(ATTENTION!!!: this is not the type of post where I pressed 'publish' and then was like, "Oh wow! I can't wait for all of my faithful followers to read and digest that entire thing and be enlightened! Gee!" I am not a moron. This post would take half a year to read. It took me nearly that long to write. It's long, it's boring, and to be honest, it's entirely about me and none of you really, so there's not actually a point for you to read it. And while I probably am a narcissist, I'm not such a delusional one that I actually expect you to read all [any] of this morbidly long, disaster post. It was more of a long overdue journal entry, a post for myself really. It's all the things I've been withholding from this neglected blog for the past... forever, all in one monstrous, rage-y, pointless post that I 100% forgive you not for paying attention to. However, I want you guys to know that I really love you, especially a few of you that I actually really really love, and that I'm okay, and also thanks for being whatever you are to me. Great. I just made the post another month longer. Whatever.)
A while back I stopped publishing the kinds of posts on here that were all "Hi, and welcome to my tragic-if-not-vaguely-amusing life" and instead started leaving the cryptic kind of poetry-essay mutts where I condescendingly address an unnamed and all-encompassing "YOU", who you should all know is always partially verging on nonexistent because to this day, just as I was when I started this blog as a chubby, virginal sophomore-to-be in 2009, my love life is purely hypothetical, I am void of all romance, lacking in friends as usual, graceless, and bordering-on-misanthropic in my casual distaste for other human beings, only as I've grown up the names I've earned for myself have matured as well: "Bitch". I really haven't changed much: I still read far too much and sleep far too much, I'm still long-haired and pale, I still overanalyze and hyperbolize and dramatize every single thing that happens to me (*random boy walks past on campus* Me: "Does he like me?"). I spend a lot of time alone, I sleep with a stuffed raccoon, I wear the same old pair of my brother's red Chucks and show up late to everything. I don't have a driver's license. Still. And I still can't sleep at night. I like weird music, I like weird movies, I like weird people. And you should know that I am still chubby and virginal.
I have better friends than I did when I started this blog. Actually, Mormon parents of America might try to debate that statement. I part my hair differently and I got rid of those awful semi-bangs. I have a kind of everywhere-at-once grip on my religion: Mormon/Buddhist/cheese pizza, and this allows me to feel like I single-handedly invented the whole universe (in the most inoffensive way possible, I hope). Which brings me to: it seems like I offend everyone lately, and I may very well be a Solipsist. I like Thai food now, and clam chowder and spinach salad and green peppers in my sandwiches. I never used to be so adventurous. I have a bike. I have glasses. I think punk rock is supercool.
I can't know for sure if the 15-year-old Avery who started this blog would be disappointed in me, but I think she both would and wouldn't. I think she'd be pretty sad that I never had a high school boyfriend, and that I didn't end up at Berkeley. But I think she'd like the sweater I wear with beagles on it, I think she'd be happy that I finally made friends with boys, and not just any boys: these boys. She'd be sad that I stopped being the kind of best friends with Katie where we did everything as a single unit, that Collin White hates me now instead of falling in love with me like she had hoped he would, that Mundie ran away or got eaten by a dog or stolen by someone who thought he was beautiful and he was, that I have new and unfortunate bad habits, that I never learned how to play the guitar, that I still hate running, that my once-flawless skin has taken a drastic turn for the worse, that I failed the AP Statistics test, that I went up two sizes in jeans, that I said swear words, that my sense of right and wrong is sort of questionable lately. But I still would love to tell her all about it, brag even. And now I'm friends with the kind of people who are beautiful even from a distance, and yes, I don't have that many friends, but goshdang, the ones I have are gorgeous.
So in this post, I want to cut the crap: I'm not going to be symbolic or figurative or euphemistic. I'm not going to use similes.
Lately I've turned basically everything into a simile and to be perfectly frank, I'm very sick of similes and all the other boring tricks we, who call ourselves writers, use to sort of cheat you into believing that we're doing something more noble than just speaking the same boring language that you speak, saying words that aren't heroic or authentic at all, but rather cowardly: this is all I know how to do, guys. Type words and press send and hope that no one will ask me to run five miles or use the Pythagorean theorem. This is literally the only thing I know how to do.
