Public Transportation

I had to write a poem as a final project for my art class. It encompasses some of what I post on here so I thought it would be fit to post it.

Staring out of minivan windows overlooking my old exits

The air conditioner blasting into my dry eyes from the front vent

I was turning fifteen as the train reached Harlem.

I bought a new perfume, stumbling from Gramercy Park

To the Upper West Side, joining a line of girls with hearts on their cheeks.

I was going to miss the last train out of Manhattan that night

But we ran and caught it and went back to where we were supposed to be

Overlooking my old exits, the air conditioner turned off

And my thin black sweater wrapped around my shoulders

When the yellow lights in my small town started blinking.

 

Staring out of bus windows overlooking the suspension bridges

The nicked glass melting in the winter sun

Tea tree oil, coconut and cocoa butter lotion

Prepaid Metro-North ticket in my right hand

A winter jacket, scarf, and jar of water in the other.

I was going to miss the last train out of his town that night

But I ran and caught it and went back to where I was supposed to be

Overlooking the suspension bridges, nicked glass

Reminding me of the wall that separated me and the Fox news

Channel watching and car crashing.

 

Staring out onto 16th Street and Corcoran, Gregorian chant

Wakes me up, my Airbnb man opened the windows last night

Sweat and mascara and pear vodka in my toothpaste

I think he smokes, but only the bathroom smells like cigarettes.

Flight itinerary printed out in the library in my laptop case,

Clothes strewn all over the bed and risks permeating my emptying wallet.

I was going to miss my flight out of Dulles early next morning

But I rolled out of bed and threw on a sweatshirt and the uber came

And I could breathe, and I was going back to where I was supposed to be.

When I hung up my new map and circled in the street corner,

It didn’t feel that way at all.

 

Everything was fine when the piano kicked in,

When I missed the last bus out of St. Paul Street

I wasn’t cold, there was no Grand Central to welcome me in,

No big yellow school bus waiting to take me back to my skyline.

Everything was fine when the piano kicked in

And I will continue to hope it will be because

It didn’t feel that way at all.

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Monday Monday

Finals. It’s under thirty eight degrees the rest of the week. My coffee cups are stained and the brims are salted with natural sugar, my lipstick is smudging on the edge of my forks and spoons and traveling to my chin. Two a.m. showers are becoming more frequent and I am writing more in the margins of my calculus notes than ever before.

Wanderer Wandering – Slow Club

17 – Youth Lagoon

Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby – Cigarettes After Sex

This Must Be the Place – Talking Heads

These Days – Nico

Cherry – Chromatics

Rosa – Grimes

I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight – Richard  and Linda Thompson

I Need Fun in My Life – The Drums

You Make Me Wanna Die – The Shivas

Wall Fuck – Flume

This is a song

Heavy metal drummer – Wilco

Playing With Fire – Nick Leng

Lust for Life – Girls

California Stars (Live) – Wilco

The Russian house smells like really cheap perfume, strawberry vape, and cigarettes. It’s starting to seep into my clothing. My roommate cleaned the sink over break. I forgot how nice it was to go to bed completely clean, slicked down in coconut oil in a big t-shirt. I’m feeling more and more like I can do it. I eat cereal in my Dave’s Coffee mug with almond milk I should probably refrigerate.

This doesn’t feel final like the tests suggest. This feels like a transition. The card deck is shuffling. The boy in my spanish class seems more like a dream every day I don’t try to talk to him. He goes off to a dining hall and I stop to buy pita bread and coffee downstairs before I go to my last chem lab. He is from my favorite city, he listens to Mac Demarco. His jacket is the same as Wyatt’s in a more cobalt blue than Michael’s. Sometimes I stop back in my room to put on eyeliner, to wash my hands, just to make sure that if he ever wants to talk to me my eyes aren’t so small and my hands show no signs of an inked home countdown.

Today I opened a can of chickpeas with a screwdriver and accidentally poured corrosive acid on my fresh papercut. Everything is grey and dark and feels like a saltwater pool. My lipstick shed onto my spoons and coffee cups and cheese block. Sixteen more days. But it’s not so bad.

