VIRTUAL DIVA

Not exactly friends only, but...

What may be blatant may be veiled, and what may be lost in vague adjectives may be conveyed as literally as seen fit.

If I were afraid of the world reading what I write, I wouldn't put it on the Internet. Please heed this standard as you traverse my entries. If qualms arise regarding my archives, especially if heavily buried, please take the evolution of my past to present state into account.

With this disclaimer in mind, feel free to proceed.

Comment here to be added.
VIRTUAL DIVA

I like anime.

That has been such a hard thing not to necessarily admit, but to have emphatic passion about: I like anime. I have liked anime since I was eight years old, but in all of my crude attempts at rounding myself off as a "serious artist", I shunned anime and all of its pseudo-influence. I felt like it would stunt my growth, both as an artist and as a budding teenager, since it allowed me to express and channel a lot of childlike hyperactivity. I wanted to be taken seriously, so I sought to put away childish things.

However, in these last few months of rewatching Neon Genesis Evangelion—a series I hadn't thought about in ten years—I rediscovered the unbridled happiness and enthusiasm that talking about and watching anime brings me. It could be the tie-in nostalgia of revisiting an experience with new eyes, or it could be the liberation in being able to feel strongly and openly excited about something I like with other people.  I have been able to better connect with friends new and old through anime as a common interest, and I'm often surprised by the size of the smile on my face when the conversation takes off.

I am also surprised at the depth of anime influence in my life. I grew up watching a lot of series, but Evangelion specifically helped me confront and access a lot of feelings that didn't have names in my nubile "tween" mind. I heavily identified with Asuka and admired her. I had thought to myself at that age, "I want to be like Asuka by the time I'm fourteen." She was sharp, confident (to a fault), beautiful, fun, and did her job well. She didn't let anyone boss her around, and if she wanted something, she went for it. She also got to hang out with an older guy, Ryoji Kaji, which I found admirable at the time.

As my viewing of the series went on, a lot of incidents in my life ended up paralleling Asuka's, especially concerning Kaji. I finally made it to The End of Evangelion, which I remember borrowing from a friend in my 7th grade art class, and let out a massive exhale as it came to a close. I vividly remember watching the epileptic glitching of photographs and messages of dissonance and rejection barrage me halfway through the film, bringing me to choking sobs. Many consider Evangelion a pertinent exception to the rule that anime is all sweat drops and silliness, and after that moment I had never been more sure of it. The events at that time in my life forced me to grow up fast, and it was as if the series had caught up with me. I liked most anime, but for the impact it left on my life at that tender age, I cherished Evangelion. I had learned that the world was a painful place, but Evangelion taught me that, through loving myself and others, it could be beautiful.

It is true that my affinity for anime bordered on obsession at that age, but it stimulated me. At ten years old I taught myself to read katakana off of Pokémon cards and eventually branched out to hiragana and some first level kanji. My whiteness gravitated me toward hopping on the weeaboo train for a few years, where I eventually realized that I was alienating myself. I mistook cultural fetishization and appropriation for simply enjoying anime and cut off my hand instead of removing the splinter; that is, I gave up anime altogether to conclude my ignorant behavior. Unfortunately, as is the case with many ex-otaku, I developed a holier-than-thou judgment toward those who were passionate about anime, regardless of their behavior. And it wasn't a matter of being cool; I was still a nerd, just a different kind. Even other circles of nerds disown anime fans, so I resigned anime to "a phase" yet continued to watch it in secret to maintain an image nobody cares about. In my own mind, I knew that I grew up and wasn't being an ignorant Mary-Sue Deviantart-tracing yaoi-fan-girl art-thief weeaboo. I was going to be a REAL ARTIST and make REAL ART. (That hasn't happened yet.)

