i am doll parts2022-08-10 egg
"The vibes are off," Katie said this past weekend, and she was right. It was too hot. The humidity swelled around me the moment I stepped out into the hallway of my friend's apartment on Saturday morning, clinging to the oily surface of my face. As I rode the subway home to get ready to meet Kat for lunch in Williamsburg I thought about my smudged makeup and put on my sunglasses, too worn out to care about looking like an asshole. It was already noon, and the incongruity between what I had always conceptualized as a walk of shame and what I was currently experiencing--95+ degree weather surrounded by sweaty throngs of people--was comical, a nice private joke. I spent a lot of my weekend loitering around McCarren Park and Williamsburg, marinating in my unpleasant, anxiety-driven spiral and others' ennui. Driven by desire for the comfort of verbalizing my thoughts and being affirmed in them, I overshared with someone who was experiencing their own "merry-go-round" of overanalyzing and immediately regretted it and begged them not to tell anyone. I felt nauseous being in such close quarters with people who were privy to more knowledge about and intimacy with the people whose relationships I was mulling over, and the impenetrable circle of their friend group, formed through years of shared experiences both near and far, made me sick and resentful. I felt like the grandma at the end of the William Carlos Williams poem: "What are all those / fuzzy-looking things out there? / Trees? Well, I'm tired / of them and rolled her head away." Despite having a blast going out Saturday night and Sunday during the day, the dread remained. I wanted to throw my phone away and to be completely oblivious to who was and wasn't texting me. I also was feeling so My Brilliant Friend, invisible and insurmountably inferior to the women around me. It made me miss hanging out with Catherine and Juhi and Claudia in Mexico City, people who I feel see and value me clearly for who I am and where I feel there is a priority on conversations and experiences that mutually reinforce our shared connection. In comparison with the over-entanglement I felt throughout the weekend, those friendships seemed so untainted and true. "I miss you," I told Inhae, and I meant it. A moment of reprieve: seeing Vanessa's exhibit at Smack Mellon. The gallery space was completely empty (the employees seemed to be on lunch break), and the cosmic, tactile feelings the artworks produced contrasted nicely with the cement floor and tall concrete columns, like I was encountering the organic remains of some civilization in an empty, dystopian landscape. I listened to Hole's Live Through This and leaned into the anger surrounding my own feelings of impotence and worthlessness. I was glad to be there alone, without any of the friends who had expressed interest in coming. None of them could take that experience away from me by sharing that time with me. I didn't want to hear anybody else's thoughts on it or hear them talk about it later with other people; it was solely mine. When I left I felt better, even though I knew it wouldn't be long before the angst settled in again. On Sunday night I reheated my and Katie's leftovers for dinner and watched the part in The Virgin Suicides where the girls go to prom. So many of my struggles with being a young woman are still encapsulated in that movie and become clearer with every rewatch. I thought of my terrible date where the guy was belittling a former date for being bitter and nihilistic. "Like, give me a fucking break, the world isn't out to get you," he had said. I had wanted to quote one of Cecilia's lines in The Virgin Suicides in response: "Clearly, doctor, you've never been a thirteen year old girl."