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FUN A DAY 2019 #26: Jessie

Before we met in person, she’d warned me that she was “a ridiculous bing bong clown person” (she really said, or typed that, it’s a direct quote), like she was worried that she was too loud, too goo more...

Before we met in person, she’d warned me that she was “a ridiculous bing bong clown person” (she really said, or typed that, it’s a direct quote), like she was worried that she was too loud, too goofy, too enthusiastic, ‘too much’ in some way. She said she’d have to tone herself down somehow, but I truly hated the idea of it, so I told her that I was sure that she would be just fine, that no toning down would be necessary, and I meant it. We’d been talking for a little over a year, after becoming internet friends through a mutual friend that we’d both in known in physical, non-internet life, about the absurdity of the ‘punk’ ‘scene’ (or, whatever…), the frustrations that came with navigating life as a lesbian both in mainstream and subcultural spaces, and the measures that we’d taken to get better at setting boundaries, holding ourselves and our loved ones accountable, and taking care of ourselves. She talked frequently about growth, in a way that never felt preachy, it was clear that she was truly committed to simply trying to do better, and cope with things that had happened to her when she was younger. I admired her. She was strong, one of the braver people I’ve met, and an actual emotional grown up. She was exactly the kind of friend I wanted, and I felt lucky and relieved to have finally found someone like her.
I was caught slightly off guard when she suddenly seemed worried of what I’d think of her when I met her, she had never seemed self-conscious or insecure before. We’d covered some painful and difficult subjects during our conversations, but we mostly told each other funny and messed up misspent youth stories, about our worst friend break ups, favorite bands, memorable exes, and other errors in judgment. At some point, she started sending me ~ootd~ pics, of her greatest and gayest outfits. I didn’t reciprocate, because I’m terrible at taking selfies, and never wore anything worth photographing, but I was happy to compliment her, and to hear about her accessories (we talked a lot about her growing collection of bolo ties), and the various outings on which she wore these thoughtfully curated looks. I went back and looked through the pictures she’d sent me, and I reread our conversations with increasing regularity. It took about a month, but when I went back to rewatch a video she’d sent me, of her flossing to her favorite band, I started to wonder what all of this meant. There was nothing overtly sexual or even romantic about our conversations, but there was something intimate about they way we would vent and joke back and forth, and how easy it was, and the way we would get caught up in our late night texting sessions. Or was that just me, getting ‘caught up’ in it? I didn’t know, and there was no graceful way to ask. I also didn’t feel like it had to mean anything or be going anywhere in particular for it to be worthwhile. The ambiguity was easy to live with, as long as there were 500 miles between us.
But then she visited, and it seemed to change things, no matter what I felt or wanted. She didn’t visit me, not exactly, she visited the city where I happen to live. She visited and stayed with her one other friend in the city, who’d recently moved here, and she spent a good amount of her long weekend here sight-seeing and hanging out by herself. I understood all of this, knew that that was how it would go before she arrived.
But when I actually finally met her, saw her in real life, and she looked up at me, and recognized me somehow -- it occurred to me that she could have found me on or through our mutual friend’s social media, but really, she probably just saw how I was looking at her, as I walked toward her — all I could think was, “Oh, I’m in trouble now….” Of course I couldn’t say that to her, and I didn’t think I ever would; she knew from trouble, like life-threatening trouble, because she’d been in plenty of it, in a way that I hadn’t. I didn’t think she would love being called or associated with trouble, even if I was almost certain that she’d know that what I meant was that I was in trouble because suddenly, I knew that I couldn’t live with our relationship’s ambiguity anymore.
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8 tracks
  • 25min
  • 52
  • One year ago