Neely O’Hara traveling incognito
Haven’t written in a while, feeling like I’m living a numb life because I’m just waiting for the future right now. I’ve always been quite impatient, step one step two…. wanting step 3 to follow in the same rhythm, not liking the out of time lags that steps in life take. Some things come too fast, I can’t keep up, and then it’s an infinite abyss I’m stretching and stretching and stretching across and my foot still hasn’t hit solid ground.
I’m extended and waiting. In-between selves, can’t decide how much longer I want to be with this hair cut. To be honest I have been passing off tights as underwear for a minute now. It works because it’s winter and I have three sweaters on at all time and can switch out which one is closest to my skin and which one is closest to the rain. They all are kind of clean right? Borrow Sham’s sweaters so it feels like it’s a bigger cycle. In between times, I hate anticipation and how to excite people about a project that I just put everything I had into, and I have to now sell it? Fuck. I’m exhausted. It is what it is. I can’t describe it, I’m too damn close to it. It’s like trying to tell someone what it’s like to live inside me. Um, it’s awful? And amazing. And I don’t know if I like it or why you should, but here it is, here you go.
Social media feels fake as ffuuuuuuck right now but maybe it’s due to my general current inability to communicate with those around me beyond basic needs. Or maybe it’s because when I log on I just see different, slightly edgier, slightly more polished, slighty more niche ways every one says the same goddamn thing. I’m trying to use the same language and it feels flat, I’m done echoing and putting in. Simple. Sentences. This is this. That is that. XY, then Zed. Here s a gif that I think is cute to pair with my black and white language so you know I still have a heart, somewhere far far beyond the pixels of your screen.
What to do during this waiting period? How to utilize it? It truly doesn’t exist, and is the same as any other day, but why does it feel like my big toe is just dy y yin gg to feel the bottom staircase and I CAN’t .. continue….. while… this tension is in my whole body the way it is before a runner starts a race. Life life life life stops stops stoppppppppppsssss….andtHENGOES! When it’s chaos I dream of this silence, a time to reflect would be amazing, I muse. A time to write, a time to really get into those movies that everyone always talks about so you can remedy your pop culture ignorance. But I’m here and I’m forgetting the names of all of those movies I scrolled on my hand or napkin to watch when I have time. Uh… Forest Gump? That one directed by that one famous director that everyone goes as for halloween.. like everyone. I have time now, and I don’t want it. I’m killing it.
I read the Time Machine by H.G. Wells. Well, re-read it. When I was little I was obsessed with the Dark Crystal, a movie portrayed by puppets that have extremely jostly and unnerving movements (my childhood movies were: Beatles Yellow Submarine, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Dark Crystal, and Fantasia, played in a cycle. No I haven’t seen Fight Club or the one about italian mobsters). The main character is a sleek silver elf, navigating a quest of some sort for a life-source crystal. When I read this book, I pictured Weena looking just like the main character of Dark Crystal, and naturally Time Machine became my favorite book. In it, a scientist, as you may guess, builds a time machine and goes forward in time. He is faced with what he believes to be the descendants of the human race, the bourgeois class having too cushiony a life has de-evolutionized mentally, using a simplified language and way of life. They can no longer grasp abstract concepts like creation, future, past, and behave like five year olds. What he believes to be the working class have lived underground for a few millennia, and turned into albino, ape-like creatures who eat the other humanoid species to sustain themselves, only coming out at night to hunt. The thing that I remembered from the book was that he forgot to take any sort of camera with him to the future.
What interests you most about the future?
It’s just… around the corner…
and I’ve never been very patient.
Yesterdays/todays/tomorrows/I can’t tell anymore really. Just want it to be mid January.
Scanned a couple rolls of film.
Got to sleep late,
Coffee this “morning” (3PM)
Sweet Angel is out, well, the video portion is! We’d been working on it for two or three weeks, so fun! It’s up on the youtube now, you can check it out of you wanna (there’s also some home movies that just went up!) Sorry for the excessive use of exclamation points.. I’m! Just! So! Excited! about all the projects/videos we’re working on.
woke up an hour before my alarm that I didn’t think I’d actually wake up for.
underwear with purple flowers. didn’t remember my dream. kept my eyes closed and thought carefully, remembering every sweet detail of every single thing in the room that’s ours for two weeks. the radiator that hisses, the tall door and tall windows and tall bookshelf. her mostly.
toes sticking out the end of our blanket. she stayed asleep for thirty minutes, maybe more and I lay there, not wanting to get up, because why would I. the world was cold and mine wasn’t. sleep lines across cheeks pressed to pillows.
