5 Theories On “American Horror Story” And How The Seasons Are Connected

Youtube, American Horror Story
Youtube, American Horror Story

“American Horror Story” recently accomplished the very impressive task of replacing “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” as my favorite television show. (Sorry, Ari!)

There’s just so much for a horror fan to love. A different setting each season, beloved actors playing new roles (lookin’ at you, Sarah Paulson, you beautiful creature of light), themes and plot lines darker than the other side of the moon. And it’s done something that even the goriest of slasher flicks have failed to do these days: it scares me.

Probably the most intriguing thing about it so far is that director/creator Ryan Murphy has stated that all the seasons are connected and we’re just starting to find out how. What a cool concept, but something you have to remember is that Ryan Murphy likely never had this in mind until Season 4 when he decided to include Season 2’s Pepper in the cast. I’m willing to bet there’s going to be a ton of retconning with Murphy acting like this has always been the master plan, but it’s still fun to pick apart the seasons and try to find how they could possibly be connected.

So let’s get to speculating, shall we? (Obviously, spoilers ahead.)

Oliver Thredson and Dandy Mott Are Half-Brothers

Giphy, Giphy

This is my strongest theory and the most well-researched, probably because I’m a Thredson fangirl and would love to figure out a way to bring him back into the fold. (Come back, Zachary Quinto, you’re breaking my heart!) I also feel this might be something that Ryan Murphy actually hinted at in Season 4 in a very deliberate way.

  • Gloria very candidly mentions that her family tends to produce “a psychopath once in a while”.
  • Dandy says that Gloria’s father was ruined by the crash of ’29 and that she “would’ve done anything to get back into a home like this, even marrying your second cousin”. This indicates that at least for a time, Gloria lived a much less wealthy lifestyle and desperately wanted to have money again. Wouldn’t it make sense if she had a child during this period for her to give it up, like Thredson was? It would make her even more undesirable as a wife having a child out of wedlock, so she has the baby and abandons him.
  • Dandy is in his late teens – early 20s (as far as I can tell) during Freak Show (1952). This would put him at being born somewhere around 1932. During Asylum (1964), Thredson is in his mid-30s. This would put him at being born around 1929 – coincidentally, the same time Gloria’s father lost his money.
  • Gloria herself is also somewhat older for a mother – if at the time of Freak Show she’s around 60, that would’ve put her in her 30s around the time her father lost his money – and around the time Oliver would’ve been born. In Asylum, Oliver’s MO for maternal victims is always a woman in her 30s – not younger, as most mothers would’ve been in that time period.
  • Ryan Murphy loves to drop the phrase “cosmic joke” in AHS. Oliver himself uses it to describe his childhood. Wouldn’t the ultimate “cosmic joke” be that after his mother gave him up, instilling him with the longing for maternal care and his serial killer tendencies, she poured all her motherly love into her second son Dandy – only to end up with yet another murderous psychopath?
  • In the exorcism episode of Asylum, the possessed Jed whispers something in Oliver’s ear. We are later told he says “Look at what you’ve become… I’m glad I gave you up.” Of course a demon would use a person’s deepest fears against them, but another thing to consider is that in 1964, Gloria is long dead — and capable of speaking “from beyond the grave”, if you will.

Madison Montgomery Is A Descendant Of Dr. Charles Montgomery

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Now, having the same last name as someone doesn’t necessarily mean they’re related. But when you’re writing a television show, chances are you’re not going to use the same name unless there’s a reason for it. It’s likely that Season 3’s sassy starlet is probably from the same bloodline as Season 1’s mad doctor.

And with that theory, that’s usually as far as people go. But let’s consider a few things. First of all, Madison is shipped to Miss Robichaux’s Academy from L.A. where she works as an actress. In Season 1, Murder House (where Nora and Charles Montgomery lived) is located in L.A. Coincidence?

But there’s something else. Hasn’t anyone ever wondered exactly HOW Charles brought his son Thaddeus (AKA The Infantata) back to life? I mean, the science and surgery he uses isn’t exactly sound, and Thaddeus had been dismembered — meaning he was dead for a while, and not just dead but SUPER dead. That sounds less like a miraculous feat of medicine and a lot more like necromancy to me.

In Season 3, Coven showed us that (while rare) there are warlocks as well as witches. Could it be that Charles had magical tendencies and he wasn’t even aware of them? This would make sense to connect them further, as Madison obviously inherited her powers from her family and it’s known to skip generations. Am I right, Ryan Murphy? TELL ME I’M RIGHT!

Detective Work Runs In The Colquitt Family

Giphy

While we’re on the subject of names and relations, here’s another theory that seems pretty solid — simply because it’s so unique. Remember what I said about it being easy to avoid naming characters the same thing? Well, there’s gotta be a reason there’s a Jack Colquitt in Season 1 AND Season 4.

Oh, and did I mention they’re both detectives?

Season 1’s Detective Jack Colquitt is the cop who investigates Ben Harmon’s missing patient after he took a little nap during her session. Season 4’s Detective Jack Colquitt is the cop who investigates the Freak Show and ends up arresting Meep. (#justiceformeep) They’re played by different actors, as well as being separated by almost 60 years and 2600 miles.

