lackbash

we filled the time slots on the day of earned hours:
the universe’s invisible sandbags,
particularly planted
for the intercalation year

It was a beautiful day for acoustic guitar, wasn’t it?

sunlight shielding astair's killing glare, before--
a channel side rooftop,
the smattered skies at dusk illuminating
one last glimpse of-
cruise ships,
a transfer port, Grand Central Station.

“That’s actually Venus, not a star. See, how red it is?”

we meandered through discarded matter,
shipwrecks in human form
before arriving at the midnight destination:
what was the password again?


a single candle column between load bearing whipped cream,
a reservoir of liquor underneath the foundation

a single candle centered on a slice of apology,
for an off-centered experience
standing upon a straight line

28 candles
atop the bottom of everything,
surrounded by sunflowers.


Casimir Pulaski Day,
calvary desperation premonition--
          oh! the places, you’ll go,
except...when you don’t.


hourglass lethologica,
synapses semantics:
it’s a time turner now;
the world’s factory flipped it in---
                                               one quick swift wrist
                                                                                                                        motion
arguably benign,
forgotten consequences; or,
oblivion at its finest.
     oh. the places you’ll go,
except...when you don’t.

                              WELCOME TO THE NEW NORMAL
tiny red squares with white numbers of dread:

I am begging you for tone deafness,
pleading for a pause to dot the i--
one single displaced sand particle moment.

 

can lightning strike sand through glass…
solidify the molecules (?)
exothermia
the periodic table of existentialism;

 

 

how many minutes,

how many minutes, 

how many minutes?



it’s an enigma,
the standalone cherry blossom tree
on the corner of Tompkins & Jefferson
it must have been a mistake (?),
among Blocks of London Planetrees.
DOT communication breakdown,
but this time it’s bigger than us--

[matters of scale are always underestimated,
can you pause this, though, please?
our wine glasses are empty]

we sat at our living room table;
(saint valentine aquisition)
renewed feng shui for sanity’s sake,
red and raw hands, red and raw eyes
a few balloons still linger upon the laminate wood flooring.



volume control, can this be any louder now, louder now,
PLEASE.
neurotransmitters suffer from stir craziness, too. 

the bowl of oranges are doing their job,
maybe there’s a void:
the torn down orange grove from 2002,
on the corner of Durant & Mulrennan.

[blue moon goes with orange slices,
just get whatever the fuck you want for the sangria;
no, corona goes with lime,
but just get lemons if they’re out--
it won’t be the same, though.]

 

                                                                                                                      WELCOME TO THE NEW NORMAL
“I thought how unpleasant it is to be locked out;
and I thought how it is worse,
perhaps,
to be locked in.”

hydraulically pressed onto vinyl,
burned onto a disk,
is this how your bookmark feels?

mirror portal into the multiverse,
planescape epiphany; or,
the algorithm was far more successful than we ever could have imagined, sir,
they’re seeking asylum in the coding,
from, from their own homes
we’ve changed the definition of houseparty, sir,
it’s remarkable, it shouldn’t have happened this fast--

bird chirping cutoff
for waking life;
they sound different though,
perched atop the invisible sandbags
placed particularly by the universe. 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

An Incredibly Generic Post About Birthdays & Life Lessons

Update: Part of this aged poorly quickly. 2020 has gotten a lot worst, but tryin' to stay chill here.   

    I vaguely remember something that may have been my birthday party. It was in Minneapolis. I must have been 3, maybe 4. I say it was my birthday party because I do have a memory of that horrifying baby doll with purple hair given to me by my dad’s friend Jamal, and my mom always reminds me that it was a birthday gift (although you can't always trust her memory of things).

    I vaugely remember there being more people around than usual (presumably my dad’s friends), and I definitely remember feeling immense terror upon seeing that horrifying baby doll with purple hair. I’m sure that whoever purchased it had the best intentions, but another memory certainty from that blurry day is that when my dad’s friend Jamal tried to hand me that horrifying baby doll with purple hair, I burst out in tears & attempted to bolt (although I highly doubt my motor skills were developed enough to successfully do so). 

