my friends are so smart.

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kelsey says she wants to go to one place she’s never been every month this year. i text aaryn and tell him that the song “san francisco” keeps shuffling on my ipod and i think it’s a sign, and he texts me back, “follow the signs…take the detours…it’s time for change!!!’ he’s right, of course, and not only because he’s moving back to the bay and wants me to come, too.

at work, frank starts singing, loudly and off-key, a song about loving danger and not being afraid to die. barry sighs, “this is the best place ever.” and in that moment it feels that way.

i’m feeling confessional and so i tell arthur on the phone, in a furtive whisper: “i got a britney spears cd out of the library and i’ve been dancing around my kitchen to it! i can’t stop!” he sighs, “oh, you’re such a fag!” and i brightened because he always knows exactly what to say somehow. but that happened last winter, why am i pretending it was recently? now i dance around my kitchen to rihanna. so much has changed.

lying in bed with D i tell her that i am learning how to date people without throwing my whole life away. her face brightens up. she gasps and says, “that’s SUCH a good idea!” in a way that is so adorable that i can’t help but smooch her again. but it’s a good quest, a necessary quest. being on anti-depressants and dating multiple people and knowing that i’m leaving soon helps. loving fiercely but not overwhelmingly. it’s all a balance, right?

at work again, i tell myla that my name is actually ocean–or rather, my email address does it for me, when i send her something from my personal account. i expect her to think it’s weird. she says, “oh, that’s your nickname? my nickname is egypt!’ without missing a beat.

sharon n. (who is more of a friend of a friend than a friend) said, “when in doubt, freak ’em out!” sharon k. said, years ago, perched on my toilet lid in brooklyn: “not all happiness is punishable. you have to understand that. you have to understand that!” and, oh, this is only a little, tiny bit. only a fraction of the good things that people tell me, that i am so lucky to hear. thanks.

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