requiem for pan’s fifth.

julius warhol, paul frank/andy warhol foundation; ca. 2002

i’d kicked myself after the fact for not wearing my vintage paul frank tee that day, a collab with the andy warhol foundation, circa early aughts. maybe that’s what led to the fate of pan’s fifth, i thought.

we’d stayed until the museum closed, having wandered the galleries for hours, sometimes taking in side by side, oftentimes walking separate but together, snapping photographs in multitudes, as is our wont. & then somewhere between leaving sf moma and the gold coast dispensary — poof, there it fucking went, like the smoke at the end of the blunt we just shared.

i knew what it was, but held it together. this loss tragically ironic, i’d purposely kept all of the photos from january on, but hadn’t backed them up. that decision tragically ironic, too, so made because i wanted to keep the photos i’d left close to me and with me always. a reminder in my pocket of just how far i’d walked, a reminder in my pocket of what a fucking miracle my life had become.

journal page, december 25, 2018

it’s ironic, too, this time poetically, that i’m finishing this particular piece on this particular holiday, ticking away another with my very great love. i’d thought this week, in passing, of where my story was a year ago. it wasn’t until today, though, perusing my journal and looking back online that i realized just how dark it had been.

facebook post, december 2018.

“everything is illuminated” // photomontage by pan ellington.

i didn’t know when i wrote that post that soon after, at the turn of the year, i’d emerge slowly back into life, the weight noticably lighter with the help of my friends, therapy, community. and i didn’t know then that four months later i would meet them, they the long ago “she”, now on my bathroom wall.

which makes the loss of my iphone that day sound all the more trivial. it was about more than just a “thing,” though. it was about keeping those first six months close — the lift of that weight, the return of my wonder & joy. in writing this though?

i know that i have.

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