Mess is Mine

Discretely trying to hide rosy cheeks, holding a bottle of white wine whilst typing out a message, I listened to the girl behind me succumbing to momentary sadness. She couldn’t stop thinking about the boy who wouldn’t give her a straight answer. I can say that I’ve experienced that one too many times. I’d wash away the inconsistency with cheap rum, and cheap heels. Cheap heels kill your feet, but you’ll only feel that in the morning (that goes for the rum as well). Today, you’re grateful.

Recently everything in my life has moved so quickly, hence a lack of posts. I bought $10 faux-leather sneakers before a job interview, because my shoes screamed “salt stains and 10 minutes to leave the house.” I entered into my attempt of the real world, and took my two year old cheetah coat with me, because it’s sort of a visual resume (or at least that’s what I tell myself). I took a 45 minute subway ride, and for someone that can barely be underground for one stop, I spent majority of it distracted and writing this.

They say choose someone whose heart is bigger than yours. I say it’s impossible. And I’m so silent. Here, there, anywhere because my mind is spinning a wheel of things I want to say but it doesn’t stop spinning or land on any answer. But to sit in silence is the loudest noise I could make. It’s a sign of proud defeat. Someone has finally shut me up. And I can take as many Buzzfeed quizzes as I’d like about whether his choice in Pizza toppings means we’re compatible enough to make this work, but none of that means anything.

Because the more I took care of myself, the better I attracted. That I should have taken blue ink, and written about myself and what I needed to work on. This is the journey, and the ride I was supposed to be on. And when I ran listening to Lorde’s Green Light, I was late to brunch and I realized that I can’t run, I’m not cut out for cardio but I’m heading towards that better version of myself at lightening speed. I don’t need to run from anything anymore because the more my cheeks hurt from sincere happiness, the more appreciative I am and grateful for many moments. 97 of them here, to be exact. 98 now.

And they ask why I took time to myself, and it’s because the sound of slammed Uber doors became as familiar as my alarm clock. To which I dreaded both. Instead, there’s someone opening the door for me now, and willingly I broke all my rules. Keep it hidden. So you can peacefully write. No face to a sentence. Yeah, that lasted briefly. Sorry, but the more I restrict myself the more I rebel. And!!!!!! I highly doubt anyone cares!!! Can’t hide behind this blog forever. (More on that to come)

I’m sitting cross legged, in matching socks (for once) typing this up from my palm sized Moleskine listening to John Mayer’s guitars. I get to wear my spring flood pants again, and I’m days away from finishing my undergraduate career. Then you’ll all get to see a physical form of what I wrote two years ago, and HOPEFULLY YOU’RE ALL FANS OF IT.

I forgot how much I missed the way my house has this distinct smell when the weather gets warmer. How much I love when the sun momentarily stops the rain, and everyone’s mood suddenly shifts to the tune of a Vance Joy song. This happened as I was walking over to a cinema I write about, but have never stepped into. There’s this wondrous lack of restriction, and everything I’ve learned on this journey has built potential not just for myself, but for others. I can’t tell you how many people have complimented me on my rosy/glowy complexion but there are many things to thank for that, because there’s so much good to come and a lot of it has found a place, or a saw a spark where there wasn’t a flame (Dua Lipa wrote that last sentence). Click.

Daniella

A Particular Tenderness

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Setting: a week after this post was originally written in a dimly lit cafe
“I have never written about him on my blog because this came way before I even thought of publishing.The Instagram poetry too.”
“Okay because that’s probably what got you in trouble”
“I have 96 posts published on this website, there’s no way I’m going to find anything.”

* * *

Sunday 10:00am: I found the post. So a year ago on this exact date, or around this time I published a post with the title of the play I wrote in High School. This post being the only thing said about this subject on my blog. In an Interview once, I was asked how many individuals I’ve written about, and I can’t believe I missed this one. Here’s the link (click me) Frankly this is incredibly long, and I don’t want to lose you halfway so I must make this enticing. It’s barely current, we’re going back at least a decade. I also wrote this last weekend, which is mad considering how much has changed in that time. I’m so grateful. I know my place. But I rarely ever sit still.