    I vaguely remember my dad giving me a bag of those strawberry hard candies, with shiny tin wrapping emulating an actual strawberry, that taste like a lab experiment of a scientist in training following a formula (in recipe form) to emulate the taste of an actual strawberry. If the outcome of the experiment were graded, the scientist in training maybe got a C-minus. We were at the house we lived in for one year in Kansas City, Missouri. It was the same house where I discovered a praying mantis living in my dollhouse one terrifying summer day. I am almost certain that it was my birthday when he gave me the bag of those strawberry hard candies, I must have been 5.

    I don’t have a lot of birthday memories from my childhood after that. I remember often having the day off of school once we moved to Florida because it frequently fell on Hillsborough County’s designated State Fair Day (which was actually, fittingly, having off for the Strawberry Festival instead of the Florida State Fair proper).

    Starting on my 16th birthday, my sophomore year of high school, I remember every single birthday, which probably has something to do with the fact that I started planning my own birthday parties. That year, I organized a day outing with a hodgepodge group of friends to eat pizza at Mellow Mushroom.
    For my 18th birthday, we went to a fancy-for-high-schoolers Japanese resturant before hotboxing my car on the way to Temple Terrace, ending the night with way more booze than 18 year olds should be consuming in a La Quinta hotel room I rented, because it was the only "hotel" I could legally book at the age of 18 (...and because that’s what you do when you live in a suburb of a suburb of Tampa).
    There were a few years marked by outrageous levels of serotonin, gnawing through gum and chewing on ice cubes; late night bike rides in sparkly dresses and even later night honest conversations wrapped in robes of silk and throw blankets of clouds.
    There was Ceviche, red roses, my first legal drink out. There was a beach day too cold for water and Ella’s Folk Art Cafe. 23 called for a frozen fountain in Union Square, getting lost in a snow covered Central Park well after midnight. There was Fools Gold, Freeman’s Alley, Flybar, Diagon Alley, Sweeney Todd, Comedy Cellar, Comedy Cellar take 2, GMT, drinking around the world on Disney premises, Weezer. 

    My birthday turned into a few weeks of celebration the older I got. I have a theory that if you come from a lower middle class family with more than 2 siblings, you like your birthday more as an adult. This theory is supported mainly by the argument that if you fell into this demographic, your birthday probably wasn’t celebrated with Nickelodeon themed parties or choosing a few friends to go to a local spot that would overstimulate childhood wonderment.
    Or maybe it’s just me. Maybe I just love my birthday because I’m a Pisces or because I’m the youngest child. Or maybe I’ll just never outgrow being an obnoxious, fun loving, loud girl who is particular partial to glitter, trippy lights, and celebrations.

    Alas, my 28th birthday is upon me. In 7 days, I’ll really be in my late 20s. Since my official quarter life crisis after turning 25, I’ve started to relate to those who hate their birthday. An inevitable sense of existential dread sinks in with revising your answer of how old you are by one digit.
    2020 hasn’t been good to me so far, and I’m not just saying that because it’s trendy online to bash 2020. The first day of my year started with a stomach bug along with a two hour flight. It started with me vomiting in the lobby bathroom at a Homewood Suites in Knoxville, Tennessee. By the time I got back to my Bed-Stuy apartment, I had vomited in 20 bathrooms total, in multiple bathrooms in two different airports, in multiple bathrooms in two different states, in bags and in the first class bathroom in the stratosphere. It’s all good, I thought, just purging all that 2019 toxicity.
    10 days later, I got laid off from my job for “lack of work," if we’re being clerical about it. Being part of the start-up culture in NYC teaches you the very valuable lesson that despite how invaluable you may be, you can’t control being deemed completely disposable by others.

    So here I am, almost 28, transitioning into the temporary lifestyle of remote freelance writing in the dead of the winter. Filling out endless job applications to little avail.
    Here I am, almost 28, still working on getting my Bachelor’s Degree that I essentially started from scratch two years ago despite having three years of a college education under my belt.
    Here I am, almost 28, troubleshooting the lack of storage in my tiny Bed-Stuy apartment-using every square inch of floor space, every blank space of the walls-to find homes for all the useless shit I’ve acquired in the past 4.5 years.
    In two days, I’ll fly to Florida, in hopes that some much needed sunshine will brainwash my cynicism away. Until then, let me make an attempt to reconcile the anxieties and reframe the negative thoughts for the sake of starting a new age of my life with positive energy. Although I hate the listicle generation, here’s my 28 life lessons I’ve learned in my (almost) 28 years alive (in no particular order)*:

*Technical aside: I made the first two items of the list when I was still 27, but ran out of time to finish it, so am completing the remaining 26 points 13 days after being 28.

