love: an excerpt

It hurts to think of you vividly and in full, so I picture you in cute ambiguities these days. When I picture your face very clearly, I crumple a little. Your soft, freckle-kissed, stubbly face, once a warm and sweet presence, takes a concrete mold when you see me. Your eyes hold too much pain— pain that exists from me— and I can feel their milky anger beating my soul. So I fixate on your nose. Your nose is cute and round, littered with sunny freckles that exist year-round. It reminds me of your puppy-like qualities, which I would remark to you constantly, my tone loving, while I kissed this very nose (sometimes softly, sometimes with a bite).

on display (working draft)

I framed my

giraffe legs today:

gold-toned beams,

rich blue skirt.

 

I want the sprinkles of your eyes;

I’m ice cream, love,

I made it right.

 

Sculpted calves like

honey on rye

and my words in my mouth

stuck like

thick honey pie.

 

My honey pie,

my whipped delight

I taste too much

and you’re done with mine.

iktc mixtape #1: what happens on february 14th?

 

xx and xoxo ❤

Teenage Heart by Team Spirit

Oops!…I Did It Again by Britney Spears

Clumsy by Fergie

Electric Love by Borns

Naomi by Neutral Milk Hotel

Feel So Close- Nero Remix by Calvin Harris, Nero

Girlfriend by Avril Lavigne

I Only Want You by Eagles of Death Metal

Easy to Love – Live at Spotify House by Ivan & Alyosha

Girl Is On My Mind by The Black Keys

 

Coffee is Better Than Mira-Li

snooptopus-2016_08_04-22_28_34-utc

Mira-Li, the bold-faced Asian girl with puffer-fish lips, just sat down at a table with her green tea latte. She has a very wide, box-like face, coupled with a delicate nose and winged eyeliner. For some reason, she reminds me of, like, a really strong female octopus. Like, if there were bold feminist sea creatures— that would be Mira-Li.  Anyways, Mira-Li is a shitshow— more particularly, her love-life is a shitshow. Today she’s meeting Ben, the boy she’s been “seeing” for the past month. I’ll get you up to speed:

  • Ben is a total fuckboy, but he’s pretending to be an emotionally sensitive dude. Classic.

 

  • Mira-Li is confused because Ben isn’t committing to anything, but suavely takes any opportunity to compliment her and casually string her along.
    • (Tbh, Mira-Li is a lot to handle, so you can’t exactly blame Ben)

 

  • The two already met here last week to “define the relationship”, during which they agreed to “keep things casual” (it was a sight to see, Mira-Li blushing and sipping awkwardly on her coffee the whole time). Yet Ben’s continued flirtiness and the fact that he’s such an emotional tease has left Mira bewildered, and thus, we come to this— another session of DTR (defining the relationship— duh!) that Ben, for some reason, has agreed to (maybe he thinks he’ll get laid?? Silly boy…Mira-Li would do that anyways.)

 

Enough, though, of filling you in. This is my time to watch!!

She chose a green tea latte because she thought she’d try the sweetness coupled with the smooth rush of caffeine to keep her slightly sane. However, Mira-Li is kind of dumb because caffeine just like, totally fucks you up more when you’re nervous. Today, she has on a new violet-toned purple lipstick (is immaculately applied lipstick just an innate Asian skill, or am I just innately racist?) that rubs off in a round half-moon stain on her cup. It’s beautiful, but in a feminine kind of way; I honestly don’t see Ben appreciating the messy delicacy and symbolism of this sweet little lipstick stain and her mouth’s beautiful purple hues.

Of all my places to fawn over the odd, often pathetic, and sometimes liberating details of people’s lives, this angsty Brooklyn coffee shop is my favorite. For starters, this setting is absurd; what was once a normal building, an old 7/11, has been ridiculously engineered to look like a trendily decrepit warehouse. Even more hilarious, though, is reading the thoughts of the old men here— they sit quietly, drinking their black coffees and espresso shots while judging the young, “over-the-top” hipsters who don’t wear bras and shave their heads. The funny thing is, they’re just hella attracted to overt sexuality of millennial women, but too cranky to admit it. Their loss. But between the lot of strange regulars I watch, there’s something about Mira that I’m enamored with most. Honestly, it might just be the fucking sea creature connection— I’ve always admired those things, and in a weird, vaguely cannibalistic way, I kind of have a hankering for some good, L.A sushi right now.

