I used to wear a fake leather jacket and an American Apparel hoodie all winter.
I used to wear black leather boots with no grip, and 80 den tights. A black jersey skirt hiding the thickest part of my thighs.
What can I say, it was 2008.
The year where the 90’s were huge again and everyone thought having a promoter for a friend was what kept you alive. “I know you’ve been having a really hard time with your living situation lately — so I wanted to have you come out tonight. Free drinks, no lines” you’d say. I know there was sincerity in your voice, but by that time I’d been done with filling up my insides with sickly sweet alcohol and the inevitable two day hangover. I was 19. I deleted the message.
It’s weird when you look around and everything you imagined wouldn’t be true, wouldn’t be achievable — is. You live in a decent apartment, pay your own phone bill and can’t wake up the day after your birthday having lost another seven hundred dollar phone. I took swigs of drinks I shouldn’t have after insulting the boys carrying them. I put myself into situations and watched those around me blatantly offer money for sex, or drugs and a flight to Miami at 2am in the dead of winter. Slumped against a wall, attempting to look straight ahead of me and not knowing a single name of the people sitting across from me, but I did it. I watched all of these things happen.
Yesterday I pulled on a pair of leggings and tied up my pair of Nike Free’s: my only concern being whether or not the sweater I wore covered my crotch. I neglected to smother the fire in my eyes with a heavy coating of black shadows and liners. I have short, purple/grey hair and no bangs to hide behind. I am sure of myself, my worth, my skills. I don’t seek out trouble anymore. Instead I seek refuge from the cold and the crowds of empty people spouting hot air. I am working toward something good. I genuinely don’t care about negative shit some naysayer might think of me. I know who I am. I know where I want to go.
If I were to look at this image now — in 2008 — I wouldn’t recognize myself. I’ve lived and died and lived again.
This city — any huge, all encompassing city — will eat up your innocence like it’s the new high. But if you’re strong enough, it’ll spit out a new you.