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I sat in restless chairs
I breathed stilted air
what feeling compares
with feeling squandered?

I’m not sadfishing,
I was bored in a 5-star hotel.
I’d swam the Atlantic - in the underground pool
and I felt like I was marinating in boredom.

It was as if the loudest thing in our suite was
the sound of my eyelashes flapping up and down.

I wasn’t in solitary confinement,
Lisa was there too - and just-as bored.
She didn’t complain, 'cause she’s ‘New Yorker’ stoic.
So I started complaining for her - for the team.

We’d filtered every boutique,
sampled every eclectic café,
there’s just nothing to do in Geneva.
It is an implacable reality.

Peter (my bf) was at work all day and we were on vacation.

It’s different when he’s around.
He walks into the room and I feel like
a phone that’s been placed on its charger
- the world lights up and I get - charged.

“We should make a list,” I'd announced, “‘the pros and cons of boredom.”
“No,” Lisa said, “Let’s name fun things.”

“Fruity Pebbles popcorn,” I started.
“Girl panda makeup” Lisa offered,
“Foot massages and bubblegum”
“Cotton candy and sunflowers”
“Holidays and sparkly things!”
- we went on and on and on and -
“kittens” I updogged dreamily, then I switched subjects completely.

“We need to go to Paris.” I announced, with a tone of relief.
“Oh yeah?” Lisa asked, with a little side head-bob.
“Actionable intel,” I whispered, “Grandmère wants to see me.”
Lisa gasped, adding, “You’re in TROUBLE,” drawing the last syllable out slowly.
“That would be a first,” I laughed.

“Kisses!” She exclaimed, resuming the game.
I remembered the first time I thought of kissing Peter. The thought was a flash, an emotional Rorschach test and I smiled. It was like a movie kiss, an abstract heaven - not the breathy, ****** kisses of real life.
“Where’d you go?” Lisa asked, grinning.
Some emotions are too thick for words.
Songs for this:
Good Luck, Babe! by Chappell Roan
Disco Boots by Gavin Turek
BLT Merriam Webster word of the day challenge: Eclectic: something with a unique and inviting atmosphere.
“Eclectic” is actually a popular style category for coffee shops.

sadfishing - exaggerating an emotional state to generate sympathy
Our hot girl summer rolls on - like lava downhill or male models doing - anything.
We’re in Athens, Georgia, yes, it’s hotter elsewhere - but you can die in the sun - is this really a competition?

Fashionistas and trendsetters are adorning themselves in fluorescent lime green this summer. Making it the must-have statement color for the cool kid's club. The whole aesthetic was inspired by Charli XCX’s lime-green album cover for ‘Brat.’

Now, before you roll your eyes at the state of America, where silly people are bilked by influencers - isn't that what happened in the 60s with ‘flower-power?’ Wasn’t that ‘counterculture’ flagging, where everything from school buses to bikinis were flower adorned, driven by bands like the Beatles and umm.. [fill in the blank]?

So, we tripped (sounded psychedelic) to the mall of Georgia, to shop for unnecessary, lime-green things. Nail polish (which I think eats), beach bags, coverups, Crocs, friendship bracelets (cause we’re 13-year-olds), Cinnabon's - which aren’t technically green but are delicious and the Apple store - because it makes us happy.

I’ve read, or heard it said that “malls are dying.” Not this one, on a weekday mid-morning it was packed. The line for the eighteen-movie-plex looked like Spring Festival (Chinese New Years) at the Beijing airport.

Sadly, it’s time to admit that as 20-year-olds we’ve aged out of the “Clare’s” esthetic. A 12-year-old in line to get her ears pierced, looked at me, while I was looking at friendship bracelets, like I was her grandmother and I felt it - it was real.
Two songs to go with this:
This Girl's In Love (Live At HMH) by Trijntje Oosterhuis
Riviera Life by Caro Emerald
BLT Merriam Webster word of the day challenge: Bilk: a transactional act of fraud or deceit.
Why is it so interesting when someone else falls in love?
Is our fascination purely voyeuristic, like the you-are-there of reality-TV?
Is it jealousy or some unwavering belief in lovers as heroes?

What is this relationship? We ask ourselves - and them - let’s take it apart and find out.
Like those YouTube videos where you’re shown how to do French-tip nails.

Is love an impulse, a one-time hookup or even a summer fling, or is it about finding ‘the one’ in the face of our own obligations and ineptitudes?

Love’s ‘high concept’ - it’s many things at once - it’s physical, emotional, intimate - maybe even ******.
Part of our interest has to be our affection (or dislike) of the characters involved.

A relationship isn’t a ‘performance,’ of course, but as friends we might be considered an ‘audience’.

Love is drama. There’s a cast - with their chemistry. There’s a plot - shot through with compelling incidents, difficult situations, tear-jerking agonies, and shocking twists.

The sweet moments, between the actual ‘wow, this is happening’ and everyone finding out. The time the secret belongs to the lovers - that’s their chance to privately define their ungainly new reality - but soon enough, the world finds out, and there’s interest.

