a quiet walk back in the first snow of the year

there is something about snow that takes me back to last year

this time last year,

I had WH and JKm

and I had this coat and this breath of cold air and these yellow street lights

these I still have.

there exist those I no longer have

but

I did not have these white leather high tops

or these jeans

or this hair

———————-

the snow gathers at the tip of my shoes like a dollop

quiet

peace

it’s a group of black figures hurling their joyful bodies in the snow at 1:30am

it’s a trudge up 3 flights of stairs and an empty room and a sigh

and a solitude

it’s a fresh, thin coat

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a timeline of the good things

the first night

he was the tall friend of a guy and I noticed and that was that

the real first night

he was the tall guy who I semi knew and who I stuck with when the party died

“you’re chill as fuck! let’s exchange numbers?”

the club

going and not really expecting anything but then we were dancing and cuddling and he was an adorably atrocious kisser and so I turned around and kept dancing with him. talking in the stairwell. walking around the downtown freezing our asses off, trying to figure out the uber app.

the first date

walking with my hands hooked into the loops of my backpack straps. yoga pants and a printed shirt. his fake lack of chopstick skills. his smile, him leaning toward me and I toward him. the end of the night, in front of my building, looking at each other before I give him an enthusiastic hug, yell “let’s do it again!”, and vanish, much to his bemusement

the second date

hands still hooked into my backpack, journeying to downtown to my spot under a freeway overpass, where the cars sounds like thunder and the sewer sounds like rain. we sit there, slightly cold but it feels right, and in each silence he leans over to kiss me before I abruptly begin talking again. it’s a game that I play until I tire, and I acquiesce and we are kissing and it is electric. on the way back, I hop onto ledges and stairs to test their heights and kiss him, eye to eye, lip to lip. we hold hands.

that one concert I performed at

and he showed up and brought me godiva chocolates and it turned out months later that he’d walked to the mall a mile away to get it before 10am.

the official first day

I meet his grandparents at a concert, which he sits through good naturedly. after, we wander to a room in the hall near my dorm and sit and are attempting to do work but we end up kissing and he says I wasn’t sure how to introduce you to my grandparents but can I call you my girlfriend and I say yes.

countless other dates

his birthday; he says no gift is needed; just being with me is enough. we go to a restaurant on a cute street nearby and I force him to let me pay. we meander back slowly under the fall leaves and sunshine, stopping to kiss under a warm glow of orange light. we eskimo kiss and hold hands the warm way because my hands are cold.

another concert in that same room. we sit in the back right hand corner and I tease him by nibbling his ears the entire time and we leave early to go make out in my room.

friday night and we decide to exercise but when I get there I convince him to run with me. his friends laugh at him but he says you could convince me to do anything and off we go. a group of partiers laugh as we run by oh, look at that, a couple running together on a friday night, and he sprints past me and stops and turns around for a kiss and I run towards him and he fakes me out and then we’re laughing too hard to run any more anyway.

we make plans to hang out but when he arrives I drag him to a talk by an author I’m super excited about and he says later I love when you surprise me like that and means it.

the one and only time we attempt to go partying together and we end up making out and swaying in a room with loud music.

halloweekend and I’m too sick to leave my room and he rushes around to get a tea kettle and ginger tea but then I tell him to not come anyway.

in his room and he say can I go down on you but I’m too nervous about the hair I haven’t shaved so I say no but I offer to go down on him but it’s my first time and I’m sure I’m awful but then I spend the next week googling is oral sex real sex

he finishes so hard and then he looks at me and says you’re getting really fucking good at that and it feels amazing

eating lunch together and texting things like “be there in one!” because being one minute late felt too late. we talk so much during lunch that he leaves his food untouched until I walk out to get more food and when I get back his plate is completely finished because he was so hungry.

we run into his friends everywhere and they are always so excited to see me, saying I’ve heard so much about you with a knowing smile and twinkling eyes and it feels amazing

he comes to visit me back in my hometown and I’m so excited to see him I rush at him with a kiss which he remembers to deflect for a hug because my mom is watching.

texting him while on a bus ride for hours and hours and smiling uncontrollably the entire time

and then second semester began

 

 

These are pathetic problems

Running the event that we spent all year planning, somewhat bonding with the team, it was fun. But what bothered me is that none of my friends came. I have no friends to automatically hang out with.

Sure, I get invited to things. But I don’t want to be invited. I want to be immediately thought of. I want to be an assumption. But I am no one’s assumption.

When my nights differ, there is no one that molds their plans to mine. I see people when I align my plans with theirs.

And when I got back to the dorm, AM had texted me. I told him to come to my dorm. I needed him to – I needed him to go out of his way to see me. He didn’t. And no matter how eager he acted to get me to come, it didn’t matter, because at the core, he wasn’t going to change plans to see me.

And you know what else bothered me? He stopped by my room around 11pm, looking for me. As if I he assumed I would be in my room on 11pm on a Friday night, free and available to hang out with him on a moment’s notice.

But part of why that bothers me is that it could be true.

I’m not scared of solitude – I need solitude. But I’m scared of what happens when I leave my solitude – is there anyone there looking for me? I don’t know. I don’t think so.

Dream

God – a horrible dream that speaks to my friendship issues right now.