Mira-Li just put her phone face down on the table after obsessively checking it— Ben must be here. Fuck, poor Li-Li— he looks so cute today, in a pair of rolled up khakis and an H&M Men’s tropical print shirt, his white-boy dusty brown hair gelled to an attractively tousled state. That fucker— he knows he looks attractive when he shows up like this. Sigh. Mira’s going to lose it a bit.

Ben sits down to face Mira-Li with a smile. Rather than being nervous, like she is, he’s aloof and slightly uncomfortable. He came in with his own travel thermos filled with coffee (he knew he’d be the later one to show up, and was too suave to stand in line), and flirtingly leans in for a sip of Mira’s latte. She giggles, pushing it over in his direction (Ben glances quickly at the lipstick. He thinks it’s gross). Behind her giggly facade, Mira-Li is a puddle of adrenaline, trying to conceal her physical shakiness with a bubbly mindset.

After both settle into the the now-shared table space, lightly sprinkling the air between them with notably uncomfortable flirting and small talk, it’s time to address what’s actually bringing these two dysfunctional lovers here— cue sly popcorn munch and coffee sip. I bet you $10 Ben goes first— for someone who’s minimally invested in this relationship, he’s oddly assertive when it comes to taking the lead in emotional conversations. Overcompensation, maybe? Considering some of the guys she’s been with before, Mira-Li might agree with that.

“So…where to start? I know you mentioned in your text that you were still confused, and that you felt like I was still, like, really into you. Honestly, I’m still feeling the whole keeping it casual thing—

Sorry, guys. I’ll let Ben finish his speech for you all to hear, but I just want to say HOW FUCKING DUMB THE WORD “CASUAL” IS WHEN HAVING THIS TYPE OF CONVERSATION. I mean, dude, I get it, I do— you want to keep getting blowjobs from Mira-Li, but taking her out to coffee every week and listening to her talk about her hopes of a Ph.D and traveling to Singapore aren’t what you’d like to deal with right now. Fair. But what’s not fair is using the blanket escape of “casual”. Your rolled up khaki pants are casual. Me throwing out half a roll of uneaten sushi is casual. But when it comes to relationships, casual doesn’t actually describe anything. If you wanna fuck, say you want to fuck. Just don’t leave things as ambiguous as your tight hipster khakis.

Ok, anyways, Ben:

“ — I’m still feeling the whole keeping it casual thing, and I’m sorry if I led you on in any way. I mean, we can talk about it more, because I don’t want you to be confused, but I’m definitely not looking for anything serious right now.” Ben finishes what is, by his standards, an emotionally weighty speech with a subtle, satisfied heave, as if he just came and is rolling over in bed without bothering to see if poor fucking Mira-Li had an orgasm, too.

Mira-Li, who is poorly attempting to mask her existential dismay at what Ben has just said, has a few options right now.

OPTION 1: Besides being a cinematic work of art, I cherish the movie Madagascar for one of its final quotes, provided by a group of penguins who are fucking around:  “Smile and wave, boys. Smile and wave.” Mira-Li, who is not at all having what Ben just said, could choose to take the smile-and-wave option right now. She could go through the smiling, enlightened motions of “Yes, of course, now that you used the phrase “casual” I totally get it!”, and pretend that Ben’s vagueness reaches any logical emotional solution.

OPTION 2: In Option 1, Mira-Li takes on a professional, composed demeanor. But in Option 2, Mira-Li shows Ben who Mira-Li is. We’re talking a lowkey psychotic outburst, here; waterworks, emotional manipulation that aims to make Ben feel guilty, and a couple of high-pitched shrieks about how Mira-Li has no idea what she’s doing with her life, and Ben just doesn’t help that. Will it scare Ben away? Oh, one hundred fucking percent. Honestly, though, that might just be the move at this point.

OPTION 3: This idea is all mine, and I have to say, I’m pretty proud of it. I present to you: Spicy Mira-Li™. In this scenario, Mira channels the fiery inner tiger that I know exists in her (have you seen this girl take a kick-boxing class? Ok, you probably haven’t, but maybe find a way to. Fucking insane). I picture her violet lips articulately cussing out Ben, channeling her caffeinated/adrenaline-fueled energy into an angry, passionate whirlwind against him. In a super ideal scenario, the two leave the coffee shop, have amazing break-up sex, and then Mira-Li powerfully kicks him out of her apartment, never to engage with him again. (Just let me dream!)

Anyone want to place bets? Normally, I’d be all over that, but I’m just not feeling it this time. Please, though— continue my people-based gambling addiction for me.

Oh shit… oh shit! Ok, so Mira-Li just disappointedly sighed, pushed her half-empty latte cup towards him, and has let out a breath that clearly indicates she has some shit to say. Cue another popcorn munch and coffee sip.

