I don’t talk to Alex enough. You know Alex, my long time friend, the third big brother I never had, the one who has lived in LA for a few years and has what I think is an assistant-ish super Hollywoody-type job? We sometimes write together. Mostly he writes without me. He is very productive. I am very, well, you read the blog. One of Alex’s major pastimes is cyber-bullying me. He does this because he knows I don’t take criticism very well and he likes to take his emotions out on the people who will react most strongly. I’m trying to learn not to take it personally. Usually it ends up okay if I can keep my cool long enough to get him to apologize. We tried talking about this through text recently, and it quickly spun into a different conversation. Me: I’m stressing myself out. You’re a real ballbuster you know Alex: Same. I was having really bad panic attacks so now I’m not drinking caffeine But that won’t solve everything What’s going on w you Me: Last night I had a dream I was raped by two guys and then my teeth turned to sand dollars and crumbled out of my head Alex: Oh my god Me: I’m sure that has to do with some underlying psychological something Alex: Yeah… Me: But I actually feel pretty okay on the surface Alex: I’ve been feeling mentally unstable the past month Like losing reality Idk why Me: We should talk more Alex: Probably I just don’t even know what the problem is. Me: Things are definitely feeling unreal, but in a way that is almost too real. Alex: Yes that’s a nice way to put it I just feel useless Me: Essentially we’re all insane and nothing is really worth it, and all the things that seem good are bad and vice versa, happy people are actually sad, alcohol gets boring after a while, and you just find yourself asking, “what now?” Alex: Seriously That’s why I’m like “going sober” I like weed and booze but it does nothing. Success is the only high I want. Me: Truly I don’t really smoke weed ever. I find it upsets me often Alex: AND a cute boy that is nice and loves me Me: Unless I literally have nothing else that I should be doing Alex: It fucks me UP Me: Which is never Alex: I can barely handle it Right! It just makes you anxious about doing things you need to do so you don’t and then you feel like shit Me: I’m glad I have James. Things are going well, but I find myself a little too pleased with the habitual domestic things we do like make dinner, and I worry that my ambition is dwindling and that the sum of my accomplishments will be having kids and a yard and a husband and being normal, and that I’ll like that But maybe the secret is to just get a Xanax addiction and become a Stepford wife At least then there’d be hope for a reality show Alex: I mean if you like that then who cares But kids KILL That’s my cynical wisdom Me: I do love kids Maybe for my 25th birthday I’ll freeze an egg Alex: You literally can’t do anything with kids I’m sure they are great! Lol It is the future Me: I’m going to write a funny mom book Alex: YEA but that’s not a reason to have kids Me: It’ll be called “mommy why are you crying: stories of how my children ruined my life” Alex: You have like 12 more years My mom had me at 36 and I’m completely normal ….. Lolol ok Me: Yeah but she had two kids before you Alex: That’s true Me: You’re supposed to have ur first like Basically when ur my age Alex: Does that make it better? Wow But it’s just biology! Me: Yeah :/ Alex: Drink those voices away! Me: But seriously I’m freezing my eggs Alex: Might as well Mary is already 26 Me: Turning 25 is like Alex: Jesus But you see these cool couples with their kids and it doesn’t seem so fun Me: Oh hey next big bday I’m old as shit Alex: It just seems like prison Dude 25 SUCKS 26 is better But ppl will say it’s the other way around Me: Not depressing, I mean kind of nice and exciting. I don’t hate my life or anything so I’m not like disappointed in myself You always disagree with me on this tho Ages Alex: Oh god I am. On getting older?? I think I’ll be chill when I’m 35 Me: On which ages are the worst Alex: Bahaha Me: Idk if I’ll ever be chill? Let’s be honest Alex: 20s are just hard. It’s just weird seeing all these people I know getting married Hahahahah I think so You’re pretty cool Me: Basically I just keep telling myself that every stupid failure and shitty experience will make a fun story someday And at the very least maybe I’ll have a rich husband, if I’m lucky someone I love Woo dream big Thanks btw you too Alex: Hahaha Yames Me: It’s not that I should suck less at life, it’s that I should be writing more about sucking at it Alex: He seems great to me Mmmm yea Me: He’s great in a lot of ways. You’d like him But he’s an easy target. Sensitive Alex: I think I probably would He IS sensitive I think he’s just Italian Me: He’s a Capricorn And he’s only half Italian But I like that he’s traditionally masculine in a lot of ways. Plus he loves me. I guess that’s really the point here. You wanna start a literary zine? Alex: I like that And he’s sexy Me: Yeah he is Alex: To me Lol In a platonic way Me: And to me, obviously His body is incredible it like sucks that he won’t dress for it He buys his work shirts at Costco Which is like hot in its own way
