Jessica Scout Malone

director // actor // girl in motion

jupiter and rain

What really fucks me up about space is that the gaseous planets don't actually have a clear stopping point. What looks to our eyes like a solid surface is actually just the point where the gases have spread out so far that they are no longer dense enough to reflect light. No hard edges, just a soft disintegration, amalgamation with the air or lack thereof around it. There are often days when I feel like this, unclear of where the edges of me stop, the air of the outside world pouring itself gently into my skin, mixing in whispers like cream into an iced coffee. 

What are the right words to ask someone, will you come hover near me for a moment to remind me that my skin is capable of feeling the presence of other people? Like the way babies grab your one adult sized finger with their little paws, without asking but without malice, just to remind you that yes, you are solid enough to be held on to. 

It feels like I've been trying to play a game of soccer with a wiffle ball. Like I've been trying to shoot a bow but I reach into the quiver and all I have is darts. I must be going to the wrong Sports Authority. I feel like I'm using a treadmill to try to win a footrace, and then looking around to see that no one else was running in the first place. And speaking of treadmills, when am I supposed to find time to get on a real one? 

Today a car drove through a puddle and splashed water all over my legs, 95 minutes into my 40 minute commute home, the same song whispering on repeat back and forth through my headphones as the dumb street water wrapped itself around my ankles. I thought this only happened in movies. Or to Alejandra, that one time outside Barons Court.

I forget that we're all cowards, aren't we, waiting for the right thumb to brush the right hand at the right moment, waiting for the right train to pull into the right station at the right time, waiting for The Thing that will tell us The Time is Now. Waiting for the sign we can blame if we make the move and it all goes wrong. I guess I just misread the signals. We're all playing one long game of Chicken, the kind where you sit on someone else's shoulders in a pool and just wait and wait and wait to feel the cool chlorine hit the insides of your nostrils when you fall. And you will fall, face first into the water. 

The first time I ever got caught in the undertow at Jones Beach I thought I was going to die. My whole body being rolled up into the period that would surely end my very short sentence. No one ever teaches you about the undertow until you've met it. What they tell you afterwards is not to fight it, give into it, let it push you, pull you, shove sand into the soft inner corners of your shut-too-tight eyes. It'll give up when it feels it's good and done. When you've been properly roughed and tumbled. And when you pull yourself up, child's one-piece all discombobulated, salt water mixing with your stomach acid, you tell yourself you will never get stuck in that kind of situation again. 

But the ocean has always had a mind of it's own. 

And isn't it just so tempting to jump headfirst into the waves.