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Why is it so easy to think everyone is doing better than us?
I pull into the parking lot in front of the Public Library, careful not to kiss bumpers with the SUV next to me. I have to do another take to align my car straightly with the lines, because as a non-heterosexual person, I am legally bound never to do a perfect parking job.
When I turn off my music three dudes get out of their silver sedan and walk towards the building. And then two women walk out, each of them holding hands with toddlers. As I careen into the library I do my best to avoid eye contact with the college-age girls who man (or, in this case, woman) the front desk. They look mean, not in any real way, but in the way that society likes to classify them so.
I score a table for four and monopolize all of its electric outlets—there was an outage in my neighbourhood, leaving me with no WiFi, no Real Housewives reruns to babily fall asleep to, and no Alexa to wake me up—or to say “Play ‘2 die 4’ by Addison Rae on Spotify” to.
This outage is just the latest of the hardships I’ve been subjected to at the grisly, wicked hands of the Mercury Retrograde, just behind an exploded lip balm in my toiletry bag, lower-than-usual Instagram engagement, a delayed delivery time on new Salomons, and a first date with a Silver Lake painter-slash-filmmaker that didn’t feel like a first date but rather a Cannes panel on the intricacies and implications of Barbie (2023) dir. Greta Gerwig, ending in a 9 pm walk to a Whole Foods for some Medjool dates along with a dissection of Sabrina Carpenter and Madison Beer’s discographies in his, you guessed it, silver Prius. On paper, this is a great start to a great love story.
But my life is a low-budget Tubi production, not a star-studded A24 movie.
At the table next to mine, there’s an elderly Asian man with a UCLA dad hat on to complement his groutfit, complete with a cream tote bag and coolly-shaped sunglasses. He looks like he was perhaps styled by a Depop-obsessed liberal arts undergrad who thinks Rina Sawayama is the Michael Jackson of our generation, and honestly, catch me on a good day and I might agree.
The elderly Asian man is napping.
There’s a cute guy sitting at a single table ten steps away from mine. He’s got on gray dad sneakers and watching a YouTube video. His hair is black and he’s got legs that tell me he routinely goes for runs. He’s my type but am I his? I grab my phone to text my best friend, There’s a cutie here. Maybe the library is where I get my boyfriend. These are the things I think of at a public library.
My best friend texts back, asking for a photo of the cute guy. I am up for snapping a picture of him but then he leaves abruptly, and a girl wearing a flannel and flip-flops—a Southern California uniform—takes his spot.
I start thinking about where he was going. Not in a creepy way, but rather in an existential way. Genuinely, where’s this dude ‘bout to go? And then I start thinking about where everyone else around me is going. Why is the elderly Asian man partaking in a siesta at the library? Are the mean library receptionists friends outside of the confines of this city building, or is their alliance merely one of convenience and proximity?
Maybe the cute guy is off to meet his cute guy. And the elderly Asian man is napping here just for the fuck of it. And the mean librarians who definitely listen to Olivia Rodrigo and Ethel Cain actually hate each other’s guts (ha-ha). I’ll never know and I find that comforting.
I look around again, and can’t help but feel like I’m on the set of a show like Community, only everyone is doing better than me. Why is it so easy to think everyone is doing better than us? Is it our innate susceptibility to always undermine ourselves, lest we be accused of schadenfreude? It’s hard to tell, and thinking too much about it will send me into a tailspin, one I simply can’t afford.
I stop thinking when I remember I was here to work, not dreamwalk. A Figma file stares me in the face, as if to say, I am not gonna design myself, babe.
🗂️ A RECENT SCREENSHOT ON MY PHONE WITHOUT CONTEXT
Dated September 16, 2023 at 15:22
CELEBRITY COUPLES THAT WOULD HAVE THE SAME ENERGY AS KYLIE AND TIMOTHEE
Zayn Malik and Ziwe
Emrata and the main guy from 13 Reasons Why
Ice Spice and Paul Mescal
Laverne Cox and Ethan Hawke
One of the Haim sisters and one of the girls in FLO
MY FAVOURITE BOOK COVERS OF THE PAST 365 DAYS
LIFE UPDATE IN 300 WORDS OR LESS
Wake up—September has ended! (How long until this reference incurs a collective internal eye-roll from all of us?)
To oversimplify, September was a month full of fun. I returned from a week in Oahu to a pregnant inbox, for which I am grateful, because there has been some cool press things that have entered the ether lately. If you care, below are some:
A third other press thing, which will remain under wraps for the time being, and I apologize for succumbing to the ~bIg ThInGs CoMiNg~ of it all, but when I can let you know, you’ll hear it from me first! (duh)
Talking of fun lately, I was able to sneak away from my desk for a weekend and see some friends in Clovis, California, which I am categorizing as my summer sendoff weekender of the year (have you ever heard a more disturbing sentence?). That’s where a friend grew up, and you all know we love a hometown visit.
The highlight, outside of course being able to kiss and hug my friends I hadn’t seen in a minute? This vintage saucer I got from an antique store in Old Town Clovis.
Clovis, 284 miles northeast of LA, is a nice little town with a warm, unassuming energy and the best green tea shooters in all of California, effectually uncrowning Froggy’s in Downtown Davis. Another highlight worth mentioning is the Uber driver, with his blue Toyota and crumbs of cookies in his passenger seat, who very willingly sang us a folk country song on the way to a beer garden, providing a double-5-star experience, complete with a follow-up of commanding his phone’s Siri to tell us knock-knock jokes and bellowing at each and every one of them.
Another double-5-star experience? Being able to heal my inner child with my friend Mindy, with her , at a Color Me Mine next to Otis. Mindy masterfully painted a pie dish and I did my best with a margarita glass. We didn’t have enough time to actually do our thing because we spent the first 45 minutes talking shop and taking shit, and when the girl who works there told us that our time was up in fifteen minutes, our only reaction was to look at each other like: 👁️👄👁️
I have yet to see the finished product coated and oiled because Mindy picked them up, so Mindy, if you’re reading this, let’s hang again so I can pour us a cocktail into the margarita glass.
Alright, I have to go. AHS Delicate is on and I must be eyes peeled and juicy ass seated for what will get Kim Kardashian her historic first Golden Globe.
🎰 JAMES JUNK JUKEBOX
Prototype – NoMBe
Listen to the lyrics and tell me you don’t want to be painfully in love with someone right now. Wow. I can’t believe this song is from 2021—it’s so 2010s lover boy.
Body Do – Chloe
It’s mental how good this song is. The beat. The attitude. The artist. Tens, tens, tens.
Born To Hand Jive – Glee Cast
It is with no modicum of chagrin or iota of compunction that I announce that I have been on a rewatch of Glee (RIP Naya, RIP Cory, not you Mark Salling.), and while there are absolutely bops that precede this song from their Glease episode, I have to give this particular rendition an honorable note because, I don’t know, do I really have to explain it? Just listen and see.
Ozempic Wegovy Mounjaro – Ari Dayan
I got it bad – Addison Rae
This is Addison Rae’s second mention in my award-winning, critically acclaimed newsletter, and I think she’s the first one to ever do it! And rightfully so. Effectively, this publication exists only to give Addison Rae her flowers.
Old NY Mag – An archive of old New York Magazine covers and artifacts, and an endless well of design and direction inspiration, especially if you’re me.
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