Alex: A zine sounds fun but I have a lot on my plate at the moment I can’t make a commitment He is so normcore but not even bc I don’t think he’s post indie Me: I was mostly joking Alex: This is v funny Me: I was going to toss out the potential title “are any of us doing anything” Alex: Most frat guys are like that though. When he makes more money you can help him out. Me: Yeah he’s not normcore he’s just norm, like I’m aware that he interacts with the world without quite as many levels of irony as me, and I’m fine with it, because it’s all bullshit anyway The fact that I’m fine with it is what makes me scared I secretly wanna be norm But I wanna be norm in this like fantasy sort of way, like only because New York is a dystopia in so many ways. Like I don’t even wanna be norm I wanna like actually live inside a sears catalog or something Alex: Hahahahha Norm is the new weird tho Weird as we know it is the new norm and it’s kinda tired Like being OUT THERE AND WEIRD Hahahah sears Me: Yeah. Doesn’t it seem like society is tricking itself into believing homogeneity is a style choice when actually we are probably just giving in to the pointlessness of asserting individualism in the digital age We might as well all turn into iPhones. That’d be phat Alex: Cyborgs is the next thing Me: Borgcore Alex: It is pointless I’ve been saying it for years what’s next? Bc if you try to assert your individuality and everyone is trying to because that’s the norm, it’s impossible so the movement, it like collapses on itself That’s why I think fashion will die eventually Me: People just revert to indulging in the simple commercial pleasures of life Alex: No one believes me Me: Eventually our generation will give in and assimilate People just get tired Alex: We’re all going to wear government controlled silver jumpsuits Me: Yeah but even without government control Alex: That help us live in a harsh world where it’s too hot or too cold cuz we fucked everything up Me: I have a theory that people will basically control themselves Alex: Yeah I guess Me: And trick themselves into thinking it’s individual expression Alex: Government matters less than corporations Me: Like social media, everyone was all worried back in the day the government was going to be spying on us, then we just willingly started putting every detail of our lives out in public. I agree with you, individuality is played out. Alex: Hmmmmm You just have to have fun with whatever you can While you can Me: In fact the millennial infatuation and ultimate disappointment with individuality may be the beginning of its death Alex: Ugh on the plus side my apartment is nice Me: Aw yay Alex: Yeah let’s capitalize on the death of individuality Me: A monopoly on identity If you can’t beat em join em. I’m sure that’s what Orwell was trying to say.
We complain about being out of touch with reality as though there is any reality to speak of, and we know that’s not true. In June’s mercury retrograde I attempted to do a bit of soul searching, some personal and some societal, I guess. Whether intentional or not, I live on the line between high and low culture, shallow and meaningful, absorbed in such trivialities as my Internet stats while failing to ignore my yearn for meaning in my actual life. Just like everyone else, I can’t really decide what is “real” or what is “meaningful.” I’ll watch KUWTK in the suburbs with my boyfriend and enjoy it. I’ll go to an exhibition of artworks praising Kim Kardashian as a deity and agree with it. I’ll read an article about the OJ trial and the connection between the Kardashian family and other reality show stars, in which they are dubbed the murderers of popular culture, and I’ll agree with that too. I exist in two worlds; one is where instagram likes are currency, where Heidi Montag is a genius and looking good is the equivalent of reaching nirvana. In the other world, holy cow, I actually want to emotionally invest in substantial things.
Open bar selfie at art party called The Passion of Kim Kardashian
We are living in a world where the art, the consumption, the media, the criticism, the satire and the daily fucking struggle are so simultaneous that writing about this, even caring about it, feels redundant. It can sometimes feel like we have only three options. Lower our expectations and settle down, go to grad school so at least the conversations we have about relevant things will be somewhat intelligent, or act like a child forever. Who even has time to be a good person? Who has time to make themselves happy, or the world a better in a real way? If the struggle for substance and meaning is Sisyphean, then why even bother to stress? Might as well drink kool-aid with the Church of Kim K. If I’m ever nostalgic for the nineties it’s because the nineties were the time I had to do the least. While my social anxiety was at an all-time high, I was actually unironically enjoying the pleasures of suburbia and consumerism without asking any questions. Slip-n-slides and trampolines were making me happy, just like they were supposed to. I wasn’t disappointed, I wasn’t looking for beauty in truth, I just assumed this was the truth. I was privileged, and I may not have known it, but I wasn’t deluded into thinking I didn’t want to be. Reality TV is totally bullshit but nobody really cares, so maybe life can be like that. After all, whatever we accept as true becomes the reality. You might as well put on the costume. You might as well pretend. And at the end of the day, you might as well participate in the scam. It’s almost the same thing as having hope. Right? What’s so great about the truth anyway? When it comes to my future, I don’t want to know the odds. I’ll keep my blinders on for now, and when things get too rough, I’ll visit someone’s neighborhood pool.