I went to Union Square today and walked around the vendors in the park, ogling the dried flowers, art on canvas, homemade chocolate chip cookies. At a market I bought a small bouquet of flowers for my kitchen table - fairy roses in fuchsia and pale pink and coral.
I eventually made my way over to Anthropologie and decided to move in. Dear god I love that store. One day my home will feel just like that - sweet smelling and cottony and comforting. I bought a candle in a glass jar that matches the green of my ottoman, and a three-pronged hook for my hand towels. I had to talk myself out of buying a dozen other little things. I didn’t even let myself look at the clothes, although I admit I caressed a striped silk dress longingly, but only for a moment.
i hasten to complete my list before i am interrupted. in the green group, there are alder-leaf f, the unripe apple of p, and pistachio t. dull green combined somehow with violet, is the best i can do for w.
the yellows comprise various e’s and i’s, creamy d, bright-golden y, and u, whose alphabetical value i can express only by ‘brassy with an olive sheen.’ in the brown group, there are the rich rubbery tone of soft g, paler j, and the drab shoelace of h.
finally, among the reds, b has the tone called burnt sienna by painters, m is the fold of pink flannel, and today i have at last perfectly matched v with ‘rose quartz’ in maerz and paul’s dictionary of color.
the word for rainbow, a primary, but decidedly muddy, rainbow, is in my private language the hardly pronounceable: kspygv. the first author to discuss audition colorée was, as far as i know, an albino physician in 1812, in erlangen.
Can you post pictures of your apartment? Im curious to see what it looks like after hearing so much about it and to see how you decorate it since you have such great taste!
Aww thank you! I do really want to do this, but my reluctance is twofold:
1. I’m not a photographer. I’m worried I’ll do a really ugly job of capturing the apartment.
2. I haven’t hung any artwork so things are looking very incomplete right now. I need to buy some art and some frames, but my budget is… limited. Plus I’ve never bought a picture frame before? Ever? I know.
So it’s all on the to-do list. Maybe I’ll get motivated and take some this week.
Not having a job is really great so far. However, in order to keep my anxieties at bay I try to do one or two responsible things per day (so far they are things like: set up bank account, call about potential job interview, locate post office, mail rent check, etc.). After I do the Big Girl Stuff in the morning, I am free to do whatever I want (so far, because it’s been so rainy, these have been things like: watch Weeds on Netflix instant, drink wine).I really do want to explore my neighborhood (and the whole city!), but until it’s sunny, I’m content to luxuriate in this apartment that I am in love with.
I’ve also become obsessive about keeping things tidy, doing dishes immediately, putting away clothes, and making my bed? What is that about?
So last night I checked out Union Hall and went to this Chatroulette comedy show they were doing downstairs. It was basically group chatroulette and we talked to everyone who would talk to a bar full of people and girls held up numbers to rate the penises. The hosts seemed really unprepared, but it was still funny. I stayed for an hour and then felt bored and walked home.
While I was there, I sort of felt like I was back in college or camp. It was strange to be around a bunch of people my age who dress like I do and seem reasonably intelligent and silly and not trying too hard. Strange for a bar is what I mean, I guess. The whole bar was that way. It just felt friendly and comfortable (well I felt a little awkward, being there alone, but I wasn’t the only one) and the girls had glasses and the boys looked honest.
I want to go back with a book sometime and eat food and watch people play bocce ball. I don’t really enjoy sitting alone in parks, but library bars? That’s something I can get into.
I am sitting on my bed, eating a kebab, in my wonderful new apartment in Park Slope. I am the luckiest girl in the world.
I am seriously over the moon. I love this place. Right now, there are boxes everywhere, but things are shaping up nicely. There is soap in my shower and books in my shelves and wine on top of my fridge. I can’t believe this whole apartment is mine. I can’t believe I live in New York City. It’s a dream.
I’m completely obsessed with this song. I’ve always been opposed to the kind of digressive warbling that people like Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilara are known for. But this. This song almost brings me to tears toward the end. It kills me.
I’m sitting on my empty bedroom floor, so incredibly anxious for the move tomorrow. Everything has been packed in the U-Haul and my dad and I will set out tomorrow around 6:30 AM. I’m not sure what I feel for this place - this home that was never really my home. I feel sadder about leaving my car. I’m giving it away. I’ll miss that old junker. Yesterday I went to the bank to close my account and as I was leaving I noticed that the front of the car was falling off again. I felt incredibly sketchy, duct taping my car in the bank parking lot.
