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a neighbor January 28, 2009

Posted by Victoria Fredericks in Notes, Personal, Writing.
1 comment so far

I [almost] never go out of my way to talk to my neighbors. It’s forced awkwardness, you can’t really get away from each other anyway, and usually they’re people you wouldn’t normally associate with. I can’t imagine it any other way; you’d just be too lucky to move in next to people as rad as you. My downstairs neighbor told me yesterday she’s moving out in about a week. I’ve lost track of how long she’s been here; not as long as me, but she is the nicest neighbor I can remember having, and I have enjoyed the vague separate togetherness that comes with sharing adjacent apartments.

It’s interesting, in a voyeuristic, Rear Window kind of a way, all that your neighbors can find out about you, and you them, from only the outside in. I draw my shades almost all the way, but imagine, as my boyfriend does, that the moment we’re undressed, the folks in the house across the street are peering in, glimpsing skin, and settling in for a free peep show. People in their homes are so unguarded, so candid. In today’s world of reality TV and documentaries covering every dishy drama imaginable, one can’t help but wonder what’s really going on in these houses and apartments. 

In the past couple of years I’ve lived in this impossibly tiny, quaint, cozy little niche of an apartment, my love life has ebbed and flowed dramatically. All my neighbors saw was a series of assorted cars, parked or picking up, me leaving Friday nights schlepping home midday on Sunday in oversized t-shirts. Then the ordinary, lugging laundry baskets and environmentally-friendly totes filled with groceries. And then there’s what they’ve heard, or maybe what I hoped they didn’t…

Through the muck and mire, day-to-day, season-to-season, we learn about each other in indirect ways–in passing or emergency only. I learn she is in an abusive relationship. They have loud, frequent fights that devastate the buoyant karma of my living space. I wish all the time that she’d get out, because she’s been nothing but nice to me and I know how hard it must be. I wish for myself to find someone worthy of sticking around, at least for awhile. 

So in the end, we both have what we want. He is gone and mine is here. His head is resting on the small of my back, and he helps me clear my car off on snowy mornings before work. Neighbor notices this, remarks how special he must be if he’s won my affections. I say this is questionable since I’ve been a real handful, but he is pretty much amazing. She’s building up the confidence she’s lost from ten painful years, and starting a new life. She’s got a house on the lake and her dog for company. She’s taking the hope on her face with her, a priceless thing.


summer poem July 20, 2008

Posted by Victoria Fredericks in Personal, Poetry, Writing.
1 comment so far

the sky’s milk white
my hands around my coffee cup
–my little hands and dirty nails,
the days are longer
and I not quite as strong
as when ice glazed my world.
I count the days in pairs of pantyhose
and I still cross the streets with care
you see, for me it’s still May.

but darling,
there is no consolation,
only ashes from my cigarette,
the stars look burned
the amethyst sunset’s nothing for me.
the world a lonely carousel,
again I’m unprepared.
all I want is stronger flesh,
instead I have a series of
serrations against the wall of myself
and what I feel

typetastic March 9, 2008

Posted by Victoria Fredericks in Interior Design, Writing.

Since I’m aching to do a classic, frilly, true “Glamour Junkie” post: Writing is my first true love. Nothing inspires such pure thought to me as the lovely, defined sight of a keyboard. I also have a lifelong affection for the color pink, and anything sweet and pretty, and vintage things, and so: Pure eye candy.


In our technology-driven here and now, typewriters are rendered essentially useless. But for decoration, how nostalgic and cute would it be to have one of these?

Not Pretty Winter January 25, 2008

Posted by Victoria Fredericks in Archives, Writing.
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I was 17 when I wrote this, and probably 19 when I wrote the “commentary” for the website I had at the time. I still love this piece, though. So be kind!

Commentary: This was a school assignment given to me in late November 2002 by Mr. Coolidge, a teacher I will always remember. The assignment was to sit outside in nature for 20 minutes and write a prose piece about what we observed. The other students grumbled, but I was ecstatic–it wasn’t often that year that I was given the chance to be so creative and descriptive, the two aspects of my writing style I most enjoy. This piece didn’t have a title, but I decided to title it after a phrase in the first line, that I thought was quite intriguing.

