Playgrounds and Outer Space (and Long-Distance Friendships)

My friend Daci and I decided to do an email-powered writing club in 2016 because we love writing but don't do it enough and also I think because we miss each other a lot sometimes and this might make us feel like we're sitting together at Spyhouse Coffee as the sun streams in across our Moleskines and we sip lavender lattes.

She sent me a care package with coffee and pencils and a cookie cutter in the shape of Minnesota. There was also a notebook that says Fucking Brilliant on the cover in really fancy gold calligraphy. I cried while I rummaged through the box, because she wrote "2015 was the WORST. Here's to 2016 being a million times better." in the card and it meant everything to me because I think she meant it for me even though she didn't mean it for her, since 2015 brought a brand new gorgeous happy healthy baby to her life.

And then a day later, a text: "Can we do like a virtual writing club? Or is that what blogging is already anyway?"

Two good questions. Our text messages are often just inside jokes or very random things that made one of us think of the other, like the fine line between cute and ugly jumpsuits or the time Andrew McMahon walked into a Minneapolis restaurant with his baby like it was no big deal.

It's probably not surprising to anyone that January is almost halfway through and I haven't written an essay for our writing club yet, but I do have notes in my Fucking Brilliant journal. I wrote them when I was half asleep one night:



  • Wes and Playground
    • First night
    • After breakup

Good enough, I guess. (Wes is a friend of mine from college who I used to go to this playground with, by the way. As I'm sure you can tell from my very detailed notes, there's a story there.)

So I was going to write the essay about my friend from college and the playground, but then Star Wars Episode VII came out and Rob and I spent a few days re-watching the old ones before going to see the new one, and I realized that never did it occur to me that any of the characters were in outer space, which is a big deal because I'm actually really afraid of outer space. If a meteor were headed towards Earth and we all needed to hop on a spaceship to escape safely, I'd stay. Like, Gravity came out and I made Rob go see it by himself while Daci and I probably ate French fries. So naturally I G-chatted her about it.

i realized when i was going to see it though that space in star wars doesn’t scare me
why is that
very important life question here (M)

hmmm maybe because its not real space?
like you’re scared of the space movies where actual humans that live in our world are trapped and feeling actual feelings and thinking about actual Earth things that are familiar to you
such a good life question
maybe space should be a prompt (D)

that’s exactly what it is
those people in star wars are supposed to be in space
they’ve just always lived out there
but yeah i like space as a prompt (M)

theyre in their element
maybe your fear isnt space (D)

just bein a wookie (M)

its feeling lost

Because whether it's out there in the great beyond or somewhere in the ocean (another great fear of mine), nobody wants to be flailing around, gasping for breath, trying to figure out which way is up. And whether you're writing about a playground or the terrifying rings of Jupiter, sometimes you just need to get started and figure it out from there. Two writing prompts and a blog post. And a reason to text my friend in Minnesota. Better than nothing.

But I think we'll write the essays anyway.