Why? Why do this? Why have two detectives with the exact same name unless it means something? And if they really are connected, what’s the point? They’re two very minor characters. I’m baffled but I’m pretty sure there’s a definite connection here.

Vivien Harmon Is The Granddaughter Of Freak Show’s Suicidal Doctor

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Season 1’s leading lady Vivien drops several points about her distant family while living in Murder House. First, they’ve just moved from Boston, where you can assume she probably has more relatives who live there as well. She also mentions a few times her sister Jo who lives in Florida. That set the stage for you? Good.

Let’s jump to Season 4. Obviously, it’s set in Florida (Jupiter, specifically). Ethel Darling is ill and visits a doctor, Dr. Bonham, who ends up killing himself after being threatened by her ex-husband Dell Toledo. Ethel is unaware of this and shows up with Desiree for her appointment only to find his distraught daughter packing up his office.

His daughter (who’s a real bitch, by the way) says she had to come down from Boston to take care of his estate. So we’ve established this particular family lives in both Boston and Florida — like Vivien’s family. On top of that, there are two very specific and deliberate shots of Dr. Bonham with his grandkids: two boys and a girl. My bet is that the girl is Vivien’s mother. This would’ve made her about five or six in 1952, putting her in her mid-60s in 2013 (when Murder House is set). A plausible age for Vivien’s mother, as Connie Britton (who plays Vivien) is 48.

Again, I’m not sure why or how this matters, but it’s still an interesting thing to consider. It’s those lingering shots on the photograph that are sticking with me, as Season 4 was when Ryan Murphy officially announced the seasons are connected — the perfect time to start leaving clues for us hungry little fans.

Massachusetts May Be The Key To All Connections

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Massachusetts is mentioned in every season. You hear that? Every. Single. Season.

  • As mentioned before, in Season 1 the Harmons are moving to Los Angeles from Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Season 2 is set entirely in Massachusetts, where Briarcliff is built.
  • When giving us the backstories for the original American witches, it’s mentioned the smart ones were able to escape the famous Salem Witch Trials by fleeing to New Orleans — from Salem, Massachusetts.
  • In Season 4, Pepper is taken to her only living relative: a sister who lives in Sudbury, Massachusetts.

And what, exactly, does this mean? I have no clue. But it’s another detail that is being very deliberately inserted into all the seasons, so I’m betting it may hold the answer to all our many questions regarding “American Horror Story” and how the different stories are connected. TC mark

Godsey_Creepy_BIG

What It’s Like To Fall In Love With Someone Way Before They Get There

yanos
yanos

At cocktail parties, couples often share their charming courtship stories before inviting my boyfriend and me to reciprocate. That’s when I admit that I wanted my boyfriend the minute I saw him walk through the door of a restaurant back in 2007. For whatever biological or psychological reason, I explain, his swagger, over-confident smile, and white blazer won me over immediately. Then I reveal that it took my boyfriend three years to follow suit. And when he finally dropped the L-bomb, it was in the context of feeling “blindsided” by the sentiment.

We tend to romanticize Eros as a passionate fever that infects people simultaneously—during that memorable semester abroad in Rome, that impromptu weekend away, or that walk to the grocery store when someone first farted with abandon. As a frontrunner in love by a wide spread, however, I know that isn’t always the case.

What, if anything, does it mean when people fall for each other at vastly different rates? Is synchronized love stronger than the kind that matures unevenly, or are we all too caught up in timing?

For starters, it’s worth countering the argument that love at first sight doesn’t happen, or that it’s merely superficial. According to Dr. Helen Fisher, expert anthropologist and the author of Why We Love, our fairy-tale instinct developed so we could conserve time and energy by focusing on one prospective mate. But as some of us well know, an instantaneous connection can be one-sided. And for those lucky enough to date the object of their on-the-spot affection—whether immediately, or years down the line—emotional disparities can widen further before things stabilize.

Take Bridget Grossman, a 36-year-old financial executive who fell for her current husband as soon as they were designated beer pong teammates in college. “I was invisible to him for years before he asked me out,” says Grossman. Eventually, the two started dating, but during their early days together Grossman’s feelings progressed at a “frighteningly faster pace” than her partner’s. By the time she heard “I love you,” Grossman responded: “Thank God!”

It can make a gal feel insecure to sit in the Love Train’s first car while her man rides caboose for a lengthy stretch, but the truth is that timing matters. “The perfect partner can sit right next to you at a party, and you might not notice him or her if you’re too busy at work, enmeshed in another relationship, or otherwise preoccupied,” warns Fisher.

In retrospect, Grossman attributes her husband’s listlessness to post-collegiate career anxiety. Similarly, my boyfriend claims that he was emotionally handicapped by a nasty breakup when we first met, and thus incapable of recognizing our chemistry as readily as I did.

It’s well established that we’re better equipped to welcome a partner into our lives when contented. But since balance in mind, body, and heart is difficult enough for one person to maintain, it’s “even more absurd” to expect it from two people capable of loving each other simultaneously, writes Elite Daily’s Kathy Polo.

Couples that fail to harmonize amorously from the outset may not inspire romantic comedies, but they’re not necessarily less well suited to each other than those with tidier histories. It might just be that one person has some stuff to sort out.

What, then, should those affected by “bad” timing do while coping with the pangs of unrequited—or unevenly requited—love?

