Disclaimers: Nope, sorry, can't say there are any. All of the characters are mine. I take full responsibility for all of their actions. Hmm ... On second thought ... I've never seen them before in my life. They just followed me home one day ... really ...
Violence/Sex: No violence, I don't think. I guess that would depend on what you mean by "violence" ... I don't think there is any. You can decide for yourself. And sex? Umm ... I'll go on the safe side and say there will be. But don't go suing me for false advertisement if you can't find any. It really depends on what you mean by sex. As there are people in some cultures that show their affection by licking each other's eyeballs, it is possible that my definition of sex may be different than yours. Mine may involve cows in ballet slippers for instance ... wait, that doesn't sound right ...
Warning: This story involves an in-the closet actress, online relationships, Puerto Ricans, the Spanish language, Starbucks coffee, angels, boyfriends, sexual relationships between women .. and a ton of other random things that poured forth from my artistic loins. If none of the above things interest you, then you may not want to partake in this little tour of my demented psyche.
Dedication: to you and you and you you and you .. to people living with living with ... ::notices there are people watching:: Ahem. Sorry. Too much "RENT" for me. Strike that. There can never be too much RENT. Unless it's the kind you have to pay. But my point.. and I do have one .. is that this story is dedicated to you. Thank you for taking the time to delve into my madness. What a brave soul you are .. muahahaha <coughcough>
Special Thanks: To Amber, Cindy, Camilla, Christy, Amy, and Robin. Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I don't know what I'd do without you guys.
Write me: Cause I'd love to know what you think. I may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Julia (may I call you that?),
I'll get working on the art pieces ASAP. Thank you! You don't understand how happy it makes me to know you love my work.
Thank you for telling me your name. I kept wondering if you were a boy or a girl. It's good to finally have a clearer picture of who it is I've been emailing. Do you have a boyfriend? How old are you? What would be your ideal date? What do you do for fun? Your favorite color? Forgive me if I ask too many questions. I'm not used to writing to people I don't know. The only other person I e-mail is my dad in California. Where do you live?
There I go again. I'll shut up.
* * *
Feel free to call me Julia. It's been a while since anyone has. It's a bit odd, but I suppose I can get used to it. It's my name after all :o).
But anyway. I'm twenty-three. Single. My favorite color is blue. My ideal date would involve a romantic stroll down the beach at sunset and a candlelit dinner. Okay, just kidding. Actually, I'm not sure what my ideal date would be. I've never really been on one. Sad, isn't it? I think that if I were to find the person of my dreams, it wouldn't matter what we did, as long as we did it together.
Wow that's so corny! But I suppose it's true. I'm a hopeless romantic, I guess. For fun, I write poetry. It's my escape from the tediousness of reality. And I live in Los Angeles.
Did I get them all? Your turn. And my turn to be nosy. What is your favorite flower? Your favorite book? When was the last time you stayed up to watch the sunrise? When was the last time you laughed?
* * *
I'm twenty. I have a boyfriend named Nathan, who's eighteen and leaving for Harvard Law School in the fall. He's really a nice guy when he wants to be. But he seems to not want to be one lately. I'm guessing he's just nervous about going off to college. And probably feeling insecure about our relationship and the distance. I'm sure he'll come around once he gets settled.
My favorite color is green. Forest green, actually. It reminds me of nature. I'm a big nature freak. My room is covered with posters of waterfalls and lakes and trees. That sort of thing. I recently became vegetarian, which pissed off my mom to no end. But I'm sticking to it. Tofu here I come.
I love roses. I know, everyone loves roses. But they're just so beautiful and poetic. Nathan gave me a rose when we first got together. And one of the thorns cut my finger. He was all apologetic but I thought it was the most amazing thing. Beautiful and dangerous. I like that combination. That doesn't mean I have a thing for bad boys, though. Just flowers. LOL. Okay, wait. Perhaps I should rephrase that. Ah, forget it. I think you know what I meant.
I'm not sure what I would like to do on a date. I'd like to go away, somewhere beautiful. Not that New York isn't. It is. But I'd like to go someplace that looks new and untouched. Maybe I'll run away and get lost in the Amazon.
I can't say I'm big on reading. I can't think of what my favorite book would be. The last thing I read was Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream. I had to write this essay for class. It was a nightmare.
The sunrise I haven't seen in years. Maybe I never have. Do you do that? Watch the sun rise? You are a poet. I'd never even think to do that.
My roommate and best friend, Leigh, makes me laugh constantly. She's an aspiring actress though I think she'd be better off as a stand-up comic. I'm grateful to her, my life would be kind of bleak otherwise.
* * *
I try to watch the sun set at least once a week. My house is by the beach, so I sit out on the sand and watch it set. It makes me feel calm. I long for peace and silence. Life gets really noisy sometimes, don't you think? Maybe it's just me.
I'm sorry to learn that you are not a Shakespeare fan. He's my favorite. I have all of his works. I've read them several times over. I started out as a Comparative Literature major in college, but I dropped out to pursue other interests. Books and poetry are my passion. Literature as whole in fact. If you ever have another essay to write, I'll be happy to help you.
The last book that I read was The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro. I enjoyed it a lot.
Do you have any pets? I've been thinking of getting one. I've never really had one so I was thinking I'd start with something small. Like a goldfish. Then I can work my way up to a gerbil or something. I'm not sure I could handle jumping right into a relationship with a cat. Those last a while, I think.
