LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
Nostalgia has always had a place in contemporary fashion. The practice of revisiting eras and icons has been a way to pay homage and explore histories that might otherwise be forgotten, and when done right, recycling and repurposing trends can lead to imaginative and groundbreaking results. The same can be said of any form of art, whether visual, acoustic, or written- as a source for creative inspiration, nostalgia is seemingly inexhaustible and paradoxically timeless. Inexhaustible in its cyclical renewal, and paradoxical because, of course, it is rooted in and inseparable from the past.
As humans, we seem to have a strong and constant need to revisit the past and the people we used to be, whether to try and make sense of them or simply to linger in those places and moments we might long for. That sense of futile longing is, to me, a defining facet of the feeling of nostalgia, what some might call a wistful desire for a place or condition beyond grasp. I ended up experiencing such a sentimental yearning to an unprecedented degree this past winter, in reaction, predictably, to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While I would much rather leave the pandemic out of this, it undoubtedly impacted and continues to impact our realities. As a result of a year characterized by stasis and reclusion, our collective and individual experiences of time and memory became distorted. For me, that meant that it was only this past winter, when vaccines began to roll out and the beginning of the end seemed in sight, that I finally felt the impact of the past year under quarantine.I can only explain this delayed reaction as a sort of coping mechanism that allowed me to continue my life as best I could, without succumbing to despair or inertia. The weight of this realization-that 2020 happened the way it did-triggered not shock, but nostalgia.
When I could finally see a light at the end of the tunnel, pinprick though it was, I began to truly comprehend all that I and we had missed out on, and to understand that loss I had to turn to the pre-pandemic past. Nostalgia is always a balancing act between the bitter and the sweet, and while in this case it teetered closer to the former than the latter, that desire to revisit long-gone moments did what it's done for centuries and sparked creative inspiration.
This semester, Off The Cuff looked to nostalgia as a vehicle for interpretation and interpolation, for reexamination and exploration of collective and individual experiences, with fashion and art as our outlet. We chose a few of our favorite eras, subcultures, and styles and put our own twist on them, and we hope you'll have as much fun flipping through this edition as we did making it.
It's only fitting that this issue should be my last as both a student at BU and Editor-in-Chief of Off The Cuff. When I started in the fall of my freshman year as a writer and copy editor, I couldn't have imagined the journey ahead of me. Off The Cuff has given me some of my dearest friends and most fulfilling experiences; to have worked as both Managing Editor and Editor-In-Chief has been a privilege, a pleasure, and the fulfillment of my wildest dreams and greatest ambitions. I'll forever be grateful for the wonderful people I've met and all the opportunities this magazine has afforded me. Thank you to our amazing staff for all your hard work, to our incredible Executive Board for your dedication and commitment, and to everyone who's supported us. I can't wait to see what the future has in store for the creative powerhouse that I've always known this publication to be.
When Pop Goes Digital, Culture Does Too
It may seem almost too obvious to make a claim like, “the future of society is defined by teens and young adults” and expect any sort of nuance to come out of that, but it bears repeating as far as today’s world is concerned for quite the appropriate reason: Because when that world shifts entirely into the hands of the youth, in a setting completely to their own, only sheer progressive action and limitless social developments could possibly arise from such a turn. Anyone - and that genuinely means anyone - can observe this notion in full effect right at this very moment.
Take out your phone and see for yourself.
By nature, pop culture is an ever-evolving facet of society that shifts, changes, and develops in an all-too-consistent manner. It never lets up in this regard; it’s always finding ways to take on new forms based on the collective attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs held by its most prominent voices.
In this sense, we as a society certainly observed one of the swiftest and most all-encompassing shifts in pop culture this past year. Brought on by the imposed barriers of the pandemic, pop culture found itself completely saturated in and transfixed with the grander online social setting—a setting that, even in the early months of 2020, was defined by and essentially owned by the youth. They earned such a title by making the most out of the setting they’ve fostered for themselves better than any other demographic over the past decade -- that setting being social media at large. Whether it was through defining new at-home dance trends via TikTok, bridging the lines between social media promotion and political advocacy via Twitter and Instagram, and a countless amount of additional web-centric undertakings, the youth saw the entire world stepping into a setting they already knew how to navigate more than anyone else.