Aside from hiring a “prophet” to cast a few spells, or dousing oneself in an oxytocin laced body spray, there’s patience.

If you’re prepared to stick around, take advantage of the fact that romantic resistance doesn’t preclude building a friendship. Certain basic behaviors, including listening, caring, talking, appreciating, and respecting are crucial to forging all types of bonds.

In a New York Times essay, bestselling memoirist Augusten Burroughs recounts waiting ten years to profess his love to his literary agent, Chris, who, by then, was one of his dearest friends. Three years later, they were married.

Aspiring actress Rory Gable, 28, exemplifies the powers of platonic companionship and restraint. When Rory’s crush told her that he wasn’t “in the right place to date,” she decided to become his biggest supporter rather than delete him from her consciousness. Without pressing for more, she helped him fill out law school applications and doled out thoughtful advice as he dealt with his parents’ divorce. Law degree in hand, the once reluctant man asked Rory out.

To ramp up your fall-for-me measures, Dr. Fisher advises inducing the sensation of euphoria by doing new things together. “Novelty and excitement drive up the activity of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain,” says Fisher. So in addition to answering those phone calls in the middle of the night, consider orchestrating an adventure, whether it involves making a soufflé, skydiving, or co-writing a screenplay.

Of course, there are no guarantees that friendship will transform into passionate romance. And in this era of instant gratification, patience is especially challenging. But if you feel strongly enough about a person, take it from a certified frontrunner that it’s worth holding onto that feeling while giving someone the chance to catch up.

Psychotherapist Philippa Perry notes that, as with sadness and happiness, “feelings of love come and go.” So waiting for the person you love to come around and/or working towards winning them over might not sound appealing, but doing so could be good practice for relationship management in the long-term.

We frontrunners might seem vulnerable, but by flexing our commitment muscles early on, perhaps we position ourselves to handle love’s inevitable ebbs and flows. TC mark 

Creepy History: Who Were The Green Children of Woolpit?

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Once upon a time in the quiet English village of Woolpit, something very peculiar occurred. Animal snares were set up around the village to keep woodland creatures at bay — but one day, rather than trapping wolves, a different kind of trespasser fell prey to the pits.

Two abandoned children, with skin as green as leaves.

It was harvest time in the 12th century community of Woolpit. The village was located in one of England’s more populous agricultural regions. Yet its inhabitants still clung to their pastoral roots, and their love of folklore.

The villagers were going about their daily duties when they came upon the children — one boy and one girl. The pair spoke in a bizarre tongue and wore clothing that no one had seen before.

A few villagers pulled the green children from the pit while others brought them something to eat. They refused all food but raw beans.

Instagram Photo

A landowner named Sir Richard de Caine took in the foundlings and soon had them baptized. Yet the little boy struggled to adapt. Not long after their arrival in Woolpit, he fell ill and died.

The young girl, however, survived — and began learning English. Once her vocabulary grew big enough, she relayed her story to the villagers.

The little girl and her brother hailed from St. Martin’s Land. It was a region forever cloaked in twilight, and surrounded by a swirling river. Everyone in St. Martin’s Land was green. Gazing across the river, they spied another land far brighter than their own.

How exactly the siblings arrived on the other side, she was unable to explain. The little girl claimed they were tending to her father’s cattle when they discovered a cave. They entered the narrow opening, crawling deeper into the darkness.

Suddenly there was a flood of light — brighter than anything they could imagine. It was then that the green children tumbled headfirst into the pit.

Instagram Photo

The girl remained in Woolpit where she found work as a servant in Sir Richard de Caine’s house. Eventually she rechristened herself Agnes and married a royal official named Richard Barre from the town of King’s Lyon, 40 miles outside Woolpit.

The tale of the green children was first recorded by two English writers, Ralph of Coggeshall and William of Newburgh. William’s report was published in the Historia rerum Anglicarum, where he indicates “trustworthy” sources were consulted. Ralph’s account, published somewhat later, in his Chronicum Anglicanum, cites Sir Richard de Caine a source. Both accounts differ slightly. Neither tale offers any kind of real explanation.

Modern researchers offer up numerous theories about the Green Children of Woolpit. The first, of course, is that it was an English folk tale about “otherworld” inhabitants, such as fairies or spirits. It certainly would not be the only ancient story from the English Isles that described strange beings entering the human realm through a woodland portal.

Instagram Photo

Another theory suggests the fanciful tale is an exaggerated version of a true event of lost or kidnapped children. An even more obscure explanation involves extra terrestrials.

Scottish astronomer Duncan Lunan theorized that the green children arrived from a faraway planet during a “matter transmitter” malfunction. As for their signature green tint? It came from the edible plants of their home planet, which represented their entire diet. Lunan even claimed he could trace the descendants of the Green Children of Woolpit to the present.

Whether the green children came from an “otherworld” or another world will never been known. What is known is that people love to pass down stories of the strange and mysterious — especially those that involve green children who always ate their peas. TC mark

This article originally appeared on The Lineup.

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Find all of Thought Catalog’s Creepy posts on Creepy Catalog.

12 Undeniable Stages Of Falling Head-Over-Heels For A New Book

tgaltgal
tgaltgal

1. The Meet Cute

You were walking through the bookstore, and there it was. A sweet, unassuming novel perched on an end cap. You cautiously pick it up and read the back. The entire store quiets, the lights dim, and you’re immediately drawn in by the synopsis. You’ve got a good feeling about this one, and quickly head to the check out.

