I’m sitting on a train that left Boston at 5:40 and will arrive in Newark, NJ in a little over an hour. Before this, I had coffee at Pete’s in Coolidge Corner in Brookline at 2:45 with Christian and Mark. That was after Christian and I had driven two hours from Wood’s Hole, MA, where we had arrived on the ferry we took over from Martha’s Vineyard at 10:30 AM.
We arrived in Martha’s Vineyard on Thursday night, after the aforementioned two hour drive from Boston to the aforementioned ferry. Thursday morning, I arrived in Boston at 5 AM, courtesy of Christian, who had picked me up in Little Ferry, NJ at 1 AM, after driving 4 hours from Boston on his own.
In between all this travel are three wonderful worlds I’m very blessed to experience. I was coming from an unexpectedly fulfilling summer at home in Jersey, I spent several hours in Boston, my new home that I associate with learning and growth and adventure, Thursday and today. I visited the gorgeous Martha’s Vineyard for the first time, courtesy of Matthew, and had the most significant amount of pure, unbridled vacation that I’ve had in quite some time.
And yet, I’m sitting on this train, rolling through Norfolk, CT, feeling disoriented.
I feel like i did when I came home from school in May—torn from something I loved a bit unexpectedly and perhaps a bit too soon. It took me a bit to adjust—to bring home some of what I had constructed in my new home: a healthier lifestyle and routine, an expansive and consistently surprising social life, a divorce from boredom. My rough patch consisted of a lot of Netflix and overeating. That was me coping.
Now, being home for the summer has turned into an incredible reprieve and satisfying reboot of a lifestyle that I thought I had all figured out. It took a while, but I found a certain degree of healthiness and activity that is really working wonders for me. I rediscovered my friends from High School after our collective year away from each other. I re-charged my own energies and have been really trying to make myself even better for my return to school in September.
And then came along this little trip. I knew that I missed Boston. I knew that I missed school. And when I got into town on Thursday morning, it was as if my body knew to begin making as much as I could out of my short time there. I saw nearly a dozen friends and got to return to the CFA, walk up and down Com Ave, go into Allston, and revisit my old building. I didn’t doubt my desire to do this; I knew it was there. However, my heart had not yet caught up with my travels, and tiny twigs from my reinforced nest at home in Jersey were still stuck to my wings.
Then, came Martha’s Vineyard—the most vacation I’ve had in a very long time. No calorie counting. No exercise regimen. No commitments, besides being with my friends on a very beautiful rock off the coast of Massachusetts. I never really stopped to think about the freshness of the vacation; I was constantly adventuring with my best friends. It’s a beautiful, beautiful place, and I have the most tremendous best friends in the world. We had a phenomenal time on the Vineyard, all fun and games and food and drink and unadulterated goodness.
Last night, I went to bed thinking of my return home to Jersey. I really wanted to wash my nice shirts and take the kind of long, hot shower I can only pull off at home. I was excited to continue moving through my long-weekend adventure.
Upon my return to Boston, which looked so much nicer aglow in today’s lovely weather, I swooned. My heart was now in Boston. I had three hours before my train and a coffee date with Mark. I admitted to Christian and Lauren, “I am in constant motion, just pushing myself from one thing to the next.” She said that was a very good thing, and I suppose it can have its benefits, but I knew I wanted more time than three hours. I soaked it all up as much as I could, but I wasn’t about to forfeit my train ticket or skip out on my high school theatre class reunion tomorrow night in Jersey. If not the best planning, my return home tonight is safe and efficient. It makes sense, and it had to be done.
Now, alone, en route to my home in New Jersey, I’m still dragging my heart away from Boston. I’m so romantic about all these places in my life that I fall head over heels with them as soon as I get a second to really breathe in their intoxicating atmospheres. Of course, this is a blessing and a curse. It’s just so fascinating how transitions never fail to be difficult for me.
Perhaps, though, I’m finding greater strength in always having myself, because sussing this out is leaving me feeling a lot better. I have discovered more and more this summer that I have the power to be my best friend, and I’m way better off listening to myself than not. Ideally, I suppose, I can go wherever and always have bits of my homes on me, in me, with me, whatever. Maybe the cliché, “home is where the heart is,” is for more literal a statement than ever thought.
BREAKING: My shirt size is now medium!
When Koalas Attack
“Hey Eleni, if I hold you, will you take a picture with us!?”
“Yeah…,” she says, jumping into my arms. “RAAAAAAWR!”
This is probably better than Facebook. In the first one, I’m waiting while he pees.
