REPORT A PROBLEM
My father told me last night that he doesn't think what I've done with my life is all that important. He didn't stop there--he went to all the trouble to actually define my 'meaninglessness': my chosen studies, my chosen interestes, my chosen future. It's all bunk, and I'm a fucking idiot for thinking otherwise. I must have realized that the day would come when he didn't seem so mythical, but I never thought that it'd come as an avalanche, that I'd be buried by it.
My father's not an evil man, but sometimes he can be a real asshole.
B. Fuck jewels what do you want from me
A. Want from you this isn't about wanting something from you for chrissakes
B. Oh really really well in that case why don't you just tell me what it is about
B. Jesus fucking christ
A. Will you please just slow the car down at least don't drive so fast
A. This isn't about choosing for chrissakes I'm not just some sort of choice you can make or not make I'm not just some
B. Oh now this isn't where I meant for this to go
A. Made or unmade choice
The thing about the Festival is that all this time it has been some sort of baby bird, and none of us really knew what was going to happen until gravity took its best shot. So for 10 hrs. today (or something) I heaved & hoed with the rest of them to make this thing take to the air, but I was driving off west before I could listen for a crash. So it begins: and for the next 10 days, downtown Minneapolis is going to be innundated by the sweat of our collective brow.
Let's all hope for flight.
Josh saw someone get stabbed today on his way out of the Red Eye Collaboration. Well, I don't think he actually saw the knife, just the guy holding his cuts and blinking at the red. Apparently it was some neighborhood dispute or something-- I mean, who the fuck stabs someone at 1:30 on a Saturday afternoon? There was a show going on at the theatre at the time, but somehow the ambulance & police came and went before any spectators came out--they even washed away the blood. Poor stabbed man.
But poor Josh, too--he seemed pretty shaken up.
START A REVOLUTION
I almost joined a collective this summer--a group of artists, writers, and musicians living on a farm in North Carolina. I met them (of all places) at Mardi Gras; they seemed so supportive and warm that I gave it serious consideration...
...which stopped when I started to figure out that they're a bit of a cult. Not that I'm against cults as a general rule (and how the fuck could you have a problem w/ an artists' cult?) but it's just that I've got places to GO, & not a single spare minute to be brainwashed.
At this hour and at this level of exhaustion, every object seems impossibly far away and endlessly hollow-- the stoplights, the brake pedal, the next white line painted on the road. Even the moon, hanging from its silent strings (that will hang there still four hours from now as I drive to the other job) seems more distant than the sun...
Joe wants to roll w/ me after the festival, which sounds like a nice antidote to my frustratingly sober summer. Although anything past tomorrow might damn well be hanging from its own silent strings, as far as I'm concerned.
driving (driving, am always driving) cutting a thick wedge through the humidity, found myself with the windows up & the a/c cranked until whamo! it hits me; this image: of someone who never sweats in the car: who walks from climate-controlled environment to climate-controlled environment until 98 becomes a number in the newspaper and electricity bill at the end of the month; so whamo! here I go again: opening windows, swallowing sideways the humid air, sweaty and dirty and sticking to the seat, singing classic rock at the top of my lungs; & whamo! feeling better, calm.
Hell, you don't have to talk yourself back to the beginning--I don't give a biscuit as to what you were like then. But it's like this: you give me a chunk of rock to set one foot on and then the other one you bury under layers of sediment, until I'm splayed. There, you made me say it: splayed, and grasping for something to keep my balance with.
and enjoy gravity.
Buddy, I spend all my life in a state of descent & looked to you to
that the ground's rushing up to greet me.
This is the choice that we had made. And now that the choosing part's over, all that's left is the living with it, trying hard to step around memories. This is the choice that we had made. But I still feel panic, that something smooth and beautiful is trapped under the glass. This is the choice that we had made. But I can't seem to remember that; I need to repeat it to myself till it drowns out your telephoned voice & blocks out your photographed eyes, until you are nothing nothing but the choice that we had made.
The Festival's become almost wholly organic by now, two days left and it's begun to run itself. Josh & I amazed at this over Mock Duck at 8:30, amazed at our army of volunteers, amazed at other people's art, living and breathing on all sides. This love and dedication would be so inspiring were it not so exhausting.
I want to touch every single person I see; tell them what they have to give is a worthy gift; to build a soft mosquito net around them; to let them all sleep soundly, so as to wake; and create.
We carry blame around like a flyswatter, my family, as some sort of constant reminder of what sitting still for too long will get you. Respect's busy creeping out the service door, leaving only flourescent lights, squished bugs, and me, wondering when my parents became so damn imperfect.
