love is a mixtape

   At midnight, I gave her the poems.
“What’s going on?” she asked.
“Well, the last word in the first line is a trochee, and it rhymes with the end of the next line. So ‘catachresis’ rhymes with ‘fleece’.”
“No, what’s going on?”
“In a catachresis?”
“No. What are you talking about?”
“Uh… I have a big crush on you.”
Oooooh,” she said. She smiled and let the pages fall on the table. She relaxed in front of my eyes. “So how did it start?”
“Well, I think you’re really beautiful.”
She relaxed a lot more – in fact, her face changed shape a little, got a little more round as if her jaw had unclenched. I didn’t know whether that was a good sign or not, but I couldn’t shut up yet.
“I always thought so. Right away, when I saw you.”
“The amazing black dress,” she nodded. “I was wearing that when I met you. There’s, uh, a lot of me in that dress. My Fuck the Hostess dress. It’s a real ‘drop to your knees and say amen’ dress.”
“I noticed. It’s gotten a lot worse since then.”
“I know.” She lit one of my Dunhills. I had never seen her so comfortable. “I was on the phone with my friend Merit tonight, and she was like, Does Rob like you? And I said, I don’t know, he made me a tape and he didn’t call and then we danced together and then he left and called and left a message but didn’t call after that. And Merit was like, So, do you like Rob?”
I couldn’t believe she was making me do this. “So, do you?”
She smiled. “I don’t know. He’s not my type, but I really like him.”

love is a mixtape, by rob sheffield

i found this book about five years ago, just wandering around in the library. this was back when the library next door was still a place of wonder and mystery, and not, well, work. so there i was, scanning the shelves, looking for something new to read when – hm. it’s weird to think that i would have never known it existed, had my eyes just skipped this one spine. this actual, real life, life story that’s so sad and wonderful at the same time. it’s weird, having never heard of it outside of myself. all of this music, that i wouldn’t have heard in this beautiful way. my eyes always linger an extra second or two when i pass it by; stacking books, lost in work. i look at the title and the corners of my mouth turn up, just a little. life and loss, one song at a time. 

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codetta

okay so you can imagine this as a really spaced out movie plotline, or a dream. either works.

~ • ~

dread hangs in the air, and when the young man enters the house, he is met by chaos. his colleagues, his brothers and sisters, are suffering, and he watches them all die one by one. the panicked screams haze his mind, disequilibrium taking over his body. he runs from person to person, the words “what do i do?” run on and on in his head. but it doesn’t matter. they all go down, one by one; and left on his knees is one young man, shaking with the sobs that have taken over him. frightened. alone.

~

a mass of gold glimmers harshly in the window display. watches and rings, necklaces and earrings; the jewellery swells over, diamonds tinkering like cut stars in the sunlight. i turn around and gaze over the sea of people, swishing around each other. via de corso is sweltering.

~

there’s a price on my head. i can’t move, i can’t breathe, without being watched. everywhere, danger lurks. small dots flashing through the walls, microphones in the ceilings, eyes on my back. they’re everywhere. how did they get in? what do they want from me? this is too big. i think of what happened, of the others lost. the grief strikes me once more, and i find myself remembering the list of names. he wasn’t on there, that must be why he wasn’t a target. gratefulness flickers within me, at least he was spared.

~

i know what they want. of course that’s what they want. no.


~

every now and then, always without warning, they send one of their people to tell me that it’s inevitable. that when the time is right, they’ll take the child. my child. as the time goes by, i grow more tired. i become resigned. it’s too big, what can i do? if they want something, they take it. there isn’t a night where i fall asleep without a headache, tears exhausting me beyond the point of consciousness.

~

when i look at her, it seems like she knows. she’s only two, but it seems like she knows things that i don’t. this miraculous little mistake, half me – zero mine. i tell her i’m sorry all the time, put my arms around her and try to pour my love so deep that it’ll run through her blood forever. even when i’m gone. when she hugs back, it’s like she does it to comfort me. as if disaster isn’t really on its way. as if it’s all in my head.