At its best, love is the gentle handling of consciousness itself, to evoke the effective resonance of pleasure.

But has it ever truly been a private experience?
Songs for this:
Me and Mrs. Jones by Michael Bublé (maybe the sexiest song ever)
Me and Mr. Jones by Amy Winehouse
BLT Merriam Webster word of the day challenge: Ungainly something awkward or clumsy
Because zippers cruelly pinch the skin
I use velcro for my fastening.  
Those hooks are much too small
To puncture me at all,
Twisting barbs into crooks blunts pins.
Sunsets of a thousand colors,
jumping into crystal blue waters,
yeah, school's out for summer.

At first, it’s a shock - ignoring the clock,
we’re like prisoners set free
- for a two-month party
- and no responsibilities

Ditch the books ******* - you’re my tribe
- summer’s our vibe - it’s time to slip-n-slide.

Barbeque, corn on the cob, juicy peaches,
lemonade, popsicles, hot sandy beaches,
thunderstorms, short shorts, cotton candy clouds,
let's get a little too silly and a little too loud.

Coleslaw, hotdogs, sharing French fries
Charles smokin' ribs, burgers piled high,
lounging by the pool, with friends dropping by.

Sunglasses, flip-flops, midnight walks, crop tops,
sunrise mornings, throwing frisbees in the park

Playlist DJ’n, the bare feet are tappin', we’re TikTok dancin’,
and, truth or dare, I’m seeing a couple of new romances.

Ferris wheel spinnin', funnel-cake eatin’, roller coaster screamin’,
the kettle-corn’s poppin’ for rom-com streamin’ and reality-TVing.

My mom asked, “Why are you girls all sleeping in one room?”
The answer? “Cause there ain’t no cure for the summertime snooze”

Why doesn’t someone make a sunblock perfume?

Umbrellas, watermelons, 3am dips, Taco Bell trips
and roasting marshmallows on the poolside fire-pit

Beach towels spread like butterfly wings,
hey, our tans are starting to match our bikinis!

Come on, relax, have an ice-cold martini.
We’re not doin’ nothin' - we’re makin’ memories!
Traveler Jul 5
I must confess
I keep pictures of slave-owners
Well more or less
In my wallet
Sea-foam green
Fine frog hairs
Cash I mean
Picture printed on the backs of hemp
Were they heroes or merely slave owning wimps?

Even my coins are incline
They shine the barbarism of our kind
Every penny, quarter, nickel and dime
Somehow they spend just fine

Smash the statues
Change their names
From your cultural war
I will abstain

Yet I need my money just the same!
Traveler 🧳 Tim
Anais Vionet Jul 5
🎆🎇 Happy 4th! Everyone! 🎇🎆

It’s summer, hurry up. Let’s not waste a minute.
Where’s the sunscreen, where’s the party, who’s knutching who?

The sky was crowded with bright, balloon stratocumulus clouds, hanging mountain-like in the air. How can something that big just float in the sky? Either the Greek gods are holding them up, or they defy reason.

So, we’re in Athens, Georgia and apparently, Lisa, Kim, Bili, Leong and I are ‘too much club.’
We’re insuperable - too rowdy, too loud, too late, we laugh too much, hand-ringing about haircuts, shoes and romantic connections.

Sorry, if we’re not co-signing for everyone’s existential angst - we’re 5 girls on vacation.

Well, except Leong, she’s just joined us - fresh from Macau China. She’s got dark-takes on the world situation, saying things like, “enjoy it while it lasts.” I tried to explain the evils of nihilism - how once you let nihilism materialize, it’s a fog that swallows you.

If you read the news - which is geared toward the grisly - it’s only going to tap you out. There are too many issues. Our group is a mix - a salad of feminism, environmentalism, stoicism - we’re ism’d out. We’re Asian, black, southern, liberal and communist, woke and anti-woke - what we DO have in common is - we’re summarized.

‘Summarized’ Americans, swim all day and sit by the pool all night talking and catching up. We also water ski, shop, roller sk8, play frisbee golf, go out to dinner and pull-out-the-stops for a party now and then.

Some nights, we stream ‘Suits’ and make emo-boy sexualized comments when Meghan comes on - but we like her - more or less - let her take her shot. Marry that complicated princeling and let every moment be drama.

Since the school year’s measured in work, let’s measure summer by fun and silly drama.
A song for this:
Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear To Tread) by Bow Wow Wow
Family Affair (feat. Alan Scaffardi) by Papik
knutching = kissing
dillio = deal

From Merriam Webster’s ‘Word of the day’ list:  Insuperable: impossible to control

Kim and Bili are my high school BFFs. They’re a year behind me (because I skipped SR year) - Kim, a Korean American, is at Princeton studying forensic accounting (whatever that is) and Bili, a tall Nubian Princess, studies computer science @ UC-Berkeley.
Anais Vionet Jul 2
It’s summer in Georgia, yeah, it’s warm.

