Tuesday, December 30, 2003

I rode the subway home with my head on Peter's shoulder, drunk, tired, and sad, terribly sad, while Joe and Peter were having some discussion that I really did not care too much about. I might have some other time, but tonight I just wanted to mope. I went out to the Cock (yes, again), and so many of my crushes were in attendence. Josh. Who I talked to, and who is not interested in me. Jonathon's friend, who I talked to about Jonathon and his 32 year old boyfriend. Jonathon's friend may have liked me I think, but I just wanted to talk to him about Jonathon.

And then David was there. I slept with David at the beginning of the summer, and was obsessed with him before then, and still am. He is into queer theory, sex work, and works for Routledge. I think he is so fucking cool. Tonight, I found myself talking with him about this Judith Butler essay I am reading, "Global Violence, Sexual Politics," about 9-11. I think he thinks I am an interesting person because he sincerely complimented me, saying he was glad that I read this stuff, and that I let things affect me. He was actually really nice to talk to. But I do not think he is into me in a physical sense. But it is nice, really nice, to get that impressed look from someone's eyes, where you can tell they think you are a neat person.

Later, after exchanging glances with this one boy all night, I finally started dancing with him, and he did not touch me, he did not grab me, did not pull me toward him, did not desire me. I found myself touching him, and wanted so badly for him to grab me back, to touch me. It did not happen. We danced more, he talked to me, asked me the what's your name and what do you do questions, and then I ran away, ran to Joe and Peter, ditched the boy because he either he did not desire me or was too shy to act on it - and either way, I would not have been satisfied. And really, this all relates back to this Butler essay, because in it, she goes on and on about the vulnerability of bodies, a really beautiful essay, and it had me thinking about my own vulnerable body, and I just want to be touched. I want someone to desire me.

"The body implies mortality, vulnerability, agency: the skin and flesh expose us to the gaze of others, but also to touch, and to violence; the body can be the agency and instrument of all these as well." (185)

"I also suggested that the way in which the body figures in gender and sexuality studies, and in the struggles for a less oppresive world for the otherwise gendered and for sexual minorities of all kinds, is precisely to underscore the value of being beside oneself, or being a porous boundary, given over to others, finding oneself in a trajectory of desire that takes one out of oneself, resituates one irreversibly in the field of others. The particular sociality thtat belongs to bodily life, to sexual life, and to becoming gendered (which is always, to a certain extent, becoming gendered for others) establishes a field of ethical enmeshment with others." (189)

And I wasn't touched. My body was left vulerable. I was terribly sad, and rested my head on Peter's shoulder. Tomorrow, Beki is coming. The next day, Rebecca. My room is a shithole with used tissues all over the floor from when I was sick and too lazy to throw my snot rags away. Also, I am pretty sure that I do not have one towel that has not been used to clean up cum. Oh well, I doubt that I will wake up early enough to do laundry tomorrow morning.

Monday, December 29, 2003

hierarchical thinking 2003

Best Albums
1. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Fever to Tell
2. Belle and Sebastin – Dear Catastrophe Waitress
3. Gillian Welch – Soul Journey
4. Postal Service – Give Up
5. New Pornographers – Electric Version
6. Outkast – The Love Below (and just “The Love Below”)
7. British Sea Power – The Decline of
8. Justin Timberlake – Justified
9. Mates of State – Team Boo
10. Missy Elliot – This is Not a Test
Critically lauded album that had me rolling my eyes: The Strokes – Room on Fire
Best show: The Gossip at the now defunct Luxx. I went home high on rock and roll, and the next night saw the Gossip play again at the Knitting Factory and realized how special a show that was at Luxx where she sang on the floor in the audience, and belted out those tunes like I have never heard rock and roll do.