A month from today I'll be going to sleep in the United States for the last time for 27 months. Of the myriad (myriad? Fuck that. Of the hundreds of words) of emotions this fact evokes, the dark horse of the lot remains (surprisingly, infuriatingly, like-it-or-lump-it truthfully) relief.
put the festival to bed tonight, and I'll soon follow suit. but first, at the party, time suspended itself in the glow of the streetlamps and swung for a few moments. there was joe; there was josh; there was art, amazing and noble and true, thumbs hooked in belt loops and smiling shyly from the corner. this is a great thing we put together--I felt it well up as I blinked and blushed when my name was called--worlds bigger than ourselves. look children, I will say one day, look where I found inner peace! who woulda thunk it?
want to spit and live and breathe poetry, but lately breathing oxygen is the only given part of the equation. been a complete zombie for the month of august, and (grr) leave my expression for the few minutes before switching states of consciousness.
last night I dreamt of beautiful things: of sunshine-filtered water and smiling in its depths. someone asked me today if I still write and I say I used to; but these days I'm swimming, hiding pieces of my life: bits of mirrors, a comb or two: amongst the ruins of shipwrecks, for some wayward diver to discover someday.
-There's something about
-That I leave in less than a month now weighs on me like
-punk rockers. Seriously. A mohawk just instantly calms me & makes me want to spill my
-crazy. At times, anyway. Other times I forget that 27 months is snapping at my
-guts, sitting cross-legged on cold grass and making vague hand gestures and nodding vigorously, with meaning,
-heels, yapping to fucking pay attention already,
-flying amongst the sunmoonstars, hoping not to seem lame or tame,
-grasping onto time, onto now, knowing
-knowing that my days of hot showers are numbered.
curious inability to say goodbye. we stand by the bar, then by the door, and finally out inthe drizzle, arms extended and echoes echoing until a window above us opens and 'shut the fuck up!' spills from a bucket. feel for the first time pretty & popular in this circle of gay men, touched & hugged & loved, but still no goodbyes. just frantic searching the calendar ('shut the FUCK up!') until a decision on when to see each other again, which may or may not come to pass.
a mythical reunion preferable to a permanent separation, I guess.
Look at all this empty space:
[Note to future typing self: hit 'enter' a bunch of times here.]
[Sometimes, I'd leave whole pages blank just to look at the white. The words and movement and movement of the words were too much so I'd stare at nothing until]
[This isn't what I meant to say, which is:]
See this empty space? This is my response to you, v, as to how/ whether or not to forge a friendship w/ Rodrigo. This is the Atlantic, soon to separate me from everything I know.
[except myself except myself except--]
Q. Have you contacted the press yet I need to know if you have contacted the press yet
A. No I have not contacted the press why would I have
Q. I think people would want to know about you do you have a black and white photo of yourself are you going to finish those fries
A. What no why would people want to know about me I'm nobody I make coffee I count change
Q. But you have charisma pass the ketchup and are very special
A. Here special hell and I'm not charismatic I'm just tall
it's early in the morning & raining, comme d'habitude, it seems, when i write to you. but i wanted to say how sorry i am for the loss of ceasar.... there is some kind of connection on the level of the soul between you and the little guy; the care you gave him during these last months, the love in the words... he knows all of that and then some, and you can take at least some sort of granular comfort in the fact that he is at peace now,
which i wish to you,
all the best,
windwind filling up the hollows of ears, nothing else but sound and sight of all things, and here i am flying over oceans--fuck walking--i'm soaring, arms outstretched into it, braiding into this Now all the tiny specks of color I can muster, this stupid power delegated by an insipid machine on
inept me; all i can do is
tumble into the depths of the lake, only to choke and sputter my way back up to the surface,
crazy blood coursing into my head, thinking
marvel marvel sepsilly girl, this is as golden as any place you will go.
celebrated my little sister's birthday tonight, a day too early, I suppose, but jessie didn't mind. she brought her girlfriend over for dinner; my father brought his fear. I'm about at the end of my rope with him these days, after having already banged my head against the you-can't-be-a-homophobe-when-your-daughter's-a-homo-speech wall. I think he feels trapped in his stodginess, as if staying wrong is easier than admitting you may have been so. in any case, he's ripping the rest of us apart, testing testing the boundaries of our breaking points.
Rodrigo: THAT would be handier than this not-really-useful-at-all hair-on-body thing. Although it DOES give me the edge-- that extra half-second to feel the static electricity before I get hit by lightning.
Julia: I dunno, I was just sitting here looking blankly till I realized that the pit in my stomach is reality setting into this cardboard box of my summer life.
Rodrigo: Speaking of! I got a tattoo! Don't look so incredulous, it's rad!
Julia: This is bigger than purple hair.
Rodrigo: No not really. I don't even really like tattoos.
