the snoot project, the opening of – Amina Snoot
September 11, 2023
part i – cambridge, ma, spring 2022
it’s saturday morning and i wake up at 730 because i’m so excited. i try to lay still enough to fall back asleep. i can’t. i sit on the couch and play guitar until i get a text asking if i’m home. i say i am then i say i’m not then i say just kidding, i am. he asks if i’ll get him coffee because he forgot his caffeine gum (he takes 200mg a day). i am pretend rude and tell him off for being annoying, but all tone is lost over text so i’m just regular rude. he says if he gets to my place before i get home with a drink there will be a problem.
i get him a matcha latte, iced, with extra sugar and a chocolate croissant. when i leave the shop it’s raining, and not gently. the walk is four minutes long and by the time i turn the corner to my street i am soaking wet. i jump when the car turns into my driveway. i stand at the front door and shake uncontrollably. the matcha is wet as i hand it over and say this is for you. my hand is ricocheting but i don’t think he notices. we start laughing uncontrollably.
inside he says this is ok but you got it all wet. and where’s the pastry. i’m drying myself off in the bathroom. we sit on the couch and look at each other for a few minutes then he asks for a tour. i black out for a while because i’m shocked he’s actually here and the next thing i know i’m on top of him on the couch and his hands are up my shirt. we wrestle a little bit and he says it’s so funny that i’m stronger than him. i ask if he thinks that’s hot. he asks where my nipple clamps are and we go off to my room.
i’m dripping wet again and naked in my bed. someone’s on top, i’m sucking his earlobe. he plays with my nipples and tells me he wants to watch me get myself off. i try, i try really hard but i’m too nervous. he makes me suck him off. i tell him i want him to fuck me and he says well, maybe later.
we sit on the couch and look at our phones for a long time and spend an even longer time picking something to eat for lunch. i spend twenty seconds too long looking at the menu and he orders for me. he asks me for sweatpants since his are wet and “we look roughly the same size” so i give him some leggings to wear. he does and it’s hot. we pick up the food and on the way we see some turkeys. he crosses the street to try and touch one and it gets really, really close so he runs away. a stranger takes a video of this and asks if i know him.
he stops at a convenience store to get some energy drinks and candy. i think maybe he’s getting condoms. we walk by the high school and he shouts “i can’t be within 40 yards of a school.” we get home, eat, and nap. we’re back in my bed and he sets a timer for twenty minutes. we’re there for three hours. i keep trying to spoon him but i’m too awake to stay still. he tells me stop being annoying but i’m so desperate to hold another person i don’t. after he snoozes the alarm for the sixth time i tap him and ask if i can get myself off. i do but i don’t know if he even turns around to watch.
it’s dark when we get up and he yells at me for letting him sleep so much. we spend another excruciating hour trying to decide where to eat. i think that i’m really blowing it because we’re not having fun. he calls me out for not getting him bubble tea taiyaki from h mart like i said i would, and i’m not sure how serious he is because ok, i didn’t do what i said, but also it’s just ice cream. i decide not to ask. i call a bunch of restaurants and ask how long the wait is. i forget that the world continues on and people go out on saturday nights when i’m at home alone. i feel a bit pathetic for not thinking of making a reservation.
he gets in the shower and tells me when he gets out (and he takes long showers) there better be taiyaki. i wonder if he’s just testing me to see how far i’ll go, but i need to take a break from being inside and feeling like a loser, so i do it. on the way, i stop at one of the restaurants i called to put my name in. i stop at target to get condoms. i get the ice cream fish. i don’t mention the second stop because i’m scared of being rejected.
we’re at dinner and i let him order and i get a glass of wine. he’s on his phone the whole time and it feels bad but i don’t say anything. he eats most of the food as soon as it gets to the table and leaves without saying anything to wash his hands twice. i get another glass of wine and hope i haven’t made a mistake. the food is just ok. i’m still hungry and when the waitress asks if we want another dish he cuts in and says no. the waitress is totally off-put by this and offers to get the desert menu. i giggle. we get a dessert and he tells me he wants a grilled cheese from roxy’s.
