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She quietly slides open the door, quietly as if she had done otherwise, she would have disturbed or brought upon some sort of inconvenience to the no one in the empty apartment with the smooth wooden floors, the empty apartment other than the fridge in the kitchen, the counter tops and cabinets, the sink, the mattress in the room with her shoes hidden somewhere beneath the white cotton sheets, the towels that hung neatly in the bathroom, which she had noticed when she had taken a moment for herself, to be by herself, hoping that if she had stared at her reflection for long enough, she would awake, she would be warned or see an error in her ways, but the mirror was too clear this afternoon. She stepped onto the balcony, one foot and then another, and leaned over the railing, rain drops clinging desperately onto the cool metal before taking its final drop, down, down. She gazed into the empty courtyard down below, the grey clouds in passing, the empty apartments of voyeurs who had some place to be for some time. And the more she looked on, the more it dawned upon her that she would not see him again, that he had left her there, in a stranger’s home, and with an alarming calm, she wondered how she would find her way to the station, if she had enough change for the Metro, who would be kind enough to direct her, if kindness was such a sacred and rapidly diminishing entity, but what if begun to rain, the tiresome and endless journey to the place back to where she called home with a forced smile, if she would hear from him again, and how could she leave someone’s home without locking the door behind her, no she would have to wait till this stranger return, she would have to guard his possessions, his fridge and mattress and impecably hung towels and his predictable Vodka. It was only polite.
He returned, running his hand across the nape of her neck, down her shoulder and along her arm in a quick motion that to her seemed an eternity. His returned did not startle her or surprise her, she was indifferent, almost unaware, as if it made no difference whether he was here or there. He was sure to never embrace her and she had given up her futile attempts to childishly hold his hand. Proximity was a dangerous thing, and anything that added a human quality was even worse. And she should have known better anyway. It was of her own doing, all of it and she had been taught repeatedly to never talk to strangers, to never take what they had to offer, to never take their hand, and she had learnt nothing. He lighted the joint, it always took her two tries but he got it in on, slipping it between her fingers, to console her, he was always giving her that which would calm her nerves, that would numb her, that which would ressurect at a later date. They stood in silence, him touching her gently every so often in places he was in great awe of, the two of them in a constant passing motion, till he lit a fresh cigarette, inhaled deeply once, and tossed it over the railing, still alight, with enviable carelessness, sliding the door open behind him, and she watched it fall, down thirteen stories, burning, burning, watching as it delicately dropped to the grey concrete. It was mesmerizing.
He tugged her by the elbow, motioning her to return with him, laughing at her foolish curiosity and her naivety, of which he found most enduring, he was most fond of it. She followed him through the door, back into the room. He lay her back down gently, like a delicate little doll, sliding her skirt off and to a state that he was more attentive towards, and as he kneeled above her, as if in prayer or worship, she found him perfect, a mythological Greek god, a tragic hero, she found him beautiful and perfect, and it was always at this point that she forgave his wrongs, when she denied their existence and succumbed to him, for this moment was never everlasting, even as he kissed her and left her alone at the Stop sign on a hot summer day, as she watched him drive off, as he never turned back.
theceesupreme asked: "Love [should be] all around." are words I have spent days, weeks - even years trying to compose. It made my rainy Wednesday night. Thank you, Cheers.
Thank you! I think when writing or blawwwging, or whatever we’re self-deprecatingly calling it today, the main drive is just to GET IT OUT OF YOU. This is what I hear from all my friends who write; that we all just needed to get this out of us. But almost as important is the general plea of “doesn’t anyone else feel this way?”
As I emailed Tasnim awhile back—in an email with the subject line: ‘On why I suck jk lololol I don’t suck I’m awesome or whatever self-esteem is appropriate and not obnoxious lololol omg those lol’s are ironic that comes across right?’—I feel pressure with this whole joint-blogging thing to be awesome to suit the awesomeness of my joint-blogging co-babe, and with pressure comes nervousness, which comes with not-my-best writing, but to hear that someone, anyone, does ‘feel this way’ too, just makes my neurotic, anxious insides feel quiet and unalone. So, thank you.