2. The Flirting

You set the book on your coffee table, anxious to begin, but you’ve got some other chores to do before you can sit down. You meander around your apartment, cleaning this, tidying that, all the while sneaking glances back at the gem on your coffee table. It smiles back, tempting you to wander over.

3. The First Date

You’ve brewed some tea, swaddled yourself in your softest blanket, and crack the book open. You’ve barely finished the first paragraph, and you already know this book is going to be something special.

4. The Post-Date Jitters

You had to break away to do something stupid, like go to work (UGH), and all you can focus on is getting back home to that book. You want to tell everyone about this great book you’ve found, but it’s a little early; you don’t want to jinx it.

5. The Unbelievable Excitement

The drive back home from work has never taken so long! You just want to be home reading your book, goddamnit!

6. The Nighttime Texts

You planned on going to bed at a decent hour, but each time you finished a chapter, you reasoned that one more chapter wouldn’t hurt. Fast forward, it’s 5 AM, and you realize you just spent the whole night just talking with this book.

7. The Relationship Status

You’re far enough into the story that you just want to shout it from the rooftops! YOU’RE IN LOVE WITH A BOOK!

8. The Incessant Talking

You’re friends are probably getting tired of it, but you don’t care. You manage to bring the book up in every single conversation, because it’s all you can ever think about.

9. The Premature Mourning

You can see the end in sight, and you’re already sad that this crazy ride is almost at a close. You read a little slower; savoring those last few chapters, wishing it would just never end.

10. The Break Up

The last syllables have been read, and you just sit in silence, looking back on the amazing journey you just took. You’re sad, happy, angry, everything all at once, because a book like that doesn’t come around that often.

11. The Mourning Period

You can’t bring yourself to open another book or even speak to another human for a while, until you’ve fully recovered from this book. Eventually you’ll be able to move on, but not today.

12. The Reunions

You’ll come back to that book from time to time. Revisiting one of your best friends whenever you’re feeling a little down. And every time you read it, you fall in love with it all over again. TC mark

Here’s What Each Myers-Briggs Type Needs On A Bad Day

Mike Babiarz
Mike Babiarz

ENFP: To brainstorm fun possibilities and/or plan an adventure.

ENTJ: To form a concrete, detailed plan for improving the situation that has gotten them down.

ESFP: Lots of human interaction and praise.

ISTP: To be presented with a few fun options to take if he/she wants them, then to be left alone.

ISTJ: Alternate solutions to the problem they’re facing and the knowledge that they can rely on you if they need help.

ESFJ: To be told they’re appreciated by the people they’re closest to. And/or to be pampered a little!

INTP: A new project to distract them from self-destructive thoughts.

ESTJ: For someone to ask them what they can do to help. They probably know the answer.

ENFJ: A huge hug and a sincere reminder of why you love them and all that you’ve learned from them.

ISFJ: To have little favours done for them, as a reminder that they are allowed to relax.

ENTP: A stimulating conversation that helps them generate new theories or ideas.

ISFP: Patience with their mood (they need to work themselves through it) and perhaps a fun physical distraction.

ESTP: To do something rambunctious and physical with friends that will re-energize them to power through whatever situation is troubling them.

INTJ: A good book and the day to themselves to re-charge.

INFJ: A good long laugh with a friend they can be silly with and possibly some time outdoors/in nature.

INFP: To be listened to with patience and to have their feelings validated. TC mark

21 Things To Remember When You Love A Person Who’s Lost A Sibling

eddierioscreative
eddierioscreative

1. Don’t be afraid to say our dead sibling’s name. We don’t want their memory to die, too. We want to tell you everything about them.

2. If we erupt in tears spontaneously while recounting a story about our deceased brother or sister, don’t be scared. We don’t mind crying for them. They deserve our tears.

3. Expect us to be moved at seemingly odd times, because certain things undetectable to others—a song on the radio, a line from a movie, a brown hair clinging to the back of a stranger’s shirt—are bound to make us remember. Learn our triggers and love us for them.

4. There will always be a piece of us missing—a piece that lived in our sibling, comprised of years of shared experiences and irreplaceable memories, that can never be regenerated.

5. We can’t be “fixed,” but we don’t want to be. It seems right to stay a little bit broken for the rest of our lives.

6. The day our sibling died, our soul aged at least twenty years. We didn’t want to mature, but we were forced to grow up in certain ways.

7. We’re no longer capable of getting so upset about the little things in life because we’ve seen the bigger picture—it was shoved in our faces way before we were prepared.

8. We understand that life’s unfair, and that no one can do anything about it.

9. Eternal optimism kind of annoys us.

10. So does over-dramatization. If you prolong a fight with any of your siblings, we will think you’re especially idiotic. Just make up and get on with it already. And be grateful.

11. If we didn’t already have a taste for adventure, we developed one in response to the unwelcome glimpse at how short and fragile life is.

12. We earned our why not? attitude. So don’t question our intent when we randomly declare that we’ll be getting a tattoo, or that we want to take an impromptu trip. Nothing’s wrong. We just want to remember that we’re alive.