I’ve really wanted to try articulating and exploring what this summer has been for me so far, and I think that today’s a great day to finally do it.
I came home from school in May, and immediately noticed how great having a kitchen was again. So much food to eat! It’s so easy and convenient and—FINALLY, I don’t have to go to 711 across the street for a snack and a bottle of water!Read more
PROXY MOVEMENT A Text Triptych by Michael Ciszewski with three stories (listed in alphabetical order): Danny & Louise Diary of a Child Hair Model General Jones & The Fabulous Pantsuit - “Born down in a dead man’s town! The first kick I took was when I hit the ground. You end up like a dog that’s been beat too much, till you spend half your life just covering up. BORN IN THE U.S.A.! I was BORN IN THE U.S.A.!!! I was BORN IN THE U.S.A.!!!!” The vehicle veered through a cavern. He was hot on their tails, American flags flapping violently in the harsh wind. The chase emerged from the canyons and sped across the scorched landscape, leaving behind it a thick trail of dust, exhaust, and soot. His cruiser radio was blaring, “Born in the USA,” by Bruce Springsteen. “BORN IN THE U.S.—“ Suddenly, the vehicle was spinning out of control. “DAMN THE KANGAROOS! DAMN THE AUSTRALIANS! DAMN THE DAMN ALIENS!” General Jones’ lept from the cruiser as it smashed into a wall. He remained on the ground a moment, re-entering his body, which, besides maybe a bruise and minor cuts and scratches, emerged from the collision unscathed. He got up and dusted himself off as he took in the unforgiving post-war Australian prairie landscape. 7 A.C.D.C. (After Calendars Completely Destroyed) and he was still fighting the Great AustrAlien War for the U.S. It was 2024 when the war began. The Australians were still pissed about the Anglo-American alliance, and, along with the aggressive Galaxy 8 aliens that had first made contact with Australian space forces in 2021, they planned to take America and its allies out. They wanted to repopulate the world with AustrAliens: half-Aussie, half-alien humanoids without the meddling world police forces of the U.S. and its obnoxious friends.
A Text Triptych by Michael Ciszewski
with three stories (listed in alphabetical order):
Danny & Louise
Diary of a Child Hair Model
General Jones & The Fabulous Pantsuit
“Born down in a dead man’s town! The first kick I took was when I hit the ground. You end up like a dog that’s been beat too much, till you spend half your life just covering up. BORN IN THE U.S.A.! I was BORN IN THE U.S.A.!!! I was BORN IN THE U.S.A.!!!!”
The vehicle veered through a cavern. He was hot on their tails, American flags flapping violently in the harsh wind. The chase emerged from the canyons and sped across the scorched landscape, leaving behind it a thick trail of dust, exhaust, and soot. His cruiser radio was blaring, “Born in the USA,” by Bruce Springsteen.
“BORN IN THE U.S.—“
Suddenly, the vehicle was spinning out of control.
“DAMN THE KANGAROOS! DAMN THE AUSTRALIANS! DAMN THE DAMN ALIENS!”
General Jones’ lept from the cruiser as it smashed into a wall. He remained on the ground a moment, re-entering his body, which, besides maybe a bruise and minor cuts and scratches, emerged from the collision unscathed.
He got up and dusted himself off as he took in the unforgiving post-war Australian prairie landscape. 7 A.C.D.C. (After Calendars Completely Destroyed) and he was still fighting the Great AustrAlien War for the U.S.
It was 2024 when the war began. The Australians were still pissed about the Anglo-American alliance, and, along with the aggressive Galaxy 8 aliens that had first made contact with Australian space forces in 2021, they planned to take America and its allies out. They wanted to repopulate the world with AustrAliens: half-Aussie, half-alien humanoids without the meddling world police forces of the U.S. and its obnoxious friends.
Anonymous asked: do you have a best friend? what is he or she like? i sometimes wonder if ill have one myself.
I do have a best friend. I also have anywhere from a couple to a bunch of best friends that I love more than anything, that mean the world to me, that are going to all rule the world with me one day (all the while looking completely and utterly fabulous). I’d do anything for them. I really mean that.
They’re incredibly talented and good looking and I’m extraordinarily lucky to have them in my life. For example! On the male side, Steven and Patrick and Mike and Mike and Ben and Anthony are all nutso talented and exceedingly good looking. On the female side, Hillary and Jacqui and Rachel and Elissa and Lolo and Jessie are fierce as all hell and smarter than me. They make me a better person, they enhance my art (sometimes they are my art… hell, AVPA/T ‘11 did teach me everything I know about my art), and they give me the opportunity to be a good friend to them. I owe them so much for everything, and I’m very lucky to have them and to get to love them.
