Saturday, September 28, 2002

wilco's been turning my orbit around for the last couple days on repeat

Life has been moving in a linear fashion these days, with things actually happening to me. And of course, I have written nothing at all about it in here, have been too busy with these things, with actually living. There will be time for all this and more one day. One day, it'll happen. It'll all come true. And on that day, we'll have to time to quote all the Bjork lyrics we can muster.

But right now, I want to go swimming in the pool. Hopefully my roomates are still there, getting their pool on. I have to work in countdown two and a half hours, I'm hungry, and on the move. But yeah, I have a job. I am working at Domino's, being an American, making pizzas, and looking out of a huge glass window onto US 41 and a glowing Burger King. I feel like an American youth and I fucking love it. I throw pizzas into the oven, I throw them out, into boxes, with novice skill cut them into eight slices, and get paid minimum wage. And that is okay, because the job is okay, and I am too.

And in other news, last night I told Sean that I liked him, that I am sorry, and that I want to try again. He said he had to think about it and went to bed. Andrew walked home with Bonnie and I, and wanted to know why I have been treating him like shit. I told him why, and that concludes that little thing. My crush is over. At long last. I can move on with my life, knowing that crushes are silly, that they dissapoint when they become something other than a crush. And I'm going to the pool, to swim in bright blue chlorinated water, and then to make pizzas for people like you, for Americans.

Friday, September 27, 2002

maria paper

This is the really out of control paper I wrote in a rapid few hours for Wallace's Romantic British Novel class. It's bad. I don't have a disc to save it on. And so, I am saving it here. Nothing exciting to read. It's completely for my own purposes. So continue reading about people and their sex lives, or lack thereof.

Maria / Mary

When, in the Wrongs of Woman, Mary speaks of “the petty cares which obscured the morning of her heroine’s life; continual restraint in the most trivial matters; unconditional submission to orders, which, as a mere child, she soon discovered to be unreasonable, because inconsistent and contradictory; and the being often obliged to sit, in the presence of her parents, for three or four hours together, without daring to utter a word;” she is, I believe, to be considered as copying the outline of the first period of her own existence. (Godwin 45)

William Godwin wants us to know something. Us: you and I. Yep, me. That’s right, first person case in a paper. To hell with conventions. This is important, as important as it could possibly get. But more so than that, it is necessary. The subject of this paper is I, but it is also you. It is about us. It is about that relationship between the reader, the text, and maybe even the author. It is about why the author is peripheral to the reading of a text, if even that important. It is about that moment of intercourse when the printed words are recited by the reader, by me; where I engage with the text, and through a dialogue between myself and my interpretation of the words, of their combination, hash out meaning.

The something that William Godwin wants us to know is the biography of Mary Wollstonecraft, believing with all his heart that authorial intentions matter, that they are important, that they can help us further uncover the supposed inherent meaning of a text, that in fact, they are the meaning. Godwin leaves little room for the reader in his biography of Wollstonecraft, simply referring to readers in broad, almost patronizing terms as “the public at large” or “the human species at large” – terms that are not all that surprising, considering Godwin’s elitist view of history - that history is determined by individuals, an elite, rather than through broad, historical movements (43). Godwin thinks that this “public at large” (for our purposes, the reader) – that the reader’s role in a text is simply as someone who needs to be taught; that the text “teaches them to place their respect and affection, upon those qualities which best deserve to be esteemed and loved,” (43). Godwin believes that writing “teaches,” not that the reader “teaches themselves” or even that the reader “learns,” but that a text, and its author teach the reader something. The moral didacticism of Godwin leaves the reader with no agency in determining the meaning of the work, of contributing to the artistic process – there is no feedback loop with the reader doing anything to the text – but rather a one-way flow of meaning with the text telling the reader what’s what.

This paper will put aside Godwin’s biography of Wollstonecraft, will try to ignore its biographical details as much as possible, and will now look at the actual text of Maria, will examine the issues that it raised for me, the reader. Roland Barthes’ theories on the “death of the author” will be used to discuss what role the reader should play in the reading of a text, and will be used to further buttress the argument that histories and authorial intentions are really irrelevant to the reading of a text. In addition, it will be argued that Wollstonecraft herself, or at least her text that will be examined, Maria – that the text itself makes a similar argument. The actual structure of the novel will be looked at, examining the three different speakers in the story, Mary, Jemima, and Darnford, who each tell their own story, each of them essentially an author. Each of their narratives and their narratives’ receptions will be examined, showing that the author’s personal experiences do play a role in shaping the text, in fact, probably even determine it, but the marginalia scenes of the early part of the novel show that when a text is actually read, authorial intentions do not matter at all, that instead all that is important is the reader’s own dialogue with the text, and their own creation of meaning.
The author is a modern figure, a product of our society insofar as, emerging from the Middle Ages with English empiricism, French rationalism and the personal faith of the Reformation, it discovered the prestige of the individual, of, as it is more nobly put, the ‘human person’. It is thus logical that in literature it should be this positivism, the epitome and culmination of capitalist ideology, which has attached the greatest importance to the ‘person’ of the author. The author still reigns in histories of literature, biographies of writers, interviews, magazines, as in the very consciousness of men of letters anxious to unite their person and their work through diaries and memoirs. The image of literature to be found in ordinary culture is tyrannically centred on the author, his person, his life, his tastes, his passions, while criticism still consists for the most part in saying that Baudelaire’s work is the failure of Baudelaire the man, Van Gogh’s his madness, Tchaikovsky’s his vice. The explanation of a work is always sought in the man or woman who produced it, as if it were always in the end, through the more or less transparent allegory of the fiction, the voice of a single person, the author ‘confiding’ in us. (Barthes)

