Virtual Reality

IMG_8220 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

IMG_8251My boyfriend standing in front of his high school alma mater and doing some pose that I choose to pretend is tai chi

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A picture of Lindsay Lohan’s family’s house I took on a bike ride through Merrick, NY. Lindsay and James have the same hometown. This is relevant because it just is.

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.

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Life is plastic, it’s fantastic

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.

IMG_8369Open 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. IMG_8462

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Flashback Friday: Return to the Teen Scene

phase mom
I don’t really remember much from my most recent trip to North Carolina, which is a shame since it was probably the last I’ll make for quite some time. It might be irrelevant now, but sitting here listening to Blink 182 (shamelessly) I can’t help but get nostalgic for a time when I could ride around drunk in the passenger seat of other people’s cars with no plans or obligations but to pressure my suburban peers to smoke weed with me on my trampoline. I’m referring, of course, to about six weeks ago.

After resigning from my position as Professional Salon Receptionist I managed to snag a few days between jobs to go home to the Triangle. The idea was that I’d see each person I love for about five minutes and have a quick spa session before returning to New York to start my “new life,” all while maintaining a therapeutic yet dangerously high blood-alcohol level. I’d like to share my experiences with you using the photos I found saved on my phone from that week, since that’s the only way I can recall what happened in the first place.
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Day 1: I spent the morning drinking vodka cranberries and tanning on the trampoline at my mom’s house in Cary until Greg drove 4o minutes from his parents’ house in Zebulon so we could smoke bowls and drive around. My friendship with Greg has been going strong for about ten years and we’ve spent most of them doing exactly this. Above is a photo of us on our way out to Chapel Hill to rescue some younger friends from the clutches of our alma mater. As you can see, Greg is sporting his classic UNC hat in forest camouflage and I am sporting my classic boob being out.

I guess it was something in the southern air or possibly the fact that I was WASTED at 4 pm but I really wanted to have a party that night. I made a huge deal about it on twitter and everything, which was sort of hilarious since it was the middle of the week and the only way I was going to get my friends out to Cary was to drive them myself. When most of them opted to stay in Chapel Hill, I googled “rude clip art” and sent these out via text:
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Day 2: My relationship with my mother sort of amazing in that I can be whiny and annoying to her almost all of the time and she just finds it amusing. I’m like The Simple Life to her. Above is a picture of me standing in my mom’s backyard after I forced her to give me braided pigtails and she totally surprised me by giving me this tiara! But don’t get it twisted. I may be the princess, but my mom is the queen. There’s a reason she just had one lying around. Later, Greg picked me up because he had to go to Zebulon to do laundry or something and I had literally nothing else to do but ride around with him. I hadn’t been home for 48 hours and I was already bored. Why did I think having nothing to do would be a luxury? Here’s a picture of how high I had to get to make up for it.

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If you didn’t know, Zebulon is a town in North Carolina made up entirely of fast food restaurants. We went to three of them.IMG_7424
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The next day there was like a hurricane or a tornado warning or something stupid, so I wrapped myself in one of the Ritz Carlton robes my mom lives in and treated myself to that spa day I’d been looking forward to all week. If you thought I was exaggerating about my mom being a queen perhaps her taste in bathroom decor will convince you. I proceeded to send my future boyfriend as many elegant nudes as possible, use every bath and body product in sight and get so drunk in the tub that I sliced the shit out of my leg with a venus razor. I’m proud to say it looked pret-ty gnarly.
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That night I was planning to attend one of the few events I used to look forward to back in NC, #NB4R. I was excited to see my boo Jermaine and of course hear what Luxe Posh was spinning these days, but the flash floods were putting a serious damper on my vibe. To lift my spirits I put my hair in my mom’s rollers and decorated my nails with some cheap stickers that just ended up falling off after I got Bojangles grease on them. IMG_7586
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At the party we spent most of our time either in the bathroom or outside talking shit. Apparently I was acting like a Teen Bitch to everyone all night, which seems accurate I guess. A pretty bold choice for someone who was camped out on the floor of the men’s room all night, but I stand by it.

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Anyway, it turns out airplanes aren’t time machines. Things have really changed in the last year and most of us have grown up and away from our old scene. This trip made it very clear that the North Carolina period of my life is dead and buried, or at least cryogenically frozen, and I’m totally okay with that. Still, it’s nice to get out of the city every once in a while and remember why I moved here in the first place. No shade on the old stomping grounds, but you gotta grow up sometime.

I’ll always miss Laguna Beach High School.

