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"All We Ever Wanted was Everything" by Bauhaus
All we ever wanted was everything
All we ever got was cold
Get up, eat jelly, sandwich bars and barbed wire
And squash every week into a day
February 11, 2018 Sunday 3:05 PM [Happy would-be 19th birthday, Elise!]
I started work yesterday. From 7 PM to 10:45, I run the snack bar in the science library, which basically consists of me counting the money at the beginning of the shift, spending a couple hours swiping peoples' cards for food, and shuffling around making sure everything in the cart (as it is called) looks nice. And then I close it up at 10, run the dishwasher, clean the counters, remove expired goods and restock and take out the baked goods. And I "cash out" which means I count the money again and take it out of the register to put it in the safe. The hardest part, I think, is probably the cashing out, which just requires a lot of steps that I am terrified I will break. It is also physically difficult to lock the gates to the cart, because they are just so heavy and uncooperative.
After I headed back in the rain to my dorm at 11:15 (the girl who trained me doesn't like wasting food so we went around the library giving out the baked goods and yogurts we would have to throw away. People were happy to get food, so I think I might do this at my next shift too)... Um. yeah. Anyway, I got back to my dorm a quarter past eleven and Moby asked me to hang out. Well, he skirted around and then asked, and I almost wished he had asked earlier because I ended up not being able to go over. I saw Karina sitting in the hallway and she called out my name and I could tell she had been crying so I did that sort of half-run over to her.
Her grandpa had a heart attack and might die so she was looking at plane tickets back to Chicago. And I spent like maybe an hour with her figuring this out in the hallway, checking prices from Logan and PVD, as well as the price of a Lyft versus a Peter Pan bus versus the MBTA. She left really early this morning to get the 9:30 flight to Chicago, where she lives, and I hung around as she packed and did what I could, like fetching her water and letting her borrow some of my socks since hers were in the laundry. She said, "I'll give them back," but I already know she will, because she's Karina and Karina is always on top of things. After she had stopped crying, she went into what she called "work mode" and listed everything she needed and put away her toiletries, checking their containers for fluid ounces, and she went through her hangers and made a note to remind her of the work she needed to do while in Chicago and to e-mail professors. And that was weirdly the saddest thing about this whole thing, is the logistics of an emergency—all the research and phone calls and text communications that go into a plane ticket home, the struggle of packing a carryon and bringing your work with you because it's not like life stops just because a heartbeat does, you know?
I, terribly, just kind of wanted to hang out with Moby the whole time. I was tired and I wanted the warmth of his body. I feel kind of bad about wanting that. I hung around Karina anyway and did whatever I could to help, but I don't know if that makes up for the thoughts. Whatever, doesn't matter, because she will never know. I will never tell her. So hopefully my actions were enough to convince her I wanted to be there for her. I mean, I wanted to want to be there for her. I love Karina sooo much. But death is just so boring sometimes. God, that's insensitive. But I mean—lots of the pain happens in silence and so I was just sitting there for a while not knowing what to do.
Her roommate came back high and offered us mozzarella sticks and Karina started crying again, saying, "I love mozzarella sticks," and I suddenly felt very desperate to please her so I said, "I have two meal credits I can go get you mozzarella sticks from Jo's," and she nodded pitifully and I pretty much ran all the way there although I didn't know why I was in such a hurry. I thought about asking Moby to accompany me to Jo's, but I didn't want to have to talk about Karina's emergency (Moby knew something was wrong but didn't know the details) and I didn't want to distract my thoughts from her and I figured he'd slow me down. Thaaat, and I knew he had work in the morning and I have already been the reason for his exhaustion a few times before. He needed the sleep. So I went alone.
I got a double-order of mozzarella sticks and an order of fries. At the cash register, I only paid with one meal credit because the person assumed I had a single order of mozzarella sticks. I did not correct him, because I thought it was bullshit that a single order is only five mozzarella sticks. I do feel a bit bad. But also, I think it was worth it.