I’m looking forward to taking the subway everyday, as silly as that sounds. I’m looking forward to a place of my own. I’m even looking forward to the silence. I’m looking forward to teaching myself to cook and to sweeping my floors and hanging my curtains. I can hardly believe this is all really happening.
I’m nervous about not having a job. I’m nervous about not knowing how to get around. I’m nervous about paying bills and ironing my clothes and opening a bank account and setting up interviews. I’m nervous about a thousand things because I still feel like I’m ten years old and still proud of myself for making my own lunch. I’m nervous, yes. I’m fucking terrified out of my mind. But I’m not thinking about that. I’m thinking about buying flowers for the vase I bought for my kitchen table. I’m thinking about waking up in the morning on Sunday and taking a walk and exploring my neighborhood.
You heard me mumble motherfucker when I discovered my torn laptop case, and you told me not to get so upset about the little things. What I wanted to tell you, but didn’t, was that all the little things are starting to feel like a great big thing. And the Great Big Thing is getting bigger than I am. Once I carried it in my palm, then I carried it on my back, now I drag it along beside me, feel it’s bones scraping on the sidewalk, and I’m thinking about sitting down next to it and burying my head in its great bigness.
Do you remember how it felt to play outside all day in the winter, hauling your sled up the hill a thousand times? Do you remember how you were bundled so tightly, you sometimes felt you couldn’t breathe? Sometimes in the cold afternoon, when you were soaked and exhausted and the snow came above your knees, it seemed like the walk home was endless and impossible.
I’ve been crying a lot lately, even for me. I’ve been staying on the phone after you hang up. Sometimes I feel disappointed down to my bones. I find myself wondering why there are never enough words to describe grief. Everything is worse when it can’t be explained.
I keep hoping to find a word that means a combination of self-loathing and discouragement and homesickness. Something that means weary and anxious, and falling asleep in the snow. I just want to be specific, in case you ever ask.
I went shopping with my grandma today, as well as rummaging through her basement for things to take to Brooklyn with me. She’s an artist and has excellent taste. Her whole house is like a beautiful treasure trove of antique furniture and refurbished art. I arrived home with vintage tea towels, amazing soap, a yellow antique teapot, some blue glass bottles, and a set of vintage glass coasters, among other things.
My grandmother loved to tell all the salesladies that I’m moving to New York. Consequently, variations of the following conversation were had:
"Oh! New York! Well you have to have this hat!"
"Oh, no. No thank you."
"Just try it on!"
"No. Oh. Um. Ok."
"You look like a model! Doesn’t she?"
"This hat was made for you!"
"I don’t even really wear hats…"
"You’re moving to New York and you’re not going to buy this hat!"
In case you were wondering, I did not buy any hats.
I remember the night in two colors. The first half is tinted golden, like a sepia photograph, tequila in a glass, my face, blushing and giddy in the yellow light of the bathroom mirror. I was drinking herradura and I tried to come up with an apt simile for the taste, but nothing came to mind. “It’s like a cactus,” he said, without hesitation. “Yes! Exactly! It’s prickly.” I was delighted. I had a hundred conversations that night, but this is the one I remember.
The second half of the night is darker. Everything is shadowed - the dim booth at the back of the bar, the blue glow from someone’s phone, and my face, pale and blurry in the gloomy bathroom mirror. It’s often about mirrors with me. I’m compelled, especially when drunk, to sneak off somewhere quiet and peer at my own face. It’s a curious thing to see yourself, stranger-like and gazing back. It’s like being in a dream.
In my dreams, I am a spectator. I watch them like movies, rather than living them. The night was just that way. I watched myself doing things, but didn’t feel myself doing them. I listened nervously to my own voice, anxious about what I might say. I watched you get up and leave without saying goodbye, and just like in dreams, I was helpless to stop you.
The worst hangovers feel like the physical manifestation of regret. It was as though my embarrassment had coiled in my stomach - toxic and bitter. I was sick all night and the next day. You wouldn’t hold me and that was the worst part. I slept fitfully, dreaming of deserts, my skin prickling in my sleep.
I like to think that my inexperience adds to my charm.
So I am well aware that this post probably reveals me for the complete and utter novice I am in all things New York, but I just found out that there’s this great bar within a couple blocks of my place in Brooklyn and it sounds amazing. Union Hall? And it’s decorated like a library? And has two bocce ball courts? And incredible food? And bands every week?
That high pitched sound you hear is me squealing in delight.
I just finished my last day of work at the hotel and I have that fluttery feeling in my chest, like I might float away any minute. It feels like the last day of high school, except I’m the only one graduating. It’s a strange feeling to leave a job I’ve enjoyed. The hotel was beginning to feel like home. I have a week to plan and pack and sleep in. This moving thing is starting to feel real.