we quibble over who’s going to pay the bill and who’s going to venmo the other. i think he’s going to make me pay for everything, which i am financially but not spiritually ready for, so i insist he pays. he gets up and leaves. the waitress comes over and asks if it’s all set. i say no, in a minute. eventually he comes back in and watches me venmo him while he takes out his credit card. he tells me i’m the reason we can’t get grilled cheese before they close for the night. (we wouldn’t’ve made it anyways.)
i want to dance but he doesn’t so we go home. i tell him he has terrible table manners and that i don’t know how he ever gets second dates.
i’m feeling bad, really bad, so to make things worse, i drink the rest of a bottle of wine i have open. i’m sitting on top of him on the couch biting his neck and shoulders. he’s still on his phone. i get progressively more drunk while trying to get him to engage with me. we listen to the perfume nationalist podcast for the first time and laugh. we make out and i think about how good he smells. he unbuttons the cardigan i am wearing as a shirt and tells me i have very italian tits. i get up and wash my hair for the first time in a week. he tells me it’s so funny i haven’t put everything together about his little plan for me. i pretend i’m scared and beg him to tell me. i go to bed at 3 am and figure he’ll come join me soon. i wake up at 6 am really thirsty. i realize i’m in bed alone and i feel more bad than all the other times before. i tell myself to be chill and go back to sleep.
i wake up a few hours later and get him a chai latte and an almond croissant. when i get home he tells me he’s lactose intolerant and doesn’t like almonds. i’m 0/2 and it’s only 11 am. we decide to walk around harvard for the day and each take 600mg of gabapentin. i get dressed and he says i look like an archeologist. i try to pluck his eyelashes out but he says NO and hands me some himself. i go put them in my room and wonder if it’s high concept to eat them. he takes a shower and asks me which towel to use. i say “any of the pink ones” but this isn’t good enough so i go in there and point to them. he pins me against the wall and i’m instantly so horny that i hope he drags me by the hair back to my room. he doesn’t and takes forever to get ready (he’s on his phone) but we finally leave. on the way out, he tells me his coat is from a japanese streetwear brand and is very expensive.
he’s still on his phone so i grab his arm and drag him around like a child. i notice he has a hickey and point it out and he yells that now he can’t see his girlfriend until it’s gone. we walk through harvard yard. we make a couple of loops around and end up in a newbury comics. he asks if i’ll buy him a graphic novel and i decline because i think i’m being tested. he’s loafing around and i tell him he’s much more autistic in person. he says i’m more autistic in person. i feel weird from being hungover and on gaba and not eating so i sit down while he flits around looking for something to eat. we walk up to the indian place but it doesn’t say halal. we walk into a pizza place and leave because it’s too crowded. i begin to think he’s actually shy and has social anxiety (he’s asked me to make all the phone calls) even though he’s pretty bold around me.
we stop at another pizza place but decide to get a milkshake from milk bar. i stand outside because i feel like i’m going to faint. he orders the milkshake after asking if i’ll have some. he sucks down most of it and offers the dregs to me. i decline and he looks annoyed and tells me to carry it. we go to harvard coop and look around very intently. i don’t have my glasses on and can’t actually see anything, so i just follow him around. i think about how i used to go to the bookstore every week and sit around and read for hours but now i’m just on my computer all the time.
he makes me ask the cashier if they have how to murder your life by cat marnell. i say i’ve read that twice and show him the post where it says we read it for book club. he drags me around the corner, pins me against the wall, sticks his knee in my crotch, and says something threatening. my knees give out for a second because i think this is so hot. i wonder if anyone else hears us. we sneak behind a roped off section of the third floor to snoop on the harvard course material. he scoffs at the books. i get him to agree to buy us both a copy of darryl by jackie ess. he gives me his credit card and disappears while i pay.
we’re running and screaming through harvard yard. he says his knees hurt and i point at some kids giving each other piggyback rides and tell him we should do that. he says wait who’s who. i tell him to jump on my back. we’re screeching laughing while i walk twenty feet with him on my back. everyone around us is staring. i drop him and ask why he’s the one out of breath. we’re still laughing.