Put simply, when the concept of pop culture fully entered their own social media domain, they took it upon themselves to welcome and incorporate it as effectively as they could for the rest of the pandemic to come.. Now, the concept is far less centered around “the present” as it were; it’s been completely re-focused towards “the future.” Decades like the 1990s and 2000s saw its youth much more focused on “living in the now,” in that, they were much more concerned with embracing their far less concerning - and certainly less demanding of them - social setting. With today’s society all-but-dictated by the simultaneous world-changing pandemic and social unrest perpetuated by social media (a setting dominated by said youth, even more so with the physical restrictions of the pandemic), these dynamics have effectively shifted.
In many ways, this dynamic arose from our continued, agonizing desire to return to normalcy over the past year. But this sentiment is much more evident of the youth’s general rise in social prominence from a visual perspective, mostly due to said society becoming almost entirely digital for an entire year’s worth of time.
WRITER: BILLY BUGARA
ART DIRECTOR: KEN RUDOLPH
MAKEUP ARTISTS: ARLO RAMOUTAR, SKYLER CALLAHAN, ZANDER SLAYTON
MODELS: ADORA MEHALA, EVA CAMI, GRACE SHAVER
PHOTOGRAPHERS: KAYLEIGH SCHWEIKER, RAMSEY KHALIFEH
STYLISTS: ABBY BALTER, ZOE ALLEN, MIA METNI
Put simply, society’s youth played out all of 2020 in their own home stadium. As such, they held quite the effective “home-field advantage,” and the results can be vividly seen today in just about every single sense that pop culture can hold in its own right.
Y2K-inspired trends influencing areas like fashion can be traced directly back to Twitter and TikTok, where youths obsess over early-2000s aesthetics like baguette bags and low-rise pants. Or take the music industry, for example: the most astute, experienced, and practically royal individuals at major labels are far less interested in musicians with $500,000 studios and show-stealing stage presences. Believe it or not, they would rather listen to the 15-year-old who illegally downloaded FL Studio some five days ago and already has three million streams on SoundCloud.
That is what pop culture is today. The prospects of tomorrow—developments in fashion, new ways of making and promoting music—are barely even “prospects” any longer. What could happen tomorrow is more than likely already happening today in some capacity, because the youth can manifest new ideas, new concepts, and a brand new world that encapsulates all of these things with just a few swipes of their fingers or clicks on their keyboard.
WRITER: MELISSA BOBERG
ART DIRECTOR: KEN RUDOLPH
MAKEUP ARTISTS: CHARLIE LUNARDI, RORY WEINSTEIN, ZANDER SLAYTON
MODELS: ALYA ZOUAOUI, LOGAN DIVERNIERO, KENDALL MCSHANE
PHOTOGRAPHERS: NICO GUADAGNO, JULIA DESANTIS, ELENA POYIADJIS
STYLISTS: KELSEY BROWN, ABBY BALTER, ZOE ALLEN, PEDRO HENRIQUE JUNQUEIRA
On Saint Patrick’s day in the second grade, I told my entire class that I had woken up that morning and seen a leprechaun entangled within the canopy above my bed. I had called out to it, tried to tell it that I was there, but it ran away too quickly. An obvious lie, my teacher must have thought. I wonder if she knew that in my mind the story was not a story anymore, that I had conditioned myself to believe it, that I had decided from a young age to live inside a world where things like that happened. I woke up every morning in a twin sized bed, insulated from the world within a mesh, pink-colored canopy, and I never really shed it.
Being that young, I’d lay in my bed at night and stare through the canopy at the strip of puppy dog wallpaper that ran around the perimeter of my room. Puppies of all different sizes pranced along it, their eyes focused towards the dog in front of them, all existing within a world which did not include me. It looked so magic inside their world, with grass and dandelions, that I longed for the dogs to turn their heads and look at me. If they could just see me, I thought, they’d envelop me right into their puppy-dog world where leprechauns danced around your house on St. Patrick’s Day and your teacher really believed you when you told her about it.
Once I got a few years older, I discovered that there was such a thing as music that parents didn’t like, and the tan carpeted floor of my childhood bedroom transformed into a stage. I could not see myself changing, but I could see the room morphing into different shapes around me, and naturally I was led to the conclusion that everything I knew was changing around me and it was up to me to catch up.