I read to her for hours last night. legs crossed-on my tummy-on my back-feet dangling in the air-slouching-sitting up straight. she pieced together video clips of rosy faces and Paris sights-to-be-seen that we did see and filmed. anna sings tenderly through the computer speaker and someone tells us a secret in a language we don’t understand. emma spins, sam cries, sham closes his eyes and the room is orange and we don’t live there anymore. I feel so gently for the morning as it is tapped and cracked and put on a frying pan by the inevitability of some presentation of sunlight oozing onto the rug. today life is as I clutched to it before I had fallen asleep, so sweet.
Emma, sham, and I pile on jackets and socks to stay warm, trading sweatshirts for sweaters with each other. Press play on the same song at the same time, lock the front door. It’s hailing and most of the coffee shops are closed. Sam comes to Berlin on Thursday, it’ll be three to a bed and we’ll laugh all night long and we will miss him when he goes again, FUCK all my friends live so far from each other and me. Glittering skirts on the computer screen, I cannot wait for you to see these videos. I feel like a chicken sitting on an egg. 17 rolls of film (mine), 11 rolls of film (shams), 2 music videos, a magazine, a mixtape, a neo (emma’s device that’s like a computer but only for typing) FULL of writing. So exciting!
and more and more and we all love what we’re doing and we all miss small towns and also big cities. Train rides, and the highway with no cars around. Rest stop sunsets, motel hopping. EEEk!
Atlanta, NYC, California, Vegas.
2 pieces of toast for breakfast, coffee, tea. everything for lunch was shaped like a slice of cake, 6 pieces of toast when we got home, 1/2 with jelly, 1/2 savory. tea, tea, tea. goodnight <3
Our place in Berlin doesn’t have wifi, so I went through my cluttered computer desktop to see what I had on there to entertain myself. I found a folder full of movies and music our friend Noemi put on there before we left her home in the countryside a year and a half ago. There are old, classic films and music that makes you want to move whimsically and think tenderly of everything you love. I miss Noemi and her house and movie nights on the static-y TV. Xo
** em took this pic of me and Noemi
It’s 5:38PM Berlin time. We’ve been hurrying from one warm place to another. Home to coffee shop, coffee shop to coffee shop. Emma is reading a spy-thriller to me before bed and we all dance around in the morning while we eat breakfast. This is home for a bit. My favorite things are bags of turkish delight for a euro, walking through the cemetery by our apartment, and the fact that Paris lives here! Hehe. Xo
We made it to Berlin! Underwear we washed in the sink drying in the kitchen. No stove, but a toaster. We blew through two loaves of bread, sitting on the carpet eating toast with jam and tea. Speaking enough german to get by, loving all the dogs off leashes and winter setting in. It feels like a Christmas village to me, candy on the street corners and cafes to tuck into.
trying to teach cybelle some german. she can only remember “süss”
Me Sham and Cyb all painted our nails red for the day.
Thinking about all the options of tomorrow.
Guess that’s it.
how do I find purpose?
I feel less frantic these days about finding my purpose. My purpose is not singular. I am a sister, a friend, a daughter, a creator, a girlfriend, a student. I guess if I had to isolate one thing it would be to just improve myself, and therefore, better those and the world around me. Know myself better to create more meaningful interactions. Learn more about other people and the world to build my own awareness. Pursuit of an ultimate final goal is tired, outdated, and out of sync with this current world. Shit is shifting so fast, hold on tight. Purpose assumes that the world will always be how it is now forever, and we know that’s not true.
how to be more confident being a gay couple in a narrow minded place?
Sorry you are feeling out of place and nervous. I still get uncomfortable in big cities and I have been in a queer relationship for a year now. I think building your world around you that is safe. Your world with you and that person, with you and friends that accept you, with you and a queer community. Queer spaces are a place of refuge and rehabilitation that help me be more confident in more traditional/hetero spaces.
how to stay friends with the boy I was in love with?
Depends on who you both are and how good your communication is, and your understanding of your new relationship moving forward. IE: are you going to hook up anymore? Are you going to still do the same things you did as a couple? Do you want to not see each other anymore but maintain a relationship by checking up via phone?
advice on making friends as a shy person?
