By Chloë Gottlieb and Hart Hallos
[inner monologue] Chloë Gottlieb: It did hurt. It hurt bad. I fear I sprained an ankle, maybe both of them. And, yes, the laughter that my spillage triggered didn’t feel “good” to hear. I fell for what felt like forever, landing directly on an unsuspecting victim, toppling him. Was this not unlike the fall of Adam and Eve, directly into the pits of sin? Are the full fathoms five of my journey to be diluted as such, that I must drag down everyone around me? Apologies, it’s this high-altitude air surrounding Low Steps getting to my head.
[inner monologue] Hart Hallos: I don’t know if anyone else feels this way, but sometimes when I put in my earbuds (TLDR: AirPods) it’s like I’m in a totally different world—just me, my thoughts, and the music. Oh, the music! Music is so underrated and transformational these days. What I’m listening to right now is a lot of different things—but none of them mattered when my world was rocked by some clumsy peasant thing. I am actually fine though. Soooo fine. Caught up?
A transcript of the conversation immediately following the collision:
CG: Min Gud! I’m so sorry! Are you hurt?
HH: Wait, that was an accident? I just thought you were trying to mosh! But then when we fell—I’m not sure how to describe this throbbing ache in my body, but I’m gonna go with… camp? Even your outfit—Batsheva cottagecore, right?
CG: Oh, this? It’s not Batsheva’s, she’s doing her Rumspringa in Vegas and took all her dresses. This is my cousin Esther’s nicest and most city-ish gown. Instead of the usual potato-colored yarn, the buttons are sewn on with silver thread! Drat—I’ve torn it from my fall.
HH: Oh nooooo that must suck. I know exactly how you feel though: One time my friend Joey Ratone—you know Joey right? Joan Crawford-esque bear with the really soulful eyes, lukewarm on Radiohead? I’m holding for applause...what do you mean you don’t know what any of that means. Anyways one time he fell, so I totally get your pain, sister. Girl power!
CG: Ohhh, you’re on drugs. I understand now. Maybe you will be open to helping me, then? Another lost soul, who has tested the reach of Christ.
HH: Honey, I’d be delighted! Joey always says he’ll try anything once. He’s even been to Connecticut.
CG: It all started when Jebediah convinced me to do my Rumspringa in New York.
HH: Pause. Who’s DJing Rumspringa this year? If they don’t book DJNameJokeHere, it’s not even worth going although I did already buy the tickets. Ambient noise is honestly the proto-punk of this funky little thing we call now, but don’t even get me started—
CG: No, no, no, Rumspringa. It’s when we enter the world outside the farm for the first time. We try out forbidden things: listen to rock music, play volleyball. Someone—[whispering]—someone once even used a zipper.
HH: Umm hello you crazy party girl! I’ve never done Z1pp3r before but my friend Joanne Fabrics told me it was wiiiild—she actually learned a lot about herself and overcame some real demons. Crazy, huh? Oh c’mon, you definitely know Joanne! If you’ve been to anything this side of Bushwick you’ve seen her—seven feet tall, blue elf ears, big fan of meat on pizza. Ok you’re giving me this weird open-mouthed look again and I’m all like question mark question mark question mark question mark??
CG: Sorry, I’m not used to hearing all those words in that order. You speak in tongues, like a prophet. My problem was Jeb said to go to New York. He said they were voted number one greatest pizza in America. But ever since I got here, it’s been one thing after another. I feel like I’m in that new Demi Lovato ballad, “Skyscraper.” First, the mask I’d sewn into my bonnet broke. Then, I had to use a cellphone! And the first call I got on it was to say that my aunt-once-removed had passed away suddenly in the night from a wonky elbow that spread to her lungs. The wonk spread, I mean. Not the elbow. It’s just hard not to feel a heavy cloud weighing on my journey.
HH: Hm. Well, you’re being pretty toxic right now, but I’ll just tell you what I tell people who come at me with that kind of negative energy. “Ummmmm ... no to you bringing that drama over here!” And I wouldn’t necessarily call myself brave for that but a lot of people have.