So sappy, I know, but you asked for it, Anon. I’m sure you will indeed have a best friend. Perhaps you do and you just don’t believe it yet.
Friends are the best.
Anonymous asked: what's the biggest mistake you made in your recent past? or are you ~mistake free~ because you seem pretty happy
The only reason I seem pretty happy (especially on the internet) is because, unfortunately, the older I get, the more skilled I become at deftly avoiding anything confrontational behind cutting and often self-deprecating (and nauseating) humor. Plus, it’s the internet. Best foot forward, you know?
No, I’m not ~mistake free~ (I like this, Anon; it’s like little eyelashes!)… I don’t necessarily regret much, but I do make shit tons of mistakes, of course! The biggest one I believe I made in my recent past was to doubt the strength of relationships I have and to doubt others’ belief in me. Thankfully, it ended well, but I was a little sick for about a whole day until I came to my senses and resolved it. It makes me a little crazy and it’s not rather becoming of me. Trust is an important thing to have and hold on to and I lost mine in a heady daze of over-complication that I manufactured in order to feed my more ~scandalous~ side. We all do it, I think—sensationalizing events and building things up into something they’re not all to just self-sabotage and I know now that it’s because I lost sight of what I truly believe and trust.
Anonymous asked: what's your biggest fear?
Failing myself and my potential. Plain and simple. End of story.
Things I Miss: Ghetto
Sometimes, I wish we could all just be a little more honest with each other. Other times, I know that it’s more fun the other way, but I feel guilty for it. And when it comes to the game that is balance, everyone in the world is an Olympic athlete. Whether or not you make it to medals is the fun part, and boy, does it suck finishing bronze after that much effort.
So, I was listening to On Point on NPR as I drove around tonight, as any young, vaguely educated but thoroughly elitist liberal 18 year old does, and the mopes on the show were discussing the current job market in the good ol’ U.S. of A. Now, to begin with, nothing could possibly be more depressing to said 18 year old than thoroughly hashing out the limiting of opportunities available to me and my generation coming down the pike. You ask, “wow, occasionally politically conscious 18 year old, how could this get any worse for you?” Well, I naturally have a pretentious, half-thought out answer. The panel of experts on unemployment on the radio (who were, in fact, unemployed) elaborated on how to prepare me and my generation for this coming dearth of jobs. Apparently, we need to fix education in this country. The problem is clear: too many youths are getting big expensive college educations in silly things like general education, journalism, the liberal arts, etc. Said the 32-year old unemployed journalist (who’s working for the Washington Post as an expert on unemployment—wait, huh?), “If I had the chance to do it all over again, I’d major in something wanted and useful like the computer sciences, math, so on and so forth.” Now, the thoroughly defeating thing here that struck me was not anything like, “crap, I’m majoring in the wrong thing and I will never get a job,” but rather, being a cocky, self-inflated 18-year old arts student, “why does no one—NO ONE—value the arts in any way shape or form?” Hell, am I biased, but I’m so very tired of people lamenting the lack of job opportunities in the arts, using it as an excuse to discourage children from following their dreams of being a ballet slam singer (that’s a ballerina who is also a slam poet-slash-singer). Those people with those opinions are the reason that “there are no jobs in the arts,” because, put way too simply, they don’t fucking believe. No one believes anymore. There are jobs in the arts. Go get them if you want. Don’t let it seem so hard just because the entire fucking country is wagging a finger at you telling you that it’s a tough life. Make your own opportunities. As artists—no, let’s go further—as “young people,” we’re supposed to be creative. There are no jobs in the arts because young people are told, and have been told for too long a time that it’s a tough life and there is no money and there is no hope, so on and so forth. Therefore, no one is creating jobs. No one is creating. No one is trying. No one is believing. Quit the fucking excuses. If you want to create, create. If you want to, as I was told in a college audition, “rent out a storefront with your best friend and do crazy shit,” make it happen. I am not going to sit around and try forcing myself to read Computer Science for Dummies and subsequently suffer through finding a job that will make me want to vomit red, white, and blue when I have shit to make. Because that’s when morale suffers and that’s when spirit dies—rather, national morale and American spirit. And that’s when belief dies.
Biased, Pretentious, and Proud 18 Year Old Artist Who Intends on Making it the Fuck Work.