* * *

It started back when crooked teeth, and wire framed glasses were what you considered trendy at 11. Then you’re 13, and you suddenly miss him. So you call him, pretending you meant to call someone else sans any shame. He picks up. You ask for Kaitlin. He says you have the wrong number. You knew that already. So you catch up. You tell him you joined the school choir. He tells you he’s dating the hottest girl in his class. You tell him the braces are working, but headgear feels like you’re in the Saw movies. You laugh. He hopes you stay in touch. You don’t speak for 3 years.

You hear he’s not doing well at 16. He left school, and no one knows where he is now. He got his heartbroken in the worst way. You get his number from a friend, you say hello. So it begins. You make plans to meet up, they all fall through. Until you bump into each other unexpectedly. You both managed to figure it out, and you wanted to fix what was broken. Which took grueling nights. Using every heartbeat as a metronome to get them creating, but also as a measure of time.

You lived in concert halls. It was about the guitars. The drums. The lights. The set up. The stage equipment. How long it must have taken to set that all up. How he wanted to do that. You said he could. He did. He tells you it’s going to be your year. It was. You call him because you were asked to write a play. He jokes around saying, “you better write about me.” That line always gets writers. Doesn’t it?

He doesn’t want to see you with anyone else, he says as he tells you about the girl he met in the bathroom at a house party. The countless nights you’ve sat there in silence, as he tells you about the endeavours you would only experience when you were older, and less golden. You’re applying for Universities. He’s unsure about finishing High School. You tell him you’re dating someone. Everything goes silent.

“He wrote a song about me”
“Focus on applying to film school”

You introduce the play to a room full of people. He looks nervous. He gives you a standing ovation. You mouth that you’re sorry. He comes Prom dress shopping with you. He wants to go to a prom. So you invite him to yours. He’s ecstatic. He says it would be weird. You can’t be friends for a bit after that.

You’re 18. He shows up to your birthday party with a bottle of wine hoping to make peace. You warn him that if you stop caring for him the way that you do, no one else will know how to. He’s aware of the nights you were up until 3 am helping him with his homework, but it’s not about that. You’re growing apart. September arrives and you don’t have the time to be the girl in the photo. You don’t know where she went.

It’s November 1st, and you’re sitting on concrete, talking about the future. He said he’s sorry for not realizing it sooner. You told him he was too late, that you’re feeling like you’re 16 again, and you can’t go back to purple elastic bands. The bottle of bombay gin gets passed between the both of you. You decide to take a break from one another after that.

It doesn’t last. You remain friends. Phone calls. Facetimes. He doesn’t like the new boy that’s caught your eye. He says the boy is a lot like him. You tell him that’s impossible because the feelings are getting reciprocated. The golden light is beginning to fade.

September comes. A year goes by. You’re in the back of a store on Spadina. He’s showing you what he’s creating. You listen for hours.

“Why did I feel like you were gonna get that fire back in your eyes”
“It was never put out.”

Another year passes. You’re singing Ultralight Beam prancing along King Street with some friends. You see a familiar face unaware that’s he’s along side him. Must be the wine. So he calls after you. You know the voice.

“Do you want to have drinks together? Now?”
“I’m off at 1am”
“cool!! I’ll pin my location. You better show up.”

He shows. The excitement continues. You catch up. He asks about the boy. You give him a summary while his hands ball into fists. You reassure him that you’re still learning, it was quite the adventure, and he was more than what you asked for. He tells you he doesn’t know where his emotions are. You don’t break eye contact. You listen. He knows he should be home. He shouldn’t be out. You let him go. Unaware that the next day, in the span of a 2 minute phone call, you would have to say goodbye again. Cause someone heard Kill Bill sirens when they heard your name. Or read it.

You learn that it comes with adulthood. So you laugh at the videos of them in their basement bedroom, singing to you instead of discussing the pros of going to an alternative school. You only have one method of contacting them, and you don’t want to disrupt where they are. You also don’t know who’s on the other line. You worry because you don’t want them to be left in worse shape than you found them at 16.

* * *

A year later you’re seated on steps that feel below zero, and the moment you hear the tone of their voice you lose all momentum of where you are. Your friend watches you try and catch your own breath but the words “why didn’t you ever try to come back” and “not me, out of all people not me.” This time it wasn’t by chance.

“Get ready, I’m calling you a cab.”
“You’re not serious”
“I’m dead serious. You have 2 minutes.”