While it's true that all of those things unfortunately exist and can seriously inhibit personal development if left unchecked, there was no reason for them to keep me from enjoying something I genuinely like. I was never about to become any of those things, but I feared being mistaken for them because of what I liked. Now I am close to graduating college and it's taken me this long to finally admit to myself and others that yes, I unabashedly like anime, and if you have a problem with it, it's probably because you haven't seriously watched any. Or you've watched some and didn't like it. But to say you dislike all anime because "they're cartoons" or "the voices" is just as foolish as saying you dislike all movies because "the actors" or "Hollywood". Anime is just as varied as any other media—movies, music, books, art, video games—and, in my opinion, is not in the same realm as western animation. To compare a western animated series to an anime series is nearly as foreign as comparing a song to a book; anime and western animation carry themselves quite differently, no matter the genre or message. Fritz the Cat is not comparable to The Little Mermaid, and neither are to Spirited Away. It is within its own macrocosm, fluid in its influence to other mediums of expression and ever-developing in its own.

The long and short of it is that anime makes me happy. I no longer want to repress what I enjoy for fear of being mistaken for something I'm not. Besides, I'm still a big nerd either way, so who cares


image

Art by KC Green.
VIRTUAL DIVA

(no subject)

Last night, or I suppose early this morning, I had a panic attack while in the company of my very close friends. Completely unwarranted and unfounded, as usual. We'd been laughing for hours; I was well-fed and well-rested; I was with some of the people I care about most. It didn't matter. There was no discernible reason why I could have possibly felt unsafe.
Someone was in the kitchen. A headcount. K, G, Flapjack, Secrets, Toki, Dayglow. Who's that other one? 
Everyone else had gone home. There was no one else here.

But there is. 
But there isn't, idiot. No one else could be here.
But there is. There are shadows moving in the kitchen.
It's your half-blind eyes in the dark. No one is there. 
Then why do I hear screaming? 

You're tired, I tell myself. Just tired. It's 5:30AM. You checked. Close your eyes, go to sleep. Your friends are here.

High pitched whistling, screaming. Pounding.
Idiot.
I'm whimpering. I feel myself being dragged away. Dragged into darkness. My body is but a membrane. My viscous soul is seeping out like a wound. Dragged by hooks-for-hands.

I am crying and screaming and shaking. My body feels so hot and my head so heavy, a hundred pounds. It's as if it takes all my strength just to hold it up. I want to go outside, into cool, fresh air. Away from here.

I have a hard time understanding what's going on. Diego is trying to sit me upright. My whole body is cracking mud and stone. My face is covered with my hands. I'm shaking and crying. I couldn't hear anything but screaming.

I really don't want to die. I am being so loud. People are trying to sleep.

I'm sorry, I say again and again, as if it even means anything anymore. I'm so sorry.

All I feel is blackness. I don't want to die.

I don't know how long it went on. It felt like hours. My friends help me back.

I check the clock. 5:21AM. It can't be. It was 5:30. It was...

I love my friends so much. It's 9:40AM. I've had trouble sleeping, as I always do after these things. I'm very embarrassed. I don't ever want anyone to see me like that. That is my most vulnerable. That is my least human state. It is wallowing, narcissistic, and uncontrollable. It is shameful for me. I know I can depend on my friends, but it is a state in which I feel I am always asking too much. It feels that, every time, I've got to wring myself free of the Grim Reaper's grasp. To ask my friends to help me with that, to reach out and wrestle me free, feels I am asking too much. It is not their place, and I am mortified that they must come to my aid against a completely unprovoked situation time and again.

I have a big mouth about my personal problems. I feel that if I speak of them out in the open, they aren't so enigmatic and humongous as they appear looming over my head. But, last night I realized that no matter how prepared I think I am, no matter how much I flippantly talk of all this like it really doesn't matter to me or it's no big deal, the greater a deal it becomes. I was not prepared to have a panic attack—no one ever is—but I most certainly was not prepared to subject my friends to such an indiscreet window into my verbally-dwarfed issues.

All I can think about now is how thankful and lucky I am to have such supportive, loving, and understanding friends. No one told me to shut up. No one told me to just go to bed. No one told me to go outside. No one chastised me for being loud. No one even cast a sarcastic aside once it was all over, like "Guess we're not getting any sleep after all".

I might end up being very quiet today, which is unlike me. Lesson learned: speak softly and carry a big stick.
VIRTUAL DIVA

(no subject)

I am a halfway house of a woman.