I think easing yourself into friendships is ideal! So if you can find a way to be around a group of people for a longer period of time. Maybe taking a class, getting a job you love, joining groups locally. You just have to push yourself to go and it might pay off!
what to do when you don’t like your face?
Learn about your heritage and where your features come from and research people who have similar cultural backgrounds as you and learn about them, their individuality, uniqueness what makes them beautiful, strong, etc and you will see it in your own reflection.
have you ever had a bad experience with weed? i just had a panic attack from it
YEs it does make me anxious
how to i stop anxiety controlling my motivation to do anything?
Get off your phone for like a week, maybe two.
i want to apply for art school but I look at other peoples art and don’t feel good enough?
ALl you have to have is the passion to get better and that is what school is for. everyone is working at a different pace and have different levels of experience. Don’t compare yourself just do what brings you joy because you really just have to live one life by yourself.
how do i push myself to experience life despite anxiety?
Again get off your phone for a week. Like off, no nothing. Don’t even touch it. You will survive. Go out and read sit and watch. Sit and listen. Realize the world keeps moving despite all the mistakes you may make and despite what may happen. Anytime you feel anxiety piling up again take another tech break. If it continues and is seriously disrupting your life maybe you should get some professional help.
how to not be scared of expressing creative ideas?
Be gentle with yourself and start just creating for yourself. That’s how a lot of my friends started, just alone in your room making something because it’s the only thing that makes u happy. Expression starts with the need to express! Sharing can come or still not come. Even still now, I probably only share about 10% of what I create. The rest is for me.
How do you stay creative?
E: I am deeply unsatisfied and always want more from life.
Cybelle weighs in* I think that there might be a period of time in adolescence where you get super super numb, and you might not feel like you have the urge to create. Numbness takes over and is more powerful than depression. Snapping out of numbness somehow (no one can say how) then the need to create will completely overcome you.
how do you deal with inspiration loss?
Watch movies I love. Listen to music that makes me tingle. Remember that feeling and experience is all we have. A good warm day where nothing goes wrong and I can just sit and think. Any reset like that.
Eternal Sleepover is FINALLY finally (for real this time I hope) off to print. Making a tangible project is always worth it in the end, but that comes 6 months from now. Right now I’m worried about the big up front bill, the turnaround time, carrying boxes and boxes … me hating the work altogether. Sham says when you start to hate your art then it’s done. Looked at this magazine so much, listened to the mixtape over and over, thought about this and worked on it for so long.
I hope you love it. I hope you get it. I hope it makes it out there. I hope it makes sense to someone. I haven’t found the balance between over explaining and letting things be. Over explaining means that the definition gets in the way of the feeling, but leaving it to be winds up with misinterpretations or a complete gloss over of the concept. Attention spans are short, and one needs to know now because 6 seconds is the limit.
I want to throwaway my phone! Find a place that feels like home! Stop complaining so much!
Also want to go into a full butch phase but then I get distracted by sparkly dresses or lace dresses.
Also making tea on the kettle with ginger and lemon that we all share because we all made each other sick because we all pile in the same bed in the morning to say goodmorning.
Traveling around while we wait on Eternal Sleepover to be done printing.
I guess the Eternal Sleepover continues.
A recap of this year: Mexico, Salt Lake City, New York, Portland & Seattle, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Paris, now Berlin.
Learning to not talk about things before I do them or before they are complete because 90% of the time it makes you either lose motivation to do it or something falls off.
I’m learning that when you want to do something badly you really just have to keep doing it despite all the failures. Learning that people close to you see all the failures and worry about you, keep pushing through because no one can see the final goal but you.
Pregnancy without the knowledge that it’s pregnancy looks an awful lot like gaining weight.
Not sure how to speak honestly anymore. Want someone to remind me of who I am.
Crawl into bed for a few months with a book and some music. Listened to Lil Peep finally and actually loved it. Sorry how preconceived ideas get in the way of me liking things. Sorry how associations with what I might like might change someone’s opinion of me. Sorry that I am blind to my own prejudices.
Learning not to treat others the way you want to be treated because your view of the world is so limited. Learning to treat others how they want to be treated.
On a cusp of not wanting to continue on or go back, and sometimes wanting both.
Feeling uninspired by no new feelings. Everything seems to be going numb like it does every winter. People keep telling me it’s not winter yet makes me want to slap them.