Oh, another one of my passions is cooking. I rarely have time for it though. But I could watch the Food Network twenty-four hours a day. The Iron Chef, The Naked Chef, Bobby Flay ... Ah, heaven.
Leigh walked out of her room at four-thirty in the morning, to find her best friend sitting on the couch. She yawned and stared at Kris silently. "What are you doing?" she asked finally.
Kris glanced up from the book she was reading. "Oh, good morning," she said. "There's coffee in the machine."
"Thanks," Leigh responded, not moving from the spot she occupied. "But what are you doing?"
Kris held up the book. "I'm reading."
Kris shrugged. "I decided to stay up and watch the sun rise," she replied casually.
Leigh blinked a few times, suddenly certain that between her bed and the living room she'd somehow stepped into an alternate universe. "You're kidding."
"I need coffee," Leigh muttered, heading toward the kitchen. "It's too early for this madness."
While Leigh prepared herself a cup of coffee, Kris returned to the book. She wasn't entirely certain what had possessed her to buy The Remains of the Day. But as she'd passed by a bookstore on her way to classes earlier that day, she'd seen the novel clearly displayed on the window of the small shop. Kris had taken it as a sign.
Not to mention, of course, that she was extremely curious about her new friend. They'd been exchanging emails for a few weeks now, but somehow Kris felt that it wasn't enough. She wanted to know more.
Like why Julia enjoyed this book so much, for instance. Kris had managed to get through half of it. She'd expected some kind of action or plot. But it was just some English butler talking about how much he loved to serve his master. And something about a trip somewhere. Kris wasn't sure.
Leigh sat down beside Kris a few minutes later. She gulped down half the cup and sighed in relief. "So what's going on?" Leigh asked. "I mean, the fact that you're staying up to see the sunrise is bizarro enough. But you're actually reading a book, Kris. As in, voluntarily. As in, you're creeping me out."
Kris rolled her eyes. "I'm trying to be more literary."
Leigh nodded. "You've lost your mind, haven't you?" she guessed. "The breakdown a few weeks ago was the start of your sanity's steady decline."
"Actually, I feel kind of good," Kris said, putting the book aside. "When was the last time you looked at the sunrise, Leigh?"
"Oh, I'd say about every single day on my way to work."
Kris smiled and nodded. "Yes, but did you really stop to look at it? Did you think, 'Wow, look at that wonderful spectacle. A true miracle in its own right.'"
Leigh downed the rest of her coffee and stared at Kris. "You joined a cult, didn't you? One of those freaky Heaven's Gate type of deals? Mass suicides, long robes, brain washing, that sort of thing?"
Kris sighed, grabbing the novel. "Nevermind."
Leigh put her palm to Kris's forehead. "No fever," she said. "Stick out your tongue."
Kris swatted Leigh's hand away. "Don't you have to go to work?"
"Maybe I should call in sick."
"But you're not sick."
Leigh stood and headed for the kitchen to rinse out the cup. "But you clearly are. What is going on with you? First you run out on Nathan, an action that I would've supported wholeheartedly had I not been worried out of my mind. Then for the past few weeks you've been like ... airy."
"Airy?" Kris repeated, glancing over her shoulder toward the kitchen.
Leigh grabbed her backpack from the back of one of the chairs. "Yes, airy," she said, slipping it on.
"I'm pleased to learn that I've been well-ventilated."
Leigh rolled her eyes. "Okay fine, perhaps airy is the wrong choice of words. But that doesn't exempt you from this strange behavior. I'm not sure how I feel about you watching sunrises all of a sudden. And like ... reading."
Kris chuckled. "Is overreacting lesson number two in acting class?" she wondered.
"Yep," Leigh answered. "How am I doing?"
"I'd give you two thumbs up," Kris assured her. "You're gonna be late."
Leigh nodded, grabbing her keys from the counter. "Right. I'm off to feed legal addictive stimulants to the anxious masses. See ya tonight."
Kris waved, and turned her attention back to the book. But she couldn't concentrate. Rising from the couch, she walked over to the balcony where the sky was beginning to lighten. How strange that such a random activity should suddenly make her feel so free.
Perhaps Leigh was right, she was acting strange. But she felt so much better. Lately she'd had confidence and an increasing sense of self.
And she wasn't entirely sure why.
* * *
This may sound a bit odd, but I stayed up today to watch the sunrise. Leigh probably thinks I've lost my mind. Actually, she does think I've lost my mind. But you know, it was so beautiful. I couldn't see much with all of the buildings in my way. I'm sure it would be even more breathtaking from the shore. Still, it made me think about my life's direction. Or lack, thereof.
I mean, life is so defined by what career one chooses. It's not even about having a job and money. It's all about an identity. A doctor. An artist. A lawyer. It's kind of depressing, that we all become these words that don't even conjure up a complete picture of who we are. We just kind of become these stereotypes. Rich doctors. Starving artists. Bloodsucking lawyers.
I took a picture of a bird yesterday. I didn't know why at the time, but I think subconsciously, I was jealous. Jealous that a supposedly lesser creature should be freer than I. But I think that's what makes animals more majestic. They have innate freedom. Humans love to confine each other into smaller and smaller boxes. And all we can do is punch holes and hope air passes through.
I'm probably making no sense. And I think now I'm starting to sound like you. :)
Today (once I go to bed and wake up again, that is), I'm going to a museum. I like to walk through and look at all the paintings and let them fill me with peacefulness and hope for the future. Kinda like you and your sunsets. Cause you're right, the world gets very noisy sometimes. You have to press the mute button once in a while.