Men come to me, broken and battered with shattered hearts, and I am the oxygen that resuscitates them. I pick up the shards of their selves and piece them together as best as I can, looking over them with eyes like wine. It is all very autumn and pitying; I never have sprung into love. I do not confidently grip his large and sometimes hairy hands and bound off into greenery and sunshine. My hands struggle to envelop one of his—tenderly, like a mother—and I run my fingertips over his veins and bitten fingernails. Although, to be fair, I fail to see the elegant “piano hands” my family says I possess, unpainted and pallid and square.

Love for me has been both of us shuddering under itchy yarn blankets, clutching the other for some semblance of warmth. It is more intimate than camaraderie, yet more estranged than sharing a table with another caste. They could be all etiquette and cummerbunds and there I sit in ripped jeans jabbing at some deep-fried microwaved meat medley with a plastic fork. Or, in shoes that fit and washed hair, I can have the privilege of eating until I’m full rather than broke. Yet there we sit and eat together, different but the same. Stuck.

There are glimmers of strength and fortitude while I am in a relationship, but they quickly wane with the impermanence of infatuation. I’ll feel impenetrable, powerful, locked arms with a winner. Not this time, I mutter, breaking my arm to set myself free. What is all that noise? But, with half a hand I caress their face and dab the dirt off their skinned knees. It’s always the same.

A thing to be utilized; a mannequin, posed and positioned and standing guard. Here, bend this way. On your knees. Up straight! All the time gnarled and contorted and folding in on myself, fetal and frightened. What about my insides? Here, I’ll feel them. To your limit. Wear this for me. Don’t wear this for me. Take that off. Put this on. Brush it this way. No, not like that. A different color, maybe?

Bleak and malleable. My eyelids twitch unless I force them closed with my fingers. On their own, they shiver and dare not to. Can’t miss a beat. Don’t miss a step. Everything is watching.

Everything is watching.

They’ve got red pens, all of them. I’m walking through a lifelong critique. Perform for us! The audience cries out with missing eyes. Perform for us.

Please, don’t make me…
Don’t make me… I don’t want to.

You’ll feel good! You’ll look good! You’ll be good! You’ll be a good person! You’ll be a good girl!

Veiny hands seize me. Spittle in my face. Can’t you see that this is a good thing? Why are you so sad about something so good? Are you that selfish? You’re doing a good thing! His burnt face is wrinkled and pinched in frustration. All of theirs were. All of them, all fissure foreheads and beady eyes and hot breath and flared nostrils. All of them, like bile-belching grim-toothed dragons, staring at their meek and frail prey to throw onto the hoard. A gaze that cuts like glass.

Just another one on the pile. A Christmas present for volume, not value. Quantity over quality. So what do you care if I’m fun for you or not? Just move on to the next one. Throw away the broken toy. Spit me out; unhinge your jaw and swallow somebody else whole.

And so they do. Serpentine eyes leering, tight lips snarling, their backs face me and they slither off all claws and scales like a monitor to do just that, to monitor. Go watch someone else on your silver screens. My puppet show is too low-class and obsolete for you. Why listen to my wood clack when someone sleek and chrome is silent, just like you like?

Fucking idiot can’t even do the right thing. It was fun while it lasted though, right? Built you up nice and strong to go for the brass ring. A foothold and stepping stone through a churning sea just to make it to the other side. Right. I’ll drown you, right? Hold you down. You can’t live under here with me.

Back to the deep with me. Into my cave I crawl.
VIRTUAL DIVA

(no subject)

You wake up in a hundreds-years-old town with limestone snow you have to chisel off the cars in the morning, and in mine I’ve got a metallic sky with a ring of soap scum. Our noses in books, always did what we were told, got all these ideas and all this trepidation, and now we tiptoe and peek out into this rock we have to inherit in scorn and chaos and madness. They call the creatures folklore, but they’re dancing right in front of our faces. Wrapped around telephone poles, serpentine; claws rising out of the mud in a backstroke; glassy eyes watching from afar.