Another thing: I'm very, very weary of all of your blog posts, too. They all sound the same, as do mine. Collectively, our blogs suck. Don't get me wrong, I really really really love you. We just stopped evolving a while ago and that's kind of sad and okay at the same time.
So. I don't really remember what it feels like to be 15-years-old. That's hard for me to admit.
And so, a brief look into my current life.
I graduated from high school? It seems embarrassing that this is the first time I'm mentioning it.
I go to college now. I have one friend here. It's not entirely as sad as it sounds, I think, but it can be a bit troublesome when your one and only friend is AWOL at lunchtime or has actual plans for the weekend.
I mean, I have other friends; not technically here friends as in BYU-campus-friends, but friends nonetheless. Not the ones I was expecting. I still love Kaitlyn the most. Even though I bug her sometimes, even though we're pretty bored here at BYU all by ourselves. Even though for a long time I assumed that The Mission was a personal attack on me; it felt like she was going on a mission unfairly, just to spite me, just to leave me friendless and alone, that it was something I actually had to do with. I've probably hindered Kaitlyn with my codependency, and I'm sorry about that.
I definitely wasn't expecting Lindsey and Rachel, even Tanner Holtom, even though I was fascinated by them and their new, alternative lives that even defied my liberal expectations. I stalked them online for months before.
I'm sad to see Addy go, even if she never really went; it's not really ever going to be the Avery-and-Addy Show ever again, despite our increasingly infrequent phone calls, despite our declarations of love. Which are true, pure, in and of themselves. I love Addy. Addy loves Avery, probably. But we can't stay trapped in Summer 2011, or The Most Glorious Christmas Break of Our Young Stupid Lives, or even in high school. Even our new friends and blog posts don't really concern each other anymore; secrets are actually kept from each other, which is a new, uncomfortable thing for me, but I rolled with it anyway, and this is the way it is.
As with Katie. I guess we grew apart, and I used to blame it on her, but it was both of us, now that I look at the whole thing without any lingering resentment. Maybe when I'm missing Katie, I'm also missing 15-year-old Avery; and walking everywhere, things simple and us going at the same pace and everyone in one easy place. If we can be like that again, it'd be fine with me.
Emily, whom I am not disappointed in like she asked me once, but instead disillusioned by, because I am not as alluring and exotic as I appear from a distance (that's just my skittishness around people), and she seemed bored with me after I lost my newness. Still, this is not an accusation, but rather an agreement: I too am a little bit bored with myself. Emily, who is one of my best friends, is one of the ones I never captured as thoroughly or as violently as I did with some of the others. Too strong-willed. Too established in her own life. I really envy that.
And the others, the rest of the group with whom I associate myself with: Tim, gone for two years now and probably out of touch forever. Spencer, who is too nice to scare me as much as he does. Jonah, who I loved abstractly for who he was, and also for who I assumed he was, and mourning the loss of that part of him I guess I made up, where he was better than everyone else. Kobi, Nathan, Brady: I'm pretty sure none of us have ever exactly liked each other. Not not-liked each other, just like of, whatever.
Or Roah: we were never exactly "friends" but I've attached myself to him enough that when someone mentions his name, I naturally say, "I love Roah." I just want everyone to know that Roah is a revolutionist, which is more than I can say for anyone else I know.
I suspect that Kyle hates me---I'll admit, I totally never saw that one coming---or at least wants nothing to do with me ever again and kind of hopes I die in a fire or something.
Matt---I love you---is sort of at arm's length just like always, which is a huge relief because I'll admit that Matt was the one I was counting on to ditch me forever. Matt is maybe the best and brightest of all of these people, hard to explain right, and still sometimes is a total pain when he doesn't feel like talking or tells you the truth about something you really didn't want to hear the truth about.
Jesse is my most inexplicable friend, maybe my most baffling. I never have any idea what the heck is going on around him. And I adore his friends, even though they scare the crap out of me and I've never said a single intelligent thing around them ever and my life is an endless battle of humiliation and turmoil any time I spend a solid minute in their presence. Mostly, Jesse and his friends make my life harder, but funnier.
