Folding Chair by Regina Spektor

Things that make me feel like myself:

  1. Eating chicken noodle soup with chips and snowflake rolls from Big Y
  2. Wearing a big jacket and scarf and gold hoop earrings
  3. Looking at a Botticelli painting
  4. Taking a midday nap, no alarm set
  5. Screaming Sylvan Esso lyrics while driving over the Q bridge
  6. Going straight to the clearance section in any store
  7. Airhead Extremes
  8. A cup of tea that I drink when it gets cold
  9. Reading a Refinery 29 Money Diary or the Harbor News during every meal
  10. Painting my nails horribly, and painting them the color gold

I think I’m done trying out personalities. Something clicked, and now my mind allows me complete freedom to be myself, free of insecurity or scrutiny.

I have never felt more stable in my life, which is weird because I consider last semester to just be a three-month-long bender. But somewhere in that entire mess of therapy and drinking and questioning my entire life and getting bad grades, I came out the other side with a fresh face. I feel a little like I’ve been reborn. I feel like an older version of my high school self. I realized it while buying jeans from Anthropologie today, and I subsequently read a lot of my blog posts and marveled at how far I’ve come.

I’ve always complained that I don’t have enough friends, and the relationships I do have aren’t strong enough, and now I feel the opposite. I met my literal soulmate working at a cafe over the summer, and then my biggest inspiration at a volunteer farm meeting, and now a sweet little boy at my high school job that I watch movies with, and his wonderful mom who makes me soup. I feel like I hit the jackpot. Wyatt I know you’re reading this and I fucking love you and I would be nowhere without you. I would die for everyone I know literally I just LOVE EVERYONE. Especially Wyatt but also everyone.

The love I feel for life is unreal and unmatched. Everything feels like it’s ~coming together~ which I know is an illusion but it’s fine. I felt this way junior year of high school too! Literally four years ago I felt the same way. I only listened to alt-J and just lived my little crunchy ass kombucha drinking astrology believing life. I am so happy that I love life again… I’m going to get a cute internship and wear dresses and do the most this year I can feel it… my energy has returned everyone.

So here comes those goals I guess… those sweet Spring 2019 semester goals…

  1. Please! Get! Better! Grades!
  2. Write more poetry!
  3. Drink more tea and coffee and meet up with friends and do homework with them and be a person aka get out of bed!
  4. Remember that your second thought is usually the better one; I know this is the antithesis to your life but if you get sad and you immediately think “everyone hates me I am going to just cry for the rest of the day” and then think “no what the hell text someone and go get dinner” after listen to the second thought!!!!!
  5. Save up some $$$ so you can go visit people and do the things
  6. Trust everyone and be content
  7. Do more radio and farm stuff
  8. Film little videos of the day because you love doing that

I am so excited for this semester not to be shitty and to actually enjoy things and the company of others. This might be just a huge jinx but it’s fine because we are going to progress with blind hope into the future. And if all else fails I will just transfer again because why the hell not!



How’s UConn?

The day after I started at UVM I instantly wrote a post about my snap judgements of it, so it wouldn’t be another fresh start if I didn’t sum up the next 2.5 years of my life into the four hours I’ve been awake today.

My roommate’s boyfriend has an XBox in our room. He doesn’t go to UConn or have a job; his sole purpose in life is to live in our room and hang out with his girlfriend. Who the fuck does that? I already have prejudices against dating in college and this just really reaffirms all of them. Aside from the normal roommate qualms, I’m living with an unemployed teenage boy who says “Goodnight” to me when I shut off the light, his fingers clicking away on his controller until God knows when. My favorite part is when they both walked into the room to move in at 10 PM and said “Oh my god I didn’t know I got another roommate!” when I had messaged her on two forms of social media over the last two weeks.

