I keep forgetting that I’m going to New York on the 13th. I hope the city has some epiphanies waiting for me. Patti Smith says the city closed itself off to artists but I still hope for a shred of that newyorkseventiespunkrock attitude that I have to believe is still alive and thriving somewhere. I have to hope that if I move to the city I’ll find the sort of people who have read On the Road one too many times and have listened to the Velvet Underground so many times that music and art is spilling out of their eyes and hearts and hands and mouths. I have to believe in revolutionary souls with guitars in their hands because if I can’t then everything I ever wanted can’t exist and I don’t know if I could handle that.
I lay alone on the uncomfortable bed typical of a cheap roadside motel, desperately trying for sleep. But every time I closed by eyes I felt Charlie’s lips graze the skin by my collarbone and the thought of his unshaved face scratching my jaw as he raised his head to look so tenderly into my eyes made me want to scream with a fierce anger, but also with raw gnawing sadness, the kind that kills you if you don’t notice it right away.
I curled up in a ball in the middle of the bed and covered myself with the duvet. It was already hot outside, but I didn’t care. I wanted to be buried. I wanted to suffocate the bluesy depression that I felt creeping in. Heat went very well with the anger I was feeling.
I felt a lump in my throat and tried desperately to swallow my sadness. I wasn’t willing to cry over Charlie. Charlie was a liar. His eyes sparkled and his smile lit up worlds and the way he ran his hands through his hair while he said my name with a laugh made him seem beautiful. But he was a liar, nonetheless.
The worst part of the whole thing is I hadn’t seen it coming. Every clue was there but I hadn’t read the signs until now. I had jumped into my car with an attractive near stranger and driven halfway to Hollywood without expecting anything to go wrong, and part of what I was feeling was embarrassment. I had tried to be the kind of flighty rock chick that Allison was, and it had come back to bite me. It’s like the universe was punishing me for having the idea that I could be impulsive without consequence.
I thought back to the bus stop in San Francisco where I had dropped Charlie off earlier that day. I hadn’t said a word in response to his half-hearted apologies. Did I think he was sorry? No. Did I believe a thing he was telling me? No. I didn’t. I could tell Charlie and I weren’t really going to be friends after all of this. Sometimes you can stay just friends with boys you kiss, but Charlie wasn’t the kind of boy I wanted to count amongst my friends. I thought briefly of his girlfriend, traveling through India, completely unaware of what her boyfriend was doing. She probably was excited to see him when she got back, and the thought made me feel sick. I hadn’t known about her when I had kissed him back, but I had still kissed her boyfriend. I felt hollow.
I had only waited outside the bus station long enough for him to take his things out of my car and start walking towards the doors before I had driven away. I wasn’t concerned about him finding a bus back to Portland. He could walk, for all I cared. All I had wanted was for him to be out of my life, but he had left the CD he had made for the road trip in the car, and I wondered if he had done that on purpose.
I thought about that CD now, as I lay under a mountain of blankets. I was painfully aware of the fact that it was outside my window in my car. It was the only tangible proof I had that anything had happened with Charlie at all. He would be a ghost now if it wasn’t for the music he had left behind.
There’s a fear, of course, that I don’t know anything about you at all, but I do know what you look like when you’ve just woken up and I know you look good in gray shirts and I know that you, even if it was only for a moment, wanted me enough to grasp my hand and hold it against the pillow next to my head and whisper that in my ear. And I know what your lips feel like on my neck and that the scratch of your unshaved face on my skin sent shivers down my spine. I know my pillow smelled like you for several days after, and I know the comfort that gave me was stupid.
What I don’t know is why you were in my bed if you’re “waiting for someone else” but I know you should have told me that before unbuttoning my pants. I don’t know why you bought me coffee and gave me a cigarette afterwards and I sure as hell don’t know why you told me you liked me and wanted to be my friend, because if there’s one thing I know, it’s that that is a big dumb lie.
The final thing I know is that the distance between us is a cigarette and a couple minutes more and I know that none of this matters to you at all.
I simultaneously see normally and see myself from the outside. I am fascinatingly detached. I am looking around at the other people but not connecting. I have an unbelievable desire to destroy everything I see but I don’t possess the energy to actually carry out these things. Pain and love are nothing more than distant song topics. Everything has blurred together. This morning seems like weeks ago.
I’m starting to wonder if I even exist at all.
I have forgotten how to feel and now I’m sinking, drowning in apathy. I don’t know how in the world anyone could save me.
Everyone is paper and everyone is glass. Every single person and every single thing. So easily broken. So easily thrown out. The future has absolutely ceased to matter. My goal is to seek feelings in the now. I do not have the ability to be anything more than a mirror. I reflect. I deflect. Somewhere along the way the mirror broke and I’m at the beginning of seven years of devastatingly bad luck.
I need new love. I need new pain. I need to snap out of this. One of those two is the key and I will pick whichever one comes first. That’s all.
I’m lying on my floor listening to my Unplugged record and thinking back over the course of my life and wondering honestly who I’d be if I’d never have loved Nirvana. I don’t think I’d be anything like me. I don’t think I’d love the way I love or create art the way I do. I don’t think I’d want any of the same things I want.
