07/22/17, 12:34pm

I have realized that I pull away from people, and yet I’m not sure how I got there. Most recently, I have a feeling that is has to do with a normalization of how AM and MH treat me. AM, with his tendency to befriend all my friends and then insist on private time spent with them, while simultaneously withholding his friends from specifically me, has left me feeling alienated and lonely in comparison. He has acknowledged parts of this to a certain extent, but not wholly — I’ve only just acknowledged this as I write it. And so I withhold my life from him to prevent it from being hijacked.

And MH, who is frustratingly silent and silently judgmental, who withholds life news and friends and successes until I wonder why exactly that is and I think back to EMC, who drew from me because of competition.

But I don’t feel that competition with my other friends, and I think now that perhaps that only arises in me when I do not know, when I feel something is being hidden.

When people pull away, I pull away as well, but it hurts the entire time.


the coming and going of civilization

As your friendship with AM slowly crumbles even after you’ve both identified the problem and actively work to hold each other up

As your long-distance conversation with JH dwindles to a reluctant phone call and you haven’t sent each other music in forever

As you sit on a park bench and sigh and RK lets it slide by

— you realize:

These are your first true, adult friendships. And these are your first true, adult losses of those friendships.

Humans are always so frustratingly predictable, you ramble to RK. We follow the pattern too closely, even in our deviations from our paths.

4/19/17 10:33am, on my bed in my dorm at college

Loudness is communication. Communication allows for understanding and change. What bothers me about MH, and now HJ is that they are quiet. They do not yell, or protest, or retaliate; they recoil. But this is far, far worse: in their quietness, they are resolute. Their judgements are set, their conclusions wrapped about you and your flaws. I would much rather they criticize openly.

05/21/17 9:53am, on the plane from DC to Beijing

You keep flipping through photos because What The Heck You’re Kind Of Enjoying This. Here is another photo: it is you and MH on the grass outside your dorm. You think about the half-conversation you had the other day: you asked, Did Your View Of Me Change This Year? and she said, I Suppose It Developed and you said Yeah Me Too. You think about all the late night conversations you had in the fall. You think about all the late night conversations that you didn’t have in the spring. You wonder what happened. You sort of know what happened, but you don’t really know why. You think, It’s Not Really Completely Your Fault. You think about how distant MH was, how odd you thought it was, how confused you felt. You think about how slowly, you branched out, and then stopped bothering to invite MH to things, or ask to eat together. You remember how she would do small nice things, but nothing else. You remember wondering whether she was mad at you. You remember wondering if she was going through hard things. You remember wondering why she always said things were fine when you asked How Are You Doing, Really? when you kind of knew they weren’t because you could hear her late night conversations that she now had with JV instead of you when she thought you were sleeping (which you usually were indeed doing before they would begin talking). You remember talking to her when you both talked to each other about how different your style of friendships were: how you handpicked friends and stuck to them like hell and she loosely spent time with whoever and that it was hard for her to keep friends without constant exposure. You wonder if you will be friends next year. You think it’s kind of a waste. You think, that was awful to say. You think, I’m actually going to miss her. You feel sad because you will probably not be friends next year not for lack of trying on your part but on hers, and it will break your heart.

journal #8 1/1/17

1/1/17, 12:18am, sitting on the steps outside an apartment on l—– ave

I am spending this new year’s walking around outside, listening to acid rap, coming down off of half a tab of acid, having just resolved my first family-like conflict with JH, stomach digesting a ratchet meal of Mexican food cobbled together of 89-cent canned refried beans, bulk sale sharp cheddar, tortillas confusingly sized in between a taco and a burrito, and guac made with far too much onion, scarfed down standing up in a shamelessly disgusting kitchen, smothering laughter in quiet camaraderie.

I have compromised with my brother and screamed “I AM A WILLOW” while he screamed “I AM A MAPLE” at the bottom of the countdown in that ratchet apartment, snorting characteristically ungracefully between the WILL- and the -OW and having it come out something more like I AM A WILL and perhaps that was more fitting in the first place: to plan to be a willow, reflective, lowing, graceful, but maybe ending up as a will — and maybe that’s ok.

And JH is skyping his girlfriend inside on the bed, and that’s real cute, but I am single, happily, refreshingly single, and instead I received long heartfelt texts from my best friends: from AM, YM, MH — at 9pm and so I am walking around at night, alone, listening to music, having left the comfort of the room to reflect and journal and listen to music and think; I am alone and exploring and free to roam and yet I know I have the support of friends so close they are family, more than family.

Last year, I also spent the night in the dark, on the sidewalk. I was home. I’d fought with my mother. Somehow I seem to always be fighting on new year’s — but this year, I resolved the fight. I think that’s important. I am walking around at night in peace with myself instead of in turmoil with others, and that — that is satisfying enough.

a note on what attracts me to people

romantically: people who are remarkable in an above-it-all, chill, easy, intellectual way. I think that’s actually really fucking accurate. an ease, a brain, and, more rationally, a kindness.

more generally: people who I perceive to be remarkable in some way; any way really. I think the intellectual and the kindness still apply, and then an additional remarkable drive is also something I am drawn towards. the ease is not something I seem to require, I think.

regardless. I had a conversation with MH the other day, and we found each other’s friendship styles to be markedly different — whereas I hand-pick my friends, she seems to fall into groups and not worry about individual friendships within those groups, instead choosing to let whatever happen naturally. JS was similar, except even more scattered, falling with literally whoever, group or not.