I’m visiting PD at her college. I say some offensive, like being surprised that she’s a legacy to the school (she’s not actually in real life, but she was in this dream), and somehow implying that that was why she’d gotten in. I do that. I make backhand comments that accidentally-on-purpose make people feel smaller.

She caught it, and immediately became sad, and I lost her as a friend.

And I saw SNK C, and I went to talk with him, and he was just so over me.

And I’m just riding the shuttle around her school aimlessly, with no one.

Now, context.

I’ve realized I don’t have a friend group, partly because I love hanging out with individuals so much, partly because I’m too picky with friends such that at the beginning of the year, when friend group were formed, I was too busy fluttering around finding fascinating people. And I did. But now I’m that auxiliary friend, necessary to no one except other floaters.

I don’t think I know how to make a friend group. It seems there’s a certain amount of persistence involved, and a certain amount of settling for what you can get. At least, that’s how I perceived it. But the more I observe, the more I realize it’s not that people are immediately fascinating, or that they immediately click. It’s more that friend groups build inside jokes together, and a certain chemistry together, simply by spending a lot of time together. I guess I never had the patience or the foresight to wait it out.

What that means is that I’m lonely. Because having a friend group is a lot of time and effort and not a ton of flexibility, something I could probably adjust to but something I’ve never had to do before. Having individual friends is more flexible. But on a Friday night, when I’m sitting alone and everyone’s busy, it’s lonely. Very lonely.

I’ve been in this funk ever since second semester started – when I leave a social interaction, I can’t help but feel that I’ve thrown more time into a black pit out of which I’ll receive nothing in return. And it doesn’t matter that I have friends. It doesn’t matter that people like me, that I have a lot of likes on my profile picture. I’m not anyone’s number one, and I’m not anyone’s necessity.

It’s not for lack of trying, now. I realized this a while ago. I made an effort to worm my way into a friend group. Quite obviously, I faced push back.

I’ve been trying to come to terms with the fact that I’m too independent to have a friend group, much as AM has, but I don’t think I have the self-confidence to be happy that way.

I’m so lonely. That’s it, really.

On AM

3/28/16, 7:03pm, notes from iPhone

Me and philosophical talks: the more I see of other families, the more I realize that I was raised in a very non-intellectual environment. Both my parents are very concrete people, and very emotional people in that there are no theoretical debates – no debates at all, actually – only arguments. No one talked unless it was necessary for day-to-day life.
And I think that’s the main reason why I feel inept during these abstract discussions – I didn’t grow up with it. Granted, I am also a very concrete person. But I also did not come equipped with these particular skills.
On a more personal level, I realize I have an aversion to being wrong. Not an aversion to seeming stupid in the moment – I never hesitate to ask questions – but I don’t want to be able to be attacked. So I avoid having opinions. This was always conscious, but I don’t think I ever realized why. I’ve been thinking more often, though, that I should purposely be unafraid to be wrong in the future. I always had an aversion to be criticized. Kind of like, when any scholar from another time is read in modern times, their ideas seem simplistic and uninformed – I never wanted to be that scholar. I realize now that it’s important to have an opinion (my previous mode basically lead to me not even thinking about the questions), despite the fact that I know my ideas are limited and will grow more and more obsolete as time passes. Furthermore, I have an obligation to do so because it is by nailing down ideas that allows for others to either build off of or debunk those very ideas. It is necessary for me to allow others to prove me wrong.

And I guess that’s the meta philosophical post of this trip.

I Eeked Out A Portrait of ES

I probably haven’t mentioned ES on here at all, because she’s a bit removed from the rest of the people I know here, although she’s still among my four closest friends.

I hung out with her tonight, and I think I can finally start to say I am beginning to wrap my head around her.

A bit of background: I made an effort to get to know her at first partly because she was so kind, partly because she was so intelligent and insightful in class, and (after talking to her for more than 10 minutes) partly because I realized she was absolutely fascinating to probe.

Every sentence of her nonstop, even-fired words revealed another ridiculous, could-not-be-true tidbit of her seemingly fantastical life. Combined with a casual modesty, the effect was off-setting. I became determined to prove her wrong; to prove that she was lying. I pointed out random holes in her stories, asked for proof, checked her references. I couldn’t believe she existed.

And yet, I never got to know her. Time spent with her left me in a good mood because of her kindness, but befuddled and somewhat frustrated because of my lack of understanding. I was never satisfied. I couldn’t pin her down. She talked and talked and it was only until recently that I realized she’d never quite answered my questions.

But today. Today, I confronted her and forced her to talk about herself, truly, and presented to her her own oddities. And I finally got answers.

Positive driving factors, but none negative. A lack of remorse, psychopathic tendencies. What she described as a constructed, conscious kindness in the place of an innate one. Keen insight into other people – what I saw and then some. Friendship vs. knowing someone well vs. knowing someone emotionally. Caring about something/one, but not being emotionally invested.

Very, very interesting. And although I got some answers, I still can’t describe her fully like I can other people. More to come.

iPhone Notes: Snippets from the Plane Ride Home

Fading street lights. Lights being intermittently obscured by buildings, trees. Christmas lights. Why is the city twinkling?

Whoa! WhoOOOAAAh…

A baby giggles as the plane lands roughly. Atlanta, Georgia. Almost home.

The toddler in front of my pops over the seat and peers at me.

“Hi!” I giggle.

She giggles right on back.