- journal, August 14 2009
The room was dark, but not completely. The moonlight came through the cracks in the curtains and lit up little pathways on the floor. I remembered the first night I had stayed there, the night before. I slept on the couch. There were dark red candles on the table, at about eye-level. I thought about blowing them out because I could still see the flame when I closed my eyes but I decided not to. It added a cozy warmth to the room. For that first night I was alone with my thoughts and feeling little fits of happiness in my stomach. I was content and warm and felt like I belonged. There was satisfaction in knowing that the me from 7 months ago would never have predicted this. The fan in the window hummed quietly.
The second night was different. We slept on a mattress on the floor. The fan tried its best but the air was just sticky and hot. We pulled close to each other anyway and whispered breathy secrets. It was liberating. I felt like I was in another world, and maybe I was. I associate the feeling with New York but it could have been anywhere as long as the people were there. As long as I could lie on the floor and feel peace.
I spent the week in a daze. I seemed to be drunk all the time. I tried to get the seat next to the air conditioner. I tried to count how much money I had left. I tried to take pictures. I tried to remember every detail, every corner of every room, every street sign, every cloud in the sky. I couldn't. I only remember feeling as happy as I had ever been in my life. Now when I'm alone I think of the dark red candles. I think of Laura's navy blue shirt. I think of the mattress on the floor and the moon just outside the window and the steady breathing of the two people beside me who promised me without words that they would always be my friends.
June 26th, 2009. The road was foggy and empty. The yellow lines stretched on. Katrina was driving, looking for a place we never found. We listened to Tegan and Sara and it was surreal. We listened to the Yellowknife version of City Girl and we listened to the Spinner version of Nineteen and the Melbourne version of Want to be Bad. We listened to every Tegan and Sara song we could and we drove and drove and drove.
It was perfect, really. We met through a mutual love of Tegan and Sara, see. What seemed like a hundred years before, Katrina had been the girl who stole the screenname I wanted. Then she was the girl I stayed up late talking to. Then she was the girl I tried to write songs with over the internet. Then I was in DC in February and she was the girl who went from 2-D to 3-D and there was really no stopping it now. Suddenly she was in Montreal, in my room, watching the series finale of The L Word with me. It was before I knew Riese but after I had sent her that first email and I guess the forces were already at work because in four months we would be in Rockland talking about autostraddle. Riese said people usually like her better before they meet her, but I don't think that's true. I like her so much more.
The point is that four months after Katrina slept in my bed I was sleeping in her bed and driving in her car and on the eve of meeting Riese for the first time. I remember sitting in the bleachers at Katrina's high school -- the sky filled with stars, the air crisp but warm, and feeling tiny and large at the same time. The feeling would last until I took a cab to Penn Station and repeated those words to myself as the morning train took me home -- New York is big and small. My heart is big and I am small. There is enough room in my heart for everyone and everyone and other people and I will keep you [you] there because I need you [you] with me all the time.
I came back in August not really knowing why but feeling like I had to. I didn't know what I wanted. Maybe it was just a piece of that feeling back -- I don't even know what the feeling was or where it went -- but I wanted to recreate it.
It was so much better than the first time. I felt braver when I went home. I felt fuller, more complete. Now it's like I carry [their] hearts around but instead of feeling weighed down I feel light. I put one step in front of the other and hold this secret in my chest, this wonderful, wonderful secret, the secret everybody knows but not as well as us, no, not as well as me -- I could try and tell you but I'm not sure you'd understand: these people are more human than humans. They're more fantastical than unicorns. They're prettier than snow, they're smarter than smart things, they're worth more than their weight in gold.
They're changing the world, one heart at a time.
"X and Lola came over. I was passing out at 2:30 but I didn't want to fall asleep. Went to bed at 4 AM anyway. Also we came up with conspiracy facts about Gaga."
- journal, August 17 2009
At 4 AM I finally obeyed my tired eyes. I never wanted to sleep, never wanted to go home. There were three fans humming in the corners and not enough plugs for our computers. Where was the moon? I left my heart in Riese's living room.