Friday, December 29, 2006

Woe Is Me.

When I was younger I thought the hallmarks of being a Grown Up were drinking coffee and reading the newspaper, but whenever I buy a copy of the paper I stick to the art, entertainment and obituary sections and my coffee usually has enough sugar in it to be mistaken for some sort of caffeinated kool-aid.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

A Practical Theory of Relativity

Sometimes I think about the Girls Gone Wild franchise -- specifically, the Spring Break videos -- and I realize, with a fair bit of horror, that many of those drunken, slutty, borderline-retarded chicks actually finished college or university.
Which I failed to do.

Back when I was in college, I would often think about the sleazy, exploitative 21-year old punk who devised of the Girls Gone Wild franchise and is now a goddamn millionaire.

So, of the above mentioned, which of us is the most offensive?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

During The One Hour I Slept...

I dreamt that Ryan, Dickie and I lived together in my old house on Calla Ave. We lounged on the couch and read magazines. Richard came in and handed me one: A Hundred Different Hairstyles. This should fix it, he said. "My hair?" I asked, and he shrugged.

Typical.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Out For A Walk.

There's a car parked outside our apartment with an open (broken?) window and a piece of cardboard affixed to the opening that ominously warns: Stay out! You're being watched!

The UC Berkeley tower bells, sadly but maybe inevitably, have stopped ringing.

Monday, December 4, 2006

There's A Hole In My Heart That Can Only Be Filled By You

The painstakingly well-preserved issues of Rolling Stone and Spin from the mid 90's that lined the bottom of the drawers of a dresser are now thrashed and trashed in a cardboard box, useless, but to be held as evidence. The very clear memory of reading interviews with Courtney Love which sooner or later would always come to the inevitable question of just how, exactly, her band got its name. She always attributed it to something her mother said once, chastising her during a phone conversation: You can't go walking around with this hole inside of you.

How odd is it to still remember that, to sometimes say it to myself, under my breath? It is not a matter of feeling empty, of feeling a need to be filled up, but the vague fear that maybe some holes can't be filled, maybe they just keep going and going.

The funny thing is that she changed her answer after awhile. Maybe she got bored or maybe she decided it wasn't quite a good enough story, but in later interviews she claimed that the band name was a reference to Medea. (Even though I'd read the tragedy I could never figure out the connection or the passage she was referring to.) Maybe she didn't think anyone would notice, but most likely she just didn't care. Maybe it was just nice to be able to give an answer that didn't reveal something quite so truthful.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Nonsensical

This may be where it started: That fall of freshman year of highschool, with the best friend-to-be pulling me aside, asking me just what my problem was, why I was shutting up, holding back. There was something about her that I couldn't quite put my finger on, but it seemed best not to get too close or to trust too much. Why don't you like me, she had wanted to know during those first few weeks. I mumbled something about the fact that she scared me, reminded me of the sort of girl who'd read your journal when you weren't looking or steal the towel from your shower stall for a laugh.

At the time she was offended, and I was eventually convinced that I was being irrational. Neither of us hardly expected that I could possibly be psychic, that both of those things (and so many more) would actually come true. I hardly expected to get that close or to get that hurt, and to be ridiculous enough to try again as soon as the wounds had healed.

How do you know what is intuition and what is paranoia? I stopped listening to both awhile back and now I wonder if that's why I've gotten blind-sided so many times in the past year or so. Is instinct a "use it lose it" sort of thing, if you fail to take advantage of it, will it end up getting rusty or leaving you?

And once you realize it's missing, how do you get it back?

Sunday, November 26, 2006

I'm Sticking With Chateau

Computer-generated aliens attach jumper cables to the ears of the Energizer Bunny so that their ailing space ship can depart Earth and return to its own planet.
Small white text at the bottom of the screen identifies this situation as a "Dramatization".

Oh god, I'm sad.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Inertia

here's this line from an old TV show that no one (besides R because he knows every line ever said on television/in movies) would remember. I have no idea why I remember it. Something about seeing the same people over and over and just what, exactly, is the point of that? Is God running out of people to cast as the extras in your life? Why are the people you didn't like the first time through reappearing, getting recycled?

Thinking about this lately, or at least some variation of it. Wondering why old boyfriends and friends always seem to return when you least expect them, optimistic about that second chance that never really works out. This used to seem somehow exciting or validating, but now it just feels like the plot of some horror movie where brain eating zombies keep coming back from the dead.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Genius

I tend to use the phrase, "South Park did an episode about that," as a means of validating and showing approval for an idea.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Get Off The Internet

Will it always be like this? Wondering how people make friends with one another, just like that? It feels too much like being 14 years old and trying to figure out how sex works, knowing that it happens all the time, that it's perfectly normal, and despite spending so much time imagining it, you can't actually ever imagine it will happen, you can't imagine how it would happen.

Usually I don't pay much attention to personality tests, but the other day I took one and the results said that I was equal parts schizoid (someone who doesn't hang arond others and doesn't want to) and avoidant (someone who doesn't hang around others but does really want to) and I couldn't help thinking that the two of those together is contradictory, nonsensical and completely true.

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

It Was a Spin-Off of The Cosby Show, Afterall

Now that I'm older, I realize that A Different World is just about a bunch of white people at college.

Friday, November 3, 2006

Say...

Have you ever noticed how hard it is sometimes to tell the difference between a decision of recklessness and one of self-preservation?

