1. Stop faking your fucking orgasms. Society already tells young men that they run the fucking universe - if they can’t turn your cunt into a shooting star then for god’s sake, let them know about it.
2. Once you’ve stopped faking your fucking orgasms, use this newfound honesty throughout the rest of your life - stop ordering coffee you don’t actually like; stop sitting at a desk and allowing people to treat you like shit in the hopes that a meek attitude will earn you a promotion (it won’t); stop telling people they can finish your food when you’re not actually done yet. These may seem petty, but they add up, just like every orgasm you didn’t actually get to have.
3. If you wanna dance all night, dance all fucking night. Dance all night even if you have work in the morning. The worst that will happen is you’ll drink RedBull all day and look like a zombie - pass it off as a head cold to the real zombies you work with and flick through the embarrassing photos you’re being tagged in as you pretend to take a shit for some peace and quiet. I promise, you’ll remember dancing all night in ten years, not the suspicious way your boss looked at you that morning.
4. If your ass looks big in that, that’s a good thing.
5. You will never be as young as you are this second. Embrace it.
6. Embrace the fact that you’re going to get older. Ask your boyfriend if he will still love you when you’re seventy and your tits are down to your knees. Look forward to this time - seventy year old women are allowed to do pretty much whatever they want, and no-one can stop them. You can carry candy in your bag and not share it with a single soul. You can stay home all day and cross-stitch expletives onto handkerchiefs for your grandchildren and slip them under the table out of sight of the people you raised. You can drink whisky at 10am. Every phase of your life is going to be amazing for different reasons. Embrace that.
7. A lot of people will pretend to love Bukowski. Don’t pretend to love Bukowski if you don’t love Bukowski. It’s overplayed and no-one will mind if you actually like Virginia Andrews instead - the people who do mind are boring.
If you ask me, “Want to do some writing tonight?” and then follow that with, “Shall I go get 2 bottles of wine from Trader Joe’s?” you’ve pretty much just earned yourself a Platinum Membership in my most exclusive circle of people.
I left town in a hurry. Suddenly, after waiting and waiting and waiting, graduation weekend was upon me and then it was gone. I packed up my car and bid Chapel Hill goodbye before it could really sink in. When I got home, I unloaded everything into the kitchen so that I could reshuffle it and pack up again, this time with a smaller load—this time with only what I absolutely needed (and my Scrabble board).
I spent 6 days at home, trying to imagine what lay ahead and all the while not really believing that it was happening at all. And then those 6 days were gone, and so was I. It had to happen this way. It had to all happen quickly, before I could second guess myself and maybe change my mind. There was a brief collection of minutes that very first day of the road trip as we were driving to Nashville when I thought about turning around. I thought about how when I started kindergarten I cried for something like 2 whole months because I missed my mom, and there I was driving across the country away from her. But those moments, too, passed quickly and I kept going.
Nothing I could say or write about the road trip would do it justice. Even after spending the entire summer in LA, I still believe that was the best week of my life (so far). I could retell and retell anecdotes from the trip, my favorite moments, the things I remember most vividly, but it wouldn’t be enough. It would all just sound mundane because, as is the nature of road trips, it was mostly driving and talking. But none of it was mundane. Somewhere in the desert—New Mexico or Arizona—we came across oil refineries. They stood out against the dark and the vastness of the desert that otherwise would have swallowed us whole, and I think that’s when we knew for sure that there was no turning back.
I remember driving into LA and actually gasping at the beauty of the California mountains. I wished that I could pause and take a picture, but I had to keep driving, and anyway, a picture—much like this blog post—wouldn’t have captured it.
We spent the summer clustered together. We crammed ourselves into Oakwood’s pocket-sized apartments. We inflated air mattresses and spread blankets and rearranged furniture to create a little space where we could breathe and try to comprehend where we were and how we got there. We piled into taxis and carved out niches on dance floors and in bars full of other moving, breathing, electric bodies. We squeezed our cars into the narrow spaces of merging traffic on the freeways. We inserted ourselves into this pulsating city of millions, a place where movement is common but someone sliding over to offer you a space is rare.
And now where did it go? Time passes so strangely here. My internship feels like a lifetime ago, but the road trip still feels like it just happened. And tomorrow a whole new chapter begins with a new apartment in a new part of town.
This has been hard—harder than I could have imagined. It’s a lot like the traffic. I knew coming out here that LA traffic is no joke, but I could not have comprehended how horrific it is until I actually drove in it. Not that this has been horrific! It’s been amazing. But, of course, anything amazing derives from struggle.
But I am a very lucky lady. I am so indescribably grateful for the people in my life. If you are reading this and you have supported/helped me through this huge, absurd transition that I chose to make, know that I do not forget those things. I have several running tabs for the folks who have stuck by me without question—those favors and kindnesses will be returned to you, I swear.
I have often felt overwhelmed this summer, and now here at the end, I feel overwhelmed once again. This time, though, it is with hope, and with confidence that things always work out exactly as they are meant to.
Maybe this is a character flaw, but I really just can’t get on board with people who have nothing more to offer than how good-looking they are.
Me: What I should have done is start selling eggs at the beginning of summer. That way the process would be done by now and I’d have money.
D (with genuine confusion): Eggs?
Me: Yeah, eggs.
J to D (almost in a whisper): Dude, she means her lady eggs…
D (with horror and disgust): Oh my god, Rach…