we try to get into the harvard library but fail. we go to the gallery at the carpenter center for the visual arts. i take a poster for the exhibit and think i’ll tape my eyelashes to it and mail it to him. there’s a video of a clay cat dubbed with a yoga instructor. there’s a room with a mudcloth tent and rugs. we take our shoes off and lay in it. he says he’d like to make an isis beheading video this weekend while he kneels and sticks his head through the tent. i take a picture of him from the other side. the opposite end of the room has a book you can flip through with gloves on. he puts the gloves on and chokes me against the wall until i squirm. we go downstairs to look at the film archive. there’s a poster for a movie we both take a picture of and argue about who gets to post it online. as we go up the stairs he grabs my neck and slams me against the wall. i hit my head pretty hard against the cement and wish he would kiss me.
we run down the street and go to the harvard art museum. we stop for water because we’re both getting a little crazy from not eating or drinking the whole day. we go look at the islamic art. one of us wanders off and i look at the rest of the floor on my own. after a while i really can’t find him so i text him to ask where he is. i say i’m hiding in the bathroom because i’m scared. he’s on the first floor and i take a picture of him and send it to him. we sit and he assures me that nothing bad is going to happen to me. i act scared. we leave and go to the harvard square book store.
again i am asking a cashier for cat marnell how to murder your life. the cashier repeats the title back to me as a question and i say yes, that’s it. they also don’t have it. i cling to his arm and beg him not to be mad at me. he says he’s getting agitated and i stroke his arm and whisper it’s ok over and over. i think about how much fun it is to live in our own increasingly manic world. he tells me to read white noise by don delillo and i say i have and he says i’m the only person he knows who’s read it. he then amends that to say the only girl. he says i inspire him so much and i’m not sure if it’s because we’re having fun or because he thinks i’m illiterate and doesn’t want to be like me. we see a pocket edition of slouching towards bethlehem and he says he’ll buy it for me as a little treat. he gives me his credit card to buy that and some books for himself. we agree that we’re so nice to each other.
we end up in the giant hammocks outside of quincy house. he sits down in the broken one and i try to join him but end up on the muddy ground. he yells at me to get my own but i follow him to the not broken hammock. we lay there a while and decide where to eat dinner. i call giacomo’s (south end) and make a reservation. this whole time he’s been pumped about going to giacomo’s and i don’t know why. we follow some students into quincy house and sneak around. i run and catch a door from someone very conspicuously but no one says anything. we walk around the dorm hallways, avoiding other people. we run up seven flights of stairs to get to the roof but the door is locked so we run to the basement. we’re whispering to each other so we don’t get caught. we exit the building then realize we didn’t check out the other end so we follow more students back in. we sit in the dining hall for a while. he steals a cup of blueberry sparkling water and we leave.
we end up at the same pizza place we walked out of six hours ago. he is dismayed by this. we decide to stay this time. there is a wall of pictures of zuckerburg eating pizza there. we both take a picture. he makes me order and snaps at me to sit down at the corner table. the pizza is hot so i don’t touch it. he pulls out a wet wipe for his hands and cuts his piece up with a knife and fork and leaves me a quarter of it. i grin and eat my portion. he snaps at me again to clean up the table. i wonder what the woman next to us thinks. when we leave i tell him i like when he snaps at me. i tell him i think it was so hot when he wore my leggings out and he asks if i like crossdressing. i say i guess i do. i think about what he’d look like in a dress and shiver a little.
i take us to the bubble tea shop but apparently it closed.
we walk to the gelato rose place and get four ice cream macarons. he snaps at me to sit down and i can feel the old ladies next to us judging me. i beg him, smiling, to let me eat one. he lets me but gets up when he’s done leaving me to clean up. i call giacomo’s and move the reservation back an hour.
we’re back at home getting ready for dinner. he wants to take his daily nap and i try to lay on the couch with him but he pushes me to the floor and tells me i’m being annoying and that’s where i belong. i fall asleep for twenty minutes.
