Hey google play “Clarity” by Zedd.
Are you listening? Okay, picture this. You’re 20 years old. It’s the summer after your junior year of college and you’re working a 9-5 in a windowless warehouse selling socks to wear at the beach to chain stores. You’re sweating and your pants are covered in dog hair (not your own dog’s). EDM as we know it doesn’t exist (this is pre-Closer by The Chainsmokers, you see) and your middle-aged boss forces the office to listen to the radio. A song comes on.
“High dive into frozen waves where the past comes back to life…”
A feeling starts to rise in your chest. Is this… what neurotypical people feel like all the time? An angel is singing directly to you, “Cause you are the piece of me I wish I didn’t need.”
The chorus drops. “If our love is tragedy, why are you my remedy?” The beat starts to build. “If our love’s insanity, why are you my clarity?”
I didn’t have a point with all this, but this story is just like life in that way. I’m also realizing I have no clue what this song is about. But damn is it good.
Girlie… Girliana… what do you mean you haven’t subscribed yet?
And I feel God in this Chili’s tonight.
Here’s a pic of me at Chili’s.
It was happy hour. I got a mango margarita.
“Do you ever think about dying, Reese? Because I think about it all the time.”
-Nicole Kidman to Reese Witherspoon on the set of Big Little Lies.
Last summer, I turned 30, and I started thinking a lot about death. And not in a cute, fun way mawma, but an annoying, depression sort of way.
When I was younger, I never planned my life too far beyond the age of 30. I don’t mean that in a morbid, I’ll be dead by that age way. I simply didn’t have the capacity to think about who I could be beyond it. I’d have this by 30, I’d have that by 30, I told myself, and I checked quite a few things off the list.
When I actually turned 30 last July, my only thought was, so what now? Where do I go from here? The armor of youth had abandoned me and, it felt like, mortality was looking me in the eye. I felt paralyzed by it. I was so anxious that I started rewatching Smallville for the fifty-leventh time. Yeah, it got that bad.
Then… I got bored of that feeling. And I moved on.
This is all a bit dramatic. But my silly little mind loves drama. It’s really just the human condition, innit?
I just finished Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune. It’s a moving book about the untimely death of Wallace Price, a ruthless, by-the-book lawyer who wasted his life with rules and work. A reaper takes his spirit to a halfway house between life and death where he meets Hugo, the man who’s supposed to help him pass on, and they fall in love. It’s a charming, hilarious, tragic little novel that explores what’s beyond... all this. Only in the afterlife does he learn to live. How fucking cliche.
While Wallace stalls in the halfway house for months, terrified to pass on when his life feels so wasted, he meets another ghost named Cameron.
Cameron is lost in this in-between space and Wallace slowly learns why. Cameron had a hard life: his parents abandoned him after he came out and he felt hollow for decades, going through the motions – until he met Zach. For the first time in his life, he knows love in its purest form. He revels in their love, drinking in the big and small moments. He’s the sun, he calls Zach, quite literally the giver of life. Until one day, Zach drops dead. A brain tumor. Cameron is numb. For months, he’s alone and going through the motions. Then he dies by suicide.
Even in the afterlife, Cameron can’t move on. He’s trapped. And though I won’t spoil too much more of the plot, Wallace helps Cameron pass on through the whispering door. Klune illustrates the moment so beautifully that while reading it, I had to pause, and sob.
Light spilled down, so bright Wallace had to look away. The whispers gave way to birds singing. Wallace heard Cameron gasp as his feet left the floor. He raised his hand to shield his eyes, trying to make out Cameron in all the blinding light.
“Oh my god,” Cameron breathed as he rose in the air toward the open doorway. “Oh, Wallace. It’s… the sun. It’s the sun.” Then, the moment before he rose through the doorway, a great and powerful joy filled his voice as he said, “Hello, my love. Hello, hello, hello.”
A beautiful thought. I thought of my grandmother. I truly hope death is as kind as that.
The Banshees of Inisherin
is now streaming on HBO Max. It’s a silly, sad little film that I have not stopped thinking about since I watched it last month. 5/5
Anyway, what’s the tea this week?
Beyhive, rise up! It was Night of 1000 Beyoncé’s on RuPaul’s Drag Race so I ranked every single runway for Out. Michelle, can you handle this?
Also, I was on this podcast:
Coming out is a funny thing, and my queer experience is already wildly different than Gen Z’s queer experience. I had a fun little chat with a few Australian friends about the generational and cultural differences.
My own podcast, OnlyStans, is back! Listen below for a silly chat about music and pop culture.
BE GAY. SUBSCRIBE OR WHATEVA.
I weirdly needed to read this today. It's refreshing to see how universal feelings can be. Shortly after I turned 30, I had the same constant thoughts about death (typically at night when trying to sleep). I've lost many people in my life and I always struggled to see past 18, then it was 21, then 25, and finally after 30... I sort of woke up and realized I was going through the motions and not doing anything I loved. That's when I started doing music again and unpacked how I gave so much of my energy to climbing the corporate ladder - something I never wanted but found myself well into 9 years of doing.
I don't think about death as often now and there's a stoic philosophy to "remember your death" to remind not to waste your life living for others and waiting for the right moment. I think about that more these days and it's weirdly motivating when I'm in a slump.
I'll need to check out the book and thank you for the recommendation!
Now you got me wanting to read this book! that was sweet about what you said about MeMe. interesting thoughts about death...ummmmmmmm