"So the best way to deal with rejection is to keep it in perspective. To know that it is not a judgement on you as a person and it’s not personal."
"When you kiss someone, close your eyes tightly and give yourself to the moment, but don’t be afraid to open them for just a second to look at the person you are kissing and think how lucky you are."
"It’s sad, I guess, but it’s also just what we have to endure as people with brains and hearts and genitalia. Getting into a relationship means getting outside of yourself and into someone else, and then finding your way back to you again."
"Stay single, and your bitchy aunt will judge you over Thanksgiving dinner. Move away and people will miss you. Stay and they’ll be sick of you. No matter what you do, there will be at least a few people who think you’re an idiot for doing it."
"Imagine all the people in your world are completely enlightened and aware of what they’re doing to you, and they’re doing it only to teach you something valuable. Your task is to figure out what."
"We want to make good impressions, have the correct answers, make the best decisions, say the right things – be good at life. We all know a person or two who seem as if they’ve got it all figured out.”
I never really wrote about the One Direction concert and that probably seems strange. Knowing me, knowing myself, how I write about everything until it’s like it didn’t really happen anywhere but in words, sometimes purposefully, it seems strange. Looking at my blog, obviously, I am sure, it seems like something, anything about that day, is missing. Like I should have had at least a pithy list of commentary. Something. I tried. I was even supposed to write something for a Real Publication. It doesn’t feel strange, though. Having been there, having had that experience and knowing what it did to me and how unique and new and powerful it was to me, it doesn’t feel strange that I couldn’t find the right words. I didn’t even take any pictures during the show. My phone was nearly dead from obsessively documenting every moment of the day leading up to the big event, but only nearly. I turned it off before they came on, thinking I’d save the battery for the right moment, for something I had to be able to have and save and share all over the internet, but then I never thought about it again. Not once. I didn’t send any of the snapchats I had promised. I didn’t tweet when Harry came out with glasses on for one song and then immediately removed them again. I didn’t want to. For once I didn’t need an artifact, and later when I would try to piece one together out of some feeling of obligation, it simply did not come out of me. That night could not come out of me.
My sister sobbed through all of “Up All Night.” Big gulping sobs, heaving chest and nails in my arm. They appeared on stage and she came open at the very center and couldn’t hold anything in. Didn’t need to, anyway. She wasn’t alone. There were thousands of us and no one was alone. Liam had on a snapback in that first song. That’s partly why she was crying. She’d tell you that’s why she was crying. I WAS OVERWHELMED, and it’s true, it’s not a lie, it’s not a cover up, but there’s so much more. I didn’t cry until “Little Things” (I cried so much during “little things,” I did, I choked and laughed and wiped all kinds of feelings slime onto my dumb floral croptop, maybe that’s why I’ve been so reluctant to tell you guys anything about this ordeal) but even from that first moment I felt it. I felt a full, warm, thrilling excitement devoid of any irony or eye-rolling or stylish indifference. I felt it and it was weird and it was good and I didn’t know how to do anything except to let it take me away completely.
In line before the show, some little girls borderline heckled me for liking Harry best (“That’s so BORING!”) and they were perfect. One of them had tiny blonde braids and “Louis” written in blue face paint across her forehead and she thought I was a loser and she’ll probably be internet famous in like five years. They guessed that I was sixteen when asked, but it’s possible this was simply the very oldest age they could even conceive of. They couldn’t stop moving. We stood in this line, this hoard, really, for two hours, one of plain waiting, one of moving slowly and sweatily like cattle toward the security gate, and I couldn’t stop watching and noticing the way everyone buzzed and bounced and rolled back and forth onto their heels. It would have been contagious if I didn’t already have the contagion, it would have been intoxicating if I weren’t so drunk already on having raced around a parking lot arm in arm with my two favorite teenage girls from one attraction the other. The radio dj giving away signs that said, “I Want To KISS95.7 One Direction,” the Nabisco truck with the boys emblazoned across the side that we took pictures by for twenty minutes. A group of girls in daisy chains and denim dresses asked me to take a picture of them in front of it with a fancy camera one of them had been wearing around her neck by the strap, that had been bouncing against her as she skipped and leaped around, and I didn’t think they were anything but perfect. I didn’t think anything was anything but perfect and I was right. It was perfect. The apprehensive looking fathers being lead around by their tiny daughters in 1D logo t-shirts were perfect. Even the bud lime strawberrita I had during the opening act (after having my ID very carefully examined) tasted absolutely fucking delicious. Perfect.
