Notes from our journals

William Pan /Staff

1.1.16 –Hazel

“‘Do, try, be good.’

I hope I can live up to that. That was the best I could come up with, but it’s a solid aspiration. Right?”

1.3.16 –Lizzie

“Avocados are nature’s mayonnaise? I was almost more insulted by that comment than when I get called out for fulfilling my blonde stereotype. Challenging your expectations one strand of hair at a time. (Note to self: don’t tell anyone about last week when you called Apple to complain about not being able to find the text for the audiobook you bought and then ordered live succulents off Amazon.)”

1.3.16 –Hazel

“‘She had left the life that was promised to her.’

The opening line for a potential short story. It’s been years since I first wrote it, but the idea seems fresh, familiar, even. May or may not develop into something more cohesive, still can’t decide. Honestly though, I like it as a fragment — it’s not obligated to be anything.”

2.1.16 –Lizzie

“Today I got asked the classic question, ‘If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?’ And as customary, I named my favorite author, while Stephen Hawking’s name pounded from behind my forehead. I like to keep our relationship a secret, where we live amongst the stars, my stars, that float through the valleys, peaks and churning folds of my cortex and the galaxies that rest, slowly skimming the top of my skull.”

2.2.16 –Hazel

Nice — a word that both defines and restricts me.

2.5.16 –Lizzie

My fingers are my biggest insecurity. The raw flesh around my nails and the chipped polish that was a smooth shield just last night will tell you more about myself than any game of “never have I ever.” Pulling, picking, biting, creating the one part that can’t be concealed with the flash of a teethy-grin or tight-ass skirt. A direct bloodline running straight to my pounding heart and aching thoughts. Fists aren’t always angry; they can be scared too. My cuticles are the window to my soul.

2.7.16 –Hazel

Here we go again. Oh well. Valentine’s Day is coming up, and I’m neutral. There’s no latent cynicism anymore. It’s taken me years, but I don’t feel a lack. There’s everything to be gained from embracing solitude. No, I didn’t mean loneliness. That’s perfectly valid. I get that it comes with feeling vulnerable, but being on your own is liberating and gets you through any sort of turbulence. Being on your own doesn’t point to a deficit and isn’t indicative of a flaw in personality or defect in character. It seems as if many people want to be a part of a whole, but they forget that they’re already intact. Besides, I don’t think there could ever be an excess of freedom.

2.8.16 –Hazel

Ugh, 3 a.m. thoughts are the worst. Stagnancy mingled with uncertainty — typical twenty-something. But I know it will be fine, even if I don’t have the luxury of assurance. An inkling of optimism can take you far enough.

2.8.16 –Lizzie

They say when you meet your soulmate all you feel is calm and complete, like when you get that horrible green Tetris block to fit in just the right place, not the “butterflies and shaky knees” everyone is talking about. So the way my stomach folds itself into origami when I feel imaginary vibrations in my back pocket, or how I check my wrists to see a satisfactory sea of swimming tally shot marks before I answer your Facetime calls must mean I am far from where I am supposed to be. But my North Star is as shattered as my iPhone screen and I can’t tell if I’m dizzier from the circles I’m walking or because I’m already two glasses deep.  


Contact Hazel Romano at [email protected] and Elizabeth Gordon at [email protected]