When in America

I don’t vomit often but every time I do,  it seems to be in America.

Maybe it’s the free-pouring of liquor, in contrast to our responsible and regulated 1oz shots, carefully measured out one after another. Maybe travelling is hard on my stomach. Maybe it’s the $2.50 beer specials. Maybe it’s the cloak of justification that I place upon my shoulders every time I cross the boarder, or the voice of Lady Liberty in my ear whispering: “Yes…indulge! Eat and drink and be free… this is America! This is FREEDOM.” Either way, you could trace the path of my proverbial vomit-comet all the way from Boston to NYC, down to Miami, over to Oakland and you’ll end up, most recently, in Seattle.

I’m not proud of this; vomiting is a disgusting facet of life and something that should only happen to you after the age of 25 because of severe illness or pregnancy. But a few weekends ago, in Seattle, I found myself crouched over the hotel toilet at 2am barfing as if it was my high school graduation and praying to a God I didn’t know I believed in, when my boyfriend walked in. He looked at me, silently, and I shooed him away with a mortified wave of my hand. Two minutes later, he walked in again. I begged him to leave. This back-and-forth happened two more times, until he finally pointed at the toilet and it dawned on me that he was indicating a need to use it. Terrified that he was about to expel the same demons that had been haunting me, I got up and moved to the sink. Moments later, I glanced over to see him peeing, as if nothing out of the ordinary had been happening.

Mildly confused as to why my significant other had made eye contact with me while vomiting, ignored my pleas for privacy and kicked me out of the bathroom without uttering a single word the entire time, I finally fell asleep. The next morning, I woke up still feeling like an involuntary vessel for all things evil. “Oh no,” he said innocently, as if just learning about my pain for the first time, “do you think you need to throw up?”

“I literally threw up six times last night. You WATCHED me.”

“What?!”

“You watched me, and then you pointed at the toilet and made me move, so you could pee.”

He’d been sleepwalking. A wave of relief washed over me. He hadn’t seen me heaving violently over the toilet, sweaty hair matted to my forehead, bloodshot eyes pleading with him to look away! HE HADN’T SEEN IT.

The thing is, he never sleepwalks. This was completely, utterly, abnormal behaviour. Suddenly we both had strange, international behaviours to account for… but really, isn’t that what love is? Cradling the weirdest parts of you in your palms and offering them to someone else in the hopes that they’ll accept them like the precious stones they are? That they’ll offer you back a few palmfuls of their own? That’s one of my favourite things about this big love of mine, the way it is continuously revealing itself, piece by piece, over time. The most joyous moments being those when you find a piece that matches one of your own in its weirdness. Because then you start to put these pieces together and they create this serene, unique, and brilliantly fucked up landscape that only the two of you get to live in. A map of America covered in vomit and sleepwalking through life together.

S.

 

Accurate Greeting Cards

Congratulations…

- on wearing the same shirt twice in one week without anyone noticing
– on making the right colour choice for your manicure even though you were really, really torn between two
– on having a kid by mistake but making it look like it was on purpose
– on getting through the last season of Dexter and still being willing to watch TV

Thank you…

- for not needing to hear from me every day to know that we are still friends
– for pretending to be my boyfriend in the club
– for not judging me when I cry watching people get surprised
– for not using ringtones anymore

Condolences…

- on your 6th shattered iPhone screen
– on deciding to do a juice cleanse
– on the malignant tumor you self-diagnosed yourself with after browsing the internet for 20 minutes
– on not liking your new bangs

Love always,
S.

 

 

Accurate Wish Lists

Not knowing what to buy for people is the worst. I’ve inflicted this horror on too many people, for too long, in the name of modesty and humility…

Oh me?
Don’t worry about me!
I don’t even know what I want!
I have everything I need!
Any gift is a good gift if it comes from the heart!
Just make a donation to a charity in my name! 

All of these things are true; I generally don’t know what I want in life, I really do have everything I NEED, I appreciate any and all gifts (even gift cards, which are the pumpkin spice latte of gifts) and donating to charity is a really great way to deflect all of this materialistic attention and allow people to feel good, get a little tax break, AND knock your name off their list.

But not this year, bitches.