My suitemates have driven out a total of five people so far: the roommate in their room, and four people that have shared a wall and a bathroom with them in my room. I wonder why. Maybe it’s because they came into my room ten minutes after I introduced myself to them and enforced some “house rules.” Maybe it’s because one of them blasted Finesse by Cardi B and Bruno Mars in the shower at 6:48 AM the first day of classes and woke everyone up. Maybe because one of them spits in the shower and leaves it there. Maybe because they turn the TV on really loud when you’re trying to sleep and don’t turn it down when you bang on the wall. Maybe it’s because they lock your door every time they use the bathroom even though there’s stalls, and then when they forget to unlock it they maniacally laugh at you when you bang on the door trying to just brush your teeth. But I’m not sure; I could just be high maintenance!

So my hair looks terrible, I have bags under my eyes, and there’s no water fountain within any close proximity of my room, and I’m going to have to move for the fifth time. So that’s really cool! How am I at UConn? I feel like I’m visiting for the weekend and waking up at 6:25 AM for fun rather than necessity. I’m sitting in McMahon and see three people I know within a fifty-feet radius; one of them from elementary school, one from a leadership conference, and one from a party. I went to an Honors Microeconomics class this morning and didn’t have the heart to leave. I am enrolled in two classes. I am sweating. UConn vibes.

So here I am in purgatory waiting to move out. We’re going to make moves this whole week. Literally. But I go home in three days so that’s nice. I forgot conditioner and a sponge. I just hope that I am not punished any further and my future roommates are a fraction of decent.

Also, if anyone can tell me how to mucus-cough repeatedly in class and not have everyone stare at you or the professor ask if you need to step out that would be much appreciated.

The Breakfast Ritual

Two years ago, I think in April when I lived in the beach house, I was messing around with ingredients on a Saturday morning. I had decided to give up eating poptarts, also known as my insatiable obsession in life, so I wanted to create a new breakfast. What was born on that day has never left my life since.

Half of the reason I love coming home lies in making this concoction. The amount of ingredients and some add-ins have changed over the years, usually based on whether I can convince my mom to pick up a $9 bag of chia seeds at Stop and Shop. Sometimes at school I didn’t have blueberries readily accessible so I stole strawberries from the dining hall and used those instead. Regardless, this breakfast will always have the same core ingredients, and last month I filmed myself making it so hopefully other people will give it a try. Personally, I don’t like a lot of water in my oatmeal so that’s why it looks like damp granola.


June 2017

I’ve taken a break from posting on the blog and gave it a little makeover a few days ago. I think it looks a little bit more mature and it’s a breath of fresh air. I created One Thousand Lemons a year ago this month, and my first posting anniversary is coming up mid-July. I’m also making some changes to the way I post content; for example, this is going to be modeled after a “favorites” post but it’s going to be looser and encompass experiences more than things, because how I used to write these posts always felt inorganic and annoying.


I remember when I met you / Salt in the summer breeze

You helped me draw the borders / When the ink, it starts to bleed

You’re my only harbor / When I’m drifting out to sea

Wanna wash up to the shore and / Bring you home to me (x)

To be listened to: baking in the sun on your favorite beach, with sunglasses and hair flying everywhere on Route 1 after a Bradley and Wall lunch, in the shower where all the sand in every crevice of your body is washed clean

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I read Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler this month of June, either engulfed in cold sand or by my bedroom window with the incessant pattering of rain as my background music. I underlined a lot; “Let’s just say I was born in late June of 2006 when I came over the George Washington Bridge at seven a.m. with the sun circulating and dawning, the sky full of sharp corners of light, before the exhaust rose, before the heat gridlocked in, windows unrolled, radio turned up to some impossibly hopeful pop song, open, open, open.” or “Do you see how, up close, it’s blurry and passionate? And from a distance, whole?” or “Was I a monster or was this what it felt like to be a person?” Recovering from it, this book is probably one of the best I’ve read. I felt connected.


I had all and then most of you, some and now none of you / Take me back to the night we met

I don’t know what I’m supposed to do, haunted by the ghost of you / Oh, take me back to the night we met

And then I can tell myself / What the hell I’m supposed to do

And then I can tell myself / Not to ride along with you (x)

To be listened to: directly after sunset on Old Orchard Rd, at 2 o’clock in the morning with someone you love but know you won’t have for long, driving through suburban Rhode Island in bright afternoon sunlight with your head out the window

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I went to Friday’s shows at The Governor’s Ball Music Festival in Manhattan, New York on Randall’s Island. I found myself in the middle of a mosh pit during ScHoolboy Q, felt liquid gold and chills down my spine up front for Flume, and ate sweet french fries very far from the stage with Wyatt, singing along to my favorite Chance the Rapper songs and felt pure happiness. I made a video of the performances I recorded. If you are considering dropping money on a music festival, I highly recommend it.