A reading of Maria that searches for parallels between Wollstonecraft’s life and that of Maria’s is one that should be guarded against. Barthes’ assertion that the field of literature has tended to be “tyrannically centred on the author” must be kept in mind when doing a reading of Maria. What purpose does it serve to say that Maria and Mary had similar childhoods? The “so what?” must be asked when parallels are attempted to be drawn between the two. What does that mean to say they had similar childhoods? It may mean that authors use their life experiences as the material of fiction. But, that tells us nothing about us, about me, you - we, the readers. Looking at authorial intent, or more accurately, trying to look at it, believing that you could ever know it does nothing to further the process of reading, of showing our relation to the text; what it does instead is merely tell us about the first step in the process of creating a text, it tells us nothing about the text itself. The desire to know about the author, to try to figure them out is another manifestation of the cult of the individual that Godwin is a proponent of, the same cult of the individual that has since spawned supermarket tabloids, tell-all biographies, and Britney Spears. It does seem a little hyperbolic to compare the manufacturing of teen pop stars to a concern with finding out events in an author’s life to further a reading of a text. But, in actuality, the two curious urges seem to have similar origins. Our desires to find parallels between the lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Maria stem from the same curiosity with the lives of others, it is a product of the cult of the individual - the belief that individuals, like Godwin argues, are in fact, the agents responsible for historical change, giving ourselves a perhaps inflated sense of self-worth, that individuals matter, thus being an individual, I matter. A reading that does this, that searches for how Maria is really Mary is problematic because it diverts attention away from issues that arise from the actual text, from our reading of it.

Not only that, but the text of Maria itself is evidence that the meaning of a narrative lies within the reader, that yes, obviously, personal events and tragedies are going to influence what a writer writes, but the author and their intentions are not important to the reader’s interpretation. A reading that searched for parallels between Maria and Mary is one that would ignore the message of the book – that the reader creates the meaning of a work. This is seen explicitly in one of the first scenes in the novel, in which Maria examines the marginalia left by Darnford.

Some marginal notes, in Dryden’s Fables, caught her attention: they were written with force and taste; and in one of the modern pamphlets, there was a fragment left, containing various observations on the present society and government, with a comparative view of the politics of Europe and America. These remarks were written with a degree of generous warmth, when alluding to the enslaved state of the labouring majority, perfectly in unison with Maria’s mode of thinking. (34)

The authors of these books are not important here at all, what instead is the subject of these sentences is the marginal notes left in the text by Darnford, which is in effect, Darnford’s (a reader’s) own interpretations of these texts. This is almost a proto- reader response theory with the reader of a text having an active engagement with the text, one in which they personally respond to the text, describing their own encounters with the text, hashing out meaning not dependent upon the author, but upon their own (the reader’s) interpretation of the text.

The reading of a text is essentially a dialogue between the reader and the text. From this dialogue, meaning is created. Wollstonecraft makes this point even more explicit a little bit later, by having Maria also actively engage with a text (as opposed to engaging just with Darnford’s marginalia concerning the text). “She took up a book on the powers of the human mind; but, her attention strayed from cold arguments on the nature of what she felt, while she was feeling, and she snapt the chain on the theory to read Dryden’s Guiscard and Sigismunda,” (35). Wollstonecraft has Maria read a book on the powers of the human mind, one which is supposed to tell her about her feelings, how she feels and why, but it does not jive with Maria, the text fails to connect with its reader, and Maria, being the powerful reader with agency that she is clips the chain of the theory, liberates herself from books that do not move her and instead reads books that do. It is such an empowering moment for the reader here, knowing that meaning is determined by us, that we have the ability to cut the chains of any books we don’t like, any ones that don’t move us, and read ones that do.

In none of the books she reads, the books Darnford has already read, is there a desire to find out information about the author, to question how the author’s past manifests itself in their works. What instead, we (the readers) see when we read and examine these two readers and their reading of texts are marginal notes that are expressions of their singular reading of the text, of their own reactions to it, and their own thoughts. The text is actually (re)created in their reading of it.