Bri and Juliana are long gone from my life, sort of, dealing with either personal tragedies that I myself couldn't handle, or living far, far away from Utah where I can't be bothered enough to call or email or text. I kind of saw this coming.
And these are---were---my friends, supposedly. As of right this second. I think a lot about what 15-year-old Avery would do if I could go and tell her. She'd probably pee or something, she was such a friendless loser. I still feel like a friendless loser.
I'm not unhappy. I live with two strangers and one of them is singing "You Raise Me Up" in the next room, and the other is streaming Ke$ha's new album on her laptop, and despite these things and their lack of contentiousness to the basic conventions of kitchen maintenance and their vague suspicion and horror to everything I say/do, I don't mind living with them. I don't hate them the way I've taught myself to hate 99% of other human beings, because it's easier.
It seems simple, but I think one of the biggest and most consuming problems that I have is that I've read way too many YA novels and seen way too many rom-coms that I have absolutely no idea what real life is like. I view the world from this funny little perch of both isolation and superiority and I'm something of an anomaly because I think I'm too good for everyone and everyone is too good for me all at the same time. I expect that despite my total disregard for social normalcy, my general distaste for humanity as a whole, and the kind of standoffish vibe I send off to anyone that has ever exhibited a single flaw ever, that some person is going to swoop in and he'll be this kind of literary-genius-punk-rock-beauty and he'll make my life shiny and perfect and we'll live happily ever after, the flame of our love kindled forever without any foreseeable problems for all of our blissful eternity, blah blah blah.
But do perfect, even flawed-but-perfect-for-me, kinds of people really exist? Do they ever come swooping in anywhere to say, "Hey girl, have you read Marty McConnell's latest anthology? And I really love the chorus in 'Hellhole Ratrace', I heard it at this poetry slam I went to after picketing for gun control and gay marriage. Cute Dr. Martens and acne. Want to get married in the temple, and write novels and practice satya and drink apple beer and watch TV forever?" Does anyone ever say that? Or even think it?
And even if we ever get past hey-we-have-the-same-weird-interests-and-hobbies-let's-go-out, will they stick around and say, "Hey, it's okay that you're ignoring me and throwing a tantrum and acting like a 4-year-old for no apparent reason, it's fine that you're being whiny and cruel and needy and bitchy. I love that you're jealous. I love that you're never serious about serious things. I love that you never stick around when it gets hard, that you're lazy and messy and irresponsible; that you never clean the house or apologize first or tell me why you're mad. Yes, sure, go ahead and put your cold feet on my skin, wear weird purple lipstick, make fun of me, criticize everything and everyone including me, get bored of me, bully me, feed me endless amounts of cereal and peanut butter sandwiches, cry ALL THE TIME, never compromise, sleep in until 2 PM, hesitate to touch me, blame me. And please, by all means, never leave the house: stay curled up in your pajamas all day long reading novels, and when I ask you to go out, refuse, and then talk and talk and talk about nothing forever. I love you, Avery."
Because I would never say that. Clearly. I would get the heck out of there, abandon ship, hasta la vista psychopath.
But I guess I just have to trust that there are some people out there who don't entirely suck, that won't annoy me endlessly and will put up with all my bad habits and personality disorders; I mean, look at my beautiful, shiny friends who've adopted me over the years, who've taken care of me and listened to me obsess and haven't once told me to cut my hair. Or my stubborn, argumentative, brilliant brother who since the beginning of this blog has forced a new continent to fall in love with him for two years, and came back still calling me by my old nickname. My dad, feeding birds, drawing cartoons. Or my mother, who pets my hair and would listen to me politicize or vomit or sing in the shower, bakes bread and collects rusty metal because it's art. Maybe I'll never get married. Maybe I'll never fall in love. Maybe it will always be Avery Against the World, pajamas and books, too judgmental and sarcastic to love right but still. But still, hey, at least a couple people loved me while I was still angsty and overwhelmed in high school. At least a couple people came to visit me in my freshman dorm room, they said, "Hey Avery, it's good to see you."
And it was really good to see you, too.
I can't help it.