I’m just about the same age as Frances and my parents raised me on old Beatles records, so I didn’t have a childhood full of Nirvana like some of you. But when I was about 12 my mother forced me to take the SATs (I got a 1690 without studying at all, if you’re curious), and in order to bribe me to do that, she bought me the American Idiot CD, which had just come out.
The album was unlike anything I had ever heard. Most music my classmates liked was wonderful 90’s pop, and while great, it wasn’t about being dissatisfied with the entire fucking country. American Idiot was angry and heavy and politically charged and there was swearing. 12 year old me was more than intrigued. After wearing that CD down until it was nearly unplayable in my gray boombox I cherished so much, I wanted to look for more. And that’s what lead me to Nirvana.
Lithium was the first Nirvana song I remember hearing. I still remember thinking the verses were cool, but being absolutely blown away with how the chorus had such a different energy. I remember thinking that this guy knew how to write music on a level I wanted to understand. I started to take guitar lessons.
Nirvana was the first band I liked that made me weird in the eyes of my peers, although I don’t quite think that’s what it was. I think 12 is the age where you being to forge your individual identity within society, and it just so happened that I’m from a very outdoorsy town where most everyone I knew played several sports. I wanted to sit in my room and imagine revolution and think of a future where I could create art that people would find important. My friends at the time all played volleyball, and instead, I shut myself in my room and wrote.
I never knew Kurt, but I do know that he was an incredible talent and voice. I know he didn’t enjoy the pressures of fame, but you don’t get named the voice of a generation for no reason. His music made me feel less lonely, but at the same time made me feel like being alone was okay.
(And no, I don’t think I was born in the wrong generation. I think when people say that it’s proof that generations have more in common than they think. Some older people just pretend their youth wasn’t important. Which is stupid. Duh.)
Last June I went to Seattle to see American Idiot the musical, and I also stopped at Viretta park. It felt like paying tribute to the things that set me on the path I’m on in life. I cried at Viretta park, even though I don’t cry very often when I’m sad. The amount of inscriptions and tokens left there for Kurt just got to me. He continues to make such an impact on people today, and that’s so beautiful. I don’t think any of us can say what Kurt would have wanted if he were alive today, but I don’t think he would have been upset that he gave so many of us outliers a home in his music.
Thank you, Kurt. Rest in Peace.
I just read your most recent story- its great! I wish I could write like that in a novel type of form, but personally scripts are my comfort zone
Oh my gosh thank you so much!
Scripts are so awesome though! I was a film major but I had the hardest time writing scripts because I got too excited about my idea and kept forgetting things because it was in my head already if that makes sense. But yeah scripts are rad!
The evening air was cold and crisp on Max’s skin and the way it whistled against his lips like the ghost of something else made his heart ache. He looked out on the choppy waves as he dug his feet deeper into the sand. Max liked the coast. He always had. The coast was liminal.
He brought his last cigarette to his lips and inhaled deeply, filling his lungs with smoke. It was one of life’s cruel tricks that the thing that got him though days such as this was the very vice that could one day kill him.
I WAS LOOKING AT MY GOOGLE DOCS AND APPARENTLY THERE IS SOME STUFF FROM MY AP LIT CLASS FROM MY SENIOR YEAR OF HIGH SCHOOL AND IM LAUGHING SO HARD OMG IM CLEARLY INSANE
Paradise Lost Parody Deal
God - Kimberly
Satan - Megan
Narrator - Sangeeta
Beelzebub - Jen
Synopsis: God is throwing a party, which is super lame. It’s a sparkling juice tasting event, and Satan decides to crash it, because he thought it would be really legit. Then it was not, so Satan and Beezelbub were pissed because God found out and kicked them out, so they decided to throw a really awesome party on their own. Satan sends his bud, Beezelbub to get other people to come and they were like no way man. It was a kegger with red cups and curly straws, therefore more cool. Then God sends the police to stop the party and Satan is all oh its better to throw a bitchin party than be at a lame one. For people to join Satan and Beezelbub, they were offered a curly straw and then told to wait for a sign. The angels were not interested but everybody else was like up for hella partying! Let me know bro! The sign was what Jen just did, aka, a bird call. They have to have their curly straws to get in. God cannot get in even though he wants to because Satan’s party is way better. When he can’t get in, he calls the police, and lets all the angels back in except Satan and Beezelbub.
"Over the Edge" by the Wipers
sometimes i crave a dystopian society where i have to live in the woods because this materialistic city life thing that i deal with every day wouldn’t exist anymore
i miss living in bend. when things got rough, i would just drive ten minutes from my house to shevlin park and then just run 6 miles into the woods. and i’d just sit there on the ground and listen to absolutely nothing but myself and the organic world around me and my problems would seem so far away and so inconsequential. it would put everything into perspective. sometimes i’d stay out there for a really long time. i wouldn’t want to come back to the city.
the last time i was there, i was alone and it was raining. it was cold and sort of miserable, but i was happier then than i am now living here… as much as i never thought i’d say it, i’m always going to want to be able to go back to bend. my goal is to be successful enough in film that i can afford to have a place in bend to go back to.
the silence of the woods when compared to the suffocating noise of the city is quite an incredible thing