Aja – How are you otherwise?
Agathe – Meh, pms. But it’ll pass. It’s getting better. I’m realizing that sometimes it’s better to just let it pass. Cause i get so utterly confused when i have pms
Aja – I am so crampy! As I type to you my stomach is cramping up. I know drinking black tea doesn’t help but you can’t take everything I love from me when I need it most!
Agathe – I’m trying scotch.
(Illustration by Jen B. Peters)
Before I forget, I wanted to share some photos of my annual drive to Alabama and back. This book accompanied me on my journey as it felt fitting as ever.
Believe it or not, you are not my first penpal. Mischa is, we found each other on the internet circa 1997 when we were both moody, grumpy teenagers prone to petty spats. Somehow our friendship survived and I would say it even grew and blossomed. I promised him detailed photos of my journey but sometimes when I get engrossed in the trip, the photos become secondary. But it’s not hard to illustrate the isolation my Gran lives in. There’s so much I have to say about the isolation, the abandoned constructions, the fatty food, the crazy rainstorms, the luminous clouds which fill the evening sky, and last but not least, the churches, but I think I’ll let my photo journal do the talking. I talk too much anyway.
Plz Advise is the podcast I listen to every week. I love it. I love it because it’s pretty damn hilarious. Sometimes I think Crissy and Kristina need to throw something at Molls when she uses really un PC terms (ex: Molls I love you but it’s “mentally disabled” now), but besides that I got nothing but love. I never miss an episode. I also really enjoy the way Molls and friends can casually slide into something as sensitive as rape, normalize it (because let’s be honest, it happens too damn much in our society and no one wants to talk about) and move on unscathed.
“I have had men be violent against me in my life. But more than that, but here’s the thing, I think that if you’ve gone to college in America … you’ve been date raped. And that’s kinda, I know it’s dark but I really do believe that. Like I just think … It’s like HPV at this point, it happens to a lot of people. And I also believe that a lot of people don’t realize. Like it took me like seven years to realize that like that one time was essentially not my choice.” – Molls McAleer
“I actually have a one time like that too. It was after college but I look back on that and I’m like ‘I did not give’ I still feel really weird about it like I didn’t give consent, I was way, way too drunk and yeah I kinda came to while we were having sex and I still feel super weird but I’m not angry at him but I feel like I should be and the whole thing is just a weird thing.” – Alison Rosen
Sometimes it does take a while before you realize you’ve been sexually assaulted and didn’t give consent. For me it was years. Maybe five, or six. But for real, we’ve got to start changing these statistics. Statistically one in four women will be raped on a college campus during the academic year. The time to stop this is now. The time to teach consent is now. The time to change this statistic for next generation is NOW.
I bought these shoes in London the great summer of 2003. There was a heatwave, which I just thought felt like normal Virginia summer and all my English friends thought felt like hell on earth, the wimps. (One of my friends is in Florida as I type. I’m worried he might die from the humidity if there was such a thing). During this time period when you walked into all the corner stores (off licenses), the chocolate bars in the front would be melted as air conditioning isn’t something that comes in abundance in the United Kingdom. One of the things I do love about the English is they’re not as big on working oneself to death as Americans are. On a really gorgeous summer day, the pubs are filled by 4pm as people find excuses to dip out of the office early and sit in the summer sun drinking beer. I’m not even much of a drinker, but I like that a great deal. I found myself with a lot of free time during that time period so I threw myself into getting to know every nook and cranny of London. At that time period Office used to have an outlet store on St. Martin’s Lane that was epic. Every week there was new merchandise and these shoes had been purchased there for (I think) £10, which was a good deal. These shoes represent beating the London streets with regularity, impromptu barbecues (the English love that shit) and rolling around in the grass of London Fields with my first boyfriend. They got walked up to the trash heap today as they are so busted up. But they’re steeped with memories.
I like the roller coasters! Especially those who have you go upside down. Which is weird, because I am terrified of them, and the thought have having no control what so ever, is kind of sickening to me. But at the same time, it gives me a weird thrill, and it is how I generally relate to things: Heading straight for what scares me the most.
I used to go on a lot of boat rides in terrible storms as a child, and I’d always get really seasick. One of these rides were particularly bad. We were in one of the smaller boats where you’re all crammed together beneath the deck. People were white with fear, and they were throwing up all around me. For the first time, I was not. Cause it dawned on me: How is this different from a roller coaster ride? Roller coasters are scary, yet I think they’re fun. So why not just close my eyes and imagine I’m at an amusement park instead?
So I did, and from that day on (until I got pregnant) I was never seasick again!
Roller coaster image here.