The reader is the space on which all the quotations that make up a writing are inscribed without any of them being lost; a text’s unity lies not in its origin but in its destination. Yet this destination cannot any longer be personal: the reader is without history, biography, psychology; he is simply that someone who holds together in a single field all the traces by which the written text is constituted. (Barthes)

We also see this same reader-empowering idea in the three stories that are told in this novel, that of Darnford, Jemima, and Maria – the idea that the meaning of a narrative is determined by the reader, that all that matters is how the text affects the reader. In Jemima’s story, there is almost a cathartic telling of her biography, of just wanting to be heard, to share her pain with someone else, which would make it seem that the intentions of the writer are very important. But, then right after she finishes at the beginning of Chapter 6, we have Maria’s personal reaction to Jemima’s story, how it affected her.

Active as love was in the heart of Maria, the story she had just heard made her thoughts take a wider range... Thinking of Jemima’s peculiar fate and her own, she was led to consider the oppressed state of women, and to lament that she had given birth to a daughter. Sleep fled from her eyelids, while she dwelt on the wretchedness of unprotected infancy, till sympathy with Jemima changed to agony, when it seemed probable that her own babe might be in the very state she forcibly described. (70)

Jemima’s pain and suffering are without a doubt the juice of her story. The actual content of her narrative is the story of her life, events that have happened to her, horrible events that have happened to her, but then right after she finishes her story, in a transition that can seem almost callous or self-absorbed, we then have Maria personally responding to Jemima’s story. But she does not respond thinking about the injustices Jemima has suffered, instead Jemima’s story leads her to think about the injustices that she, herself has suffered from. And this does seem like a slightly self-absorbed moment, and it may very well be, but if that is the case, then the act of reading is a self-absorbed one. Maria actively engages with the story, relating it to her own life, and lets it lead her to wonder about the fate of her own child. This is what reading is supposed to do, it is supposed to conjure up personal reactions, responses that remind us that we are in fact human beings, and sometimes capable of being emotionally excited by things, words even. Maria does not concern herself with wondering how Jemima’s life affected the way in which her story was told, how some childhood events determined her narrative technique. No, that stuff is even more self-absorbed, and totally beside the point. That stuff is irrelevant. The meaning of the text, as argued by Barthes, and as demonstrated in Maria, lies within the reader, within you and I.

Works Cited
Barthes, Roland. “The Death of the Author.” (

Godwin, William. Memoirs of the Author of a Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Ontario: Broadview, 2001.

Wollstonecraft, Mary. Maria, or the Wrongs of Woman. New York: W.W. Norton, 1975.

"you're young and it's your fault"

There is an old man sitting next to me, intently reading something on the internet, sort of looking like an old person on a computer, not entirelly comfortable. He is wearing a faded red shirt, blue shorts, high white socks, sneakers, and a silver watch. He breathes heavy. Two seats away from me. Sitting far too close to the computer screen than can possibly be healthy. Him, not me. I know what distances to keep, regarding all things, computer screens and whatnot, things other than computer screens.

I just biked by Sean's room on a community bike hoping that he would be outside studying and that I could talk to him because that's all I want to do these days. But he was not sitting outside his room as he sometimes is, and I did not feel like it would be appropriate for me to knock on his door, to make this a real visit and not one where I just happened to be biking by his room. A few days ago, I told him I liked him, and he said that he had to think about that, and then the next night proceeded to ignore me, to tell me that I was cockblocking him when I did try and talk to him, and I assumed that that was what he thought about it.

And yeah, I know about distances.

Thursday, September 26, 2002

you are so punk rock

I wanted you for my own purposes tonight, but you had your own. Purposes and tonight, obviously. Not mine. Yours: you, purposes, night. It never is mine. So just keep jumping over cracks in sidewalks and streets cause you don't want to break your momma's back. And yeah, I wouldn't want to either.

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

the lord's name in vain

Okay, so the world sucks, people are not as nice as I like to think they are. Someone stole my bike last night.

Fuck you Tobgye and your stupid karma bullshit. I steal. Yes, it is true. But, I steal groceries and wine from huge supermarkets. I do not steal people's children, people's motherfucking feet, people's motherfucking bikes. God damn it. I hate bicycle theifs. I really can not think of a person more horrible, or something I would have been more upset about it if it were stolen. If someone took our tv, our dvd player, our fucking furniture, I would have been stunned but not sad, not so fucking sad since my bike means something so much to me, means everything to me. It is a fucking material object granted, and perhaps it is a little petty of me to care about it - but it was more - it was my compadre for so many biking adventures, it is what I have fallen off of quite a few times, what has welcomed me back, taken me into its arms on long bike rides when no one else would, when I was feeling like the world was all shit, one big steaming pile of it, and I needed to escape, and there was my bike, always there, the getaway car always revved up and waiting, my version of a dog here in Sarasota. In motherfucking Florida. Where bikes are stolen, where children are taken from mothers and appearantly this is okay, where police officers laugh when I report it, and tell me to come back in a few days when I find it, when my asshole excuse for a roommate makes fun of me, fails to see how this and other things in my life could possibly be upsetting, fails to see beyond her own fat ass - as far as that is, still not far enough to grasp, maybe even to sympathize with why I might be sad, with why Sarasota is a fucking tar pit of hell where everything good managed to escape the tar, where everything that didn't is fucked up from sucking in the tar fumes, and goddamn it, everything is not okay. My motherfucking day has not been going motherfucking fine, you stupid slag, so don't ask me.