You talk of games of flattery, and it is surely no game, but let’s say for a moment that it’s the only saving grace of structure in our otherwise abysmal and sparking, tripped wires we have the nerve to call socializing. I’d be accused of perversion and blasphemy of what’s sacred, yet it’s the most innocent thing I’ve got. And the Lord tells us judge not lest we be, but all those staring eyes and gaping mouths would whisper unspeakable things of us when, in reality, we barely have any idea what’s going on. All we know is that it works, and we are happy, and nobody has to know. My own fat creature tells me that again and again.

We’d both wear jackboots and shave our heads cockatoo if it weren’t a costume for the both of us. Thick-padded work gloves and leather pants and adorning a bunch of holes in our cheesy heads, hands on our hips, surveying the arsonist wreck of our society and the soggy cardboard messes of our own lives. We’ve had it pretty good, but we could have had it better. Direction helps, and there’s no sign in sight.

Life is precious and aye, we know that, we’ve gazed into its reeking maw. It is so much easier to turn to orcs and ponies and the knowledge in dusty journals that chalks up to nothing. We’re both fairly intelligent, I’d argue, so what the fuck is being an adult other than a veneer of suits and cigarettes? Is it a contest of denying our natures as long as possible? It must be the id, it’s Satan, it’s primeval, it’s sacrilegious, it’s xenophobia, it’s immature, childish, and now tell me what the fuck a child ever did wrong unless an adult said it was so? Children have empathy—they know when they’ve truly wronged—or perhaps it’s just the ones with intuition? So we drink from the honey of bad excuses under the guise of civility all this time, being judged, being ransacked of pride and foresight, and finally, as we are forced to inherit the world as our own, we realize we’re starved on junk food and there just isn’t a niche carved thin enough for us.

I have a feeling that, somehow, all this time, we’ve been larvae nobody could tell was any different (save for a few this-n-thats), and now we’ve grown up to be wasps in a beehive. The drones don’t know what to do about it, but neither do we. We’ve been cultivated to keep this society going, yet it is in our nature to tear you all apart.

All mandibles and wings flying, savage buzzing, frothing and screeching, tearing you all apart.
VIRTUAL DIVA

(no subject)

can't do it

I'm so sick of staring at my face. It's scarring more and more with each passing day. I keep getting cysts and I can't get them to go away. I've done it all, guys.

Clean'n'Clear, Clearasil, Proactiv, Neutrogena, St. Ives, Skin ID, tea tree oil, witch hazel, doxycycline, birth control. Everything but Accutane and just ripping the skin off of my face.

I get exercise; not profusely, but enough. I walk about 3-5 miles every day, and if I don't then I go on thirty minute walks or exercise any other way I can.

I don't have the best diet, especially at school. I don't have a stove and all of the food in the dining hall makes me vomit or gives me the runs, and I mean every single time. I have eaten there for four years, though very little this fourth year, and the result is the same without fail, no matter what I eat. So I'm confined to eating within the walls of my dorm, which restricts me to easy-fix foods like peanut butter and jelly, ramen, carbohydrates, and frozen meals. I don't have a car, and the buses are unreliable, so I walk a mile to the market every week and a half or so. I have a small fridge, which means I don't have room for things like fresh produce. I try to get real fruit smoothies on campus at least once a week.

Sometimes that smoothie will be my lunch. Sometimes it's a CLIF/Power bar. I have meal replacement shakes or a muffin for breakfast, sometimes both. When I have time, I eat cereal. The opportunity to enjoy oven-fresh food is rare for me, and always greatly appreciated.

I wonder if the main problem is sleep. I struggle to fall asleep soundly. It is nearly impossible for me. Even when I am beyond exhausted, my body claws at me to stay awake, conjuring up shadow people, auditory hallucinations, existential anguish, anguish-turned-panic-attack, hypnagogic twitches and jerks, and so on. A roulette of images spins in my head and stops randomly, and what a lucky winner I am when it does: horrifying disfigures stare with vacant eyes right back at me, shrouded in darkness. Even when I'm with Ray, it still becomes incredibly hard to fall asleep. More than several times I've woken up next to him screaming in terror or gasping in fright, to which he awakens as well. Once—and I was so sure of it too—something was kicking down the door, trying to get in, rattling the doorknob. After a loud thud I sat up and screamed, and Ray held me and said, "It's okay, it's just the wind. Don't worry, I'm here." It literally was the wind, and I listened to it howl violently outside the window.