I wonder with widening eyes and a quickened heartbeat: Who does stuff like this?

Me. Apparently.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween

Findagrave.com has the somewhat peculiar feature of allowing you to rate a dead celebrity's famousness on a scale from one to five. I'm not entirely sure what the point of this is, but of course that didn't stop me from giving George Eliot five stars.

Did you notice how haunted the moon looked tonight?

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Triptych

An entry in which I vaguely allude to yet another instance of being made to feel demoralized and embarrassed:


version 1: there is only enough time in the any given day to do everything that needs to be done as halfhearted and half-assed as possible.

version 2: on second thought, fuck off.

version 3: these emotions are like rabbit holes. Do you know what I mean?

There are days when even the excessive amounts of caffeine, the countdown to winter, and the words of comfort from people who care aren't quite enough. There are days that feel inconsolable, they threaten to devour everything in their path. It seems like the people who often end up making me feel like a bad human being aren't the people who really have a right to even make me feel like this to begin with, so why do I let this shit bother me?

Oh: because these comments have a way of tapping into that ever-present fear of being a disappointment.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Things That Suck And Blow

That new Justin Timberlake video was on my little brother's TV when I left to do laundry. When I returned, the video was starting over. So I'm assuming my complex's laundry room is some kind of space-time vortex similar to a blackhole but with directly inverse properties.

There can't be any other explanation.

Robert U. Terwilliger (I Almost Forgot To Mention It)

Yesterday at work I sold a book to a man with the same name as Sideshow Bob and I was all holy shit, my head just exploded.

Just thought I'd mention it.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Have A Nice Day.

Result of a misspelled Google search for The Sorrows of Young Werther:

Did you mean Sorrowful Weather?


So much time has been spent wishing for friendships that come to nothing. Do you know what I mean? Maybe once every few years or less, you meet someone and think to yourself that this person must be part of your life, you're not certain that you have the room or time but you want to try to find both, you want to offer them a space to snuggly fit into like a jigsaw piece, and you want them, of course, to accept it.

It hardly ever happens this way, as far as I can tell. I'm not sure how to convince such people to be my friend if they weren't already inclined to be, and I feel vaguely discouraged and overwhelmed when trying to think of the possible ways to try to make this happen, how to make myself more important to someone.

In the past few months I've tried to convey something like this, in so many mumbled words, to three different people I like very much. In the first instance the reply was a laugh and an indefinite promise "to have lunch sometime," which turned into a guarantee to be "cordial the next time we see each other, but that's as far as it's going to go." The second instance was strong and almost inpenetrable, an imperative need to meet, which is still up in the air. In the third instance, there was no reply.

Thursday is going to be good for me. A little bit of Long Beach goes a long way.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Bob Ross? Bob Ross!

Where the hell is the The Joy of Painting? It's 7:30 in the morning on a Saturday and I'm 21 years old. Why the hell else would I be up right now, watching PBS? I expected to see a meek, white Christian with an afro telling me about happy little trees and secret squirrels. Instead, I've got Thomas the Tank Engine and his idiot friends perpetually going off the tracks. My heart is broken.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

(I) Wish (I) List

Sitting in my chair listening to a story on NPR about failed plans to create an elevator that can go in more directions than just up and down. Not entirely unlike the Wonkavator in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the voice over says.

After work (2:30am) D and I headed to Ralph's to get some groceries because the real shopping doesn't fit into our schedules until the middle of next week (and also because Ralph's is conveniently open 24 hours). While I'm standing there staring at the frozen vegetables, two young men approach the items next to me. The tall man (slightly resembling Trent from MTV's Daria) says to the other that he wants a girlfriend and is considering asking for one for Christmas.

Before I smile I try to make sure that no one is looking.

Sunday, October 8, 2006

Thought For Food?

Hadn't thought about them in a long while, those conversations I used to have with M. We were always competing against one another for who could seem the more doomed for life. It's weird, to be 18 and talk so incessantly about being finished, over and done with, to claim that you won't ever have another relationship because who would ever notice you, anyway? It's even weirder to have this kind of conversation with someone who you are theoretically, abstractly, impossibly entangled with. I remember being alone again after a relationship that felt like a year long experiment, and M. had said something like See? You were wrong. You have a chance. We were always talking to each other like that. As if we were a pair of invalids or characters in a Beckett play instead of just a couple of lonely kids.

I guess there are weirder ways to spend your night after work, but reading these old teenaged notes and then systematically splicing them up into tiny, tiny pieces has to be one of the stranger pastimes. But when you accidentally find high school relics, what else can you really do with them? One set consisted of notes I had written back and forth to a girl who sat across from me in an English class. Another was from a friend who (in retrospect) seemed to write exclusively about potentially flattering hairstyles for herself and which boys found her attractive. The last set, the ones I actually spent time really rereading, were from the best, best friend who wrote of anything and everything, whose notes were hilarious and ridiculous and smart and affectionante and cruel. When I was younger I had always thought I would someday grow up nd have this really solid group of friends, a karass or something, but there have only ever been a couple of moments where it felt like this could happen, was happening, and then so quickly it'd fall apart, never for ordinary, manageable reasons, but because someone dropped out or had a breakdown or became a junkie or got pregnant.

It occurred to me today that I'm technically too old for this business, at this point, no one in their early 20s thinks this much about making or keeping or losing friends, do they? It seems like people are maybe more worried about finding partners, pairing off.

