The History of Ivy (Fiction)

Read the first part of the story here.

Journal entry April 12th, 2001

I had been fortunate to catch the early trolley, which in turn allowed me to catch the Market-Frankfort to fifteenth street a sound hour and a half prior to class.

On fortunate days such as these- I always enjoyed a leisurely bagel at the 15th street station donut shop.  Usually, I was pressed for time, but having some breathing room was nice for a change so I decided to try and write this for posterity while I sit on the train.  At home, I have two main employers;  I work developing film for a local camera shop and I also work at a specialty shop that caters expressly to birdwatchers- these two stores are adjacent to one another.

As far as problems go?  I am done.  I am fine… in my messenger bag is the letter I received from the AmeriCorps, like Aspen- I am heading out West in August which should alleviate the mounting tension between my grandparents and I- I will be organizing concerts at an amphitheater on a reservation in the middle of nowhere- I am excited to get away from here. Pat woke up from his coma- but he’s about as functional as a forth grader, and suddenly both straight and convinced he is in love with me because his mother told him Jesus said as much.

Dev is at Temple- but he is honestly the only friend locally other than some stragglers who stuck around my hometown since elementary school, like myself, going to school in Philly.  I even tried smoking pot for the first time with Tim and Andy-  Andy and I both in his car for an hour afterwards desperately rubbing magic tree air fresheners all over our clothes  because he would catch hell since he is on break from Harvard- and I would catch hell because, well,  It is just not what my family does.  Hell, my family threatened to disown me if I dyed my hair pink!  It isn’t worth losing the career I haven’t started…but how do they not realize I’m an art student by now perplexes me.  Then again, so was Hitler…maybe I should try that argument.  If Hitler died his hair pink artistically, I doubt he would have led the Reich…

Since it has been a few months since my last update online- I think I should say that this madness with Dusty is getting even more nonsensical.  He’s my best friend, but he’s an asshole.  He has this shitty girlfriend who hates everything about him- but “sees potential” to make him into something more palatable to her tastes…and she is neither bright nor pretty enough to justify the nervous breakdown he’s experiencing over her.  Just break up, move on.  He has become entirely unreliable- seriously, I wonder if I am better without him…but on the other hand, we are the last two people who know what Peter was like prior to his drug addiction.

It had crossed my mind that Dusty was travelling the same lines…literally, his entire potential up his nose as he looks into the mirror on which he cuts his cocaine.

Except for the occasional lesbian sex- I am still boring in my opinion.  I have straight A’s for the first time, it apparently WAS my environment of living with two teenage parents who brought me into this world without my consent that held me back.  I miss my dad sometimes, but how good can he really be if he unquestionably supports a woman who does such fucked up things?

To punish me for leaving two years ago they keep my dog chained up in all weather- thinking I will come back to “save” her…and bring her where?  Then we would both be in chains.  Poor Persephone.  For as much of a shithead as Dusty is most of the time, he at least checks on my dog and little brother… our friendship is worth at least that much to him; I live over an hour away and I would prefer never to see that hirsute, screeching harpy I was brought into this world against my will by (and almost taken out by many, many more times) I believe I will live a rather happy life…or rather, a life where I can breathe for a minute without having either obscenities or porcelain knick-knacks thrown at me- and then forced to watch her write down on a tally sheet how much I “owe” her for the items she decided to break in her anger against me.   I see the school shrink over it- I really do not have much self worth- they say.

Today I’m wearing my rose colored glasses over my contact lenses, my favorite button-down shirt that changes from gold to purple iridescence with some jeans and my black boots and my leather duster. I copied my makeup after a show I caught on cable of a girl found in a river-  shimmering blue lips and silver eyes and glitter. My hair is too short to really pull off the look right.  I’m blonde enough but  I just had my hair trimmed and highlighted again and made an appointment to do the same thing right before I leave.  I have yet to tell anyone I joined the AmeriCorps- but honestly, I believe it is the only way I will be able to get out of my grandfather’s college (where I am not sure if these good grades are earned or nepotism) and someplace, anyplace else.   I doubt I’d get into Berkeley…but I can try. Maybe the AmeriCorps experience will help pad my application a bit.  The train is coming to a complete stop and announcing I’ve arrived at the piss-drenched station.  I’ll grab my bagel and see if perhaps I can find April to see if we can complete that lens exchange- my fisheye for her telephoto if I am fortunate.

