Racing From Jerusalem

I’m the kind of person who will carry around a full change of clothing and extra pair of shoes in their bag. Though I really shouldn’t be allowed to. I’ll be going out on Saturday night and be between wearing two different tops, and I’ll stuff one in my clutch just in case I change my mind. Which I do. I do change my mind, I mean. I’ll go to the bathroom of the bar and put on the black camisole instead. And then stuff the black & white patterned crop top with the bell sleeves into the clutch. And then about an hour later I’ll second guess everything and go back and change into the other shirt again. And this will usually go on until I’ve had my fair share of pinot or Guinness and forget that I was indecisive in the first place.

When you go to Target, do you know what you’re going for? I know everyone says this, but I legit will go to Target just to wander. To feel comforted. And then I’ll let the store tell me what I need to buy. And by need to buy, I mean things that I absolutely do not need but convince myself otherwise. It’s like eating a nice warm bowl of chili on a winter night. Targetting. God, I love Target.

Do you ever wonder if you crack too many jokes? Or if you’re too sarcastic? I think this sometimes at work. I think because I work in what tends to be such a high-stress environment, that’s just what comes naturally. It helps me cope with that stress. But then I’ll rattle off some sarcastic comment in response to some shit that’s going down and realize — oh — wait — MAYBE I should have kept that one to myself. Eh. Whatever, I guess. Can’t help being who I am.

Have you ever heard a song and in that 3 or so minutes that you’re listening to it you see your whole life flash before you? Not your life up to what it has been now, but your future, and all of the things that you will experience and have to feel?

Maybe that’s weird.

I remember the first time I heard “Your House” by Alanis Morissette when I was about 14 years old, and I somehow in those 2 minutes could see all of the heartbreak that I was going to have to endure in the next 12 years. It was an out-of-body experience. But I could see it all — and also had this weird notion that I would be okay. I think it probably has something to do with the ownership with which Alanis sings her song. She has such a gravitas that I think a lot of artists these days don’t have.

My best friend B has this crazy ability to make men fall in love with her almost instantly. She’s beautiful — but not in a typical Blonde Hair Blue Eyes, girl-next-door way. She’s 3/4 Italian and 1/4 Lebanese. She’s absolutely stunning, with a sheet of dark shiny hair that hangs down to her waist, big brown eyes, and a smile that makes you feel like you’re the only person in the world. Her laughter is infectious. And she has more empathy in her pinky nail than you or I will ever have in our entire life.

B takes on the weight of the world. She cares so much. And I think that paired with her beauty & her inviting nature makes her extremely appealing to men. I mean she is seriously gorgeous so of course, she is appealing to men. But they see her and they see someone who is fun and beautiful and witty, but who is also going to take care of them. I don’t think they realize that, but I think that’s why they fall.

One time after a party in college when I got back to my dorm room I wrote a full Academy Award acceptance speech. It was absolutely ludicrous. I remember a nice bit about dedicating the award to all of the people in my life who had told me No. And then I think there was a list of the individual people I would and would not thank. Because I am apparently a spiteful bitch (obviously).

Who writes Oscar acceptance speeches when they’re drunk?!

Books are one of the best things that exist in this world. The ability to lose yourself in pages of text and to be able to completely escape your life, to meet people that don’t actually exist but who you come to grow deeply about, to see other countries without leaving the comfort of your apartment…how is that not magic?

Did you notice that I didn’t say “I think books are one of the best….”? That’s because I don’t think. I know. I always like to have multiple books with me. Even if they’re just on my kindle app on my iphone. You never know when you’re going to finish a book while on the subway and get stranded there without something to fill your mind with.

Books have brought me out deep depressions, have helped me get over great love, and have given me a new thirst for life.

I still love the feel of a book in my hands. The smell of a brand new one. It’s akin to the smell of a new car. I have a kindle and I see the benefits, but there’s just nothing like flipping through those pages and holding the paperback between your hands.

Also it makes me feel smart when people see that I’m reading Thomas Hardy on the train.

My bud Nadine and I have a common fear/hobby: blogging while under the influence (see WINE & BLOGGING.) I used to be a big drunk texter — some of my best work includes texting the boy I was seeing when I was 17 a very nice, “I haaaaatee yyooooouuuuuu” at 12:03AM on New Year’s Eve because he didn’t invite me to the party he was going to.

I think it was immediately after I consumed what was probably my first ever vodka pineapple. No that’s not right it must have been beer. I remember my first mixed drink. It was about 3 months after that — I had gotten my hands on a little bottle of Bacardi, and I had no idea that if you wanted it to taste good, you were supposed to pour a bit of rum into the mixer. Not the other way around.

I got to thinking about some of the other ridiculous things I’ve written while drankin’ and decided that I needed to put a list together. I should write a blog post titled A Very Very Brief Exploration into Ailsa’s Drunk Blogging/Texting/Writing.

How beautiful are these two sentences?

 “On the contrary, he gazed joyously, his eyes moistened with tears, at that radiant star which, having traveled in its orbit with inconceivable velocity through infinite space, seemed suddenly, like an arrow piercing the earth, to remain fixed in its chosen spot in the black firmament, tail firmly poised, shining and disporting itself with its white light amid countless other scintillating stars. It seemed to Pierre that this comet fully harmonized with what was in his own mollified and uplifted soul, now blossoming into a new life.” 

They’re from War & Peace. I adore Tolstoy. I love his epic writing and the way he tells a love story. I love that I feel like I’m accomplishing something when I read his work. I can almost feel my brain muscles working.

We’re all in agreeance that when we tell a hairdresser that we trust them, that we’ve never trusted anyone less in our lives right? Seriously now except for my colorist Tara, who I still even get nervous with sometimes even though I adore her and think she’s brilliant, has anyone ever actually been happy after having their hair done?

Let me rephrase: does anyone else have a complete and utter mental breakdown and threaten to just shave all of their hair off while stomping around their living room?

Yes, I am INDEED aware that I am sometimes a petulant child.

If I ever write a book of essays/shorts one day I would like the title of it to be a play on Slouching Towards Bethlehem. I think that’s such a brilliant name. WOW it makes me feel cool just thinking about.

Racing From Jerusalem: A Collection of Essays and Musings on the Modern Woman and All That Fucks Her Up By Ailsa H

Originally I had “Straightening” but then I looked up the definition of the verb slouch —

to move slowly; slouched towards the church as if going to his own funeral

That’s deep.

I was going through the notes on my phone last week and I found this. I have a hard time believing that I strung these words together, but somehow I did. It was for a friend who is no longer a friend. Which makes me very sad when I think of it.

 Don’t accept simply seeing yourself in someone else’s eyes; letting them decide for themselves who you are. Make them see you through your own eyes. Only you can define yourself. Only you get to show the world who and what you are. Never let anyone else make you second guess that.

I don’t really have any further thoughts on them right now. Which is cool.

The Second Coming

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

– W.B. Yeats


1 thought on “Racing From Jerusalem

  1. “And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?” Wow. This is it. Thank you, I never heard it before. Also, I need to stop acting like a slouching rough beast. And maybe read Joan Didion’s “We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live: Collected Nonfiction.” ❤️n


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