Best Art Shows
1. Marcel Dzama at David Zwirner
2. “The American Effect” at the Whitney
3. Larry Clark at Luhring Augustine
4. Simen Johan at Yossi Milo
5. The Real Royal Trip at PS1
6. Pierre et Gilles at Robert Miller
7. Joe Deal at Robert Mann
8. Rev. Billy performance at Deitch
9. Bruce LaBruce at John Connelly
10. Andrei Molodkin at Kashya Hildebrand
Critically lauded show that had me rolling my eyes: Matthew Barney at Guggenheim

Best Books I Read, Not all of Which Came Out This Year
1. Haruki Murakami – After the Quake
2. Dave Hickey – Air Guitar
3. W.G. Sebald - Austerlitz
4. AM Homes – Things You Should Know
5. Dave Eggers – You Shall Know Our Velocity
6. AR Ammons - Garbage
7. Chris Ware – Quimby the Mouse
8. Jonathon Lethem – Fortress of Solitude
9. Billy Talen – What Should I Do If the Rev. Billy is in my Store?
10. Jonathon Franzen – The Corrections
Critically lauded books that had me rolling eyes: Yann Martel – Life of Pi; and Alice Sebold – Lovely Bones

Best Films I Saw This Year
1. Lost in Translation
2. In America
3. Kill Bill (Vol. 1)
4. 28 Days Later
5. City of God
6. Spirited Away
7. Monster
8. 21 Grams
9. About Schmidt
10. Raising Victor Vargas
Critically lauded movie that had me rolling my eyes: Elephant

Thursday, December 25, 2003

I arrived back home last night. My mom and my sister picked me up at Union Station. We walked out into the chill air and the first thing I saw was the lit dome of the Capitol, magnificent looking and letting me know that I was home, that there were beautiful things to take in on this trip. Lit white marble against a black night sky being one of them. As we were driving home, I noticed the sky, the blackness of it, and the stars, constellations. I saw the dippers. Both of them. And I don't see the night sky in New York. Last night was a treat. Tonight is. And tomorrow, my last night here, will be also.

This morning after opening presents, we went out to the recycling center and to pick up a paper and we drove down Route One, near buildings I spent time in as a kid, as a teen, places, physical places containing all these physical ghosts. I was there at one point. We were. We ran around the store, buying nothing, intending to buy nothing, killing time, talking.

On the way to the recyling center, we drove down Beacon Hill road, near where I went to elementary school, near where I went to high school, and the sky could be seen overhead, in front of you, and yes, behind you, physically, while you are trailing mentally behind, recalling the moments you and Bobby Wozniack used to spend playing in those woods, by that creek that constantly smelled like sewage. All the while the Beatles were playing because every Christmas, the classic rock station here plays nothing but Beatles, and pretty much every Christmas, the radio dial eventually will settle on 94.7, and all over the physical terrian of my past, as we drove around today doing these little errands, I had this sound, this familiar sound evoking other things, helping with the evocation of these things.

It was a nice day. A very pleasant Christmas. This afternoon, I saw In America with my mom and sister. And it was sentimental, but beautifully so. My eyes watered at the end, and that never happens for me in life or in movies, and my mom was wiping away tears next to me. It is just a gorgeous movie, and it tackles and plays around with the issue of race in brave ways, questioning our own racial expectations as viewers of what will happen when two little white girls go into a burly black man's apartment. It is a gem of a movie that I was entirelly taken by surprise by. I love when that happens. I also love when you leave a movie theater after watching a film that makes you think about this life project and makes you a little more sensitive to it, and you step into a chilly outside just as the sun is setting and the sky is a marvellous display of pinks, purples, and blues. And the colors, these non-screen ones that the screen ones are never capable of rivaling, are amazing, make it seem like the witnessing of these colors should mean something. You are not sure what, but want to find out and want to linger staring in hopes of coming closer to. [See also Proust's description of hawthorn flowers in Swann's Way] And as you ride home, and the Beatles continue to sing their gorgeous tunes, the bright colors of the sunset eventually melt into the dark one that is night, you step into your mommy's house, turn on some lights, and eat a nicely prepared meal made by the hands of the person whose body was your entrance into this world. And you think about this because after all, it is Christmas, and another Mary on this day gave birth to a boy whose entrance is celebrated today. The food is yummy as it passes through your throat, and as it sits in your stomach.