And goddamn it one more time. No, many more. Goddamn it. Goddamn it. Goddamn it. And yes, I am an idiot. Yes, this could have been prevented so easily. Yes, I never learn my lesson. Yes, I know all of this so don't fucking remind me of it, I know this and more. I didn't use a bike lock because I am an idiot. My bike was stolen my first year and over that summer, I bought another insanely priced bike with my summer earnings, buying some stupid 400 dollar bike that some stupid punk motherfucker is riding around motherfucking Sarasota in right now. Grr, all right, just one more time: God damn it!

Last night when I was desperatly biking around on Rebecca's bike, trying to find my bike, I was hoping to God that I would see my bike, playing out imaginary scenes in my head of catching the bike theif, of them biking away, and me biking maniaclly to catch up with them, and like Keanu in Speed, hopping out of my vehicle, off of my bike, and landing on my other bike, drop kicking their theiving ass onto the ground in a righteous reclamation of my bike, my motherfucking bike. But no bike theif was to be found, only a stupid boy in a motherfucking Bob Marley shirt, some stupid white boy, someone all too typical of New College, some motherfucking idiot, who I got stuck behind on the overpass, and who was walking just as slow as his motherfucking Birkenstocks could be dragged along the concrete, doing his stupid hippy shuffle. I made it past him and screamed as loud as I could, screamed because again, everything is not okay, because people are idiots, because my bike gets stolen, and then I have to get stuck behind someone so typical of this place, of this town where bikes get stolen, that I wanted to fly like a Wicked Witch in a tornado, to laugh manically and put a hex on people that steal bikes and stupid hippys.

And motherfuck, things are not going well with Andrew. We have yet to do anything for whatever reasons, and motherfuck - this is better left said for another time, another entry when I am not being a rageaholic, but yeah, I don't think there's any more Andrew and I, if there even ever was. I can't deal with uninspired living anymore. Just one more time: God damn it!

Saturday, September 21, 2002

what is essential here

The sun felt so warm against my face, against my moist neck. The water that the rest of my body was in, was in fact part of, was not as warm, which was why it felt good. Differences are okay. I swam around, did handstands, then when coming out of them, glided against the ocean floor, feeling the sand rub, scratch my chest, making my way like a seal, one of the ones in the glass tanks at the zoo, moving gracefully through the water, turning my body, my seal body, looking at all the little kids with popcorn in their hands, kids who either look at me or at the scary picture of the stomach of a seal that died, filled with pennies that the seal ate.

Somewhere in the water, also floating around perhaps like a contented seal was, and maybe even still is (floating around like a contented seal, that is) Jamie's bathing suit bottom, free as a seal. Forget the birds. Fuck em. There's me and then there's you and then the seals. Everything else is useless, nonessential for our purposes.

I woke up at seven thirty, took the practice LSAT test with Sarah May, rocked it, then came home took a shower and in a pretend conversation, an imaginary one with other people while I was taking a shower, I asked whoever, you maybe, in a really bad British accent, "What do you live for?" And it's so easy to pose the question, to pose all these big questions, to say them ironically, nonsincerly in fake British accents - I mean we can live our whole fucking lives in bad British accents, making fun of things, everything, because we don't know how else to approach it, how to do so without sounding silly, without sounding like a person that we don't want to be, that person we also dread conversations with, hide from when we see them at the wall - but then, the British accent faded - the bad British accent - faded into me singing along with the Smashing Pumpkins, which is what I was playing in the bathroom, and the voice was gone, my Billy Corgan sincere voice emerged and the question was still in my head, the trails of it fading, and I asked it again to you, "What do you live for?" And then I did the big thing, tried to think of a response, to think how I would answer the question, how I possibly could, and I didn't know, I didn't have a fucking clue how to answer it, how to not defensively laugh at you, and I asked myself again, inspired by Billy, "What do I live for?" Told myself to just complete the fucking sentance, complete the goddamn motherfucking sentance, what could be easier: I live for __________.

And I am still thinking of an answer, of a way of living, of the life I want to live.

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

pool scene

Because my life (and yours) would not be complete, would not be happy ones, brightmotherfuckingshinyhappy ones if I were not to keep this Graduate theme going, if I didn't look at myself, at my life through the lens of The Graduate

I went swimming today. Stayed underwater as long as I could. Did not want to come up, wanted to stay in the shimmering blue water looking at the soundless world through ripples, tiny waves, tinier typhoons refracting light, making the world look like a saturated blue ball of loveliness, a world that I would in theory like to join, but which is so damn pretty just to watch.

Rebecca was here. Notice the past tense nature of that sentance. She is gone. But it was so fun seeing her for the brief period I did. She has given me a little adrenaline rush, renewed my optimism for life, for people.

