The new look is envy


If I wear some light wash jeans and some black platforms people will think I’m cool enough, y’know? Strap on my expensive uncomfortable platforms (90s style), stuff my “New Yorker” tote with my $26 dollar strawberry lip balm and the poetry and prose novella I never finished. (even though I never read the fuckin’ New Yorker). Waking up at 9 AM with enough time for the morning routine of my dreams. Before leaving my stylish east side apartment I’ll be sure to cover my arms in a velvet overcoat that passes my knees but, is slim around my hips. I’ll have that artistlook. That sleek look. The “my parents saved enough money for me to live the next 30 years comfortably look.” I protest and protect the lives of minorities in America instead of sitting in silence, allowing them to have their voices heard, FOR ONCE!!!! The hip freelancing professional that finds art in reoccurring trash but swears it’s NEW it’s HIP.

A day job? What? Never heard that, never felt that, never experienced that…

Color me green with envy but, one of the reasons I love living in New York is also one of the reasons why I find it so dull. The artist aesthetic.

You all look the same to me
You all look the same to me
You all look insane to me.


While riding the subway to work I’ve been listening to a mix of Mazzy Star, “Happyness”, Will Smith and my new weekly favorite Smiths song. I’ll post all my playlists and their vulgar titles eventually. 

Two Minutes Please!

There are certain occasions in our lives that feel like they’re moving in slow motion.
The last second in any sports event.
Thrillers, with their twists and turns.
Whenever I break someones mug/glass.
Hard conversations with people we love.
Procedures we’re awake for.

Basically, just events where the time is moving painfully slower than normal. When you’re physically watching the second-hand wiggle slowly to the next second. Becoming more and more anxious, more and more excited, more and more hopeful. Theres a specific result most women have found themselves waiting for that can lead to the agonizing two minutes of fear and a lot of self-reflection.

Pregnancy tests.
(que shrill scream)

I’m taking the time now to say that yes, I do acknowledge that for some women this is a beautiful experience that they’re happy and anxious to be a part of. But, in my experience and those I have interviewed it’s terror and a lot of pacing back and forth waiting for the second-hand to wiggle to the next second.

The other day I found myself in a foreign bathroom with headphones buzzing in my ears, I ripped open the pink package, bit the plastic off that surrounds the device and, threw the instructions into the trash. I looked at myself in the mirror waiting for the rush to be gone but, I quickly realized any solid seconds of clarity or stillness I had hoped for, passed me and weren’t coming back. From here until the end it was just chaos. Thoughts quickly overwhelmed my heart and brain while my knees shook and tears painted my cheeks. In a brief moment everything that was currently my present was put into question and, a film of the next 9 months was played in two minutes as my elbows rested on my knees waiting for results.My mind turned to him first, my parents second and me last.


Would our relationship even be able to survive an abortion/adoption or another human? Would he resent me? Where would we live? The arguments. How would it work? Would the thought of abortion crush him? What about his future? What about his career? Scarier thoughts followed. What if it worked? What if this is what he wants? What if our lives intertwined into this beautiful, picturesque, cinematic montage. With lots of hazy sunsets and slippery yellow slides. Wild grocery runs and funny dinners before falling asleep in our king size bed in our Brooklyn BROWNSTONE!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m telling you, full 2 1/2 hour movies of my life played with almost every possibility as a reality. My thoughts slithered through the rough conversations of me telling my parents,

“Here I am your inappropriate, unwed daughter giving you a grandchild. Also can you spare some change for a crib?”

Or the secret pregnancy that gave another family a child, or the secret $400 procedure that they’ll never know about. The secret the SECRETS!


My thoughts quickly returned home and I began to think about where I wanted to be. What do I want to be? Abortion is so physically difficult and mentally decapitating. Do I even have $400 dollars? What about my life of modeling, acting and writing? What about school? Would I even love this child? Could I be a good mother? Would this child be vegan? (lol) Would. I. be. happy? I can’t do it. I can’t do it. I can’t have a child and, I can’t bear to give it away, abortion hurts.

What do I do? Thoughts of running away occurred, not actually but, mostly just getting out of that fucking bathroom.My skin was red and my body was sweating. The music abruptly faded out and the alarm sounded off in my ears. Two minutes.