Because of the immediate notion of the fact that there’s no such thing as a platonic boy/girl friendship, they’ll take away your best friend of 12 years because you walked into the wrong intersection at the right time on a Friday night. Do you hear that? It’s God’s laughter, that was all his plan. So take it up with him. – from “There’s No Such Thing As Bad Timing” Written by me, last year. February 20th.

You see when you were 17 everyone could walk over you, they could tell you to jump, and instead of how high you’d ask them if the jump was good enough. But now you’re 21, and when he watches you speak with a stern voice, and only break in certain moments, he knows that you no longer apologize for what you can’t control.

“What happened to you”
“I could ask you the same thing”

After that night you felt as though you slept enough for a full year when you barely got any shut-eye. You can’t show him on Camera, not because he’s still shy, but because you’re protecting him. And you will always protect him. Because you’ve been through it all. Don’t forget that. And for those reading this, confused, or immersing themselves into this piece I ask of you to let the most beautiful of minds create.

and if you’re looking for someone to pick a fight about, it ain’t me babe.
Daniella

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September. The girl in the photo.

In Peppermint Oil We Trust

I’ve started obsessing over another song, but unlike the Emeli Sande song this one is what you listen to when you’re dancing in your Calvins, instead of running for the bus. This is the anthem for January/February. I’m talking about Dua Lipa’s Blow Your Mind (MWAH).

The first two lines in the chorus are:
“If you don’t like the way I talk then why am I on your mind?
If you don’t like the way I rock then finish your glass of wine.”

and just those two lines, have tattooed themselves onto my skin*

*Not literally, I know my parents are reading this, I still have my only Kensington Market adventure “So it Goes.”

Today, I stood in front of the same mirror I had my first University panic-attack in front of. 4 years later, and I was coming down from my Latte, and setting an alarm to remind me to buy bananas on the way home. Something I’ve forgotten to do for almost a week now. For some reason that was the first thing I thought of, instead of “did you leave your scarf in the stall.”

I’ve been mad at myself for the last couple of weeks, because I have two completed projects still sitting on my bookshelf, and I have a copious amount of opportunities to start creating. Why aren’t I doing so? Because I had a writer’s crisis. That sounded dramatic whether I liked it or not.

What do I even have to say? I was here to offer all of my romantic wisdom, and all of the heartbreak that comes with the text messages we aren’t supposed to respond to! But I haven’t had to deal with anything remotely amorous since the Summer. Not because I downloaded Tinder for 5 minutes, and gave up because I was swiping mostly for dogs, but because I was too lazy to be enchanted. Actually, the better word to use is tired. Once I started writing essays, instead of over-caffeinated poetry, I entered the “crisis” where I sat back, and said “What am I going to write about now?”

Answer: WHATEVER I PLEASE.

If you actually go back and read this blog from the start, (The start being almost 3 years ago) (We turn 3 on February 9th!!!) you meet different versions of myself, but the one thing that stayed consistent was my voice.

I got into a funk this weekend, and napped majority of it while watching Grey’s Anatomy, and I was upset with myself for being unproductive. I told myself it was “self care” but it was far from that. So it resulted in a Sunday evening of self loathing, until my sister doused me in Peppermint Oil, told me to sit beside her and catch up on her vlogs. I was in and out of sleep, but the woman in this video said that she would speak things into existence, and by doing so they’d happen.

So. Here’s a couple of things I wrote down today, and as I type them I’m saying them aloud:

Just because your window faces a brick wall, doesn’t mean you have to.

Spending an entire weekend napping on a couch isn’t self care.

Stop apologizing for wanting to be on your phone.

If people are ahead of you in life, refrain from envy. Start walking.

Adulthood means taking care of you FOR YOU. So stop beating yourself up for forgetting to buy bananas for the 4th day in a row.

Carry granola bars in your bag.

Finally,

Just because you’ve hit a blank space writing about modern romance, doesn’t mean you have to stop being a writer.

So I’m going to go tackle the laundry I’ve neglected.
You think waiting for a text back is agonizing, try waiting for the dryer to stop.

With love, and freshly ripe bananas
Daniella

Twenty Sixteen

This year took a lot out of me. I got off a plane in January and gasped for air. Turbulence I tell ya.

Let’s think back to February, being in the back of an Uber, eating pizza, listening to Robyn’s Dancing On My Own, and how pure that was.

That was healing. That Robyn song was also foreshadowing.