I cannot believe what is happening right now- so I will write as fast as I can as this is occurring.  I made it to the donut shop and before I ordered, the woman ahead of me ordered the exact same thing I was about to- an iced chai latte, a toasted garlic bagel, and two cups of chive cream cheese.   She then turned to me and said

“Ivy, could you pick a table- we need to talk, I’ll bring the food over- you have a little time.”

I  have no idea who this woman is- but she looks more like I do than most of my blood relatives in her features- she looks like she would stab a man in a fist fight- but she has this amazing long, dark hair and is covered in these crazy orange and blue tattoos on her arms.  My parents had me so young I never know who I am going to run into who wants to tell me about weird shit my father has gotten into- and I wouldn’t recognize the majority of my second cousins now since my great grandmother died almost a decade ago.  I am a little weirded out, but not frightened.  She just sat down and told me to keep writing.  She’s going to help me out.  Oh, fuck…a pyramid scheme, I’m sure…either that or this lady found Jesus and knows me from some class or some fucking where and I can’t remember her.  This will be a waste of time.

Okay…so, she has just congratulated me on my acceptance into the AmeriCorps… NO ONE knows except Kate.  I asked her about Kate and she said “Kate stayed out West forever” as far as she can discern and she has only seen her a few times since.   Dev apparently became a pilot and moved West too…and doesn’t know Kate. I asked her if she worked for the government with my father, and she just laughed and said “almost, but I failed out spectacularly”  She believes she is from the future and she just keeps listing off all these obscure things I haven’t told anyone.  Like about the orange carp I saw swimming upstream in Ridley- not moving against the current.  She said that is what is is like with time and that I might understand someday.

Gods, I know I’m considered a “freak”- but if people from that little dirt town up North ever set foot into this city….

