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Popular invitations
Sent from heralds of punch and perfume
Simple news for a lonely intimation
When asking is a favored voice to loom

Generosity, and the stir of deed
Done with sorrow, as a future has been
See the wish of gaiety, of me...
The miracle of need, is but a strength to sing

Sincerity asked, what has a luck seen for the better of others?
And with the delicate truth to share, can we see the baring lot?
So exposed, so triumphant for a quiet hope, come of age to bother
The very routes of dismay, a looking how, that has joy for now?

And the light has fed the cause, of reasons conscience?
Risk and tenacity running so fast, for a truth to dwell...
Upon the seclusion we sake an hour, of something greater than prescience
And the fate of it, a happier draw of attention, to a reach still...

As we thought, a marvel of sincerity and furies with a moment to tell
The world is a sour passion, come of distance as a reward for life
In the details and the wayward way we make spirit to fulfil
When notion is a curious live, for something greater than hatred's sight?
Like a vision of all smiles and human styles, a conversation lead to shyness's decision, let them eat anticipations cake...
Anais Vionet Feb 21
This was last Saturday night. We were at a rooftop party in downtown New Haven thrown by ‘DocHouse.’ Doc-House is kind of a frat-house, owned by Dr. Melon, where he and seven doctoral students live. My BF Peter lived there once - before he graduated and took a job in Geneva - that’s how I met Dr. Melon. I think Peter asked Melon to ‘keep an eye’ on me - because he texts me an invitation every week and people with multiple doctorates and doctoral students don’t usually hang with lowly undergraduates.

The invitation said ‘rooftop’ but we’re mostly on the third floor - not on the actual roof - because it’s about 39°f and windy out there tonight. The floor space was about seventy by a hundred feet, there were pillars but no walls. The space was lit by a million strings of white Christmas lights.

The party was packed and loud - so loud I was wearing ear plugs. Beach chairs and card tables were the furniture. There were foosball, pool and two ping-pong tables (one of those being used for "Beer Pong"). A karaoke machine patched into two Marshall amps and speakers acted as a DJ.

Of course, there was a bar. Everyone was supposed to bring something. We brought two bags of ice, two magnums of Gordon's gin, two fifths of Cinzano vermouth, a jar of large green olives and a box of toothpicks, because there’s always room for the proper anesthetic. Martinis aren’t a shiny, new hobby with me - they’re a lifelong passion that I only indulge in on weekends and in psychologically safe environments.

There were 7 in our party - Sunny, Lisa, Leong (three of my suitemates), Lisa’s BF David (a Wall Street M&A man), Andy (a carrot-topped chain-smoking divinity-school undergraduate friend of Sunny’s), Charles (our escort, and driver) and me.

We’d been there about 30 minutes when Jordie, a guy I’ve been sort of crushing on for several months, showed up - alone. Lisa turned to me and yelled, “Uuu, lookie lookie,” when she saw him - I barely heard her - but I read her lips. I’d never really talked to Jordie, but when I looked at him, through the warm, martini mist, my tummy felt like Jello-excitement.

As the night wore on, Jordie and I started hanging out. We lost at foosball, 8-ball and ping-pong before we went up on the roof to get some air. The silvery ½-moon crescent was obscured, off and on by clouds, like a shell game where the moon was a jewel on blue velvet. You could almost hear the operator’s smooth, practiced patter, “now you see it, now you don’t, place your bets.”

It was quiet up there, so we actually talked. Somehow, the vast night seemed intimate. As we talked, the conversation was delicate and careful, like the words were made of crystal.

A while later, Jordie and I were back downstairs dancing. The entire floor was coated with that gray-speckled covering - so you could dance anywhere - but a rectangle of police tape in that flooring defined the official ‘dance floor’.

Two hours later, we were watching Sunny sing karaoke while holding a fuchsia martini (just add raspberry liqueur) in one hand. When Sunny goes, she totes commits and belting out an angry, screamo version of ‘Ain’t it fun’ by Paramore, she tried for a Beyonce-like head-spin (don’t try this at home), and slung half of her drink on the crowd - but it didn’t slow her, or them, down. After finishing, to huge applause, she took several bows and coming back to our table, she asked Andy, “How was I?”
Andy held out his hand and lampooned her by waffling it, in a so-so gesture.
As Lisa handed Sunny a replacement cocktail, she told Andy “You don’t get it - it’s supposed to be awful.”
“Then it’s the best version of the song I’ve ever heard.” he replied, holding up his hands like she had a gun.