13. Our sibling’s birthday will always be a day to celebrate, because we can’t imagine our existence—our story—without them.

14. Similarly, the anniversary of their death will always be a day for mourning. The pain of our loss doesn’t fade; it just changes shape over time.

15. We might speak about the possibility of dying more frequently than the average person, but that shouldn’t be cause for concern. Part of us looks forward to joining our sibling on the other side, even if we’re not all that spiritual or religious.

16. The way we talk about death in general probably seems shockingly matter-of-fact, but we can’t help it. We know too well that people die, sometimes way before their time.

17. Depending on your stance, we might come across as emotionally hardened, or impressively resilient.

18. We will want to visit their grave completely alone sometimes, for a one-on-one chat.

19. In fact, you’ll probably catch us speaking out loud when no one else is around pretty often. Talking to our sibling is a habit we might never shake.

20. We might ache for our sibling on the occasions you fail to react to a story or a joke as they would have, but our disappointment that you aren’t them isn’t meant to offend.

21. We cannot imagine having only one child. Why invite life on a person if you plan to deprive them of the sibling bond? TC mark

17 Ways Your Weekends Start To Change Once You Hit Your Mid-Twenties

trendsandtolstoy
trendsandtolstoy

1. You no longer feel flustered when you don’t have any Friday night plans. Rather, you feel flustered if you do have Friday night plans. All you want to do is come home, put on some sweatpants, and bask in the glory of doing nothing for hours at a time. Five years ago, that would have been a nightmare. Today, it’s a ~*dream*~

2. You actually feel excited to do household chores and hit up other things on your to-do list. Granted, doing laundry and cooking your meals for the week isn’t necessarily fun. But the feeling of being productive and getting shit done is awesome.

3. If someone texts you to come meet them at some bar or club because it’s “insane,” all you want to do is stay as far away from that place as possible.

4. When you’re hanging out with your friends, sometimes your conversations center around 401k’s, car leases, and acid reflux. And that’s by choice.

5. Your Saturday and Sunday schedules are rarely centered around day drinking, and more so focused on when you can squeeze in a satisfying mid-afternoon nap (or two).

6. If you overhear anyone say “That bar was dead” your first thought is I want to go to there. Your ideal hangout is basically a place where there are barely any other people and the music is low enough that you don’t have to scream to the person next to you in order to be heard.

7. Grocery shopping has become therapeutic, not obligatory.

8. Waking up and seeing no mysterious bar charges on your credit card bill is a joy that you did not know existed until now.

9. Your standards for shots have changed. Ideally they occur before midnight, you know exactly what ingredients are used, and if they are any sort of neon color, thanks but no thanks.

10. If you don’t do at least one productive thing over the weekend, it feels like a total waste.

11. Not having any strange sexual encounters in a weekend has become a triumph.

12. The only time you can go out without having any anxiety is when you know you have absolutely nothing to do the next day. Your hangovers have gotten so bad that the only way to get rid of them is to order a pizza at 10 AM and lay on the couch for hours while you moan “Whyyyyyy?!” over and over and over.

13. If a bar has a line, you’re probably not going in. Because all that means is that there are just more people inside.

14. If you do decide to do some day drinking, it means a drink or two. If it’s any more than that, there’s no way in hell you will survive long enough to maintain evening plans.

15. You’re excited to go to sleep and figure out exactly how many hours of sleep you’re going to get that night.

16. If you stay in on a Saturday night, you get excited about the prospect of watching SNL when it’s actually live, as opposed to watching it through On Demand the next day. But then, you’re not even halfway through the episode before you call it a night. Sometimes you don’t even care to make it to Weekend Update.

17. You wake up early enough on Saturdays now to realize that during all those years where you were sleeping until two o’clock, there were people who were out and about, taking walks and running errands and being real humans. It still surprises you to this day, especially now that you’re one of them. TC mark

Someone Switched My Phone At A Party And My Life Has Become A Nightmare

Flickr / Startup Stock Photos
Flickr / Startup Stock Photos

Sometimes you just can’t explain things. Whether you can’t find the words or you’re in over your head, situations exist where you’re left floundering. That’s where I am. I am in over my head deeper than I could have imagined. It started with Mark’s end of semester party. I drank too much. I forget big pieces of the night. Now I am running. I am terrified. I don’t know where to go or who to turn to…

beetlejuice

Mark was a lifelong friend of mine. We grew up in the same neighborhood. When we both got accepted to the same University it was like the perfect alignment of the stars. We could continue our mayhem and mischief. By our junior year, Mark had become known for amazing parties just off campus. He was a spoiled kid, Mommy and Daddy paid for him to have a whole townhouse which he graciously shared with me. Luckily, his parents didn’t mind being that they had known me my entire life, their son living with a girl who was basically his sister was okay.

This party wasn’t different than any other. Alcohol flowed freely, music blasted, questionable decisions were made. The rooms were packed wall to wall with drunk co-eds. Instead of my usual sober self, I decided that I deserved to live it up a little. Everyone had just finished their finals and was packing to go home. It was a perfect excuse to have a crazy night. It was the morning that was not part of the norm. I woke up in my bedroom, my mouth felt like a week old gym sock and my head throbbed. I squinted against the bright, early afternoon light coming through the windows. It had to be around noon or one, I didn’t bother checking. Ugh. What the hell was I thinking? I managed to drag myself to my bathroom. I checked the mirror, I was really worse for wear. My brown eyes bloodshot, my long blonde hair a rats next with stiff parts that smelled faintly of Apple Pucker, I was pale with what I imagined to be a slight green tinge on the edges. My head felt like there was an evil fairy with a jackhammer going to town.