~

one night, there’s a knock on my door, and i know it’s them. my fingers tremble as i unlock it. it’s a woman, small but strong, the steel flashing sharp in her green eyes. the word “nonna” flashes in my head. i ask her if she wants to come in, but she declines. she tells me that she’s come to tell me that he’s coming tomorrow. i ask who he is, and she smiles knowingly, as if i should already know the answer. a part of me wonders if maybe i do, but the thought disappears before i manage to chase it down. don’t worry, she tells me. the pieces will fall where they may.

~

oh. oh.

~

we’re sitting at the table, facing each other. my eyes are fixed on him, his won’t meet mine. he hasn’t touched his tea, flower floating around in the cold liquid. i take a breath, about to ask if he wants me to refill it, when his head snaps up. guilt shades his eyes, green turning murky. i didn’t know. his voice is thick with anguish. i know, i reply. i had accepted what had happened that night a long time ago, each day of seeing my girl making it easier and easier. his expression doesn’t change. i didn’t know that they would do that to us, he says. not with the hurt of a victim, but with the anger of a betrayed. wait. they?, i ask, taken aback. he slumps down further, tries to make himself smaller. realization creeps in, and my blood runs cold. i demand to hear it from him. the whole story. what, exactly, is going on here? 

a set-up. il capo bastone. drugged wine. illegitimate conception. et tu brute.

~

our eyes bore into each other. is he dead?, i ask. one side of his mouth quirks up. a small smile creeps onto my face. good.

~

me on my third espresso, he on his seventh cup of jasmine tea. i realize my heart’s been fluttering even since before i took my first sip. after all this time. i wonder out loud, now what? he raises his cup, golden watch throwing specks of light on the wall, and replies: now, we start over. i roll my eyes, smiling, and clink my cup to his. i thought that the movies made up that thing about the mafia being overly dramatic. i stand up, towering over him. well in that case, there’s someone that i want you to meet.

fine

~ • ~

15 texts i almost sent you

1. I left my favorite pair of underwear at your house. I know your mother hates me, can I come pick them up?
[delete]
2. It’s been almost a month and I still miss you like a fucking limb.
[delete]
3. I didn’t know my bones could ache until I met you.
[delete]
4. You know, a week before we broke up, do you remember? I had bought a book of poetry. You asked why I didn’t read something more interesting and I could feel my insides splinter.
[delete]
5. You said poetry was all lies dressed up to sound pretty. When I look at you these days, I want to ask if sadness sounds pretty to you too.
[delete]
6. It’s 3 a.m. and this alcohol tastes like you.
[delete]
7. I saw you staring at me today during Lit class. I smiled at you and you didn’t smile back. I almost cried.
[delete]
8. The girl who sits next to me smells like you. 
[delete]
9. I miss you.
[delete]
10. I have never had so many bad nights.
[delete]
11. Sometimes I write poetry about you on the internet. Strangers who have never met either of us think you’re cruel – they tell me if they had the honor of loving me, we’d have sex three times a day and they’d scream my name when they came.
[delete]
12. They think it is beautiful, how I am broken. I don’t think they understand.
[delete]
13. You used to tell me I was beautiful. I tried saying it in the mirror the other day, but it sounded wrong without your mouth wrapped around it.
[delete]
14. Everything I say sounds wrong without your mouth wrapped around it.
[delete]
15. We were never in love, but, oh God, we could have been. 
[delete]

by D.A.S.

frankie & freddie

the sun blazed, warming the city streets. smoke filled the air as he exhaled, blending with the grey of his eyes and hazing their intensity for just a moment. she looked down into her glass of lemonade, grinning. “oh please quit the smoking, why don’t you?” she said it teasingly, a line as comfortable as an old pair of shoes. it was an argument they’d had for years: one that had started with screams and tears, but had lost its bite as they got older. now, it was more a show of affection, their way of reminding each other that some things would always stay the same. and if that was her way of saying “i’ll always love you”, then there was no mistaking his feelings for her when they echoed through the low timber of his voice: “fuck you.”

she put the straw to her lips and took a deep drag. light flashed through the glass, shining through the translucent liquid. she raised her head and tilted it down just a little to peek at him through the top of her black shades. when she saw his smirk, laced with frustration, she bit down on the plastic. her grin widened as she gave him a wink. she loved the way she could push his buttons. it gave her a real kick. “you’re diabolical.”, he said with a laugh. she leaned back in her chair, spreading her legs out before her. they were on fire. she almost regretted wearing her usual black jeans in the midsummer heat, but just almost. it was her thing, and when she thought about even mother earth trying to tell her what to do, she reveled in the burn.