I got a long, black fleece scarf for Christmas, and I am not sure if it has been off my neck for more than a minute since I opened it this morning. It is warm and cozy and makes me feel extremely comfortable, loved.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

I love waking up to treasure. It is almost eight thirty. A while ago, I woke up to my alarm, looked out my window, got giddy like a kid and thought that yes, it is Christmas Eve now! I then read an essay by Zadie Smith about Christmas, that was good and touching. I love good writing, stuff that can evoke something for you, and there is an endless amount of it out there to touch me, to evoke things for me. And this fact, I love. Last night, I read a poem by Yoko Ono that she had printed in this week's voice as an ad that I also loved, that made me excited about Christmas, and New Year's, and the potential for a new world with it. Merry merry merry.
Man, so today was the second to last shopping day before Christmas and stores were packed, including the Strand. After I got off work, I ran to the grocery store, bought some pesto sauce and ran to catch the train just before it left. And who do I find myself sitting right next to, but my co-worker Keith (my former crush) who had the day off. He asked me how it was today, if it was nuts, and I said no. I am sure everyone else in retail today probably would have told you that it was nuts, that it was awful, but I love crowds, I love people, I love pressing the flesh, and talking to tons of people. It's what we look for in a bar, it's what makes a bar cool, so why does it make a job awful? It doesn't!!!

I got my train ticket to go home to Virginia tomorrow night at 7:30, after I get off work at 6:30. I am working on finishing off this bottle of Cab, after finishing fairly yummy pesto, and am about to start wrapping my family's presents and packing some clothes to go home. Today, I realized that I love working at the Strand. That it is a fucking incredible bookstore that I would probably spend hours in if I were not working there, but I work there, and everyday I learn so much. I become more familiar with artists and authors and people, human beings. Today, I encountered three people that I knew, and I chatted with them and hugged one of them. I read words, just opened random books and read random paragraphs and looked up to the top of eleven foot shelves at all the other books occupying this one shelf in this massive store and touched the titles, ran my fingers across their spines and thought about this life, past lives - and where, here in language, they intersect, thought about the sheer number there with me - felt a communion with them - and I was awed and in love with this thing, my time, with you, all of you, those here on the shelf, and those elsewhere. I wish you all the happiest of holidays, the happiest of todays, and if I encountered you, I would hug you. I will.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

People, I just want to say that I love you. Each and every single one of you. Tonight at work, I got into an argument with Will about love/compassion. I chastised him for being constantly rude to customers. Everyone at the Strand is rude to customers (I am guilty of this myself) but Will just takes it to a whole another level. Think of that time you went into some trendy little store, and either a bitchy gay male or a sullen teenage girl treated you like utter garbage. Mulitply that by ten and that is how Will treats customers who ask him to help them find a book.

My admonishments somehow led into him proclaiming that loving everyone is impossible and this is the reason Christianity is stupid because it is based on this impossible premise. Anyways, he went on and on about how it is impossible, completely impossible - that no one has enough energy - to love everyone.

I took the bait and argued with him about the nature of kindness, and later tonight found myself put to the test. I went up to 34th Street after work to go the main post office which is open 24/7 (!!!) - and was utterly wowed by the building. It takes up a whole city block, and has huge columns out front. It looks like one of the many federal buildings in DC, with columns so large they remind you of how small you are and how grand this world is.

Then I got on the train back home, took the A to the L, got on the L, and at the next stop, three rowdy teen males got on, making loud comments about people on the train, making everyone uncomfortable. I hated them. I had no love for them. They really made the entire train ride unneccesarily tense. Not only did I hate them, but I wanted to punch them. For real! They challenged one nerdy "computer geek white boy" to a fight after he asked him why they called him that. He cooly replied, "Merry Christmas." I was ready to fucking hit them at this point. This is already after one of the kids would not scoot over to let an elderly Asian man sit down. There is ample room for three people to sit on each bench and there were only two people sitting on it. The Asian dude squirmed his way into the open spot and the young punk started shouting about how there wasn't room for him. The old dude still had spunk, yelled back, said that there was room for three, that he had paid his fare also, and he could sit down, room for three! The three of them then started mimicking him in horrible Asian accents. Wom fo tree! Wom fo tree! Everyone on the train was beyond uncomfortable.