Back in Karina's room, her roommate made popcorn and we ate our junky food together. The roommate also brought out three buckets of ice cream—vanilla, mint chocolate chip, and cookie dough. She said the mint chocolate chip was kind of sketch because it wasn't green, it was white. "If you're gonna artificially flavor my ice cream, might as well artificially color it too," she said in intoxicated drawl. She'd had half an edible, apparently. We sat in a triangle around the food and assorted packages of foreign ramen that the roommate (I should give her a name sometime) had ordered online. We ended up talking boys for a bit for some reason, and we talked a little about how I felt about Moby. I told Karina that Moby had kissed me the night before, while we were both drunk in his room cuddling. And I wasn't sure how I felt about that kiss. It made me feel kind of confused and gross. It was just lips. That's all. Sort of wet, but not bad. Still, I felt a strange aversion, which is confusing because I think about kissing Moby all the time. And it made me wonder if I really like him the way I thought I did earlier this week.
Moby and I talked about it and everything, and in the end he said he wouldn't try to kiss me again unless I said it was okay because he didn't want to make me feel gross. I cried a bit, because I always cry a bit when we have talks. I am just always mourning some intangible loss. Lancelot would say it's because I never really got the chance to express my emotions when I was home or something like that. We've talked a lot about my family, and I've come to find that I have a lot of stored up anger towards them because I feel like—I feel like I was really sick in middle school and they knew what was going on but they didn't do anything. They couldn't handle it! They couldn't comfort or protect me, they could only get angry and beg me not to do this to myself! But I am trying not to be angry, because I love them and they are wonderful parents. I haven't talked to them since I was home, really, though. And then I am also angry because of Adrian, although that is lessening with the relief of him no longer being in my life.
And I am angry because of the unresolved matter of Stephanie touching me when I was little, and my confusion at the event. I have all these questions: why, why, why? Why did she do it? Why did she lie? Does that mean everything she did for me afterwards was somehow connected to that childhood event? Was she trying to keep my quiet? Or did she love me, in her own confusing way? Do I forgive her? How can I forgive her if she won't even admit it happened? Why aren't my parents more concerned for me, now they know that this happened? Why do they assume I am okay? Are they afraid of me being Not Okay? Why didn't Caroline tell me the truth? Why didn't she warn me about Stephanie????? And did Stephanie only do this to me once? Or did it happen more than once, and then I just don't remember? I don't think she did it multiple times. I don't know why I would bother forgetting that. I am just confused. Why didn't she do it to me more than once then? Does that mean that makes this a lesser event in my life? Should it not have affected me deeply? DID it affect me deeply? Or did it just exacerbate an anxiety about vulnerability that already existed?
SO. MANY. QUESTIONS. And so I cry because I am mourning the fact that I will likely never answer any of them. And Moby is okay with my crying for some reason, which is shaming but comforting at once. And I mourn that I may not like him the way he likes me, because god that would be so convenient but I am not the type to be convenient and if I liked him that way wouldn't I always find him attractive and what is this supposed to feel like? Why doesn't it feel good? I mean, it does sometimes, but then I am suddenly wrapped up from the inside out with this layer of removal from the situation and it looks like Nothing, it feels like Nothing, just two human bodies wrapped up in one another with all the emotion stripped from the surface and the Nothing devolves into a mixture of alienation and nausea and all I can think about is the smell of mouth and the feel of skin and how it is neither pleasant nor unpleasant and this is—heartbreaking. When I go from feeling good, and present, into feeling nothing, feeling like I have to go back to my room and curl up in my bed with my mind in a comedy a different body of knowledge with a brighter tinge to the world, which is what I like, is what I aspire to have but can so far never reach.
Karina says I am like her when it comes to love. And we don't say it, but we think it's because of what has happened to us when we were young. But at the same time, I feel like an imposter, a lesser human. Karina is in control, or at least looks it, despite having been touched threee tiiiiimes by three different people in her childhood. How is she getting through and I can't? It's like everything wrong in my life is also wrong in hers but worse, but she has elevated herself and I don't know where I am relative to my situation but I don't feel very removed. In fact, I am dragged to it, like there's glass separating me and events, but between it is a tightening rope and so I'm squashed up against a window looking at it but not quite feeling it.
This is all okay.
Karina is in Chicago now. I hope she is okay. I am sorry I can't understand what she going through, and I am sorry she will have a bit of a hard time expressing her pain afterwards, but I hope she knows I will always be there when she needs me even when I want to be somewhere else because—I don't know, she matters.
All of you will see her out in the world one day, and you will cry because she is doing everything we wanted someone to do for us.