Please don’t glamourize your eating disorder, it’s not cute. Please don’t use the Internet as a safe-haven for your collection of pictures of your rib cage and your jutting hip bones. Please don’t feel saddened when people are outraged by your tragic soliloquy of how much you hate your body, how you need to be thinner, accompanied by images of your razor sharp clavicles or you, indoors, at home, in your bikini. Please don’t make your anorexia look romantic, the outline of your spine a cinematic haze. Please don’t romanticize your bulimia in an age where young girls want to be just like you, in their loosely hung lace underwear, their thighs not touching for what could seem miles, that all they need to do is lock the bathroom door and out their bedroom windows they rid of their food. Please don’t make us believe that thinner is better, that hungry is better, that sunken eyes and broken jaws are better. Please don’t be taken aback by the hatred accompanied with your pictures of your rail thin arms, pouting in the direction of the camera, 5 less pounds and you’ll be perfect.
Please don’t lead beautiful little girls to believe things that aren’t true, things I know too. Please don’t forget to remind them of the terrible night pains, the depression, the hair falling and your teeth corroding, the perpetual stench of vomit on your fingers and in your mouth, the inability to run and breathe, and the awful realization, when you are in too deep, that all this pain and suffering is for no one but for you, that you were beautiful before when you were still you, that weighing any less won’t make anyone love you any more, that it’ll never make you better than any of us, at all. Please don’t let them believe you live in a soft, tragic dream. Please let them know that excruciating pain is real.
1) Carry a pair of leggings and a cardigan in your bag at all times, even in the Summer, and be sure to wear them out of the house, and always be sure to put them back on a solid mile before you approach your parents’ home.
2) Carry safety-pins at all times. Hoist neck-lines higher, cover cleavage and clavicles.
3) Roll-on perfumes and mints. No explanation is necessary, unless you want to reek of weed and sex, also known as The Devil Itself.
4) Birth Control. Birth Control. Birth Control. Buy it, prescribe to it, smuggle them from your best friend, but always use Birth Control, because there’s only one Virgin who had a baby, and she isn’t you.
5) Invest in travel size face wipes to remove dry cum stains from around your mouth. The only dry stains your parents should see around your mouth is when your were two years old, and that of dry milk.
6) Always check for condom wrappers and cigarette packages before you leave the house.
7) Store your weed in your grandmother’s vintage jewelry box, adeptly placed immediately below the Holy Book of your choice, hide cigarettes in your Hi-top Jordans, anything pertaining to sex between the page of Nabokov and Irvine Welsh.
8) And lastly, always lock the door when you masturbate, at night or when home alone, but never on the living room sofa. Moaning can always be passed off as a bad dream, so don’t be shy!
There are women that you can’t bond with until you tell them all about your flaws. Frosty at first, but a few mentions of your cellulite, lamentations about adult acne, descriptions of wacky rom-com pratfalls and they thaw out. Reassured perhaps by your imperfections, or simply feeling they can relate to your faults more than your good qualities, your failures more than your triumphs, they feel you a friend when they know your insecurities and weak points.
Some women you bond with by telling each other how awesome you both are. You compliment her outfit, she tells you you’re having an awesome hair day—no, an awesome hair life. You tell everyone else how funny she is, she tells you to go flirt with that guy who’s checking you out. You text her after a great first date to tell her he’s a really good kisser, she calls you when she gets a fantastic new job. You share in each others’ successes and delight in each others’ beauty and intelligence. These women are way more fun.
You’ll note it in the way women talk, and in the way you feel around them. You feel terrible that you finished that cupcake. You want to go reapply mascara. You want to hide in the bathroom for the rest of the day because you can’t say anything that doesn’t sound silly and trivial the second it leaves your mouth. OR. You feel fantastic. You feel like taking on the world. You feel like you can turn the world with a smile, take a nothing day and suddenly make it all feel worthwhile.
