Eye of the Story

The Evergreen State College

Author: Cydney

Happy End of the Quarter! – Cydney Garbino

I’ll tell you one thing, I never know what to expect here at Evergreen. It’s different every time. Twists and turns, fuck ups, let downs, and the most joy and happiness I’ve ever had in my entire life. It’s so beautiful, being surrounded by such infinitely incredible creative human beings. You all hold a special place in my heart forever now. Oh no, now I’m getting all sappy… here’s a haiku:


Eye of the Story

You fucked my whole damned world up

Wouldn’t change a thing…


Good enough.

Namaste, you beautiful souls!

Unexpected Inspiration… – Cydney Garbino

I wrote this last night out of the blue. I wrote it for my boyfriend but I might be able to expand and re-frame it for my project. Love is cool.



I have so many thoughts and feelings fluttering around like butterflies in my skull. Delicately dancing in my head, their wings tickle my brain in all the right places to transmit signals down to my stomach and back up through my heart then to the back of my throat. The words have yet to escape past my tongue, but I can tell you know what’s trying to break free. Most people wouldn’t quite catch on, but you see right through me with your x-ray vision. Or could it be you feel this way too? I’m anticipating the day I finally let it slip out behind a fit of giggles, I could sing it, I could scream it. It will probably escape quietly, like a secret, through nervously clenched teeth and taught jaws. Maybe between kisses in the middle of a hot summer night, I’ll tuck the message just behind your ear with gentle purpose… Not now. When it comes, you’ll feel it because it’ll be an unmistakably perfect time when it will mean something and come so strong it lasts a lifetime.

The White Album – Cydney Garbino

Cydney Garbino

Eye of the Story

Winter 2016

The White Album is my favorite reading we’ve done in this program so far. I had never heard of Joan Didion, prior to this quarter. My interest in her work has sparked since reading this book and I can hardly wait to read more by her. I have had a growing interest in the art and culture of the 1960’s since first hearing about the Black Panther’s and the Beats in my middle school humanities classes. I was initially intrigued by the prospect of dropping right into that time period and getting a feel for the events and vibes of that era from someone who lived it. What I didn’t think I’d get was that feeling similar to the one described by Sebald in Rings of Saturn of having lived her experience exactly has she lived it, which isn’t a completely unique reaction, I’m sure. The first essay, sharing the same title as the book itself, is what sparked the closeness I personally felt.

What truly caught my attention in this essay was a thought from the opening in tandem with number 7, in which she talks about the list taped to her closet door, in its entirety. In essence, what she’s talking about come down to two things. The first being a longing for control over our own destinies through a linear narrative and how that particular notion of how life plays out is ultimately not reality. The second being, in order to get to that point, we have to own our imperfections and come to terms with the fact that there will always be something missing so long as we strive for an exact ideal.

Didion claims, “[w]e live entirely, especially if we are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images, by the “ideas” with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria which is our actual experience (11.)” This shifting phantasmagoria, a nightmarish circus, is a spot on description of the infinitely unpredictable nature of the reality which we choose to not think about, for sanity’s sake. For Didion, lack of control in a world where everything seems to have certain elements of order and structure is equal to chaos.

The list further perpetuates this notion. “It should be clear,” she says, “ that this was a list made by someone who prized control, yearned after momentum, someone determined to play her role as if she had the script, heard her cues, knew the narrative (35.)” This list is her safety net, keeping her from chaos.

“We could cruise to the blues…. or whatever you wanna do. We make the rules…” – LDR

I’m still in a state of shock and disbelief about my recent brush with death. It seems surreal to me that I’m still alive and for the most part unscathed; my body isn’t damaged but my mind is scattered. I’m at a near constant battle, struggling to subdue the flashbacks of first looking up, hitting the sign, the wave of fear and panic, I recall zooming jumpily over stacks of piled wood, rising and falling hard like sitting in a chair that’s lower to the ground than anticipated. In the background of all this, The Cranberries doing a cover of The Carpenters’ Close To You and I crash to a halt at the base of an  ancient tree.

Trying not to cry or scream and fighting to maintain control over my emotions after briefly slipping into chaos, I stood in the rain and wind until they could fish my bright red Explorer out of the foliage and mud. On the ride home, I pathetically and shakily attempted to warm my frozen hands by the heater vents. Tried to calm my nerves with deep breaths and blank thoughts. I couldn’t look at the road without feeling like it was going to happen over and over again.