Found a cure for loneliness, I’m forever immune / Stuck in my walk and in my head and I hum her tune

Yep, she got rhythm, it’s like / Some things don’t need words

You know you’re living / When it all becomes a blur

Can’t be explained, and there ain’t no reason to / Something strange just takes over you

One million lovers to choose from, but none like her / The only one for sure (x)

To be listened to: screaming the lyrics with your best friend on the drive to Dairy Queen, after 11 p.m. closing at work and trying not to cry having nowhere to go afterwards anymore, singing to yourself around the house when making oatmeal

Riley introduced me to the beauty that is a baguette and Mascarpone. I’m obsessed. I rip off a slice of bread, open it up with my fingers, slather on the Mascarpone, and it’s heaven. Serve with dark chocolate and a huge glass of water or seltzer for the full experience. Foodwise, I’ve also gotten back on the Annie’s fruit snacks grind, and it’s cherry season so you know where to find me.


I like to watch the world, the world is looking good today / And it’s almost like I’m sleeping, I pull my head back to the sun

Clean my house from big fat flies / Dreaming of the city

Clear my head, clean my bed / Dreaming of the big city, big city (x)

To be listened to: swaying on a boat wearing white linen pants holding a glass of wine, driving to a seafront dinner wearing your nicest summer dress and wedges, screaming out the window on the way back from Hammonasset Beach after a sun-soaked day


I bought the eyelet top at American Eagle in the month of June and it has quickly become one of my favorite shirts. It happens to go perfectly with my favorite jeans in the whole entire universe, the Gap boyfriend jean. The rips in the leg are perfect, the jeans are amazing quality, and the cuffs are a little ripped too which give them character. I wear these at least twice, maybe three times a week. Here I paired it with my new large J. Crew sunglasses and my favorite casual sandals from Target.


I don’t get weak in the knees, hundreds spread out like a fan / Vert feel like some Gucci sandals, open the sky, get a handful

Torso marked up like a vandal, how you not fucking with cash? / God gave you what you can handle, gave you what you could handle

I got the grip like the handle, and I’m biking / I’m biking with me and my Daniel

Hades got the angels, TV’s got the angles / I’m braking (x)

To be listened to: biking in a wet bathing suit and ratty t-shirt, wet hair drying messily in the wind, in the morning making breakfast home alone, when you want to smile for no reason because Frank Ocean is a god and his voice is honey

The first half of June was packed with rain, which of course led countless hours of Youtube browsing. I discovered Margot Lee and watched pretty much all of her videos this month, and I rekindled my love for Rachel Bryner, who is just too good at being aesthetically pleasing. And, don’t even get me started on Katy Bellotte. I’ve loved her forever, and she’s been updating her blog more, which is so exciting. I feel like she gets me on another level, and since this month has held some disappointments, her musings on life make me feel refreshed.


Something bad is ’bout to happen to me / I don’t know what, but I feel it coming

Might be so sad, might leave my nose running / I just hope she don’t wanna leave me

Don’t you give me up, please don’t give up / On me, I belong, with you, and only you baby

Only you, my girl / Only you, babe (x)

To be listened to: half singing along alone laying in bed, journaling experiences and feelings, reading new blog posts on The Messy Heads, waiting in parking lots, at gas stations, for directions, feeling disconnected

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Overall, June taught me a lot and I can’t believe it’s already over. Summer is halfway over. I started buying things for my sophomore year dorm; a new duvet, laptop skin, poster, sweatpants and sweatshirts. June taught me a lot about who I am as a person; how I want men to treat me, whether or not I should act on my desires, who in my life is actually there for me and cares for me, and how much it takes for me to give up on something I’ve already started.