I got a pink iPod Nano for my thirteenth birthday, and the first song I ever downloaded was Untouched by the Veronicas. I had heard it for the first time in the mall - “I feel so untouched right now” blaring through a muffled audio system - and thought about it all the way home. I did not rest until what I had heard in the mall had been resurrected within the iPod, and I let it breathe life into me as I twirled myself around to the song, pretending the puppies in the wallpaper that traced my room were an audience of adoring fans. As much as I choreographed, the puppies remained distracted by the meadow scene daydream in which they lived, and still would not pay me any mind.
Because of the wallpaper, I had always known that my being unseen prevented my entrance into an elusive world. It was not until the Veronicas taught it to me that I recognized the compounding issue: it was that I was untouched.
Upon this realization, I decided that I no longer wanted a protective layer between myself and the world. The canopy was the first thing to go. It felt tacky now, I had outgrown it, and so it became the first thing upon which I enacted change, amidst a room that was changing itself. Naturally, then, it became the first change for which I could inflict upon myself a regret-soaked blame. A filmy lens which transformed everything into a fantasy still existed like a contact lens upon my eyes, but I had made one decision for myself: I needed to feel everything.
For many nights which followed, my bed supported my body as I kept my eyes open, forcing out specified dreams as if they were stories etched into a bathroom stall. In my mind I’d walk through the hallways at school and be looked at, immediately transforming into the object of desire, immediately entering the space from which I had felt forbidden. The bed creaked as I tossed and turned in it, my mind constructing different versions of myself and sending them like smoke signals through the astral realm - trying to reach someone else, trying to show someone else what I could be if they’d only look, if they’d only touch. Though I could not hear it, my whole room was roaring the lyrics of that first song I ever downloaded: “even if the world falls down today, you’ve still got me to hold you up”.
I did not replace my bed sheets even as they wore thinner and thinner. I grew larger inside of the same twin-sized bed, but even as the space decreased I saw it as a growing openness, an increasing availability to be kissed by a gust of wind that blew through my window any night.
Sometimes I woke up cold. With each shiver I entertained the thought of sealing my room shut, of trying to be satisfied by the blanket which covered me and the complacent air which bounced off the four walls, but overpowering these thoughts I heard it pulsing in my brain like a chant: “untouched, un-, Untouched, un-”.
After opening the window, it was not long before reality began to morph into something that I could at least pretend mirrored my imagination. I felt smug, knowing that by opening the window, I had become the first mover in initiating the change which overturned my world.
“Why do you want to change the wallpaper?” my mom asked me, when I was fifteen years old and decided that the interior design of my room was no longer acceptable. Naturally, this meant the puppies had to be sacrificed as well, all for the grand purpose of pink and red walls.
I did not tell her that something about the nature of the wallpaper had changed, because I knew that I had opened the window, thus I knew that its transformation was my fault. The puppies had not seen it happen to me, but one night I had come back into my room differently than I had left it, and the same eyes which I had once yearned to look at me would not take their eyes off of me. They stared as if I had become some sort of a spectacle, some sort of obscenity. I was no longer something they did not notice, I was now something they rejected. Somewhere in their world outside the frame of the wallpaper, an image of my face was pinned up to a tree, alerting all the dogs that I was prohibited from entering into their world of meadows and buttercups.
The night that everything changed, I came home to sleep in the bed for which I was too big. For the first time in a long time, I closed the window. All night it remained closed even as the wind thrashed against it, fighting to make its way into my room, fighting to graze my skin in the way for which I had once begged. The ceiling fan above me threw air down at me as if a punishment, and the facade of indifference which I had spent years crafting was beginning to crack. I do not know how much of me was inside of my body, but I know that all of me was fully inside of each leftover-mascara-smudging teardrop which escaped from behind the confines of my eyes and stained my face. I was trying to be smaller under my blanket, trying to wish the fabric into something thicker, something that could cloak me, something that could construct a barrier between myself and the world. I collected the overwashed, discolored comforter material into my fists and pressed it against each of my ears, listening. They say that when you do this with seashells, you can hear the ocean. They don’t tell you that, really, all you can hear is your own blood circulating through your own brain. “I’ll see you through the loneliness of wanting more, more, more”.
When I finally found sleep that night, I had one of those rare dreams in which you see yourself out of body, in which you watch yourself like a character. I saw myself at age eight, staying home from school sick one day and staring out the window as yellow school buses rolled by - wishing I lived further away from school to necessitate riding one instead of walking. I saw myself at age twelve, using the carpet of my room as a stage and my hairbrush as a microphone, twirling around and thinking that one day life would impress itself upon me the way I wanted and I’d be shaped into a woman. My dreams that night became the first time I saw myself, which is to say my mind was exposed to my body and the result was a long-awaited unification. As much as this felt like a completion, I knew then that I had been touched by the world before I had been seen by myself. According to what I had heard about women, this was not something that could be taken back.