In high school, they said Shakespeare
once called Georgia, "sulfurous and hot."
He wasn’t wrong.

The careless sky is letting in all of the heat.
We saw a TV news crew chasing a lone cloud.

The humidity is so thick, that the air is too dense for lungs,
but we bought a tool at Home Depot that cuts it into usable pieces.

Today’s ‘Webster word of the day’ is “glade,” which is funny, because
if you see an animal in a glade, it’s probably dead from the heat.

I saw a bird in flight burst into flames when it drifted from the safe shadows.

If you want me, I’ll be in the pool - or a friend’s pool. I taught Lisa
an old southern saying, “Lawdy Miss Scarlet, it’s hot out HE-ya.”

I love summer’s honest freedom.

My motto for the next two weeks is:
“Don’t give up on your dreams - keep sleeping.”
A song for this:
Don’t forget the sun by the explorers club
Don’t worry baby by Carrie Elkin
BLT Merriam Webster word of the day challenge: Glade: a grassy open space in a forest
Would pumpkins smile so very wide
If they knew on a porch outside
An exposed gourd soon rots
Or splatters parking spots?  
Their grins come from some defiant pride.
Anais Vionet Jun 30
In a phalanx of four: Peter, Lisa, Dave, and I, descended a waterfall of marble stairs - pilgrims to another time - as if we’d punched through a wormhole.

It’s a five-star bash at the palace of Versailles - a grand ball - and the air itself seemed to vibrate with a feverish energy. As we bottomed the stairs, something whisked by in the air - was it the ghost of beheaded Louis the 16th?

Naah, it was a multicolored, donkey-headed, Cirque du Soleil creature. They swung everywhere, like gravity defying bugs on silken tethers, ring-swings and thin, web ropes. They flew, tumbled, unicycled, breathed fire and were shot out of cannons like fodder - all against a prismatic sunset backdrop.

A surprisingly chill Parisian wind clawed at our costumes of silk and broadcloth finery. The sun, a bright pink and yellow crack, low on the horizon, cast long, dramatic shadows on the flourish of chaos, as people arrived.

As night asserted itself, light became a living entity, blooming and dissolving in a mesmerizing multicolor-laser ballet that bathed the milling, costumed throng in fluorescent kaleidoscopes of kool-aid colors.

The day before, we had final costume fittings, earlier on the day, we had our hair and makeup done by artists who specialized in 17th/18th century styles (like we’d have known the difference).

From the salon, we were valeted, from Paris, directly to a ‘theme studio,’ setup in the Grand Trianon (the small, side palace where Napoleon lived in the summer) where, for €250 each, we got 10 glam shots on an elaborate, fantasy set.

Then we were escorted to the ‘Extravagant’ (a VIP area next to the stage) - passing through the envious glares of queued, lesser mortals.
‘Ahh, Privilege’, I thought, smiling brightly and waving royally - ‘just like Marie Antoinette used to do it.’ (before being angrily beheaded).

In the heart of the masquerade, tables fairly groaned under a buffet to shame the Roman emperors. There were open bars where rivers of martinis, champagnes and chocolates, the very essences of the celebration, flowed freely.

Elaborately constructed, elevated stages of polished aluminum pulsed music and life. LED light-panels painted fleeting hieroglyphs on the crowd, teasing the edges of perception and bands performed their own sonic wave-magic, swamping the crowd along in currents of booming, euphoric, Frenchcore club-music.

Dance, dance, dance, rest. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a more delightfully fragrant crush of humanity.
Our gilded, white clothed table was an island where we could retreat for cooling refreshment. I have two important words for you 'watermelon martinis’ - you’ll thank me later.

Versailles decadent past was alive that night. It was a young crowd, in general, so, of course, G was there, with Molly, K and Ice - but we were, like, ‘no thank you very much’. In several areas, costumes became fairytale slithers, as partiers became increasingly uninhibited.

After about four hours we caught the ‘exclusive’ light show (Hollywood bathed in unclothed decadence) before moving, weary limbed as zombies, toward the whispered promise of breakfast.

About 45 limousine-minutes later, waiting tourists and a crowd of locals outside a posh Paris restaurant hushed as we passed, colorfully costumed, like ghosts of an indulgent, hedonistic past - to our reserved table.
“Quatre, café et croque monsieur, s'il te plaît,” I told the waiter (four coffees & breakfast sandwiches, please).

I’ll admit to being a bit jaded. I’ve been to more than several ‘Parisian Haute-Couture Extravaganzas” but Lisa seemed genuinely impressed and I think the boys (Peter and David) had fun too. I was lavished with kudos as if I’d thrown the thing.

The atmosphere had been pure romance - in an upscale, Disney, mass produced sense and while it was, perhaps - like last summer's trip to the Ascot races - something not to be missed, it was also a one-time fling - something to look back on - when we’re 40 or whatever.
BLT Merriam Webster word of the day challenge: Kudos praise given for an achievement

G was there, with Molly, K and Ice = the club drugs Ecstasy, MDMA, Ketamine and ****.
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