By Hazel Cills.
11:28 am – I wake up. I crack my body in as many places as possible and immediately grab my phone which is underneath my pillow. It’s always underneath my pillow. I think I read somewhere that this is horrible for you because it makes you anxious about ~everything~ but, like, whatever? I think I’m fine. It’s not like I fall asleep in Google Glass. I check my email, I check my Twitter, I check my Facebook. There’s an email from a very talented young musician who’s a friend of a friend who says that she loves reading my writing and hopes we can meet soon. So then I feel great! I look outside and realize it’s raining.
11:40 am – I put on Talk Talk’s album It’s My Life, which I’ve been revisiting lately and obsessed with. Before bed, I was watching clips of their concert video Living in Another World. I really like feeling suffocated by the music I love at any given time. I think I’ve convinced myself that MY life NEVER ends. I contemplate forcing myself outside and getting a bagel but this feels like a supreme luxury so nah. I settle on making myself french toast.
12:30 pm – I’m still reading the Internet. I know, I KNOW. My friend Brittany posted a link in an on-going Facebook message between five of my friends for a manicure where you get evil eyes painted on your fingers and I think about getting it. I scroll through an Instagram of an Amelie-looking girl with cool clothes. I’m also making plans with my friend Eric to get dinner. We settle to meet for burgers later, because we’re young, growing, college-aged children who crave large quantities of fried meat at all times.
1:20 pm – Something you should know about me is that I love clothes and at any given time all of my clothes are piled up in a mountain in the corner of my room. It’s the eternal teen in me, I guess. I rummage through everything and find my go-to lazy outfit in dreary weather: fire engine red stockings, dress, and patent leather Doc Martens. It feels like a mini Fuck You to a city and a scene that would probably rather wear all black. I put on red lipstick and bits of glitter on my eyes and call it a look.
This is the first Saturday in a long time that I haven’t had to do work because the upcoming week is my spring break for school. I decide to go to the Alice Neel exhibit at David Zwirner, which has been on my list for weeks. I think about asking someone to go with me but I’d rather go alone.
2:00 pm – I walk into David Zwirner blasting “Material Girl” on my headphones. The Alice Neel show is really beautiful. It’s a collection of her watercolors and drawings. The exhibit copy makes note that “many of her earliest works on paper were destroyed by a former lover.” The first room is filled mostly with nudes and intimate scenes of couples. The second room is more portraits of friends and strangers along with city scenes. There is a self-portrait of Neel herself except her face is a skull. She is not necessarily a creepy illustrator, but there’s a darkness to the way she draws faces, particularly in the attention paid to how a person’s features make their own shadows. I love her. I go to check out some Palermo works downstairs, mostly big squares of paper with lightly-drawn parallelograms on them, but they leave me cold.
2:40 pm – I decide to check out Printed Matter because it’s in the area and I haven’t been in a long time. I want to listen to the new Jenny Hval album but I forgot to put it on my phone so I listen to the old one, which is just as good. In Printed Matter I end up drawn to two zines that remind me of my friends. I pick a zine called “15 Ways To Die Best” for Lola, which includes such deaths as “HATING 2 MUCH” and “SURFING THE FINAL STORM.” And a zine called “Banana Hologram” for Allyssa about a skateboarding mythical girl in search for the best squash to feed her rabbits. They are both by the artist Nichole Shinn although I don’t realize that when I pick them both up. I almost get a copy of Public Ilumination Magazine themed “Disguises” that features a joke WWD-inspired spread about worms dressed in sweaters but eventually decide against it.
3:25 – Walking out of Chelsea, I see a black car completely decked out with Rilakkuma themed interiors and dashboard figures. Okay.
4:15 – At this point I realize I really, really need coffee, so I post up in the Union Square Pret-A-Manger because I, don’t know, it was close to me? Then Eric texts me asking if I want to go to the Museum of Moving Image to see the Mad Men exhibit. I am doing nothing so I say Hellllllllll Yessssssss.