“Listen, Ben…” she turns to stare out the front of the coffee shop, gently sighing again with a look of a sad yet strangely content defeat. “I just…I’m actually realizing right now how I think I feel about this, so bear with me while I try to word this.” Her lips curve in a round, chubby little smile, the violet lipstick still immaculately intact. “I know exactly what you want, and I just can’t accept that it’s not what I want.” With a calm sincerity, she continues. “You’re a really nice guy,” —- I call bullshit on this, but go on, Mira-Li— “but I’m trying to turn this relationship into something that will fill the void of the amazing relationship that I want in my life. I’ve been lying to myself. Honestly, Ben, I don’t think it’s a great idea if we see each other in any capacity anymore, except for perhaps the occasional coffee, if you want to remain strictly friends. I hope you’re ok with this.”

Ben is clearly a bit shocked by Mira-Li’s sudden appearance of clarity and emotional soundness. “Um…yeah. Yeah!” (He feigns a light peppiness with that last yeah). “Yeah, I mean, I’d be sad to see all our stuff go,” (You can just say FUCKING, Ben) “but as long as it’s what’s best for you, I’m ok with that and want to see it happen. Honestly, I wasn’t that seriously into this anyways, so I think it’s OK if we see other people.” Mhmm, Ben, sure.

That display of confidence from Mira-Li was actually something beautiful. Clarity? Empowerment? Being a straight up female savage?!

I like this violet-lipstick wearing, green tea latte-drinking Mira-Li.

 

aviophobia

plane

man, it’s beautiful,

when you can linger above the sky,

Xanax-fluffed and soulful

And see the world without thinking

you’ll die.

 

A golden lake drinks Baltimore,

ten thousand feet high.

an immaculate soup

of rainbow diffusion,

great vaporous spores

spilling rays from heaven

 

the plane shakes,

and sunset hugs us while we cruise.

life’s not too bad when you think,

“fuck, this is great,”

and have something to lose

introducing: frat parties vs. the world

Three weeks into my $250,000 education, I present to you my latest endeavor in the art of language: comparing frat parties to mundane shit.

Do I have more important things to be doing? Objectively, yes. Do I even enjoy going to frat parties? That’s debatable. But even the shittiest and least committed of writers are willing to make sacrifices every once in a while.

Stay tuned for detailed creative analyses that double as my justification for going out. Coming up soon: frat parties versus your dog. Woof.

xx

 

your unsaid college packing list

For college freshman, the weeks preceding your first day are riddled with exhaustive Target trips, parents who think a lack of extra sheets or towels will result in your imminent death, and the steady realization that you have no fucking clue what you’re doing. In between figuring out how to not pay $1500 for textbooks and finding ways to pack your vodka and weed, you may forget a few things that most college packing lists keep on the down-low. Lucky for you, Internet Killed The Cat isn’t like most creative outlets (and whether that’s good or bad, we still don’t know). Keep reading to find out how to arrive at school with an arsenal of intangibles that’ll keep you alive, passing your classes, and best prepared to tackle whatever the fuck it is that college is supposed to be.

INTANGIBLE #1: YOUR DIGNITY

It’s one of the first weekends of the school year, and you wake up at 10:30 am in your dorm room bed. Your roommate is gone, her bed neatly made, and is probably off working out or studying or something else related to having your life together. Meanwhile, all the sheets have fallen off your bed, exposing your outfit of superhero boxer shorts and last night’s crop top, which smells like sweat and beer. You remember that you went to your first frat party last night; what you don’t remember is everything that happened after that 4th shot, including whether that dude you hooked up with was actually cute and how you got back to your dorm. As you grab a robe and stumble with your toothbrush to a communal bathroom, glitter eyeliner and black mascara crusted all over your face, it will hit you: life (and you) can be an utter piece of shit. In moments like these, buck up. Strut your hungover self with confidence, clean the party out of you, and then at least try to read a textbook. Reminding yourself that you’re a respectable human being matters just as much as buying the right shower caddy from Bed Bath & Beyond (and remembering to maybe hold off on the Absolut, next time).

INTANGIBLE #2: ABILITY TO INTRODUCE YOURSELF

With its abundance of people who know nothing about you, college is hailed as a fresh start. Every freshman nurtures the hope of showing up and impressing their “true selves” upon their peers, finally earning that cool reputation and social status yearned for (or, for you lucky bastards, achieved) in high school. There’s so much you’ll want to convey when you lock eyes with your fellow newbies and awkwardly shuffle towards each other to say hello; your killer taste in music, the fact that you know you’re gonna be better than math at them, or your impressive ability to take a bong hit. All this and more lead up to the moment where you open your mouth to a person for the very first time, unleashing the soul and essence of your being with one poetic, heartfelt line:

“Hey, I’m Anna and I’m from Arkansas!!”

