I’ve been binge-ing on Gossip Girl for the past month or so. I started watching it back when it aired on CW in 2007, but never finished past the first season because I ended up moving, and I never bought a TV. Also never seemed to have a decent WiFi to catch it on Netflix. Or, hell, sometimes, even the money to get that and WiFi. 

Anyway, I am now on Season 5, and am halfway finished. I’m not going to rehash the entire story line(s),  but the show follows the lives of Upper East Side socialites…and one Brooklyn family, specifically Dan (*side note* after this being pointed out to me, it bothers me to no end that despite the Humphrey’s living in Williamsburg, the cut scene to show you, dear viewer, that you are in Brooklyn, it’s a view of the Brooklyn Bridge and a loft – which are in DUMBO. I think the two neighborhoods are within walking distance of each other, but they are not the same /side rant over). 

I can relate to Dan in a number of ways. He’s from Brooklyn, and when I moved to New York, I did move to Brooklyn because I felt it was more “real.” I already knew that Manhattan would be far too expensive for my budget (of which I had none), but I also felt that it’s more of a playground, and Brooklyn is your home. He’s also an outsider. Despite wanting to be in that socialite life, despite having a bestseller, he’s still viewed as an outsider. Even if he had millions, he would still be considered “new money,” as opposed to the “old money” that’s on Millionaire Row. And I’ve always felt like an outsider. Not just since living here, either. In a weird way, I feel like this city is my hometown (perhaps in a past life?), but it’s a foreign land, too. Everywhere I’ve lived, I’ve always felt this way. Even in the circles I’ve managed to be a part of, I’ve always felt more of a spectator, rather than a participant.

Perhaps this is why I partially believe I must have been born on another planet. 

But more importantly, he’s a writer. Just. Like. Me. And apparently a good one, too. We even have some of the same pitfalls: we both fall into the same trap of writing the same characters over and over again. With him, it’s always about some artsy schmuck that is forever pining for some Upper East Side chic that he can never quite have. For me, it’s always some quirky female who falls for some dude who’s eight years her senior. Because…apparently, I have an affinity for guys who are old enough for us to be in slightly different generations, but not so old that they could be mistaken for my father. Or even uncle. 

And yes, I spoiled it for myself and found out that he is Gossip Girl. Still, it doesn’t ruin the show for me. 

And that’s it. Because I suck at writing up a nice, tidy little ending. I will forever be cursed for having Arien qualities. 

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Full Moon Purging

Long story short, in many traditions, the New Moon is seen as a time of initiation and setting intention, while the Full Moon is a time for purging, destruction, etc. The time from the NM to Full is for planting seeds and cultivating things, while the opposite is for reaping the harvest and pruning.

I wouldn’t deem myself a religious person, or even “spiritual” (or perhaps I’m in denial), but I do understand the power of rituals, and how they get the mind in the right frame set. 

Last week, I realized that there were some things and people who invade my mental space that I have to get rid of in order to move forward in my life. I’ve grown stagnant and stuck in ruts. I follow the same patterns and wonder why I don’t get different results. My comfort zone seems to grow ever smaller.

 

WELL IT ENDS NOW!

 

 

Denial

Last year, I was going to to an interview and then meet up with my now boyfriend in Queens (I lived in Harlem at the time). And as I crossed that bridge, I was struck with an eerie sense of deja vu,

And then, I remembered: the previous year, my grandmother had died, and I’d taken this same bus to get to Laguardia Airport to attend the funeral.

I wiped tears from my face; I didn’t want anyone on the bus seeing me in such distress.

Nearly two and a half years since she’s passed, and part of me refuses to believe it. She died on Mother’s Day. I remember it so well because I was planning on calling her at 9:00 AM to wish her a happy Mother’s day. I hadn’t spoken to her since her birthday, February 28th. She hadn’t been well at all. She’d fallen, and I knew the end was nearing.

I received a phone call from my mother at 8:48. She rarely calls, so I knew this wasn’t going to be good. She told me that my grandmother had died a few minutes before. The funeral was set for that Saturday. I had finals the following week. Plane tickets were upwards of $500.

Life was turning to shit.

I left that Friday afternoon, and had a three-hour layover in North Carolina. I tried to dull the pain by focusing on the piano player and the cool rocking chairs scattered throughout the airport. I hated being reminded why I was at the airport in the first place.