Jodie and I danced some more and after a while, someone played a slow song. As we moved close together, his subtle, boy musk was torturous and intoxicating. How come guys smell better when they’re all sweaty and I smell like a horse? Eight weeks of lonely boredom and three martinis (4?) were almost enough to churn the sweat of desire into the intoxicating liquor of consent. In my secret heart I wanted him. Badly. I wanted to take him home and smash against him for hours. Alas, I have a (missing) boyfriend and I don’t believe in oopsies.

At that very moment I saw Charles, standing silhouetted in one of the dance floor lights - he had our coats in hand. I swear, that man can read my mind. I glanced at my watch, 2:30am. I stopped close dancing with Jordie and stepped back. “I gotta go,” I told him.
“It was fun,” he said, shrugging and smiling.
“It WAS fun,” I agreed, taking my coat from Charles who’d come over. “(I’ll) See you next week,” I added, as everyone in our little caravan started to move.
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Lampoon: to ridicule with harsh satire.

totes = totally
Anais Vionet Nov 2023
It’s Harvard VS Yale this weekend, the vibes are just starting now. Everyone - and I mean everyone - has been asking about my game tickets, because guest tickets are $25 a pop. I’m more interested in the parties than the game, so I donated mine (Students get 1 free ticket and they can buy 2 for $15 each) to Lisa (one of my suitemates) for her family.

Lisa, Leong, Anna and I are getting ready to go down to the dining hall. Lisa asks the room, “Harry Styles’ new buzzcut - Yes, or No?”
“No,” Leong said, not looking up from her teen fashion magazine.
“Oh, no - God no,” I answered, “The worst decision of 2023.”
Anna blows a raspberry, “I think he’s trying to ditch his ‘pretty boy’ image and go hard rock.”
Lisa followed up, “And?..” “And NO, disaster NO, jump the shark NO,” Anna answered.
“I’m a NO also” Lisa admitted, and she’s a h-core Styles fan.

Later, Lisa was reclining on my bed, using every pillow I own to turn it into a chaise lounge that wouldn’t wrinkle her outfit. Her heels were on the floor and her bare feet were dangling in the air. Her toenails were a French tipped twinkly-pink.

She was slurping on a Coke-Zero - again - for a much-needed kick of caffeine before the night's events - which made me feel guilty, because she picked that up when I took her to Paris last summer. I’ve told her (a million times) how bad it is for her metabolism and endocrine system.
“How could you do this to me?” I asked, as if exasperated - which is currently our in-joke for everything.
“Now-now-now now-now,” she says, in self-defense, “what SHOULD I be drinking then?”
“H2-oh,” I say. “H20, as in water,” she sort of inquired, she then asked, “What’s the ‘2’ stand for?”
“Twenty,” I think, snarking back.
“Oh, you fancy, huh?” she laughed.
“I’m in college.” I shruggingly bragged.

I was shuffling through my closet, trying to pick out an outfit that would, at least, look ‘ok’ next to Lisa’s ‘in your face’ fun mix of pinks and purples sprinkled with neon greens.
Barbie herself could never.
I doubted I could keep with the theme.

My secret to dressing for these endless ‘theme’ parties, is to just tune out the noise and focus on your feels. If you give too much weight to how others will judge you, it’ll ruin the moment. I ended up wearing a vintage, deep blue, Betsey Johnson dress with matching tights and black ballet flats. Glittery, smokey-eye makeup and messy curls completed the 'très bien ensemble'.

I looked in the mirror, hoping for glam, and shrugged, “the scene’s going to be moody-lit anyway,” I said, as an excuse to the universe.

“You’re going to ******-der-der,” Lisa pronounced, as we gathered our bags to leave. “******-der-der?” I chuckled.
“******-der-der,” she confirmed, as if it were obvious.

h-core = *******
Anais Vionet Oct 2023
It’s Monday afternoon, the first day after Fall Break. Several of my suitemates are here, relaxing a bit before we hit the dining hall and then scatter, like debris from a bomb. There are a zillion things to do on campus, on any given night. Lisa and I are going to a seminar, Anna and Sunny are going to a Uni play and Leong’s going to see a documentary.