There occurred once a little-known arm-wrestling match between two great actresses: Audrey Hepburn and Bette Davis. Now, smart money would have gone on Davis, Hepburn resembling a walking, talking stick-tree more than a collection of muscles and nerves. And besides, Bette's spunk was irrefutable; she could shove her eyes in her pockets, if she wanted to, if only to move more stealthily.
It was a tightly-guarded secret, the match, and no one knows the outcome for sure, except for this: that it was a celebration, not a competition, friends; that their laughter rang clear thru the walls.
am trying my goddamnedest to get to houston, but there appear to be no easy breaks this time around. I promised everyone and their brother I'd come ('before I leave') and want to like the dickens ('before I leave') but the coffers are as empty & dusty, friends, as a TX road, and the automobile sucked whatever nickels I'd been scrimping clean away. some sort of quiet desparation (of course it's of the heart, dear) will, I'm sure as snow, force the needed creativity soon.
leaving me presently both broke and anticipatory.
maybe I should go buy a powerball ticket.
Meanwhile, as our heroine sits and ponders the current state of affairs, wondering fom which angle to swoop down and save the day yet again (It's all in the angle of the WIND, dahlings-- we can't have our hair appearing to be
wind-tossed, can we?), life actually (dum-dum-DUUUUUUMMMM) continues on around her! The giant pause-button on the universe appears to have been broken by some mysterious culprit, no longer leaving her (gasp! faint! swoon!) in complete control!
, our heroine thinks, clicking perfectly manicured fingernails on the counter,
what the fuck do i do now?
the dreams these days take place in Barcelona & come in Gaudi-like blobs at dawn:
where I'm running thru hollow streets; trapped in a Miro painting; existing as an indescipherable symbol. other people are planes of flat color, snapping pictures with disposable cameras.
another where I tell my companion, a skinny boy with jet-black hair,
this is where Picasso used to eat lunch.
I make up details to pass the time:
he didn't like tomatoes; never learned to tie his shoes.
this one scares me: that i'm flying & suddenly forget
, but always wake before falling.
She burped slightly, and the universe underwent two perfect changes: one, her gastro-intestinal discomfort was greatly improved; and two, things took on an all-together inexplicable three-dimensionality, a washed-out Kandinsky-esque synesthesia where colors were feelings, sights were sounds and thought was somehow function as well. She set down her pencil and crossword and gaped, open-mouthed, at life (orange, cinnamon-flavored life) as it resonated, building structures and creating sounds, dismantling surity and replacing it with straw-bale unbeknown until--in a light-bulb-burning-out flash of clarity, she
--and hiccupped, setting everything back to normal again.
This was the first birthday where, upon waking, I actually did feel older. Not so much physically, but mentally, I suppose, as if this extra year I carry around is made of dense clay. Mom told me she's waiting for a statement of the profundity of my older age, but I've been coming up short, stuck in that moment of time before breaking the water's surface and inhaling fresh pineapple air. The phone's been ringing off the hook, though, smiling warm thick love through miles of wire; molding this clay into tiny sculptures, small enough to fit in my hand.
My father's mother's brain is tying itself up in knots these days, a cripling form of demensia that leaves her curled up and crying most days. She's pretty far gone-- she once even accused my mother of having a sexual affair with Bill Clinton.
I haven't seen her in years-- since well before the lights turned off in the long hallways of her mind. So I can't quite figure out how to make this understood within the context of her entire life: how to celebrate the swing dance living during the great firestorm drama of the dying.
'Too much rebellion; not enough revolution.'
Read Adbusters cover to cover today, having ducked into Border's to get out of the rain. Borders sells Adbusters. That's like selling sandpaper to balloons. I wanted to run outside and plaster bumper stickers on all the SUV's parked in the lot, to chuck my degree and start all over. I'd keep the French and the History of Modern Art, but everything else could take a flying leap.
Then I'd be free and weightless, and ready.
Too much rebellion; not enough revolution.
It's three millimeters to the left, friends, but pretty damn near close.
she stares up at the clouds, willing them to take on the shapes and identities of her youth.
none of this is real
, she hears whispered in her ear,
and each crutch is a reality.
They have been kicked out of two bars already, and now he stands, facing her, with a lime between his teeth.
This is how we do it in Italy,
he says in shitty French, holding her tequila. He wants to be Ricky Martin someday.
and all that is left is a bike & a road. she hits the kickstand up & heads for the ocean.
Go out with a bang, I say. I normally wouldn't so flagrantly use 100w. to my own ends, but if I'm gonna fuck it, I better do it now, before the seven-hour time difference sets in.
I'm not quitting 100w., despite future appearances. Sept. 12th, I'm moving to West Africa, where I doubt I'll have electricity, much less a computer. So I'm mailing my entries to Jeff, & they'll be as late as the post.
Exploitation: Public posting of my address, so no excuses not to write:
Corps de la Paix Americain
Cotonou, BENIN (West Africa)
The Tip Jar