The space between then and now is overwhelming. I’ve gotten skilled at anticipation, good or bad. I schedule anxiety onto my calendar.
When we say “see you later”, my mind is already composing a million scenarios of that later, so when that later does arrive, I’m ready.
Today is later. And the time between has been good to me, so so good. People take care of me in the gentlest of ways, even when I’m rude and impatient and undeserving. The shoebox in my closet is full of love. Cards, letters, scribbles on napkins, notes passed during class.
I’m still nostalgia as fuck, that’ll never change.
It is the most teenager I have ever been, this summer. Fitting, I suppose, to end my last teenage summer under the Chicago sky. After multiple cities and 4 time zones, we’re finding our way back to each other. I forget how real it is.
This world is still as messed up as it has always been. It is also lovely in every insignificant way. I’ve been trying to understand - people, religion, love. This morning I re-read the lives of Tibby, Carmen, Bridget, and Lena, and surprised myself with my new understanding. New experiences and memories attach new meaning to old stories, I suppose, and it doesn’t stop there.
Right now I’m in the chaos of packing, listening to old high school playlists, clearing out what I should’ve a while ago. Things come back to me - like those few weeks of freshman year when C and I shared the same bloody notebook and pen, passing it back and fourth like the stupids kids we are. Or edible gold from Japan, curtesy of Hsu.
It’s time to pack the carefree and wild and reckless away too.
Mom’s scans came back clear the same day Robin Williams died. That’s how it’s always going to be, I think. Your best day will be someone’s worst day. On days like these the most we can do is hug each other a little closer, a little tighter. Be there.
Home is a feeling and time.
I will always be thankful for the peace and genuine laughter this summer brought.
Featured Curator: Justin Ruckman
Phan Thu Trang uses heavy knife strokes to create these bright and pointed Vietnamese landscapes. While seemingly naïve and decorative, true to character for many Vietnamese paintings, Trang takes a minimalist, deconstructive approach that simplifies each scene to its geometric and tonal essentials. From there she draws from her memories of growing up in Hanoi and the Northern Villages, describing the people and feelings she experienced as a child.