Tonight I went and saw Ken Silverman's documentary about his trip to a Japanese internment camp. It was fucking amazing. I went there, honestly expecting to not be impressed. But it was so wow - it made me so happy - reminded me that there is a capacity for greatness here. That not everyone here is as uninspired as I think they are - that life is still possible - that some people actually are capable of creating shit, meaningful shit even. Bad wall tapes and bad poetry are not art, it is not living - it is tiring, so so fucking tiring - I have had enough! I want more. I had been thinking that no one here was capable of meaning, that all people here are capable of are writing self-involved diaries (shut up, I am well aware about the pots calling kettles black), doing silly chalk drawings, and reciting poems that I thought were bad when I read them by people just as silly in eleventh grade, but this, tonight, has renewed my faith here in possibilities, in potentials, in maybes - that this place still can surprise me and that is a good thing. A damn good thing. Ken has me inspired to do something with myself, with my hands, to show you something. Cards and curtains are only so exciting. I am capable of more, we all are. I am going to create the world I want to live in.

Sunday, September 15, 2002

I thought this made me Benjamin Braddock, but really I think it makes me Elaine Robinson

As I was telling him about Andrew, telling Sean about him, I was already thinking that I had made the wrong choice, that the person I really wanted to be with was Sean. But it was too late, I had opened my mouth already, words were coming out of this open mouth, disjointed words trying their damnedest to say coherent sentances, complete sentances even, but instead saying um and so... and little impotent attempts to say something, anything other than what I was saying.

Prior to this, to my fumbling with words, Sean and I were talking as we normally do with sly glances being exchanged, Sean doing cute things with his eyes, raising eyebrows, giving that look. But then I talked, I capriciously took a crap shoot, for some reason the dice landed on Andrew, and then there were no longer any cute raised eyebrows, no more insinuating eye glances exchanged, and then he briskly left, said he was going to go talk to his friend. And I realized that I had made a decision, that this was the result of it, that I could no longer touch Sean's hands when I talked to him, that there would be no more fun eye contact, and this made me sad as hell. Andrew came up and talked to me later on, I fatalistically told Andrew that I liked him, told him this not so much because I meant it, but because this was what I had decided on for whatever reasons, that I had blown things with Sean, and this is what I was left with. I kissed him. Again, not because I wanted to, not because I needed to, but just because it seemed appropriate.

And then there was the Now What? feeling, the what exactly have I done thoughts. We were on the back of the bus, the bus we had just caught, barely escaping the angry wedding guests chasing us down. It was that last shot of The Graduate, we knew nothing about each other, but had decided to be together and now had nothing to talk about, were not even exactly sure what we were doing or why we had chosen to do it, wondering even if we had made the wrong decision, but we aren't allowed to think too much about that because the bus keeps moving, bumping along down the road, and we [now, no longer the actors, but the audience, watching the thing play out on televisions] watch the two sit on the back of the bus as the bus fades aways, driving away from the camera.

Saturday, September 14, 2002

chicken little

Things like this just don't happen to me. They are not supposed to. There is an order to the world - to the way things are supposed to work - that I have become very accustomed to, and as such, have managed to live my life accordingly.

It works like this: I like boy. Boy doesn't like me.

Or at least, that is how it is supposed to work, how it has worked so far in my experiences. Events of late though are forcing me to reconceptualize the way the world works, how I thought it did. Forcing me to deal with problems I thought I would never have to encounter. The problem: I like Boy A. Boy A likes me and does not want casual sex, wants something more, a relationship maybe. I like Boy B. Boy B likes me and wants the same.

Never have I had to deal with even one boy liking me, wanting something more than whatever brief encounters are enabled by booze and erect penises. And right now, I find myself with two boys that I like immensely that like me. Let's get to the specifics, the gossip, if you will: This past week whenever I have encountered Sean it has been very nice, has usually involved me trying to convey to Sean either verbally or through gently stroked palms that I like him, that I do fucking like him, and that I want something with him.

But now, here come's the complicating factor, the entrance of Andrew last night at the wall, telling me that he wanted to talk to me. We sat on the wall, and Andrew talked to me. The two of us, the two boys sitting over there on the wall, with decent body language, looking for all the world like they are about to go get it on, that very shortly one of them will get the balls to seize the sexual tension, forward it, take the other's hand and lead them away toward some bed somewhere, propelled by a grabbed hand, where some thing, some body part will be stroked, maybe even delicately, the thought of which suprises you considering how drunk both of them appear.

But yeah, yeah - there is that thing about books and their covers, and about me sitting there literally shocked speechless with my head hung down looking at Andrew's feet, because his feet are not as clever as his eyes and will not see in mine whatever it is, whatever it is not that I am thinking, that I am wondering, that I am maybe even dreading.

