C'est la V.

Poems, pith, lists, & et ceteras
by Virginia Ophals
24, New York City

Real Questions I’ve Asked Myself in the Past 10 Minutes:

1. How do you spell ron-day-voo? I know there are a Z and some other dark horses in there.

2. Do I want to get ready to go out yet or do I want to reread and overanalyze this IM conversation I had with W. for the fourth time?

3. What does it say that I wear all my lame underwear first, habitually saving the sexy ones for when they’re necessary, but they of fucking course never become necessary, so laundry day basically leaves me wearing fucking lingerie?

4. I can’t have both of those ‘fucking’s in #3 so which one do I really need?

5. Fuckings? Fuckings.

Strangely Sexy Things:

1. Men wearing classically patterned trouser socks on the subway

2. Women under 35 rocking gray hair

3. Guys who wear their long hair in buns (and possibly skateboard (this is the only time skateboarding is sexy at all))

4. Catching gay men checking me (my outfit) out

5. When anyone touches the back of my neck

6. That moment as a girl when you’re having a discussion about the secrecy of female masturbation and a person (either gender) asks you if you masturbate and you say Yes and you can tell for a split second (because it’s involuntary) that that person is imagining you doing it

7. People who are smarter than me but never admit it

8. Standing very close to passing trains and cars

9. Cameron’s suspenders in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Weekend Realizations:

1. ’90s music videos are full of people standing on windy cliffs.

2. We are all alone.

3. Chocolate truffles.

4. Also, truffle: the only food name that can be found at both ends of the tastiness scale.

Let’s just say…

1. …I discovered that Adele album at the right time.

2. …no amount of ornate lamps can fix this.

3. …I’ve even begun procrastinating things I want to do.

4. …I actually cried when I realized my tv antenna doesn’t pick up PBS.

5. …I’m googling him again.

6. …today someone said I was wearing “the mullet of outfits” in a good way.

What’s on Local Television Tonight:

1. Masters of the Universe (He-Man)

2. The INSANITY: 60-Day Total Body Conditioning Workout DVDs infomercial

3. A movie starring The Rock

4. A roller derby championship

Celebrities I Loathe (and Their Most Offensive Attributes):

1. George Lopez (Lopez Tonight, “jokes”)

2. Mariah Carey (face, album covers, comportment)

3. Kathy Griffin (voice, every role ever, seeming unkillability)

4. Channing Tatum (facial expressions, face, general image, face)

Note: I cannot put Ann Coulter on this list because I receive too much enjoyment from hating her. I can’t even stay mad at her. She looks like she really loved horses in middle school but her mom wouldn’t let her ride them.

Roles in My Life I Prefer Fat People Filling:

1. Personal Chef

2. Grandma

3. Dependable Tough-loving Bartender

4. Elementary School Nurse

5. Fairy Godmother

6. Winner of Swimming Pool Cannonball Contest in Which I Place

What It Was and What It Felt Like:

1. The hairstylist with the satin blonde hair and accidentally perfect messy bun asked how long ago my last haircut was and I said, “Umm, I guess seven months ago,” but it felt like “Forgive me father for I have sinned; it has been seven months since my last haircut.”

2. My roommate asked me, “Can you watch the kitten while I’m away for Thanksgiving?” but it felt like “Can you pretend the kitten is yours while you give it all your love and affection for a period of time that will never be long enough?”

3. I ate a Nutella, (crunchy) peanut butter, and marshmallow fluff sandwich for breakfast, but it felt like both a mortal sin and a heroic negation of all that it is wrong with the world.

4. I wrote in the margin of a short story I was editing, “You can’t write ‘haha’ in literary dialogue,” but it felt like “Start being more aware of your idiocy.”

5. He said, “It’s not a big deal; people leave all the time,” but it felt like “It’s not a big deal; people leave you all the time.”

Topics over Which I’ve Argued This Past Month:

1. The size of plantains in relation to bananas

2. The victor of the war of 1812

3. A shark’s (in)ability to smell things on land while in water [which lead to, on separate occasions, organic chemistry and shark ovolarviparity]

4. King Lear, patriarchy, and the quest for true love

5. The word “alit”: both definitions and parts of speech

6. The order of the lower East River bridges

7. The impracticality of the thematic breadth of a college class titled “Perception”

8. The conditional verb tense

9. The (moral?) obligation of prime-time television to political correctness

10. The writing MFA, originality, and despair

11. Exactly how much worse my piece of cake was

12. Blackface

13. Lars von Trier’s rogue planet’s name and the value of subtlety

14. Absolutely nothing concerning #OccupyWallStreet

15. The prevalence of guitar tapping outside of the metal genre

Things I Love and I Cannot Discuss Loving Without Getting Emotional:

1. Actually, everything.

NOTE: This list originally started with “Remington Steele

Books I’ve Read on the Subway That Elicited Double-Takes or Over-the-Shoulder Readers:

1. Marquis de Sade’s Philosophy in the Bedroom (the only book I’ve read with the word “cunt” in it more times than I’ve ever said aloud)

2. Rethinking Rape (with this excessively dramatic/hellish cover)

3. My 6 lb. Norton Shakespeare (weight confirmation here)

4. Torture: A Collection (cover features a medieval iron spiked chair)

5. Wisconsin Death Trip (filled with photos like this)

Subway Thoughts of the Day:

1. It is a much more declarative statement to be fat when sitting in one of those outdated subway cars with concave seats as opposed to the uniform fat-friendly bench. The divided benches are basically giant rulers, the markings of which each connote, “You should end here.”