I managed to get into the shower and brush my teeth. I at least felt slightly more human. I wrapped up in my comfy robe and shuffled to the kitchen, picking my way gingerly around discarded solo cups and general debris. Coffee. My only coherent thought. To my surprise someone succeeded in setting up the coffee pot the night before, I just needed to hit brew. I fared pretty well making some toast without burning the place down, even though the thought of food made my stomach automatically revolt against me. I groaned as Mark entered the kitchen, his cheery disposition didn’t help. How in the world did he never get a hangover? I admit I was slightly jealous.

“Good morning, sunshine. How are we feeling this morning?” he smiled as he poured his orange juice.

“Ugh. I am never doing that again. It’s not worth it,” I said, laying my head on the kitchen table.

“You say that every time, Lucy. And every time you get completely obliterated,” he chuckled, taking the seat across from me. “Last night was something else though. I swear you were putting away shots like your life depended on it. Frankly, I’m surprised you didn’t wake up next to Tony this morning.”

“What? Tony Gallo? Oh, god. What did I do?”

“You two were being rather friendly,” he coughed. “But he disappeared with those random girls after you passed out on the floor. I carried you to bed, by the way.”

Great. Just great. I hoped that I wouldn’t have to deal with Tony or any repercussions from whatever drunken antics I got up to. Tony was the single most annoying person I’ve ever had to deal with. He was in several of my classes, always inserted himself into conversations, extremely irritating pretending he was far superior to anyone he encountered. I got up from the table and stumbled back to my room. Pack or go back to sleep, that was the question. I opted to fall face down on my bed, hoping my stomach and head would stop competing for the most desperate to make me want to die. It was only a moment before my phone started buzzing on the nightstand. I cringed. It was either Tony or my mom. Mom would blather about how excited she was that I was coming home and Tony would want a continuance of the previous night. I reached blindly for the phone, answering just before the voicemail would have cut on.

“Hello?”

“Hello Lucy,” a voice answered. I gave a shudder. The voice was disturbing — think Hannibal Lector saying Hello Clarice.

“Who is this?”

“You’ll find out soon enough my darling girl. Soon enough.” I looked down at my phone just as the call ended. What the hell was that? Well, that was enough to get me out of bed, so I started packing, glancing nervously at the phone on occasion. I didn’t have much and I was mostly packed to begin with, so it was a short process.

I picked up my phone to send a few good bye texts to a few friends, but I was hit by confusion. The background was different. My phone’s background featured a picture of the Andromeda Galaxy, an ode to my astronomy major. This background was a picture of me walking into my physics lecture. Okay, weird. The picture was taken at a little bit of a distance. I didn’t remember the picture and I certainly wasn’t vain enough to set my background as a picture of myself. I scrunched my nose and opened the messaging folder. Empty. Okay, that was weird too. I was a hoarder of text messages, never deleting anything, no matter how incriminating. I opened my email. Empty. Okay, that wasn’t my email address. And I certainly wouldn’t have deleted that — it had all of my school stuff and emails from home. Feeling confused, I opened the camera roll. Whoa. Every picture was a photo of me, going to class, hanging out in the quad, dinner at Joe’s Diner, working in the library. Okay, this is just plain creepy. I made my way to the phone settings. The phone number that showed wasn’t mine. I somehow ended up with someone else’s phone, and a creepy stalker from the looks of it. I called down to Mark. I wanted him to take a look at this. The phone buzzed in my hand, with a new text message.

“I can’t wait to see you”

“Sorry,” I typed. “I’m not sure who you are trying to message. I accidently got their phone at a party. Who does this phone belong to?”

“oh Lucy. Its yours now. Do you like your pictures? I liked taking them”

Screw that. I screamed for Mark. He must have already been in the hallway, because he dashed in the room looking concerned. I wasn’t the type to get excitable, so he knew something was up. I didn’t speak, I just handed him the phone, trying to form sentences to explain what I had found on the phone and the freaky phone call. His brows furrowed.

“That’s just plain sick,” he said. “I don’t recognize the number either. Let’s just toss this thing and get out of here. I’ll carry your stuff down.” He pocketed the phone instead of depositing it in the trashcan and started carrying boxes down the stairs.

I tried my best to put the phone out of my mind on the long drive home, but it kept nagging at me. I borrowed Mark’s phone to report my phone stolen — we couldn’t find it when we searched the house. My parents were going to be thrilled to file an insurance claim to replace my phone. The drive was pretty quiet, one of the nice things about Mark. We were completely comfortable in silence. When we stopped to get gas and stretch our legs Mark checked his pocket. The glared at the mystery phone and looked warily at me. He handed it to me, text messages open.

“Aww, you look really sweet in that pink shirt. Loving the yoga pants btw”

“you look bored. Did you forget your book on your nightstand?”

“can’t wait to see you when you get home”

What. The. Fuck. The clothing description was spot on and I had forgotten my copy of The Hitchhikers Guide on my nightstand. I looked back to Mark, worried.

