A poetic exploration of Millennial Culture
Ever stay at a party too long and get a weird taste in your mouth?
Like, your tongue suddenly recalls every other party
and starts to feel
like you took the blue pill
in the Matrix?
Is that the metaphor?
(the movie is before my time,
someone tells me)
Or feel that brake in your chest
when you’re there,
at the party,
when it dawns on you that
your work evaluation is next week?
and you’re just dreading that conversation
in the dimly lit office
with your boss, and the papers, and the files
talking to you about margins and
where you will most certainly
yield to a strange hiccup
of workspace jargon,
in a suit,
you don’t quite fit?
at the end of the day,
when I arrive home,
weary and baggy eyed,
my friends (and Buzzfeed) tell me,
coo at me, even
that I should self-care;
A “call to action”, if you will.
“Take a day. Relax”
“Get that bubble bath, betch!”
“Ten Cute Things to get Through the Week”
And naturally, I do.
You bet your avocado,
I drag my little, tequila-makes-me-queasy butt
from the party to that bright, red Target store-
standing under fluorescent lights
sporting my pink, pink lipstick.
I jolt into the store and buy myself some things
because it gives me comfort?
A sense of accomplishment?
tiny pleasures I can afford
and not think on too harshly;
The “now” is much less dismal than “the future”.
All is well now that
I bought a magical gem roller from Amazon,
snapped a picture
and tagged it,
“Fridays at 27 amirte”,
I used to do all this;
(and may have, in fact, done some of this,
used to bookmark
“Cute Fluffy Things to Treat Yoself With”
on my broken android phone,
perilously tried the venture of Cake-in-a-Mug
ate lumpy, somewhat cocoa tasting flour.
spent $6 bucks on a Latte I didn’t really care for.
Used to. Keyword.
I can stop at anytime.
Listen- it’s all great and I can’t help but feel like it’s a distraction.
Maybe, just maybe-
my constant mood is a result
of the grooves of blue light
coming from my phone,
invading my sleep,
the LED mirror,
showing off my worry lines,
the many, incessant little pings,
chiming off alerts for non-nuanced headlines and articles
the collapsed vein of traffic
(who agreed to this?)
and the honking,
and raucous podcasts;
and less so from
the evening light,
my boyfriend’s blue eyes,
Loitering, loitering, in some kind of flux.
self -care has become another freelance gig-
too much work in too little time,
squeezing in “wellness”
into brunch mimosas and rosewater masks.
“Tomorrow will be better”
“Tomorrow we can call the doctor”
“Tomorrow this will seem like a smaller problem”
I’m rocking this cherry stem prayer
back and forth under my tongue.
but everything is too big
and we are much too small.
small powerful things, caught sleeping,
then jolted awake
and the mavericks can’t save us
and neither can Amazon.
Self-care, they tell me;
Tomorrow you can do the work!
Tomorrow the problems will be a meme!
Tomorrow there is no tomorrow!
so then comes the waiting-
only there’s no Silicon Valley savior
producing the cure all app
and institutional crises,
and student loans
Where’s the tenderness?
I am trying to touch things, you see
touching and touching and not knowing
where we set it all down.
where the wound comes from;
only knowing there is a wound,
a grief, an unraveling,
sold back to us in small doses
and inflated prices-
The shared grief economy.
Old vinyls and books and 90s memorabilia and discontinued toys.
“A simpler time”
Someone’s always saying this.
The other day I bid for a Pokemon Thermos cup
after reading my loan balance,
and listening to NPR
setting up a retirement plan
for a future
I just can’t imagine.
So why not stop?
I will call my friends instead,
(and call, and call, until one of them
overcomes the anxiety and answers!)
talk about the hard stuff slowly,
allow for a tenderness;
maybe a garden,
maybe go to more town halls,
a more caring self-care-
a longer term subscription.
sitting next to people,
feeling elbows, and hot breath,
and one another.
maybe I wouldn’t need to
cling to self -care tips
and spend paychecks on brunch
if caring were a full time deal;
An argument for space,
An argument for saying
“You Are Here”;
Now allow yourself
to take up space,
less annexing of our souls to things,
Let’s put the spirit first-
Let’s care one another into being;
I am talking about building out slow.
Can I get that in millennial pink?
So long “self-care”!
In any case,
your shipping fees are much too high.