And don’t forget the little things in life, like Fruity Pebbles, a new silver necklace, book club, trashy novels about Connecticut housewives, other people’s dogs, causeway sunsets, the one depressing Spotify playlist I have turned up to full volume in my car always, the marinated chicken sandwich at Shanks, Catlen’s pool, yoga, and acceptance.

Fake Spring: Sunrises

One of the things I live for in this life is fake spring. I swear, this is a real thing. When it hits late February, usually like 22nd through 24th-ish, there’s random 50 degree weather that comes out of nowhere and forces you to wear a lighter coat and step over puddles. If you think I’m lying, watch the end of this video I made last year and tell me that history isn’t repeating itself.

I know fake spring is just a product of global warming, and it ends as soon as March hits, but I love reveling in it.

Fake spring brings a lot of beautiful sunrises. Since my roommate doesn’t sleep in my room anymore (don’t ask), I perpetually keep the window blinds open, and every morning around 6:40 or so I wake up for just a few minutes to watch the mountains turn orange and pink. Of course, I go right back to sleep, but it’s so cute that the sun wakes me up like that to have that moment.

That used to happen to me when I lived in my house on the beach. I would wake up to one of the most beautiful songs in the entire world, Ms by alt-j, which soon became my regular alarm, and I would eat a slow breakfast and write in my journal in front of the waves because the sunrise came through my window with such force that I could not go back to sleep; my room was too orange. It is one of my favorite memories ever and always makes me feel so calm.


I actually found a piece of writing from sometime during senior year about those Fake Spring sunrises, something I have never shown anyone (and listen to this while reading)…

I never thought months later at 5:45 AM I would be missing my old routine.


OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOhhhhh….. My eyes open. My room is soft gold. The deep brown wood of the skylight and closet window is the color of my hair. My hair is long, I am wearing a bleach-printed thin white t-shirt, my track bag is packed in the corner. It could be the morning of my AP testing, the morning of prom, or the morning of my birthday, but regardless, pink and gold and orange light fills the room with such intensity that I am forced to get up.


OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooOOOOOh….. I turn over in my light pink comforter and my bed squeaks. I smell the smell that permeates the house that I cannot describe. It’s clean and furniture-y and sandy. I’ll know it if I go back. It’s something in the carpets. I feel the empty stomach and chapped lips of an early morning, the weight of the world holding me in bed. It’s how I felt the morning of April 30th, and how I feel now.

Allthevowelsvowtoholdyourname…. I am thinking about the oatmeal concoction coming to me. I roll out of bed and go to the blueberry bowls, checking every window along the way for signs of the sunrise. The sunrise follows me down the captain’s stairs, and floods my path towards the kitchen. I stop and turn and run to the backyard, the backyard is ocean number thirty one.

Keepyourestateeeeeeeeee….. clean of me.

The feeling that I get when I open the door is like the feeling of the bells.

I’ve pillowed you so many times this week…. The sky is a shocked pink, the pink of lox sold to top bagels at Cohen’s and strawberry lollipops. The moon still looms up ahead and the ocean is beginning to breathe as we head throughout spring to its golden season. Pink, pink, pink, magenta, pearly pink with orange creamsicle. A little purple, like a periwinkle.

Closeeyes,open,closeagain,forgetand fall asleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.

The air is a wet cold punctuated with warm salt, coating my face in a residue that will hang throughout the day like laundry on the line that never quite dries. The hot and cold gusts fuse together uncomfortably. I shiver out of hunger and drowsiness. But I begin to wake up. I walk down the steep wooden attachment stairs and hit sand. My feet, dry, tread sand easily and then I sit down.

The dark seeks dark. The dark seeks dark. OOOOOOooooooohhhhh, darker.




The Girl Who Falls Asleep Last at the Sleepover

Every time I come home I’m on edge. I have trouble concentrating and barely eat and basically just sit in my room trying to distract myself from reality. I always attributed this to my discomfort at school, and over break I got to forget about school and basically pretended it was just another Christmas break during high school since all of my friends were home.

Now I understand why.