Leong was hunched over a cup of dark tea, reading ‘J-14’ magazine. “Do any of you guys think Travis Kelce is hot?” She asked, not looking up. Leong subscribes to several ‘teen’ magazines, like ‘J-14’, ‘Girls' World’ and ‘Girl’s Life.’ She says that Yale is her chance to be the ‘American teenager’ she could never be at home (Macaw, China). We’d make fun of her if we didn’t all read them after she finished, and they were lying around.

“No,” said Lisa and I about the same time as Anna and Sunny said, “Yeah,” to varying degrees.
“Did you think he was hot before he started dating Taylor?” she asked, pushing the enquiry even further. “No,” said Lisa and I repeated in unison - we had this down now.
“He wasn’t on my radar,” Anna admitted. Sunny said, “Yeah, same here.”
“Why do YOU think he’s hot?” Leong asked Sunny (who’s fem-facing).
“I can appreciate a hot guy,” she said, sounding a little defensive, “as someone who could draw hetero interest.”

Then Lisa reported, from head down in her textbook, “Your mouth retains the DNA of everyone you ever kissed.” She looked up and asked me, how many guys have you kissed?
“You mean politely kissed or Deep-kissed,” I asked back, tilting my head, sticking out my tongue and slobbering it around, like a dog eating peanut butter.

“They mean French-kissed,” she replied, rescanning the last paragraphs as I calculated.
“So, the five guys I dated, but we used to play ‘spin the bottle’ at parties too.. so.. 25?” I said.
“You ****!” she laughed. “I have my truth,” I updogged, “How about you?”

“I’d forgotten ‘spin the bottle,’ Lisa admitted, recalculating.. “Yeah, 25 sounds about right.”
“Leong?” she asked Leong. “Two,” Leong answered instantly.
“Anna?” she asked Anna, so Lisa was going completely around the room with this survey.
“25 sounds right” Anna answered, “including spin,” (the bottle).
“Sunny?” Leong asked Sunny. “A HUNDRED,” I said, hijacking Sunny’s answer, and everyone chuckled. Every Friday night Sunny brings a different girl home to ‘spend the night.’ It’s rather impressive.
“A few,” Sunny answered, shrugging nonchalantly, “A girl doesn’t kiss and tell.”
“I’ve got a calculator,” Anna said, “if you change your mind,” holding her phone up like an offer.
Our seminar: "The Evolution of Protein Dynamics and its Exploitation for Enzyme and Drug Design" *****This was actually a very interesting talk. They figured out how to inhibit 'protease' enzymes (catalyst proteins) which *** cells need to develop in order to mature. Protease blocking prevents the *** virus multiplying. ******* genius.*****
Anna & Sunny’s play: University Theatre, ‘******* A’ by Suzan-Lori Parks
Leong’s documentary: Paywall: The Business of Scholarship Film Screening

** The DNA stays forever theory has since been debunked - the DNA lasts about an hour.
Anais Vionet Jan 2023

The other day Anna created a Pinterest board of wedding ideas (Cheesy, she knows). “It’s time to hop on the bandwagon,” she said. She insists every other girl she’s aware of - except her weird Yale roommates - has one.

We think her girls back home (in Oregon) - who didn’t go to college, are matching up with the Larrys and Gregs who stayed home to become auto mechanics and carpenters - and are now serially getting married. This trend seems to be exerting an odd, psychological pressure on Anna.

“You may be jumping the gun,” Sophie observes.

Anna’s never even had a long-term boyfriend before, but she wishes she had one now. A part time BF anyway, because who has time for more? Anna is self-proclaimed awkward with guys, especially cute ones.

She created a tinder account and uses it to see how many matches she can get - but she refuses to meet any guys there because she says she’s not “desperate.” She thinks everything about tinder screams awkward, unless people are just hooking up there - and that idea, in her mind, is absolutely disgusting.

saving the planet

Late last Friday night, a graduate friend of Peter’s threw a party at his house - far from campus. The house was packed with people and the music was thumping, the crowded rooms jumping - practically ******* - in time to a Sacramento horror punk band called “The cramps" that was playing on loop.

I made it through the living room mob to the kitchen, which was oddly empty and well lit. There was a disheveled girl gripping the island bar with one hand, like we’re on a rocking ship, while trying to light a cigarette with the other. I gently wangled the lighter from her - so she didn’t set her hair on fire - and gave her a light.

Afterwards, I slipped the lighter into her skirt pocket, and noticed half the island had coke spilled all over it. “I gave it a drink,” she said, slurring and wavering on her feet, “it looked thirsty.”

