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For a very long time, I knew the first and the last lines of the book Less Than Zero by heart. I think that if I sat down to think about it for more than twelve seconds – my maximum attention span of late – I bet I could still recite those words that once felt branded on my soul and in my mind in the ways a suburban girl from the east coast who has never gone through a real drug phase shouldn't actually be able to remember. There was something about being afraid to merge on freeways in the beginning and the last line of the book included the words "after I left." I might not remember the cheekbones of a guy I kissed three months ago, but words? Those tend to stay with me.
Declarations. They’re kind of like this: powerful, grounding – and supremely inconvenient. They come from a place of strength sometimes, from that area inside of you that forces you to declare that you know better. But sometimes they slink back inside of you when you inhale with a sudden start and they settle into a location that might be in close proximity to your stomach because that’s where you begin to feel an odd sort of fluttering.
Declarations, I have found, are much like resolutions. They are made with the best of intentions. They are only made sometimes. And like a resolution and just about every pair of gloves I have ever owned in my entire life, I forget about them until they go so far missing that I can hardly remember what it was that I declared in the first place.
Somewhere in the back of a closet or in some middle layer of a landfill in Buffalo there exists a half-full (yes, I’m choosing optimism) bottle of some kind of Armani perfume I wore during that one year and never again since. I can see the bottle if I concentrate really hard. It is shaped like a sideways oval and it has a simple top to it and after a while I just kept it in the medicine cabinet there so I could stop worrying that my perfume would explode mid-flight or mid-eight-hour-drive and saturate every pair of jeans I owned that made my ass look cute. I also kept q-tips, deodorant, lotion that smelled like verbena, and a toothbrush in that medicine cabinet and, towards the end, a hair dryer too. By the time it all fell apart, I could have moved into that bathroom. By the time it all fell apart, I didn’t want any semblance of a literal reminder of the time when I was happy.
There was this couple once, this gorgeous, accomplished couple. Their names were Theresa Duncan and Jeremy Blake.
They were both artists -- he with visual, undulating artwork that was essentially a new form he was creating with what was clearly a wild and brilliant brain. She was a pioneer in early CD Roms, ones that focused on the demographic the time had ignored: young, smart girls. She was also a writer and a filmmaker and an astute student of the art of what made glamour glamourous.