I know a couple of women who compliment my hair everyday, but not once have they expressed their compliments with words of jealousy, except once, of the men in my life who get to run their hands through it. I’m likewise trying to stop framing compliments in terms of envy, and I encourage you to do the same. It’s not that we can completely quash envy, but semantics are a start. Don’t say, “You’re so fit, I’m so jealous.” Say, “You look healthy, that’s great for you.” Even if you’re feeling jealous. Don’t say, “I hate you, you always have a better joke than me.” Say, “God, you’re hilarious, I’m so glad you’re around to make me laugh.” Even if you kind of hate her for always being funnier.
It’s going to be a slow process, but it starts with just not putting up with that shit. Don’t let women expect you to feel bad about yourself. Don’t hate them for that expectation, don’t even be angry. They can’t help it, and they probably don’t even know they’re doing it. But I would suggest spending less time around them, because with every minute you’re around them, you’ll find yourself counting more and more flaws in both of you, and that’s never a good mental tally to be keeping. Your self esteem is no one’s responsibility but your own, but taking that responsibility means staying away from people that make you feel like you are worth any less than you are—which is everything.
You are allowed to not only feel good about yourself, but think that you are awesome. You are allowed to think that you are really smart and funny and beautiful. And goddamnit you are allowed to want to be around people who agree with you, who are happy those things are true.
Treat others as you would like to be treated. INSIST that others treat you as you would like to be treated. Treat yourself as you would like to be treated. Everyone around you adores you.
Just put the Mary Tyler Moore Show theme song on your iPod, is basically what it comes down to. I’ll be your Rhoda if you’ll be my Mary.
Sometimes a strong, independent woman likes to be spanked and gagged. Sometimes a strong, independent woman who believes that men and women have equal rights likes to put on lipstick and perfume and her best high heels. Sometimes a strong, independent feminist likes to cook for her partner. This doesn’t make her any less of a feminist than you, or me. I like to do all these things too and yet I grew up in a household where my mother went back to work a few months after I was born, and my father made my school lunches and dropped me off at and picked me up from school, so I have no archaic upbringing to blame, but we could always blame media or someone else for instilling within me my preferences, my likes and my dislikes.
But the true anti-feminist is you, the vehement feminist, who has set terms, conditions and barriers around who a feminist should be. The true anti-feminist is you, because you tell me what I can and cannot do. And though we set out with the same ideology, that men and women should be equal, that we have rights just as much as anyone else, you turned a corner and now you’re oppressing my rights, my values, my beliefs, what I can and cannot be, you shun my religious preferences, my literature, my culture, my sexuality.
The difference between us, is that you are segregating us, your own, regressing, creating the need for more definitions and labels, and I do whatever I want, and be whoever it is I want to be, just as we had both wanted, when we first started this movement.
We raise a toast to you. On your own, you have brought upon us hair loss (from all the pulling out of our hair you have driven us to), withered our souls, contributed to our excessive and rapid weight loss and weight gain. We have taken out a fraction of our grocery budget for drugstore concealer, as we stay up all night, trying to decode your texts. Surely your texts are in code. There must be a deeper meaning to abusing of acronyms (TTLY, K, LMAO - What are these words??). Why, one chilly December night, I banged my head against the wall, in a literal sense, as I tried to decode the strategy behind your “LOL”.
Do you know it drives us mad? Rather, do you do this because you know this drives us mad? What does LOL stand for anyway? Laugh Out Loud? We understand that we are funny - that was 50% of the allure. But even we must be modest and confess that we really are not funny enough to necessitate such exaggerated laughter. Perhaps add a few words before or after to appropriately convey your appreciation of our humour. But instead you simply respond with a boisterous LOL, standing out far too proudly against the understand backdrop of our phones. Nay, we cannot accept this honour, our humour cannot measure up to it. It is an honour worthy of perhaps only Jerry Seinfeld. Text him your LOL, tweet him if you will. He may just be as baffled as we are, and he is a very funny man.