That’s when I noticed her now-empty *** and coke cup next to a soaking wet little cactus plant, two ice cubes now lodged in its dirt. I reassured her as I helped her onto a chair, “you were saving the planet.”
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Wangle: “get (something) by trickery or persuasion.”
Anais Vionet Dec 2022
I’m at (my roommate) Lisa’s for the holidays and it was Christmas Eve afternoon. I was in Leeeza’s room (Lisa’s 13-year-old sister). One corner of the room is all pillows. A hundred pillows or more - Disney pillows like Mickey and Minnie but shrek pillows too and penguin pillows, minion pillows, mario brothers pillows and novelty pillows that look like bags of doritos, cheetos and ramen noodle soup - just about every toy pillow you can imagine.

Leeza was there on the pile with me, watching “La La Land,” my favorite movie. Leeza had never seen it and I hoped she’d love it as much as I do. In the end, she pronounced it a new favorite.

Later (still Christmas eve) Lisa, Karan (her mom) Leeza and I made our way to a lardy-dardy rooftop event space called “The Skylark,” where Michael (Lisa’s dad) was co-hosting a Christmas party. The rooftop is on the 30th floor and everything there is made of glass - even the staircases.

When Lisa told me about the party (at school), I brought out a few Anna Molinari bits I had stored under my bed (when I realized Yale wear wasn't very fashionable). I ended up wearing a black lace party dress, a black knit crop cardigan cover and white, satin bridal shoes. It seemed very on point as a "Wednesday" look. If you haven't watched the "Wednesday" series on Netflix - It's fun.

As we arrived the sun faded, as if timed, and natural light gradually gave way to the cityscape of artificial light. Once it became fully-dark, New York city glittered around us, as if the stars had dropped from the heavens to join the party.

A brass and piano ensemble played seasonal classics like Prokofiev’s Troika as we (Lisa, Leeza and I) explored the venue. Every surface seemed decorated with poinsettias, candles, and ornaments or ribbed by garlands of balsam, spruce and fir that smelled incredible.

There were (guessing) about 200 guests and servers wound their way through the crowd with trays of cocktails and champagne. These waiters were all good looking, as if picked from the sea of actors, in New York, just waiting for that big Broadway break. At one point, Leeza, with a mischievous holiday gleam in her eye, reached for a flûte à Champagne only to have the waitress twirl, at the last millisecond, like a dancer, leaving her grasping at air, disappointed.

Michael’s company had set up a tall, white and gold Christmas tree, in a corner of the terrace, under it were packages, for special clients, so beautifully, individually and uniquely decorated that you could believe they were wrapped by angels.

The papering was exquisite, handmade, thick as Liva and embossed, inlaid or pebbled with gold. They were topped with bows, brooches, angels, or snowflakes of silver, rose-brass, batic silk and even crocodile.

No doubt the wrappings were as valuable as the gifts inside and though those presents enchanted, teased and cajoled us all, they were reserved for people on the very, very nice list (a cop stood discreetly by). We were briefly transfixed by the spectacle, but the spell was broken when Leeza said, “I’m hungry.”

Cocktail parties are for adults, so after we ate, Karen stayed with Michael and the teenagers were sent home. We didn’t mind, after all, none of those presents were for us - our day would be Christmas!

Happy holidays!
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Cajoled: "to deceive with false promise."

Lardy-dardy = swank and elegant
Anais Vionet Aug 2022
The ***, I thought. Pirates drink ***, I decided, because then the world rocks like a boat. My foot was tingling, like it was asleep, but I was just sitting on it, which seemed funny.

I managed to free my foot and the whole world seemed more comfortable.
Then a spider was on my face!
I swatted at it, but it was just my hair, which I managed, with dizzying effort, to tuck behind my ear.

Everett, slid off the couch, in front of me, like an alligator off a sand bank. I hadn’t noticed him before. He worked his way over next to me, on all fours, like a lazy, wobbly panther.

“Everett,” I said, as if to establish the fact that that blurry shape was indeed Everett.
“ANN-Ais,” he replied, and chuckled like we’d exchanged punchlines. He was next to me now.
“You’re very,” he said, as if struggling for the next word, “PRetty,” he said, petting my arm like a cat.

Then, still on all fours, he lifted one hand and touched a finger to my right breast, as if it were a sleeping thing he was trying to wake. I watched him, detachedly. He looked distorted, like a reflection in a funhouse mirror. His backside slumped down, like a lion that was full and ready to nap, and he rebalanced himself on his left elbow and licking his lips reached over again.

