mixmaster 5000: now with 12 different speed settings! & #reverb10, ct'd

Red plaid coat: delia's. Plaid button-down: brother's pajamas. Striped polo: brother's. Shorts: alloy. Socks: gift. Boots: Steven by Steve Madden.

Here are my #reverb10 responses for December 6 - 8. I'm still behind. ...Typical.

PROMPT FOR DECEMBER 6, 2010: Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?

I would tell you that the last thing I made was a scarf, but that would be a lie because while it’s off the needles already, I haven’t added a fringe to it yet. I could also tell you the last thing I made was a one-page answer to a writing prompt, but I’d rather tell you that the last thing I made was a decision, because the materials were more interesting.

For the better part of this past year, I wrestled with the idea of what I was supposed to be doing with my life, and I, stupidly, set up walls for myself formed by a fear that the people I chose to surround myself lovingly cultivated, thinking, knowing I was safe in those walls, bouncing off them like I should have been wearing a strait jacket. I listened to the walls. They talked to me, and their voices echoed against each other and shot straight into my spinal cord, leaving me paralyzed from the neck down. And even though I couldn’t move and couldn’t feel, I knew my heart had to be beating, or else how could my brain register the sorrow accumulating in my sinuses and the heaviness of my throbbing temples and the blood in my mouth?

One day an email came. Then more emails, some text messages, and a call. I saw them and heard them and hauled my butt out to meet them halfway.

“How are you? Are you doing okay?”

“…I don’t know. I’m not sure.”

And like it had been waiting for the moment to strike, a sliver of light wriggled through a chink in the wall, and I let it. It was only a matter of time before the walls came down. Then I made a decision.

And now I will make believe.


PROMPT FOR DECEMBER 7, 2010: Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

Maybe it was when I found myself crouched behind a barrel of hazardous waste listening for footsteps and trying to breathe quietly, maybe it was when I was laughingly informed that all my gestures extend from the elbow like a T-Rex, or maybe it was when I got shotgun by default. I couldn’t pinpoint for you the exact moment, but sometime this year I found community in the computer science department, which I, being pathetic, will officially never be part of after this semester. I kind of suck at it, but it was awesome while it lasted. Thank you. Especially you, Stephanie. You are such a baller.

In 2011, I want to see what the fashion blogging community is like underneath the “cute outfit! xoxo,” and if it’s something I actually want to identify with, and I would like to find out what Molly Crabapple meant in her interview with Gala Darling (see “The Smart Girl’s Guide to Business”) when she said “It’s so true, it’s like there’s a certain type of freak that has their own business, I think we freaks find each other!” I had a taste of it a week ago, across the table from someone whose aspirations are bigger than a 4.0, grad school, and a six-figure income. Sushi and miso soup completely forgotten, I sat there gawking at this boy, this man, this human being equally full of crazy as I am, for existing and feeling too like this school, save the technical fields and hard sciences, was a disappointment and a lie. I guess the Universe knows magic, because if I hadn’t been accompanying Stephanie to that particular computer lab that one day, we crazies would have taken much longer to cross paths, if we were to at all.

Am I nervous? Yeah. Rather. But I look forward to 2011. Here’s to brilliance and offering hands.


PROMPT FOR DECEMBER 8, 2010: Beautifully different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different - you'll find they're what make you beautiful.

I tried, I really did, to like this prompt, but two hours of straight-up staring at this hasn’t given me anything more to say than fuck this prompt. Fuck you and the horse you rode in on. I see you drivin’ ‘round town with the girl I love, and I’m like, “Fuck you.” Nothing about anyone makes anyone different from anyone. We are not different, not in remarkable ways. There is no such thing as uniqueness in our personalities, our experiences, our fears, no uniqueness in the way we love or grieve, in what we want, in what we need, in how we die.

If you spend enough time reading blogs about self-employment and why you should keep your day job, by the way buy my e-book, it won’t take you long to encounter this Question for All Time: What can you give the world that no one else can?

And the fucking answer is NOTHING, nothing but your story, because as far as I understand physics, it is impossible or at least highly improbable that someone else occupied the same space as you did for every moment of your life, that someone else’s nose hairs grew at the same angle and rate as yours, were coated in the same mucous as yours. Yeah, maybe someone’s nose hairs were also coated in mucous while they cried because they bombed a midterm, because they were at their mother’s funeral, while they sneezed because they too inhaled a monarch butterfly.

Sure. Yeah. Maybe it’s all been done before. Maybe someone said it better and clearer and louder and earlier. But they sure as fuck did not have the same mind commanding the same hands that occupy the physical space that your hands occupy at this very moment, and they sure as fuck did not know how to tell your story.
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