When I'm alone, it's a miracle I fall asleep at all. I've woken up on the floor of my dorm probably about twenty times in the three years I've lived here. I put on music to fall asleep at night and wake up to the computer open and muted, indicated that I must have shut it off in the middle of the night. I wake up from horrible nightmares that I'm positive were reality, groggy as I'm bitchslapped by the intense sunlight drenching my room. What time is it? What day is it? What year is it? What world is it? I once had a nightmare so intense that I was convinced I was back in my first year of high school and suffering all of freshman year again, and it took what felt like an hour to realize where I was, in life and on the planet.

They say acne is caused by stress and I just don't get where all of this stress is coming from. I have so much anxiety that sometimes I find it hard to face the day, and especially to face myself. I hate staring at myself in the mirror. I spend a maximum of 3 minutes in front of the mirror, and that's if I'm brushing my hair. I hate looking at myself. I hate seeing pictures of myself. I hate seeing my face. I hate seeing myself on video. I hate hearing the sound of my own voice. I absolutely hate the physical form that represents me in this planet because I feel like it's just not... me. I look at that person and I don't know who she is.



This is who I am. This is what I look like, to me. I just hate that I have to represent myself with my flesh. It feels like only flesh to me, not me. If I happen to look in the mirror and smile at myself and think, "Hey, it's me!", I blink, put on my headphones, and dash out the door with a frown on my face, and cherish what I can of my "little world" before I'm forced to smother it in class. I can't be myself, it feels like. I can't do what I like. I can't be appreciated by people, and if I try to give something they can appreciate, I'm annoying, or a know-it-all, or a "chatty Cathy", or weird, dork, trying too hard, immature, ugly loud obnoxious stupid It's pointless. If I agree with something, I'm being a "kiss ass" or passive. If I disagree, I'm jaded and cynical. If I don't have an opinion, I'm heartless.

Eh, this whole thing is rendered pointless now that my mind's crossed over a happy thought. I'm trying so hard to make my teachers proud, to give them what they want so that I can get a good grade, that I'm failing to let myself grow as an artist. I'm narrowing myself to fit their desires and really, in the end they're just teachers. I'll pass the class. But I can't get down on myself. I'm not a fine artist, I'm not going to be that lady meticulously dotting Is and crossing Ts with a Sableine on a miniature with egg whites. It's all very fancy and admirable, but it's just not me. Maybe once all this energy is sapped up and I end up turning to those "finer things" I might stay put in front of that canvas, but for now I've got too much running through my head and too much to say and not enough time to do it to devote forty hours to getting that perfect glaze. I draw comics. I make sketches. I doodle. They may not be the best things ever, but once I get it all purged onto paper I go over it in ink and make that shit permanent, and that takes time. I want to draw monsters and demons and ponies and crazy expressions and unkempt hair and dirty faces and gnarled hands and crooked teeth and by golly oil just ain't the medium for all of that. Accept defeat, you silly artist, you! If your self-portrait doesn't look like you, well, hey—you don't really look like you anyway.
VIRTUAL DIVA

(no subject)


After eight years, I not only got to see Neophyte perform live but got to meet him and get his autograph. My 13 year old self would be proud.

VIRTUAL DIVA

(no subject)

what the fuck is with everyone dying?

Last week was so marbled with ups and downs... with "hats in the pants"...

Worked my buns off on three different midterm projects the whole weekend. Monday, had class from 1pm to 10pm as usual. Tuesday's class is substituted with my Friday class, meaning I have to make a 9am class. Around 2pm I leave for the Valley. I finally make it into Ray's arms.

I had to skip Typography that Wednesday to get ready for the trip to Arizona. I told my teacher it was because I was going to attend a memorial. I wanted to, but I didn't think one was held. I wanted to stay in Long Beach on Wednesday because I was wondering if there would be a memorial for Ginny's two-decade boyfriend in lieu of Morris dancing, but there wasn't (to my knowledge).