That Awkward Moment Where You Lived with Your Parents

While being back home may be a temporary stint for me, living with your parents for any period of time as an adult can make your daily life more obnoxious in an infinite number of ways. The simple tasks you had performed so easily during college (or that time you were a drug dealer in the years after high school) can be extremely difficult to execute within those disturbingly familiar walls. A quick look at some of the things that have become nearly impossible to carry out since I returned to the nest:

1. Speaking like I normally would. I’m not sure why, but in the years that I was away for college, my vocabulary went from “saying shit and fuck a healthy, normal, enormous amount of times per day,” to “I actually have a case of verbal Tourrette’s that cannot be contained whatsoever. SHIT-BALLS I FUCKING STUBBED MY FUCKING TOE.” This, of course, always shocks my mother, who to this day (god love her) is still convinced that eventually all her teaching will pay off and I’ll miraculously have one or more manners.

2. Sleeping in. The other day at around 11:30 AM while smothering a headache underneath the pillows of my ever-so-classy bunk bed, my mother came in, shook me awake and told me to look for jobs. “It’s AFTER ELEVEN,” she urged. Personally, I would have felt perfectly justified and morally sound in sleeping for another two hours or so, but “Mom, I’m hungover because my friend from high school came over last night after you fell asleep and we drank a handle of Bacardi that we found in her trunk,” doesn’t really roll off the tongue so well on a Tuesday morning.

3. The actual process of getting drunk. Actually, before I had the “legal trouble” I recently acquired, it was pretty easy to share a few bottles of wine and champagne with my mother while watching three-hour Barbara Streisand movies. Now that she realizes I’m no longer the innocent little girl she mistakenly believes I once was, I’m afraid she’ll think I’m a free-loading alcoholic for drinking a Corona with dinner. Usually I can wait until they go to sleep. Inevitably, though, the concept of drinking alone at my parents house is just too depressing to bear, and I never make it past the first beer.

4. Buying Marijuana. If I had a car this would be much easier, or if we didn’t live in a suburban monstrosity of a house in the heart of America’s safest, most tree-free town. But that’s just not the case. Of course I wish I didn’t have to meet a dealer in the bathroom of a Bennigan’s while out to dinner with my family, but after all that stress of trying to find someone who will actually deliver you weed, you kinda need it.

5. Smoking Marijuana. Or anything for that matter. We have a screened-in porch on my deck (because what are we, poor?) which makes for a delightful smoking area during the evening hours. But even after jumping through flaming hoops to find the smallest amount of bud, it seems like things just continue to go wrong. Of course tonight is the night that my parents’ insomnia kicks into gear, welding them to re-runs of Two and a Half Men until the witching hour. Also, where the fuck is one single lighter in this house? Is it sketchy for me to be rifling through all the kitchen drawers at 11 pm? I find a grill torch in the cabinet and decide to smoke in the crawl space of my sister’s closet.

6. Finding one single vegetarian thing to eat. Oh look, about 50 bags of frozen Tyson’s chicken nuggets, leftover beef stew, some Chef Boyardee, chicken flavored Ramen noodles, and six packs of hotdogs. GUESS I’LL BE EATING THIS CAN OF GREAT NORTHERN BEANS.

7. Watching TV and getting on Tumblr all day long. “Honey, shouldn’t you be applying for jobs? Can you fold the laundry? You should clean your room it looks HORRIFYING. Look at this shitty job posting I found you that you would never want to apply for in a million years! Did you see it? I know it says ‘Janitor at local TV station’ but that could look good on your resume! Are you depressed?” No, mom. No, to all of this. Now go away so I can reblog pictures of naked people.

8. Avoiding “family outings.” Contrary to what you might think, I don’t actually go to Irish chain restaurants with my sister and parents because I love being surrounded by drunk people in their 50s while silently stuffing my face with spinach-artichoke dip. As thrilling as that is, I’d much rather be eating an entire pizza alone in my room with my cat. But what am I going to say? “No, I’d rather be pathetic,” and proceed spend 20 dollars on my own meal? Please.

9. Entertaining suitors. The other day when I was casually hanging out with someone I would casually like to bone, I thought I would try to sneak him up to my bedroom for for the ol’ quick-and-risky after he drove me home. I barely made it through the door of my garage before hearing my mother’s voice calling my name from the next room. Of course, my perfect gentleman scuffled into the night before having to drunkenly introduce himself at four the morning. I went to bed feeling grossly unsatisfied and didn’t hear from the guy for days.

And last but not least,

10. Masturbating. Am I right?