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He is some creature in a cloud. What is real attachment? How does it all end, so easily? Little bits of spider web stretching, breaking. They are only the repeating song in your head – does that exist?

He marks his skin with dates. He will die, become flattened, back-packaged meat on a metal bed. Little green clovers wrinkled and lacking sweat.

Sweet boy, we will all grow up. It is some terrifying thing, marking time with someone else, on a field of our lives. Is this why people watch sports? Easy rules and bad calls really are no matter. Pay the big boys big bucks to keep us looking away and thinking about yellow flags.

She thinks she is as smart as me. I laughed at her. Perhaps it is only clarity; I don’t watch football.

 

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It is dark and 1 am and the cat is sneezing somewhere in the kitchen. The blinds are slightly open and I keep seeing this ghost of light fly from the top of the doorframe to the ceiling. At first I thought it was the cat but then I realized there’s nothing there to jump on.

It’s 1 am and there’s still traffic outside; there are too many people here so they never sleep and always drive their cars. People are always busy but I never see them get anything done. Everyone says they’re creative or musical but I don’t see it. What the hell are people doing here? I look out the window to see my car parked on the road, taking up whatever piece of cement it can.

I don’t know what people are doing out there, but the blinds are closed now and the cat is sleeping on my pillow. It’s so expensive to live here I don’t think people have time to do anything but work to make money and then use the rest of their time spending their money on things that are easy to buy: fancy cars and expensive clothes and whatever health or food thing is popular. Do people even talk to each other? I don’t know. I’m remembering this one time a grown woman from here recorded herself crying on her laptop and sent it out. I don’t think that’s the way to deal with sadness but maybe it’s the easiest way. If you send picture proof you don’t have to talk about it or think about it after you push a button.

It is not worse or better here than elsewhere, not yet. It is almost December and the tourists still come to take pictures of the palm trees. The palm trees are still lovely. And now they are covered with lights and giant decorative snowflakes hang down from them in a place where it never snows.

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falling out. the stars are falling out of orbit. we’ve just found a new planet, a thing that has been there longer than any of us. it is not new. this is not new. it is new to me, it is silence and sadness and heart pain. it is shaking limbs; body crying because all the tears have gone, because i am too sad to cry. it doesn’t matter. think of the young boy who died. think of the planets. i loved you. did i? i hated you. you are far away and i don’t know you anymore. you are not a planet; you are out of my galaxy.

there is a quote that gives you hope. a sentence. there is happiness still, sunshine. a memory, a picture that doesn’t exist of a beach you sat on for hours one summer. here i am, sitting on my bed, strumming terrible chords, happy. we’ll all keep looking for new places that have always existed, and people. there is hope and kindness, and once someone invented a telescope, and once we looked up together at a beautiful old building, and it is all magic and sadness and loss.

he tells me i am strong. i believe him. it is true. we are. we are weak and strong and we will keep finding new wonderful and terrible things. this is the bigger picture you can’t see. this is why we are kind. this is why i loved you. did i? this is why people hate. we are scared but together. the sun is coming up and it is so far away. what does it matter? i will tell you tomorrow, if you are still here.

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1. You must earn respect again and again. It is not a birthright. It doesn’t come from a title, even if you think it comes from a title, even if it seems to. You have to prove yourself, always, forever, until you die. And then maybe the respect or the disrespect people held for you will live on.

2. Everyone’s already finished the new season of Orange is the New Black. So, now that you’ve got some free time, you should binge watch Grace and Frankie!

3. I love so many people so much and it’s so wonderful.

4. “I can dig it.”

5. Hey guys, maybe we should be more concerned about the planet than like, kim kardashian, whoever that is? Just a thought.

6. Why are you not internet stalking me enough?!

7. Breaking News: White boys white girl dance, too! I’ve seen it! With my very own eyes! Now excuse me, I have to go flail my arms around to this music.