-The AmeriCorps will define my life in a good way.  Nice to know.
-Yes, Dustin is “in love” with me- but it’s not worth the heartache, there are too many negative variables and he only dates people by cheating on who he is currently with.  That explains why we’ve never gotten together.  Love is not enough; in the timestreams where we are together it is disaster.  He has a “time traveller” self too- and it told him not to hurt me, this lady says he’ll hurt me anyway just to keep distance that will never be resolved in a way that satisfies anyone…besides, in a few years all realities have him so strung out he is unrecognizable…and frankly stupid.   She claims he’s stupid now, I just can’t see it yet.
-Dev is partially right about 2012, the world as we know it will not be the same, but she said the world won’t be the same after 2001, either.    Honestly, the world changes daily.  I am assuming this is one of the random psychics from Rose’s faires at this point having a schizophrenic break after running into me here in the city.  I still have an hour and school is a five minute walk from here.
-Apparently now we aren’t on the same timeline because she visited me and changed my future: A-okay crazy lady.
-Apparently, there are other families who follow the old Gods like Woten- she said it won’t be for another five years, but she said it isn’t worth it to join the groups when they get big unless I feel like getting married.  I don’t even believe in marriage, I do not think.  Too much risk.   But, if she is from the future- why is she here?  She claims it is to tell me what she wished she knew when she was me.  Pat will never get better, Dustin will not only not be in my life, but one day it will not even bother me.  It has been ten years since she has seen Aspen in person, but in her Now he lives in the middle of nowhere entirely antisocial. She tells me to keep writing things down- not on livejournal, but still on paper…and then she asks if I would consider switching out my guitar for a viol-type instrument.  She thinks that can prevent “a regret”.
I asked her what she regretted in her life and she replied “Oh, mostly things out of our control- and also some bad relationships.  Hopefully, your life will be different than mine is.”  I asked what was wrong with her life- did she graduate college?  Write a book?  Apparently, two college degrees and at least one book- but she claims “It’s boring as fuck, you will hate it if you have to write it…but on the other hand, it taught that time is simply an a-priori sense of the mind and that by simply using our memories we could transport ourselves back to any point of the timeline in which we consciously exist.  She tried to fix our childhood, she said, by helping us at 8 have the courage to open the window onto the porch roof and escape to the police station a mile away in a single timeline- but the futures from that didn’t have any radically different outcomes.  Simply different relationships and friendships that would end in time, anyway.
It’s about half an hour until Photography II.  I am still waiting on dire apocalyptic warnings…and she just shrugged and said “Keep hiking, keep writing- people will love you, people will hate you…but write, on paper, everything you want to remember.  One day, your memory will fail you.  Oh…and if things seem unfair, just wait.  Everything in the world seeks to find temperance.  Nice tarot card action/reaction, muting and balancing. It just happens”  I tried asking questions about her timeline- and she kept reiterating that we have little in common now-that by meeting- we cannot share the same futures. “Some things you cannot control- at all-  the world you see right now, in this piss-station subway?  This is a beautiful world….in all timelines, the world is not so beautiful in fifteen years.  Things will change, you (me) will mostly survive.   If you get hurt enough- you (me?) will end up having a wonderful spouse who will take care of me (us?)  If I manage to stay intact and unharmed- I will be single, but powerful.  In some timelines, I get to be both in a relationship and powerful…in others, single and crippled.  Pretty bleak.  So…what does she want to tell me?
“Pretty much Everyone you love right now will abandon you- your grandparents, your father will try to pretend to care but ditch you more times than not until he finally just discards you in favor of starting a new family over again, your brother, your friends until all you have left is people you never met yet and people you had to leave behind to prevent them from getting hurt by others.  I just want you to be prepared that no one you know, right now, will love you enough to be here in fifteen years…  they will move away or just leave your life entirely. Well, except maybe Jordan, or Maxwell or if the grandma you don’t live with makes it through her accident you’ll have her…but there is NO ONE else.  The friends who still around are not the people you think much on at the moment…you will love them, but make no mistake to believe that all your emotions aren’t being tossed into a void of nothing now.  The people who stay, even if you hardly know them now, are so much more important than the people you think are important.  Make your decisions accordingly, and by the way, the coffee and bagel are on me.  Use that fiver on a cab, if you don’t you’ll ruin that sculpture you’ve been lugging around. ”  she patted me on the shoulder and then said cryptically. “Also, never, ever date any person you will ever work with more than a one night stand.  Ever.  Do not allow yourself to be convinced to, by anyone.  If anything can change your future for brighter, that will.”

So.  That was a weird vignette.  I do not know who to talk to about this. I’m 19 years old as of last month and recently dumped by some awful fuck who wanted a girl with the pink hair met on a random train.  They broke up with her after a week or two.  The woman at the donut shop said my grandparents are right about him- he will never be worth anything at all…but that is okay, in fifteen years, I will not mean anything at all to my grandparents- which I find impossible to believe. We have always been so close and I really cannot imagine a life without them.  I am moving to preserve our relationship- not destroy it.  The woman I met claimed it does not matter.  I did take a cab, however…the sculpture got another “A”.  Not bad for an hour of gluing rocks into a helix for an hour.  Fuck, I wish I knew if my work was actually ‘good’- or if that A was, yet again, courtesy of being descended from a man with places on campus named after him.

Anyway, at least I wrote this in the journal that I have the Tolstoy book jacket on- I never have any risk of anyone picking up what looks like a thick tome of Tolstoy and “borrowing” it… and I can keep these crazy-ass, fucked up experiences to myself…or see if they come to pass.  I will duct-tape the pages and sharpie “Not to be opened until 2016”. Also…I had to look up what “a-priori” and “tabula rasa”: “Already existing” and “blank slate”, respectively.  Maybe it will mean more to me in 16 years.

I have read that Odin can be found everywhere- can Odin also be a dark-haired woman with hair over her one eye…?

I do not know, only time will tell.
See you in sixteen years, Ivy,

Truly,
Ivy Von Reynard, age 19.

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