Thursday, we don't leave for Arizona until 9pm and get there at 6am. Shenanigans ensue. Kandieland was so-so. I went for the journey, not the destination. I absolutely adore Nathan and Sabrina, and Tyler's always a delight. I feel like I don't know Brittany that well, but I like what I know of her. She likes to laugh and so do I. I'm glad I can make her laugh too.

Saturday consisted of recovery, leaving the hotel, and visiting Blyth. I missed her a lot. She seems to be doing very well in Arizona and the guys she's befriended seem nice too. We dicked around for a few hours before heading to Peter Piper's Pizza to celebrate Super K's godson's birthday. Before we walk into Fry's just to browse, Nathan discovers that Susanna Lee, a.k.a. Silence, has taken her own life.

I didn't know her at all. I won't claim to have ever known her. If I'd ever spoken to her, I don't remember it at all. But she was very young, and today is her birthday. That is extremely fucked. I read her suicide note and started to cry. I will never understand how much pain someone could be in that they would want to rush the inevitable. I just don't understand it.

I was afraid I had been dosed at Kandieland. My body felt numb and heavy like I'd slept on it wrong, the lights were too bright, and I felt delirious. You-know-who sat next to me on the couch. It has been several months since I'd heard a peep from him. Knowing he was there made me more worried that I had been slipped something. But I hadn't had any water to drink or anything to eat or any oral contact with anyone. Unless I was splashed with liquid LSD and didn't feel it, there was no way I could have been dosed.

I realized I was having a panic attack. It was a number of things. The stress, the death (only one, since we found out about Susanna afterward), the lack of sleep, dehydration, the confusion in feeling I was in some odd parallel universe of Los Angeles. Despite being in a completely separate state, everyone I knew was there. I felt like I had already died and my soul had slipped out of my body, and I was just watching the rave go on without me. I looked at Nathan and Sabrina, heard them talking, and thought "I wonder if they ever really liked me." I held on to Tyler's fur pants hoping I'd come back down to earth, as it were. I laid there on the couch in the VIP room staring up at the ceiling, afraid to move lest my soul slosh out of me like a liquid. Who was I kidding? I was dead and gone.

"Wow, you look dead."
"You look dead tired!"
"Whoa, Rabbit's dead to the world."

They knew it. They knew I was dead. I didn't want to bother anybody, so I stayed quiet.

Kitten had introduced me to a girl earlier. It could have been that the music was too loud, but I could have sworn she said, "This is Creature." She looked like Sunny Rae. I didn't know Sunny either. I had seen her around, but we never exchanged words. But I know she is dead too after taking her own life in a very violent manner. Her name was Kreature. I don't think anyone else should have that name.

I just shook this girl's hand and nodded, using every fiber of my being to bite back the urge to say "I knew of someone named Kreature, but she's since commit suicide." "Hey" would have to do.

Kitten sat near me in the VIP room and asked if I was okay. I rolled my eyes toward her and saw "Creature" again. I immediately started bawling. "No," I managed. Kitten immediately asked what I took. Nothing, nothing. I haven't taken anything in my entire life. Then the "oh shit" hit me when I thought I could have been dosed. I panicked before I reasoned and just left the VIP room, running straight to Pyro. He had showed me the tab of acid on his tongue earlier, and my mind started racing: Oh god, acid is transferable through the skin. This is partially true, but it's not as if Pyro put the tab on my sweaty body. Occam's Razor came into play when I drew the conclusion that Pyro's LSD sweat must have sweat onto my body when we hugged and was absorbed into my skin. Reasonable minds recognize that this is, for the most part, impossible.

I cried and whimpered against Pyro, who immediately got me a Gatorade. We went outside to the concessions/dubstep area and I don't know how or when but Tyler, Sabrina, and Nathan were there with me. Pyro said a lot of things that I don't remember, but then said: "You're here with people who care about you, you're outside in the fresh air... listening to... bad Skrillex music." A terrible remix of the already-horrible Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites sputtered out of the speakers. It was then that I came to. Yes, I was outside with my good friends. And it was bad Skrillex music indeed.

The rest of the party went off without a hitch and I felt fine. That is, until I got thirsty and irritable at the end of the party. We went to Denny's and I was too exhausted to even eat. So hungry I couldn't muster the energy to eat. I tried to keep my chin off my plate, tempted to just mush my face into the pancakes and chew in different directions. We slept hard.