“so, what happened after we hung up yesterday?” she asked, letting go of the teasing. he jumped up a little, quickly reaching over to the table next to him to put the cigarette out, ashes harshly breaking the stark white of the tray. there was that honest to god sparkle in his eyes again. she could swear that his eyes came with a pair of zippos built in them, flicking open whenever he thought of something particularly exciting. “oh man, right! something pretty great happened actually. on our way to that… thing, whatever the hell that was,” he waved dismissively with his hand, “eddie and i were talking about something, i don’t even remember what it was. anyways, out of nowhere, this old lady sitting on a park bench, you know the ones by the fountain? right, one of those. so this lady just points at us as we’re passing by and kind of shouts ‘joseph!’, ‘phil!’. and eddie’s just ready to speed up and get the hell out of there, you know how freaked out he gets, but i’m just amused as hell. i was in a state at that point. well yeah, you know.” she did know, his alcoholized soliloquizing had kept her company for hours. she just nodded, and he continued: “so i go: ‘what, did we just get baptized or something?’. but then i feel really bad, because she gets this incredibly sad expression on her face. like i deeply hurt her or something. and then i just feel like crying, because she looks so sad. so i sit down next to her to apologize, but then she smiles, still really sadly, and starts talking about her life back in the day. turns out joseph and phil were part of her gang, and she just tells us about all of these crazy things they used to get up to!” as he raved on about the conversation he had with an old lady on a park bench, she listened intently. she didn’t feel anything more than a slight amusement towards his story, these things happened to him all the time. but there was still something about the way he told them that had her transfixed. even after all this time, he still fascinated her endlessly.

he suddenly stopped talking, looking down at the ground. “you’re doing that thing again”, he grumbled. “what thing?” she asked, puzzled. she wasn’t doing a thing? he met her eyes, steel grey striking her. “the thing where you study me like i’m some newly discovered creature.” she rolled her eyes, acting like he didn’t just see right through her. as she felt the heat rising in her cheeks, she thanked the heavens above that he wouldn’t be able to tell. “wait, what do you mean ‘whatever that was’? i thought you were going to a gig?” she changed the subject, knowing that he’d latch on right away. “yeah well, is a gig still a gig if it’s just kids moshing in a basement to music being played by other kids? with really shitty sound, i might add.” she scrunched up her nose. “that does sound a bit like a ‘whatever the hell that was’.” they shared a laugh, both turning to look at the people passing by in front of them. they were all still headed somewhere, but at least the summertime had slowed their paces a little. it was hard to ignore, she thought. the world really envelopes you this time of year.

she briefly wondered if he was thinking the same thing as her, but instantly stopped herself. that was statistically unlikely, and a silly thought to have in the first place. she snuck a glance at him, seeing him suddenly narrow his eyes at a girl passing by. she smiled to herself, confused, yet again. well, she couldn’t really blame herself for having silly thoughts when they were about the silliest person she knew. “the sky was so pretty there for a while. you would have loved it.” he murmured, almost as if he was thinking out loud. she was confused for a moment, before realizing he was still talking about last night. she thought about it for a while, then remembered: “i saw it. gorgeous.” a silence fell between them. long, comfortable, only broken by the occasional sound of her taking drags of lemonade through the straw.

to fall for an object.

i often claim that i’ve never been in love, but in reality, i fall in love quite easily. i fall in love with people’s appearances all the time. their smiles, their eyes, their everything. physical attraction strikes me hard, and i’m often left lying on the ground, dazed. but not confused.

