Patrick Moberg

Feelings Suck

My younger, love lorn self trying to make sense of things.

“You're in love but out of touch.”
“Babe, I'd love to touch your—”
“Quiet sir. You're quite too drunk.”
“Be that so, the drink is love.”
“Then sober up. Cus feelings suck.”

How loved do you feel today?

“Will you walk to the train and smoke a cigarette with me?”

Are you lonely?

I smelled your perfume on the train today. At the first sign of it, a spark in my brain reminded me that I knew the scent, and that I related it with feeling really, really good. Another inhale and the image of your room started to form. Deeper and deeper I slipped into the memory, each breath reaching through the haze of the other smells on the train. I wanted to be back in that room. Back in that moment, with you. I kept breathing, knowing the memory would slip away the moment my lungs were full. Breath after breath. Deeper and deeper. I eventually exhausted my lungs and got a headache. An almost perfect analogy for our relationship. Giving it everything we had, but only ending up with a headache.

When I was in high school I drove a big white van. Some people made fun of it, but it was pretty great for making out with girls in the parking lot at the movies.

- Maurice, the guy on the G train
platform that always talks to me


Last night I drove to Ithaca, New York in order to see Girl Talk at a small bar called Castaways.

I got there with only mild difficulty and arrived around eight o'clock, two hours before the show was supposed to start. I went into the bar and was greeted by a really lively, almost family type atmosphere. There was a run of the mill, old dude band playing classic rock covers. They played really tight, and everyone was dancing. It was odd to see small children in the bar, but kind of heart warming to see all the locals unabashedly "letting loose" and having fun. A little overwhelmed, I returned to my car. I knew I'd have to drive three hours back to Rochester after the show, so I figured I'd nap until things got started.

I couldn't sleep, so I ate some Swedish fish, listened to music, and went back inside at 9:15pm.

When I returned the family vibe had completely vanished. The room felt dead, and too cool for school. A biker looking guy at the door asked to see my ID. A bit anxious to hand him my money and get this interaction over with, I offered my $15 four times before he actually took it. "Let me see your ID." "I need to put this bracelet on your right hand." "Since you're under 21 I need to mark the tops of your hands." Finally, he accepted the money and let me in the bar.

I found a comfortable spot in front of the sound console and waited. I went to the bathroom. And then waited some more. A DJ duo came out casually and started up some music. They were good, but the crowd was sparse and no one was dancing. Two girls moved into the bodiless area in front of the stage, making the room feel vaguely like a middle school dance. I looked at my phone to see what time it was.

Slowly people began coming in and the crowd warmed up. Drinks were consumed and bodies began to move.

You know that group of people that stand out in comparison to everyone else? The ones that everyone is keeping tabs on all night out of the corner of their eye? In this particular crowd it was three remarkably good looking girls tugging around their, probably, gay friend.

A 'sexy fairy' costume is basically a pair of small, spandex shorts and a generic pair of glitter covered wings. It was close to Halloween, so two of the girls in the group were dressed as sexy fairies. The third girl was wearing a Marilyn Monroe dress. All white. In the dimly lit, dance club atmosphere, she was glowing under the black lights. Everything else seemed dirty and inadequate in comparison. She was where everyone's eyes were when they weren't looking at the stage.

I hovered near the front of the room. If you were standing on stage, I'd be to your left, directly behind the speaker system. It was a good view. My own little nook.

As I stood there, bobbing along to the music, I found my anxieties melting away. It felt good. I became comfortable.

Then, I caught a glimpse of the white dress, and knew what was coming. Panic washed over me. My throat got tight. Ability to form coherent sentences, gone. The glowing presence inched toward me, but I refused to move, clinging to some absurd hope that she might not see me standing there.

"Hey, is this Girl Talk?"

Briefly, my head refused to believe she was talking to me, as it was both the first and last thing in the world I wanted happening to me. Eventually my brain gave in, processed the inquiry, and spit out a "Nope."

"Are you sure? It sounds a lot like them."

"Yeah, they do sorta (not really, at all), but I think Girl Talk is the last act."

"Do you work here?"

"Ha. No." Instantly, I both 'loved' and 'hated' her. Loved because, at the time, I was certain that I was the only person in the world who could understand and truly value her beauty. Every other person was incapable, and would only take it for granted. I hated her because she knew I wasn't capable of appreciating it either.

"Well, when Girl Talk is on, will you get on the stage and dance with me?"

"Ha, umm... I'll get on the stage, but probably won't dance."

"I bet you'll dance."

"I guess we'll see."

She asked if I wanted to do shots with her and her friends. I said sure, but that she'd have to get mine since I was under 21. Not the suavest move, but I'd found that being upfront usually works out better than pretending to be anything you're not. She understood and got six shots. For free. The drinks bled into small talk, throughout which I was dreading the moment where she'd want to get on stage and dance.

Eventually the two opening acts finished. The lights dimmed down, and Girl Talk's intro sample started playing. The girl in white grabbed my hand, and we made our way towards the front speakers we'd met at. On the way, the phone in her other hand lit up. She took the call, still holding my hand. When we got to the speakers she said that she was going outside to let a friend in, and that she'd be back. I nodded silently. She opened up the back entrance door and signaled for the friend to come in, but after a few looks of confusion, she went outside and the door closed.

Somewhat relieved, I settled back into my comfortable corner and watched the show begin. Fifteen minutes in, I got on stage with the rest of the crowd, took photos, and danced with all the costumed strangers. Not really knowing what I was doing, but having a good time not worrying about it. The girl in white never came back.