Returning to Saturday, I was in the shower. Lots of ravers were weaving in and out of our hotel room as we were packing up to leave, saying their goodbyes. BluesClues, a raver I hadn't seen since I was a wee lass in 2004, barged into the bathroom. I stuck my head out from behind the curtain for an irritated "bye", as I was obviously not comfortable with the breach in my privacy. Because he hadn't yet scored the top rank in Douchebaggery, BluesClues reached out, pulled the shower curtain away, and treated himself to a gaze at my body. "Oooh, nice," he smirked while I tried to cover myself with my hands. I was a bit too stunned to react within those seconds, so I'm sure he saw everything. I was mortified.

I got dressed in the clothes I'd brought in the bathroom and left to see BluesClues waiting for me. "Where's my hug? I don't know when I'll see you again." I grimaced. "I think you've already seen quite enough of me. I'm pretty offended that you pulled the shower curtain open on me." I called him out in front of everyone in the tiny, crowded hotel room. "Aww, c'mon, I'll make it up to you. I'll take you out to dinner."

"I have a thirty-one year old boyfriend." He smiled at this, over thirty himself.
"Well I guess it works out then!" Or something along those lines, insinuating that I was referencing him.
"No, you're thirty-two. I really do have a thirty-one year old boyfriend, and he can kick your fucking ass."
"So? It's not like that. Just as friends. If I were to take Flapjack out to dinner, does that mean I want him to suck my dick afterward?"
Nathan chimes in: "Actually a lot of people have tried that with me so I'm probably not the best example."
Yeah, fuck you BluesClues.

We leave Peter Piper's Pizza around 9pm after exhausting all of our tickets and tokens. I get back on campus around 6:30am. I sleep hard, well into Sunday afternoon, then nap again. I wake up after 5pm. Shit, I need food. I shower, make myself a little presentable, then head over to the market around 6. On the way there I see a man loitering in the darkness by some cars talking enthusiastically. Later I see he's by himself. I assume he's high or bored or waiting for someone or maybe on a Bluetooth I couldn't see or homeless or crazy or some mixture of those, but ultimately think nothing of it. Like a fucking idiot, I walk the same way home after getting my groceries.

The man immediately acknowledges me with his arms in the air, like he's spent all this time waiting for me and hasn't seen me in years. I am over fifty feet away. I continue on, still thinking nothing of it, until he stops me.
"Hey, I need a big favor from you."
"I'm sorry, I don't have any money." I lied. This is one of the few times I actually do have cash on me, but I'm not giving it to this bum.
"No, no, all I want is a hug," he says, throwing his arms around me with a lit cigarette in one hand. My mind goes into chaos, wary of a million things at once. Don't touch my breasts. Don't touch my butt. Don't grab my hair. Don't grab my groceries from my bag. Don't put the cigarette near me. Don't come any closer. Get me out of here. Let go of me. You're hugging too tight. I can't get out. Don't put something on me. Don't inject me. You idiot, no one really does that. Get your hands off my back.
He leans in and kisses me on the neck, where I have just enough time to pull away. He offers some stock phrase like "Have a good day," and I just mumble "Thanks," trying to walk as nonchalantly but quickly away as possible. I put my headphones in like it was no big deal and wipe the kiss off my neck. Through my headphones I hear him yell something angrily but I'm not sure what. I pause my music but calmly keep walking as if nothing happened. A safe enough distance away, I turn around and see he's still in the same place. He isn't following me. When he's no longer in sight, I take off my sweater to make sure nothing's on it and count my groceries.

I had a long deliberation with myself over reporting the incident. I cried and felt like I was overreacting. Maybe he was just being flirty. But I didn't want him to do that. I didn't want him to hug me and especially not kiss me. He was disgusting and filthy. Before I realized exactly what I was doing, I called the campus police and reported the event. An officer came straight to my dorm to interview me, revealing that this was indeed a case of sexual assault. I almost didn't press charges, but thought about how I wouldn't ever want to see that man again. I decided to press charges.