That was the morning I woke up and decided with conviction that the wallpaper needed to go. That was the morning I woke up with an unretouched image of myself embossed into my brain like a poster and the lyric repeating in my head, starting and finishing over and over and over again like a heartbeat, “see you, breathe you, want to be you”.
On the topic of the wallpaper, I responded to my mom, “I think I’ve just outgrown it”, which meant: “I used to want it to look at me, and now it won’t stop, and I want to go back to a time when I was too small to be seen.”
“We can go look at paints tomorrow, then,” she offered, “but the wallpaper is just so adorable. We have to take it off very carefully so I can put some of it in a frame.”
The framed square of wallpaper now rests on a shelf in my childhood bedroom, appearing to me the most vibrant thing in the room every time I go home. I have learned to gauge the image of myself off of sensations more qualitative than the level to which I’ve been touched. But still, I think of how I used to blend in with the grass and the dandelions so completely that the puppies didn’t even notice me, I think of how I used to be before I became a display for indulgence, and the lyric rises from dormancy in my head like a throb, “it’s not enough to say that I miss you”.
The Case for the Miniskirt
The recent cultural shift during the COVID-19 pandemic towards shopping more sustainably has resurrected thrifting and the DIY “upcycling” of outdated clothing in mainstream culture. As per the cyclical nature of fashion, style magazines and Depop sellers alike are announcing the return of many Y2K trends. Velour tracksuits, baby tees, baguette bags, and low-rise pants—they’re all making a return. Popularized by 2000s idols including Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, the pleated miniskirt is one of my favorite staple Y2K pieces. However, as much as I enjoy the aesthetic, I've lately come to question how reminiscent many of these trendy pieces are of clothes typically worn by young girls.
The pleated miniskirt, the baby tee, lace ruffle trim socks, butterfly clips, barrettes, pigtails, bedazzled shirts: all Y2K-inspired, all notably associated with young girls’ fashion. Is it possible that the popularization (and now re-popularization) of this aesthetic is partially rooted in the infantilization of women?
Associated with submissiveness and docility, ideal femininity is often infantilized in that it is tied to the physical appearance of a young girl. In hairlessness, figure, and disposition, femininity is presented as desirable when it is close to that of a naive and powerless prepubescent girl. It’s not surprising, then, that this romanticized image of childlike femininity carries over into the fashion industry, and is apparent in certain Y2K pieces.
Of course, infantilization of women’s clothing goes beyond specifically Y2K trends. When the miniskirt was introduced into mainstream fashion in the 1960s, it became a symbol of sexual freedom for women. Yet this liberation brought about another trend dubbed the “Lolita Look,” appropriately named after the famous novel Lolita, in which a man becomes sexually involved with a young girl. This look was popularized by Twiggy, the decade’s most prominent supermodel, who herself was discovered at age sixteen. Her miniskirt, small figure, and doe-eyed look comprised an overall doll-like image reminiscent of a young girl that was widely imitated throughout the decade. Still, the clothes themselves served as unconventionally freeing to women at the time, regardless of their fetishistic undertones, a prime example of how fashion can be both liberating and a reflection of negative cultural norms.
Yet these fetishistic undertones have continued, at times evolving into overtones like the ones present in Y2K fashion and its resurgence today. Y2K fashion, in turn, presents the same conundrum of encouraging freedom of self-expression while simultaneously reinforcing negative norms such as infantilization.
Cultural infantilization of women includes gendered portrayals in media such as film, TV, music videos, magazines, and more. These often advertise ideal women as submissive, innocent, and girlish, a child-like aesthetic cultivated by their dress and character. In turn, this character is sexualized as an object of male affection. Often, the fashion represented in these displays is indicative of fetishistic undertones.
When corporations advertise for the most effective consumption, they market a certain image that they know will sell; in this case, adult women marketed to the viewer as a girl. Presented as innocent and childlike, the women in these advertisements are often wearing clothes that are also reminiscent of those of a young girl. In this way, large brands capitalize off of the infantilization of women, and in doing so, increase the production of clothing that some argue infantilizes women in the first place.
