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BY ro

02/01 Direct Link

THE AGE ISSUE – FEBRUARY 2010

 

In this issue:

 

-Issues with age.

-Are you old??? Take our Quiz!

-Fashions at any age! The hottest muumuus for those over 30, because who are you trying to impress, anyway?

-Recipes to keep yourself regular/keep that weight off/prevent cancer, because you’ll have problems with all three in the near future.

-Job troubles? Let our experts guide you to your dream cubicle!

-Please your man tonight! Wait, you don’t have a man? What are you, some sort of crazy cat lady?

-How to prevent old people wrinkles while simultaneously still battling the break-outs of teenhood.

02/02 Direct Link

 

One year unaccounted for seems less trivial than losing the past four. I’ve been in suspended animation, while friends—and more importantly, enemies—have continued hurdling toward destinations unknown, jumping through every hoop adulthood has to offer, while I sit, essentially the same but with shorter hair and 10 pounds lighter.

 

I assume that upon reaching the finishing line before the end of their third decade they are naturally confused: “Holy fuck, what am I supposed to do now?”

 

So the fact that I think the exact thing to myself makes me think I’m right on par with my peers.

02/03 Direct Link

 

Matty had come over to my place and was fixing us drinks. This was high 2008; I pranced about in a grey knit and yoga pants while he combed my cupboards for the mixers. He reached into my freezer, pulling out a full ice cube tray.

“You know,” he said, “if you were a true alcoholic, you wouldn’t have a full tray.”

“But wouldn’t an alcoholic have a full tray? To keep the drinks coming?”

He shook his head and took a shot. Years late, I realize the tray is empty because the true alcoholic drinks faster than water freezes.

02/04 Direct Link

I find it ironic that I have to define “masochist” to him.

“How did you get through college without knowing that word? I mean, the mere act of making it through college is essentially one of the many bases for the definition.”

He pokes the kid sitting next to me at the bar. “Hey, kid,” he says. “What does ‘masochist’ mean?”

The kid perks up, and given a traditional Ivy League education, gives a Merriam-worthy explanation.

He turns back to me and says, “Of course, you WOULD know what that means.” He grins and adds, “I gotta take a leak.”

02/05 Direct Link

This isn’t a story about A Friend of the Devil, the gaunt, topless girl in the fur at the party (she called herself that when asked with whom she was affiliated). This isn’t a story about that other topless party go-er, the Cue Ball with overcompensating chest hair (he poured milk over his head later on in the night, which begged the question, why is there milk at a loft party?) This isn’t a story about Miss Lady J (but she was there). This isn’t a story about any of those miscreants, because people like that don’t exist in the real world. For long.

02/06 Direct Link

So, I think I’m going to have to write about YOU. (Not to be confused with the other “YOU”). This is going to be difficult, because I don’t think I’m far enough out yet to really know what to say about YOU, so I’ll keep it brief and topical. YOU had a sexy, blue-collar accent and a job (a profession!) that was even sexier. YOU were older, and that was new territory, but YOU inadvertently made me feel like I had to age to keep up. YOU were definitely not my type. At all. (But I was just making sure). 

02/07 Direct Link

The previous entry, as written by my 14-year-old self, to highlight the fact that my love life will always be trivial and juvenile, no matter how old I am:

 

Dear Diary,

I met this totally cute guy on the plane! I was just about to listen to my music on my cassette Walkman (En Vogue is so cool!!), when he asked me if I wanted a section of the newspaper. I was totes shy, so I said no, but I was kicking myself! But luckily, he asked me if I went to the baseball game last night. We ended up…

02/08 Direct Link

…talking the WHOLE TIME! He even bought me a coffee AND gave me his number! I hope we can meet up again. Mom thinks he sounds cool.

 

LOVE, RO RO!

 

P.S. I’m SOOOOOOOOOOO glad I upgraded to First Class. Thanx GODDESS that I had airline points. But I hope he doesn’t think I’m rich.

 

P.P.S. He also knows that I’m [going to be] a doctor. I hope he’s not intimidated by that. Maybe I shouldn’t use big words. 

02/09 Direct Link
”Oh yeah, just ‘cos I think Catholicism is bunk doesn’t mean I wasn’t looking elsewhere for spiritual guidance. See, I thought Buddhism sounded like a good idea, until I read that like, one of the tenets or whatever was that you couldn’t drink or swear… right actions, right thoughts, right life or some shit like that, so I was like fuck that. And it’s like, organized religion, and I’m kind of against that whole scene anyway, so I just figured I’d like, listen to some Thievery Corporation and just think about all those little atoms coursing through all those other atoms.”
02/10 Direct Link

A.

 

There was something she wanted to tell him, but since she couldn’t, she wrote in a song. She performed it nightly with her punk band, first flanked by her brother and his friend from Juvie in their garage; then at a church-sponsored talent contest (for which they didn’t place, and were, in fact, escorted out by the Monsignor); then at a local pub, where she was served 3/2 beer and got her first-ever buzz. Venues like these continued, with a Lazy Susan of rotating guitarists and drummers occupying their respective positions in any given city, at any given club.

