Does that still count as hyperreality?
Editor's note, April 2021
This text was written during a difficult time,
and was originally intended only for private consumption.
Nevertheless, the editor believes it to be a strong,
or, at the very least, an honest piece of writing.
Despite the obvious clichés and hangups of a nineteen year-old,
many of which seem naïve now,
it would be disingenuous to edit these out completely,
as it is this exact self-perception of shame, embarrassment, and cliché,
and especially the impossibility of escaping
this simulataneous experience and meta-experience,
that is the subject of this piece of writing.
The editor hopes that the reader can understand this.
In a plane awaiting take-off in Atlanta, Georgia
I hear Aphex Twin come on
something dumb and silly like Fingerbib on no hours of sleep
with bug bites all down my legs and the aircon blasting
so thickly into my face it’s like it’s spitting at me
(its claws are reaching for my face)
and looking out of my grimy airplane window
past the smog I think I have condensed my problem into words.
Here is my problem:
1. I do not accept reality
How can you not? Anyone choosing to inhabit this life inherently accepts reality
(by remaining alive, no?)
2. I did not choose to do so
3. I do not wish to accept reality
My greatest fears in form of questions:
Does this make me spoiled?
A fucking cliché?
(So painful to feel your thoughts tear you apart so viscerally
it’s like they’re the first time any human has experienced pain like this
and to know despite this impulse
that you’ve read your exact thought in a book somewhere.
How to escape the human experience!?)
How many disillusioned used2b idealistic nineteen year-olds
have sat where I am sitting (“in a metaphoric space of change”)
and thought they’d finally condensed the meaning of life the meaning of their crisis
into words? As if their crisis is their life, as if all “life” is just their crisis
How many how many
and what can I do about it knowing it’s me too.
In my dreams I find myself dancing on empty rooftops with Martin
Rooftops I no longer have access to,
Ones that never belonged to me.
I find myself walking down the avenue to greet him
I see him and he is beautiful
He sees me and so am I
We stand out from the crowd and of course I’m referencing Just Kids when I write that
(How lucky to be young and feel beautiful and belong by the very act of not belonging?
How cliché? How naïve and fucking pretentious to believe you are different when you are nineteen?
Then again this foolishness feels like a weapon or a prayer, how essential to my stability it feels to keep believing)
In my dreams I spend all day studying Sylvie Holly Eva
I fill rolls of film with their faces shoes the surfaces their fingers trace
I try to understand something and finally think I do
Until I get my negatives back
and realize it’s just a chemical on plastic and not
The Answer I’ve Been Looking For
And I’m left again to wonder what it means
“It” as if anything can be condensed to a singular word,
“means” as if “anything” has “meaning.”
(How sweet to shift time-zones and have an excuse for feeling so untethered to time !)
An airline hostess stopped me today,
said she remembered me from a previous flight.
I was shocked and said “How so?”
She said “your smile you’re always smiling that’s rare these days”
Does she know four days ago in a highway bathroom, I was so desperate for a razor-blade
that I bit my nails and scratched my arms until they were so hot
It felt like I had placed them into an oven ?
Do you know how confusing it is to feel like nobody knows you?
Or that maybe (worse? & with more likelihood?) you no longer know yourself?
Am I the girl Smiling at Strangers
“You Always Look So Happy, You: Ray of Sunshine”
Or the girl knocking on Soomin’s door interrupting an Important Phone-Call
About to Hurt Herself, Scared Out of Her Mind ??
(Everything is capitalized because when logic seems this ridiculous and untethered to reality
it all collapses into irony)
I thank my classes for focusing so enthusiastically on post-modernism
because at least now my naïve cynicality isn’t alone.
(Once again, how obvious to feel like this at nineteen.)
I say : Thank You Joan Didion, Patron Saint of the Disillusioned;
I say : Thank You Chris Kraus, Patron Saint of the Misunderstood,
thank you one-theory-I-know-by Baudrillard thank you Sontag
thank you thank you and goodnight
Do you know that bliss in its purest form is a two-sides coin?
I learned this the week I came back from Berlin.
Days earlier I had slept on an island for four hours in pure sunlight
So sleepy so happy that all 80 songs of my playlist sounded like the best songs I had ever heard
Another measure of my happiness:
Walking back to the S-Bahn, a Microphones song came on
and I danced to it for all five minuted thirty seconds
(unthinkable, the Microphones are a lonely man
on an island off the Pacific Northwest
yelling into the night about the elements) and yet
I cycle as fast as I can off campus
With XXX staining the insides of my blazer
I ignore my friends who see me at the gate and know they have no idea
t and that I’m being rude
and feel so unbelievably piercingly aware of the parallel realities I am inhabiting
it’s like leaving my body and seeing the scene unfold from above
It starts raining very hard
and I cycle to the river where I like to sit sometimes
Right by all the art-students queuing for some gig
And some a cigarette and cry into the afternoon
With a sky so violently black and oppressive
it feels like the entire world is the sky crashing down
It feels like the entire world are my tears and –
I feel bliss again.