Saturday, December 8, 2018


There's this notion of forever that I can't seem to shake. Logically, I know that it's false. It's nearly impossible that what we have is infinite because infinity is theoretical. This, like everything else, will meet its demise.

But I can't seem to convince my heart of what my head knows to be true. Because when your hand reaches out for mine, when I'm holding your head against my chest, when we're tangled up and laughing uncontrollably, it feels like I could never have this with another person. It feels like no one else could accept me the way you do or make me feel as safe or as comfortable as you do.

I know it's all just a feeling. And I know that feelings fade and that this will end. I have to convince myself of that. Because if the truth arrives before I learn to accept it, it will hurt too much. And I'm scared of how I'll react.

<Lucy Cartin

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Faces Going Places

// 11 PM. A Toyota Prius. JONATHON is in the driver’s seat. ALICE is in the back seat.

JONATHON: You know, you’re one of the most silent people I’ve ever driven. And I’ve been driving for almost a year now.

ALICE: Oh, um… Sorry?

JONATHON: Nah, don’t be. I’m just making an observation is all.

ALICE: Right.

JONATHON: You look very pensive. What with your head resting on the window and all. Very dramatic.

ALICE: Laughs. I guess you’re right.

JONATHON: I can tell you’ve got a lot going on in your head. See, you and I must be very different. When I’ve got a lot going on in my head, I just let it all out. Even when there’s nothing in my head, I just talk and talk and talk. My friends can never get me to shut up!

ALICE: Laughs. Yeah, that’s the opposite of me.

Both are silent for a bit. JONATHON waits, hoping ALICE will continue.

ALICE: I guess for me, the thoughts kind of get stuck in my head.

JONATHON: Like you can’t find the words?

ALICE: Like I can’t find the right words.

JONATHON: Well why do you need the right words? Any words will do! Doesn’t it feel better to just get it all out there?

ALICE: Probably? I don’t know, it just doesn’t come naturally to me.

JONATHON: Let’s practice then! Come on! Tell me what’s on your mind.

ALICE shifts in her seat.

JONATHON: I mean, of course you don’t have to if you don’t want to. I just figured I’d let you try. And I’m naturally pretty nosy. I just like knowing what’s going on with people is all.


ALICE: I think I’m in love with my girlfriend.

JONATHON: Hey, that’s great!

ALICE: But, uh, I think she has someone else in her heart.

JONATHON: Like, she’s cheating?

ALICE: No, no. She wouldn’t do that. I just… Sometimes it feels like… I don’t know, she doesn't think about me.


ALICE: Yeah. But she occupies my head constantly. I just feel like I’ll never get that space in her heart. And it just feels so unfair. Like, I’m always loving people more than they’ll love me.

JONATHON: Well… I admire that you have a lot of love to give.

ALICE: Don’t you think I’ll run out one day?

JONATHON: I should hope not. (beat) Okay, sorry to cut you off like this, but this is your building?

ALICE: Yup, this is me. Thanks.

ALICE starts climbing out of the car.

JONATHON: Cool. Good luck with everything.

ALICE: Thanks, you too. Have a good night.

ALICE starts closing the door, but pauses.

ALICE: You know, it’s a lot easier to talk to people when they’re not staring right at you.

JONATHON: Laughs. Yeah, I guess that’s true.

* * *
I had to write a little bit of dialogue for a class back in October, and I woke up this morning with a strong desire to post it here. It's so weird how posting things on the internet for no one to see has become very therapeutic for me.

<Lucy Cartin

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Carbon Dioxide

When we're together like this
I can only breathe in
Whatever you exhale.
And I know that it isn't enough,
That it isn't sustainable.
But I just can't get myself
To turn away.

<Lucy Cartin

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Kill the Sound

I fill my head with fantastic lies because I want to feel something.
But for every euphoric high, there is a crushing low.
Insatiable desire motivates an eternal chase.
I want to destroy and be destroyed.
High risk, high reward--
Am I willing?
I sedate myself.
For resistance is impossible.
Proximity is a gift I now understand
Because when my expectations shatter, so do I.
Suddenly, my world is nothing but a reverberating echo.
Reality isn't nearly as significant as what I can convince myself is true.
Just a mind dump in the form of nonsensical poetry.
<Lucy Cartin

Saturday, July 7, 2018

empty empty empty

For years, I've been avoiding a very significant portion of my reality, but recently, it seems like that reality has taken the initiative to run towards me. My evasion has proven fruitless. Surprise on my part would be kind of dumb, to be quite honest.

I wasn't feeling anything at all for awhile there. I kind of shut all of that off so I could focus on school, but now I've got some free time. Letting myself feel again has been up and down. It has to be better than nothing, though. Numbness seems unhealthy--maybe even a little cowardly.

