so here is where things get a little interesting and intimate. over the past week, i’ve been trying to figure out how i was going to talk about elliott. i knew the first photo above was next in the zine, and i wasn’t going to skip or overthink it really, but when it comes to speaking about certain people in your life, you want to do it right.
elliott and i were together for almost seven years, from when i was 16 and 23 years old. i had a lot of fun, felt a lot of love, and tested many degrees of my boundaries - my patience, temper, willingness to understand, gumption. imagine seeing the person you cared about the most only twice a year for five years straight, living off facetime and text messages. even worse, imagine fighting with the person you cared about the most and putting up with a turned off phone until the other person felt like talking. long distance relationships are super fucking hard!
ultimately, we grew apart, i started chapter 2 in san francisco and it didn’t work out. after we broke up in 2014, i went through some of my darkest, most challenging times in life. i learned what it meant to be single and feel lonely. i wrote a lot and read a lot and went on postsecret a lot. i also drove and smoked a lot and dug up old memories in my brain i thought i’d forgotten, and then wanted to forget. at one point, i remember i came across a whole roll of film photos of just me and elliott from some summers ago. man, i cried so hard looking through those pictures because i missed him. it felt like a cruel joke from god, or something. i found that roll again a couple years ago, and i tried to cry but i couldn’t. haha it sounds mental but i felt this sadness looking at those same photos because i felt like i was looking at a stranger. no emotions ran through me. i tried to connect with those memories and didn’t feel a thing. i went from knowing everything about him to absolutely nothing, and in that moment, i understood what i’d lost.
it took a couple years for me to pocket the anger, confusion, and melancholy. i eventually learned what it meant to be single and have fun. holy shit, life got really exciting when i started to see all the possibilities and adventures i’d been holding back on because i was afraid to step toward discomfort and unfamiliar territory. that didn’t just mean spending time with people, but also relishing time alone. i went through some not-so-smart phases, spent too much money, gained weight then lost it, and party party partied. then i realized “eh this isn’t as much fun anymore”, started to wean off of that, started new hobbies like rock climbing and finally saved up money to bring back old hobbies in my life like surfing, learned a lot about what i want and definitely don’t want, and then re-met my boyfriend marcus.
now i hardly party party party and im in a healthy relationship having the time of my life. and of course i gotta talk about how loving, sweet (you have no idea), and hilarious he is. i remember i used to see pictures of couples on instagram, the caption “my heart is full” or some shit and not understanding what that meant. i get it now! it sounds corny, but i feel like that most days! life baffles me sometimes when it doles me some tough shit and then over time, serves up something great to make me realize why certain situations just don’t work out the way i wanted it to. chill
elliott in this zine is and isn’t about that. to include him and say i look past our relationship would be a lie because that experience had a formative influence on how i love, cope, argue, and see the world. to include him and say it’s a gesture of longing wouldn’t be true, because while these were good memories, i don’t look back on them with sadness anymore. besides, i caught up with him a year ago or so, and i think we’re a-okay. so now, i can say genuinely things like:
these are some of my favorite photos because as much as elliott hated the beach, we managed to often find ourselves at the beach in the summertime - mainly because i forced him to go. a girl’s gotta tan and swim sometimes, especially when summer’s got a time limit! i tried to take him surfing a few times but that just stressed me out too much so we stuck mostly to land/sand. unless there was some kind of activity, like jumping off rocks, going to the beach was a chore for elliott. i remember he told me what scarred his memories of the ocean was the time his uncle pushed him off a pier when he was really young. his uncle was trying to teach elliott how to swim. when he hit the water, he swallowed a bunch of it, padded and splashed to get air, and felt long, slimy seaweed at his feet, which is also why he never swam at makapuu when the kelp was washing in. these pictures make me laugh because his expressions in the first and third can’t be any more honest – stale vexation and disgust juxtaposed with hotel charm and natural beauty. in the second, a settled compromise in fun. i can almost imagine he’s thinking “welp, fuck it!” hahah gotcha!
shot on fujifilm quick snap waterproof disposable camera
1,3: waikiki beach, oahu, summer 2011
2: cockroach cove, oahu, summer 2010