While I was in Berkeley I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what my problem was, how I could feel lonesome yet remain so ambivalent about meeting people, especially ones I'm technically supposed to have things in common with. Did I find these people boring, or was I worried that I maybe bored them? I spent most of my time with a girl whom I had a class with. She talked about Persian culture as if she were sort of madly in love with it; I liked the way she said my name.

Sometimes it is so easy to feel sorry for myself about it, to think about how much I really want a best girl friend, how much I really miss having one and how impossible it seems in this age and moment to find anything close to that. And then always, it strikes me: let's not get greedy.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

In Remembrance.

Right now instead of doing what I'm supposed to be doing (resting, drinking lots of fluids, getting unsick), I'm watching a DVD of Sonic Youth videos. Did I ever tell you that Thurston Moore sat next to me once at a poetry reading in Long Beach? We were both wearing the same shoes.

[20 minutes later]...

It's getting late, and while I should be getting to bed, instead I am watching The Man Without A Face and have made some tea to help my immune system. My heart has been in a tangle lately. And in an effort to resolve the pain, I just start to remember past days, and what love was like for me then...

I always daydreamed of falling in love in fractured, improbable ways, like becoming infatuated with someone who wrote insightful comments in the margins of the library copy of a favorite book and then trying to track them down. A few years ago I was likely to get a crush on any college radio DJ who had a nice voice and played songs by Low and Bright Eyes. How did it take me so long to catch on? This is the sort of thing that seems romantic in fiction but makes people uncomfortable in real life.

I could stay single forever and be absolutely okay with it. But I still need love.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

But Tonight You're Sleeping Alone Without Him

I try not to think about it and that makes my heart kind of heavy, so then I do think about it but my heart doesn't seem to feel any lighter. At this point I can't pinpoint what upsets me or how to even begin to fix it. All I know is that sometimes it's kind of hard to believe that you actually exist.

I guess the trouble is that even when I'm sure of something I somehow still have a hard time saying it like I really mean it.

When other people get stressed or frustrated or blue they eat or drink or sleep or go shopping. Lately I've been feeling one or all of these things so during my lunch hour today I hid on the second floor of the bookstore and looked at art books. Have you seen any of Francesca Woodman's work? Lately I've been spending a lot of time staring at her photos and thinking about what it means to be hidden and exposed all at once.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I Was A Teenage Fortune Cookie

Haven't quite finished 2001: A Space Odyssey or Bluebeard, but rereading The Bell Jar for the first time since jr. high. It conjures up uncomfortable memories of uncomfortable things like gym class, bloodied underpants, and Saved by the Bell. I tried to reread it freshman year of college but failed. I remember being a bit too scared to read it, but now I'm not sure if I was scared of Esther Greenwood's past or my own.


It's funny, somehow or other, to think of what does and doesn't scare you when you're 13. I remember sitting in the cafeteria asking friends how they'd do it, if they had to kill themselves. I remember thinking this was a perfectly reasonable and appropriate question to pose over a lunch of greasy pizzas and pretzels dunked in processed nacho cheese, it didn't seem the least bit upsetting or unpleasant, it was just simply a question, much like asking, if you could be any animal, what animal would you be? There were much more practical things to be frightened of, like the boy in art class who liked to incessantly remind me that he did not think I was the least bit pretty. (This always seemed silly to me for a variety of reasons, one of which was that the boy was over 250lbs and not terribly pretty himself, but then, you don't try to explain the concept of irony to someone whose entire wardrobe consists of Megadeth t-shirts.)


I'm getting sidetracked.


But my point is, that it wasn't the pills or nooses or the breakdowns that worried me. There were other pieces of the book that were far more sinister and mysterious. I began to panic about whether or not boys' exposed crotches really did look like turkey gizzards, and if girls truly did make a bloody mess afterwards. There wasn't anyone to ask, of course, and these questions seemed as fascinating and impossible as trying to figure out what made a Ouija board move.


It's almost disappointing, somehow, that the book doesn't scare me a bit this time. There's something really jarring in realizing that being madly in love is utterly dependent on the time and the place.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Something More, Something Less

All day, sidetracked with the idea of shutting up like a telescope and I couldn't figure out why. It was only awhile later that I realized that it had come from Alice in Wonderland. I'd probably save myself an awful lot of trouble if I just assumed that all random thoughts that seem vaguely familiar can be traced back to Alice.

Last night I had a curious dream about a boy whom I don't talk with very much at all anymore. In the dream we ran into each other at an art museum and he told me about a class he was taking on cemeteries. A cemetery class! I exclaimed, and then sighed forlornly, wondering how I ever let him get away.

Not that that's exactly how it went, of course, but that's beside the point. What is more to the point is the strange way that something entirely fictional can dredge up entirely nonfictional feelings and emotions. Not that it's anything serious; I suppose it just makes me wonder if such feelings are ever finished, final, or if perhaps they simply hibernate, waiting patiently to be triggered, coaxed out of their hiding places.

Saturday, September 9, 2006

(no subject)

Lately listening to that American Analog Set guy/Death Cab for Cutie guy split EP. Listening to it on headphones, and it's the kind of music that was meant to be listened to this way, the whispered words fading into your ears feel like the slightest, most perfect touch, like a hand grazing your arm or a kiss on the neck.