It’s not pretty winter outside. It’s the kind of winter that came too quickly and didn’t let autumn finish. It’s bitter cold and viciously windy. The gusts of wind blow the leaves around and make them dance on the hard, icy snow. The leaves aren’t bright anymore, but instead are all the same monotone shade of brown, crumpled and floating over everything, clinging desperately to the tree limbs.

The sky has bunches and bunches of clouds, the colors ranging from off-gray-white to deep, forboding charcoal. In tiny pockets, little pieces of baby blue sky peek through. The wind keeps gusting, right through my clothes, sucking the breath out of me. It is so cold. Everything is icy and slippery.

The only colors are gray, black, white and brown; different shades. The spindly gray tree branches scratch at the sky, the crumpled fragments of unfallen leaves still clinging to them in the wind. Plants that were once lush and green in the summer have died and withered, turning into a fragile web of delicate brown stems and shriveled leaves, dark in contrast to the gray-white snow, like old Victorian lace.

There are some adorable, gray, round-bellied birds sitting at the feeder. A chickadee perches on a branch for a few seconds, cocks her head, and flies away. They’re so skittish, they seem to live in fear of everything. I would hate to always feel like I had to run away from something that might hurt me.

Night falls quickly, and the sky becomes dark with clouds, transparent where the almost-full moon shines bluish-white through them. The wind is howling fiercely, making the most haunting noises as it rushes through the trees. It is frighteningly noisy, and not at all peaceful or calm. The navy blue velvet sky above is open in places, revealing a few glittering stars.

they say the strong survive December 26, 2007

Posted by Victoria Fredericks in Writing.
1 comment so far

…but they don’t always win.

It’s a force of determination with which I’ll enter 2008. This year has truly opened my eyes to so much. It’s hard not to feel invincible after all I’ve been through I became a version of myself so resilient that I manged to get through difficulties and disappointments without flinching. It was something within me, and someone I’m glad to be without, that forged me into the person I am. I pride myself on the success I have earned and the independence I’ll never take for granted. I invest a lot in my few positive relationships with other people. I have observed more than I have interacted, and I have learned far more than I have lost.

I’ve read books. I’ve written everything (a novel’s worth of trash, and maybe something brilliant here and there). I’ve experienced amazing new music. Made new friends I hope to keep and cut ties with those who wounded me. I have created art. I have gone on midnight runs. I’ve had sand between my toes. I’ve felt the heights of both passion and hate. I’ve laughed until I’ve cried…and cried until all I could do was laugh.

I have a new sense of self going into this year. As I struggle to find the balance between my desires and my reality, it’s nice to know I’m not alone on my journey…but maybe nicer to know that when I am alone, I’m completely unafraid. There have been many times when my fear could have held me back, from my freedom, from adventures, from going places and meeting people, but I chose not to let it. I can’t calm down my restless mind. I can’t stop daydreaming and procrastinating. But I own my emotions, and through my emotions, my life…which so often I feel is just beginning.

I appreciate my brain, my spine, my guts. If you cut me, I still bleed. I’m fragile, often vulnerable and ultimately I’m still human. I can trip and fall. I make mistakes. I’m up and down and always changing. I contradict myself. My imperfect, blundering existence is what makes it beautiful. All any of us can hope to be is the best version of ourselves…to fan the flames of possibility to become sparks of achievement. I am flawed. But I’ve learned and I’ve grown, I’ve ached and I’ve longed and I have not only pushed, but forced myself to stay on top. I’m setting new goals for myself and constantly raising the bar. Not to impress you. Because at the end of the day, I like being impressed with myself. It’s my journey, and this time to reflect on this year and aspire for the year ahead fills me with such a profound sense of calm.

So much I don’t understand. So much I want to become…

creampies and dealbreakers November 12, 2007

Posted by Victoria Fredericks in Dating/Relationships, Writing.

Creampie (used as verb not noun): Reference to director Michael Patrick King’s commentary on Sex and the City: The term “creampie” is a metaphor for when a character builds up great hopes/expectations only to be brought down by reality or some kind of letdown or disappointment.