8. Go outside!

9. He has a selfie stick but I still like him. Which is impressive. Although, selfie sticks are becoming more acceptable generally. I think it all started in Asia and then maybe someone flew one over to the States and the rest is, um, selfie history! I could really talk about this forever. Shall I go on?! I won’t. #selfiesticks

10. I am not afraid of many things, but, expressway construction is terrifying. Please stop making me drive in pretend lanes you basically drew with sidewalk chalk and built solid concrete walls around! Thanks!

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1. Don’t stand still. Or do? You need a break from life sometimes, a nap, a vacation, a year off. Is that so terrible? Do we have to slave away, rush around with no path, with no finish line ahead? Sometimes it seems like society (and/or our mothers) demands this non-stop action from us, meaningful or not. Society doesn’t care. But I do! Stop. Breathe. Plan it out. I love you! Just don’t take too long.

2. 18-ish-year-old guy and his grandmother at the grocery store:

G-ma: “What do you want?”

Guy: “Let’s get pineapple. It tastes good. I drink the juice. It’s good for you.”

Um, ew. Don’t tell granny about that!

3. Don’t lose yourself in worthlessness.

4. Pluck it up.

5. Fuck marbles/shot glasses/tiny fancy spoons/posters/baseball, pokemon, whatever cards! Collect lovely people instead. (As in, meet them and get to know them and love them. Not in a creepy murder-y way. Felt I should add that.)

6. “I can’t go to that store again today because I wore these same pants yesterday!” – my life.

7. They are not real anymore.

8. We are growing up! I mean, everyone always said it was happening, but it’s really happening! My friends are getting married, and trying to have babies — actual babies — and building houses — like, on their own, like they’re real adults. Remember when that all terrified/disgusted us?? What happened?

9. So much can change in a year. You change so much in a year. But, is it for the better?! Or for the worse?! Ahhh!

10. Make something new.

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1. Musical festivals are not your friend.

2. “I accidentally read a wiki page on it today.”

3. Oh, god, is it Summer already?! I forgot what hot, humid weather felt like! WHY did we want this?!

4. “If not now, when? If not now, never.” was something I told myself/fought with myself about last week. I was so so so scared to do something, something simple, even though I really wanted to! So then I did it. And it was great! SO JUST DO IT, OK, SHEESH. Whatever it is. Do it. You’ll be afraid but you’ll also be ok.

5. I’m beginning to like K-Pop. …SOMEONE SAVE ME FROM KOREA!

6. He was beautiful but not kind. So, technically, not beautiful.

7. I’m getting very tired of having to tell you to GET THE FUCK OUT. Leave. GO. Do something! Go somewhere! Be someone you want to be! People like you fade from my heart. Please don’t.

8. Write a letter to yourself in the future. Say anything. Tell them what you want to be doing in a year. Tell your future self what you had for breakfast today. Anything. Put it in an envelope. Wait six months or more to read it.

9. It’s not gonna be easy but it will be okay. HASHTAGlife.

10. Wanna write something for heyinfinity.com?! Of COURSE you do! And we want to hear from you! Send an email with your idea to: heyinfinityjenni@gmail.com

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You still make me smile. But the thing that long-lingers on my face afterward is no longer caused by a happiness, or an excitement for something that is just beginning; Now sadness is there, helping to pull up the corners of my mouth. And it is a strange feeling, happiness and sadness mixed on my lips, frozen on my face.

I’ve always felt that I expect too much from people. I hold people to too-high standards. I want too much,  jump in too quickly, take too much of them.

And it makes me feel bad, when a friend doesn’t see the point in going on a one-day trip to a different city for the sole purpose of going there. What for? they might ask. Why so soon? Can’t we wait a few days?

No, no, I’d say, mentally frowning, shaking my internal head at them. You need to be better. You need to want more. Can’t that thing you were planning on doing today wait? Can’t you just go with me, run away, drop it, forget about it, do it later? This is an adventure I’m talking about! This is so much better than feeding your cat, watching that movie, making dinner, talking to your boyfriend. Hello? Are you still there? Why are you still there?