4:30 – On the way to meet Eric at the NYU stop, a short, older woman stops me to take a picture for her street style Instagram. This has happened to me before but typically I say no, but she is particularly pushy so I oblige. She stands me up against a white marble wall, pushes all my hair to one side, and snaps my picture. Maybe my outfit wasn’t that really of a Fuck You to Manhattan?
5:45 – The Mad Men Exhibit is relatively small but satisfying for Eric and I because we are bananas crazy Mad Men fans. Eric and I go to college together but he’s also a film and TV critic/writer outside of school, so the experience felt even nerdier. It’s prop and mood-board heavy, a few videos playing here and here (Don’s Hershey’s “pitch,” Megan’s Zou-Bisou-Bisou dance number), with bits and pieces of Weiner’s notes framed on every wall. “Duck brings his family (kids) to the office. Dog shits in ???? place,” reads one note on Soprano’s stationary. I feel like every foot or so we stop and rehash some part of the plot or the trivia we’ve read in the past few years to geek out. “I read somewhere that casting told Matthew Weiner that Jon Hamm was too handsome to play Don Draper,” Eric says to me as I’m leaning against the glass barrier that’s keeping from me from entering a perfect reconstruction of Draper’s SCDP office. “But he was like, mmm, nope, I want him,” he says. “Thank god,” I reply in horror, like the idea is the stupidest thing I have ever heard in my life even though I hate Don Draper with every bone in my fandom-ridden body.
At the same time we’re also talking about a class Eric is taking where he has to write spec scripts for a TV show, his choice Broad City. For some reason he’s the only one in his class to have chosen it. “Oh, do you know if you can say labia on television?” he asks me. I think about it for a bit. “Just have Ilana pronounce it some weird way, like lah-bigh-ha, or something.” We start giggling in the middle of the exhibit.
7:00 pm – We make our way downtown to BareBurger where I get a turkey burger with avocado on it and pickled onions. Overall, the list of topics we talk about in all include: The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, House of Cards, Aaron Sorkin, an off the record interview with an actress who said Aaron Sorkin was a disgusting person, cultural blindspots, NYU Local, WNYU, The New Inquiry, Vulture, Christina Hendricks, how we feel about Adam from Girls, making friends in college, feeling our time has passed to watch The Wire, mutual artistic respect, freelancing, fake writers, jealousy, etc. As we leave the restaurant our last topic is Tinder. I say I never actually met anyone though Tinder when I had it, mostly I just liked flirting with people. “That’s because you like words,” Eric says, matter of factly.
8:30 pm – During dinner, I got a series of messages from a woman writer I owed a serious apology. Years ago, she called out someone who, at the time, was close to me, for being racist and sexist and terrible. I sided with him, and not her, and said mean things about her claims online. My mood drops low, at this point of the day. I end up drafting an apology email to her the best that I can about being wrong, being naïve, and how I should have listened to her. I really respect her. I frantically refresh my email until I get one from her. She accepts my apology. I remember to always trust women. I blast Marnie Stern on my headphones and start walking towards the East Village in the rain.
9:35 pm – I meet up with my friend Sam for beers and a single soft pretzel in the East Village, which are his treat because he’s an IRL angel and he can tell my mood is wacky. We toast to “people with stupidly nice apartments” because of a stupidly nice party Sam went to in one and also because I love toasting. We talk about trying to pinpoint what our “Beatles” are because apparently The Beatles are still the standard for musical brilliance. His is either Springsteen or Joni Mitchell which is the most Sam-response to that question. I say mine is Fleetwood Mac and then I get nervous about my choice, like I’m stuck with them for life and they don’t represent enough of my musical taste. We also talk about this NY Magazine article I read about thirst photography on Instagram and whether either of us should be exploring this more on our own accounts. I think we both decide not to. Only time will tell, though.
Hazel Cills is a writer living in New York City.