I gently, preemptively, pushed his reaching hand away, “Stop thAT,” I said, “yourrrrrr drrUNK.”
“YOU’RE, are TOO!” He said, in sloppy accusation, which made me laugh and then him too.

“Leave me alone,” I managed to say, pretty clearly. Prompting Everett to frown and give me a jerky, dismissive wave as he, the proud panther, began to look for other prey.

I looked around and saw my purse, on the table next to the chair that was holding me up. The strap was just within reach so I yanked on it and my purse thumped roughly onto the carpet next to me. My glass, which was next to it, threatened to tip over but settled itself upright.

I fished out my phone, while fighting a curtain of my hair that had decided to attack me when I reached for my purse. “Hey, Siri,” I slurred, “callllll CHarles.”
It rang once. “Yep,” he said.
“Come get me pleaZ,” I said, trying to get my hair and tongue separated.

Two minutes later Charles was there. He held out his hand, which I managed to take while somehow shouldering my purse. He pulled me to an unsteady stance, shook his head and scooped me, effortlessly, into a cradle carry. “Do you have everything?” He asked.

I nodded and said, “Thank you for inviting me, EVVVV!” While waving wildly as we left.
Once outside, he said, “14-year old's do NOT drink!” With a real edge in his voice.
“I’m sorry,” I said, in a tone of tired melancholia. I couldn’t help resting my face on his warm chest as he carried me to our house just next door to Everett’s.
“You’re GROUNDED for a MONTH.” He said in a growl.
Somehow, I managed to make it upstairs and into bed without encountering my parents.

In the morning, while I was busy feeling like death, Charles told my parents, “She’s grounded for a month.” I was. They didn’t ask why, and he didn’t offer to say.

I love Charles.
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Melancholia: a sad tone or quality.
calypso Feb 2022
from my new york window,
i can see tall structures,
see snowfall upon green rust,
tiny ants move busily on jobs,
with their lives, missing rides,
all of this from a glass wall.

from my new york window,
i can find peace.
if it means staring at life moving,
playing a one-person game

is new york always this quiet at night,
the stars not shining as bright?
does their light not burn through dark stone?
or bring out the best in all?
new york, new york
where are you?
where are your wonderful parties?
where have you been?

from my new york window,
i can tell its faint outside
where are your constellations?
they used to move around your city
i miss when they were nebulas
just starting to explore the world
i was never like a ball of fire
so eager to be thriving
so ready to leave being an atom,
joining molecules, being compounds

new york, do you miss me?
do you remember our memories?
of us in the snow, looking above, making angels,
talking about how life would never be enough?
new york, don't you remember,
you and i being friends, singing together?
new york, you don't remember me
because i was never there,
i have never been to your magnificent city.
you are for all the big lights, the huge suns
i was never made to be a fireball,
never so much one to live a free life
new york, don't miss me
I'm not worthy of being so precious like your sky.
i never was, i never will.
new york, my best wishes to you,
don't forget me,
when you don't know me well.
in the third stanza, im talking about new york during the pandemic.
Anais Vionet Feb 2022
Debilitating laughter
at the hands of a master
a ***** minded *******
who knows what he’s after

The ever subtle asker
he caresses and flatters
his clever patter shatters
cares that should matter.

Finally, we moved to extract her
the wobbling girl from Nebraska
from a drunken fraternal disaster
and the junior poised to shaft her

Uhh, sorry to interrupt
Anna, pick her up her stuff
We gotta go home ***, get up
Hey bud, touch ME and you’re ******.

***, you’ve had too much ***
when tomorrow comes
if you still want to slum
you can still bed the ***

We’re waiting for an Uber
Are you starting to sober?
No babe, you didn’t *****-up
Ughh, yep, she threw up.
Anais Vionet Sep 2021
Your life’s but a shadow
he’s a king of the earth
he’s secure in his place
he knows his own worth.

He‘s lacking all burdens
his smile merits bliss
by the King be commanded
you’re deemed worthy young miss.

The lady‘s so lucky,
as a rose meant for plucking,
this brawling, rough rogue,
- this heir to earths throne,
deems her worth the f—king.

I chuckle demurely,
“Be away drunken sir
- leave me to my studies
- go chase other skirts
with your fraternity buddies.”
boy, the weekend festivities seem to start Thursday afternoons on fraternity row.
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