 

 

 

 

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I’m sitting (actually laying) in a hotel room somewhere in Chicago. I’m supposed to be somewhere over the ocean by now, halfway to halfway across the world, on a plane to South Korea. Now that’s happening tomorrow instead. So, here I sit. (Lay.)

When I first walked into my temporary home, the huge bed, wide desk, and sofa/ottoman thing excited me. Look at all these large comfy surfaces!, I thought (or something similar).

Then I made some coffee. Because why not. And then I drank said coffee. Because I was bored. And then I turned on all the lamps in my hotel room (there are like six different lamps, including two built into the headboard!). Because the coffee was no longer entertaining me. Then I sat (lay) down on the extra-large bed with the white feather-stuffed blanket. And then the room seemed too large, the lamps too bright, South Korea, and me, too far away from all the people I love.

Doing interesting things is hard. Traveling is hard. Moving to the other side of the planet seems difficult. (I’ll let you know how that goes later on.) If you admit to being weak, does that make you any stronger? Do we always need people? What does that even mean? Am I just being silly? Emotional? Over-dramatic? I never can tell.

Maybe I can blame the people I’ve been hanging out with. Those humans I call friends, who make me laugh so hard my head seems to whip around on its own, who make me cry talking about the wonder of life, who embarrass me by talking about… well… stuff.

A few years ago, I never felt this way, like I needed people in my life. I think I was much more self-sufficient. Or maybe I was just wrong. Or maybe I just hadn’t met the right human beings.

I am the elephant king, the one and only
I am the blood of the lamb, I am the holy
I am the teller of tales, I am a story
I am and the elephant king but I am lonely.

I am the prophet's confession on his deathbed
I am the soil of the earth, I am the purebred
I am the listener hearing all that's unsaid
I am the magazines hiding under your bed

And you can't take my kingdom away from me.

I am the elephant king, the one and only
I am the voice of the song, I am the lowly
I am the chosen protector of the dreary
I am the elephant king but I am lonely

So take my jewels and gems, take all that shines bright
Take all the signs of my power away from my sight
I will go to a land of constant daylight
I will talk to myself 'til I am alright

But take good care, I'll be back sooner than you think
'Cause you can't take my kingdom away from me.

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No matter how hard you tried in the moment to not take anything for granted, it always seems like you did, afterward, because no amount of good memories or photographs can make up for the fact that they’re not with you anymore. The feeling of missing them feels stronger than whatever happiness you lived while you were with them, and it goes on, unlike your unchanging memories. And all of this piles up, and all of the time you’re apart piles up, increases, and eventually the time it’s been since you’ve seen them is longer than all of the time you spent together. And the little caricature of them in your memory changes, and surely they have, too, and you wind up having a memory of no one you’ve ever met; a stranger in your mind and in reality.

Nothing but togetherness will ever fix anything. People change together and apart and yearly or monthly or daily updates are not enough to hold onto any relationship. You must be together, see each other, touch each other, laugh with the same air. Everything else is distance, everything else is change, everything else is an extension of what use to be, carried across lakes or mountains or countries or years.

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1. I wish I was cool enough to say “big ups”.

2. Stop assuming he/or she hates you. Just ask, then you’ll know for sure that they do!

3. Let’s all love and care about each other a little more this year.

4. You don’t have to know what you want to be when you grow up! You never have to know! Next time someone asks you what “career” you want, just throw a flower/balled up piece of paper/dollar/smile at them and run away!

5. Romania is “in” this year. Let’s go! Are you buying me the plane ticket? I only do window seats. Thanks!

6. For the past month, I’ve suspected that 2014 is going to be good. Now I hear that Paolo Nutini is releasing a new album this year! Fantastic.  April 14th, where are you?

7. Not all stories have happy endings.

8. The only thing more interesting than art students is their hair.

9. No, really, what are we supposed to do with all these Beanie Babies??

10. Put a dollar bill (or the equivalent, international friends!) under someone’s windshield wiper the next time you’re in a parking lot. Do it! Then tell me about it.