However, neither the clothing itself nor the individual who wears it is to blame for potential fetishistic roots of certain trends. This is a long-term issue deeply rooted in cultural misunderstandings of femininity as submissive and childlike in nature, and cannot be solved on an individual level. Like any social phenomenon we engage in, fashion will inevitably be tied to both positive and negative cultural implications that require awareness and education. Yet it also serves as a form of communication in which the relationship between the individual and their clothing choices is a unique reflection of personality. So in this case, I’ll continue to wear what makes me feel good whether or not it involves a baby tee.
However, when certain aspects of this aesthetic are adapted into conventional fashion, it creates cognitive dissonance for people like me, who enjoy some of these trends, Am I, in engaging with this aesthetic, perpetuating the infantilization of women?
In the 1970s, the miniskirt fell out of favor, largely because its popularization coincided with the growing women’s rights movement, and many feminists decided it was far more objectifying than liberating. Similar criticisms are still common today, with many proposing that when grown women choose to dress in a more childlike fashion, they further perpetuate the sexualization of young girls.
However, the fault does not lie in the individual woman’s taste in wardrobe—it’s institutional. It’s not the clothes themselves that are the problem; that is, women shouldn’t be held accountable for culturally ingrained infantilization. Instead of criticizing women themselves, perhaps we should criticize the society that proposes youthful clothing should be sexualized in the first place.
WRITER: LEXY PICKERING
ART DIRECTOR: KEN RUDOLPH
MAKEUP ARTISTS: CHARLIE LUNARDI, CLARA SUDOL, ZANDER SLAYTON
MODELS: RHEA BANDARU, ALEX KNIES, SEBASTIAN ARANGO, GABE BECKFORD
PHOTOGRAPHERS: KATHERINE GOTARD, CHIKA OKOYE
STYLISTS: CARTER EIDSON, ZANDER SLAYTON, ZOE ALLEN, MIA METNI
There are no devils here
because this is raw earth
and we are more pure than crystalline
because this is nonexistence between
the sky and dirt, the higher and
lower, the salvaged and the damned
where we can all be monsters
(or humans or angels, depending
on who you ask) and be something
we’re not, because here you can be you.
Or maybe not, because neither monsters
nor humans nor angels don’t cry
or drink the same—
but then you remember that this
is nonexistence, between.
WRITER: HAN OH
ART DIRECTOR: MORGAN BROADHEAD
MAKEUP ARTISTS: CHARLIE LUNARDI, CLARA SUDOL, ZANDER SLAYTON
MODELS: AMY BOCOS, PEDRO HEENRIQUE JUNGUEEIRA, MARISA MARINO, STEPHANIE ORTEGA
PHOTOGRAPHERS: ELLA LOPEZ, YIWEN WONG
STYLISTS: KELSEY BROWN, ABBY BALTER, ZOE ALLEN, PEDRO HENRIQUE JUNQUEIRA
There’s just something comfortable about skateboards and baggy jeans, records and Converse. Vans too are still here, and both are billion-dollar companies. Skater style morphed miraculously in its multi-decade existence, defining a generation—many generations.
Each decade provided a different setting, a different world.
In the ’60s, when skating first boomed, the sport was called “sidewalk surfing.” It began in Hawaii and Southern California, with artists creating customized crafts and a new means of travel or sport. People listened to the Beach Boys, the Mamas and the Papas, Stevie Wonder, the Beatles, Elvis.
In the ’70s, skating moved around and all over. The sport took a few years to take off after its beachy beginnings, with parents and professionals declaring it “dangerous.” But, the “Kids in America” and across the globe wanted a skate mag on their desk, a skateboard in their room, and a skatepark in their city, town, or neighborhood. Maybe after the park, they’d hit the record store in search of the latest from Black Flag, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, or the Ramones.
In the ’80s, skate culture—though a subculture—was an established entity. It was a bit too free, loose, effortless, and unsure for the sad sophistication society was demanding from their picket fences. People were looking for a place to be free, a place to question their perils or predetermined plans. To do so, they turned to Public Enemy, N.W.A., Suicidal Tendencies, the Smiths, the Motels, Blondie, Bad Religion, and Descendents.
