day 2: when you feel like you've just walked 11 miles and someone STILL pulls their car over to ask for your number
Against all expectations, I got out of bed this morning! There was a brief moment where I thought "Uh-oh! These legs aren't going to DO what they're supposed to do!" But I was out on the streets of Long Island by 5 AM and wow, who knew there was a quiet time? Or a time without bumper to bumper traffic? I ended up walking down some little suburban road called "Intervale" and began to worry I might have entered an alternate universe.
Here are some overall thoughts from Day 2!
And that's everything! One interview tomorrow!
day 1: with all the research i put into this, i somehow didn't account for the brooklyn half marathon
Hey all! It's Elena. I'm stopped for the night and I had a shower and FINALLY! put my feet up. Wow, today was hard! Definitely fun, definitely interesting, and definitely hard. It was one of my longest mileage days right off the bat, which was no joke! I felt really, really good for the first 12 miles and after that, things slowly got slower...but: here are some amazing thoughts from a great day.
What is a Cult based on thirty seconds of internet searching
By: Elena Faverio, Aged 28
I realized instantly that I don’t know what a cult is, so I googled cult definition.
Then I realized I don’t want definitions, I want transfiguration of meaning through time
so I googled “cult etymology” not entomology which is about bugs.
The word cult comes from Latin “cultus” which meant first: tended, cultivated, tilled - like a field is
then: care, labor, cultivation, culture, worship, references
And from French “culte” which is worship, homage, and late a particular form or system of worship.
Popular before the 17th century, obsolete for two hundred years, and then revived in reference to ancient or primitive systems of religious belief and worship in the 19th century.
I wonder at the difference between ancient and primitive, how the words couple and converge along Caucasian feelings and findings.
I have gotten most of this information so far from exactly one (1) website: which is:
under cult (noun)
And it looks hella plagiarized as I read it back so please leave me alone. This is how information is passed in these non ancient and non primitive Western societies. This is how we learn about shit, and learn it good.
I am not convinced by any of these definitions so far, but we’re in luck because
NEXT UP is Hugh Rawson, who apparently wrote something called Wicked Words,
which I will pause and research.
According to fifteen seconds of googling and the top link
(Amazon, surprise surprise)
Wicked Words: A Treasury of Curses, Insults, Put-Downs, and Other Formerly Unprintable Terms from Anglo-Saxon Times to the Present by Hugh Rawson is availed in Paperback form from $24.44. Condition: Good. Sold by Bay State Book Company. And Amazon.
What the fuck is an Anglo Saxon?
According to the Oxford Dictionary and Google - Anglo Saxon is an adjective (what the fuck? an adjective? Okay) relating to or denoting the Germanic inhabitants of England from their arrival in the 5th century up to the Norman Conquest.
Or a noun (yes this is what I thought):
Hmmm. Old English is hyperlinked for bozos like me who are on a late night Wikipedia odyssey of terms that they only sort of know, definitely have an idea of what it encompasses in their head, but could never adequately or accurately describe or convey that knowledge to another person. We’ll leave it for now.
Back to Hughie Rawson and his wicked words!
According to Hugh, the word cult means “an organized group of people, religious or not, with whom you disagree.” Incidentally Hugh wrote this definition in 1993 which is the year of my birth which means it’s time to talk about me. NICE.
According to Hugh, here are some things that are cults:
Wait, what the fuck is a despot?
Oh okay, according to Oxford it is a ruler or other person who holds absolute power, typically one who exercises it in a cruel or oppressive way. So I was using it correctly.
Although wait apparently there is also a rapper known by the stage name Despot, birth name Alec Reinstein, who was born in Queens in 1982. Not much info on him. Oh shit, I googled him and he’s a white guy. Weird. Is it ever possible to be a white rapper and not be constantly appropriating from and profiting off Black culture?
Some more cults, according to me:
-Anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers
-Parents who yell at Board of Education meetings
-People who want to have children
-People who’s favorite season is not fall.
-People who liked the film LalaLand.