does it make me superficial? am i vain for getting so affected by something that is merely on the surface? a picture can stir something deep inside of me. it can make me feel such joy, or sorrow. it can make me shiver, or smile. it can move me. i’m visually inclined, and how is that any different from any other sense? is it any less valid than being brought to tears by a song? than being brought to the past because of a smell?

the appearance of objects, and the compositions of them, affect me. maybe it works the same way with humans. maybe a person is just an object, until i find out what’s inside. is it only when that which lays underneath the surface is brought out, that an object becomes a subject? or is the subject an ever-present fact? maybe it’s in the clothes, the scars and the gaze. maybe the subjective permeates us. maybe it’s what makes us different.

but i mistake the subject for an object. i fall in love with the way someone looks, and ignore the fact that there’s a perspective behind it. i imagine that it’s static, when it’s, in fact, very fluid. and then, when i eventually find out that what i’m feeling such an attraction to isn’t a what, but a who – it ends. the who has never been a who that i’ve fallen in love with. not yet.

hotel chevalier

Hello?
Hi.
I'm on my way from the airport, 
and the front desk won't get me your room number.
What's your room number?
403.
See you in half an hour.
- Wait a second. -What?
- Where are you? -I'm here.
I didn't say you could come here.
Can I come there?
Okay.
I'll see you in half an hour.

What's this music?
Thank you.

How'd you find me?
It wasn't actually that hard.

Are you gonna take a bath?
It's for you.
Who cut your hair?
Barbara in the lobby.

What the fuck is going on?
How long have you been at this hotel now?
I don't know.
More than a week?
More than a week.
More than a month?
More than a month.
How much does it cost?
I think around 750 million euros or something.
How long are you gonna stay?
How long are you gonna stay?
I'm leaving tomorrow morning.
Don't you think it's time for you to go home?
Probably.
Are you running away from me?
I thought I already did.

Would you order me a bloody mary, please?
Two bloody marys, please.

Have you slept with anyone?
No. Have you?
No.
That was a long pause.
- I guess it doesn't really matter. -No,it doesn't.

You got bruises on your body.
What ever happens in the end, I don't wanna lose you as my friend.
I promise, I will never be your friend.
No matter what – ever.
If we fuck I'm gonna feel like shit tomorrow.
That's okay with me.
I love you.
I never hurt you on purpose.
I don't care.

Wanna see my view of Paris?
Okay.

we care, we live

i saw this show where a comedian was talking about how she ended up being adopted. she said that she had been abandoned in a ditch as an infant, and was found by a caretaker who thought she was dead. when she realized the baby was still breathing, though faintly, she took her back to the hospital where they then proceeded to treat her using kangaroo care. i had no idea what kangaroo care entailed but the comedian explained that through skin to skin contact, in her case it was chest to chest, an infant can have its conditions stabilized. the woman said that it saved her life.

how amazing isn’t that? that feeling the heartbeat and body heat of another person can literally bring you back to life. we need each other to survive, we need to care for each other to live. one has, for instance, heard about people dying because they didn’t get any love growing up, and this basically says the same thing. if there are cases that indicate that physical health is dependent on love and care, then there should be no doubt in the importance of relationships when it comes to your mental and emotional well-being as well.

so when people say that they don’t need other people, that they’re just fine on their own – that’s bullshit. it’s a fact that we need to reach out, and we need to let people in. love is essential to our survival.

(gif from lost in translation)

Preconceived requiem for a teenager.

Five months, nine days, four hours, fifty minutes and thirty-nine seconds. The word “teenager” floats away from me. The experiences of a teenager float away from me. Opportunities of silliness, recklessness and naiveté are lost. Instead, they’re replaced by responsibility, seriousness and logic. I am ready to move on to adulthood, but there is one part I am reluctant to skip. A piece currently missing, leaving a hole. On my road through adolescence, I don’t want to drive past the pitstop called “love” without stopping. I don’t want to settle for having crushed, without walking through liking and loving. Having looked, without running through flirting and kissing. I want emotional butterflies. I want emotional rollercoasters. I want emotional everythings. And I want it before age taints me. I want the sort of stuff you read books about, see movies about, hear songs about. Almost 20 and as untouched as a girl can be, in every way you can imagine. A damn shame.