They usually sing “Little Things” up on that suspended little bench thing, you know? Up over the crowd, floating like angels, right, like angels, fuck. Our show was outdoors and at a venue where I guess this wasn’t possible, logistically, I don’t know, because they didn’t do it. They sat, instead, on the very edge of the stage, at the end of the little catwalk, legs dangling down entirely within the grasp of the girls in the front row. This meant that in our seats, which were good seats, the best seats I’ve ever had at any concert, seats I couldn’t really believe in, that came to us by such strange luck, a man on craigslist willing to sell them for face value to a “real fan” because his daughter couldn’t make it to the show anymore, from our seats we couldn’t see them as well. It didn’t matter. They were so close to the audience that even a hundred feet away they felt so close to me. “Little Things” is a song that I hated, mocked, conceded as One Direction’s most embarrassing, but live it is something else entirely. It’s quiet and earnest and any quibbles I had about the words faded away when I knew that I was there, really there, witnessing those words being sung directly to the people to whom they mean the most. “If I let you know I’m here for you, maybe you’ll love yourself like I love you,” is, I mean, whatever, we’ve talked this shit to death, but I’m more alive inside, really, everyday, every second, still, when I imagine how it must have felt for the girl who Niall happened to look right at as he sang that line. And that’s not silly, or crazy, it’s not unhealthy, it’s not something for somebody to tear apart in a thinkpiece. It’s beautiful. It was so beautiful. Maybe I haven’t known how to describe this night because it was a night on fire with the purest kind of love, and maybe I thought someone would tell me I was stupid for saying that. Maybe I thought I’d feel stupid for saying it, maybe I felt stupid to think it. It wasn’t stupid. Not a single second of this night was stupid. The hugging. So much hugging. The tears. Girls everywhere all around me draped on each other and screaming and dancing and pouring every word to every song right out from a deep and joyful part of themselves all over some bros who Simon Cowell happened to see could make a bit of money. It wasn’t stupid. It wasn’t stupid at all.
And I never felt sad that we were always always always moving ever closer to the end of it. I never felt sad about how it would be over so soon. I’m like that, usually. I hit crying jags at all my birthday parties as a tiny girl because I’d be paralyzed by the sadness of it ending soon. Perfect dates are only one night long, perfect nights are only hours, I’ve spent so many good and happy and bright and full hours of my life being sorry that I couldn’t keep them forever. The journaling I began so young is part of that. The fevered race to take down every detail of anything that made me feel anything, the idea, however unfounded, that I’d lose it, it would be taken away, if I didn’t forcibly make it concrete in long sentences in stacks and stacks of notebooks. So afraid of forgetting. That’s my problem, I know. That’s something inside of me that feels somehow shortchanged, that can’t accept the way time moves, the way everything is forever in flux and never for always. That’s my problem, but at this concert it wasn’t. I was almost waiting for it to come. On the drive down we chattered manically and blasted our favorite One Direction songs over and over and the girls stunk up the car with permanent marker making signs in the backseat, and I drove and thought about how after tonight the counting down the days would be gone. I didn’t say it but I felt it. I was sorry to have what I wanted because then I wouldn’t be able to want it again. But then it happened. But then they were there and we were there and I never once worried about the end. “What Makes You Beautiful” is the big finale and I was still teary but I wasn’t sad. I was so full. I felt so full of life and love and energy and I didn’t even have the slightest impulse to mock that. It did not occur to me to make a joke of it. I expected it would. I expected to want to laugh at my own happiness but I never did. I wasn’t sad on the drive home. I was floating. I was sore and voiceless and exhausted but I wasn’t sad. I wasn’t going to lose what I had just been given. I had it forever and it was perfect.
"The girls aren’t crazy, the girls are just excited."
"I’d guess almost everyone has an artistic or intellectual interest that has been driven into hibernation by the values and expectations of the people around them."
"You don’t even need to speak proper English in front of them. Your friendship is so close that it will give birth to an entirely new way of speaking."