And at this moment I had love for everyone on this train except for these three. You don't treat old people with disrespect. And you don't make racist jokes. Two things that I cannot stand. How was this boy raised where it is okay for a 16 year old to try to prevent a 60 year old man from sitting down at fucking midnight?! People!

I got off the train, and not a moment too soon, the train was unbearable to be on, and started cursing these three, cursed them practically all the way home so that I forgot to stop at Kellog's and pick up spaghetti sauce so I could eat pasta tonight. I ate tuna fish instead. But now, I am at peace, and it is because earlier today, I had the foresight to purchase a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. I have only drunk half a glass but man, I have not had a Cab in so long. It is only a ten dollar one, but boy oh boy, is it the yummiest, the most relaxing thing in the world. It is like a bubble bath in a glass. Just recapping those events stressed me out but then I took another sip, and man, I am at peace again. It is a drive through the country in a glass. It is a nice swim in warm water. It is just turning in a paper you stayed up all night writing and breathing out. The last time I bought a bottle of red wine was back in June I am pretty sure. The taste brings back so many pleasant memories. It is my madeleine. Florida, Publix, Madison, and on and on and on. I love all of you so much. I am going to tell all of you this more often.

Friday, December 19, 2003

My sheets, my bathmat, and some clothes are all spinning in a washing machine a couple blocks from my house right now. There is throw-up on my floor that I have been postponing cleaning up. I had to throw away my to do list book which I also vomitted on. Not that anything on that to do list was going to get done today since I spent the majority of it painfully hung over in bed, resolving to myself to never drink again (at least for a little while), and wondering if the statement is "liquor before beer, you're in the clear," or "liquor before beer, never been sicker." I can never remember how the phrase goes.

Open bars are bad news. On game shows, sometimes there is that money machine, a big clear box that people step into for thirty seconds or so, and then the fans in the box turn on, money flies all around the person, and they grab as much of the stuff as they can in the alotted time. That is what open bars are for me. Normally, my wallet and an unlimited sense of time prevents me from getting totally wasted. However, at open bars, I get into this mental mode where I try to take advantage of as many free drinks as possible before it ends. I grab like a maniac for all those dollars floating around me. I had some whiskey before consuming a pretty much insane number of beers. And then that was it. I lost pool to Joe, talked to some random people, got on the train, got off at Bedford, ate some pizza with Joe, and then somehow managed to get home, to get upstairs, and in my bed. All of that part, I really cannot remember. But thank god, our bodies are machines in love with routine, and can perform functions (getting us home and in bed) even when we are completely out of it.

I am so not looking forward to scrubbing the throw up out of the carpet in my room, scrubbing that nasty stench into the air. Luckily my nose is pretty stuffed up. Besides the hangover feeling, I really do feel less sick than yesterday. I think all that alcohol in my system killed off thoses viruses, that or I spewed them out all over my floor, my toilet, my bed.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

let me hear you say Whoo, Whoo

Okay, fuck it, I'll say it, I am sick. I talked to Megan on the phone today and right away, after hearing me talk she said, "Are you sick?" This morning when I got up to blow my nose, Dara asked if I was all right. I wanted to ignore them, to ignore my body, and to think that I could exert some control over my life, but the fact is my body is at the helm of this mind-body ship, and it is sick sick sick.