I really want to see Ray so I can feel clean and loved again. I feel like that kiss is still on my neck. It's irritating the shit out of me. The one time I didn't bring my x-acto knife or my Morris stick like I always, always do. The one time.

Fuck, and people wonder why I have sexual insecurity. This shit keeps fucking happening.
VIRTUAL DIVA

(no subject)

Right now I'd rather be making art than studying for my midterm in a few hours, but my fingernails have been ground to the nubs from drawing with charcoal sticks, also worn down to nubs and dust. My midterm for Anatomy for the Artist is the front and back of a skeleton, half of each covered in muscles. In addition to the skeletons, we need to create our own creature by combining different elements of already existing creatures, more like a chimera than just slapping wings on something like a pegasus. It can also be anthropomorphic. I have no idea what I'm doing for that, and both the skeletons and the creature are due on Monday.

My midterm assignment for rendering is "Charlie's Room", a child's bedroom drawn according to technical rules of perspective. Everything from the edges of the objects to the cast shadows line up with the vanishing points. Our sketches need to be transferred onto coquille paper and then shaded appropriately to match the ambient lighting from the tall window in the room. Not hard work necessarily, but extremely tedious.

My midterm for Typography was a test, which I got 93% on. However, there is also a "typography treasure hunt" that will require lots of time and research, also due Monday. We need to identify different the 5 font types (slab, sans serif, old style, transitional, and modern) and various font faces in print, meaning I have to essentially compile a collage from newspaper and magazine clippings and throw it all into a neatly labeled binder. The precise measuring enforced by the teacher has helped me improve my craftsmanship and generally devote more time to my projects (well, for his class anyway). I am a very, very messy artist, and a lot of the time it's more crippling than expressive.

My art history midterm is tonight at 6pm. I'm not sure how I'll do. I keep wavering back and forth between studying ("studying") and becoming distracted. I meant to work on my projects much more over the weekend, but Ray came to visit and I was preoccupied trying to find some way to celebrate Halloween. He took me to see Paranormal Activity 3 which was so-so in comparison to the other films (the original remains my favorite). We couldn't find anything to do on Saturday night so we just stayed at my dorm. I did get my homework done that was due Monday, but I didn't work on any additional assignments. I needed graphite paper to transfer my rendering assignment and didn't have any, so I didn't work on it at all. Sunday we went to the Aquarium of the Pacific and walked around the lighthouse. It was really pleasant to get out and walk around, especially with the weather so nice. In four years of living on campus and going to school in Long Beach, I hadn't visited the aquarium because I had no one to go with. It was nice to finally see it. We pet all kinds of creatures: jellies, rays, sharks, and lorikeets. We caught the shark feeding right as we came out of the lorikeet forest, which was good timing on our part considering they're only fed once a day.

Anatomy class is supposed to go until 9:45pm but she let us out early to go celebrate Halloween. I stayed longer than most to work on my skeletons more, then finally went back to my dorm. I ate candy by myself in my room, played what I consider to be Halloween music (a bunch of villain songs), then went to bed. Happy fucking Halloween. AGAIN. And next year, Halloween will be on a Wednesday!> Even worse. I hope I'll at least have a costume next year. Halloween is my favorite Holiday and I haven't been able to celebrate it properly since I was a teenager. I counted maybe six people who had costumes on my entire campus, and only two of them were full costumes. The rest were just silly wigs, mishmashes of clothing, or painting whiskers on their faces and saying they were a cat. Fuck that.

Aside from my usual setbacks of anxiety from my self-professed Hamlet syndrome, life is pretty dandy. What I really, really, really want to focus on this winter break is learning to drive. It's been so long that my permit actually expired, meaning I have to go back to the DMV with all my stupid documents and re-take the written test. Yuck. I need more practice at the wheel before I try the driving test to get my license. My mom signed me and my brother up for classes, but we're supposed to do practice driving in between the lessons (which we never got around to doing, since we needed a licensed driver over 25 with us in the car). Ray offered to help me too, which will be really nice. I'm thinking of asking my friend Nick as well, since I know he's really kind and patient. It's 5PM now so I'd better get back to studying. Here's hoping I don't completely fuck up on this exam.