I reached my arm up to the sink to flip the test over to see the results. I clumsily knocked it into the bowl and had to stand up to retrieve it. Standing in front of the mirror I looked down and saw the results resting by the sink drain. That moment of stillness I was waiting for occurred and every thought that I panicked over was forgotten.

Every false reality that was created was left in that two minutes, half-naked, with my elbows resting on my knees. The arguments with my lover, my family with him as a father, my mother crying, my father silent, my career disappearing, the needle going into my cervix, spaghetti covered dresses and boozy late nights, running away to Paris forgetting it all, nothing changing. Hm, nothing changing. I flushed the toilet, threw the test away, pulled my pants over my knees and left the tiled bathroom just as it was.

*sighs*


These agonizing tests and terror filled seconds overwhelmed me and overwhelm many women that have to take the test in times of uncertainty and confusion. Hopefully, this little bit paints an image of the ladies that are sitting in the bathrooms waiting. In the conversations and interviews I held with women to receive more insight, we all realized that we all have a story like this. Whether the end result is jumping up and down with the news of motherhood quickly approaching, leaving the foreign bathroom just as it was, contacting planned parenthood, or looking at pictures of couples and families. This little pact of womanhood, our little secret operation, of operating or non-operating reproductive systems that we all share is such an interesting whirlwind of experiences and emotions that I’m happy and lucky to be a part of.

Reaching out and being honest with others about things I am going through has really allowed me to receive such comforting and encouraging feedback. (and many warm hugs) Also, I just wanna say that most of the time these women (your friends, mom, sister etc) have gone through similar if not the same things. It’s fine to acknowledge that you’re afraid but also acknowledge that talking to someone you love and trust can make the situation seem less chaotic.

xx,
Jacqs

YO! MY SAINT

yo-my-saint-2.jpgLAST night I was walking up the stairs of the underground subway into the dark, frigid, windy hell that was Brooklyn. I got off at a stop that was further from my house but, closer to my favorite neon bar (priorities). I was planning on enjoying a brisk walk to ‘Beccas to join my friend on her tinder date before going home. The night had been, well, it was actually terrible. I was looking forward to a cozy glass of cheap wine and then walking to my loving home (that still doesn’t house a kitchen table). I was fumbling on Spotify the entire train ride trying to load music so I could listen to it while commuting. My thumbs were tip tapping on my phone, reloading and reloading, then I found a newish song by Karen O.
(ugh my heart I’ve loved her since High School and she never fails to impress).

Unfortunately, I got lost and was tracing and retracing my steps in the streets of industrial Brooklyn. Trying to find a street or building that I had seen before. My hair was freezing by the second and my hands could no longer hold onto my phone to look at the map. As I was wandering around the empty streets, the newish song finally loaded and “YO! MY SAINT” shushed the gusts of wind in my ears.

I haven’t stopped listening to it since I heard the first breaths in the first few seconds.

It makes me feel like I’m in love. Its romantic, melodramatic and takes you to unexpected places and spaces. While listening I felt my pace quicken, my eyebrows furl, suddenly I’m determined to do something- go somewhere. Yet, there remains a sense of yearning thats overwhelming.

Halfway through the song everything ceases and Karen takes over, ending the last 2 minutes of the song with soft instruments playing alongside her. It becomes repetitive and dreamy as she repeats the same words over and over again- making them more significant by the verse.

I later read that this single was released as part of a film being produced by the French fashion house Kenzo for a promotional campaign. In doing this Karen combined the worlds of fashion, music and film. Below I’ve provided the links for the short film and the song by Karen O, just love this with me.

“Don’t you know my eyes, my eyes
They’ll see you blue
In blue
My one and only”

YO! MY SAINT- Karen O (film version)
YO! MY SAINT -a film 

Maybe, it’s not.

A still from the film “Jules et Jim”

Heres the thing, I have tried numerous times to write about the regular things in life that I find interesting. Such as, bizarre Uber experiences, loneliness in New York, the cool bars I enjoy, meeting men (etc, etc). Pretty much my liberating yet confined adventures here as a young lady in one of the most heavily populated cities in the world.

I CAN’T

Right now, not too much is making sense. Maybe its because I’m naive with not too much experience but, also maybe it’s not.

When I was younger my friend and I constantly gawked at any sign of affection from any potential lover. We loved each other instead. We were having a blast, staying out really late without any responsibilities, laughing really loud, wearing dirty clothes and running around our shitty North Carolina town. It just made sense to keep the idea of any relationship status changing very far from the present. So of course any sign of genuine interest from the other party was something that we stuck our tongues out to and laughed whilst running into the sunset.