March was a pair of scissors to a handful of hair restrained by the grip of someone’s hand, and a “what did I just do” came 48 hours later when I couldn’t gather all of the hair into a simple ponytail. A new coping mechanism must be sought out. They also tell you that things grow in April, they didn’t mean an impulsive bob.

Then the same Robyn song came on at the end of May, in the Drake Hotel. I was supposed to be somewhere else that night. In an audience listening to songs written about other women, you know the tune. Isn’t that your favourite part of a show, when the audience sings your lyrics back to you? #Communication #Am #I #Right

It came on as I was out of the bar, and I was more concerned about being 21 and running away to Europe for 6 weeks because those cab moments are temporary. So I ran as fast as I could in June, and July. I immersed my whole self in solitude, and let salt water into my lungs.

August was slip dresses and taking the flower petal from behind your ear and setting it down on your night table. I watched the time ferociously in August, God how bad did we want time to stop.

But we had to move forward in September, October, and November and we could not stop moving because once you stop you think, and these thoughts pick away at soft voices.

I said this two years ago but what I want for Christmas isn’t a tangible thing this year. I wanted the generic iPhone ringtone to echo in my pocket, to hear the husky voice at the other end of the line, letting me know that he didn’t mean to change with the seasons. That’s what we want. But yeah, that’s what we can’t get.

I want to stop editing the things people say to me so that they sound better. I need to learn that the gentleness people show you will hold the door open for them as they walk out without a word. They didn’t want to wake you they said. You haven’t slept soundly since September you respond.

I tried to stop picking at it. I got used to a routine. But admiring someone’s mannerisms like poetry, and then walking into empty rooms filled with individuals became the new norm. So did silence. We tried to speak, but we were put on hold. Or is that the dial tone?

Regardless we are here, December is almost over and we’re running out of air.

Our lungs are too heavy that we look even more tired with every step we take. But we keep walking because our souls hoped to meet halfway. They’ll be here soon. Just one more minute.

Eventually you’ll know why all of this had to happen.

Eventually you stop reaching your hand out for others to join you on a dance floor.

Eventually you’ll change with the Seasons, with the year, with the 24 hours we’re given everyday.

Eventually your soft voice will change into an unfamiliar one, and they’ll have to get to used to the way you say their name. With a little less hope, and a little more of a lesson.

Wishing you Godspeed,
Daniella

That Emeli Sande Song I Love So Much

September
I told myself that if I was going to continue sealing envelopes, I better start sending them. I had this Password Protected blog post up for awhile. It was/is meant for one person, and I sent it before starting my Saturday night a few weeks back.

It’s probably my best piece of writing. Regardless of how much my soul was shaking in the moments that I was writing it, I wanted to protect the subject, they became my favourite song. But I became a different version of myself that wanted to stray away from my own emotions. That post became the last thing I wrote.

It hit me that I was already in my 4th year, and I chose to sit in a familiar classroom on the right side, glancing to the left once in awhile to get a certain kind of view. When I sat there I thought about how the “they once were just a glance upon the room” idea became what I’m probably going to remember most about University.

October
This woman walked through the pouring rain, holding an umbrella covered in sunflowers. I found that notion quite ironic. I walked through the rain, umbrella-less, letting my hair uncurl and I thought about what someone had said to me earlier, the sentence was echoing over the sound of the rain hitting the pavement. “Are you gonna blog about it?” Because it was a pun to them, a harmless one of course, but it reminded me that for awhile I hadn’t been writing. I would write everything, and anything, and I stopped.

Believe me, I tried. I played with the tangled lights on my headboard hoping some sort of prose would come out, but I refused to turn them on. I hoped dying my hair dark brown, would metaphorically water whatever growth I was trying to achieve, but nothing. Something else I also picked up on, was how individuals give you attention when they’re not receiving it on their end, the same individuals who refuse to pay attention to the bright red Exit sign flashing right in front of them. Hm.

November
I learned about forgiveness behind a glass of Rose. Right now I’m stumped in front of the keyboard trying to figure out a statement that would follow that, because everytime I wave a white flag, someone sets fire to it. I chose to forgive someone because they picked up the phone and made the effort. We even discussed these posts, and I explained to them how important it is to me, to keep things private. I thought that would make me write again. It didn’t.