*AHEM*

  1. Make to-do lists. Write them out by hand or use a phone app that makes a sound as satisfying as crossing out an item with a pen on a piece of paper is (for me, the preferred list making app is Wunderlist). Start your to do list with “make a to do list.”  Even if you have a super unproductive day and feel worthless, if you at least make it to the end of the list, you can cross off the first item right away.

  2. You definitely have a pair of shoes that you love, but forget why you never wear them until you decide to wear them. Be weary of these shoes. You probably don’t wear them because they hurt your feet or the shoelaces untie too easily or they give you blisters in weird places.

  3. Be impulsive, but not too impulsive. 

  4. Let me start this one with a quick story: One night, I was at one of my friend’s apartment and we were both very drunk. There’s a decent chance I filled up, like, five glasses of water for the two of us before we passed out. There’s an 100% chance he said, “Hydrate before bed, bro.” Words to live if you are drunk. Also, words to live by if you’re sober.
    & on the note of hydration, I highly recommed buying a giant reusable water bottle with a lid that has a straw. Total gamechanger.

  5. Playlists are the modern day mixtape; learn how to make perfect playlists. Both for yourself & for others. There are few different types of playlists, but there are two pertinent types of playlists:
    Category One: It tells a full story (this one is probably for another person), and should not be listened to on shuffle. It should start with a fun and familiar song, and it should end with an epic, memorable, familiar song. It should include songs that the person definitely knows, songs that person might know, and songs that the person definitely does not know. It has to be organized in a way that totally makes sense, although this one single playlist can embody multiple tones. The songs should sensibly flow into one another. This playlist is an artform.
    Category Two: It is a general theme, and has a shitton of songs that make sense within the theme; this one is designed for shuffling. You can’t listen to it without shuffling, because it will likely have multiple songs by the same artist that you added in a row. This category of playlist is great for everyday listening. Personally, I like to make these types of playlists with each changing season, before vacations, for certain activities you do regularly (work stuff, clean, exercise, commute, blahblahblahwhatever, you get it). 

  6. I think it’s safe to say we’re all kinda anxious, and that level of anxiety varies from person to person. I think it’s also safe to say that some people do not cope with their anxiety all that well.
    Learn how to cope with your own anxiety, and know what is going to trigger your anxiety. I am personally fond of guided meditation, having lots of soft things on my bed, writing, lavender, having tons of different lighting options in any given room, running, and bubble baths as major ways to cope with my anxiety. On top of the big coping mechanisms, I have endless small ones. Find what works for you, because even if you are surrounded by supportive people, they can’t really save you from the unnerving overwhelmingness of your own mind. 

  7. Figure out finance stuff; you can’t go through life avoiding being bad with money. 

  8. Caffeine isn’t always going to treat you with the respect you deserve. Some days, you’ll wake up and those three cups of coffee will make you do extraordinary things. Other days, they might send you into undeniable panic.
    As someone who started drinking coffee at the insane age of nine years old, I never thought I would hit a point of my life where coffee made me feel crazy, but some days, coffee makes me feel crazy. Tea is a great alternative for when your body is begging for a little bit of caffeine, or if your mind just wants a warm beverage to sip on. Herbal tea is a great solution for drinking too much coffee, or if you and caffeine are in a lover’s spat that you did not realize first thing that morning.

  9. Go outside. The sunshine feels good. The fresh air feels good. 

  10. Having a sense of humor goes a long way. I know this is so generic, but seriously, giggling is the best. We live in fucking weird and wild world, and crazy shit happens all the time. Notice that it’s funny and why it’s funny and laugh.

  11. Always have headphones on your person. 

  12. If a stranger is unreasonably mad at you for no particular reason and starts yelling at you, don’t react at all. Just let it go. They’ll inevitably feel stupid, or get even more upset (refer back to Life Lesson 10 about living in a fucking weird and wild world), which is ultimately really funny. Don’t waste your energy on someone you owe nothing to. 

