My friend flies to LA for the purpose of going to a party in the hills he feels like going to. He says you have to light money on fire and watch it burn. You have to tell the universe “these are the motherfucking rules.”
I go to Chicago and I eat everything I want to eat. I consume crab for breakfast two days in a row. My friend and I pick at a plate of jumbo shrimp arranged on a bed of ice (soigné) and share filet and venison and pork belly. I go back to my hotel and pay $20 for a small dish of ice cream to be delivered to my room.
I set the bowl on the window and look at the skyline and read a book about loneliness. The writer says that loneliness isn’t a topic even social scientists are comfortable talking about because it’s still so taboo to be lonely. She says the only people who really talk about loneliness are songwriters.
I don’t know if I feel lonely sitting on that windowsill in Chicago even though I am alone. I feel the way I always do, I guess. I feel understood by the book the way people in books and people who write books have always made me feel understood. Before I knew the phrase ‘irl’ I knew that irl was never going to be the place I felt most at home, which is a lonely thing to know from a young age, maybe.
The world is susceptible to chaos magic, my friend says, you have to set the rules. The rule I make is that I’m not afraid of scarcity anymore. By taking this trip I am demonstrating the way I permit the world to work: there is enough, there is a way to feel like enough.
The reason you don’t talk about a taboo is because you are afraid to lose something — the respect or admiration or affection of a person or a group of people or the world at large. The abundance I am insisting into existence is that this must not need to be true, that perhaps we are all waiting for someone else to be the first to say the terrible thing so that we can confess, too. A chorus of people saying “I’m lonely” slay the dragon just by speaking it’s name.
The rules are that we have to say the words. We have to say “I’m lonely” or “I’m afraid”. The rules are we have to be brave enough to name each feeling as if you are simply noting a change in weather. The rules are that as soon as you do this, it is so.