“I think about you a lot, and I worry about you getting home safely on your bike,” he drawled. He didn’t want to “bother” me though, by texting too much, he said.

The slow realization that he was buttering me up with cloying lines did not dawn on me till much later the next afternoon, but at the moment, the champagne I’d brought over in my backpack was working its magic and surrendering me to a sloppy, sweaty, and short-lived tryst with a bearded boy who lived with his mother.

 

The idea of a romance of any sort with this specimen had never before dawned on me, as I’m not of the bearded/Texas twang-loving persuasion, but I am a daughter of the universe, and when champagne/my heart speaks, I tell it, “Okay. I’ll not be so uptight, alright.”

 

Really, I just enjoyed his company, because he didn’t small talk me. It’s one of the many banes of being the perpetual new girl. Small talk.

 

But he told me about his shoe collection, and his ex-girlfriend, and Sagittarius things. We talked about making things and doing projects together. I wrote down so many notes—pages of ideas we discussed over coffee and dreams.

We rode bikes. I rode fast, and I could keep up. I felt like the wind. I howled at the moon, and I accepted offerings of Lone Star and Tecate, and let him lead me across the dance floor, sweaty, glistening, shirtless (him). It was my first time two-steppin’.

 

His mom was an intellectual hippie, and I enjoyed talking to her in the brief time that we were acquainted. She said, “Be careful with the boys around here. You’re a sweet girl,” and I said that I would be, and I knew that she knew. Because I got a feeling that we were a lot alike, and I had a lot of breaking and learning to do all on my own, before I could get to be that wise, knowing woman like her.

 

I thought we would do projects together or ride bikes again, or get together and talk. But we didn’t. I forgot one of my favorite bracelets at his place, and I didn’t ask for it back.

I was walking down 6th Street one night and crying (I don’t remember why. But in Austin, I was often crying), and I caught a glimpse of him in a goofy vest, clowning around outside a trashy looking bar. And I was actually pretty glad we stopped hanging out. I was glad we were no longer friends.  

 

psychedelicway:

1968

This is just very pretty. I’m writing a just for fun (chapbook maybe?) project maybe called Texas Tall Tales: A Georgia Peach Goes West. Except that it has several Germany flashbacks in it too, so we’ll see. Anyway, there’s a story in the Texas chapters that reminds me of this photo. Fairy airy feelings.

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a subculture: we are the forgotten journalists

This is the life of the left behind journalists (though don’t pigeon hole us by saying we haven’t capitalized on our other skills— we also taught ourselves copywriting, branding, content strategy, editing. copyediting, social media, customer support, web development, photography, and a myriad of other marketable communications skills. We are by no means purists. We are hungry, we are willing, and we are lethal). 

There is a small subculture that exists amongst us. We are brought together through our misery, through our shared ambition, and ruthless desire to simply make a living wage doing what we were trained, schooled, (and if I daresay, were born) to do. We are the ones who took all AP and Honors courses in high school, except for STEM.

We ruthlessly dedicated ourselves to some sport or lofty endeavor like student government. Whatever it was, our peers did it “for fun,” but we never had a way of processing what that meant. We did it to win. We did it because we were hungry for victory, and lacing up cross country spikes and lining up half-naked, huddled against hundreds of other skeletal overachievers on a Saturday morning was the closest thing we had to going to battle. Blood hungry and deranged, we hid our ambitious sociopathy behind test score mania and obsessively jotting down mile times and k splits during math class.

We did not party. We weren’t even invited to party. We were on newspaper staff because we’d been waiting to be on newspaper staff since we were seven, and we were desperate for hands on experience. We came prepared for pitching sessions, and we were in our element roaming the halls with our cameras and notepads, excused with a hall pass to interview and practice journalism

College was four years of the same gruel. We barely partied, and we were wholly dedicated to academia and sport, Society of Professional Journalists, PRSSA, or whatever obsessive secondary figure was in our lives. We arose at 5 or 6 a.m. daily to practice our sport, and poured ourselves into our classes, always worried that we’d come up short. But four years of worry and dedication got us silly little titles like “magna cum laude” at graduation, and won us useless awards that no one would ever care about, save our mums, who would have been proud regardless. 

We graduated, and we continued to hustle. We dedicated ourselves to our craft with fervor. We did all the things we were supposed to do. We are master networkers. We are adaptable. We are easy to get along with. We always deliver on deadline. We love receiving constructive criticism. We ache to please our editors, peers, and readers, and if we can’t please, we are even more satisfied to educate, enlighten, entertain, or at least make some person out there feel a little less alone in this heartbreaking journey we’ve christened “life.”

In the midst of a harrowing recession, we’ve watched our peers get staff positions. We’ve experienced true happiness for those who go on to take jobs at agencies and startups. We try not to bristle when our full-time, salary earning friends say that they’ve been there and totally understand the hustle, keep that chin up, our ship will come too! ~*Hearts & stars*~, #girlboss, just lean in a little harder!!! We babysit, dogsit, housesit, do anything but sit, till the weekend, when we sit in coffee shops maniacally typing to meet all of our deadlines, and applying for full-time work.

We do not sleep. We barely eat. We smile sweetly and vomit inside when people see us and say, “Hey, little adventurer! It looks like you’re having such a blast on Instagram. You’ve just been all over the place livin’ it up, huh?” We try to keep our bubbling up sermons on nepotism and wage wars and unpaid internships at bay. We know we still smell like sandwiches or butter, or whatever food service job we have worked for hours before forcing ourselves out to act human and “normal.” We know they don’t get it and are just trying to make polite conversation. So we lie. We answer their questions with enthusiasm and say, “Yeah! It’s so great. I’ve just been freelancing. Yeah, I’m still writing,” as if journalism and its related fields are the same as basket weaving and interpretive dance. 

Sometimes we collapse on the ground, crying and heaving after a week of pure hustle and strain between all of the jobs that we work, and we weep into our pizza or tacos, giving ourselves one night of reprieve, to watch Tim and Eric, Pretty Little Liars, or some other mindless massage that puts the pain on hold for 45 minutes or so. We wake up on Saturday and say, “It’s a great day to get some work done!” And we run off to a wifi connection, and hop to it. We don’t have salaries or offices or fancy titles. So we hustle harder. And one day, we will win. 

(Image is of journalist Lucy Morgan werrrrrkin’ it)

Quote IconJuly always felt like, you know—summer hits and you fall in love and you fall out of love through all these crazy things. And then the Fall comes and September shows up and everything gets swept under the rug, and it’s as if nothing ever happened. And any real love that you had had or any real happiness or real sadness seems sort of naive.
Peter Dreimanis of July Talk in an interview with JUNOTV