  13. & on that note, to quote Broad City, “Who yells?”

  14. &&&, to build off both Life Lesson 12 & Life Lesson 13, a majority of the time, especially when it comes to strangers and coworkers, people have other things going on in their life and they will displace that negative energy onto you.
    I worked front desk and concierge in hotels for about six years, and the most valuable lesson I learned from doing so is that people will take their anger out on you. Sometimes, these instances are inconsequential (like when a random stranger on the street or at a bar unreasonably loses their temper on you). Sometimes, they’re not.
    When they’re not, just stay calm and listen. Don’t take it personally. Let them get it out before you respond, and when you do respond, be nice even when they’re being rude. Be genuine in your niceness. More times than not, it will help that person actually calm down and feel better. We’re all struggling out here and a lot of the time having a positive interaction can go a long way.

  15. Know how to do the whole airport thing, and know how to do the whole airport thing solo. I have seen so many people who are hopeless when they aren’t traveling with their partner. Don’t be that person!
    Know the airport you’re flying out of and how early you actually have to get there. Know how to get through security.
    Figure out if you like grabbing a proper meal or a drink before you board. Figure out your boarding preferences. For me, I like getting to an airport & boarding a plane as late as possible because fuck airports & planes. That is definitely not for everyone.
    Know everything you need to be comfy in flight. For me, I get a giant bottle of Smartwater and a snack before I board. When I get to my seat, I put on my pre-decided podcast or playlist that I’ve downloaded onto my phone, pop a Dramamine, open my air nozzle thing, put on a hoodie, and eat my snack. I watch whatever city I am in disappear into the clouds, pick a movie for my tv screen that I will want to be watching if I happen to wake up at any point,  wrap that pillow around my neck, bust out that massive scarf I brought as a makeshift blanket, put on my sunglasses, and pass out. Again, maybe not for anyone.

  16. Try and just, like, be smart and informed. Don’t base all your knowledge off of a headline you read or something someone told you.
    Have common sense. Know who to trust. Think critically.
    Learn how to do shit for yourself. It makes day to day life way easier.
    & on that note, the internet and social media kinda suck. Like, yeah, they’re fun and so useful, but take a break from the mass consumption of content. It’s unhealthy. 

  17. If you’re clumsy, you’ll probably just always be clumsy. It is what it is.

  18. Live music makes you feel better. Go to concerts. Go to concerts when someone invites you to one, even if you don’t know the band. Go by yourself if you don’t have anyone to go with, and this advice can be taken in regards to concerts and any other events. It’s only weird if you make it weird, and it is definitely worth it. 

  19. Learn how to drive. I’m a huge fan of public transportation and of not driving, but even if you live somewhere that does not require a car or you do not own a car, chances are knowing how to drive will come in handy in your life.
    (Sidebar: if you do own a car, learn how to change a tire. Learn how to change a tire espcially when you’re a young, dumb kid with a shitty car that will inevitably get a flat tire & you don’t have an extra $100 or so to throw down on AAA). 

  20. Call your mom, she misses you. 

  21. Even if you know your limits and you are a drinking pro, there will be occasions when you accidentally get way too fucked up. These occasions typically are your birthday, other people’s birthdays, open bar situations, and days when you didn’t eat enough. It happens to the best of us.
    If you do get way too drunk on accident, only use your phone if it's absolutely necessary. I say this not to save you from sending any embarrassing and typo-filled drunken messages (although that is important), but to save you from losing or breaking your phone.
    & if you do get way too drunk on accident, try to cancel all of your plans the next day, because you’re gonna feel like shit. On top of feeling like shit physically, any plans you have, no matter how chill they are, will only heighten your already existing hanxiety.
    [Sidebar to this Life Lesson: always have ibuprofen or acetaminophen in your home.]  

