A sweet old photo from the Tunnel Brunch that I took.
- Somi and I spent a lot of time together in my room one night in mid-May planning the Textile event. We had been really excited about this “soundtrack” idea that included a mixture of songs and dictating poems or stories out loud. She picked a short story about teeth. It was a perfect choice—the balance between guttural and gorgeous that is Tunnel. Dentaphilia turned out to be 20 minutes long when read out loud; Somi sat beside me while I read and read until I was talking in the gummy way that happens when you run out of saliva. The day of the event we decided that listening to a soundtrack of our own voices is really uncomfortable and ended up not using any of the recordings.
- The first time I met Somi, as in recognized her from Facebook and introduced myself, she was wearing wide-leg overalls!
- Olivia Nouriani was wearing the pair of pineapple pants two days ago and four different people, in the span of a couple minutes, mentioned how those were “Somi pants.”
- I ran into Somi, kind of literally, when jogging on Monday. I didn’t quite get to express how happy and excited I was to see her because I was so out of breath.
- There are few relationships that have remained constant in my life throughout the past couple of years. I receive so much comfort from them. I tell myself that I can hold on.
- Somi visited the newspaper class at school when I was in APES this week and I told all my friends to let me know when she came and I don’t know if they forgot to tell me until the last minute or what but by the time I found out the 20/20 rule had been instated and I had missed her.
I scrolled back to the gestation of our relationship, the offer to join staff way back when I sent shitty poetry to Tunnel. I then read every Facebook message Somi and I exchanged: quite boring, usually logistical except for a little bit of hype around prom season (moth in the wind!). I wished there was more tangible evidence of how much I cared for her, more hearts I sent or something, because it was so valuable to me to have Somi, like a pink-pom-pom-earringed angel in my life.
Perhaps my favorite Somi quality is the art to her editing skills. It seeps through in Tunnel, in our school’s Tiger newspaper, in the history of Google Docs. I will always revel in the way she articulates and manages to capture what exactly needs to be fixed and why. This is everpresent in her own work, her inner monologues over a bowl of fruit loops, her poetic juxtaposition between what is said and what is not said. Somi’s writing laces experience with word mastery, syntax with succinctness.
Somi started and incubated Tunnel to the impressive conglomerate it is now, and I will remember always what she shared with us staff and also the community of young artists. I try to carry myself without regrets and constantly reaffirm that fact as I move through high school. But of course this is a bit impossible because I wish I hung out with Somi more.
Happy Princeton, Somi Jun! I promise to run a safe ship over here.