Tag Archives: moving on

in which Marx abandons me

It is with a heavy heart that I report my long-time co-conspirator and short-time roommate, known affectionately here on the blog as Marx, has decided that, much like the pioneers of old, there is a better life for her out west. And so, Oregon Trail style, she put her shoulder to the wheel, left home and happiness behind, and began her trek to the other side of the country, where she will undoubtedly find herself surrounded by big skies and open prairie and space and fresh air1.

What I’m saying is that MARX MOVED AWAY. SHE LEFT ME–NAY, ABANDONED ME2. The selfish little twerp.

I am not handling it super well.

the Ms

I selected this picture because it was taken on one of Marx and my first real friend outings outside of school. To a Halloween party where we were both intensely uncomfortable, but not good enough friends to yet tell each other so.

 

Marx was one of the first real friends I made in Boston and has remained one of the most consistent. She has been a foundational column of my life for the past three years. Our hijinks are the stuff of legends. From our shared classroom space and love of children’s literature to our ill-fated trip to Ikea to the time we drove across the city with a mattress loosely bungee corded to the top of her car to the time I took her to see her first professional play without knowing it3 to the time we were stuck in a blizzard for five hours to the time she accompanied me to the opening day of I, Frankenstein and we spent the whole movie being hooligans to the time we lost hours aggressively googling Regency embalming4 and grave robbing for my writing research to the time we went to freaking Switzerland, Marx has been one of those friends for me. The sort who knows everything about you and still likes you. The sort who makes you a better person when you’re around them.

I am trying to be mature about her leaving. I am trying to be happy for her. I am trying not to have all the abandonment issues.

issuesIt is really hard.

I admit it—when I found out Marx was moving, there was some angry crying while sitting in the middle of the floor like a two year old, some angsty music listening and depression, some silent treatment, some passive-aggressiveness, some bargaining and pleading5 and attempts at sabotage. My whole attitude to her leaving can be summed up in a scream-howl of “HOW DARE YOU DO THIS TO ME!?”

But yesterday she packed up her little car and started on her cross-country drive to her new home. Yep. She did it to me.

And I remain intensely unhappy about her leaving. Intensely.

2But Marx is happy. She is excited. She is going somewhere she wants to be going and doing things she loves. And I can’t fault her for what I always say is the number one thing I look for in friends—she’s actively in pursuit of what she wants. And if you know what you want then you go and you find it and you get it.

So here’s to Marx, currently somewhere between Toledo and Omaha, in a car with her whole life stuffed into its backseat. To all the great things we did, and the times we will still have, albeit it fewer and farther between. Here’s to her new life and her new dreams and her new home.

in switzerland

But no new friends. I’ve forbidden her from making any new friends.

 

  1. Let ‘em laugh in my face—I don’t care.
  2. And she took her turn-of-the-century steamer trunk with her!
  3. And it was CHEKOV. That was a terrible decision by me. Don’t introduce your friends to theater as an art form with CHEKOV.
  4. Spoiler alert—nobody was really embalming. They were just throwing people in the ground. Sometimes in coffins. Sometimes not. The more you know.
  5. With both Marx herself, and God to please let something terrible happen that would cause her to remain stuck in Boston, and our curmudgeonly downstairs neighbor to be the thing that kept her in Boston. None of it panned out.
Advertisements
Tagged , , , ,

in which dead authors meet

My friends tolerate me.

That’s really the best way to explain it.

I’m sure they must find at least a few redeeming qualities in me because they’ve stuck around this long, but if you hang out with me long enough, you will start to realize that I am that person who will interrupt a totally lovely and normal conversation with an out-of-the-blue phrase like, “Guys, we should take mushing lessons1!” And then they all sort of pat me on the head and say, “Yes, Mackenzi, that’s a great idea,” and then go back to their totally lovely and normal conversation.

So when I sent out an email a few weeks ago telling everyone that another friend and I were having a joint birthday party and I wanted them all to show up to my apartment dressed as a dead author so we could have a literary salon, I expected them all to say, “Bless your heart,” then show up with the food but not costumes, and definitely not be on board for the whole literary salon thing.

So imagine my surprise when a parade of my lovely friends arrived at my house dressed as dead authors and were totally game to play along with my weirdness. I was very pleased by this. I was even more pleased when David Foster Wallace and JK Rowling2  discovered they went to the same elementary school3.

Lately I’ve been feeling like everyone is leaving me and I’ve been sort of glum about this. Most of my friends stem from my MFA program and since most of us have graduated, people have begun to disperse across the country to start their respective lives post Simmons. But having a night of hanging out with people who both tolerate my crazy and embrace it because they apparently sort of like me made me sad and happy all over again. I’m so glad to have had a group of people in my life who will show up to my house dressed like Jane Austen and Edward Gorey just to humor me, even if they inevitably abandon me for their respective lives. I will try not to hold that against them.

  1. This is a real thing. I am still on a campaign to get someone to take mushing lessons with me so I can fulfill a lifelong dream of being a musher in a dog sled race.
  2. Who is not dead, but we made an exception because my friend’s boyfriend looked so smashing in Marx’s wizard robes.
  3. Where they did a lot of flu powder
Tagged , , , , ,

in which I celebrate valentine’s day

For the first eighteen years of my life, I lived in the same place. Same city. Same neighborhood. Same house. The biggest move I made was from my upstairs bedroom to the downstairs one.

But then I moved away to college, and never really stopped moving. In the last five years, I’ve moved five times. Salt Lake to Logan, Logan to England, England back to Logan, Logan to Chicago, Chicago to Boston. So I’ve lived in some great places, and had some great times, and met some amazing people.

But when you move that much, you don’t have enough time to really make friends. You find people you have things in common with, have some wild adventures with them, but then you leave and fall out of touch, only occasionally communicating on Facebook. I have friends from childhood I still talk to pretty consistently, the friends of the life-long variety, but even that’s different when you only have texting and emails.

This is not necessarily a bad way to live. I met some really amazing people and had some great times, but it also taught me to be self-sufficient—I learned to function independently, go to things on my own, and be my own emotional crutch when things went south.

These last two years in Boston have been the longest I’ve stayed anywhere in a while. And I’m starting to feel like I actually live here instead of just passing through. I know the subway system. I’m no long alarmed when traffic seems to be coming from twelve directions at once. I have heard the phrase “wicked hard” used ironically. I know what people mean when they say Allston Christmas.

And, as I realized the other night, I have friends here.

Image

Real, great, honest-to-God friends. Friends who I drag on my crazy adventures. Friends who laugh at my references even when they don’t get them. Friends who do more than tolerate me, friends who are friends for more reasons than just shared classes or living in the same place.

IMG_0548

Friends who sit on my bed and eat ice cream with me when I had a crummy day, or talk me down from my anxiety, or encourage my weirdness, or don’t make fun of me when I really let my fangirl show. Friends who pick me up from the airport. Friends who listen to me. Friends who like me.

IMG_1015

So this year, on Valentine’s Day, I’m celebrating my friends, who I love and adore and am so thankful to have in my life. Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone—here’s celebrating all the weird kinds of love in your life.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

in which I reflect on the awesomeness of the summer

How I Spent my Summer Vacation

By Mackenzi Lee

Image

Chicago – until we meet again.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,