But alas, lucky number November 13. Brought me back in front of the black keys. All because a coffee mug reminded me of somebody, and I found it in a room full of lights hanging from the ceiling. I let that wave of emotion take me with it, despite the fact that their silence
became their way of saying, “You’re not for me right now.” and boy does that ache, but in two different ways; the aching that comes with longing for that person’s return, and the ache that comes with the question behind why they left in the first place.

Just take this as me taking the jump, holding onto a sunflower covered umbrella hoping it will ease whatever comes with the fall.

Yours,
Daniella

Somewhere Only We Know

Someone shot a pistol into the sky, but didn’t know we’d run hand in hand. Because of that it became meetings at the bottom of the wrong street, between the right people. I pulled at the fabric lingering at the end of my slip dress. Time wasn’t a factor throughout all of this, because I thought we had all of it. What a flaw that is, to just want more of it. The Universe seems to only give you what you can handle, it takes the form of a game show host holding the microphone pressed up against its lips, “You asked for a pure heart with good intentions, and it’s yours if you want it.” We forget to read the fine print that says for a limited time only, but once we see it we scratch away at it with the tips of our fingernails. Suddenly my emotional vertigo wanders away, while my head settles in the clouds refusing to come down. What your sister says about him, becomes the lyrics to your favourite song, all you do is here it over and over again. My eyes are tired as a result of doing everything tenaciously, but I laugh at how heavy they are. I ripped holes in my jeans when I couldn’t write, and the girl that craves Autumn because it feels like her favourite James Bay song, doesn’t want September to come. We can’t help turning the lessons into habits, even if that becomes evident in our mannerisms, or even how we expect situations to work out. But my, how fast do we forget about that notion the moment they look at us to the point where we can see bolts of lightning in the reflection of their eyes.

So we sit patiently, we’re good at it. We’re used to waiting for the chime that echoes throughout our bedrooms that let you know that they’ve reached their bus stop. You wonder what the new normal will be at 3am, and for the next little while it will come in waves of powerfully pressed pen marks in your notebook, no ink just outlines. I’ll think about that evening where my eyes almost gave me away, but the entangled lights weren’t bright enough to do so.

It didn’t take a Marquee to tell me where I was going, so I pushed my way through the crowd and managed to catch the last song, hoping for an encore.

Keep a Place for Me

PicMonkey Collage

I can only be here. I used to make jokes, and be “the funny girl” to fill the silence, but now the laughs are more genuine. What’s been given to us in the past, is a mere reminder that we’ve handled every card dealt to us before. I know sometimes we think, “I’ve been through the worst…what else could possibly happen?” but relationships between individuals often get lost because nobody wants to be the Fish at the table. A poker reference I often used in my writing before, when I was most indefinitely the fish. I kept getting bad hands, but was so confident in them, because I didn’t think lightning could strike twice. Now, it’s not about luck. I think timing plays a big factor in this, I say we’re running out of it, I’m asking for more minutes, more hours in a day than we’re given because what’s worse than being dealt a bad hand is, is to be holding a Royal Flush and nobody else seated at the table.

It’s rare for two people to treat something like this, like it’s art. I say all the right things here, but it isn’t enough sometimes. It’s 2016 and the lovers play their favourite game, where they say everything but what’s on their mind, and there’s never a winner. So how far will you wander? Will you look back to see if I followed behind. I promise to keep up with the pace. Sore legs are nothing against how sore my stomach gets from all that laughter.

Everywhere I go I hear the lyrics to She’s Electric by Oasis.
“Cause I’ll be you, and you’ll be me.
There’s lots and lots for us to see
There’s lots and lots for us to do
She is electric, can I be electric too?”

That tune is doing its best to keep me sane, but distance is inevitable regardless of how many times you reach over and clutch onto Egyptian cotton instead of their fingertips. Your friend tells you over coffee that she barely held it together in the airport check in, because there’s an entire body of water in between where she wants to be, and where she is, but she gives it a year, and she’ll stay hopeful until then. I hear the Oasis song again.

Of course Frank Ocean has to drop two albums during this period. Probably because he didn’t want me listening to Hey There Delilah 20 times over. That last part was a joke. Maybe. Still, how are we so selective to those we let in, but we do it so effortlessly when it happens. Who’s a lesson, and who’s the hand holder? “We just consistently bump into each other,” I say bumping my knuckles together. I’m choosing to be optimistic about this, and I’m not trying to jump trains. If anything I’m buying the ticket.

PS: Frank’s voice on Self Control is heartbreaking.
Daniella