I came home last night and my little sister and I talked for hours sitting on the couch in my room. She hugged me really tight and told me that she missed me so much, and she is sad that she can’t come into my room and talk to me about anything when I’m gone. I haven’t cried a lot since I used to call my parents in tears last semester, but that made me cry a lot. I hate not being there for her. I can see that she’s going through the same tough middle school experiences that I had and it breaks my heart that I can’t physically be there to support her.

She slept over in my bed tonight and we watched 10 Things I Hate About You. It was her first time seeing it. I thought of the first time I watched it during my sophomore year by myself in my room. I discovered a lot of things that way, like Freaks and Geeks, Clueless, Almost Famous, Perks of Being a Wallflower, the list is endless. I can always transport back to the exact moment, remember the position of the furniture in my bedroom right down to the posters and tapestries, and what boy I was pining over at the time. I feel like when I’m home I never really left, and when I watch these movies again and hear the stories it’s like I never really left that moment.

Every time I come home I’m on edge because everything is different, but everything is so very much the same. I can drive by Maggie’s house, but she won’t be in it. I can find the key in the hidden spot on her front porch and go inside, but she won’t be there watching movies or making dinosaur chicken nuggets. I can sit in the parking lot of the old Morgan and watch traffic go by but never get in another traffic jam at 2:13 whipping out of the parking lot. I can lay in my bed on a winter afternoon and watch the hours tick by but Michael won’t be coming over with homework to do or a town meeting to attend.

Will everything feel that wonderful again? Or will I keep having to avoid the old Taylor Swift songs, the sad ones, that make me cry because I know my childhood is over? I just want everyone to come home and make everything the way it was again. A senior in high school I work with always complains to me about how she is just SO ready for college, and yes, college is great, but there is so much that I gave up to get there. I feel like I traded in the great parts of my life for smaller moments of joy that come less often. Freedom comes at the cost of comfort, security, and deep connection. I don’t know if anyone’s truly my friend if they haven’t come over and lied in my bed at 2 p.m. on a Sunday watching movies. My teachers don’t know my entire family, let alone my aspirations in life or what I eat for breakfast every morning. All of my teachers always knew that.

Wasn’t it easier in your lunchbox days / Always a bigger bed to crawl into / Wasn’t it beautiful when you believed in everything / And everybody believed in you?

Take pictures in your mind of your childhood room / Memorize what it sounded like when your dad gets home / Remember the footsteps, remember the words said / And all your little brother’s favorite songs / I just realized everything I have is someday gonna be gone.

I hope someday I become like everyone else and forget about all of this, because it hurts to be the only one who cares. It hurts to look at my wall of a thousand memories and realize that I don’t know what my friends are up to all the time. I can’t ride my bike to Riley’s and I can’t drive by Saldamarco’s and see if her car is in the parking lot. We’ve all moved on. Some of us in mind, body, and spirit. I know it’s not cool to not have moved on, but I haven’t. There is too much good here to forget about it so quickly.

I was never one of those kids who said they couldn’t wait for college anyway.

Six Days of August

I really miss summer now that I’m settled into the first semester and wearing pants most days of the week. Although I enjoy walking everywhere and I just watched the presidential debate with sixty other people (rather than holing up in my bedroom, ashamed of being the only person in my family to care about politics), I’m starting to miss Connecticut out of a place other than loneliness.

The opposite of loneliness used to be Cohen’s bagels, not wearing shoes, sitting in the passenger seat of Michael’s car playing him new music, making breakfast by myself in the morning, sprawling out on Catie’s kitchen floor eating microwaveable pizza. At college, it’s listening to unreleased Lana songs on Peter’s mattress on the floor, dipping Grundle ice cream into little pots of Hershey’s chocolate sauce in between licks, strangers making room for you on the bus even if your headphones are blasting Tame Impala way too loud and you look extremely prone to spilling your coffee everywhere, never being the only person in the library. I’m not sure what being the last to leave is like, but I hope it’s not lonely and that they smell laundry from exhaust fans on their starry walk back home.