“Let’s get home,” I said. “Once we’re there, I want to call the police. This is just freaky. I don’t like it.”

The phone buzzed in my hand.

“you had better get going if you want to make it home in time to see bear”

Bear was my mutt dog. Aside from Mark, that dog was my best friend.

“I’m calling mom and dad. I want to make sure Bear is in the house,” I said. I bit my lip, making the call. There was no answer. I swore in frustration. I would try again in a little while. At least we were only about an hour from home. I spent the rest of the trip biting my nails and casting wary glances at the mystery phone stuck in the console.

Mark dropped me off, once he unloaded my stuff he set off for his house, promising to come back as soon as his boxes were in the house. He didn’t want to leave me alone for long. My driveway was empty. My parents were probably out at a flea market planning to buy more junk furniture to refinish. I wandered through the house, my stomach dropping. Where was Bear? He should have greeted me or at least been barking. I checked the backyard and immediately regretted it. There was bear, bloody and motionless on the porch. I think I screamed. I remember grabbing the house phone and calling Mark.

beetlejuice

The police were polite. They took down all of my information and looked through the mystery phone, but left it behind. The decided that they would have a cruiser sit outside for the rest of the day and the night to keep an eye on me. Whoever this was, they were a real live threat. They killed my Bear. Mark cleaned up the porch and took care of Bear. I spent my time sobbing, unable to even look at the back door. Thank heavens for Mark. I don’t know what I would have done without him. But, that small respite he offered was very short lived. Things were going to get worse. So much worse. I already felt like my world had collapsed when I found Bear, but that was just the first blow to my perfect reality.

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Read This If You’re Worried That You’ll Never Find ‘The One’

alessiolr
alessiolr

Imagine something crazy for me, quickly.

What if you peered into a fortune ball right now – this very second, today – and saw with indisputable clarity that you were never going to meet the love of your life?

That’s a sad thing that I’m asking you to think of, I’m aware. You’ve been hoping to meet “The One” for a while now – or at least someone half-decent who you can deal with for the rest of your life. I know, I know. You’re not fanciful like everyone else. You don’t believe in soul mates. But you were expecting to meet someone you liked a fair amount. Someone to curl up next to at the end of a long day, who would take care of you when you got sick and listen to your stories every evening after work. We all hope that. We’re human.

But imagine for a second that you knew – with 100% certainty – that you were never going to meet that person. What about your life would that knowledge change?

Because here’s the thing about finding love – it affects us constantly. And we all loathe admitting it. But love is on the forefront of our actions even when it’s not on the forefront of our minds. It’s the reason you bought those new jeans last week. It’s the reason you went to that barbeque that you didn’t want to go to last weekend. It’s the reason you sometimes feel cripplingly insecure and inadequate and scared about everything that’s coming next. Love’s what inspires most of your greatest changes.

So if you knew, with indisputable certainty, that love was never going to be yours, how would you live your life differently? What about your daily routine would you alter? What about your long-term plans?

Your first inclination may be to say “Nothing.” After all, you’re a smart person. You have plans that don’t involve someone else’s influence. We all do. But ponder it a few moments more. Because here’s what we don’t want to admit about love: it is a crutch that we use all the time. The idea that someday somebody will love all our flaws is a subtle excuse not to work on them. The principle of two halves making a whole restrains us from becoming our own better half. We want someone to swoop in during our darkest hour and save us, but what if we knew they never would? We’d have to start doing everything differently.

If you knew that love would never be an option for you, what would be? How would you structure the rest of your life? Would it have a heavier focus on career, a stronger inclination toward success? Or would you use the time to invest in yourself – go on a few more vacations, travel further outside your comfort zone? If you knew that you would never again feel the rush of budding romance, where would you turn to for your thrills? How would you get your blood pumping?

And what about your other relationships – would they suddenly take on more weight? Would you spend more time appreciating your family, if you knew that they are the people who will have loved you the most strongly at the end of your life? What about your friendships? Would you nurture and care more for the people who love you platonically if you knew that nobody would ever love you romantically? Would you show up a little more often, share a little more of your life?

My inclination is to believe that never finding love would be a game-changer for most of us. One we’d initially consider to be devastating but may eventually realize is the ultimate liberation. Without the fear of ending up alone, the opportunities open to you would become endless. You could live on every continent. You could scale the corporate ladder. You could go back to school and get that degree you’ve always felt interested in, without worrying about the financial burden your debt may place on somebody else. Love holds us back in an infinite amount of subtle ways that perhaps we do not even realize. And the guarantee of its absence may just be the ultimate sense of liberation.

Because if we didn’t have to search for the love of our lives, we would finally be free to realize that we are allowed to be the loves of our own. That we can spend our lives developing ourselves, challenging ourselves, pampering ourselves and building ourselves up to be bigger, more capable people than we ever once hoped to become. We could become everything we’ve been searching for. We could construct our soul mates in ourselves.

If there’s one thing we all need to stop doing, it’s waiting around for someone else to show up and change our lives. Just be the person you’ve been waiting for. Live your life as if you are the love of it. Because that’s the only thing you know for sure – that through every triumph, every failure, every fear and every gain that you will ever experience until the day you die, you are going to be present. You are going to be the person who shows up to accept your rewards. You are going to be the person who holds your own hand when you’re broken. You are going to be the person who gets yourself up off the floor every time you get knocked down and if those things are not love-of-your-life qualities, I don’t know what are.