02/11 Direct Link

B.

 

She performed it each night in front of drunks, has-beens, friends and enemies, record executives, body guards, and sometimes her cat (in the privacy of her own home). Years hadn’t dulled her enthusiasm for the song (something that couldn’t be said for her guitarist’s latest contribution, entitled “Fuck Me Feral”). Her fingers had long ago calloused over (a mere side-effect from fret-abuse), leaving her imperceptible to touch and a leper to those who wanted to.

 

She gave it her all, every time, because every night she played it might just be the night he’d be there to hear it.

02/12 Direct Link

Changing the narrator changes the story. Which pains me, because I hear these supposedly wonderful media background stories like, “Well, the part was originally written for a man, but then Angelina read so beautifully for it, we had to cast her. The script didn’t even change.” (This is usually in response to queries like, “Why aren’t there quality parts for women in Hollywood?”)

 

I say, consider this: if a man sang Sarah McLachlan’s “Possession”, it’d be less about unbridled, romantic passion somuchas it would be about rape. (Seriously, go listen to it. I can’t hear it the same way anymore.) 

02/13 Direct Link

Hakan Valentine’s thighs didn’t touch. I know this, because she skitted about my living room in black boyshorts and combat boots, dancing spastically to The Bird and the Bee remix. Would you ever be my would you be my fucking boyfriend? she sang, over and over again, pulling me from the womb of my papasan, tricking me into movement, something I’d sworn off earlier in the week when it was decided that inaction was the best action. I can see your ribcage, she said, running her fingers over my ribs in a cartoonish attempt to play them like a xylophone.

02/14 Direct Link

What we did on that Saturday night we came to refer as “Speakerboxxxing.” In the dim light, we laid on our backs, on the floor, deprived of sleep and sanity, and finding ourselves easily amused. Her, next to me, with our collective heads sandwiched between two speakers, an iPod feed to the stereo, letting songs shuffle at our whim. There was some ambient, some down-tempo, but mostly we settled on OutKast: Happy Valentine’s Day, Everyday the fourteenth! And we swung our legs above our heads, making our feet dance in the air to the beat, like an impromptu puppet show.

02/15 Direct Link

I think I’ve found a new favourite room in my apartment. (As if I have a choice in a little under 500-square feet.) I find that I don’t spend enough time in my bathroom (Indeed, the first eight months I lived here I neglected to notice that the walls were painted yellow). There are creams and potions stacked along the sink, jewelry hanging from the wall and hidden behind the door, and a lovingly crafted Subversive Cross-Stitch over my toilet, indicating that if you are facing the wall and standing to pee in my house, you can Go Fuck Yourself.

02/16 Direct Link

He had apologized, the most sincere of his life, and cried real tears. She didn’t return his calls. He sent her flowers, the irises, for twenty consecutive days. She gave them away. He wrote long love poems that actually weren’t plagiarized. She posted them on Facebook for ridicule. He sent her front-row tickets for her favourite band. She took them, along with her ex-boyfriend.

 

He asked if he could make it better, with the lights turned on. He showed up at her door, in Kinbaku. He said, I can’t give it up to someone else’s touch. She let him in.

02/17 Direct Link

Rahmi Erdem Yildiz took beautiful photographs of plain things. A rusty chain-linked fence is framed by an early Arabian sunrise, oranges and reds smearing the background, distilling the scene down to color and metal. This hangs over his toilet, and when I emerge from the washroom he tells me that a wealthy Saudi he met in Barbados wanted to pay obscenely for it. The same fence had lined the slums the man passed every day to his palace. Rahmi had declined the sale. “It was only when looking through another man’s eyes did he want what he did not want.” 

02/18 Direct Link

She pressed her red lips to the glass, and from behind the fogged, rain spattered window, she gave the illusion of drowning. Slowly, slowly… each breath—in, out, in—was synchronized with each new drop, her own breath adding to the moisture. Her name was Monislawa—no last name—which he had regrettably mispronounced all night, but she was used to it, and didn’t take it personally. His hand weaved its way through her wet hair, and he held tight. Her hand met the window now, to steady herself, and she took one last inspiration, to survive the deep dive.

02/19 Direct Link

We were above the clouds, and then we weren’t. It was a seamless transition; light on the tailwind meant a slow loft down toward the earth. I sat back and closed my eyes. There wasn’t anything outside the window I wanted to see, and what was behind me was under my eyelids anyway. It was a perfect “in the moment” moment, and one of recent many.

 

But to dip below meant a loss of light; the furor of the rain clouds shrouded the plane, and we got a nice kick in the pants before we leveled. But I was happy. 

02/20 Direct Link

Things in the past 5 days that have made me cackle to such an insane degree that an involuntary 72-hour hold has been contemplated:

 

1. The “Can this poodle wearing a tinfoil hat get more fans than Glenn Beck” on facebook photobombing Beck’s appendicitis ultrasound.