As much as we’d like our first impressions to be based on who we are as people, get ready to be temporarily defined by your name, hometown, and potential major. You’re gonna need to be really comfy with this, because you’ll be spouting it dozens of times a day.

There are some gray areas when it comes to introductions. If I live in the suburbs, can I attempt the facade of being “from Chicago”? Can I make (bad) jokes when I introduce myself? Should I even be allowed to make jokes, period? And do I really have to confess to people that I’m spending $60,000 a year just to be a goddamn writing major?!

But hey, just remember— you’re Anna from fucking Arkansas, and yes, you are going to kill yourself and one day make bank by becoming an engineering major. Nice meeting you!

 

INTANGIBLE #3: MASTERY OF THE FRIEND-OFF

By the end of high school, our brains’ social filters had done some serious work. We figured out how to avoid those who’d talk you ear off for thirty minutes (when I asked you how you weekend was, I didn’t actually need the in-depth picture…), friends who were fun drunks versus not-so-fun drunks, and those who just sucked no matter what state of mind they were in. Here’s where another downside of the quasi-holy “fresh start” thing comes up: new people, new (and inexperienced) social filter. People can easily be deceptive, and by the time you realize how much of a psychotic bitch Cherry from D.C is, you’ll find yourself locked into your 4th coffee date with her. That’s why you’ll need to come into college with mastery of a highly important skill: the friend-off.

To clearly outline what a friend-off entails, I’m going to pull a definition from one of the finest sources of English vocabulary: Urban Dictionary. According to Urban,

Friend- off: When an acquaintance of yours starts to irritate you, particularly when they begin to act like your best friend as soon as you just met them. When you’ve had enough, you introduce them to another friend of yours who you think has a chance of getting along with them, in hopes that your friend will be more accepting of this person’s annoying behaviours than you are. A friend-off is successful when your acquaintance quickly attaches themselves to your friend rather than you. Thus, you have passed off your “friend” to another friend.

Essentially, you’re gifting one obnoxious friend to another. The friend-off is truly a versatile move; I’ve heard a story of two guys who each hated their roommates “friend-offing” their terrible roomies to each other. Get out there in the world, start building a friend lineup, and revise if you have to— the friend-off will be there waiting for you.

 

INTANGIBLE #4: EXPANSIVENESS

I’m not talking about welcoming the “freshman 15” with open arms (although feel free to do that— life’s too short not to eat tons of cookies and bacon mac n’ cheese). By expansiveness, I mean this: avoid making your college experience a bubble. I come from a high school where white affluence is the majority, and in many ways, my college experience will be far more diverse than where I’m coming from. But at the same time, my school, Johns Hopkins University, and most others can be an isolated sect of the world. The people I’m going to be immediately surrounded with for the next four years have been filtered out from the world. We all must possess a certain amount of academic focus, drive, and ability, dedication to extracurricular passions, and, even in spite of financial aid, a certain degree of socio economic leverage. While there’s nothing wrong with these facts, my college is by no means a realistic sample of the world.  Even on a city campus, it’s easy to stay secluded mentally and physically within your institution’s walls, making college just another period of suburban-esque refuge.

Whether your college is out in the cornfields or nestled in a major city, there is always a world in and around it that expands past the mindset of your own. Dust off your basic-bitch white converse and head out into the world to meet these other people. Maybe it’s a local jazz musician who decided not to go to college, or the owner of that amazing Thai restaurant who grew up as a first-gen immigrant. Meet people at the grocery store. Mingle at coffee shops and diners. If you’re truly afraid of the whole “stranger danger” thing, then opportunities for an expansive social network still exist within your university. Employees (especially the non-academics) at your school will often have different life experiences than the students who populate it. Grad students can also be a good resource— and they have off-campus housing, which means hella better opportunities for partying. The point is, having a more diversified worldview means going past the sheltered walls of a university. It’s only 4 years until we get thrown back into the world— might as well get to know it now.


 

Whatever shit you ultimately show up to college with (yourself included), freshman year will work out if you take a breath, accept that things will be a bit of a clusterfuck, and remain adaptable. Go make friends, attempt to learn a thing or two, and enjoy the goddamn beauty of getting to eat Insomnia Cookies whenever you want. Life is short, and college is even shorter. Enjoy your next four years.

xx, IKTC.