Here is a curated snapshot of what I did before I had to live with five other strangers in a small suite I now (enthusiastically) call home.

Friday, August 12th: Woke up early, naturally. Read in bed for hours. Cohen’s with Emily; french toast with very berry cream cheese bagel. Stared at Modern Lovers in RJ Julia’s. Therapy. Hammonasset Beach State Park, West Beach. Swimming next to wet boys. Lime chips and hummus. Sweaty. Bought a candle. Emily’s CD I made for her last summer kept skipping and it sounded cool; wonder if that is how the whole DJing concept came to fruition. Final play practice. Watched Garrett learn the tabs for You and I by Ingrid Michaelson on Alex’s ukulele. I have ten mosquito bites. Took quizzes in my sister’s magazine and ate ice cream for dinner. Finally convinced myself to get the discounted Jack Rogers I’ve been eyeing for a month.

Saturday, August 13: Woke up late. Cohen’s again except I got cinnamon crunch; they were all out of french toast. Saw Michael and Catie after seventeen days apart. FJ Cruiser. Hiimg_3688gh by Peking Duk (Yahtzel Remix). Cleaned my room and watched Casey Neistat’s Draw My Life video. Cried. Church fair with Wyatt, got lemonade. First night of my play. Tried not to fuck up. Denny’s, twice. Ice cream for 2/3 meals. Laughing. Said goodbye to Catie.

Sunday, August 14th: Woke up before my alarm and made my usual breakfast bowl. Acted in play. Dripping sweat moving heavy set into my car. Penne a la vodka with my family. Said goodbye to Riley and cried and watched Jillian cry and laughed. Vacation talks. Leona. Couldn’t walk away. Saying goodbye is getting progressively more difficult. Organized closet. Sleep.

Monday, August 15th: Woke up late for work. Wanted to die. Ate popcorn for breakfast. Talked to Julie about the Lilly Pulitzer sale I missed, we wore our matching shoes that day. Put on eyeliner and mascara and went grocery shopping with Arielle. Visited Mr. Samet. She wasn’t wearing a bra and we can’t tell if he noticed. Stared at his huge living room clock and ate Milanos. Went on a sunset bike ride to Hatfield and created a new town in Animal Crossing. Finished cleaning out my closet.

img_3716Tuesday, August 16th: Woke up early. Took my brother to his first day of freshman orientation and had a Dunkin date. The strap of my new dress broke as I tried to deposit my scholarship checks. Made a sandwich and played Animal Crossing again. Cristy’s with Matt and Brett. Matt’s first time and his taste in music. Got a postcard from Maggie in the mail. Fell asleep reading at golden hour. Michael came over. Planned Block Island trip.

img_3749Wednesday, August 17th: Woke up early for work, but was still late. On self for a few hours, warm sea breeze flew in. Ate a donut. Got Cohen’s and went to the beach with Deja. Crabs kept crawling all over me. There were no jellies this summer? Also no hurricanes? Cleaning gum off my lenses and eating cocoa almonds. Talking about exciting things we are scared of. Getting my Jack Rogers and new computer in the mail. James Farmacy and a great causeway drive with Michael and my sister. Flume. Getting my to-do list done.

Thursday, August 18th: Woke up naturally at 8 AM. Brought rice cakes, coconut peanut butter, Larabars and coffees to Olivia. Stuck in traffic on route one. Wore Riley’s red dress and my new shoes. Played with Brody and the dogs and talked about Harambe. Watched Grease and Legally Blonde with my sister. Cried. Therapy by myself for the first time. More crying. Route one traffic once again; Thursday nights in Madison. Stared at Modern Lovers once again. Make Me Fade by K. Flay. Crawled into bed and wrote and read and wore Christmas pajamas.

I go home this weekend, and I can’t wait to wake up on Sunday morning. I want it to smell like bacon, even though I hate it, and I want to go on a bike ride and get Cooking Company and drive ten miles over the speed limit on Route 81.