I would turn in this valuable research, but I learned about Despot on Wikipedia, and my teachers always told me that’s not a viable source of information.
Play this game in a group of three.
Are you all met?
Are there more wheels or doors in the world?
Let’s all say what we think on the count of three, okay?
1 2 3
If one person says doors and two say wheels read this:
Like time and civilization, all things roll down hill.
Gravity is inevitable.
Newton knows about this, so does Johnny Appleseed.
Like the universe and a wheel in a dusty vacuum, all things roll until they reach the bottom.
The ending is inevitable.
Everyone knows this. Even the wind. Even the stars in the sky.
If one person says wheels and two say doors read this:
Aren’t you getting damp, out there in the rain?
A newspaper isn’t a great substitute for an umbrella.
You should come inside. Come in from the cold.
It’s too cold out, so we’re opening hotels and Airbnbs and empty Montauk mansions for the homeless.
When the nights rise again over 40 degrees, we’ll turn them out into the streets again
Let them build up cardboard cities with newspaper blankets
so we can burn them down and wash them away, into the storm drain.
Take off your shoes.
We’re not a “no shoe household” all the time, but your sneakers are damp.
I’ll stuff them with newspaper, so they’ll be dry when you leave.
If everyone says wheels:
Congratulations! Good things are coming your way. Can you feel them, floating in on the spring wind?
The pinwheel is spinning again, and the birds are waking you up at the ass crack of morning.
Get up, bitches! They carouse into the golden 6 AM.
Get the fuck up! Good news is on the way! It’s spring again
And everything is green and gold
And the pinwheel is spinning in the gorgeous, gorgeous breeze.
If everyone says doors:
Maybe this is how it is -
you’re always going out of the room.
There you go again, clearing the dishes after the holiday meal
You’re in the kitchen now, but a moment ago you were in the dining room.
Chasing the dog down the hallway into the breezeway into the driveway -
A door you don’t even remember open, left -
Propped by a stone or a brick or a child’s shoe.
And you’re ducking under stone archways of cathedrals and cave mouths,
rushing into the tunnel at 80 miles per hour - because it’s late and even the city is sleeping -
Rushing out the other end in the same breath.
Do you feel it?
Even now, you’re going out of the room, into the next.
Into the next.
TO BE READ AT THE END:
Let’s linger for one moment - on the threshold.
On that perfectly balanced point.
our dream is to sail around the world
and he has the yacht to do it.
his name is jeff
dick has the yacht to do it
and it is a huge yacht
girthy and long and firm and pulsating with desire.
we are the maid who has been hired to keep dick’s yacht spotless
and our name doesn’t matter all that much
because we are a literary device created to allow lonely, horny readers to self-insert.
we cross our legs tightly under the table.
we push our silky hair back over one shoulder, exposing a slender neck.
we bite our lip, and bring blood to the surface - red.
our cheeks flush prettily and we have never
NOT EVEN ONCE
or had diarrhea
or period cramps
or mental health issues
or invisible illnesses
or learning disabilities
or physical disabilities.
we have no money,
but honestly, who the fuck does these days?
dick had money, but he spent it all on his stupid fucking pulsating penis
sorry, i mean yacht
and spends his days loving scrubbing the gleaming sides with a soft cloth
stroke stroke stroke
pulling and pushing
gripping and twisting.
the yacht is not a thinly veiled metaphor for dick’s dick
it is a blatant metaphor for dick’s dick.
dick would love for us, the maid who has been hired to keep dick’s yacht spotless
to climb aboard and take a ride
in another blatant metaphor for sexual intercourse.
this is not what we meant when we said
our dream is to see the world.
It is dark inside the belly of the beast
I read a news story, or perhaps someone mentioned it over dinner,
about a person who was swallowed by a whale
a real life Jonah
And this was recently.
There is air in the belly of the beast
You can breathe deeply
Lungs within lungs
And wait for the perfect moment.