Thinking that this is the most physical contact there's going to be for awhile, which should seem like a bit of a relief, but it isn't.

Last night I had so many dreams. Not the standard run of the mill nightmares about ax murderers or rotten teeth and lousy haircuts, but ones about shopping for hoodies and late night drives that go nowhere and the apartment in Berkeley; things so simple and prosaic that they felt more like real life than anything does while I'm awake.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Defining Characteristics

ATTN: i have a new favorite word! my new favorite word is "trollop." it came to me as in a dream on my stroll to the laundry room.
trol·lop
n.
1. A woman regarded as slovenly or untidy; a slattern.
2. A strumpet.

although, i have to say, "strumpet" is running a pretty close second.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

It's Just Missing; No, I Don't Mind It.

There's something apparently intimate, endearing about a lost voice. To small children it is, evidently, magical. They lean in close and tell you things as though they were divulging, not just answering simple questions.
Would you like a sticker?
Yes.
What are you going to do with it?
I'm going to put it on my jacket.

Imagine this whispered with hands cupping a little mouth to prevent anyone outside the conversation from seeing what is being said.

How did you lose your voice? Were you iceskating?

Are you sad?

Will your voice ever come back?

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Come On, Think About It.

I bet you could feel it from all the way up north, my mental packing and travel toward you. We could keep a Williamsburg apartment, cluttered with old things and books, listen to records and only cook brunch. Every other meal: out. We can hold hands occasionally, and at arms' length we'll spill out our best haikus (all of them). We could stay beautiful. Well dressed in every sense; better that way, and we could be happy by ourselves forever.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Some New Material For The Slightly Defeated...

my picture of hell is to yell
my name
my love
my passion
down a long, dark tunnel
and hear only
my name
my love
my passion
echoed back to me in blank mockery

if love is to say "yes" in a world that says "no"
i am ultimately, eternally
in love and heart broken

by empty faces, staring eyes
and mouths too shy to speak.

it's so hard to go on alone.

Monday, August 7, 2006

The Swings Are Down.

There is no possible way to know beforehand, for all the scripted words, mirrored conversations, paragraphs chanted rhythmically into stale car interiors, how it is that things will turn out.

Sometimes I lose and sometimes I win.

Sometimes nothing happens for a long time.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

I Can Pack A Bag In Less Than 30 Minutes.

I desperately want to trade lives
with someone living in Oregon.

Friday, July 21, 2006

I Don't Need A Secret Handshake.

Sometimes we make things harder than they have to be, and pushiness begets pushiness as so many other negative things call for the equally negative in neat pairs - a lack of tact and a lack of acceptance, subtlety, naivete and snobbery.

I'm saying this because I wouldn't have blamed you -- didn't for a long time, but it's worn on me. I feel like a record that's been left on its turntable for years, the same song digging deeper and deeper, sounding worse with each repetition.

"It's true, what can you do?"

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

You Have To Appreciate That, At Least.

During my lunch hour, two little girls walking in front of me were discussing how scary Jurassic Park is. It had me thinking about how when I had first seen it, during all the dinosaur parts, it was hard for me to sympathize with the people getting eaten. I kept thinking, 'Sure, you're getting killed, but you're getting killed by a DINOSAUR.'

Oldest And Dearest.

Everyone's pissed at you except __ and __, if you can believe it, he said, and I guess I only am because you never answer the phone and you're probably staring at the wall, waiting for me to finish.

Some people know you better than you want them to.

I bet you woke up at ten today and spent like an hour getting dressed. You probably changed clothes atleast three times.

Check.

And you're scared to talk to us because you're so... I don't know what.

Crazy.

And don't say "crazy." You're so avoidant. Just call me back. We're only mad because we love and miss you and you need to start returning phonecalls.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Unlikely.

Sometimes I wonder if the world would be a better place if human beings derived as much pleasure from going slowly as they do from going quickly.




Probably not...

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Fine, Thank You.

1. If I don't know you well I answer the question of how I am with fine, thank you. Once I know you well, I drop the thank you. Backwards, or at least half-rude, assuming you aren't actually interested is right or at least an acceptable theory, ("'how are you' is a greeting, not a question.") but I need to remember to be polite.

2. My friend used to answer completely honestly, every time. I'd ask her and she'd shake her brown hair -- Oh, really bad. Something about it made me smile later, remembering, no matter how tragic the following story, no matter the strife my poor friend had encountered at the grocery store just ten minutes before I saw her, that honesty was endearing, as was the assumption that I was interested.

3. I was, usually.

4. She still does this, but has a much happier life.

Saturday, July 8, 2006

I Wonder, Sometimes. I Wander, Too.

Yesterday I spent my lunch hour drinking Lapsang Souchong tea in the cafe on 4th ave reading One More for the Road, listening to a boy who was [wearing a sweatshirt that said 'Nintendo'] talking about Barthes' Death of the Author, four more hours at work, and a few moments staring at the window, looking at a man look at his reflection in the window while pushing his hair behind his ears and drinking a small bottle of Hustler's finest drinking water.

I suggested the sales towers to him and sold two containers of flavored lubricant, and a blow-up doll for his friends.

It was a talking Blow Up Sheep Doll.

Friday, June 30, 2006

I'm Luckier Than I Remembered.

