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.

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

Keep a Place for Me

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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

Baby Blue

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The postings here have been quite sparse. It doesn’t signify the end, nor another hiatus but I wanted to remove myself completely from a few things. Which I did.  I had this significant moment driving through the mountains in Portugal on my last night there. I was listening to Magnetized by Tom Odell, and I felt so peaceful, and what a frightening feeling that is.

Another one of those Saturdays passed. No car doors were slammed, but ironically the door I was trying to open was stuck, and once I finally got it open nobody was there. Then when someone’s asking you what the reasons are for your actions and reactions, you start to struggle in terms of finding the right words to say, that this is what you’re used to. This is how I was treated, and darling I’ve been wiping this slate clean for you but there’s still scuff marks that just won’t go away no matter how many times I polish myself off for you. So I created roots out of those scuff marks, and I’m hoping they grow into something beautiful.

When do you stop walking behind enemy lines long enough to know that you’ve found safety? Are you sure there aren’t anymore firebombs headed towards your chest? I guess once you realize your actions, you question if you made the right choice and spend the early hours of the am panicking because a moment ago you were lost in the right way and you didn’t even want to find your way back.

So I closed the car door lightly, but I could still hear the echo from somebody saying, “this isn’t a good idea” and the next thing you know it’s 2:17am and the credits are rolling to a different Robyn song. It’s the difference of 24 hours, to vintage t-shirts, and hiding your face behind your hands because you didn’t know your face could light up so much, and you don’t what it even looks like. I try not to be that way in terms of communication (hiding behind my hands, or this computer screen), I’m so envious of how brave my friends are for saying the right things. I spent 6 weeks in Portugal woeful about that. So last night I chose communication, in hopes of both ends of the phone call not going to sleep upset. Or even sleeping at all. #eyebags

Maybe I’m bad at Saturdays. This won’t be a re-occurring theme, two people can play broken telephone all they want, but sometimes you have to admit to yourself that there’s too much good in a person to not pick up the damn phone.

When that chalkboard on Augusta St said “Be open to what comes next” on that Tuesday afternoon in May, it wasn’t asking, it was telling you to. So you better be in the audience next time.
Daniella

Jukebox Joints

Ali Benjamin, in The Thing About Jellyfish said, “Sometimes you want things to change so badly, you can’t even stand to be in the same room with the way things actually are”

I’ve never kept so silent about something, and mornings are the hardest. You get these 5 seconds of peace, and everything else after that is entirely up to you. Suddenly, the window facing a brick wall was shut, and my blinds are broken so ironically the light gets in no matter what. No one likes to admit that waking up and going to sleep are the hardest parts of their day. It’s all going up in flames because these souls keep setting fire to everything you refuse to let go of.

We say things about how we’re not supposed to miss the individuals that hurt us. But everything we touch acts like a constant reminder. Rather than their being monsters under my bed, there’s a paper bag holding my pride. Something I’m swallowing now in hopes that sleep will come easier. It’s as if wearing your heart on your sleeve is worse than having the tag stick out of your shirt. God forbid someone catches you looking at me the way that you do. Or did.

2016 and I’m not afraid to tell you that my day consisted of me staring at my ceiling, dealing with an emotional hangover. So I ripped off my bed sheets, grabbed a pack of stick notes and stuck parts of this post around my room.

I’m a broken record, I sound repetitive throughout some of these posts and I apologize but things will not change overnight. The idea of “ghosting” is absolutely atrocious because you’re leaving individuals whom were once whole, incomplete because there’s this lack of responsibility you think you have. Because you cannot fathom the idea of someone thinking you’re more than something ordinary. It wasn’t until sitting in silence with a spiked Coca Cola bottle wasn’t enough, and according to the man of his word you no longer were either. The idea that I have to stay silent in order to prove a point worries me because I write what I feel, I can’t let this go unspoken. I’ll always be the more emotional one because that’s who I am. But these pieces of me are slowly being taken, every single time I have to fake two seconds of laughter so they don’t ask questions, and so I can contain myself until I reach the end of the parking lot.

You won’t lose your youth if you hold onto something tightly. But you’re aging when you abruptly let go, and let the other person run ahead. What happens if you can’t catch up? Metaphorically speaking if I dive head first and do something out of character in a club surrounded by pink lighting, again it’s who I am, but you knew that well before anybody else.

There’s still marks left over in the palms of my hands from last night, because I did everything in my power to refrain from reminding you how insane all of this truly is. And when I came to terms with what bottom truly was and felt like, I knew that I had to start fighting like hell for myself. Even if that means staying away from the lessons I’ve already learned time before. Even if that means that you’ll never learn this lesson.

Daniella

Choice: That Was The Thing

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Something I’ve learned over these last few months is that we neglect choice. We don’t choose the people that are choosing us, and when we do that we stop choosing ourselves in the process.

I think about versions of myself in moments, whether it’s the girl in the striped dress, or the girl who wanted out so badly that she put her fear of flying aside and went to New York on her own. There’s a moment in particular, where I was in an Uber eating a pizza slice in February, listening to a Robyn song and I couldn’t tell you how happy I was in that moment. Because it wasn’t just me choosing myself anymore.

But life likes to throw a storm your way when you’ve just started enjoying the calm. Whether the storm is the dial tone, the unread message, or the slamming of a cab door at 3am. In order to fight back I started screaming the words dancing around my mind, and let my actions speak for themselves even if it bites me in the ass.

They expect us to take risks, but restrict us because of the perceptions of those around them. They watch us dance on our own, but refuse to join us in an attempt to stand their ground. Maybe next time instead of wearing the silk dress, I’ll write in lipstick on my forehead “Not looking for things in pieces”

I don’t know how many times we can run our fingers through a person’s hair until they get it. Until they remove our hands, and tell us that the hands of time state that it wasn’t suppose to happen now. So we yell back, that we’d be damned by the hands of time because if it wasn’t for the fact that we rebelled against the notion of bad timing, we wouldn’t have been built upon the experiences we’ve chosen.

How could a person be so calming, but release such a rainstorm inside of you? Weren’t we just observing them from the inside of Ubers, or restaurant windows? That wasn’t very indirect. Oh well.

Everything about the people we choose is so liberating, but every so often we’re restricted by the idea of taking the wrong step and starting over, but that’s because we’re not being chosen. People write songs about this, but we still don’t have the answers. When is it appropriate to walk away? When is it appropriate to be dominant and state why you should be chosen. (Not to mention the freedom that comes with leaving your heart in the right hands) (I’m just saying) Why did we stop choosing ourselves along with the empty souls that did the same? What kind of twisted domino effect is this? Don’t we deserve more?

They say they’re not ready, but they’ve done it before. One bad move, and suddenly they’re veterans and they no longer want to step onto the battlefield. Emotional security and consistency becomes no mans land, and God forbid we step onto it. Do promise me that the next being that accepts every failure with patience, and “it’s okay” responses doesn’t have to stay indoors and wait for the calm, because you can no longer say to them that the last person you should’ve kissed longer didn’t choose you back.

Daniella