Andrew, the person, the boy that I was obsessed with for a very long period of time, that I longed for like no one else, told me, fucking me, that he liked me, that half the reason he comes to walls is to see me, and that he could not not tell me this anymore, that he really liked me, and has for two years, and that is he tired of these games. He told me this and much more, all of it unexpected, all of it recieved to stunned silence, to the sound of my universe, my conception of it falling to pieces.

And I didn't know what to say, and thankfully Andrew realized this, telling me that it was a lot to unload on me and that he didn't expect a response right then. I laughed, relieved, and said Good, cause you're not going to get one right now. And now it is response time, it is the time to figure out what to do, what to say to Sean, what exactly it is I want from Andrew, what it is I want in a broader sense, maybe even from life. Maybe not. Maybe I am just real confused right now and have a paper that needs to be written, have a bowling shindig I need to attend, and have a Rebecca that will hopefully be here tonight, that I will hopefully get to run around with.

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

triple b and egg salad

A rainy day. A very rainy day. Since I have been up, since around ten something, since whenever I managed to wake up from my little drunken sleep, it has been drizzling or raining or pouring or some other type of rain, but rain rain rain, nonstop all day. And because it was raining and also because I am lazy, I decided that I would skip Greek today, that that would be okay, that I can do whatever the fuck I want because this is my life, yes - it motherfucking is - and as such, I can live it however I want, can say I am not going to class and not feel guilty, not feel like who stole the cookie from the cookie jar and have to say not me, not me, and then say your name. Say it loud or silently depending how much energy I have, how able I am to exert myself, to try to show in words how much you and everything else, everything not you, means - how much I want to make something, a card, and show it to you, hold it in my open palms, and say look, look, look what I made.

It's also that day, this day, the eleventh of September and this also has me feeling strangely sad and a little patriotic. I really want to talk to my mom, just speak to her over the phone, hear her voice, let her hear mine, and make sure that she is not sad or isolated, that she is connected to people in this world, or at least to me, because I know that she probably had to go to some memorial thing at the pentagon today. I might talk about this more later after I go to the store and steal some food and call my mom because there are other things that I also want to say that for some reason or other I am having a hard time putting pen to paper, fingers to keys to say these things, things about boy, about Andrew last night telling me, whispering into my ear, my left one, "You are coming home with me," about me saying "Maybe," about instead going to Sean's room and talking with him and lying next to him for a while, for too short a while, about life, about what I need to do to get mine in order, to start feeling like I am living a meaningful one, about strangers in our house possibly out to rape and pillage, basically about many things.

But, I am not in the mood right now and if I can get to a computer tonight and feel cozy then I will, but if not, I won't - and the world will keep on turning and hopefully so will I.

WC Williams said, "I am lonely, I am lonely, I am best so." He's an idiot.

I have forty two mintues of internet time here at 42nd Street and 7th Avenue. I just swiped the new copy of Time Out that someone left behind when they left this place, the Fall Fashion issue, with mod kids on the front making me want to buy some mod clothes. I rode to Times Square with Dara over an hour or so ago, and she was going to run to the library to return some books and meet me here. She has not shown up. I have already took a break from this dollar internet place and wandered around this trippy area of town, thought about plunking down a quarter to check out the peep booths, but didn't have the nerve, drank some coffee, and am back here, after calling Dara twice to no answer from her, feeling incredibly lonely.

I really have no clue what has happened to Dara. I am sure something perfectly normal, but for a bit, the part of my mind that loves to feel sorry for itself, was convinced that she purposely ditched me, that even my roommate doesn't want to spend time with me. This internet place plays really depressing slow jams, and so you are going to have indulge me while I submit to this soundtrack and catalog the depressing aspects of my life here in this city.

A couple weeks ago, this boy that I had seen around town and had a little crush on, sat across from me on the subway, talked to me, and said he wanted to hang out, that he wanted my number. I gave it to him, gave my number to this cute redhead that talked to me! And my spirits were lifted - I stopped believing that I was a big loser, that that is why boys were never interested in me, and I even had a little surge of confidence for a day or so. But he never called.

And in addition, last week, I met this boy Josh who was on the go, but really seemed to like me and told me that we should be Friendsters as he was going. So I wrote him, and he never responded. He was in the Strand two days ago, and I said hi, and he defensively apoligized for not having written yet, but that he really is going to. And again, no response yet. But the icing on the cake would be last night when some cute mod boy kept checking me throughout the night at the Phoenix, where one dollar buds were being served. The boy eventually talked to me, and then left our conversation really abruptly after I had talked for about a minute. I was rejected by some boy that approached me.

And last week, my favorite person at the Strand and I got in a huge argument about what I percieved to be his offensive presumptions about peoples' sexuality, precipitated by him saying a certain customer was gay because he was looking for Virginia Woolf and had a lisp. The argument ended with him saying that he wasn't going to talk to me anymore and leaving work early. Things have since cooled and we are again talking cordially.