What is love, anyway, in explanation? Persistence and donuts on Sundays, emails that trail off but assert the obvious, anyway: I love you because I do. It is holding the receiver up to the sky to hear the sounds of the wind in separate parts of the town, state, country, so I can tell that part of the world that I love it, too. Persistence. It is telling me that you will keep trying no matter how unrespnsive I get.
I have these people already.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Is It?

Sometimes I like to think that crossing your fingers is a good thing.

Monday, June 12, 2006

It's News To Me, Too.

Sometimes my friend's face gets very serious. Today it did and he said, "You need to learn how to laugh again."

I kind of want ballet flats.

Friday, June 9, 2006

...

Grey sky today. The winds coming in. I can drink hot tea, pretend it's autumn, and that I'm perfectly on top of my life.

Thursday, June 8, 2006

Old Advice For New Problems

I'm caught in a dream and I cant get out
I'm caught in a dream
I'm caught in an endless dream

And I'm not strong enough to let you go,
And I have tried everything
...But that



It's so hard to admit it, but I'm weak. I'm a terrible mess. Nobody'd ever stop to think that this would have happened to me, but here I am, in an all too familiar situation for broken hearts. I'm not going to sit and ask why it's happening to me, I know why.

I was too quiet. Too expectant. I needed you to rescue me, but I never told you that. I assumed you should already have known, that when you looked at me, you would sense it and rush right over with a lolli pop and a trip to the park. I expected some romantic John Cusack film, because my friends all took care of me in that sense. They gave me the intimacy I wanted and needed, except with them it was friendly, not romantic.

But that was my problem. I assumed that you would know what to do, because most other people did. Simple gestures, simple simple simple... But you are not like most people. It's understood. Now that it's too late, it's understood.

What I should do is learn to be okay. The way that you are now. Not as hurt and not as broken. Is there some secret technique that I am not aware of? Were you pulled aside in high school and taught to hide emotions, or not feel any at all? Or is it simply because some people just aren't worth being sad for?

In any case, all of this depression has driven me to capture a cold, and so here I sit with a stuffy nose, raw throat, and heavy head.

When my brother was younger, and had been acting idiotically, my uncle would look at him sternly and ask him to swiftly jerk his head upward.

When I asked him why he was to do this, he explained that he needed to get his head out of his ass.

Though you can't see it, reader, this is me swiftly jerking my head upward.

Broken, shattered, and completely not myself,
agreentealeaf

Friday, May 19, 2006

It's Just How It Goes.

Months ago during a conversation about being in love, I was asked how many times it had happened, replied "2 to 4" and then laughed, realizing it sounded like a snow forecast. It's not that I'm indecisive, I'm just not sure how can you possibly know. Even if you are certain at the time, even if the emotions feel so strong that it seems like they surely must be real, facts found in textbooks. Memories are like icebergs, so slow that you don't notice they're constantly moving and shifting and changing, that maybe one day they'll convince you of just the opposite of what you thought you believed.

Somehow I was aware of this when I was 14 and in love with a boy that I never even spoke to. I made myself promise that when I got older I would never not let him count, would never try to dismiss it as a thing of youth or inexperience because surely the pain of it was real enough, and what's the point of scars if you can't hold onto the story of how you got them?

Saturday, May 6, 2006

Tightrope

So progress isn't always linear.

This heart-in-my-throat shtick isn't working.

I don't want to keep feeling upset about something I don't have any control over.

I could seriously fucking use a hug.

I'm doing the best that I can.

Thursday, May 4, 2006

Closed Book. It's All Too Late, For Now.

It's a strange feeling when you think you're just going to see a movie, but you end up paying no attention to it and focusing on your life. You squirm uncomfortably in your seat, wondering if he is feeling the same way or feeling anything at all. By the time the credits roll, you feel like collapsing, crying, and you're not even sure if it's really all that sad, or if you're just feeling extra sorry for yourself.

Was any of it ever real?

Oh, I know just what you mean.

And then I tell myself the obvious, the logic that does absolutely no good at all: Do not pick at the wounds, they'll turn into scars. Do not let yourself go. Do not let the silence, get into your blood stream, pull you away from people, other possibilities. This replays in my head like one of those recordings you hear in airports that instructs you not to accept gifts from strangers and not to stray too far from your luggage. The words are practical but entirely useless.

Eyes cloudy, the storm is here.

I don't want to be driven away.

Open the book.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

The State Of Being Caught In Dreams

There is apparently some spam-producing e-mail program that uses random words to generate the names on the e-mail accounts it uses. These e-mails are always received with the same subject line, and they have names like, "Fluctuation V. Barbershop" and, my favorite, "Bloodthirsty H. Ninnies."

Bloodthirsty H. Ninnies!!!

In other news:

Lately, I want to wear the same outfit every day, like a uniform. I want the smell of oranges on my fingertips for company. I want to sit in a room with the lights off and the rain against the windows watching movies in technicolor. These days, nobody wants to hear stories about little boys who climb mountains with lions, about little girls searching for their fathers, lost at sea. I want to be done with the people who want to be done with me. I want the bowed legs of crickets to sing me to sleep, swaddled in the warm cocoon of a bedroom. I want to be caught in hibernation like a bear, heavy with fur, with knowing the seasons and the changes they bring. I want to be loved or to be left alone.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Back To Bed

Last night, a series of dreams:

One where we were driving around a town near where I grew up which is locally famous for its "historic quaintness." I pointed out a one-hundred-fifty-year-old house that I sang Christmas carols at when I was a little girl. You were driving and it was snowing and I asked you to slow down and you did. Later I wondered if perhaps that is just how someone who has many years of driving experience behind him drives through the snow.

