Sunday, April 5, 2015

Lena Dunham is a Creative Genius

Or maybe she just doesn't give a fuck.

I could write a book like this.
I'm just too chicken shit to admit
half the things I've done, or thought
about or wanted to do, but...
Thus making her different than the 99% of us who care way too much about what people think. I include myself because half the time I do care. The other half I totally don't--except even when I think I'm not caring, I've probably cared for so long that it has become deeply rooted to my lifestyle that it feels all too natural and therefore I naively assume I'm not caring when in actuality I care and have cared for so frickin long that I don't even realize I'm caring! Whew. That revelation was exhausting.

Cali kids in Spain.
Enjoying our youth AND getting an education!

Lucky for Lena, she was raised with easy going, artsy parents. The polar opposite of my upbringing. Which is why I think if we ran in the same social circle (which we totally don't) we'd be major besties. She'd be crazy and say the most hilarious things and I'd be her sidekick, laughing hysterically and hanging on to her every word. She'd inspire me to tune in to my creative side and be my muse...however, I can't imagine what I could bring to the table. Now that I think about it, I probably wouldn't be able to offer her anything. So I'm not sure we'd be a great match after all.

I used to have a Lena Dunham type of friend. Though we lived within an hour from one another in SoCal, we actually met while studying abroad in Barcelona. I'll pretend her name was Natalay. For the record I'm really bad at pretending, so this might actually BE her name. But I'll never tell. 

Natalay spent the entire class period doodling on her papers instead of taking notes or even remotely bothering to participate in class. Even her doodles were cool and before long I found myself attempting to imitate them: a circle connected to a square attached to a cylinder that spouted little bubbles that turned into shooting stars that burst into more circles and crescents and triangles and squares.  The sides of my pages were consumed by her works of inspiration and before long we somehow became friends. She was uber smart in a nonchalant, passive way. Even though she never did her homework or paid attention in class, every time the teacher called on her she was spot on with her answers. I was in awe.

Oh, Ibiza! Thanks for the memories!
Her host family didn't live too far from mine so we started hanging out often and taking weekend trips around Spain together. Next thing I knew the semester was winding down and she had agreed to go backpacking through Europe with me for a couple of weeks. We stayed in cheap hostels, fell asleep between train rides from one country to the next, even threw away our dirty clothes and shoes to make our backpacks lighter. She loved Fiona Apple and introduced me to Tori Amos. After watching the MTV VMAS with Britney prancing around stage with a massive snake over her shoulders, we snuck down to the basement of our hostel in Vienna where she taught me how to roll weed as we jammed out to Bob Marley.  She was a cool chick. Her stance on life was so chill. She didn't know about tomorrow, she was just enjoying right now.

Like Lena, she was also raised with artsy parents.

We could have stayed and colonized. It was a possibility.
Eventually we both returned home.

I was finishing up my last year at UC Irvine and she was back home with her parents in Los Angeles. We met up a few times, trying to hang out like we did while abroad. But it felt different. It's hard to vividly remember so many years back, but maybe our differences stuck out like sore thumbs and she noticed.  I really don't know. I was so lost in trying to figure myself out--now that I had been thrust in the real world I found myself drowning in life's uncertainties. Graduate school or law school for that matter was as much an option as suicide was!  I was going through a quarter life crisis and debating on whether to start taking the anti-depressants the doctor had prescribed me or to get a one way ticket to Altanta, where I could stay with my cousin for a bit until I figured it all out (with hopes of pursuing a job of some sort with CNN). I chose neither of the two options, by the way. 

One day, I'll never forget, I was at the local library in Marina del Rey checking my email (because I didn't have a computer of my own, let alone access to internet) when I saw that Natalay had emailed me. The email turned out to be a long, heartfelt letter about how I've been such a great friend to her. It was moving, it was touching, if I recall correctly it even brought tears to my eyes. Here's the crazy thing though--after that letter I never heard from Natalay again. I tried calling her a few times, even leaving her messages on her house line, but she never returned my calls. I've tried looking for her throughout the years on Myspace, Facebook, even Instagram-and even though she may have an account she's not at all active on social media.

So that's the story of my cool friend. She fell off the face of the earth. Too cool to really care. Since I've never been cool, it makes me sad every time I think about it, every time I remember her. Who else can I look back on those years with? Who else can I call and say, "Remember the time we went
The sun, the sand, the water, the air...we live a lifetime in our travels. 
to Ibiza and loved it so much we wanted to stay and form our own little colony? Why didn't we do that!? Cuz real life and all it's real problems really blows!" And then we'd laugh and laugh as we reminisced on the good times when we were young and our only real problem was getting super lost in the streets of Barcelona, looking for the house party that cute tattooed boy she liked invited us to.
Why is nostalgia so depressing?

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