And it is the aggregate of little things like these, but god, the sheer number of these little things is huge, huge enough to make these little things seem enormous, to take on a magnitude way beyond the scope which they should normally have, should the person they were occurying to be a happy, healthy individual - it these things all added up that make me incredibly lonely. My house is always empty. I am usually the only person sleeping there. I think this is why I was excited about the idea of moving to Miami earlier this week when Bonnie and Rebecca proposed the situation, of perhaps reenacting the blissful living situation that was Cypress Circle, living with close friends, staying up and chatting, playing board games. I miss it. But the Miami plans fell through, but gosh, oh man, how I would have loved lived to with Rebecca and Bonnie, to live with close friends and feel connected to others, something warm maybe. And really all I want is to be close to someone, and this is why I go out night after night with Joe from work, why I throw my heart at boys who are waiting for something better to come along, because as lonely as I sometimes am, I still have hope that this need not be my condition, that one day a boy will want to be my friend. And I am going out again tonight, will dance my sorrows away. Dance the troubles out of my system. The problem is I don't exercise enough. That's always the problem when you are in a sad state, lack of movement. I have to move. I've got to.

And tomorrow, Lost in Translation opens with my favorite person ever, the person who I worry, I am slowly turning into with each rejection, Bill Murray, and as much as I love Bill Murray, I don't want to be him, I don't at all. I need the eggs.

Wednesday, September 4, 2002

is it proper to say who or whom?

An action-packed weekend to look back on, to write here for whatever reasons, maybe to tell you, the reader, about it because I, like you, like to brag, or maybe it's for other reasons. Maybe you are not a part of this equation at all; maybe I will lie and tell myself this is for me, all for me. If I'm in a brave mood, I might even say something like it is all for art or truth or some other bullshit. Or maybe it's just because. Just fucking because. Regardless of the action-packedness of this weekend or maybe because of it, I am feeling a little like something is missing from my life, that I am living wrong, spending too much time in the company of others and not enough by myself.

Last night after we left the wall, I was talking with Bonnie about how Jamie said that the two of us spend as much time together as her and Drew, who spend every waking moment together, and presumably every non-waking moment also. And I really do, we really do - I never spend time by myself outside of the shower. I don't know what this means, I'm not even sure why this should mean something, why it should signfy something about what type of person I am or what type of person I hope to be, want to be, or what I would even be doing during this time I think I should spend by myself - it is just something I have been thinking about.

Anyways, onwards, the forward march of history continues - or something close to the opposite of that - the retelling of it - the backward march. Friday night was the kiss your crush wall - it involved me getting real drunk and making out with lots of boys, including a super dreamy one that I tried to get to go home with me. It also involved me making out lots with Andrew, which was fun in an almost sick sort of way, like I had accomplished something, finally got this boy, who has in the past shown so much disinterest towards me - that I had got him to make out with me, Andrew fucking Hossack. And perhaps turned on by this rush, or perhaps just really drunk and horny - I started to unbutton his shirt at the wall, sat on top of him and started to unbutton his belt and reached for his cock. Out of some sense of decorum, he told me Not here, and so we went someplace else to whatever the court is with the laundry room in it, to the middle of it, to those little picnic tables, where I threw Andrew back against the table, started to stroke his cock, his lovely cock and tried to give him head - tried because people kept on walking through the court and so we kept on having to stop - so yeah, we finally went into the laundry room, where I set him on top of a washing machine and sucked his cock until he pressed me slightly to let me know that he was about to cum, that I should lift my head - but I didn't - I kept it there, kept sucking until I felt his warm semen hit the roof of my mouth, the saltiness of it.

The night then continued, I made out with yet more people, feeling slightly naughty for kissing all these people after someone just came in my mouth. I walked on stilts with Marge, which really may have been the most fun part of my night. On my to-do list is to make my own pair of stilts - they are so goddamn motherfucking fun.

Yesterday, I woke up, went thrifting with Jamie, Drew, Bonnie, and Sarah, then went to this silly boutique in south Sarasota where there was this fashion show with Becky and Bonnie, downed lots of free champagne, felt really out of place amidst all these high matinence whatever you want to call them - I however will call them high-matinence assholes maybe. After the show, I stole this shirt that looked so cool, this silly ruffled tux shirt that was a girl's medium, stuck it down my pants, the 108 dollar thing - then wearing the silly thing, I went straight to Cafe Kaldi to hear Heather perform, then drank more, went to the horrible wall, stayed way longer than I should have, sweated the shit out of the silly shirt, was rude to just about anyone that talked to me, and then went home feeling like shit, like get the fuck away from me, I need some space. That kind of feeling. I'm hungry.

Tuesday, September 3, 2002

is this boring or what?

This morning, I did not go into work at the Cop Shop because not only did I not feel like doing it, like sitting there and being trained by some putz, but I wanted to go the bookshop to get the books I needed to read for class today and then read them. Which I did. And then I went to these classes and actually enjoyed them, then I went grocery shopping, almost got caught shoplifting sardines, went to the silly town meeting for the free pizza, and then went and bought three six packs of Kirin for 2.99 each at ABC, which I plan on drinking with Bonnie shortly after I finish my Greek homework.