Another where you were in my actual, real life bedroom, killing spiders that were the size of a copy of David Copperfield. We listened to Cat Stevens afterwards and played chess on the livingroom floor.

And also: one in which I was looking for you at night in some sort of Manderley-esque estate, maybe even equipped with a lit candle and floor-length nightgown. What are you doing sleeping in this room? I wanted to know when I had finally found you. We snuck back to my bedroom and, well, what happened next is far too obvious to tell you.

Woke up much later than usual, feeling determined to sleep the whole rest of the day, although I didn't, at all.

I walked to the Farmer's Market for Kettlecorn and had no intentions of enjoying it in its entirety. I just haven't been feeling it. Next weekend, I reassured myself, Next weekend. Next...

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

And I Love You.

I was sitting on my mother's bed in a black skirt and hobo-green jacket, much too large for me, on the line with Ryan. It seemed like a shoddy connection and I couldn't make out all that was said (because of my sniffling and silence and terrible phone), and at some point, became preoccupied with the scent streaming off the jacket. But I got a refresher on how he says things and what it's like to be his friend. How I can imagine where the back pats would go and when he would lean forward and pull himself away.

"I want you to hold on to that."

"...Okay."

It's funny how things are so easily dismantled. I haven't been able to talk to you very much about the things that I'd like to, but please know that I think of you every day, please know I shuffled through my catalog of pictures the other night to find the one of you watching baseball stats in shock at a Sushi bar.

It is mounted on my screen.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Pardon Our Mess, We're Rennovating!

Is there anything worse than a journal entry about writing journal entries? But oh, lately (lately as in the past however many months) it has been so hard to write, to find things to say, to gather together enough to make something, however small or modest. (The awful, sinking feeling of trying to sew a dress entirely out of scraps.) I used to feel so baffled and even annoyed when hearing someone declare that they couldn't keep a journal because they simply didn't have anything to say. This seemed unreasonable, impossible; clearly they just weren't trying, I thought.

But lately ("lately") this feeling of being stuck, stumped. I've been inventing all sorts of creative excuses, too - about how maybe I just don't have enough time or enough sadness (isn't it always easier to write about being unhappy about something?) or that it's hard to make yourself write things down when you're always around someone, how it's so much easier to simply make them your journal. So anyway, I guess I'm trying to say that I'm not quite sure what to do in this sort of situation other than just get through it, confess to feeling a bit clumsy and embarrassed, to start writing more again, start paying closer attention.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

It's Going To Be Nice, Is What I Mean.

I've always liked riding on buses and trolleys. I used to hop on one whenever I was going somewhere and ride from one terminus to the other, not really caring where I end up. There's something quite soothing about being on a bus and watching the world go by outside. It feels like real life is put on hold for that little while. No matter how late you are for whatever it is that you are rushing for, you really don't have much of a choice but to just sit back, enjoy the view, and ride it out.

Sometimes it's nice to cede control like that. For that couple of hours, you are truly all relaxed because there isn't anything you can really do at all except to think and dream and read and rest.

I used to take a bus for one and a half hours to school every day. I read poems on the bus, formulated arguments, had discussions with myself, planned essays and dinner, struck up random conversations with strangers, laughed at random people, caught up with elusive sleep, thought about all of the stops I would make someday along the bus route in search of a playground with swings, a nice picnic spot under a huge tree, sweet rice or oriental herbal soup, or a pet store I see from the road. I did make some of those stops in the three years I went by that way; the rest lie forgotten, untrodden and unknown, a crinkly, yellowed leaf in the archives of my mind.

But the change in scenery will allow me the opportunity to delve my mind for those moments, and wants and urges.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Give Me Blue Silk Wings, Red Velvet Rose Petals And Snow.

I haven't been writing much in here out of superstition that writing seems to lend itself to self-deception and delusions when I least need them. I end up looking through metaphors like awkward, heavy goggles.

The truth is I feel at a stand-still. A still life of stone. If I wasn't weighted down I would have stayed in town, but I wanted to float. I felt too much like Macon Dead in Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon ("Mr. Smith's blue silk wings must have left their mark, because when the little boy discovered, at four, the same thing Mr. Smith had learned earlier -- that only birds and airplanes could fly -- he lost all interest in himself." "...he knelt in his room at a window sill and wondered again and again why he had to stay level on the ground").

I'm not sure that this perpetual state of being here (and not any particular place really, but just here) is a veiled sense of maturity, or me in the maturing process, but growing pains are taking place.

Maybe you have to have a variety of small heartbreaks until you can find joy and even flow.

There is possibly something growing inside of me, and quite possibly inverted and upside down, causing me to lose my balance and breath in normal day to day things. I don't quite seem to know what it is, or how to get rid of it. For now, at least.

(I think I'm homesick for a place that's changed too much for me to even recognize it as home (and it scares me to death).)

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Works, Please, With A Side Order Of Common Sense.

Tonight while waiting outside of my building for the firemen to let me (and a lot of fellow neighbors returning home from work/class) in, a neighbor turned to who was possibly his girlfriend and said, "Monk at 9:00." Somehow though, I was still surprised when I turned my head and saw a monk walk by, and a friendly one at that! He waved and said hello, which was nice, especially considering the heavy rain and wind and the fact that our building had been on fire and we were not allowed in.