In the ’90s, that subculture burst like a bubble into a full-blown scene. Kids or youthful souls could release bottled-up pressure at sanctuaries like skateparks. Afterwards, they may have visited a favorite video store before pouring into a nearby party. The widespread emergence of punk-rock in the ’70s, hip-hop in the ’80s, and rap in the ’90s presented new sounds and new faces that ultimately formed the basis of modern skate culture. Gwen Stefani played as frontwoman for pop-punk reggae-rock band No Doubt, and Biggie Smalls, Blur, Sublime, the Pixies, Aaliyah, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Cypress Hill, Blink-182, Garbage, Missy Elliot, Sonic Youth, and Lauryn Hill ruled the airwaves. Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain are there too, and their stardom surely stirred the pot.
In the ’00s, everything was different; everything was digital—well, lots of things. Technology’s rise in the prior decades and the internet’s public birth in the ’90s powered most, if not all, of the recent trends we’ve seen. Generations were flung into this new, tech-crazy universe, where the world seemed to spin a little faster after every rotation around the sun. Everything was a little more robotic, a little closer to the future. The skatepark was still busy, but now the skaters had cell phones in their hands—first flipping, then scrolling. Sure, people had computers in their pockets, but it was still a place of comfort. Inclusivity was also on the rise, with girls fighting for their role in the sport or a set of wheels. Their stereos may’ve been playing Green Day, M.I.A., Kanye West, Weezer, Eve, LINKIN PARK, Paramore, Jimmy Eat World, or Avril Lavigne.
Now, it’s the 20s—the roaring ’20s. There’s a pandemic, and the Capitol’s been stormed. And, it’s just the beginning: there’s a whole nine years left in this decade. Predictions: old, tired thinkers stepping aside for fresh faces to pave a hopefully safer future; art and style becoming even more boundary-breaking and diverse; fixing, or attempting to fix, our damaged systems and natural world; freedom; fatality.
In the ’10s, things were quite like the ’00s, but more: that “everything is digital” concept turned into the “we’re being watched and listened to” all the time, everywhere we go. The music industry moved online—with streaming services like Spotify, SoundCloud, and Apple Music—and so did the film industry. The modern generations proved to be freer and more fluid than most before them, and it showed in public: a wave of women seeking to shred the halfpipe, compete, or simply skate along soon emerged, as did one for all people who hadn’t been properly welcomed or comfortable at a skatepark. The once male-led, way-too-white social setting became more open, leading to a culture of acceptance and style with years of influence. People listened to Kendrick Lamar, Tame Impala, MGMT, the Strokes, Brockhampton, Arctic Monkeys, Travis Scott, Kali Uchis, Mac Miller, the Growlers, Kid Cudi, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Frank Ocean, Tyler, the Creator, the Internet, and the whole Odd Future collective, for that matter.
Nobody really knows what the future will hold. Hopefully the record stores won’t vanish like the video ones have. The skatepark will still be here, I presume, and so will the sneakers, tie-dye, and baggy jeans. There’s just something comfortable about them.
STAFF MANAGERS: DAVID HAETTY, GABE BECKFORD
WRITER: CHRISTIAN JAEGER
ART DIRECTOR: TIM NESSEL
MODELS: GABE BECKFORD, SEBASTIAN ARANGO, SHELBY AGUILAR
PHOTOGRAPHER: DAVID HAETTY
STYLISTS: JEANETTE FRAZER, CARTER EIDSON, ARMAN ZARGHANI-SHIRAZ, ZOE ALLEN
Where I could be anyone
You would keep me company in the dead of night
Even when I couldn’t fall asleep
You’d be there in the morning, too
With a vibrancy that couldn’t be shattered
I think about her now
And how much I miss her
What an idea
To fill pits with wood chips, each with their own lifetime of stories
Where an old me could test how long that vibrancy could last
And I loved it when
Parents apologized for the background noise on their phone calls that were never that important
And even though you are grown now
The word ‘connoisseur’ still draws a blank and ‘entrepreneur’ is still hard to spell
When Caprisuns lasted a little bit longer
And heartache seemed so far away
Other kids would navigate through pole-burns and fruit snacks
Sometimes there’d be games of tag where no one ever comes to unfreeze you,
You wonder if you’re of any use to anyone at all
All the times I yelled through the hot-to-the-touch playground telephone, hoping someone would be on the other side
I could dream of being anyone
And live in a moment different to everyone around me
I collect these chips wondering when I got too big to play
I still see that vibrancy sometimes
In the eyes of someone on a swing
They swear their feet can touch the clouds if they try hard enough
How do I convince them they’re going to miss it?