Monday, September 2, 2002

hester prynne

Days like today make me terrified of what is to come, of what I will be like when I am an old man and lose the control of my bladder that I worked so hard to gain all those years ago when I was being potty trained. Between my Russian Novel class and my Romantic Novel class, there is supposed to be a gap of ten minutes but I always somehow get to College Hall before the other class gets out and so to occupy some time, I thought I would go pee in the bathroom downstairs, the bathroom that two years ago had the coolest cubist wallpaper in the world, but for some reason last year was painted a very boring white color, a white not very bright, just a boring white.

And so then, I went upstairs to my classroom which was now empty, sat down and started to glance at my book, I then noticed that my arm was moist from resting on my leg. I look down at my leg to see a decent sized little moist circle that I assumed to obviously be pee, and I took a whiff and sure enough it was pee. I didn't wear any underwear today because I am wearing these tight girl pants that hang down so low they expose my pubes, and so I guess there was nothing to absorb the post pee drip that for some reason took place today. Wallace came in, started class and asked us each to get up and write a scene we wanted to discuss up on the board. I hesitated so long before getting up, slightly embarrassed about this little pee spot that I was sure everyone in my class, all six people including the professor around a little table, sure that all of them could smell the urine smell that I could so easily smell, that they would see where the smell was coming from when I got up to the board, see the little circle, the insigna of my loserness, the urine spot. I rushed to the board quickly after Wallace said for the second time that she wanted everyone to write a scene up on the board and even more quickly resumed my seat, hoping that no one saw the stain, the little circle of denim darker than the rest.

Most of class, I did not even pay attention to what anyone was saying, anything that was said, my one concern was my bladder, how I was sure that I could not control it, how my penis was in tight contact with this wet spot on my jeans and how it would continue to just drip out urine rather that holding it in my bladder because it would be confused, if only I could somehow shift my penis to the other side of my jeans, the dry side, if only I was not at this stupid table sitting right next to the professor I could just readjust myself. But no, I had to sit with my penis in contact with the pee spot, worrying whether or not I would be able to control my bladder, whether or not I could possibly qualify as an adult, a fucking basic adult with basic adult capabilities if I could not even control my bladder. With my arm resting on my jeans, I hoped to conceal my wet spot from Wallace who I was sitting next to and to also try to dry the wet spot with my arm so that I would not piss myself more, so that this spot would go away, so that I would not make this little circle of urine expand into a huge circle, a circle of piss so big it would swallow you and your unborn children, it would saturate all the denim kept in closets, in stores, all the denim that Mister Levi could ever hope to manufacture to sell to your demin loving consumerist ass, to eveyone's denim loving consumerist ass, it would swallow the youth of this nation, of any for that matter - it was bad news and it all seemed like it could be averted if only I could stuff my hands down my pants and shift my cock and balls to the other side of the crotch seam, the dry side - I was fearing the worse, that I had lost control over my bodily functions, that I was a fucking baby, a fucking old man, something other than what I try my damnedest to concieve of myself as.

Eventually the pee dried.

Sunday, September 1, 2002

happy birthday mom

I woke up amazingly today at noon feeling fairly good, fairly damn good considering how much I drank last night and how late I was up till trying to hold out, to continue sitting at a table at the Poinciana house listening to conversation that was boring me to death, but listening to this conversation with the hopes that when they were done, when the conversation was over, I would be able to get Andrew to come home with me, to fuck me, and then to lie with me. However, I was too drunk to sit at the table anymore - I was ready to pass out and followed the steps Bonnie made an hour earlier leaving the house in her drunken stumble home, and made my own drunken stumble home, the two blocks until I could pass out in my bed, could sleep off this thing, could say good night, hush, sleep little child, and cuddle up in blankets.

And from that yummy sleep, I woke up, cleaned up our house, picked up red plastic cup after red plastic cup, threw away empty beer bottles that had been used as ashtrays, and recyled the ones that hadn't been used as ashtrays. Then I talked with Bonnie and did the fun sober re-piecing of the night, putting it all together, recalling events together, conversations, yes, you really did say that, remebering the cinematic spectacle, the all to potent scene of Tiffany yelling at Palm Court, shouting at stunned people who got their groove interupted by her switching off "The Electric Slide," shouting at the people who threw the wall with big hand movements that, "IT WILL NEVER BE ELECTRIC ON THIS CAMPUS! NEVER! IT WILL NEVER BE ELECTRIC HERE!" Recalling that and other things, ignoring one boy because another one said he would get with you, that sort of thing, recalling Bonnie falling in mud, and yeah -- it was all pretty silly, the retelling of the night, but it entertained us for a few hours because really, we were too lazy to get up and do something, let alone do schoolwork.

I watched Zoolander for the first time this afternoon, went to the beach with Bonnie, and talked to my mom on the phone, and again, I feel so wonderfully comfortable, that post-beach glow stemming from a comfortable exhaustion. And yeah.