Later, Adam and I had dinner at The Original Mel's Diner and afterwards we went book shopping. Have you, too, noticed that chain bookstores smell the same? This seems a little mysterious. I expect a particular fast food chain to have a similar smell at different locations, but bookstores? I'm not even exactly sure what I'm smelling. While I was there I looked at:

52 Projects (somewhat disappointing)
How to Build Birdhouses (nice!)
Film Comment (which seemed, um, cinematically speaking, a bit over my head)
The World of Interiors (featured a spread on the director of the National Gallery's house, and in particular, a shot of a no-longer-in-use kitchen fireplace that had an eighteenth century gravestone resting against it!)
Classy Treats For Two (placed under the clearance rack for one dollar and I put it back on the shelf. What an awful mistake.)

After awhile I started to feel headachey, and circled the store a few times trying to find Adam. For some reason, when I get separated from someone in a public place and can't find them when I want or need to, I instantly get panicky and think that they must've forgotten they were there with me and left and clearly I will now have to call a cab to take me home or something. This has never actually happened (and of course I wouldn't have to call a cab because the bookstore is just around the corner from our building), so I'm not sure what this fear is based on. I've never asked, but somehow I don't think other people worry about this sort of thing.

I think the theme of this entry is maybe: irrationality.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

To The Boys I Love

SmarterChild: Here's your Gemini horoscope for Saturday, February 25th, provided by Astrology.com:

Something's making a ruckus and trying to be heard -- and actually, it's you. Your innermost soul is crying out. There's a pressing issue you've been trying to ignore, and it needs to be addressed pronto.

So here it is:

Dickie, I love you so much. You take my breath away at the simple sight of you. You're the only person to have ever done that. You're amazing and unbelievable and don't ever let anybody tell you otherwise. You make my heart stop. You are there, beneath my skin and veins. We're going to know each other forever.

Richard, I don't know how we are going to get that long lost year back, but we will and we will work hard at it. Nobody knows me like you do, and nobody knows you like I do. There's something awfully special about that, and NOBODY loves you like I do. Nobody can. We are powerful; two of a kind. My heart pops, like busted tires on the fast line of the freeway at the thought of you. Under the bed will always be yours and mine.

Friday, February 17, 2006

So Where Have I Been?

Something it's taken me longer to realize than it maybe should have is that when the gaps grow a bit longer between conversations, it doesn't necessarily mean there will be more to talk about or catch up on. In such situations, the day-to-day stuff doesn't seem quite so worth mentioning (and also too impossible to mention) and if there isn't that, I guess I'm not sure what to else to say.

Monday, February 13, 2006

The Things You Can Learn Online.

So last night, instead of working on papers, I tried to make a list of all the homes of writers I've ever wanted to visit:

Vladimir Nabokov (TBA*)
Ernest Hemingway (Key West)
Sigmund Freud (London)
Victor Hugo (Paris)
Marcel Proust (TBA*)
Laura Ingalls Wilder (Mansfield, MO)
Edgar Allen Poe (Philadelphia)
Mark Twain (Hannibal, MO & Hartford, CT)
Eugene Field (St. Louis)
Shakespeare (Stratford-upon-Avon)
Jane Austen (Bath)
Emily Dickinson (Amherst, MA)
John Keats (Rome)
Charles Dickens (London)

Also, speaking of authors' residences: is there any other sort of public figure whose homes we make into tourist destinations with the same sort of regularity? (All I can come up with is presidents.) So what made (and still makes) visiting these places so attractive? Think of the growing cult of the author in the nineteenth century and the increasing ability and desire to travel. Think of Wordsworth being hounded by fans knocking on the door of Dove Cottage asking for a look around. (They had just been so inspired by the poetry, they just needed to see the landscape for themselves, they said.) Think of Tennyson's anxiety about the domestication (and feminization, of course) of the author during this period, his discomfort with the author getting the reputation of being a homebody, his slew of poems about men needing to escape the home and establish themselves far outside the private sphere. Think of Godwin visiting Milton's house but also his grave in order to really appreciate him. Seriously, though, are you thinking? I mean: think, think think.

*Haven't quite figured out where their homes are or if they are even available for tour/visit

Saturday, February 4, 2006

It's Over, Though.

I enjoyed the walk today.

It seems that we've just spent over $50 on cupcakes.

Thursday, February 2, 2006

Sicky McSickerson

Feeling ill for the fourth day this week, I dragged my weak body to the Walgreens down the street for some heavily needed groceries (i.e. Fruit Loops, Chocolate syrup, Mrs. Field's cookies, etc.) and stopped by Half Price Books to find myself for the day.

And So I Read.

Despite at one point being predisposed to dislike the book due to a teenaged alliance with Holden Caulfield, I was somehow already in love with David Copperfield by page 53, and (what's even sappier) began to feel my eyes become slightly glossy when he was sent away from home, and again when he's forced to wear an embarrassing placard at school.

I should have purchased it. I hadn't realized it, until I walked through my kitchen, but we do not have that particular Dickens' book.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Tension Headache

Breathe in. Breathe out. Here comes February.

This is going to be rough. Watch for choppy waters.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

I Do, Too.

