Somewhere that summer, crop tops got big again. I didn’t know because I’d been gone, but even if I’d been around — would I have bothered? All I did know was what I saw. The midriffs of thousands of teenage or twenty-something women, belly rubbing belly, button to button, on the way to work in the morning.
Girls were fancy, city girls were fancier.
City girls had tapped into the vein of something essential — not feminine, necessarily, but essential. A common language of clothes and hair types and ways of Being: rolled up pant legs, men’s dress shoes, one dark coat, dresses and boots, hair ties, and also important other qualities like self restraint, a way of laughing, talking to Mom on the phone.
These were girls who got it, sometimes defined It, were photographed for newspapers or appeared in magazines, leaning over tables and laughing privately. They wore lipstick, were smart, had manicured opinions about war and sexism.
I saw them in the airports — always with bags. Stacks and stacks of luggage. An entire suitcase dedicated to shoes, and they owned it.
My friend’s girlfriend flew in from London and insisted he meet her at the airport. She didn’t bother pretending to be fine, ever. No, she was not at ALL interested in sports. When it came time on the gallery tour to get down on our hands and knees and crawl through an artist-made trapdoor in one wall, she mutely declined, instead walking out the way we came in, meeting us on the other side. Her casual Oxford remained blue, crisp. Hanging loosely on a fold of collar bone, so completely thin. Her glasses. She name dropped Rilke like eight times and openly detested camping. The shade and cut of her hair — brown, short — matched even her socks, cut below the ankle, dark, folded, with lace tufts.
I was obsessed.
New York City was full of these women; handbags like exotic pets. I admired every single one of them.
7:37 pm • 21 August 2014 • 15 notes
Inside the Good Idea
From the outside it is singular. One wooden horse. Inside ten men sit cross-legged, knees touching. No noun has been invented yet to describe this. They whisper that it would be like sitting in a wine barrel if the curved walls were painted red. The contents are not content. They would like some wine. They quarrel about who gets to sit in the head until finally the smallest man clambers in, promising to send messages back to the belly. He can only look out of one eye at a time. At first there is nothing to report. Black, Dark, The Occasional Star. Then Quiet Footsteps mixed with Questions. The children are clamoring for it to be brought inside the walls. The head sends back another message which gets caught in the throat: They are bringing their toy horses to pay their respects to us, brushing their tiny manes, oiling the little wheels. It must be a welcome change from playing war.
— Matthea Harvey c/o Dez Stone (as always).
8:47 pm • 15 August 2014 • 6 notes
Blew off Reality for an afternoon. Never going to come down again.
1:29 pm • 15 August 2014 • 5 notes
I am able to take trips, frequently. Three days here, two days there. I can just get on planes and go places, without having to think about it or pay. This is such a weird thing. “Hope you’re well, Cass.” Nah, I’ve been running. Magazines and paperback books. Writing ceaselessly, relentless, like chewing. Mornings on side streets in cities: Paris, London, Amsterdam. The musical geography. “Rome, Barcelona, Madrid.” It is a distinctly European flair. Still, my skin is smooth and dry, awake. It’s been 36 hours since the plane ride or sleep, and what’s the point in bed? A girl I know goes skimming by on a bicycle. Pants rolled up, legs dangling, sneakers dragging. She belongs in our time. I’m skipping out on time, staying awake for days. Here then there. Time moves with me. It was morning when I left, morning when I arrive. The day is long. Back-and-forth, back-and-forth. It is always morning, always summer. It was different when I was alone, before I met D, although now it is better in ways that I had not previously thought possible.
8:06 am • 11 August 2014 • 16 notes
I survived Berlin. Seventy two hours, a couple of bikes, one picnic, endless booze, full moon, top floors, didn’t want to go home, Berlin. Berlin. Berlin. Photo by D.
6:57 am • 11 August 2014 • 11 notes
“I kept on staying in bed as long as I thought I could for several nights, as if it was a defeat to have to give up trying to sleep, but after some time I got out of bed as a regular habit, as soon as the house seemed to be dreaming. And the moon of course had its own habits, so sometimes I stepped into a pool of silver.”
— Alice Munro, “Night.” Childhood insomnia. Now that I know this essay — which discusses an operation, appendicitis, tumors — originally appeared in Granta’s medicine issue, it makes so much more sense in a way that makes me so much less charmed by its idiosyncratic narrative wobble. But I do love this line. C’est la vie.
6:51 am • 11 August 2014 • 5 notes
“…people with self-respect have the courage of their mistakes. They know the price of things. If they choose to commit adultery, they do not then go running, in an access of bad conscience, to receive absolution from the wronged parties; nor do they complain unduly of the unfairness, the undeserved embarrassment, of being named co-respondent. In brief, people with self-respect exhibit a certain toughness, a kind of mortal nerve; they display what was once called character, a quality which, although approved in the abstract, sometimes loses ground to other, more instantly negotiable virtues …
Nonetheless, character – the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life – is the source from which self-respect springs.”
5:06 pm • 10 August 2014 • 12 notes
• On a cold day in February 1968, she landed in Manhattan. “I arrived with a black eye, from my lover, who didn’t want me to go,” she says. “New York was in the middle of a garbage strike. I moved into the Franconia hotel, on West 72nd Street. I had nothing. I was poor, but in a good way.”
• The December 23, 1976, entry inThe Andy Warhol Diaries: “Office Christmas party [Elsa] was saying how wonderful it was to be with me and not be on anything.”
• But there is no dispute that the evening ended after Elsa yelled “Fuck you” to Halston and flung the fur he had given her into a roaring fire, which incinerated the garment immediately.
Elsa Peretti’s Great Escape. This piece is so lush. All richness, fur coats, and gossip. Really classic Fair.
12:58 pm • 5 August 2014 • 11 notes