I arrived in Memphis at 9 or 10 that night, and one of my sister’s friends drove me to the hotel. I talked with her and my sister for the hour and a half drive, mainly about how cool New York was, but in reality, I was dying on the inside.

My hotel room felt cold (not temperature-wise). And seedy. This is what businessmen must feel like. My mother stocked the fridge with food – and jellybeans. I watched TV before falling asleep.

I met the rest of the family that Saturday, at my grandmother’s home. It felt bare, like something was missing. I held it together still.

I hadn’t seen my family in four years.  Not because I didn’t want to, but because I couldn’t afford to. The drive was silent.

I broke down at the funeral. When I saw her face in the casket, all made up. After days living in denial, there she was, less than 10 feet away from me me. I felt guilty about not checking on her more frequently, just like I did with my grandfather years ago. This was real, and it hurt.

I spent the rest of my time reconnecting with friends, walking around the neighborhood, generally denying that I had just attended a funeral.

Each day, it gets a little easier. I didn’t have the courage to erase her number. And just now, at 4:20 in the morning, I put her number into my new phone.

*wrote this on 10/17/13

Failure, Forgiveness

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After trying to have a discussion with my boyfriend about the novella that I’ve been attempting to write for the past two and a half years (shit, almost to the day) – and yeah,  I know it’s a no-no to talk about your project,  but I still have an outline of it, and I have maybe 50% of it written down – I’ve decided that I’m not going to write it.

Or at least put it on an indefinite hiatus.

Part of me feels defeated,  like,  why wouldn’t I write this? Pretty much all of my stories are based on some of my life experiences,  only highly exaggerated.  But, unlike my other stories, I cannot separate the material from the experience.  Despite my applying artistic license quite liberally,  they are still one and the same.

I initially embarked on this project as a way for me to cope with a man I (thought I) couldn’t have. The original story was about how an older guy was going to corrupt the younger girl – he’d make her read all this crazy literature (like BUKOWSKI!!!!). But part of him loved her “purity.”

So I asked the object of my desires what was a good book to corrupt someone with. He suggested Looking for Mr Goodbar. So I immediately went to Strand to buy it. And yes, it corrupted me, which was precisely the point.

Over the months, the story took different directions, sometimes depending on my mood, but mainly depending on my interactions with him. The story was put on hold when I found out he’d gotten a girlfriend – within days of getting my letter (to give you an idea of the insanity, it took me over a month to write this letter. Well over 7-15 drafts. The final draft I just wrote from the heart, without worrying too much on how he’d take it. And written on pink parchment paper {side note, which was left over from a letter I’d written to a previous gentleman who no longer lives in NYC}. And sprayed with jasmine water. Oh! And I’d enclosed in the letter a CD with Gretchen Parlato’s “Still,” because I’d heard the song on NPR and thought it summed up my feelings succinctly. And I went to the post office on 14th street and spent $14 to mail it, and made sure that I’d get notification once he received it. And then I wanted to burn down the post office because I couldn’t get that damn letter back. And then I checked my email. Every. Damn. Day. For a month and a half)

In retrospect, I chuckle. I was psycho (in a cutesy way). I’m not ashamed of what I did, at all. I let it all out.

Then the story was put on hold when he proposed to me. There really wasn’t a point to continue the story, since its purpose was to help me cope. But once that ended, I found myself needing to use it as a means of therapy.

Yesterday, I came to the painful realization that I didn’t fully “let go” of the situation. Instead of sitting myself down and sorting it all out, I jumped headfirst into life. Got a (series of) job (s), a boyfriend, a new place to stay. Whenever I thought about him, I grew angry, first at him for not being honest, and then at myself for holding out, and for so long.

As I sat down trying to write that story, I realized that every time I tried to write, I’d feel happy, only to become overwhelmed with anger. How dare I think such happy thoughts! Part of me is frightened at the idea of taking him back, or reconciling.

So I stopped writing. It’s only going to rip off that scab and force me to realize it hurts. Sadly, I have to rip off the scab anyway. But that’s not how I want it to happen.

Why am I watching “Gossip Girl”? And thus making myself feel miserable?

I hate Craigslist. The gigs section is just sex, sex,  sex! Porn. Escorts agencies. Massages. Sugar daddies. Glorified prostitution. Why can’t a girl make an “honest” living in New York without lying on their back?

Rant. Over.