Day Thirty-Eight   /   lettering by Anthony Burrill

Jessica Walsh

Did you see Timothy today?
Bright and early!

What did y’all do together?
I hailed a cab at four AM and picked up Tim at his apartment. We headed to JFK and arrived at Jet Blue’s terminal for our six AM flight to Orlando. I was very tired because I was unable to sleep during the night. I was too excited about the trip, and I stayed up making maps of the various rides we should go on.

Did anything interesting happen?
We boarded the plane and I fell fast asleep on Tim’s shoulder. I woke up as the plane was touching down. We took the Magic Express train to our hotel room at The Contemporary. We unpacked, had sex, and got changed into our bathing suits. We went to the pool bar and ordered a few mango margaritas. Tim scarfed down a disgusting looking hot dog as we strategized the plan for the weekend. We decided to tackle Epcot today, Magic Kingdom on Saturday, and end with Animal Kingdom on Sunday.

epcot

We headed over to Epcot and ran around the park getting into all sorts of trouble. We went on the first ride, which was called “Mission: Space.” We were not prepared for it. Aren’t these rides suppose to be for kids?! We both stumbled out of the ride feeling dizzy with motion sickness, laughing at the hilarity of it all. We wandered over to the “Soarin'” ride after, which was a simulation of hang gliding over California landscapes with a wraparound IMAX screen.

Tim became annoyed with me at several points in the day for various things, but I was able to brush it all off. There’s no need to fight around the children! We ended the evening with dinner at the Grand Floridian. I had asparagus and risotto, and Tim had the tomato and mozzarella. After that, we headed outside and watched the fireworks. I sat in his lap, and we sipped champagne. Things felt romantic. I realized how much I’ve let my guard down this past week. I am starting to admit to myself how much I care about him.

After the fireworks, we lay in the grass outside our hotel and looked up at the stars. We noticed how clear the stars in the sky were compared to New York. We talked about the possibilities of alien life, string theory, and space travel. While I’ve always thought that 2013 is a great time to be alive in the history of the universe, I do wish we lived in a time where space travel was affordable for civilians.

Lying under the stars reminded me of a friend who loves astrology and horoscopes. She recently suggested that we do a horoscope partner analysis together. I’ve never been a believer in the type of horoscopes you find in gossip magazines, but I have always been curious about them. I did some research, and I found a site with readings by a reputable astrologist whose work is based off of Jungian psychology.

Did you learn anything new about Timothy?
Tim was born on June 23 at 9:19 PM in Ohio. He falls under the Cancer zodiac. Here is his personality portrait, and his psychological portrait.

cancer

Did you learn anything new about yourself?
I was born on October 30 at 10:05 AM in New York. I fall under the Scorpio zodiac. Here is my personality portrait, and my psychological portrait.

scorpio

How do you feel about this relationship/project right now?
After we did our individual psychological portraits, we tried a relationship portrait together.

together

Is there anything that you want to do differently?
As I was reading these horoscopes, I became spooked by how the descriptions seemed to resemble our personalities, our issues, and even our pasts. Are these strategically written to make us all feel that we can relate? Do we just see what we want to in them? This makes me think of the idea of romantic fatalism. I often find myself looking for signs of fate in a relationship, like strange coincidences or similarities that make me think “it’s meant to be.” I can’t deny that I attach meaning to the coincidence that Tim and I are both die-hard Winnie-the-Pooh fans, or that we share the same favorite childhood ice cream flavor. But when you look for these signs between any two people, there are bound to be overlaps. I have to remind myself that the only meaning behind certain things is what we choose to attach to them.

Additional comments?
I had a good laugh at this part of the horoscope:

publicfeelings

Timothy Goodman

Did you see Jessica today?
Oh yes.

What did y’all do together?
Disney World! Six AM flight JFK > ORL.

Tickets

I have a hard time sleeping on planes, but Jessie took a sleeping pill and passed out the entire time. When we got there we decided to do Epcot Center today. I remember crying the whole time I was there when I was kid. I thought it was so boring. 20 years later, I don’t feel much different. However, the rides “Soarin'” and “Mission: Space” were awesome. Jessie was screaming at the top of her lungs during “Mission: Space.” I thought she was going to die.

Did anything interesting happen?
Later in the day we were sitting beside the pool and we started talking about her weight. How in the world I found myself in that conversation I haven’t a clue. But I know there’s no way to get out alive! She can be self-conscious about her weight, even though by general standards she is a stick figure. I stupidly told her that I’d love to see her gain about 10 more pounds. This did not go over so well, obviously. I also realize that it’s not that easy for her to put on pounds. Again, I should have just shut my mouth!

Did you learn anything new about Jessica?
I was convinced that she had no interest in any bit of pop culture until today when I found out that she LOVES Harry Potter. The things you learn about someone. Also, Jessie didn’t bring ANY high heels. I’m dumbfounded by this, too. Are we in bizarro world? But it was nice to see her in flats.

epcot2

Did you learn anything new about yourself?
During dinner tonight we got into a conversation about her weight AGAIN. Damn, I really just need to shut the hell up. Here’s the thing: I LOVE to eat. I have no qualms about it. High brow to low brow, I’m in. I’ll eat sushi for lunch, and then I’ll kill a hot dog at the basketball game. And I like women who enjoy eating with me, especially when we’re on vacation or when we’re at an event. Plus, I’m six foot three, so it takes more for me to keep the tank full. She knows I like to eat, and I feel like she’s pressuring herself to eat more around me. It’s sweet, but I don’t want her to feel pressured into doing something she doesn’t feel comfortable with.

How do you feel about this relationship/project right now?
After the pool, we were in the sauna together. Jessie wanted to talk about what happens after day 40. She told me that I don’t need to feel pressured to date her after the 40 days, which clearly means the exact opposite. The very mentioning of all this is indeed putting pressure on me. If we weren’t talking about any of this, then there would be no pressure. She said she understands if this relationship is not what I want and she’s cool if we just go back to being friends. Her mouth said it, but her eyes said the opposite.

This worries me, because I know that what she’s saying isn’t true. Jessie is so black and white, and I know she needs to KNOW what the plan is for day 40. Can’t we just keep going and not talk about this stuff all the time? Everything has been so good lately. The questions and the pressure make me realize, yet again, that I don’t know what I want. And if I don’t know what I want yet, then maybe that’s enough to know that this isn’t right. I’m starting to feel a bit nervous.

Is there anything that you want to do differently?
At the end of the night we were watching fireworks from the Grand Floridian. They were beautiful. Children were running around, people were laughing, and we were cuddling. Something inside, however, didn’t feel right.

Additional comments?
There are two questions every person has to ask with any conflict or problem they need to solve: “How?” and “Why?” My old boss, Brian Collins, would always say that “Why?” is a much more interesting question than “How?” As designers, we always want to solve problems — but instead, we should make problems by asking bigger questions of our clients and ourselves. Asking why encourages us to be provocative and memorable rather than simply making pretty things. As much as I strive to achieve that sentiment in my professional work, I think I understand what he means in a different context now.

I can “solve” things with Jessie either by dating her, or by simply walking away from this situation. But asking why I’m doing what I’m doing is a much more unpleasant, yet important road to potentially go down. Essentially that’s what this entire experiment has been about: asking bigger questions, and making a “problem” for ourselves when we could have just kept going with our regularly-scheduled program. So am I willing to accept what may happen in the next two days? Am I brave enough to see what’s in front of me? And, if so, can I actually do anything about that?

why_how