I picked up my contacts but postponed Jeff Koons until tomorrow. But don't think that means that I am not going to the movies and not going out and taking advantage of free booze. Right now, it is time to celebrate. Tonight, I will be drinking to our court systems. I was so happy to read that our constitution still means something, that people can not be tried without due process, that they can not be held indefinitely as enemy combatants, that we have access to lawyers, and the right to face trial, that civilians cannot be detained in military brigs! This is important stuff! Our liberties were asserted in an awesome way today! People, let us rejoice for America today, that there is still an intelligent judiciary that has the power to check that fucking idiot, Bush. I will be celebrating at Nowhere tonight at least from 9 until 11. Come join me. This along with the Supreme Court's upholding of the campaign finance laws a couple weeks ago is reason, real reason to be happy about this country, to continue to have faith, and to keep fighting. Sickness be damned. Tomorrow, I will nurse you. Tonight, I celebrate.


This afternoon, I feel more culturally literate that I did this morning. I have finally gotten around to reading Proust, and read the first section of "Combray," that talks about that oft-mentioned madeliene. Now, I will finally be able to nod my head whenever I come across one of those madeliene references. I am reading the standard Moncrieff translation because it was cheaper, way cheaper, than the new Lydia Davis translation that the Voice had been jizzing about lately. It is really amazing stuff. It has me excited about reading again, about writing's potential.

Once there was a discussion at the Strand about fiction, precipiatated by someone saying that they didn't like fiction, that it was boring, and how did reading about a bunch of rich, white people relate to their life? I am never sure what to say to such a thing, such a thing that strikes me as totally alien to my way of thinking, where pretty much all I read is fiction. But luckily, I didn't have to respond because Tom replied quickly something like, "It is a way of experiencing the world - you get to see how other people envision it, all the many ways there are to percieve life." And of course that is not an exact quote, but that was the idea he argued. And reading Proust now after just finishing Mansfield Park by Austen, and after starting and abandoning Jane Erye, I see how right that idea is, how amazing it is that there are so many different voices out there, and it has me totally excited about the rest of my life, those many years ahead (knock on wood) in which I can read more and more of these authors, and I can see and experience the world from all these different minds. Man, intelligent things will eventually be said about Proust. I promise, if the rest of Swann's Way is even a smidgen as amazing as the section I have just completed.

I am feeling a little s--- today. I don't want to actually say the word. If I don't declare it, it has not yet happened, it is not born. So I am just S right now.

Last night, I saw the Mama's Boy show at White Columns. The show was not nearly as good as the statement about it made it sound. About a couple of the pieces, Christy made the comment how she did not she how some of the work related to the artist's relationship with his mom, and now, in retrospect, I totally agree with that - that the show did not totally match its title. I thought about this while reading Proust, whose protaganist is such a mama's boy in the first section.

After that show we went to the K48 Klubhouse at Deitch Brooklyn where there was supposed to be an afterparty for the Outlaw art festival, however, the party consisted of a band playing and about five people sitting on a bench listening to them, and a gigantic map to the convience store where you could purchase beer. We wondered through the clubhouse, which was a maze-like structure erected in this warehouse space with rooms and halls literally plastered with artwork, that evoked for me trashy one level Florida houses occupied by college age kids. I am thinking specifically of Remington House. There were people lounging on thrift store couches in one room smoking. In another room, people were playing video games. There was a bedroom that was completely mirrored. Think teenagers off on their own, runaway pirates, living with other teens recently away from their parents. That immediate post-parent life totally was a more naughty version of a clubhouse. This morning I read more about Scott Hug, and found out that he erected another clubhouse last winter. Knowing this gives me more of a context in which to think about the clubhouse I saw last night, which Scott Hug told us, after we signed his petition to keep his current clubhouse open, involved the work of about sixty artists. Last night, I thought it busy and chaotic that all the work was clutered into this clubhouse space, being used to seeing art in a more traditional gallery context, hung and spaced evenly on white walls. But now, away from the work, I see the whole polyphonic clubhouse as a pretty amazing way of representing American adolescence. Here is my favorite piece in the cluttered clubhouse, the photograph behind the woman that looks sort of like a middle-aged version of Bonnie.

