Jenn Schaffer (b. 1992) is a Chicago-born writer, traveler, and student of English literature at Stanford University. This is her webspace, whatever that means.

Tell her about your weird dreams at jennifermschaffer[at]





How BEYONCÉ should have opened.

this is so essential to 2k14blackwomanhood



(via niniboo)




In the bathroom of the O2 Academy, I squinted at myself in the mirror and thought about who I was when I first heard of dan le sac vs. Scroobius Pip. I was 15. It was spring in Boston and I had bleached my hair and then dyed it dark again but the strawberry blonde kept peeking through like it was who I really was. (In the mirror now my hair and skin look like they’re set to high contrast.) It was the last year of my life that I wasn’t in love with anyone or anything. On the wall of my bedroom at Andover I had OXFORD written across six post-it notes, in capital letters. (Life’s like that. Pay attention. Your future’s probably written on a post-it note right now.)

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It suddenly occurred to me that I was looking at the whole phenomenon quite inaccurately. My (or perhaps I am permitted to say our?) way of looking at it is that one must search for an A, or a B, or a C or a D with a certain combination of desirable or sympathetic qualities so that one may click, or spontaneously combust: or to put it differently, one needs a person who, like a saucer of water, allows one to float off on him/her, like a transfer. But this wasn’t so at all. Actually one carries with one a sort of burning spear stuck in one’s side, that one waits for someone else to pull out; it is something painful, like a sore or a wound, that one cannot wait to share with someone else.

I saw myself quite plainly in a moment of truth: I was standing at a window (on the third floor) with A and B (to mention only the mountain peaks of my emotional experience) behind me, a rather attractive woman, if I may say so, with a mellowness that I would be the first to admit is the sad harbinger of age, but is attractive by definition, because it is a testament to the amount of sampling and sipping (I nearly wrote ‘simpling’ and ‘sapping’) I have done in my time … There I stood, brushed, dressed, red-lipped, kohl-eyed, all waiting for an evening with a possible C. And at another window overlooking (I think I am right in saying) Margaret Street, stood C, brushed, washed, shaved, smiling: an attractive man (I think), and he was thinking: Perhaps she will turn out to be D (or A or 3 or ? or %, or whatever symbol he used). We stood, separated by space, certainly, in identical conditions of pleasant uncertainty and anticipation, and we both held our hearts in our hands, all pink and palpitating and ready for pleasure and pain, and we were about to throw these hearts in each other’s face like snowballs, or cricket balls (How’s that?) or, more accurately, like great bleeding wounds: ‘Take my wound.’ Because the last thing one ever thinks at such moments is that he (or she) will say: Take my wound, please remove the spear from my side. No, not at all; one simply expects to get rid of one’s own.

Amedeo Modigliani

Amedeo Modigliani

"The best ideas were often so simple, even obvious, except that no one had thought of them before. I looked at the water and the distant shore of the lake, a vast bowl of emptiness, jagged rocks, high sun, stillness. I would move to New York City."

John Singer Sargent

Why should I blame her that she filled my days
With misery, or that she would of late 
Have taught to ignorant men most violent ways,
Or hurled the little streets upon the great, 
Had they but courage equal to desire?
What could have made her peaceful with a mind
That nobleness made simple as a fire,
With beauty like a tightened bow, a kind
That is not natural in an age like this
Being high and solitary and most stern?
Why, what could she have done, being what she is?
Was there another Troy for her to burn?

— William Butler Yeats

Running on The Default Network
by Boyce