he’s about to take another gaba and asks me why i haven’t taken shrooms yet. i say i will and we bicker for a while about if i actually will. i go to my room to get them and we feed them to each other on the couch. we take an uber to giacomo’s. the second i get out of the car i start laughing because the restaurant is empty and i not only called to make a reservation but called back to change it. we walk in laughing and sit at the corner table. the waiter brings us bread and we wolf it down. he makes me ask if this is the same restaurant as the one in the north end (it is). i don’t read the menu and he orders calamari (i ask for extra sauce once we run out), lobster ravioli, and mussel and squid linguine.
i ask him to put his phone down and we have a normal conversation for a while until the calamari comes. we devour it. he gets up to wash his hands. by the time the pasta comes i’m starting to feel the shrooms. i eat a ravioli and stare into space. i continue to stare into space as he switches the dishes around so he can eat the ravioli. i have a really strong urge to put my arms over my head because they are warm and tingling but i don’t. the music in the restaurant sounds like it’s speeding and slowing when i’m not paying enough attention to actually hear it. i look at the linguine and laugh to myself as i twirl my fork around too many times. i lift and lower the pasta to my mouth a few times before deciding to put it down.
the waiter asks if we want to take the rest of it home and i start to say no but he says yes and the waiter brings over a box. the plate is really, really heavy and i’m scared for a second i will drop it. we have to pay in cash and he has a 100 and i have 72, neither of which are really the right amount. i have a hard time figuring out what the tip should be. we don’t think to ask for change for the 100 so we leave the 72 and i don’t think that’s enough but he says it’s fine so i just go along with it. we leave and he says that was a terrible tip.
it’s windy outside. we cross the street to look at a monument. we’re laughing. he says he wants to see fenway so we head in that direction. i put my arm through his and feel content. we make it twenty feet before ducking into the crook of one of the christian science buildings. i really want to kiss him so i back him into the corner. he starts telling me there’s no special plan for me and i shouldn’t be worried and my rent isn’t being subsidized by the harvard university psychology department and that’s why it hasn’t gone up in five years and that the trucks outside my window every morning are purely coincidental. i alternate between acting scared and smiling. i say, deadpan, i’m glad we can be honest with each other, and we both lose it.
i think i’ve never been so happy. i never want it to stop. i think about how fun it would be to spend the rest of my life in a shared delusion with him. just the two of us in our own little world. we go back to being serious for a second then someone says it’s important to be honest and we lose it over and over again. i hope i get hit by a car tonight so i can die being the happiest girl on earth.
we walk around fenway. it’s fine.
we see a bright haven of halal food amongst the apartment buildings and stop in. we try to figure out what language the employees are speaking. he thinks it’s italian but i think it’s portuguese. it’s portuguese. he wipes his hands and we eat panna cotta and drink lemonade. we take an uber home and i spend the next few hours begging him to sleep in my bed with me. i promise i’ll keep my hands to myself. he says my room smells bad (it doesn’t) and that my bed is too hard (it’s not?). i realize i’m being pathetic but i can’t stop myself i want to lay next to him so badly. i don’t get how he can tease me all day and let me sit on him but not want to sleep next to me. we listen to the perfume nationalist and laugh about it and eventually i go to bed alone and will myself not to think too much about it.
the next morning i wake up filled with dread. i’m sad that he’s leaving and i’m sure he doesn’t like me as much as i like him. i think about all the times i tried to hold his hand and he wouldn’t hold mine back. you don’t have to be alone to be lonely.
i walk in the living room and he wakes up for a minute to mumble something about twenty more minutes. i keep walking down the hall and he yells hi sweetie. i don’t get him coffee and he asks me why. he plays songs over my speakers and says they all remind him of me. we take an uber to kendall and he reads me the wikipedia page that says it’s the most innovative square mile on earth. we go to the mit press bookstore on accident but it ends up being really neat. i sit on the floor and read about airplanes and Women in the Workplace. he snaps at me that we have to go so i buy my books and we go to the stata center.