Recently I’ve found myself tripping into heartbreaks over and over again. Weekly I’ve called my mother either crying in a puddle of my own mistakes or, elated for my future with the “love of my life.” So with all of this babbling on a topic that makes me so happy yet so perplexed here are some lessons I’ve learned that have either shattered or built me.


ADMIT YOUR INSECURITIES:
UGH this is the hardest thing for me. Admitting my insecurities to myself and not projecting them onto my partner is so important. Growing up I always had this idea that jealousy was a healthy reaction from your partner and necessary for relationships. “Its how you know they care”. NOOOOO!

Jealousy is not an opportunity to ambush your partner with unexpected, harsh feelings that are usually very temporary. Take a breath and really look at your situation before speaking on it. This was something I learned from a very patient, loving person and it made me adjust the way I communicated the uncomfortable feelings I inevitably do/will have.

CRY (LOL)
Several subway rides have had my tears on the trains floor, several floral pillows are marked with mascara stains but, once I have a grip on my emotions its easier to begin self-soothing.

Things like taking baths, cleaning my apartment, exploring the city, getting a drink with my girls.
Just admit “okay, this is where I am now and I’ll get over this soon enough.”

YOU ARE YOUR OWN PERSON NO ONE ELSES:
Do NOT stop doing the things you love!!!!! Have “me” days. Yes, it’s nice to spend time with someone I am so fond of but, making sure that I still have my alone time is so important, for myself and the other person. Maintaining my daily routine, going to the gym, enjoying the company of people that aren’t in the same friend group, dancing at my favorite bar, expressing myself creatively, maintaining my views and opinions but, with an open mind to theirs. Yes, of course spend time with someone you want to spend time with but, allow them to cater to their own needs and wants while also focusing on yours. Its really hard to find the sweet spot but, when it happens it’s such a happy place. It’s so important to hold onto the things that make you happy aside from that person.

LISTEN TO YOUR HEART BABY:
This is going to be short and sweet, if it doesn’t feel right- don’t stay.

I am aware that I am not some love guru with all the answers and y’know, my heart will probably be broken again but, thats okay. I’m not afraid of it. I want to have these experiences, and I want to continue loving in my passionate, unfiltered, freeing way.

Before Nine

Outside of a bar
casual conversations
men that reached out their hand
have my false name
men that asked for my number
3366136
avoiding confrontation
avoiding conversations

The market
a familiar walk
suddenly,
his body behind me
his hands placed
by my ears
and I’m naked in a room,
I no longer love.
sealed by a window
I no longer
gaze out of
listening to a train
I can no longer hear

Man
I thought you were dead,
and now I see you alive
I forgot the shape of your eyes
the texture of your hair
and suddenly I remember the
face that used to hide from mine.
Don’t call me man.
Don’t call me,
man.

 

xx to myself.

 

 

 

 

My Little Place

There’s a specific place that I really enjoy spending time at lately, I discovered it through the social web and I can’t stay away. They have a very interesting set-up. From 7-5 they serve coffee, delicious pastries, in-house soups and filling sandwiches. Accompanying the food and coffee menu is a nice selection of wine and beer. From 5-12 the bustling morning cafe filled with writers, readers, students and those catching up, transitions into a candle lit, quaint bar.


The first time I was there I sat through the transition. Watching the staff light white candles and set them in the middle of the tables, hearing the music grow louder and louder.

The classic wood tables are reminiscent of my grandmothers kitchen table that held my morning eggs and drips of butter pecan ice creme. The floor to ceiling windows and peculiar seating allow you to enjoy the street view of an unfamiliar part of Chinatown. In New York finding a place that delivers amazing coffee and delicious in house food and, pastries is pretty difficult considering there are a lot to weed out. Not to mention the tourists don’t attract here therefore, most of the people here are local which is even more exciting.

Every now and then I would peek up from my notebook or laptop and I’d forget where I was, I’d forget that I was in Manhattan. Through the large glass windows you see fully grown trees covering any evidence of tall city buildings. The abundance of vinyls and random antique decor remind you of a modern take on the late 60’s or early 70’s. This place takes you away, to a place of stillness, romance, and exciting conversations. Its a house for all of those conversations and thoughts that are otherwise disturbed by the tourists or the big attractions that are hard to miss in a city like this.