In about an hour or so after that, I had to be clocked in and at my register with a corporate smiled glued to my face. Money takes precedence over just about everything at times like this. But what I needed the most and hadn’t realized how much I needed it until I got it was a hug. Just basic human touch from someone I love, someone who loves me. Once I got that hug, I felt a good chunk of the burden on my shoulders shed itself and I’d never been so grateful for something so simple. I haven’t felt love, like really felt it like that, in a long time. It felt out of reach. I have come to realize that it’s been there all along, I just couldn’t remember how to let it in


Cydney Garbino – Masc/Fem

Paul lights his cigarette

though smoking seems awkward and forced

thinks he’s so cool like he knows something we all just happen to miss

but he’s just a baby, only 21

on the threshold of manhood

cute, not quite handsome

perfect smooth complexion you can almost feel


Paul has this air of confidence and poise

he fills whatever room he enters

he owns the space, even if he’s not in frame


Madeline is very clearly charmed by him

but she’s too cool to swoon over some boy

he can tell from her smile and the way she tousles her hair

that he’s inches away from having her wrapped around his finger


Like Paul and his unfitting habit of smoking, Madeline shrouds her youth beneath casual illusions

simple tricks of the hand to distract those who watch

so as not to be truly seen

but to portray an ideal image of oneself


In a way, that’s sort of what youth is all about

it’s a game you’re just learning how to play

a magic show

a social experiment

take it all in and examine

look in the mirror

manipulate tweak scratch cut smoke

be somebody


Try something new

try to get laid

and once you think you have it all figured out

the game changes

when it all comes down to it, there are no rules


He’s a bad boy intellectual

She’s a talented beauty with a hypnotic smile

but it doesn’t really matter

since we’re all just playing pretend

or maybe it does…






Thought Bubble – Cydney Garbino (week… I lost count)

What a fucking week… It’s been brilliant, crazy, chaotic, and scary. I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs this week. Yesterday I began my first film as an actor and wrecked my car shortly after. I worked the late shift every night and woke up at the crack of dawn. I made some new connections but I forgot where my heart ought to be. I miss my baby sister. She’s already grown so much. 5 weeks old. I think I’m falling in love and I’m remembering what it’s like to love and be loved. Couscous is delicious. I need a goddamn nap…

Cydney Garbino – The Smell of Burning Ants

The film I have chosen to work with is Jay Rosenblatt’s The Smell of Burning Ants because of way that the narration, score, and images come together to paint a terrifying picture of boyhood in a hyper-masculine culture.  The initial viewing in class was a jarring experience but after watching the film again made it easier to pick apart because I knew what to expect.

Images – There’s something about the scene with the two boys, one pushing the other one down as he screams and cries which is inaudible to the audience. Then the boy takes him down to the ground. It’s all in slow motion, which both add to the dramatic effect of the interaction. I felt concerned and a little ache in my heart, the way a mother might.

Images & Score – The eerie music in the background as the screen flashes to a lineup of smiling school children makes them seem borderline menacing and, at the very least, that they’re up to no good. Rosemblatt slows the pace of the found footage throughout a lot of the film to intensify actions and make the audience really look at what’s going on. The music shrouds the film in a creepy, animalistic, Lord of the Flies-esque mood.

Narration – Rosenblatt’s narration throughout the film depicts the very real emotional struggle of what’s expected of young boys in a patriarchal, violence based society and being trapped in a binary gender construct. These particular quotes struck me the most:

“Boys become boys in large part by not being girls. The ones who don’t figure this out are the same ones who get beaten up. Later he will be with women and feel what he has been robbed of.” Referring to femininity, softness, emotions, domesticity…

“A boy is told not to cry.” Why is it that boys aren’t allowed to show their emotions or be vulnerable? Why are they punished for feeling?

“He is seven years old and is told to be a man.” …without even knowing what it means to be a man. What does it mean to be a man anyway?

And again, I’m hit with this maternal pain in my chest and my guts in knots…I’m left with issues and questions which no clear answers. I think that’s what makes this film brilliant is that it’s kind of scary and it makes you think and care. At least, that was my experience.

Perspective/The Clock Tower – Cydney Garbino Journal

Patches of blue skies

the fluffiest gray clouds roll by

like ocean waves

in slow motion overhead

The Clock Tower looks less menacing

with the golden glow of the afternoon sun

warming up its stone cold face

Despite it being consistently 10 minutes fast on the side facing Red Square

it’s one of my favorite parts of campus

and the view of it from here,

a sofa on the first floor of Sem2 A,

Simply can’t be beat.


Bad With Titles – Journal Cydney Garbino

I’ve never been the best at coming up with titles but I’m remarkable at captions, blurbs, band names, and innovative new slang. I love Tumblr because it let’s me think outside the box in a somewhat structured yet unstructured way. It’s like Evergreen in the sense that you do what you want but you have to do it right or it just doesn’t work. 

It also just takes me out of my mind for a minute; numbs my brain so I can refresh. If you’re not familiar with Tumblr, it’s stuffed to the gills with images. Brain candy. Steamy erotic fan fiction is a guilty pleasure. It softens the blow of real life pain with dramatic, artistic expressions of pain. One can relate to the content and that sort of fills the void that reality drills into a person. 

To avoid the pain of how I keep getting my heart broken over and over again exponentially, I ogle over fictitious men whom I can love with all my heart and though they’ll never love me back, I’ll never be rejected. Their airbrushed hyper masculine figures adorned with tattoos and facial hair melt my heart like butter on a fresh croissant. 

I don’t think there’s a time or place in real life where I simultaneously love and loath myself so much and in such equal measure than when I’m scrolling through Tumblr. 



*note: image unrelated… or is it?

© 2023 Eye of the Story
The Evergreen State College
Olympia, Washington

Log inUp ↑