I’m really getting into Mitski

As I’ve always done with beautiful people, I’ve long only noticed Harry Styles from afar. I never fully allow myself to love things that I feel are too bright and too clean for me, and if One Direction was the pack of popular boys in school, then Harry had prettiest face of them all. He’s the handsome boy you’ve never talked to because you run in different crowds, but who everyone says is very nice, even though he’s never seemed to experience that awkward phase that you thought was a necessary evil, a journey you must undergo to become a better adult. You don’t pine for him; he will always be too far from where you are for you to reach him. You don’t really have anything in common with him, anyway.

Listening to this album has made me think of Harry Styles’s schoolboy persona a bit differently—but not too differently. It’s like looking up to find him right beside you at the bus stop. He’s started to dress a little differently this year—a little shaggier, maybe—and as you observe this, he turns and asks if you know the Beatles. You respond, “Uh, yeah?” He explains that he’s recently gotten really into them. You miraculously get to talking while you wait for the bus, only to find that this beautiful, distant boy from school sometimes says stupid things like, “You’re cool, no one else knows who the Beatles are,” or is awkward and nervous sometimes, like you. You realize he’s been raised by the same media and culture as you, so he’s been deifying a beautiful girl from school the same way you’ve deified him, but none of that lessens his charm. You simply begin to project a more down-to-earth and relatable ideal of a boy onto him, and perhaps he is beginning to form his idea of you in his mind, as well.

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02/12/18, 12:21am

I have asked for three days of space, and in the aftermath of the request — an unfussy affair, a quick text and only a few minutes of heart pounding, conceived of and solidified during my evening shower, Nujabes echoing on the tile — a strange combination of blithe, anxious, dreading, and then nothing at all.

Here’s what he said: I’m not jazzed about it.

Here’s what I responded: You’re the best.

And I suppose really I mean that. But I’ve been thinking a lot about something a poet I saw said, that they were a needy person, and that they would keep being needy and would surround themself with equally needy people, and they would all be needy together.

I think I have denied myself that neediness for a while now. I think I was raised and convinced through whatever cool-girl portrayals I saw that being needy was uniformly negative, and that there was some invisible inverse relationship between neediness and quality of person. I think I’m tired of that. I think I’ve been craving neediness — receiving, giving, the works — and I know, I know, that I need neediness, and I shall have neediness, and I shall be needy. I want the cool gals and the cool guys to leave, be scared away by my whirlwind of neediness, until I have no one but the real ones left as the dust settles.

That’s not true, of course. I want people, I want quantity. Really, I am terrified. I am terrified of pruning, because I have also been pruning quite recently, and of course: what if there is no one left? There is almost no one left. I am scared of being alone. I am scared of being alone.

For three days, I will be alone. I will read, and think about everything but the one thing, and I will live, perhaps hollowly, better hollowly than anxiously, better nothing than that. For three days. It will be good for me.