Today, I am going to go pick up my contacts, am going to run and check out the Jeff Koons show before it closes tomorrow, and will then rush back to Williamsburg, see Peter's new apartment, trot off with him to see a screening of Monster. Then open bar at Nowhere from 9 to 11, and no mention, not even a thought of that nasty little S word.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

I may be on time for work today. However, I will be leaving four or so hours early to go check out some art and drink some free booze. I have five dollars in cash until I can get more from the Strand tomorrow. My bank account is in the red by eleven dollars and some cents. I am totally living paycheck to paycheck. And this is normally okay except I want a new pair of shoes, sort of need one because the pair I have now is starting to rip and fall apart.

I am so happy to be in New York. It took a while for me to realize why I was here. People ask all the time, "So why did you come to NY?" Fellow New Yorkers ask this, also runaways from somewhere, and they want someone to explain why we are all here, what we are all doing. And I never have known what to say when asked this, never really have know why exactly it is that I decided to come to NY, and so I would usually just shrug my shoulders and say either, "I don't know," or "You know," hoping that they wouldn't call my bluff. But now I know, or I have got some better idea of the why: We are all motherfucking runaways, and that is why I am here, that is why we are here, because there was a dream we couldn't tell you about, and we had a feeling that maybe we could find it here. I am doing my best to create a community of love with friends here in New York. Dancing, laughing, imbibing booze. But yesterday, hung over and buzzed on too many cups of coffee, I thought yes, I am here in New York! I looked out my kitchen window and saw lots of other apartment windows, and I knew all those people were runaways also, that they were all big dreamers, and they all came here seeking something, chasing something, even perhaps just trying to figure out just what that something was, and knowing that if it could be found anywhere, this must be the place. There is a treasure map that we stole glances at as kids, and we remember that mythic land of treasure, and later in life bought plane tickets to that place, that mythic name, running away in search of pirate booty, running running, and getting here, meeting all these other pirates and coming to the realization that these pirates are it, here is the treasure in the bonds between us chasing things.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

I have no self-control whatsoever when I have booze in my system. Example A: Last night.

I went to go see Avenue D perform at the Cock but not before comsuming an insane amount of rum at the Phoenix. Once at the Cock, I consumed an equally, if not more so, amount of rum because, hey, there was an open bar for an hour, and so why not consume an additional four drinks in the span of an hour?

The night was a blur of events, and really I think that is how I like to experience my events, when they are a blur of noise, dancing, movement, and bodies. The sound system was not up to par for Avenue D's peformance, which I was worried about before hand. But they were still fun to see. The rest is in fragments that I recalled this morning when I woke up, feeling incredibly silly about some of them. Why did I kiss my doom and gloom co-worker Will? And yes, I do feel like I had his cock in my hand for a moment or so. Oh, that's going to be weird seeing him. There was contact with a couple of other boys. Comments from Daniel, Ben's boyfriend, about how he thinks Ben has the hots for me. And he said it jokingly, but I think he was perhaps serious. And to distinguish between Bens here, this is the New York Ben that I have an insane crush on that was being talked about. Not Ben from Sarasota, another crush who was in attendance last night also at the Cock, and it was not a big deal at all. I was excited to see him, to see a familiar face from Florida. Dancing, way too much booze, and going into work with a hangover -- when should this cycle start to worry me? Right now, I could ask for nothing more, except perhaps a better job to go into with a hangover.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Galleries were fun, amazing, and more fun. Marcel Dzama show was mind-blowingly good. Rev. Billy performance was good for so many reasons. Mainly, that it was a New Press X-Mas party and I ran into Izzy and drank way too much free booze, and hit on a boy who looked like Mr. Bean and whose name was Gabriel. Hit on an orange-mohaked boy also. Exchanged air kisses with mohawk boy. Rode home before midnight, Cinderella, Cinderella, catching the last L train before it shut down for the weekend, riding with Peter and running into my manager from Borders in Arlington, Virginia in 1999. Crazy small world. And he made some comment about how everyone that worked there was gay. And my bookstore manager from Virginia from 1999, I ran into on the L train. Fucking fucking small world. Time to write some missed connections. Gabe and mohawk boy.