A friend of mine went with me the very first time and we spent hours working on our creative outlets and chatting in-between. When the sun set and the candles were placed in the middle of the tables we put our books and pens away, shared glasses of wine, booze and had drowsy romantic conversations. We browsed the menu of pastas and cheese platters and decided against the offerings and left. We walked around Manhattan in the empty streets of forgotten parts of the city. The roads were lit with lamps that were blurred by the mist from the earlier rainfall and, we talked and walked down foreign streets the remainder of the night. Blushed and carefree.

Whenever I think of my little place, my “Little Canal”-I associate this sweet memory of this wonderful night that started in a bright, airy cafe that reminds me of my Grandmothers kitchen but, with nicer furniture and better music. I found my sweet little escape and I cant wait to spend more mornings, beginnings of romantic evenings and escapes from the annoyances of day to day life here in this sun filled home.

And HEY, it only took 8 months.

Windowless Bathrooms

 

The time that I spent living in Salt Lake City was quite brief. Just one hot summer with two amazing friends. I was working two jobs and just picked up a third, working in a coffee shop at the mouth of the canyons. Safe to say I was pretty tired, almost ALL of the time.

The apartment I lived in was quite old. It was historically the first apartment complex in Salt Lake City and because of that, it had a lot of quirks and a lot of character. The bathroom was especially interesting, the shower head was about four feet tall, requiring a slight bend at the knee in order to effectively shower. The tile was a tealish green and always sweating, wetting my heels and toes. The teal tile led up to a large window that stretched across one wall, overlooking a private school and the entire valley. Our apartment didn’t have air conditioning so in the summer, to avoid a fourth floor sauna, we’d sleep with the windows open. Laughs and cries of the children playing on the playground before school would echo into my bedroom, awaking me before I actually had to wake up. (Sounds pretty creepy now that I think about it).

I would crawl out of bed leaving my (ex) boyfriend and my puppy sleeping soundly, limbs and faces hanging outside of the covers to catch the cool breeze. Half-asleep, I was shuffling throughout the apartment doing my morning routine, with taps of Clyde’s paws hitting the hardwood floor behind me. I’d start with eating frozen strawberries and granola at the table, then sitting in the sunroom and playing tug-o-war or fetch with Clyde. Finally I’d hop in the shower entering the sunlit bathroom overlooking the school and the rest of the sleeping valley. The hot water rinsing down and off my body would create a cloud of steam, rising into the cracked ceiling kissing my upstairs neighbors floorboards.

There is something so captivating, so nostalgic about this particular time in my life. This one random very hot summer spent in Apartment 80. Living in New York (the place I’ve dreamt of living for years) I yearn and crave that window. Solitude. Easily escaping discomfort. Stillness. That still frame of my life, the times I spent in the cramped shower, seeing Clyde’s tail wagging back and forth underneath the shower curtain. Clyde’s rough spotted tongue licking off all the excess water as it puddles beneath me. My toes wiggling in the grout of the tile while getting chills from the opened window. Quiet.


Living in this wonderful city of ever-changing environments and thousands of people, the one thing I miss the most and the one hardest adjustment for me is windowless bathrooms. My morning routine today consists of me stumbling out of bed at 4:30 A.M and commuting the hour to work. There isn’t an overly crowded bed that I’m leaving, the sun isn’t awake, Clyde isn’t patiently waiting for me to leave the shower and more importantly there isn’t a moment that isn’t spent with other people. Even at 5 A.M there are people lingering outside of Bodegas as I walk down the street to work.

Where and how do I find my moments of stillness? My moments of bliss?

New York has taught me to find solitude in those spaces and places where you actually aren’t alone. It’s taught me to APPRECIATE windows in bathrooms but, also appreciate the little moments of solitude I find myself in.Whether I’m physically alone or not. It’s riding the very few above ground subways into Brooklyn, it’s spending time at my favorite cafe/bar, dancing in my kitchen to “The National” when both of my roommates are working, it’s sitting in the sauna at my gym singing.

Moving here, to this amazing city hasn’t taught me a life of luxury its taught me how to live a life of loneliness, and how to live a fast paced life while also counting the seconds in-between. Right now thinking about those seconds in-between is the only thing keeping me sane while enduring my first New York winter. The only thing keeping me sane.