it was after prom.
this was years ago but it was still stuck in her mind. now thirty, she sat behind the tiny knitting cafe counter she worked at, knitting and purling and watching how quickly the periwinkle fabric turned and twisted in her hands, something she could not do twelve years ago, but now taught people how to do it, as her job, along with making cappuccinos and coffees and teas and baking organic and vegan muffins. she tried not to think of the divorce proceedings that were currently occupying her life, the pregnant cat at her house, half of whose kittens would belong to her soon-to-be ex-husband.
but after the prom, they did the going to a club thing, drinking out of flasks or cheap plastic cups, then going to the beach, still drinking out of flasks or cheap plastic cups, and then going to the lady luck diner and eating eggs. one out of every four students threw up in the parking lot. they all went to their respective houses, to tell their parents they had a great time, and slept till the late afternoon. the rest of the weekend was consumed by drinking, clubs, wild hotel parties, sex, and/or takeout food.
marey woke at seven in the evening on the day after the prom, and drank two glasses of powdered iced tea upon waking. (she knew nothing of teas then, just instant and regular hot tetley. she knew nothing of herbal or steeping or antioxidants.) she called her then-boyfriend, who came over. he was acting weird, and marey knew it was over. while he sat and talked with his best friend, mostly ignoring her, she went into her backyard and swam in the pool. after she dried off, he had left. she saw his car going down the block; she had hoped he would hop in the pool, greeting her tired mouth with his warm red lips.
her best friend came over. "why did jay leave? aren't you guys going dancing?"
"i guess not. fuck these suburbs. let's leave."
marey pulled on a black summer dress over her wet bathing suit. her hair smelled of chlorine and she was glad her hair was short--it always looked good, even without combing.
krissy called jay for her while she applied coral lipstick. “what the fuck is up with ditching my best friend?” this was when it was normal for your best friend to mediate your problems with your boyfriend. jay told her nothing was wrong. (really, he was getting into drugs, coke and acid and whatever else was around, above all weed.) he told krissy he was getting high. krissy told him to clean up his act or he was going to lose marey. “i don’t give a shit,” he told krissy, which she told marey only two years later, wanting to spare her friend the pain.
after a suitable lie (marey was sleeping at krissy’s, while krissy’s mom thought she was sleeping at marey’s) they walked to the commuter train station. they were almost late for the train, and ran the last quarter mile, arriving at the station breathless. they spent their train ride talking in soft voices, not sure what to do.
“st. mark’s place. it’s the coolest.”
as soon as the train arrived in the city, they went to a drug store inside the train station. they had forgotten their lipstick. there was a condom sale, and krissy wanted to buy the discounted trojans. marey paid for her rose pink lipstick, and they left.
they wandered around the train station, studying maps, until they figured their way to the street they so desired, a street on which marey would later live, when it would be labeled “so overrated.”
they were not sure what to do once they got their. they hopped on the subway, studying the map, subtly staring at people. as they exited the subway, marey began crying. she wouldn’t say what it was about, but it was of course about a boyfriend who she didn’t really like that much anyway—but it was the fact that their ties were being severed.
they went to an all-night bagel and pizza café. marey got a sesame bagel with an inch and a half of cream cheese, while krissy got two slices of greasy pepper pizza. krissy had never been to st. mark’s and was impressed. marey had been here before—had had her back pressed tight against a doorway while making out with a guitar player from an unknown punk band two months ago, on this very street, after eating at the very same pizza and bagel café.
they ate. they drank juice in small cartons. in the bathroom, marey ignored the small baggies decorating the floor and studied herself in the mirror. too boring. she applied excess lipstick, dotted the pink color on her cheeks and rubbed, as if it were rouge. she scrunched her hair up, pushed her dress down, revealing more cleavage. the wet spots from the bathing suit had almost, but not completely, dried.
on the street, marey bought barrettes from a store that was somehow still open, even at midnight. she put them on in front of a mirror the cashier had handed her, fastening her hair back. she bought an extra pair in a different color, that she dropped into her purse.
they wandered around, between glowing embers and couples making out and drunk nyu students and loud music spilling out of clubs and shrieking of sidewalk bars and the fried food of restaurants. krissy bought a cd from a street vendor.
they sat on the curb in front of a store that had closed hours earlier. they had never smoked before but krissy bummed a cigarette off of a cop, and they passed it back and forth between each other, coughing ever-so-slightly. a couple walked past, and stopped.
later, marey would never remember what they had been discussing. they were never sure if they were a couple or just friends, but eventually, marey was kissing the girl who was a thin model (marey later saw her in cosmetic ads) and krissy made out with the tall and somewhat feminine man (who they later realized was a woman).
on the train later: omigod, are we lesbians? but for now, just kiss.
after the kissing stopped, krissy and marey continued walking. they averted their eyes, and bought a pack of cigarettes. they went into a bar and shared beers. they drank and smoked until their money ran out. then they let two law students buy them drinks, and lied about their ages. they made up an elaborate story. the boys had to leave to study for a test.
krissy and marey left the bar when it closed. they walked back to the suburban train station, skipping the subway ride for a long walk through the still-humming streets. they were tired. they bought a snapple to share, and gum to disguise their heavily nicotine breath.