We have to start appreciating all that we bring to our own lives. Because the ironic truth is, you are most attractive when you’re not worried about who you’re attracting. When you’re living your life confidently, freely and without restraint, you emit the kind of energy that it just isn’t possible to fake. The kind of energy that’s capable of transforming not just your own life, but the lives of people around you.

So stop looking for The One to spend the rest of your life with. Be The One.

And let everybody else come searching for you. TC mark

Love And The Theory Of Multiple Universes

The Time Traveler's Wife
The Time Traveler’s Wife

Exactly three years and eight days ago to the date, Gaby Dunn wrote an excellent essay called, “Maybe In Another Universe, I Deserve You.” Through it, I got to know of William James, an American physician, philosopher, and psychologist who came up with the term, “multiverse” to characterize the hypothesis that there exists multiple universes. And in this multiverse, every outcome is possible across the finite or infinite number of universes that exist entirely. The so-called “alternative” universes or “parallel” universes we often refer to in our colloquial conversations.

While the idea of a multiverse has been considered in many disciplines, from astronomy to theology, the physics community of which many deem is most knowledgeable on such matters, disputes whether this idea is even worthy of scientific discussion. I love science. But I am not a physicist. And today, I take off my academic hat. Today, I am only a writer. And that means, imagination at times, at many times, must supersede the physical reality of the observable world. Indeed, as Francis Bacon writes, “The job of the artist is to always deepen the mystery.”

Today, I invite you to imagine that multiple universes are real.

beetlejuice

If multiple universes are real, what would love look like? Would every person who loves us be able to be with us the way they wanted, at least in one universe? Would we finally see them clearly, the way they wanted to be seen? Would we finally experience their longing for us in a way that we don’t currently, in this space and time?

And of course, what about our unrequited loves? Would we finally know what it is to wholly and thoroughly possess the love that we so ardently desire, from those who can’t or who won’t love us back? Those whose hearts keep us up at night, wondering, wishing, waiting; hoping against hope. Certainly in this universe, the two sets of people are often disappointed; often left with unfulfilled dreams and broken hearts.

Or perhaps in another universe, you never meet this person at all. You know, the one you’re thinking about right now, as you read this. The one who makes your heart beat so rapidly, you feel like it might fall out of your chest at any moment; the one who makes your heart beat so slowly, you’re certain you will become unconscious if you think of them for a second longer. The one who literally takes your breath away. But also the one you can’t be with for whatever reason. What if, in another universe, you didn’t meet them? You don’t know them and they don’t know you. You are alone or you are with someone else, and you are content. They do not exist to you. But neither does the pain in your chest. 

Which universe would you choose?

beetlejuice

Love, we like to say, is always worth it. Worth the aches and pains, even to the point where you are so heartbroken that you feel dead in a body that is scientifically speaking, still alive. And we say this, because we experience the incomparable beauty of falling into perfect rhythm with a stranger’s heart. Even when we all don’t fall, we all want to believe that love – if and when it does happen – that it will be worth it. But I think, whether you love for a time or for a lifetime, from everything from your love not being reciprocated, to it being treated unkindly, recklessly, to death; means that all love, in the end, is tragedy. At least in this universe.

The other universe, the one where you don’t meet the person, doesn’t actually seem so awful. It doesn’t seem a bad thing to not go to bed at night in tears because someone won’t be with you, the way you want; the way you need. It doesn’t seem a waste of a life to avoid the feelings you’re feeling now. Maybe in that other universe, you even fall in love with someone else. Someone who desires to be with you as much as you desire them.

It seems an easy choice of course to want the first universe – where you fall in love with the person you want the most. And they fall in love with you, painlessly. That is the perfect outcome, isn’t it? And the next best choice, rationally, is if we can’t be in that first universe, then maybe the second one where you don’t meet at all, would be better for the sake of your weary heart. The tragedy is best avoided entirely, isn’t it?

beetlejuice

Yet I wouldn’t choose either universe. There is too much perfection in the first one, and there is not enough pain in the second. Perfection leaves no room for appreciation. And where there is no pain, there is often not much joy either. Of course in the endless multiverse, anything is possible. But in the comparisons I put forth, something must be sacrificed. My imagination, my rules.

Yes, love is tragic in this universe. It is tragic to not be with the one person you really want. The one you wish could see you how you really want them to; the one you want to need, and you want to need you. But that love, that heartbreaking love, I think, is what makes this universe so devastatingly beautiful: That I can love you and I can continue to love you even if you don’t love me back. That my heart will break into a thousand pieces every day, and every night I will put it back together, and love you again. That this love may stay with me for a time or for a lifetime. Yet what is most important is that I dared to love at all. That I dared to love you at all.

beetlejuice

Maybe in another universe, you and I can be with this person that we love, and everything is straightforward and simple. And maybe in another universe, we don’t have to love them at all because it just never happened. But I still choose this universe. Because this universe is the one where we get to love the person the way we do now – imperfectly, beautifully, terrifyingly, heartbreakingly, tragically. But always and only a one-of-a-kind, once in a lifetime, unparalleled love. TC mark

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