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2021-05-19 15:17:40 (UTC)

street cleaning

"Boyish" by Japanese Breakfast [Maria was singing this under her breath. She just finished reading this artist's autobiographical book, "Crying in H Mart." It made her cry a lot, I guess. Historically, I kind of hate Japanese Breakfast, but I do like this song, so meh.]

May 19, 2021 Wednesday 3:23 PM

Officially (as official as it can be without it actually having happened yet—in other words, who knows, I might die and then nothing will be official)—right, yeah. I'm moving to Beijing, lol. In about three months. And I move out of Providence on Saturday. And leave the continent on Monday and then return and then idle around for a few months. Maybe get a job in the interim? Write. Try to write, write, write. We'll see.

We went to Newport yesterday. Swam at the beach. I felt good, happy. Greg sculpted a large penis (with foreskin and veins). It was actually kind of good. We dug a hole that was as deep as Nadiya's knee. It felt like being a child :) sand got in EVERYTHING. The ocean tossed as around (except Maria, who does not like to swim for Reasons). I tried to pee in the water with some success (I am very bad at peeing in places I am not supposed to be; it's psychological. Requires a lot of conscious concentration. Honestly, even peeing in a toilet can be kind of difficult for me).

We listened to Taylor Swift on the way to the cliff walk, and pointed at the big houses in the breakers (or whatever it's called). Pretty sure we saw Taylor Swift's "Holiday House," but we're not sure. Nadiya peed in the ocean (again). We went to eat, which was unexpectedly difficult. We asked this one place what sort of vegetarian substitutes they had, since he said they could accommodate vegetarians. He basically laughed in our face so we went somewhere else, not very seafood related, which was disappointing—but oh well, there will be other opportunities for seafood.

My stomach hurt afterwards. I almost fell asleep to ABBA on the way home. I was happy I wasn't the one driving (we took Gregory's car). Oh. Also, at some point, Maria spotted these two nice upholstered chairs on the side of the road with a sign that said "free" (she's a chair lady, it's one of her pet interests. That, and she and Niharika just agreed to sign a lease for an unfurnished apartment). They were in good condition, so we put them in the back of Greg's van. Maria and Nadiya were so excited. I was reluctant to help, but I did anyways,after complaining, because I thought it would be more fun than sitting in the car and watching them struggle. And now I'm part of the memory instead of a bystander.

When we got back to Providence, we went to a bar for a drink. It's the first bar I've ever really gone to for the purpose of having a drink. There was no menu, the bartender had attitude, and overall I was too tired to really enjoy it. I got a gin and tonic that felt too expensive, and I kept thinking about how I could've easily had this at home. But I don't like how filling beer is and I was too annoyed and embarrassed to bother ordering something more complicated.

Nadiya and I walked to the corner store to get ice cream. It was nice. I felt sort of sad.


I saw Karina today for the first time in months. We sat outside in the sun and talked, updated each other on our lives. At the end of it, when I left, I started to cry a little. But it dried up on the walk home.

I can't really explain with accuracy the weird ache in my chest. Is it hollow or full? It feels—fuzzy, but not like static. Just as if the borders are uneven but not sharp, not entirely solid (a flash memory of Nadiya and I sticking our fingers in the back hole of Greg's baseball cap, where the soft fluff of his hair poked out. I gasped, it was the softest sensation, like fucking dipping my fingers into a fine cloud???)

(Also—Greg is moving to Canada. So I guess I'm not gonna be the only expat in the group).

Anyway, it's almost loneliness. Not quite. Grief? Grief. One of my most common emotions, I guess. It's that feeling of growing apart—of having grown apart. Of not knowing a person as well anymore, of not remember how to make them laugh so hard they cry. Her whole life is separate from mine, and mine from hers. And that's going to happen soon with all of my friends, which, you know. Hurts. How many of them will I lose? I already don't have a lot.


I wonder if DH and I will stay friends. I hope so. I really like him, but he's... so bad at answering messages. We talked about him in the car yesterday, because he sort of knows Greg and Nadiya. Greg said he was weird in a bad way, but I quickly realized that I super can't trust Greg's impressions of people, LOL. That was not how I understood DH, anyway. DH had said he wished he got to know Nadiya and Greg better, and I reported this. Nadiya was touched. Greg said he guessed he didn't know that much about him, or something like that, a half-thought concession, idk. A forgettable conversation (not that I have forgotten).

(My new friend Ash says she doesn't remember visually very well, but she remembers dialogue. I kind of wish I were more like that, but I'm a very visual person, whereas I sometimes have trouble processing sound.)

Anyway, Nadiya also put into perspective some stuff with DH. Someone asked me if it was a date, I can't remember who. I said, "I don't think so? It felt friendly, but I'm not sure, I wouldn't have minded either way."

Nadiya said, "Veronica, he literally took you to a church and played piano for you."

And Maria said, "And didn't he call you cute?"

Which, okay, is true. Nadiya said maybe he was interested but then sort of realized it wouldn't be possible, and that's why things were kind of confusing. Yeah—I dunno. I was kind of confused. Things felt friendly, but the piano did feel a little romantic. I didn't pay much attention to that though. It really didn't matter to me. I would've been very happy if it were romantic, but he was just fun to hang out with, which makes me ache again. Another missed opportunity.


Talking to Karina today, I started reflecting—again—about the time I lost to mental illness. And the sort of insecurity I feel in my happiness (although that's quickly improving; I'm still—afraid, long-term, of what my emotional state will look like when faced with more intense situations, like being an expatriot and all. But in this current moment, with this stimuli, I am feeling more confident in my stability). I just wanted to cry. (Call everything in the heart grief). More sadness for myself (self-pity, I guess, but that feels like another way of putting myself down).

I said I wanted to go back to therapy, now that I had figured some stuff out. Which is true. I've been thinking about going to therapy this summer.

But man, I still feel so sad about all that time lost. Is this regret? In some capacity, yes, right? But in another, I don't actually feel as if I could've done anything differently. It's more like—I just wish it hadn't happened that way. But that gets into dangerous territory. I get all existential. Because obviously, the way it happened is the only way it *could've* happened. And for it to have been different, I would've had to be different.


Sorry, just sort of wanted to process that sadness a bit. They're doing street cleaning in Providence. The truck drove by last night at midnight. I sort of liked the noise if it.

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