 

 

October Favorites

for your eyes

The Ramblers by Aidan Donnelley Rowley– I read this book in the span of a super busy week, and when I wasn’t in class or studying I was reading this book. It’s a great length and is basically what its review on Amazon says: “a love letter to New York City.” For someone who misses the city very much, the familiar imagery and references made me smile and even pointed me in the direction of places I want to visit next. It’s very WASP-y, and naturally all of the characters attended Ivies, but it’s easy to get past those elements with the vibrant setting and internal troubles of the characters.

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Vermont in the Fall- I may be super negative about Vermont on this blog, but it’s genuinely one of the most beautiful things I have seen during this time of year. Of course, Connecticut is beautiful this time of year too, but the mountains and the endless abundance of trees, combined with drives in New Hampshire as well… it’s a sight I have only seen on National Geographic before.

Nude York– This post changed my life. “If you are not where you are supposed to be right now, one day you will be.”

for your ears

Spotify– I got a Spotify account this month when my free trial with Apple Music was up. So far I’m enjoying it. I like how public it is (you can see what other people are listening to) and their method of suggesting music for you to listen to is so much less annoying than Apple Music. It definitely kills my battery way more than Apple Music does, though, and it doesn’t have Taylor Swift or De La Soul, so keep that in mind if you decide to get it.

Listen to this, this, this, and this.

Nancy Duarte’s Ted Talk– I watched this during a public speaking seminar and it instantly fascinated me. I never thought that a system could be applied to great speeches like those of Steve Jobs and Martin Luther King, Jr. I always cry during empowering speeches, and dissecting the structure of these talks put all of my emotions in perspective.

I’ve been listening to these two Soundcloud playlists recently: 633 main st and coconut pear chapstick.The first is for walks down the street to get coffee by myself and the second is for needing to pretend I’m in Florida.

everything else

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Boston– As you probably already know, I spent half of my October weekends in Boston. I can’t wait to visit more. It’s super cheap for me to go if I use Wheeli (which I TOTALLY recommend), it only costs me around $8-10 for each ride there and back. I love it there and going for those weekends have recharged me and reminded me of what is important in life.

Toast- I love bread and I like to get creative in my dining hall. I usually opt for the classic two slices slathered in peanut butter, topped with banana slices and cinnamon sugar, but I add honey sometimes. When I’m not feeling peanut butter (rare, but it happens), I go for strawberry jam and honey with grapes on the side. Don’t forget the butter.

Morning Showers- Since sixth grade I have been a die-hard night shower person, I think my dad instilled it in me. But since I have 8:30 AMs almost every day, it serves as a way to actually wake me up. Or at least get me out of bed.

The Verbal Translation of Nervously Jiggling Your Legs

It’s one of those Friday nights where Soundcloud makes you sad, you’re tired of your candle scents and your hair is crunchy and sweaty but you don’t want to stand under the cold, low-pressure flow of your dorm’s shower head.

It hasn’t really felt like my life has permanently changed until now. College has felt like one long weekend, but now, as I type this without distraction of hastily made friendships, it feels like forever. And I don’t like that.

If I could attribute a feeling to Flume’s latest album, Skin, it would be a sad Friday night, one where your plans fell through and you start realizing things. Like how you’re almost out of meal points, and how behind you are on laundry.

Waiting sucks. I call my mom, I tell her my problems, and she tells me to wait. Friends come in time, good grades come in time, ideas come in time, everything comes in time. I want college to be done, I want a degree in something, and I want to be eating unseasoned rice on the floor of my Manhattan apartment with someone I feel comfortable reading my journal to. I never thought I would be fortunate enough to find my people in high school, to find my best friend at fourteen, and I took it for granted. I kind of realized how precious it was when Catie would come home for weekends last year, and we would all wake up groggy, making pancakes and listening to twenty one pilots, but now that space in time seems even more far away.

Yes, home would have gotten old. I needed a change. College is important and good, and I hope it either gets important and good or I transfer somewhere important and good. I hope my Rosa DiLauro essay gets me places for very cheap so I can wake up in a world where Ubers across town don’t cost $10.97 on off-peak hours and Saxby’s shops dot every other corner.

Burlington doesn’t have any grime. Yes, the city is dirty, but the air is too clean for this to be a real city. The bus system is too unreliable. I could sit here and complain about how much I feel so disconnected from the place I live, but it’s not going to get me anywhere. I have to accept that nothing is permanent, people have other things to do and can’t pay attention to you all the time. And it’s important to note that I am doing good. I have never been late to a class and have done all my homework. I take showers every day (with the exception of today) and get to work on time every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I paint. I write. I finally got to the Yale part of Gilmore Girls.