Why does no one ever tell you how goddamn frustrating it is to be an adult? I spent hours on the phone today with brokers and the electric company, faxing paperwork, and trying to prove I’m a new tenant. I spent half an hour on hold, miming stabbing myself with my pen and drawing hate-doodles on sticky notes. Ok, so maybe I’m not an adult yet. But I’m getting there.
Yesterday I hungrily wandered the aisles of the Hollywood Video store that’s closing near me. I have this rule about never buying DVDs that cost more than $10. It’s something I’m very strict about, and as such my options are narrowed by the random sales at Target. At Hollywood video, however, all the new releases were $10 and the old movies were anywhere from $4 to $8. It was overwhelming. I could choose anything.
I scolded myself for not making a list of all the movies I don’t have, but want. I resisted the urge to buy anything I hadn’t seen. I avoided the horror and action aisles. I sized up the other customers: a frighteningly obese man in a wheelchair in the comedy aisle, a boy my age scrounging for copies of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, a snobby older man inspecting his obscure DVDs for scratches and his two pleading sons, a lot of dumb looking guys buying the latest in fratboy humor. I may have been the only girl there.
I ended up with 500 Days of Summer, The Brothers Bloom, Shopgirl, and Easy. I plan on going back in a week or two to see if prices have dropped any further. I’m sort of hoping the shelves are much emptier next time. I’m not good with choices.
The only thing that I am more sure of the older I get is that everyone has secrets. We squirrel them away in boxes, and close them up in the pages of books, but they remain, terrible and astonishing. They remain.
Everyone you know has at least one awful secret. Everyone has something they must remember not to say. Can you even imagine all the things I’m not telling you?
Maybe more than anything I’ll remember the way we got up in the mornings. Your house was always freezing and you read the newspaper while I shivered beside you, clutching my laptop, legs curled up under me. I thought we made an apt picture, generational artifacts in hand. The gap between us was widest in the mornings: I couldn’t even feign interest in what you were reading. You were outwardly disdainful of my blogging.
I felt all elbows and knees, sticking out at awkward angles from your life. You wouldn’t eat breakfast. I didn’t drink coffee. Sometimes it seemed like we didn’t share anything at all, until you peered down at me over the top of your glasses and kissed the tip of my nose. There was that.
“when people see me doing normal things in public, like zipping my hoodie or reaching for a cup, i feel like a cow or horse on a field trying to ‘appear nonchalant’, as people drive by in minivans staring at me from backseats”—Tao Lin (via whokilled)
Sometimes I feel like my film degree is such a sham. I learned how to use big words and apply complicated theories. I watched Important Films that no one has ever heard of. I made experimental films about nothing and then defended them using piles of research. But I don’t feel like I know anything about anything. There are so many movies I should have seen. I don’t remember how to use lighting convincingly. I don’t feel comfortable with microphones.
I feel like I went culinary school and learned to make puff pastries, but I still don’t know how to make a grilled cheese sandwich. I just assumed we would start with toast and work our way up! And the thing is, puff pastries aren’t particularly useful, but everybody wants some grilled cheese from the famous culinary student. And I’m all “SHRUG. I dunno, you guys!”
I saw Alice in Wonderland yesterday. I found it kind of tedious, which is a strange thing for me to say about a movie with that many costume changes, but there you have it. It should have been something I could love, the elements were right: female protagonist, riddled dialogue, ruffled dresses, talking rabbits, and yet.
I felt like I had seen it all before, and not because it was a remake/sequel. It was remarkably similar to the story of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, but somehow far less emotional. My favorite scene was when Alice first fell down the rabbit hole and tried all the doors in that dingy little room. I could have done without the plot entirely, and just watched Alice explore.
There was one line I particularly liked, though. The Mad Hatter tells Alice that she’s “lost her muchness.” She used to be much muchier. It was only then that I felt Burton stab briefly at the heart of what draws people to the story of Alice in Wonderland.
I relate to Alice’s identity crisis, her perpetual growing and shrinking. I see my emotions mirrored in her confusion, her fear, disgust, and delight in the strange world around her. Every day I am tumbling down a rabbit hole of objects that stop just short of clobbering me. That’s the Alice I’m interested in, not this knight in shining armor. While Burton’s Alice as Joan of Arc is a positive image of femininity, I think I would have preferred something a little darker. Alice as Sylvia Plath, perhaps. Battles of good vs. evil grow tiresome, but madness never loses its charm.