So in honour of you, The Men Who Respond To Our Texts With “LOL”, we raise our glasses, our Saturday night cocktails and our Sunday brunch mimosas.
BUY THEM. MAKE THEM. I DON’T CARE. I am committed to a lifestyle of croptops. I’m committed to the feeling of lightness at my natural waist, to the flick of jersey against bare skin. I shimmy and my shirt shimmies with me; it invites more shimmying. I like that they make me feel sensual without being sexual. Or maybe I mean they make me feel sexual without being lewd.
They aren’t flattering in an obvious way, they feel like your natural beauty has to overcome them, or like your natural beauty doesn’t matter at all. They don’t give a fuck. They speak summer and un-self-consciousness and a deliberate rejection of all that you don’t want.
They are happy they are happiness they are flying down the sidewalks of the village or all right maybe floating it’s terribly hot and humid out for the effort of flying. They are “it looks like I’m about to get a look at your boobs,” and they are lifting your arm above your head and “nope, I’m wearing a cute bra, see?”
They’re clothes that stay out of your way, that make way for your animation, that complement your espirit.
Listen to me, will you? I’m trying to tell you that croptops are enjoying your youth and growing up just exactly fast enough and loving everyone you’ve ever known even at the same time you hate a select, lucky few of them. I’m trying to tell you that I feel trapped again and croptops don’t cling.
Croptops equip you for witty texts with all the girls you know and flirty drinks with some of the boys, Funny Face revival at the film forum, First Saturday at the Brooklyn Museum, a friend of a friend playing guitar at a basement bar her red hair shining in the spotlight, for telling people who make your courage waver to please stay away. They’re lightweight armor designed to protect an ever-faltering heart.
At least, that’s what I’m counting on. I put all my flimsy summer faith in a neon pink cotton jersey T-shirt. Buy croptops. Be happy. Laugh out loud.
To The Man Who Makes My Friend Cry
I was always on your side! You make her happier than she’s ever been, but you make her utterly miserable too, the way Chuck Bass makes Blair Waldorf feel. Don’t look at me that way, like you don’t know what I’m talking about. She told me you both watch Gossip Girl together while you’re finishing off your cigarette, and that you actually enjoy it. See, that’s why I like you. You’re a cool sort of guy, totally in check with your sexuality, and she says you do a great job with eating her out.
But then you go ahead and act like a fool. I’m not here to humiliate you, to point out a list of all the things you do so horribly wrong (of which, really, there are too many), but I’m here to tell you to stop making my friend cry. And even though you make her cry, I know just how much she likes you, so I nod my head along, console her, but I never tell her to her to leave you, because I know, in some Godforsaken way, you two are good for each other. Jesus, I’m not even telling her you’re an asshole. But you are an asshole and she’s a fucking unicorn. Pick-up lines have been invented in her honor. Some might even say she’s a goddess. She’s an utter babe, she assembles her own Ikea furniture, and in her free time, she looks at pictures of Kate Upton’s boobs. And her hair glitters. It fucking glitters. She’s the full package.
And I’m telling you all of this not because we’re a part of some crazy Ya Ya Sisterhood Of The Travelling Pants cult and we blindly rally for other Ya Ya Sisters, but because your girl, the girl you can’t so much as commit to, but she is inevitably your girl, that girl is solid gold. Do you know how lucky you are to know a girl like her, a girl who knows her Hemingway (the writer, not the model), who makes you laugh harder than you’ve ever laughed, who you’ve told things you’ve never told anyone before, who likes her Gin and Whiskey, and who, quite possibly, gives you the greatest head of your life?
So stop. Stop being an utter douchefuck. If you want her, want her the right way. Stop making her sad. Stop making her cry. Stop disappearing. Girls like her don’t come by easy, you should know. And call her. Stand outside of her window with a boombox over your head. Do everything it takes to make her feel special, because she deserves it. Be her Knight In Shining Armour, or fuck off.
The Very Pissed Off Friend Of The Girl You Won’t Call Your Girlfriend.