Monday, February 11, 2002

our existence is colored by the orangish glow of streetlights, among other things

a wet street is a beautiful thing. but what the fuck does that mean? what does it mean to throw around words like beautiful and love and life and gorgeous? i mean, what about it is beautiful? what type of love do i have for wet streets? these are some of my favorite words to use, and i am beginning to question my frequent usage of these words. is it an accurate usage? does it mean anything? it means something specific to me, but surely, you must have your own associations and meanings tied to these lollipop words. a wet street is a beautiful thing. it is true. but, it is also a little too easy to say that something is beautiful - evoking all of the baggage and emotions affixed to these words (beautiful and love). love. love. beautiful. say the words out loud. love. i mean, these are words with an incantatory power. you associate crushes, kisses, and everything wonderful with these words. wonderful is another such word that forces you to recall butterflies-in-stomach type moments. the things that we try to describe using these words are the things that make us swoon. the words are broad catch-alls for all things which produce a manic feeling in us. and that's why they are too easy to use - because they don't really mean anything specific; they are just a bone thrown to the reader - words that pacify our mood - that make us feel good about ourselves. but, the usage of these words is also an admittance that these things which we attempt to describe with said words are indescribable, and so we resign ourselves to words like "beautiful" and "love," knowing that language is definitly limited in its capacities. some things and feelings are not translatable into the medium of words, and so, i say things like: a wet street is a beautiful thing. knowing that that means nothing specific, other than the fact that the sight of a wet street is something that gives me a high of sorts, and i will foolishy try to verbalize it, and call it beautiful. but, what else can i do?

a wet street is a beautiful thing. i went for a jog tonight at about eleven o'clock. desolate streets, no one around to make me feel self-conscious about my jogging. no passing cars which i am convinced are always watching me jog. today was a moist cloudy day. my body was in motion. i was a cheetah on a national geographic special. a mammal running. an addict addicted to the thrill produced by running. feeling slightly sick to my stomach as i jogged past the hospital. they must have just put down fertilizer and the scent was making me big time sick. cheetah picks up speed hoping to catch an unlucky antelope. and i picked up speed, hoping to quickly escape the scent of excrement - of not good - of the stuff that bodies reject. my body was rejecting just the smell of it. i quickly got past the hospital. out of breath, i decided to start walking. tried speed walking. felt real stupid, swinging my arms real high like a granny. walked slow, since i was pretty winded anyways. occasionally, a big drop of water would form in the moisture above, and drop on my shirt. and i could feel the little dot of wetness seep from my shirt onto the skin of my shoulder, and i wanted someone to touch me all over, not just an infrequent little prick on my shoulder. looking for love. but, it was not to be found on this empty street. at least not the variety of love i was at the time desiring. alone but not lonely, i walked down the middle of the street, fascinated by the street lights - trying to think of an accurate word to describe the color of them. i kept on saying orange. but it's not real orange. and it's sort of yellow. but yellowy-orange seems even more inappropriate than orange. it's a lo-fi orange color that i love. the moist black street glistened lo-fi orange in lines of water. sporadic tiny pools of water formed at the street's low points and potholes. these, for the most part, resisted the orangifying of the street, and were a deep black color. and i too would glisten a lo-fi orange when i walked into the streetlight's circle of light. and, yes, i will say it again: a wet street is a beautiful thing.

i, then, walked past a playground on my way to our backdoor. and the swing was calling my name. i answered its call, sat on it, and started to swing slowly, still slightly winded from my jog. i started to pick up speed, but the motion started to make me sick. so, as our good friend the tortoise once said: slow and steady wins the race. i slowed down my speed, closed my eyes, and listened to the whir as i swung forward, to the silence as the swing paused for a brief moment before swinging backward, and then to the whir of the air rushing past my ears as i swung backwards, and then that beautiful moment of silence as the swing again wavered in mid-air before i heard another whoosh. and i opened my eyes for a moment, but quickly closed them, realizing that the experience was much better with my eyes closed. with my eyes closed, i was not surrounded by townhouses - i was not merely a foot and a half off of the ground. no, i was in heaven, swinging from a star - all the space of the universe below my feet. and i continued to listen to the whooshes and the silences, and my breathing soon began to mirror the rhythm of the air rushing past my ears. a whir of air/an inhalation. a brief silent moment when the world was at perfect peace. a whoosh of air/an exhalation. and then a silent moment. and that's why we do it all - that's why we stress out about shit and like to freak out - so that we can have that whooshless moment and realize how beautiful it all is.

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