Wednesday, March 2nd
After I spent two hours writing vaguely pornographic essays about film theory—spoiler alert, everything is about manipulation and penis envy—I unfurled my pen-holding claw. The entire side of my hand was stained deep, sheeny cobalt from my pen. I had just used the word “edging” in an essay—yes, in that context—and couldn’t shake the feeling that I had either passed with flying colors as a pervert or failed miserably as a prude. Either way, I was proud of myself for refraining from using “blue balls” while discussing the culture industry. Small victories.
It was the kind of final where you are so unprepared that you’re almost excited to start it, where the only apt response you have to its eventual arrival is, “Alright, let’s see what you got! Hit me, bitch!” It was one of those.
I don’t know what it is, but I always feel the need to call my mom immediately after getting out of a big final or a test. I don’t think it’s because I think she cares; I think it’s just I have this deep desire to be like “Hi look at what I’m doing with the small fortune you’re spending on me! I’m taking tests!” And she’s like, “Good! You’re not squandering everything!”
After I finished having a conversation with my mother—which was five minutes of talking and five minutes of going, “Huh? What? No, I didn’t say anything.”—I met up with Shelby at Starbucks before my next class.
I’ve been slowly building up a relationship with the barista. She’s not always there, but she’s almost always there when I have my five-hour block of class. Sometimes I’ll go before the block. Sometimes I’ll go in the middle. We crack jokes, and I subtly push the limits and going right to the edge without actually asking, “So do I have to pay?” I know that I do, but I always have to test that boundary.
We’re so close that she already began to write up my order before I even got to the register. Granted, it was on a cup for iced coffee, when I only order hot coffee, but still the thought was there. Frankly, she’s one latte away from being my emergency contact.
Our relationship is exactly the amount of intimacy that I want. We don’t know each other’s names—we exchanged them once, but they didn’t stick—and she’s learning my coffee order and I break up the monotony of her day. After I got my latte and put an unhealthy amount of sugar into and settled back down into a conversation with Shelby, who was drinking Dunkin Donuts in a Holy Place, I realized that Barista had written “Friend” on my cup. Babe!
I didn’t write a post on Tuesday. I don’t feel bad. I was completely drained of ideas, and I had gone from gym to class to interview to editing and uploading that interview to library to event to home at 10. So I forwent—forwent doesn’t seem like it should be a word—writing a post. But now, two days later, I feel a little guilty. Not majorly guilty. It’s on par with what I imagine the guilt of a mother who accidentally leaves her kid at a WalMart but realizes before he does because he’s engrossed in looking at toys. A silent, niggling, not-really-there guilt. But still, a little guilt.
Now I’m on a train going home for spring break. Midterm week was so crazy-hectic and gross, that I’m so excited to be a vegetable floating for a week. I’m currently sitting alone in the “Quiet” car—my seatmate left at Providence—and I’m praying to whatever god I haven’t offended yet to let my solitude last all the way to New York. With my luck, it won’t happen. But I’m manspreading and keeping my fingers crossed. Every time someone passes by me, I involuntarily clench up.
I worked out three times this week instead of five—gasp—but every single time I was at the gym, I saw the same guy. Okay, so I, like, “know” him but he definitely wouldn’t know me. I’m the friend of his (ex?)-girlfriend’s costar and I saw them all in a play once. He’s hot in a skinny, straight, Patrick Bateman kind of way—which is to say that he’s hot but I could totally see him skinning someone and wearing it as a cape. Is that weird? Anyway, he’s strong, but wiry, but has a head of hair that’s very “hottest kid in Calculus in 1998.” Which—if you know me at all—isn’t not my aesthetic.
We seem to be on the same cycle when it comes to working out, so whatever I’m doing, he’s doing, but because I’m lazy, he’s usually doing it with more intensity and a higher weight. So not only am I at the gym, but now I’m at the gym and being intimidated by hot scarecrows.
Anyway, in my Wednesday night class, I was sitting waiting for everything to begin—and by “sitting waiting for everything to begin” I mean “screenshotting Kris Jenner’s Instagram”—and suddenly Patrick Bateman walked into class.
“Is there a class in here?” he asked me, and I just stared at his sexy mouth. Time stretched into taffy, and then it snapped back together.
“Yeah,” I answer.
“And there’s not any extra computers?”
And I said, “No…” because I was like, ‘Scuse?
He gave a half-smirk that I later described to my friend Mitchell as “the half-smirk, half-smile, half-laugh that is born out of a confidence where you have never had to worry about discrimination” because he was a straight, white male. It’s the kind of confidence that only straight white males and cats seem to possess—pure, unadulterated confidence that the world was built exclusively for you. Patrick Bateman left the class, and I immediately told Mitchell about it.
And so on this train, I’m trying to recuperate from a week of pyschotties, pervy film theory, and the struggle of trying to word something that I’ve already said slightly differently to beef up my word count. I overpacked for spring break. I know that I’ll be wearing exactly the same outfit every day—lethargy and track pants—but somehow I’ve crammed an entire Fashion Week into one small suitcase. I’m ¼ into a book that I Amazon Primed this week, but forced myself to abstain from until the work was done. Usually that doesn’t work—usually I’m super-shitty at restraining myself. I have poor impulse control and a knack for rationalizing a lifestyle of “Netflix now and stress later.” But I managed to do it and now I’m reading it. It’s I’m Special (And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves) by Ryan O’Connell who is sort of my writing role model. But it’s actually kind of dark because he’s talking about “getting a job” and maybe it’s the millennial in me, but I’ve just always kind of run on the assumption that I’m hot shit and everyone will want me to write pieces about stalking hot boys in CVS and pay me handsomely.
So I decided to take a break and write a blog post. I was going to give myself some time off, but then I remembered that death is inevitable and I might as well write before arthritis sets in from chronic knuckle-cracking (my mother swears it’s going to happen to me). The train is either still in Rhode Island or Connecticut, but either way it’s way depressing. Once, going home for Thanksgiving, the train broke down in the backwoods of Connecticut and I swear to God I thought we were going to be Walking Dead-ed. Gilmore Girls taught me that Connecticut was charming and winsome, and being white taught me that Rhode Island was the chic, New England equivalent to the Hamptons. But three years of riding back and forth and all I’ve gathered is that they seem like prime locales for dropping a body sans questions or making citizen arrests.
Also this gif was too real not to include.