A hurricane touched down the east end of my island
Some weeks ago now
And I wondered how long I could move along inside the eye of the hurricane
Traveling at the same speed as the winds
It is quiet inside the belly of the beast
And dim yellow light
Like when morning creeps and casts itself over the warm and purring body of my cat
Asleep on the foot of my bed.
I went to the London Zoo and walked along the tiger enclosure
High walls and netting.
They are so orange against the grey and grim skies of Camden
So striped and still.
Why run in a room so small?
And their bellies expand with hunger for space
And I know that in any other circumstance I am their meal, walking.
It is empty inside the belly of the beast
Pang-ed and unsatisfied, even after a five course meal and dessert.
It is the Platonic cave echoing
And the black hole that scientists are creating in a laboratory in Haifa
And the well at the edge of the Coraline woods
And the space between your bed and the wall.
It is dark inside the belly of the beast
Like a womb
Like a swamp
And some days I am the belly
And some days I am the beast.
In my softest and most precious times
I can understand how lucky I am
to sit warmly in bed, with a perfect cat clawing her way across my stomach
Nails clipping awkwardly into the duvet
Knees angled and awkward like a chicken
Strutting and yowling at 2 AM
It is no one’s fault but my own
That she believes 2 AM is the perfect time to complain
Or announce her undying love in caterwauling tones
As I was the fool who woke, one night, from woolen dreams
To pull her close and tell her she was perfect
And pet her velvet ears and let her know that I will wake up when she calls me
In my softest and most painful times
I can understand how brief and stacked the time is
We have had wonderful days of kittenhood and claws out
Of blown-eyed catnip wondering and nighttime mouse haunt stalking
And years of coming home with a backpack or a suitcase or nothing
To know that she remembers me still and will still crawl warm into my lap
And let me pet her little belly
I don’t want to lose this, I think up into the midnight
As she curls awkwardly on the floor in a pile of my clothes
Or sprawled across a cardboard box that I bought with things for me
Or meowing and nipping at my fingertips
I don’t want to lose this little life
Why did you come into my life this way?
And make yourself so perfect
And so fragile
And so wild
That even a wind could blow you far from me
And nothing but death could come between us two
My cat doesn’t care.
She sits on the floor and licks her asshole
And understand that it’s enough.
All of it, taken as one.
This soft and precious time
It is enough.
I’ve been expecting your call for years now
Both elated and deflated when it doesn’t come
I hope that I am growing into a softer and greener self,
That I have less moments of glitching one inch to the right of my skin like
Why are you this way when you know it’s not so deep
I have collated the mistakes in with the good things
And I am no longer worried about where they stack up
So at night, I sleep whenever I am tired and do not lie awake
There is the future, ahead of me
Like a road
And I don’t know where it ends or what happens on the way
But I am not afraid to walk
Can it really be that simple? I ask in the quiet moments when dread has edged away
And I can just sit in the perfect, temperate, breezy summer
And there are not too many bugs
Can it really be that simple?
When a group of lions gather together and sitting,
shake their perfect golden manes up at the sweltering sun
And melt like butter into the short rustling grasses
And the wind is not too sharp and not rushed, but trickles in a gentle way
Then it is summer - hot and full and burgeoning with the promise of fire.
They will speak in one voice, “We are here, together
Those of us who remain.
Gold and unapologetic and immovable.
Sacred and untouchable
Under this unmistakeable sky.
let’s start not at the beginning
a very bad place to start
the middle of a busy highway at rush hour
cars zipping by at 80 miles per hour in a 55 zone
with honk if you’re sexy bumper stickers and metalica blaring from rolled down windows
this is what frogger feels like, you muse
as your fringe ruffles in the hot dry breeze belching out of the exhaust pipe of a semi
as it clips past, one millimeter from your right ear and HONKS
as if you’re the problem
as if you haven’t just arrived here
as if you weren’t just hatched into this hot and sweaty speedway
with no helmet and no car seat and no one to pass you gummy snacks and fruit juice and ask if you can feel the air conditioning on your tiny baby face