This year, I channeled all my early-90s-childhood-energy into curating a Christmas and/or birthday wish list (I was born 3 weeks after Christmas, just TRY giving me a 2-in-1 gift, I dare you) and sent it to my friends and family. I even used Amazon Wish List, which is basically like making a wedding registry for people who have no reason to be making a wedding registry. I left a few things off, though; abstract or absurd items that don’t exist (but should), requests that reveal the true nature of my sad little humanity, and so on.

But you get all of me, internet. Here are the secret, unfulfilled desires of my heart:

- A yoga mat that smells like pizza.
– A full-length feature documentary of Solange’s wedding.
– A no-consequence, no-judgement, no-questions-asked “raincheck” coupon for any social event or gathering in 2015 of my choosing.
– Two kittens who are best friends.
– A book of poetry from Jaden and Willow Smith.
– A wind machine.
– 500 doughnuts for my “The Simpsons: Tapped Out” account so I can buy premium items.
– The power to make Amber Rose and Wiz Khalifa get back together.
– A tour of all the real life Harry Potter landmarks in England.

And last but not least, this picture of Lisa Simpson on a customized iPhone 5c case:

lisa_simpson_rebelde-1502

S.

Everything’s fine.

Daria, duh

I’ve given myself the directive (the word “goal” is way too positive) of writing something – in some form, somewhere – every day until January 14th when I turn 30 years old and inevitably morph into a rotting pumpkin of disappointment.

This should be an easy task. I currently “work” from home and have no major social or financial obligations, so the ever-elusive asset of TIME is fully available to me (in all its condescending glory). No alarm clock, no meetings, no office, no distractions.

There’s just been this one problem: everything’s fine.

For the past five months I’ve woken up when I wanted to, decided what pattern of tights I was most in the mood to wear, opened up my drawer of bras just to laugh in their faces, and then sat down in front of the computer with a cup of coffee, ready to face a new day of… whatever. My days are plagued with questions such as:

What podcast should I listen to while I spend 45 minutes doing my makeup for no reason?
Should I go back to school?
What would I even take in school?
Are 30 year olds allowed in schools?

This self-imposed sabbatical was designed to provide me with this exact scenario: a fresh field of boundless opportunity and months on end to plough through it. I could write a few new poems, I thought! I could try and get an essay or two published on my favourite blogs! Begin dabbling in fiction or scriptwriting!

I’ve written nothing. Not a single thing, besides text messages to my boyfriend about what I’ve been reading on the internet that day and a few emails to friends about my new home on the west coast, complete with ambiguous (albeit creative) answers to the omnipresent question: “so what are you going to do for work?”

I’ve written nothing because everything’s fine right now. I’m totally happy and when I’m happy, I’ve always felt like I’m just so, so boring. Unless someone is commanding me to write something very specific, anything I’ve ever tried to write on my own accord while happy has been tediously uninspiring and not even remotely interesting. PRIVILEGED HAPPY PEOPLE PROBLEMS.

For as long as I can remember, this has been an immovable roadblock between myself and writing, as I know it is for many “creative” types. Rather than some noir affliction of a tortured artist, however, it’s just one of my many excuses for a horrendous lack of self-discipline. Maybe it’s the Wisdom of 30 sneaking up on me, but I’ve realized now that I’ve been a one-trick pony, fuelling self-destructive behaviour patterns in order to remain ~iNsPiReD~ because I haven’t quite learned how to feel alive without hurting myself or those around me and I’ve simply been too lazy to push myself into writing about things other than my own self-made problems.

Some cycles are meant to be broken, and I realize that this one will furiously spin me into a ball of 30-something-year-old-resentment-and-predictability if I don’t smash (or write) my way out of it.

I’m happy and I still have lots of cool things to say. Let’s get to it.

S.

The Top 10 Lessons I Learned Backpacking Across Europe

#1. Don’t actually backpack. A suitcase will work just fine. And keep the skin on your shoulders intact.

#2. Go to the bathroom everywhere you can, even when you don’t have to. You do NOT want to be stuck somewhere contemplating the repercussions of actually peeing your pants on this train. And don’t be scared to poop. It’s going to happen.

#3. We all need next to nothing, most of the time. So remember than when you pack.

#4. Be okay on your own. You really can take care of yourself, especially when it counts.

#5. It’s okay to get homesick. Just keep it in check and think about how much you’ll regret wishing you were home when you get home.