2. The Mariah Carey music video marathon.

3. The Online Epitaph Generator.

4. Anti-protester protesters.

5. References to goats.

6. “Creamy…. It’s 2010, bitches!” (An explanation of the hilarity—for this and no doubt other entries—would surpass the allotted 100-words.)

7. That one guy who did that thing.

8. Being on-call for fivefuckingdays straight. 

02/21 Direct Link

 

Disturbing insight into the listening habits of R. RO; Top 25 most-played iTune library songs:

 

Heart Skipped A Beat; Fucking Boyfriend, Peaches Remix; Hope You’re Happy; Summer Skin; Circles; “INTRO”; Crystalised; Islands; Fantasy; Shelter, Basic Space; Infinity; I Care For You; Nut In Your Eye (!?!?); Effigy; Tenuousness; Nomenclature; Ouo; Emancipated Minor; Dollaz & Sense; Why Can’t I Forget Him; What You Do To Me; Stand By; Back in the Mud; I Will Possess Your Heart.

 

It’s a sonic Rorschach!

 

(IN my defense, not that any of you care, but a vast majority of that is from The Xx album)

02/22 Direct Link

We love the unnatural. If the world were made of glitter, we’d be adorning ourselves with burlap.

 

(This is gonna go somewhere, I promise….)

 

Just gonna start writtttting just start writing, distracted by the TV in the background, the urge to dance, knowing that my body is in no/un-conditioned and would last a nanosecond burst of energy followed by days of angry muscles and tendons. God DAMN it’s hot in here, that never happens, the tips of every finger and toe and ears perpetual ice and un-human; unnatural.

 

(…or maybe not. Won’t be the first time I lied to you.)

02/23 Direct Link

It’s probably most impractical to keep track of long stretches of time by way of a calendar. Or a diary, a journal, an iPhone text message log, emails saved and sorted, 100words.com. These forms are basically evanescent, and given a 10-year stretch into the future, your paper diary will be a relic, your iPhone will have crapped out 9 and 11/12 years ago, and 100words… well, you probably forgot you ever wrote here, because it marks a time when the gyral folds of your creative brain were an escape, when the world was a better place because you controlled it.

02/24 Direct Link

I suggest marking time by way of senses. Sound, and in particular smell, are intricately associated with memory.

 

2007 was marked by trips to the Co-op, listening to the Ying Yang Twins, marveling at the paradox of feminist, misogynistic rappers.

 

2004 was Kenneth Cole’s Black, a musky scent worn when I wanted to guarantee the day would not go as I planned.

 

1998 was Soundgarden Down on the Upside, autumn, always autumn, driving fast on Route 43 with the windows down, singing hard and smoking harder.

 

I know these aren’t earth shattering memories, but they’re what I choose to remember.

02/25 Direct Link

i.

 

“This one case, I don’t know why it’s sticking with me more than the others. Maybe it is because she is thirty, and 30-year-olds shouldn’t have metastatic colon cancer. And marantic heart valve vegetations, and DIC, and ascites to fill the Hoover Dam. Maybe because the clinical consult notes, whilst reading like a giant acronymic World War II telegram, still heartbreakingly convey the prognosis, despite that fact that she and her husband had declined to hear an actual numeric timeline assigned to her life. You know, when she was still cognizant enough 24-hours prior to have such a conversation.”

02/26 Direct Link

ii.

 

“I had a case like that, some 20-year old died on the table status-post MVA. I had left the OR with the reassurance that she was hemodynamically stable, only to get back up to the Blood Bank and have to field and angry and scared call from said OR, saying they needed either Factor VII or me in the room STAT, preferably both. That one case kind of cracked it for me, because it was on the tail of the previous weekend, when I had someone else die on me, a triple-A repair gone awry. Worst two weeks ever.”

02/27 Direct Link

iii.

 

“Makes you wonder what’s brewing inside of your own body.”

“Makes you wonder how finely-tuned the mechanisms of the body really have to be… You know, the ‘It’s not amazing how the body manages to die, it’s amazing how the body manages to live’ aspect.”

“Makes you wonder if us knowing too much is a good or bad thing… You know, the whole ‘Ignorance is Bliss’ aspect.”

“Makes you wonder if perhaps we should have blown our 20’s with our noses in some powder instead of the books.”

“Makes you wonder if maybe we should just go home now.”

02/28 Direct Link

An entire year unaccounted for. The first few days of December 2009 were to be immortalized, with entires about flaccid NaNoWriMo attempts; deconstructing sports’ figures infidelities; continuations and subsequent truncations of fictional entries of past; deep, existential musings on 100words formatting, and fonts; one or two allusional and arcane stories; a salacious tale; an apology. Grand, polysyllabic words, and latticed, intricate sentences infuriating to even Faulkner. All lost to the general public, but reminding me at sign-in that most things left unfinished never really cease to exist, no matter how hard we try to deny it.

 

That’s fucking deep, right?