My friend and I decided to head back early because we didn't want to get caught up in traffic. Neither of us were particularly keen on seeing fireworks anyway. You see colors in the sky once, you've seen it a million times. So I was walking back to my apartment at 8:45 PM alone when I started thinking about someone I know. I thought about how I hadn't seen her in a week. About how ever since the last time I saw her I've been thinking about her nonstop. And as I navigated the dark neighborhood, I let myself contrive a fictional version of my life where she rushes to my front door the minute she gets back into town.

I see her waiting for me and her face lights up when I finally arrive. She runs up to me, grabs my hand, and says "Come on!" as she starts running down the street. We dash across campus and up four flights of stairs until we're on the roof of the engineering building, looking over Los Angeles. Shoulder to shoulder, we watch ten simultaneous fireworks shows. She turns to me, places a hand on my cheek, and pulls my face closer to hers until our noses touch.

That would be worth experiencing a million times, I think.

Doesn't matter, though, because when I got to my front door no one was there. It feels like I'm always setting myself up for disappointment.

There has to be some sort of balance in the universe, so for every heart-racing high, there's a bone-crushing low. And I used to think that linear was more practical than sinusoidal. It probably is. But linear's kind of boring. Peaks come with troughs, but at least you get a peak. Who would voluntarily flatline?

Me, apparently. I'm kind of thinking that I want that to change, though. I don't know.

<Lucy Cartin

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Random Thoughts About Race

This is a post about race that relates some thoughts and memories that I have been having recently. It doesn't really go anywhere. I mean, none of my posts go anywhere in particular, but since this is about a heavier topic I figured I'd leave a little disclaimer.

I can't remember why, but I was recently thinking about the "I Had a Dream" episode of The Proud Family. For those who don't know, The Proud Family is an old Disney Channel cartoon following an Afro-Latino girl named Penny Proud as she lives a life surrounded by friends and family. Given the episode name, you probably won't be surprised when I tell you that the episode involves Penny working on an assignment for Black History Month and being swept about fifty years in the past to a segregated society. My primary memory of this episode is this scene (see above photo) in which Penny realizes that she and Zoey are no longer friends because Zoey is white and Penny is colored.

This was one of the first times that I understood race as a barrier. Of course I always recognized that the people around me weren't necessarily the same race as me. As the only Chinese kid in my class, it was hard not to notice. But like most kids, I didn't think that race divided me from other people. As far as I was concerned, the only difference between me and a Hispanic kid was what we ate for dinner and what language we spoke with our parents.

The existence of these differences really hit me when I started learning about segregation in history class. Teachers told us (extremely watered down) accounts of discrimination against black people. You know, the typical photos of bathrooms and water fountains labeled "white" and "colored". Of course there was absolutely no mention of lynching or beating or the absolute disrespect with which black people were treated, but even without the harsher details, I remember thinking that segregation was cruel and unusual. I remember being relieved that it was in the past. I remember feeling lucky that people of my race weren't targets of hatred.

Then I thought about this episode of The Proud Family. I imagined what my life would be like if I had been born fifty years earlier. At first I figured I'd be fine because I wasn't black. Immediately after that thought was the realization that I wasn't white either, which meant I didn't get to use the fancy bathrooms. I wasn't really sure where Asians would've fallen on the spectrum of discrimination, but at the time I pictured myself mopping a floor. Now that I'm older and (kind of) wiser, I assume I would've been washing dishes in my parents' restaurant or ironing shirts in the backroom of a laundromat.

It's just weird to think that fifty years isn't too far in the past. In school, they tend to teach history with this implication that racism is over, that all of those horrible things are in the past. Luckily, a lot of those things are in the past. But at the same time, too many forms of racism and segregation are still present in our society. It's an unsettling reminder that complacency is not an option because there is still work to be done.

<Lucy Cartin

Sunday, March 4, 2018

How are you okay with that?

So you say you’re not a feminist.

Please, explain to me why you're not interested in being strong and independent. How can you go about your day knowing that you intend to rely on the fleeting generosity of others for the rest of your life? Don't you have the desire to do things on your own? To prove that you can take care of yourself? That you can stand on your own two feet? Don't you want to make a difference in the world?

It baffles me that you actively choose not to contribute to a generation of women who are setting a precedent.

Feminists are creating a world that teaches young girls to be their own person and pay no regard to restrictive gender expectations.

Feminists lead their lives in a manner that demonstrates that women are strong, self-sufficient, and forward-thinking.

Feminists are proving that women don't have to change their appearances or behavior to please men--or anyone for that matter.

Feminists are fighting for a world that allows them to be valued for their thoughts and the way they express those thoughts.

Feminists want to be judged by the content of their character, by how they treat themselves and the people around them.

Feminists refuse to be defined by how shiny their hair is or how seductively they can bat their lashes.

But in order to make all of this possible, women of the present need to take the initiative to create that world. Don't you want to be a part of that? Because we need as many women as possible. We need them to shake off the restraints that the patriarchy uses to hold them back. We need them to be exactly who they want to be, rather than who they think they’re supposed to be. We need them to unapologetically reject silence. We need them to be feminists.