CG: Wow. What a refreshing outlook on life. You should write this stuff down, like the Alsatian Mennonite Anabaptists. I needed to be reminded of such positivity when the subway door closed on a rat’s tail and I had to watch it slice right off. Or when, as I later tried to get off the subway, a man put said rat tail in my purse and I didn’t notice for seven blocks. That’s how I wound up in this commune. I’ve been wandering aimlessly. I passed by that castle on 117th Street but only saw a little white-haired man holding his dog by the neck while the dog defecated. This is who you make altars of?
HH: You mean PrezBo?
CG: Maybe? He wore an oversized t-shirt and sweatpants.
HH: God he’s so relatable. Only he’s marginally wealthier than me—put him in the Squid Game, am I right??
CG: Ah, we have a Goat Game. To catch the goat. I assume the stakes are equally as high with squids.
HH: Yeah I would say Squid Game is pretty intense ... a coming-of-age-tale meets laugh-out-loud-rom-com, but chock full of moments that really make you wonder. And I don’t know about you but as an audience member, I really appreciate that!! Wait what were we talking about though.
CG: How are we supposed to function in such a cold, unfeeling city? Is there no escape, no warmth here? I can’t even process the Rumspringa!
HH: Hm. … Well, what would you say to this picture of three-year-old Chloë?
CG: I’d say, “How did they get a photograph of you, does the church know? Why did you betray your parents, the only people who have ever given you a home and love and a place to feel true, inner peace?” Something like that.
HH: As you should! Wait what we were talking about though sorry.
CG: The inescapable shame that comes with knowing you don’t fit into a place like this. And Pizza Rat.
HH: What makes me not fit in is that I hate people and would rather spend a day curled up in bed with my cat and book of coffee TV show Netfleex plus the biiiig sweatpant … people just don’t get that these days. Tacos are so much better than Mondays am I right!!
CG: I actually think you might really enjoy staying with us. It’s all about connecting with yourself. And Jesus. But Jesus through yourself. We could do a reverse-Rumspringa and you could try out being like me. We would get you your very own smock.
HH: Honey the last thing I need is to connect with any more men who are inside of me! I do like the sound of adding another smock to my collection though ...
CG: Forgive me for being forward, but … I saw a cafe with raw milk in Brooklyn the other day. I was shocked you have it; we love it on the farm. Would you want to join me for a glass?
HH: Wait this convo has been so fun but I’ve got to go grab food before class and is anyone else noticing that the dining hall lines have been kind of long recently? Honestly, the waiting is driving me a little crazy, but I feel like I’m the only person who notices lol. We should totally get lunch soon though and the italics mean I mean that!! Kisses you toxic sludge bitch! Rumspringa 2022 is gonna be wild.
Hey you stinky stinky little fuckers! Welcome to the world of process-driven, hardcore, investigative “satire.” But then again, what even is “satire”? What, for that matter, is this silly little thing we call “language”? If your minds aren’t already too0 blown, come peek behind the curtain and check out the gritty underbelly of this ATSL: aka Hart and Chloë’s brainstorming. Remember, pressure makes diamonds and THAT’S why it took us two months to write this. x
Top pride- idk how this relates just the concept of a top pride and a bottom pride is verrryy funny to me but also important and very needed!
Scenarios that could hurt
Stumbling on college walk in front of a packed low beach
Not having a green pass to swipe into lerner (walking into a completely unmoving turnstile) - somehow I have never heard of a green pass and am just able to get into lerner anyways or maybe don’t ever go into lerner at all???
Not having sex
Falling from heaven
Falling for u
Messing up the do-it-yourself covid test
Getting a C on a FroSci exam
Not being able to get into ur sig other’s dorm for those like two weeks (maybe tooo topical and also no longer a rule and therefore no longer relevant?)
Fake id rejected at Mel’s
Alzheimer’s (or lack thereof)
“Bundling” instead of sex
Never had a haircut
“Beheef dich” = beef dick maybez? Literally translates to “behave yourself”
Omg raw milk is def something they both will have had before (directly from farm vs BK coffee shop)
Cottagecore vs an actually lived rural life
Deleted social media vs. no social media??
I love you. Wait you are poor though right. Ok slay! (we have to fit this in somewhere)