course, since I am also prone to low self-esteem, but every time I look in the mirror, I wonder whether Patti Smith would respect it.


"I can't believe you and I get to be alive at the same time" summer in february


On the twelfth, I watched First Aid Kit make Patti cry after singing “Dancing Barefoot” to her.  I re-watch it with the lights off, and as it closes, I get goosebumps all over my arms and legs. I re-watch it once more, and the Oh God I fell for you repeated by Klara sends shockwaves through my body. I shudder. I watch it one more time. I get goosebumps a third time. At that moment, I wish I was the third Söderberg sister. I wish I had Klara’s youthful bravery and heart, I wish I had Johanna’s mystery and soulful spirit.

I am grateful it’s getting warmer: my spirits will be lifted, and I’ll be able to tiptoe around my home barefoot.


Trying to lull myself to sleep, I read up on Gram Parsons. I read about his death and my boots get heavy and suddenly, my heart lurches forward and I think about M. and I begin to worry about him with the same intensity I did a week earlier and my eyes dart around the dark and I worry and I worry and I begin to demand answers to a lot impossible questions and I don’t have the answers so I begin to get frustrated and!

And then I slowly recline and I lay on my back and I close my eyes. And I clasp my hands together and press them to my forehead to make it clear that I’m praying and I whisper wishes for him. I telepathically tell him to please stay out of trouble and to maybe bother sending a message that tells me he's okay.


Writing this had me re-visiting my compatibility with the rest of the signs and I’ve just realized that one site said that I was most compatible with Capricorn, Taurus, Scorpios, and other Virgos, but another site said I was most compatible with Capricorn, Taurus, and Cancer, another said Capricorn and Taurus and Pisces, and I should forget about other Virgos, and now I’ve decided to hell with this… that won’t stop me from indulging in Virgo narcissism in the future, though.


summer in february