Someday I’ll find people that I will click with, and until then, I have my repetitive candle scents as a sense of stability.

What Vermont Sounds Like in September, Featuring My Only Talent

Honey, sunshine, apples, misty mornings and sweltering afternoons, colorful pens, picnic blankets. Laying on a huge outcropping of rock feeling the breeze blow by you, but still soaking up the last of the sunlight before it disappears behind the trees. Eyes closed. Adjustment. Peanut butter and banana toast. COFFEE. Walking around a city when it’s kind of empty and the sunlight is fading. A cold beach day.img_4273

A lot of people think writing can describe everything. And I can attest to that, to an extent. But language, as much as I am fascinated by it, is so limiting. Only the best writers can evoke feelings unable to be described. But musicians can, sometimes even without words. Any musician, with a heart and capacity to breathe. Making playlists for me is a form of organizing my emotions, like a creative vessel of therapy. It also creates an escape- I can go back to this space, this September, and recall what I was feeling, what my world looked like, smells and images. I remember what it felt like to be me at a given point in time.

I figure most people do not understand why music does this for me. Growing up has just been me being shocked time and again that people do not think the same way as me. Part of me wants to believe that everyone has music on repeat in their head. And when people ask me how I manage to remember 97% of song lyrics from everything I’ve ever heard, I don’t know what to tell them. My mind absorbs this kind of information. And it kind of feels stupid, like I should have a better talent. My only truly, naturally successful job path in life is to be one of those people that picks songs for movies. And even then, there’s a lot of corporate debate in that. But maybe I would like that? I don’t know.

Until then, I’ll just keep blending sounds together to make them vaguely resemble a place in time. Some people are really good at keeping diaries. Mine are playlists.

And compliments like “you just played the perfect music for that car ride,” or “your Soundcloud playlist is fire,” will always unintentionally speak to that place inside me that knows that this talent is special. And “that mixtape you made me was amazing, can you make me another?” – that is a question I will never tire of hearing.

 

 

 

 

“College Me” Makes Some Power Moves

My walks to dinner are becoming layered, and the sun stops baking the mountains too close to seven p.m. for my liking. And it’s time for Me to start fully and unapologetically being College Me.

I’m trying not to change my whole personality, even though it’s tempting. It’s dangerous to live in a whole new environment where you can so covertly conceal who you once were. I know there are great things about me that I shouldn’t change, like my inclination to talk fast or my love of laying in bed freshly showered listening to Taylor Swift and reading. But who I am has a completely new backdrop now. I no longer have the privilege to watch the tides push sand closer to the seawall or wake up to a cool yellow bedroom plagued with the sound of cicadas. I get to look out my window over heaps of Prismacolor markers and Sharpies and watch the on-campus bus pull in and out of the parking lot on an unbroken loop. I get to lay on Peter’s floor bed, listening to Vessel while smelling the scent of the shampoo I bought per recommendation of Bethany. I get to float in and out of side streets off of Church Street, making mental note of the restaurants with egg sandwiches I want to try.

I’m saying this because I just gave Emily a few articles of Free People clothing that I remember being so excited about owning. The burnt orange lace slip, the one I’d worn to family dinners with my high school boyfriend, layered under opaque shirts and over thick tights, the one I have put in the dryer too many times. I remember my mom complimenting me on the purchase, and I remember wearing it two times a week since. But then it fell to the back of my closet, and the summers spent bike riding in the torn, thin, lacy fabric were just memories. Seeing the purple slip go, the one that Ms. Gallagher has in maroon, was hard. I gave her the white shirt that I wore to plays and parties, over bralettes and bodysuits. I remember braiding my long hair and drawing my eyeliner wings too thick and thinking that I looked good.

It will feel sad to see them on someone else, and I feel like I’m saying goodbye to them forever. But I’m not. Because in two or three weeks layering during the day will be a thing, and she will come out of her class at Waterman, take me to the library, and I will smile and remember. I feel like I am looking back on a real person, a real person who learned things and collected candles and knew who her friends were. I’m so proud of her for existing and realizing her worth and I’m proud to know that that is still me. And people will remember me for those clothes, in those clothes, and will associate my personality with how I presented myself. And I’ll remember how they told me that because of those clothes I would fit in at UVM.

But I like standing out.