“god. this is so not normal for a prom weekend.”
they got on the commuter train bound for their hometown when arriving in the station, and found the streets in the suburbs much darker, much quieter. dew covered everything. they heard their breath. unlike the city, which hummed and grew and breathed life and energy even so late, the suburbs were scary and empty. the girls ran back to krissy’s, ran the four miles. they ran into sprinklers, and constantly looked around. no one was there.
they ran into krissy’s backyard, where they climbed the tall oak to the treehouse they no longer used. it was good for times like these. stinking of nicotine and beer and sweat and even, a little on marey, chlorine, they slept until the afternoon.
and now years later, marey wondered what had happened to jay. here she was: divorced at a year when she should have been having children. she knew krissy was living in iowa, teaching kindergarten and married with two children. her husband was a children’s author. she was successful. supposedly. all of these facts had come through friends of friends, and had marey inquired further she would have learned that krissy’s husband had left her for their babysitter, and her husband got custody, and that krissy was depressed and planning on quitting teaching to travel around the world.
but somehow, none of this matters because memories are the most important.
30 December 2004
it was after prom.
29 December 2004
- drink more, go out more (be social).
- write more
- eliminate trans fat from my life
- hang out with friends i never see more
- have more orgasms, esp more sex (w/ t only)
- run more
- practice yoga more
26 December 2004
but seriously, all of the sudden, there are these terrible, boring memoirs out there that are too much. many of the people don't have writing skills, and of course, don't realize that much of their life is BORING. if you are going to write a memoir, skip all the childhood shit--yeah it influences who you are, but it's boring. and no one cares about your grandma teaching you how to crochet or your first period if it doesn't directly apply to the memoir. i skim that stuff. lately, even if i find a good memoir (rare), i end up skimming much of it.
so if you think your life is so freaking interesting, you should write a blog instead of a memoir, or get some more friends. but if you think you need to publish it in a book, read tons of memoirs, please, and see what i'm talking about. cut all the shit that is even remotely boring--and have a trusted friend read it who is a ruthless editor. study what a memoir is--you focus on a certain element of your life--your eating disorder, your addiction to mountain biking, your obsession with cats (i'm not writing a memoir about luna because words could not capture her wonder!)--and cut all the other stuff. and tons of shitty pictures don't do anything for it.
and if you still think, 'well, hmm, my idea is good but...' don't write it if you don't need to. but if you want to, why don't you fictionalize it? and when you are writing this novel, let real life influence the events, but don't limit yourself--as in, if your brother did or didn't do that, be creative and make something new happen.
now i'm going to work on a novel--that may or may not be true.
20 December 2004
19 December 2004
i guess as an asthmatic i just wish i could breathe normally. i'm in my apartment and yet i'm wheezing and coughing and generally feeling like shit (working on this stupid paper probably has something to do with the feeling like shit part). and i just wish i could breathe normally and feel good. so i just can't understand why anyone would smoke and destroy their lungs...i mean, give me your working strong lungs, take my shitty ones, then you'll know how it feels not to breathe.
i drank sangria at my friend's boyfriend's show at this beautiful soho studio--and then i'm thinking, watching people dance, how it's so amazing to be an artist b/c you offer something to people--a part of yourself. and as an artist, seeing people get excited or inspired or altered by my work--i know i've made a success. and even tho t and i beg to differ, i think of the speech at my graduation--being an artist is a higher calling.
last night went to a complacent party. www.complacent.org they are a group of artists who enjoy music, experimentation, influence of all different cultures and experiences. a lot of burning man people, artists, musicians. they usually create a really intense atmosphere--with effigies, sculptures, paintings, free body painting, random spontaneous art being created and sought out. last night the coat check room, among other things, had 4 or 5 tvs, from large to small, lined up, all playing rudolph the red nosed reindeer. emily had never seen so we got drunk while i narrated. she loved herbie. the bumble is SO cute even tho he tries to eat clarice! so i'm dancing and drinking and sweating and drinking from my friends' glasses and bottles and feeling so full of love...i meet some crazy burning man guy with fuzzy pants, dance all crazy with him. there's some obnoxious heterosexual men with fucking holly over their head (if you brought mistletoe you got $3 off the invite) and em and i keep going "that's holly." there were a lot of heterosexual men and i was so grossed out--ugh, go away. i took my hair down and whipped it in front of my face as i danced...that way they couldnt look at me and i couldnt see their beady little eyes staring at me. overall i feel disgusted at men right now and dont want anything to do with them...i did go with j. but he's the nice big bro i never had.
but bk to art. i love complacent b/c they're constantly creating and recreating and bringing together all different people and experiences. new nation was a party they threw in the summer and i cheered with the cheerleaders, danced with these indian-inspired musicians who were fucking amazing, dancing inside a sweaty crowded room, met people, got lost, felt overwhelmed by the intense atmosphere. i like to create art when i am someplace, exploding with words and feelings and an intense form of dance and omigod, everything is SO funny.
and that's the thing about art. you make it not to enjoy it yourself, but to share it. and i like to share. so here's some more of me, more of my art.