#6. You’re not a paid photographer (unless you are), so don’t spend your trip sussing out Instagram or profile pics. BE on your trip, in the moment(s). Take photos of the things you genuinely want to remember if it happens to work out.

#7. Then print them. I’m just such a big fan of keeping up actual hard copy photo albums, I think everybody else should, too.

#8. Acidophilus. Buy it. Take it daily. Refer to #2 on this list if you need more information.

#9. Take care of yourself. In that, don’t get sick. Wash your hands, get some sleep at some point, and try to find a vegetable or two. The only thing worse than being sick is being sick anywhere that’s not home. Or being sick AND hungover anywhere that’s not home. Trust me.

#10. You may come back exactly the same as you left, and that’s fine. Don’t expect this to be some life changing holiday on which you find the meaning of life. That kind of pressure will just ruin things. If you do decide to view things a little differently during or after your trip, rad; if not, rad.

A Cohabitating ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’

It’s dinnertime! What is the most appropriate meal for two fully functioning people in their late-20s/early-30s?

A) Make pita pizzas.

B) Order pizza.

C) I dunno, what do you want to eat?

D) I DON’T KNOW, WHAT DO YOU WANT TO EAT?

Hurry! It’s 5pm, which means you only have 30 minutes to come up with a creative way of saying: “Welcome home, I’m sorry I used all your hockey tape for my arts and crafts.” Do you: 

A) Answer the door wearing the last two tiny pieces of tape as nipple covers in the hopes that boobs will make everything okay, because boobs make everything okay.

B) Immediately embark on a lengthy diatribe about how recreational sport is repetitive and replaceable in comparison to your fleeting and spontaneous artistic inspiration.

C) Call in a bomb threat to every local community hockey rink in the city.

D) Boobs?

A storm has cut off your cable and Internet. As you learn to navigate this new, terrifying, Netflix-free world, do you:

A) Uncomfortably stare at one another until it dawns on you: …I have no idea what this human wants or thinks or enjoys other than Orange is the New Black and Breaking Bad I mean who IS this stranger I sleep next to does he even have a middle name have his eyes always been brown am I going to die tonight I’m going to die tonight aren’t I?

B) Play Scrabble by candlelight, with the condition that all words played be a colloquialism for sex and/or the genitals.

C) Make all of the sex! (Bonus points for role-playing as: “It’s the apocalypse and we’ve been running for our lives for hours, yet somehow my makeup and hair is perfect and I’m scared but all we have is each other and this moment so take me now, you brute, and put a bullet in my head if I go Full Zombie.”)

D) Eat absolutely every singly thing in the refrigerator out of fear and necessity.

While digging through a kitchen drawer in a desperate effort to find double-A batteries for the remote control you stumble upon various, long-forgotten relics of Girlfriend Past. Do you:

A) Curl up into a ball on the kitchen floor clutching everything you’ve found and shake silently until your partner gets home.

B) Shrug and continue rummaging for those batteries because this Chopped marathon isn’t going to fucking watch itself, is it?

C) Allow the fire of a thousand suns to consume you and spend the afternoon smearing the words “THIS HOUSE IS NOT A HOME” across every wall in your own blood.

D) See these relics for what they are – forgotten leftovers of abandoned love – and choose to acknowledge them as a token, a gift, a reminder that despite your fabled history, you haven’t always been the central plot point of his narrative. Allow them to remind you that he is a separate being, a vehicle of his own history, and even though you have traveled so far in this life together, you remain in the passenger seat, navigating but not steering. What matters now are the lessons he brought with him in the trunk and how soon you guys are going to stop for snacks on this new journey of yours.

S.

Notes to Self: 07.07.14

 

  • there is no shame in being still; plenty of life can be found in these small pockets of silence
  • putting on mascara nearly every day for over 15 years will not prevent you from getting it all over your face on a considerably consistent basis
  • you owe your body more care than you have been giving it; you deserve the full potential of its strength
  • do not let overwhelming peace and happiness wrap their arms too tightly around your chest and trick you into thinking something must be wrong
  • although delicious, pizza is not its own food group that requires daily consumption
  • avoid bearing the load of other people’s grudges
  • bras are unnecessary contraptions of discomfort that, if necessary at all, should be removed with haste
  • perform exercises of gratitude; be vocal with love

S.