  22. Own a really nice vacuum, even if you don’t have carpet. Vacuums are the shit and hella versatile. 

  23. In reality, there aren’t actually too many people you will really connect with in your life. You’ll have a shitton of filler friends, but there will only be so many people you will come across who you can qualify as a kindred spirit.
    Sometimes those people come in the most unlikely of forms, and it might just be circumstance that inevitably bonds you together (think Harry and Ron coming to save Hermione from the massive troll in Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone).
    It’s unrealistic to be in constant contact with these people as you get older, especially because people move and have jobs and get married or whatever, but keep in touch.
    Send them random recommendations for things you think they’d like, text them when something funny that happens made you think of them, say happy birthday, check in now and then.
    I recently was texting with someone I would consider one of my closest friends who I talk to maybe once a month, if that, and he said something along the lines of wanting to get better at initiating our sporadic text conversations because he forgets I am one of the few people who actually knows him really fucking well. & it made me think about how there really are only a handful of people that probably know you really fucking well, and it's nice to have these people to talk to, because you don't have to explain everything.
    This Life Lesson is especially valuable if you are living in a new city with a bunch of new friends.
    Chances are you won’t stay as close with your closest friends forever, but it’s valuable to have those people in your life, even when they’re long-distance friendships. 

  24. Have “go-to” things in your life. Have a go-to job interview outfit. Have a go-to pair of fancy shoes. Have a go-to sheet or tapestry to bring to the beach. Have a go-to coffee order at Starbucks. Have a go-to movie to watch when you’re sick. 

  25. One of the biggest first world problems you’ll have as an adult is thinking about what to eat. I haven’t really found a solution to this one yet, but I know the general categories of things I will probably want to eat in a given week. Tacos and yogurt, for the most part. 

  26. You will do stupid shit. Don’t let it haunt you. I suck, you suck, everyone sucks. That’s just, like, the whole epitome of human existence. Don’t be ignorant to the fact that you suck, but try not to focus so much on that you suck; instead, try just to suck less. 

  27. Romantic relationships are incredibly challenging; there’s just so much baggage coming from all directions. I know this is super generic, but it is also something that actually took me, like, a full 28 years to learn.
    You’re gonna date a lot of shitty people and have a lot of shitty relationships. Like trying not to focus on the fact that you suck, try not to focus on the fact that dating sucks and is all around one of the weirdest things we do as humans, because these thoughts can muddle a good thing when you find it.
    Don’t be on a journey for a soulmate, because that’s bullshit. But you’ll definitely eventually find someone who you won’t want to break up with ever, and it will be fucking dope.
    And despite how nauseatingly cheesy and generic the remainder of this Life Lesson sounds, you will find someone who is a match and it just makes sense.
    The tricky part of all of this is the reality that it will only work out if you put genuine effort into it working out. You will want to run away from it, just try not to do that. You probably will try to, and you may or may not actually do so.
    Instead of wanting to bail when it gets real, though, just try and focus on how great it is to have someone who, like, you basically can speak in shorthand with, who will fall into giggle fits with you over the most arbitrary things, who gets excited about things you are excited about, who will basically carry you through Laguardia Airport when you’re vomiting non-stop from food poisoning on New Year’s Day after a two hour flight.
    Ultinately, it’s worth it all the trouble.

  28. & finally, happiness is the hardest thing to achieve, because in reality, it’s just a concept. Language is arbitrary and happiness is a random group of syllables that embodies a feeling that is impossible to actually explain with another set of arbitrary syllables that form other arbitary words.
    I haven’t fully figured out the “happiness” thing, but I do think that if you are focused on the outcome, you’ll lose a lot of the meaning along the way.
    Maybe a lot of the “happiness” thing comes from the other mental and physical feelings that we have to go through every day: anxiety, stress, headaches, excitement, boredom, hunger, monotony, jealousy, anticipation, trepidation, etc etc.
    Maybe you'll have only have the most textbook definition of  “happy” when you’re young and dumb and broke and drunk and high and have nothing to lose.
    Maybe you’ll have a more meaningful version of the “happiness” thing when you’re older and have been through all sort of things you never would have planned for yourself and have to expend your energy into doing things, even when you’re tired and sad and just want to hide under all your soft things in bed all day.
    I guess my major takeaway on achieving the “happiness” thing throughout your life is just do whatever the fuck you want to do, within reason and morals, of course.
    But I really have no idea, because how could I? I’m only 28.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Punxsutawney Phil

It was one of those moments where--
nothing was actually supposed to happen.

