(ISSUE 1 EXCERPT) a letter to suburbia, from the shower, crying


by Meg Young, shot by Josh Kern


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I feel purple. Like blue mixed with red, where blue is the lowness of my eyes and red is the color of my heart burning in soft embers, never quite ablaze but always muttering. I drove around last night and recorded myself talking for twenty minutes. I tried to piece together the way I see you - suburbia - by naming things as I passed them, but I’ve already memorised every detail of you. I worried for a moment that my words would become meaningless if I recorded them. I worried my thoughts were stale, like always, and spat my feelings and asked myself how I could explain the repeating fresh-black-paved streets better than Lorde in Pure Heroine.

I drove by the beach and passed by at least four cars I knew, and avoided the spot where everyone gathers on weekend nights. I kept asking myself for different ways to see you. I wondered if I’d already experienced the last time I was actually mystified by your concentrated glory at night. I remembered every time I’d ever sat in the back of a friend’s car, listening to music I didn’t like, just un-sober enough to convince myself I was living. I remembered each time I’d smiled and acted the manic part, trying so hard not to be the pensive character conjured as an explanation for boring nights in silence. 

I parked between the recreation center and the private school and took a hit of my wax pen. I took a video of myself doing a french inhale before deleting it. I sat silently for at least fifteen minutes. I don’t remember what I thought of. It was probably you, in the blankest way possible. 

When my mind came back aglow, I thought about how many grains of sand have touched my skin; how much salt I’ve soaked through my pores. I don’t go to the beach much anymore, though. The last time I was there, I didn’t even touch the sand. I smoked weed in the car and cut apples to get the scent out and drove with the windows down for two weeks. I got a Vanillaroma air freshener that I hated.

I realized how safe everything is. I could lie on the sidewalk outside my house all night and never be touched. The worst that might happen is someone could call my parents, or kick me to see if I’m alive. I wondered if I should do it.

It was a planless Friday. My mind was everywhere at once. So maybe I played the manic part then, too—driving around, sad and lonely and angry and full all at once, looking for my mind.

Collecting pieces. 

I wish my fear of stagnation wouldn’t collide so well with your stillness. Maybe then I wouldn’t need to drive around at night, spilling words, to feel like I’m moving.  ~

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