17 December 2004
so what have i been taught? i've taught i don't need to be stick-thin or a certain size to be perfect. in grade school, i was SO thin people would taunt me. skip to high school where a vegetarian track runner finds herself going, "oh doritos are vegetarian!" like those runs we'd do to the 7/11 by the train station, and eat doritos and drink the HUGE--i mean the biggest one if you've ever been to a 7/11, yeah that fucking HUGE one--slurpees on the platform, talking, gossing. and then feeling sick on the run back. and then of course my best friend is SO thin...in college she's modeling and i'm jealous. she says, "i would kill to have your tits. and look at my ass. so fat." i don't think we'll ever be satisfied. i mean, maybe men are different. t. says he's going to be bald but doesn't seem too concerned about it. m. has gray hair, started since he was in his teens. it makes him look cute.
we all have our issues. we hide behind these layers of NOT US. like makeup and rouge and lipgloss and gel and sweaters and jewelry and backpacks and books and 100% cashmere coats and whatever else is it that's really nothing more than an accessory in our lives: an accessory to us.
i remember this one time. we were lying in bed, perhaps we had just made love. we were naked, back when we lived in the dorms. i used to be one of those candy raver jewelry kids--tons of bracelets--jelly, beads, etc--necklaces, rings. hanging out with the candy ravers, exchanging bracelets and lollypops.
but then you said, "can i do something?"
i'd let you do whatever it is you wanted. you took off all my jewelry--bracelet after bracelet--bracelets half-way up my forearm; my rings, i was probably wearing a lot, my necklaces. and then you looked at me. i looked more naked. very slowly, in silence.
"now, this is you. you are so beautiful. without all that stuff. this is you."
and i knew this stuff all along but something clicked. i felt better somehow.
at the next raves i went to, i still hung out with the candy ravers, laughing at my friends, but instead of trading bracelets, i gave them away. i knew that i needed to only be true, to only stay who i am.
today i wear jewelry--what very little of it i own--but i realize that you can't hide. fancy hairstyles and all these little sidelines to your life--they're just an addition, not important. focus on you, who you are, and what you love to do.
16 December 2004
But this I will keep to myself (except for you, dear reader).
What I cannot stand is when people tell me, "Oh, you'll change your mind," "Oh you'll want to eventually," "But you'll love them when they're yours." Um, no. And don't tell me what I'll do. "I didn't want kids, but look how happy I am." No thanks.
T & I did decide if we ever want kids, we'll wait a year--so we can realize how much we like having our independence, evaluate if we can do it, see if it's more impt than having $ (t's main reason for not wanting kids is b/c it costs $$$$$).
But seriously: you may be well-meaning, but it's RUDE to ask about children and to insist someone will change their mind. Leave them alone. Ask them about their life, not the children they don't and never will have. If they do change your mind, swallow that "I told you so."
12 December 2004
i don't have PMS. i just am really cranky with everybody and everything right now, except my cat. i'm tired, i'm exhausted, i don't want to do it anymore. like putting all yr effort into a relationship that is sitting in the toilet, waiting to be flushed. i've been so negative lately, sorry.
on the up note, i'm listening to christmas music. LOVE IT! i'm going to make some cocoa later and sit by my little tree. and i'm taking off a week and a half for the holidays and am hoping to spend the bulk of it writing, with some time with family and friends too. and of course, reading a lot, esp on travel books. i can't wait to go away.
i bought a pair of sparkly blue fuzzy socks and i just put them on. i felt something strange and realized there was one of those metal fasteners in it. great.
any suggestions on how to cheer up?
10 December 2004
god i am so in the mood to be vapid. watch movies, paint my toenails, pet my cat, goss. i miss having such a scandalous life, this grownup stuff is boring.
once i'm done with hedge funds and LIS i'm going to become a drama queen again. i mean, t hasn't called me a drama queen or princess in forever (not like we talk much but when we do, you know). i'm doing something wrong.
who wants to have some fun?
doesn't that sound nice?
08 December 2004
two hipster girls in the greenpoint avenue g station at 8:39 am, 5/19/04
girl a: "he doesn't think of me that way!"
girl b: "yes he does, when he's drunk!"
"i don't have a life, i have a rash!" my coworker
"i tried british and it all sounded way constipated." my sister
if anyone asks me again, i swear i'm gonna put my foot where the sun don't shine.
who was it that said, 'you just need to get laid?' yeah what is sex anyway? i mean, seriously, i'm abt to be a nun here.
lissy--the man or the cat--choose the cat.
library school is just really draining. and i love the holidays but no one has gotten any gifts yet (except crista, which i bought months ago knowing it would be a good gift) and my tree is bare, with no gifts underneath. i'm trying to find a gift really outrageous for my mom b/c i love her and she refuses to spoil herself...but like i have time? well i can go with my boyfriend who still hasnt bought me a bday gift xmas shopping at the last minute since i'll be revising my thesis for my advisor till then.
anyway i'm cranky and damnit, i need some truffles. why dont i have any chocolate in this house?
back to my nonexciting life!