the stata center is closed due to corona. we turn around and run down a set of stairs, racing each other. i yell “you don’t run you don’t run” until we are out of breath. we run to the river and watch a sailboat capsize and the sailors struggle to right the boat. we provide commentary and giggle and he records us yelling encouragements. we stay until they flip it over then we run back across memorial drive, arm in arm, dodging traffic, back to campus.
all of the buildings are locked and he’s annoyed that i said i could get us into the library with my card. he’s on his phone again. we go around to mass ave and debate hopping over the turnstiles in the engineering building but there are too many people around. we leave and go to the coop. he stops in the student center and buys a spicy tuna roll. he eats it with his hands and snaps at me to finish the last piece. we go to the coop but there are no books there. he asks if i’ll buy him a totebag and some souvenirs and i say yes.
i tell him we’re going to get grilled cheese and he’s so confused about which roxy’s is closed which day and why can’t we go to allston for one. i take him to flour and he orders two sandwiches (neither are a grilled cheese) and four pastries. he pulls out a wipe for his hands. we eat and he tells me which order to try the pastries. we listen to two older guys talk about basketball and i say they should give the ref a gun with a single bullet. he laughs and shows me some posts on his phone. he pulls out another wipe for his hands. he tells me to order an uber but the bus is coming in a few minutes so i convince him to take that instead and say i’ll pay his fare and aren’t we so nice to each other.
we are sitting on the bus and i delightedly ask how it feels to be so close to so many poors. we get off at harvard and walk to the law buildings. we go into one building and get kicked out because he’s looking around too much and appears lost. i scold him and tell him to follow me in the next one. he tells me he got waitlisted to the law school when he applied after undergrad. i think it’s hot that he’s smart. we enter another building and buzz around the lobby looking for an unlocked door. we find one that leads to the offices of all the professors. he reads them all off and asks me if i know them (i know a few). we tiptoe around and whisper and gesture to each other as we go.
we make it to the student center which turns out to be the crowning glory of all the buildings we snuck into the past three days. there we steal face masks and rapid corona tests. we sit in a lounge that looks like it belongs in a hotel and i take the only picture of the two of us i have from the whole weekend. it’s blurry and neither of us are looking at the camera. he says it’s so funny he looks like this because i didn’t want him to get a haircut. i think it’s cute he looks so disheveled just for me. we go up and down the halls and dare each other to walk into an ongoing class. we don’t do it.
we decide we’re late so we walk home. once we’re there i remark on how long it’s going to take him to pack up because he’s so slow at getting himself together. he has to pray before he can pack and when he’s done i tell him i like his prayer mat. i think it’s cool he’s non-ironically into religion and not annoying about it but i don’t say that to him. i ask for some gaba and he gives me one. he asks me over and over if i had fun and i say yes yes yes i think i burned out all my receptors. he says i’m not used to having so much fun and that we will read darryl by jackie ess together and be happy. i ask if he had fun and he says yes and chuckles and i really hope he’s telling the truth. he gets up to leave and i hug him for a long time. he says it’s so funny how i never put all the pieces together. he walks out, i shut the door, pace a little, lay down on the floor, and cry.
i’m hopped up on so many uppers because i didn’t want to be sad today. i didn’t want to be anything today. i keep remembering new things i want to do and forgetting them before i can write them down. my whole day has been
read for book club
we’ve barely talked today and i oscillate between thinking it’s because he doesn’t like me and because he’s a normal person who’s busy after taking a day off of work to see me for a long weekend. i feel insane. he didn’t have to visit me. i desperately want him to feel the same way about me that i do about him, but i know he doesn’t. i’m afraid i’ll never see him again. i remember how he posted “is head cheating?,” think about my weekend, and drink more coffee to distract myself.
i get home from work, sit on the couch, and write a long journal entry. i wonder if i’ve been falling in love and i think i’m an absolute fool for it.
it’s tuesday and the throw pillow on the couch smells like him. it’s tuesday and i wonder how many tuesdays it will stay like that. i breathe in.