The clouds were begging to relieve their baggage, having long awaited the moment where they could make New York City revel in their misery instead of holding it in any longer. Frustrated in their unchangeable make, crystals frozen--the lack of motion unsettling until the granted instance of instant gratification, in the form of some sort of participation. Knowing the dread of that was soon to come to the millions of tiny action figures; (mostly dressed in black), racing--for no particular reason from Mother Nature’s point of view--to get somewhere. 

Maybe we walk so quickly to get to our destination, but maybe we walk so quickly to get away from somewhere else.

Either way, the clouds were in limbo that day--impatiently standstill. Another twenty something intervals of time marked by thin glass filled with the very thing it is created from; two heightened points of isosceles triangles, curved slightly and contemplating the very essence of their purpose. Waiting for their counterpart to trickle themselves back into them: a lifetime spent waiting and clockwatching. 

Instead, New York City was frozen. 

Under layers of sweatpants, long sleeves, long sleeves, and hoodies, my skin remained uneven; memories of R.L. Stine. Sacrificing a burnt tongue for the momentary warmth of hot liquid fueling through the bloodstream felt insignificant. I bolted inside the freezer of my high school employer, damning short sleeves for the first time since moving to a tropical climate. I begged for the days of this momentary temperature shock. 

It was one of those moments where--
impulse decision making was supposed to be left at just that. 

As it turns out, some of the best results have been born from Christmas trees. There must be a statistic accurately portraying how often the answer is actually C. Multiple choice is seemingly infinite--the depths of options well beyond A, B, C, D, E (none/all of the above); something like how many bones lie within the Catacombs. Will you unknowingly come across one that is somehow now untraceable to you despite having once shared some of the same self-replicating material?

June 13th, unlike any other, marking six months on accident. Half a clockable year. It was winter then, spring for some time--tiptoeing on the summer solstice in present tense. Some higher power creating spreadsheets for the success rate of impulse decisions--solace to be found in something ensuring that with every X amount made, there’s a victory*

*with the caveat that you will only know it as a win if you give it some time; the fine print of impulse rewards being committal.

Only nerve could have allowed the pace I chose to walk on the second freezing day of December. Only nerve could have allowed me to follow through with the decision on the second freezing day of December. If I only I knew the outcome of nerve declaring its dominance as:

  1. The main motivator, which

  2. slowed my normal rate of motion, & finally

  3. dictated the logic which wanted to defy the decision...

I would have let the clouds take control that evening, joining them in their despondency. A glass of red grapes ferements that would turn into a bottle, a British baking show of familiarity, a long-awaited clearance comforter with some fleece thrown into the mix. 

What you discover from not knowing how to fully focus can take you to places not worth clocking record time to arrive at. 

It was one of those moments where--
nothing wasn’t supposed to happen.

Tiptoes accelerated by bundles of fiber understanding the interpretation of kinetic energy exerting its weight onto the gas pedal, my mouth verbally ceasing momentarily. Unsure of what the outcome would be collided into knowing what the outcome could be, and the only motion that made sense was an underthrow up an angled alley. It only took a few hours to turn into an uncountable amount of hours. 

450 degrees serves to some sense of control. Somewhere on the map we had finally intersected. When you get a 16 oz of carbonated wheat fermented to make you feel a little better then/a little worse later cracked open only just enough to take it in through slow slips and it happenstance gets knocked out of your hand, it retaliates. Sputtering onto you, onto him, leaving a trace on the concrete below that is far more obvious than a properly opened version would have. Everyone in your radius is aware of what is happening. 

It was a song from a collection on April 20th. The OG venue now basked in nostalgia from the 2007 glory years that were--
My very excellent mother just served us nine--
Pies, no longer.
Instant crush, it couldn’t perpetuate into…

When the 10 Day Forecast has been proved inaccurate, the clouds unwillingly disperse in defeat. A bridge across the East River with FourLoko cans at the finish line.

There is that night when you figure something out and you realize someone who knew exactly how to do it was waiting for you to get there, and--once you finally do--they are ready to guide you through the understanding process. They are ready to continue to offer what they can, just so you know that they will be there the next time your attention span has taken you on a dusty detour. 

Blue gels of electricity, there is nothing like a guitar resonating through your bloodstream to ease the reality of the situation. Like a prisine fleece hoodie coziness, easing nonsensical thoughts like these.