2. The subway should have cup holders for everyone’s safety. This tea is burning me even through the cardboard protector slip which is both recycled! and utterly useless. (I am not arguing a causal relationship between these two facts.)
It’s difficult to order chamomile tea assertively or with haste. No one is in a rush to grab a chamomile tea. Drinking chamomile tea with New York-morning seriousness is equivalent to admitting to be an scholarly viewer of the British television show “Rosemary and Thyme,” which, as wikipedia perfectly states, is “a mixture of gardening and detective investigation as the green thumbed sleuths [Rosemary and Thyme] delve into a world of crime.” (This is my grandmother’s favorite show alongside Judge Judy, and, annually, the Tony awards.)

3. Door-leaners and door-placement-anticipators are easily the coolest of train passengers. Big-item-carriers and checking-the-wrong-end-of-the-tunnel-waiters are easily the lamest. The middle of the spectrum is where evaluation becomes difficult. I have only today decided that drunk girls beat moms with babies only if the baby is crying or vice versa only if the drunk girl is on the L. Subway performers are assessed on a different scale, based on instrument first, then talent, then song choice (with the exception of pianists, who receive an automatic bump to the top due to the “he-fucking-got-that-into-a-subway-car” ruling).

4. Scoring a solo elevator ride is like being allotted a brief vacation from humanity. One can undergo so much healing in that 30-second window. The feeling is akin to when your roommate leaves for the weekend and the apartment transforms into your own guilt-free den of filth and nudity. However, the most I do during a private elevator ride is deeply sigh, adjust my underwear, and sing—when what I really want is to nap.
There should be conveniently located, private spaces to nap that don’t cost a small fortune. I don’t need a whole room; I don’t need amenities. Just a bed for rent by the half-hour. Preferably in an elevator or subway. But no seriously.

Lies I Sometimes Tell Myself:

1. “No one in the apartment heard that orgasm.”

2. “Turning this paper in late won’t even affect my final grade at all because teachers will look into my bloodshot eyes and see their own younger selves and decide to be the merciful teachers they themselves never had.”

3. “Small boobs are in.”

4. “My day will not be more satisfying if it includes Snack Factory everything-flavoured pretzel crisps this very moment.”

5. “Buying those Snack Factory everything-flavored pretzel crisps was not a failure in self-discipline but a step towards a more pleasurable and less restrictive lifestyle.”

6. “This outfit doesn’t look wrinkly—it looks comfortable and everyone will just think I’m easy-going for wearing it.”

7. “Fuck money; drinking hot cocoa will be as filling as eating anyway.”

8. “I can wear heels today since I won’t be doing that much walking.”

9. “Punctual people probably lead boring lives. Plus, their consistency leaves them ineligible to experience the personal heroism of being on time for once.”

10. “Graduation is so far away that I’m bound to be a better, smarter, more organized person by the time it arrives.”

11. “This ice cream is doing more good for me emotionally that it is hindering me nutritionally.”

12. “Someone somewhere is proud of me for making the switch from milk to soy milk.”

13. “Ryan Gosling would want me if he met me.”

14. “The iPhone isn’t even that cool.”

15. “I’m going to be one of those moms who somehow raises amazing kids while maintaining a healthy sense of identity.”

16. “I don’t need anyone else! I am a rock! An island! Self-sustaining! Emotionally autonomous! I can massage my own back and tell myself I’m beautiful and it will be just as good!”

17. “He misses me, too. Totally.”

What to Do When I Don’t Post Anything on Tumblr Seemingly Ever:

1. Check my new, still internet-less apartment in the beautiful neighborhood of Windsor Terrace by Prospect Park in Brooklyn, because I’m probably home rearranging furniture and getting noise complaints.

2. Check out this MIA/Otis Redding mashup or this Blockhead song “Insomniac Olympics”, both of which are so good it’s stupid.

3. Eat Entenmann’s donuts and/or Häagen-Dazs ice cream by the pound, because that always helps me.

4. Direct your attention to lesser problems for which you are more capable of providing solutions, such as your post-graduate plans (oh that’s right—I brought it up).

5. Continue living your life, yet let me be comforted by the possibility that others have not only noticed, but mourned my absence.

6. Cartwheels.