tldr; music is 3d

currently: music sounds really, really good still; lights have a larger glow than normal, and things pulsate gently if I really focus on them

a (not so) quick rundown of today:

an odd feeling of a need to stretch in the chest, a slight dizziness

the bathroom lock pulsating, then the ceiling pulsating, then the ceiling dots beginning to form swirling patterns and the 3d-ness of the ceiling began to give way

the ceiling, with 3d hairs floating down and tiny dots

putting hands over my face to block out all light and staring, wide-eyed and unblinking, at the streaming ebbing black lines and red flowing pictures I saw

going up the stairs each echoing step went straight down; accompanied by a tangible visual of the vibrations shooting out of the soles of my feet in a flash of light a la learning to draw 3d boxes in the 3rd grade

the floor and pulsating squares, pulsating sausage fat, two layers

listening to music, MUSIC, music in HEADPHONES and absolutely leaving the world right there

floating in the kelp, like a horizontal 3d stick figure on a keychain

my hair, floating out and emanating from my head in the suspended air

floating and bringing JH in, floating with me and his voice came and we shared the experience

and I felt the need to bring everyone in so I called RK and YM

then joe popped in and dan and I was so happy I could share it with them too and I lay on the floor so that we could float on the same level

somehow it was ok for people to leave if I let them go, but having them walk away from me was upsetting

and then I wanted AF to come and vibe with us I felt he would enjoy it so much

and then I wanted JKm to come but snapped out of it enough to say otherwise

then AM came and I was so happy I could share it with him too although it frustrated me that he didn’t seem to be floating with me but then music MUSIC came

and bohemian rhapsody blew my mind playing in slow motion with trails everywhere

and another song was soaring and sounds were pearls bouncing on the water and soaring up from it and when I closed my eyes sounds flew at me in 3d from all directions, rapidly changing

currently uncontrollably nodding my head to the beat I’m listening to

everything was so beautiful so beautiful and I wanted to share it with everyone and all sounds were so heartbreakingly beautiful

truly understanding how it felt to be wide-eyed and open-mouthed with wonder so visceral and so real that I could not for the life of me shut either

or more that it would be a crime to repress that which was so beautiful

and I was floating and I wanted people to float with me and I was convinced that if I took videos, the videos would show what I was currently seeing

and then MS said he was going for a walk and I wanted to come but I went to the bathroom first and the floor was just pulsating squares and I got so distracted that I had to tear myself off the toilet

and then I felt this insane urge to get in the shower with all my clothes on but people pulled me away

and then I went back on MH’s bed and sat there for apparently a long time just floating and staring at the ceiling

and I saw a picture of grass and I didn’t even know it was grass – they looked like tiki men; I had to ask what the picture was of and when they said it was grass I didn’t believe but indeed it was

and I saw a picture of stars and it was so beautiful – they were pulsating and growing brighter and brighter and then ebbing away, back and forth back and forth and the small stars were rushing around the larger ones

and then someone gave me an orange and it was so beautiful and delicious and it reminded me of the oranges of my childhood that were perfectly dry on the pith and sweet and juicy on the inside and although this one didn’t taste quite sweet enough it still was the best orange I had ever encountered just because of what it symbolized

and then I thought of JKm while listening to bon iver and I thought that I had grown frustrated with him and that he was telling me god damn turn around you’re my a team and then I thought maybe I was yelling that at him but it was bittersweet because I knew he couldn’t

and then MS came back and took me to the art building and on the way there I played snarky puppy and couldn’t hear anything else and MS was such a caricature of a person and the music was so ridiculously comical I felt like a secret sky and he was a cool cat and we were just trooping around the campus

and I was eating a banana but it was strangely tasteless and interestingly mushy to my mouth but I ate it anyway because it felt like nothing

and we finally got the the art building and in the stairwell it was so beautiful that I thought of JKm again and realized I just wanted to share this with him as well and that all our problems would have been fixed if we could but that he was gone and that the reason we couldn’t share this was the very reason I had to let him go in the end

and music had so many layers; music was 3d and I could viscerally feel every single layer of sound

and we looked at art and it took me a while to realize the the words were written in shadows and I wasn’t sure if the universe had purposely done that to confuse because everything was in two layers anyway

and there was one picture dark small male figuring in a town and when I stared it the men side-stepped towards me very coolly as cool as a cucumber and I dug it

and then we stood in the stairwell and I saw a carrot on the wall and then I got really into classical music – beethoven e major sonata and f-sharp major sonata and schubert b-flat major sonata and debussy reflets dans la lune because I was convinced that if I focused in on any art at that moment I would truly figure it out and be able to play it better than ever before

and then we walked to MS’s dorm and I jammed and listened to frank ocean and bon iver’s visual album was insanely fascinating and the holocene video was just like the afterglow of a trip where everything was just so beautiful you had to linger on it and just gaze at every detail, lying on the floor and looking up, up; and the minnesota paint video was perfect, perfect, fascinating

and then we cooked and watched a crazy animation movie about dementia and the visuals were amazing and I just stared in amazement

and then we watched the debate and I was just loose and open

but the tightness was still in my chest and I put my legs in the air and breathed really far in and out and that helped a little but I ended up just hugging a bean bag

and then we walked around at night and the blu lights glowed to much and looked slightly fractal-like, and street lights had a beautiful rainbow aura

and the green light reflecting in a puddle cast a glow on the streets that looked like gold-plated ness everywhere and I liked to look at that

and shadows on the floor created a cartoon-like cross hatch pattern that moved

and then we played piano and jammed and we got really into the chord progression I think it was CM to Gm to f-sharp M to b-flat major

and then MS taught me a song and I felt the need to perfect it and I did and played scales were so satisfying and beautiful

and then I hopped on a shuttle and went back to the dorm and chilled and looked at psychedelic pictures and had good vibes with DW and CM and JV

and that was that