4am Feelings

Are you ever up at 4:30am just because? I am. Not often, but often enough.

This is what blogging used to feel like. Open the page and start typing. “Emotional flashing,” a teacher I didn’t have in high school once called Livejournals, and even though I think it’s kind of weird that a high school teacher said that to a group of sixteen year olds (he was a man, of course he was a man) I don’t think he was necessarily wrong. But it was easier to lift your shirt up and show your emotional tits, so to speak, before ~professionals~ took over the internet, before everyone was worried about content and brands and getting hired or fired and blah blah blah.

I mean maybe the professionals were always on the internet but when I was 16 it didn’t feel important to be a part of that world, and now that I’m 27 it feels sort of strange that so many of my peers are the Professionals On The Internet and here I am with my little blog.

Why does this blog exist? Uncertain. It’s 4:30am on a Friday night, what do you want me to say?

I’ll tell you some things, I’ll try to say it the way I would have on Livejournal in 2006, or on Blogspot in 2008, or on Tumblr in 2010. I’ll try, but it’s different.

Sometimes I miss you so much and sometimes I don’t even remember your name. I believe in therapy but I’ve never been. I haven’t eaten cheese in so long because I am trying to heal my belly and apparently dairy sucks but fuck I miss it. Cheese, I miss. Having a belly ache every day, I do not miss.

I have to confess that this is not the same as it was in 2006, or 2008, or 2010. I got some terrifying jarring upsetting unexpected news one week ago and since then my brain has been sort of fried and I thought maybe if I tried to write things down in public I would feel in control again but I don’t feel in control at all, just a bit aimless, just sort of moving my fingers and seeing what words come out of the keyboard, like a Ouija board maybe, just hover my fingers over the keyboard and hope my brain transmits something worth jotting down, just going with the fucking flow. And now I have a paragraph.

It’s mid-April already and Portland is dressed up in a party dress, permanently waiting to go to an elaborate prom, decked out in pale pink blooms and lilac petals and wilting magnolias and and and. I love it. It’s new, I haven’t been here before. (I said that the first time I fell in love. I wanted to explain how scary it was, how new, how I felt fucking terrified to be in this brand new place with this person who had visited the space before. Or that’s what it felt like. “I’ve never been here before,” I explained, hoping the subtext was obvious, hoping she could hear the end of the sentence I did not say which was, you have been here before with other girls. You have been to ‘in love,’ you have sat by the tree and held hands and looked at the view, it is only new to me, I am scared. “I’ve never been here before either,” she said, and I looked at her accusingly because she didn’t hear my subtext at all, but she persisted. “It’s not the same place, babe,” she said. “It’s different with every person. I’ve never been here with you. I’ve never been here before.” She had a point. My subtext evaporated. We dated for three years, staying in that space, in a place that did not exist before and does not exist now, because that is how love works, how it blooms, how it dissolves. Anyway.)

I was not here one year ago, here being Portland. One year ago I was in Mexico. Everything was different. And the year before that, everything was so different, too. I was in New Mexico then, trapped when I was supposed to be free, confused and sad and cleaning chicken shit out of the coops every day. (I didn’t mind cleaning out the chicken shit. That was the easiest part.) I suppose that is just the way life works. Everything is always changing, whether we notice or not, and then 365 days go by and everything is different.

You used to call me on my birthday. We used to eat the best salmon sashimi from the random sushi restaurant at the food court in the mall – the man behind the counter knew our names and our order and was always so kind. We used to email each other so many times in one week.

I used to take dance lessons. I used to take singing lessons. I used to take drum lessons.

Spoiler: I have a horrible sense of rhythm and was doomed to fail at all these tiny tasks, but I had so much fun. These activities, these things that I completely and utterly failed at doing properly, brought me so much joy.

I used to hate my body. I used to assume everyone else hated it, too. I used to love you. I used to think life would go a very specific way that it has decidedly not gone, not at all. I used to think I didn’t like being outside. I used to call myself an indoor kid. I used to take a book out with me to recess and tuck myself into a concrete corner of the playground and read about Michelle’s antics in the Full House books, or Claudia and Stacey’s schemes with the rest of the Babysitter’s Club, or something sad that Judy Blume dreamed up. My grandparents used to be alive and they owned a bookstore and they used to let me choose as many books as I wanted any time I came to visit, but I didn’t get to visit very often because they lived in South Africa and that is very far away from Canada, which is where I lived as a small child.

I am taking a deep breath. Right now. Just so you know.

I am remembering the way we skated down the boardwalk in 2014. It feels like one minute ago but I suppose it has been two years. This is what I mean about time – I don’t think it’s a linear measurement at all, I think we’ve all been taken for fools and the universe is playing an elaborate joke on us all. What is time? How does it loop? Why am I close to tears as I think about Los Angeles on that day: hot, boring, perfect. We rented roller skates and I went very fast and whenever I looked back there you were, the two of you, and I was so fucking sad but you guys were there. And I was sad and everything sucked but I still felt lucky. Because you were my friends, because we loved each other, because we could keep loving each other forever.

I’m sad now, I guess, if I’m being honest. But I still feel lucky. I do.

2 thoughts on “4am Feelings

  1. Raye says:

    ❤ Oh those four am days. I think I'm right in remembering that you skating in Los Angeles in 2014 was right before you came up to GC and we met? And time is a wild and confusing ride because this time in 2014 was literally right when I broke up with that dude and I never could have predicted we'd meet two months later and become friends but we did and I am so, so glad for that. Love you.

  2. grace avery-everwood says:

    Hey! I’m poring through the internet in search of queer women’s / gender-diverse spaces and stumbled across the article you wrote for Nylon (and couldn’t find any way of contacting you other than to leave a comment here).

    I’m having a really hard time finding any spaces that aren’t the better-known dude-centric sanctuaries. I’ve been looking sporadically over the course of a few months and am growing kind of exhausted.

    Would you be willing to talk more with me about your experience in the Oregon space? I’m curious about what your time there was like, and how I’d get in touch with the people who are still there, how you found them in the first place, etc.

    If you’re down, you can find me on facebook (Grace Avery-Everwood) or email me aaaaaat SomethingClever67 (at) msn (dot) com.

    Thanks so much! Really hope to hear from you.

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