I do believe that the creampie is the inevitable climax to most dating experiences. Sooner or later, we all get creampied. Someone is too clingy/needy/insecure. Someone is unappealingly broke. Someone has a record. Someone is an asshole. Someone is (gasp) bad in bed. You get the idea. I think life is great before the creampie. You can imagine how things will be so great, walking on the beach holding hands and all of that lovely stuff. But sooner or later, my friends:

SPLAT. You will get creampied, for sure. The more excited you get, true to form–the messier the creampie will be.

This leads into my next order of business which is dealbreakers (at least for me). Everyone has them, it’s just whether or not they elect to make them known, but I think I’m brave enough. And maybe it will make dudes think twice before they pull these atrocities on one of their dates, thus resulting in the aforementioned creampie situation.

-Not springing for a soda at the movies. Come on, man. I know it’s five bucks and it’s an insane markup, but you look oh-so-cheap cruising by that refreshment stand without offering.

-Having literally no money. I’m not shallow or superficial, or maybe I am, and I know “love don’t cost a thing,” but money is kind of the lifeblood of dating, so you can go out and experience things outside your own apartments to get to know each other. Call me old-fashioned…but being at least somewhat financially secure is right up there.

-Money talk. Okay, so whether you have money or not, I don’t want to hear about it unless we’re serious. It’s boring to me to hear about your financial woes or listen to you brag about your salary, and it’s invasive to ask me what I pay for rent, car payment, heat, or my shoes, because who the fuck really cares?

-Clingy, needy, etcetera. It’s not that I’m a bitch, it’s just that I don’t really need you or want to talk to you 24/7. Constant availability doesn’t make anyone sexy; this should be common knowledge.

-Incessant pawing/trying to get laid. But guys will be guys, so expected and tolerated to a point.

-Strange sexual surprises…?!

-Calling me any of the following: Cutie, hun, mami, ma, sweet-cheeks, good-lookin’ or any other ridiculous name. Please!

All in good fun. I don’t take anything too seriously and neither should you–life is too short! If worse comes to worst, we can always just say “next!”

velvet kisses November 9, 2007

Posted by Victoria Fredericks in Poetry, Writing.
1 comment so far

Short, but one of my personal favorites I’ve done. I changed it a little to repost it here.
[Originally written December 23rd, 2006]

she knew she’d lost him
wine stains on her countertop remind her
of things they toasted to
and everything she’d wanted.

velvet kisses, sad goodbye
and slowly things unfold
she wished she’d kept her heart
hidden away.

she cries when no one is looking
cold rainy nights of raw solitude
the sky reminds her of his eyes
no one touches her the same.

I spent the day dreaming November 4, 2007

Posted by Victoria Fredericks in Writing.

I spent the day dreaming. The light was falling in through my window, like a promise of everything that felt so perfect and so right. I felt a change; and I feel no pain. He is all I could ask for. It takes a lot to remove me from the love affair I have with my own self. I am thankful to have such a sense of who I am, and it grows everyday. Yet it’s a self that’s so contained; it’s hard to expose it to someone else. I keep it within myself, in candlelit nights and waning afternoons, listening to music, musing to myself. I wish I could say, when I was with him, pearls would fall from my lips, and I could be every bit a dream; only doesn’t work like that; as the dearest parts of me cannot be given away…

I want love to be simple. I want to give all of myself, and have it somehow still feel as if it is not enough. I want it to feel boundless. Wounds heal and we’re left with scars that tell of our past, but time changes leaving behind only echoes of who we once were. As everything around me withers and turns to gray, I only find myself more willing to bloom. I find myself strong…with an alarming sense of translucent fragility; where it came from and why, I could never explain. I don’t know who could possibly understand my complicated inner world, so wild and untamed, so innately good it couldn’t fool itself yet alone another living being. My soul is steeped in honesty, in a certain willingness, with a craving for another human so specific, it forever seemed impossible to find–that kindred spirit, who you can just be with, and there is no need for anything but simple togetherness.