We sat there, together, staring. We hardly said anything and I wonder if she thought it funny, too, that we'd never really been this close but here we were, together, staring. Without losing her focus she said I know exactly how you feel. I know exactly how you feel. I know exactly how you feel. Each time the emphasis was different. Intonation changed her meaning. I trusted her. I still do. And she said, I wish I had a sister like you.

Sometimes, it's good to know that decent people exist.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Swift As A Rabbit, On Crutches.

Feeling a little booksick after a failed attempt to rescue a really nice copy of To Kill a Mockingbird (a very old hardback, in good condition, for $4!) this afternoon from a bookstore that I'd seen the week before. I should have bought it when I had the chance, because of course it had vanished, and I stood between the Poetry and Classics feeling momentarily like I might cry. Like I might really and truly start tearing up about this particular copy of a book that I've already read and own a paperback version of. Is this at all reasonable? I felt even woozier when I later checked ebay and found that the copy at the bookstore must have been some sort of mysterious fluke, that old hardback copies of the book generally run for much more.

What else today? A conversation this morning about Things We Are Good At left me sort of overwhelmed, defensive. Mostly because there is so often this cloudy feeling of not being good at enough STUFF, or maybe, being good at things that are not easily quantified or aren't important or don't necessarily have an obvious, tangible product (a painting, a knitted scarf, a nicely designed website, a refinished piece of furniture, etc.). Even though when you get right down to it, I'm not entirely sure how many things one should reasonably try to or expect to be really good at, or really, what is the point of this wanting to be good at lots of stuff business, anyway, because when I'm actually honest with myself I get the feeling that it's for pretty stupid, self-conscious reasons. And is it okay to admit that when I really think about it, there are a lot of things that I want to learn about, but I can't come up with all that many things I earnestly want to be good at? Other than cooking, of course.

Also, after having an 8 hour experience at the Alta Bates ER, my knee feels better, is less swollen, and is much less bruised.

Thank you, those of you who hoped for me to feel better, because it worked.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Veins.

I am addicted
to your name
it follows me like a dog
at 6 a.m.
your voice is a clamp
that stops my heart
I am need-hungry
milk-hungry
I suck the air
you breathe
hungry for pure steam
you walk by
I close my eyes
you lay frozen tracks
across my lids.

Wednesday, January 4, 2006

It's A Lot Today.

Months ago, an article in The New Yorker about a man who intended to sail around the world by himself on a raft. Tonight, that documentary about the man who got mauled by the grizzlies he befriended in Alaska. In between these two points, and still after, is a lot of wondering, trying to come up with examples of female versions of these narratives. All I can think of is Jane Goodall and Julie of the Wolves, and neither of these are quite right, anyway.

While wandering around a bookstore in Downtown SD today, I came across a book that, on the cover, seemed to promise the kind of stories I wanted, and maybe even some kind of analysis or criticism about the idea of aloneness and how it is complicated by social constructions, by gender. I was sort of disappointed to actually open the book and only find it full of little vignettes, two and three page summaries on people like Olive Schriener and Katherine Mansfield. Stories framed with sadness, being immured, victimized, stories where the aloneness is accidental, tragic, where it was not a choice.

So I put the book back and thought about how, even when being alone actually was a choice, somehow time or history or something seems to have erased or distorted this fact, this agency. The same pitiable, tired tale of Emily Dickinson floating around the upstairs of that two-story house, waiting, withering. Or Emily Bronte's lack of interest in pretty much everyone, and how unladylike such behavior was, how unforgivable, how the only way to account for it was through hostility, skepticism. Surely there is a better version of solitude than this.

I guess the point here is this: Where are these stories, and where are they told in the way that they should be read?

While wandering through the bookstore, I secretly played Hide-And-Seek with Richard. I'm not quite sure that he was aware of it, but the loneliness seemed to be out for lunch, which brings me to this:

Thursday is such a suffocating day, and although I will be visiting with other close friends, the day is still marked as Bon Voyage, Southern California!

Do you know that part in Say Anything where Diane tells Lloyd that she loves him, but uses the finger quotes? Think about how heartbroken Lloyd must have felt when she did that.

That's how low I feel knowing that I won't be here at the end of the week.

Sunday, January 1, 2006

Love Affair With A City.

My city's still breathing (but barely it's true)
through buildings gone missing like teeth.
The sidewalks are watching me think about you,
sparkled with broken glass.


I'm racking up people that I want to love for the rest of time. Is this okay to do, or is it just another way of reaching an all-expenses paid trip to the Heartbreak Hotel?

There isn't much else to say except that the idea of living in San Diego again no longer tip toes in and out of my brain; it is finally settling in, anxious for the right acceptance letter. It hit me just so suddenly how much I need these people in my life. My daily life. My local life.

Being with you was such a wonderful breath of fresh air. Much like talking with you so briefly through instant messenger, my heart flutters with excitement, intelligence, inspiration, but so much more intense and so much eye to eye and heartfelt hearts.

When I think about it in realistic terms, moving so far away would, of course, not be the end of the world, and while my depression and possibly or potential lonliness would linger, as it always has, I would still manage to handle life as it is placed in my hands, as I always have. But that doesn't mean that I would stop missing or loving. I wouldn't trade the opportunity to live near you for anything. I almost feel a bit selfish and slightly creepy in a very The-Raven-esque manner when relaying these things to anyone other than myself, but what are you supposed to do when you meet someone so marvelous?

You hold on for as long as you can.