“After nearly 15 years of practice, I can assure you that there is a specific look reserved for the moment someone realizes you are fragile. I used to prep prospective partners for this when first dating them. “I have this illness,” I’d explain. “I may look okay now. This is the fun part. We are drinking gin and laughing and my hair smells nice and we’re telling each other our greatest hits stories but one day I will inevitably drop off the radar or my medication will fail. I’ll find myself in need of a gastroenterologist, a rheumatologist, and a steady hand.” My hair does not smell nice at the hospital. They do not serve gin there, but most of the time there’s morphine.”—Hello! I wrote about love and autoimmune disease for The Hairpin. Go take a look here.
“Kate Moss was famously quoted as saying “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels,” but let me tell you, so many things taste better than skinny. A morning latte made with whole milk, for example. A warm twice-baked almond croissant, chicharones, dark chocolate with sea salt, pork dumplings, a giant steak salad with blue cheese, a slice of pizza at 2 am, a dry vodka martini with a twist. But skinny isn’t a taste. It’s a feeling. From what I gather, skinny is supposed to feel like your dream job, a compliment from a stranger, telling someone you love them for the first time, or an IV drip of morphine and sunshine. All of this, of course, is total bullshit. Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself.”—Hello! I wrote a thing about working in the food industry and struggling with body image for xoJane. You can read more here.
“He reminded me of one great thing, though, which is that when he begins tracing and tickling your bare back absent-mindedly one night, you lying on your stomach next to him, and you mutter that you love when he does that, the only correct response for any human, ever, is to murmur “Oh yeah?” and then continue doing it for endless minutes. He didn’t have to, but he did, because that is what you do when someone reveals their favorite simple thing. You do it. It costs you nothing.”—HEY, STOP IT: I Am My Own Ingrid Michaelson Song
“I understand the gravity of a train from the empty space and warm afterbirth air of recent loss which I encounter when I run down to the platform 30 seconds too late.
It is the same with all things of such weight - to know them best when you have just missed them.”—Franny Choi, Notes on the Existence of Ghosts
“Actually there was one thing I wanted to do which was a fur jumpsuit. To walk the dog in. You don’t have to think about anything. You just have your bra and panties on. You just put this giant fur jumpsuit on, head to toe, hood and little hush puppy boots. You’re out walking the dog. And looking amazing. Surprising everyone in your neighborhood.”—Issac Mizrahi, unintentionally describing my go-to dog walking outfit in Unzipped.
“I go to a hotel and try to get there by 5:30 in the morning. I keep a dictionary, a thesaurus, a bible, a deck of playing cards, a bottle of sherry, and stacks of yellow sticky pads. I shut myself in for six, seven hours. I have an arrangement with the hotel that no one may go in my room. After three or four months, they might slip notes under my door like, “Dear Ms. Angelou, please let us change the linens. We think they might be molding.” It’s probably true. I let them in if they promise not to touch anything other then the bed.”—Let’s revisit Maya Angelou’s writing rituals. Shall we?
An actual person I went to high school with just sent me a Facebook invitation to his juggling performance at a local turnip festival two-thousand miles away from where I’m currently sitting at my desk, completely unaware that one could so easily choose to become a professional juggler and rehearse one’s dreams during an entire weekend devoted to tubers.
It was a cold night in Rhode Island ten years ago when my ex-boyfriend explained to me how the end of Daylight Saving Time is his favorite unobserved holiday because “you’re out on a Saturday night and 2am rolls around but then you realize hey, it’s actually ONE in the morning and you get an extra hour of partying! It’s like a little present that only comes once a year.”
This was when our devices did not adjust to changes in the universe. He didn’t own a cell phone, anyway. Large photocopied signs lovingly taped to dorm doors by the invisible adults around us reminded us to turn our clocks back. In March, the urging grew much more dramatic, followed by an inevitable series of classroom stragglers on Monday morning who had forgotten to spring ahead.
These days, I’m half asleep at 2am with the paws of a little dog digging into my lower back while my fiancé alternates between snoring and sighing next to me. There is absolutely nowhere else I’d prefer to be. When I was sixteen and begging to stay out past curfew with that aforementioned ex-boyfriend, my mother would explain that “nothing good ever happens after midnight.”
This is all just to say that my definition of “happening” has changed over time.