The close conversation had reached that point where we had run out of superficial, cheery things to say.  I wrung my hands as a thought forced itself into speech: I had been afraid that saying it aloud would make a tentative idea more real than it actually was, but I couldn’t help it, it had been haunting me for too long:

“Um, I don’t know,” I began slowly.  “I think, more than anything, I want to be in a relationship.  I know that’s a lame thing to say…I believe in feminism and independence and all that, but…it’s true.”

I lowered my head and blushed as my friend reassured me, but I couldn’t help but taste the aftertaste of a remark that was not articulated finely enough.  Because, in truth, I enjoy being single.  I like going to concerts and kissing strangers without worrying about someone back home.  I like quiet moments by myself.  And I see people constantly holding hands, constantly spending the night in each others’ dorms and I think: I don’t want that.  I don’t want all of that, at least not all the time.  

But I definitely want something.   Continue reading

Oyster and Balloon

It was a late college night, and a girl and a boy and I were sitting around a table talking about feelings.

“That’s why I prefer more open guys,” I said to Fiona, shaking my head.  “Like, so many guys are emotional clams: you always have to fuckin’ rip them open just to talk.”  I aggressively mimed an invisible round oyster in one hand and a knife in the other.  “I can’t spend time forcing people to open up.  My arm gets tired.” Continue reading

Favorite Love Song Lyrics

Some ironic and silly, others heart-crushingly emotional.

❤ Ever since we met // I only shoot up with your perfume // it’s the only thing // that makes me I feel as good as you do. — Panic! at the Disco

❤ I don’t care what’s in your hair, I just wanna know what’s on your mind.  I used to say I wanna die before I’m old but because of you I might think twice. — Twenty One Pilots

❤ Somebody told the stars you’re not coming out tonight // so they found a place to hide —  Arctic Monkeys Continue reading

Please Knock

I’m not holding the door open for him (letting the cold air pour in, numbing my ankles), but I’m not slamming it and bolting the lock either.

Right now I think the door is ajar, leaving me an indulgent and toxic crevice for me to peek out of, for those moments when I pretend I don’t know better.  Slowly but surely, I’m drawing it shut, and one day I know I will finally close it in peace.

But I know that I will not lock it — oh, not for a long time.  It means that a brief visit, a careless turn of the knob, will swing it wide again.  That frightens me.  I don’t want to let him in again.  I only want him back if he comes to the threshold with flowers, wipes his feet on the mat — plans to stay.

Continue reading

Trust Fall

So there’s you and me and a precipice, and I saw jagged rocks  under the cliffside, when I was near you.

But inherently, I trust you, and after pulling back, I looked at you from afar and decided to make a running leap.

I’m making a desperate dash for you, in the hopes that it’s not so desperate after all. Continue reading


  • You don’t know him that well.  He doesn’t know you that well.
  • He’s great, but he’s not perfect.  He’s not everything.
  • You don’t have to unfold a whole story in one text.  Chop it up and stretch it out.  Let him respond to each bit.  Keep it light.
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  • At no point do you have to say :  “I like you.”  This is college.  Intimacy and friendship and romance (can) mingle together.  You don’t have to declare anything at each boundary.
  • Chill tf out.
  • It would be nice to date him.  But it’s not the end of the world if you don’t.  You have options.  (Fun options).

Continue reading


For college pre-orientation, I went to a three-day camping trip and a silent disco for the first time.  The experiences are more similar than you’d think.

I’ve attended two years of summer sleep-away “nerd” camp previously.  Though I never hiked during those trips, I’ve noticed that, basically, summer camp is a hot cooker for intensified emotions.  After an awkward start, platonic and even romantic feelings develop faster than one thinks possible.  I used to miss my three-week-long friends like I was ill; unattainable camp crushes yielded some of the strongest emotions of my young life.  Similarly, during my pre-orientation camping program — called PennQuest — before college, my hiking mates felt incredibly attached to each other.  Maybe it was the bonding over itchy bug bites and steep hills — or maybe it was the sight of everyone in their sweaty, makeup-less, and simplest forms.

So camps are microcosms of accelerated intimacy.  But are they special exceptions to emotionally-cautious life, or a mass-hallucination of young minds eager to feel less alone than they are?   Continue reading


  • fiction prose about a girl whose definition of love is slightly loose

She is constantly falling for others.

She accidentally steps a little too close to her lab partner and smiles at how nice it almost feels.  She hears a boy talk passionately about drumming and tilts her head to the side.  While sitting with her peers, she watches a classmate walk down the hall, his arm reaching around his torso in mid-stretch.  Her eyelashes beat downwards once; when he’s out of earshot, she comments “Jack’s so skinny.”  Her friend hums in agreement.

Curled up in the corner of her couch, she watches movies and TV and knows that “love” means something deep and unconditional and everlasting.  But that knowledge doesn’t challenge her certainty in how she feels: foamy waves lapping a sunset-soaked shore in surges and ebbs, spontaneous and brief but as rhythmic and necessary as breathing.

If society’s definition of love equates to an all-submerging flood, she’d argue that the rises of emotion that wash over her still exchange brine and sand — meaningful at a granule scale. Continue reading