The eternal sleepover has been going on for a few months now, actually a year and a half. Ever since Cybelle came to visit me in New York in winter of 2016, is it really that long ago? I was living in a first floor apartment in New York City, the floor where the light never reaches. It was so dark in there it felt like 3 am at noon. It was a weird place to live really, my boyfriend at the time was living with me, sleeping in my bed, we met and he moved in a week later, he told me he liked me while we were sitting by the pond in central park. It’s funny that my only idea of moving to New York was visions of the park, running there or the cotton candy sided up with hotdogs and ice creams and kids and old people and ballerinas and cobblestone and hills and strawberry fields forever. Upper west side turned out to be rich white and didn’t feel unlike how I had grown up in Vegas. In some cities you just feel the judgment in the air like you feel fog in San Francisco.
That’s kinda how that place felt. There was a construction worker outside of my first floor window. They would watch me sleeping, would watch me having sex, for some reason it never bothered me. Apparently the tennants that jumped ship before me and left the apartment left because they were robbed by a construction worker breaking through that window. My boyfriend said he would wake up to rocks being thrown by them at his window. He slept all the time though, maybe they were just worried about him. Our rooms were also all different colors, we taped those color changing light strips in the corners of our apartment, between the wall and ceiling. the room was orange blue and purple all day, our sun didn’t rise and set, our scenery changed colors. the sink was dirty and one of my roommates was trying to kill the mouse while the other was secretly feeding it. it was dysfunctional. i lost sense of up and down morning and night me and him wrong and right. i felt i had been asleep all december, the two bock walk to the coffee shop was unbearably cold, cheeks pinched frozen. i grimaced and tried to make it through.
january cybelle came. she took one look at me and i saw the reflection of who i had become in her eyes. same shirt for days and packs of cigarettes crumpled in corners. he smoked and i started. it was a moment we didnt argue, just exhaled. i think i act like him in this relationship sometimes now that i think of it, maybe we all do. i have been thinking lately about how confusing abuse is in a relationship, and how that term has been so defined that i’ve lost my intuition of what feels right or will go around the obstacles of textbook use when im suffering myself. i dont know if this makes sense, maybe if you are in the same thing it would make sense to you though.
when she came i saw a future, something beyond the technicolor cavern i had crawled into, there was a way out. my apartment lease was up, everyone scattered like the roaches out on the sidewalks at the sight of streetlamp and footsteps. there wasn’t much holding us together, the railway apartment felt miles long with too many rooms doors and demons trapped between us. and yes we thought a literal demon was living there, so much so we did a group seance while my friend from los angeles was sleeping on the couch, we tried not to wake her. we also did a spell and froze her name in coffee water. it worked, i gave her a cigarette on my front steps. shes the first person i sleepover with in this eternal sleepover officially actually, so stay tuned for that.
im losing track of the time and of my words. they left, cybelle was there. she was there and she let me have my nights bleed into days and said nothing of it. we had our space and our rules and ordered pizza and drank wine, i threw up on valentines day, i called him and broke up with him and ran into the snowy night for my fiends apartment three blocks away, in brooklyn three blocks are long. i was in striped pajamas and a polka dot fur coat, and i was listening to solange. i was only listening to solange that whole month actually. i ten to drown in one artist and let them heal or corrupt me with their voice in my head. solange healed. i wanted to be someplace without cel service without anyone i knew or could attach myself to, someplace that was NOT winter. we decided on cuba.
i cashed out $600 for the two of us for four weeks including accommodation. i had read you could live really cheaply, a couple dollars a day. we ate papaya for breakfast bread for lunch and rum and coke for dinner. sometimes cigarillos because cuban boys only smoke a puff or two before discarding it into the gutters. i remember our street really clearly, the pink fence where blind kittens mewed for milk, the boy with a whistle who beckoned ladies out onto the balconies to lower their baskets for him to put the bread in. our room was bright green bright orange bright blue. i played guitar with two strings missing and talked taxi drivers from $30 rides to $4 ones. concrete walls and flat beds and a fan humming through the whole night, a tv that wasn’t black and white, it was blue. there were two beds but we slept in the same one. we kept this going, sleeping over endlessly the whole year, cuba to portland, seattle, london, paris, south of france and the countryside, mexico, salt lake city, vegas.. it just never ended. we crashed mainly on other people’s couches, during the time i would post on my instagram saying HEY who wants to house us for the night? we found places and people and came back to new york and got a place of our own. the sleepover never stopped, and a year went by of us sleeping in the same bed.