It’s Hard to Romanticize a Sweaty Seventeen-Year-Old Boy Wearing $100 Green Dress Pants and a Navy Vineyard Vines Quarter-zip, But I Did It Anyway

       The first time I really fell in love with Connecticut was when I met my third boyfriend: exactly my height, wearing Vans sneakers with dress clothing, at a fencing tournament in a local shoreline town, eating a bagel. I have a tendency to rebel against the basic principles I believe in, and, at the time, I did not go near people who spoke in favor of Wall Streets and skewed tax brackets or Chris Christie being our next president, but he showed me what I was truly missing out on. It was time for me to change again. It was time to shed the confines of my pretentiously hippie-liberal skin that defined my previous relationship and find someone else… someone else’s (conservative) visions and (suppressed) emotions I could devote my time to while completing the busiest year of my high school career. Because I was “ready,” I said, and I wanted to commit.

       And you’re not even supposed to find people at fencing tournaments. Everyone is either extremely odd, a tri-season athlete filling their time, or smart and rich. The odd ones date the other odd ones or barely understand the basic concept of social interaction, the tri-season athletes are douchebags, and the smart and rich ones are either taken or douchebags or both. But it was so early in the fencing tournament season, and I was in denial. And he made the effort to eat the classic tournament waffles with me in the cafeteria, while all the freshman girls on my team watched and reviewed him out of five stars. He smelled really good, but he had a lot of games on his phone.

       I told people at my college orientation that I dated this fencer-turned-engineer and we went to New York City together all the time. That is so implausible. I barely worked when I dated him. I was so poor. He was the one who fronted the bill for Colony Grill and Wild Rice. That is also the thing. We dated for less than a month. But his staunchly white golf hats and terrible taste in movies awakened something in me: that Connecticut does not exist in the small-town vacuum I thought it does, that there is more to the left of New Haven than I thought.

       My parents do not allow me as much freedom as most kids have, and in order to see him, I took trains. I drove an hour in a car over many crumbling bridges once as my mom complained about the world stopping once you hit the Q bridge. I listened to When You Were Young by The Killers and New York City by Among Savages in romantic excess, feeling thIMG_8851e whoosh of the train pull away, back to my reality. It was so cold, and the layers of jacket coating my skin made me shiver with nostalgic anticipation, because I knew it would be short. I knew short replies and purely Snapchat would cause our affair to surface. It was cold in the way that my cheap faux-leather boots made my stockinged feet sweat on the red linoleum floors of the Metro North train I took through neighboring towns to get back to New Haven, and feel the quiet, humming disposition of the mirrored tunnels and tired people clunking their way up stairs and through Dunkin Donuts lines.

       In that blank time I had the opportunity to think. That maybe people only knew what they knew, and boys had nine girlfriends in one year for a reason. And maybe it only takes a few dates to really show someone what driving a nice car through a rich city dotted with bulbous trees and sandy parking lots feels like. And it takes one second to remember that while you sit there in his expensive car driving through million dollar real estate listening to Coldplay, kids are fashioning drug deals and gun exchanges in Bridgeport streets only a mile behind you, and that he doesn’t care and you want to. And it’s okay that he wears Vineyard Vines, and you’ll buy your own long sleeve from a pretentious boutique in Madison with that whale on the front pocket months from now.

       But it’s not okay to feel forced to watch Talladega Nights while giving a hand job, and no one should ever have to be ignored for hours straight in a sticky metal-scented high school gym, and hugs are not too much to ask for, ever, from anyone. Bronx style pizza is not the devil, food service people are nice and tired and deserve your respect, and your seventeen year old boyfriend does not know everything and will never. He will go to WPI and learn how to wear a hard hat and tell people who do actual work what to do; what he does best. And some day he will profit off of disaster if he uses his back-up plan, investing in medical supply companies that will eventually eradicate the Zika virus or whatever new plague that flourishes south of the equator because that is how the world works. And sometimes you have to walk through Fairfield to really understand Bridgeport, and it does not take much for East Haven to blend into New Haven, and you will remember this when you meet the next aloof one percenter with soft hair and a vague interest in internet memes: people miss out on you, and then they go to engineering school and hate math, because they hate themselves and ruin their skin bleaching grass-stained golf caps the wrong way and you don’t.