Friday, December 12, 2003

I am going to blame it on Le Tigre. You see, I was listening to them all day long yesterday thanks to the discman technology, and it got me fired up about a lot of stuff. I went gallery hopping last night in Chelsea with Peter and ran into Daniel and Ben while out. We were at the Kashya Hildebrand gallery, and I asked Peter what he thought of the work, because really, I didn't like it, and I wanted confirmation that this dislike was mutual and was hoping that someone could perhaps articulate my dislike of the work. Peter said he didn't like it, and that the work was "feminine." I reacted probably more strongly than I should have about the adjective choice and I think pissed Peter off a little. It's hard when your friends that you like and respect say something that you find offensive, because tension invariably is the result of trying to discuss the offense. But, I think that it is good to have these conversations with friends, that it does establish some bounds for each of you to be aware of. I just need to work on being more delicate in discussing these subjects so I don't alienate people that I like, that I instead can hopefully by being delicate show them why I take offense to certain things, certain habits of speech.

We then went to other galleries and downed more free wine, both of which helped to alleviate the tension, being away from the art that neither of us really liked that much and that set off a tense discussion about gender, and also having more wine to wash away the tension that I was perceiving. We then went and saw two photography shows, the Joe Deal show, which was amazing, and the Robert McCann show, which I also found to be pretty awesome. And I am sure my enjoyment of these two so much had a lot to do with receiving them right after the Thierry Feuz show which I did not like much, but I am also convinced that it had a lot to do with the pretty much insane quantities of wine that I had consumed by this point in the evening. Being inebriated really does remove some of the self-imposed boundaries that we have. This is obviously why dancing like a maniac and making out with people tends to occur when you are drunk, and this is all well-known, but alcohol also removes those boundaries that exist when you are engaged with a work of art. You allow it to possess a meaning that you otherwise would be to socially aware of how you are being perceived to grant it, and usually that awareness of how you are being perceived is you perceiving yourself, too distanced by levels of awareness to engage with the piece on any meaningful level.

It also probably had a lot to do with these two being photo shows. I wonder if I had lived in a pre-photography era if I would have had a more engaged interaction with painting, because as it is now, I find it much harder to be wowed by painting than it is to be wowed by photography. Peter, Daniel, and I then trotted off to SoHo to see the D Troit show. I was way too drunk by this point and as such, remember absolutely nothing about the art, all I remember is that the opening was crowded with young, pretty people.

The three of us then hiked to Ben's apartment, stopping at Au Bon Pain to eat cookies from the dumpster, stopping at Urban Outfitters where Peter's old roommate works and she was more than a little wicked to me for no particular reason, and then we stopped at K-Mart where I stole a pink headband that says "Princess", and where we were going to buy beer, but where I just walked out with a huge case of it because it looked too easy. And it was. Then we drank more at Ben's, listened to a kitschy song by Jerry Falwell and friends singing an anti-evolution song. Who knows where Ben found that record, but its existence is pretty amazing.

Then we went to country night at Nowhere where I ran into Naomi and her cute friend, Michael, who I started making out with shortly after meeting him. The effects of alcohol at work. And I don't know in what context it was mentioned, but he made some reference to "ebonics" and I stopped making out with him, asked him what the hell he was talking about. Again, I am blaming Le Tigre for my bout of righteousness yesterday. And I was appalled and told him good night, stopped making out with him, and talked to Daniel and Clint, the bartender. We were most definitely going to go home together, and I was really into the boy, but then he had to go and be a jackass, and then his unawareness about the offensiveness of that term, stating that it is a real term, that they use it in his college classes made me even more annoyed with him. I am pretty sure when I asked him what he meant by "ebonics" there was some use of the phrase "jive." Cringe cringe. And so, I put an end to our making out. I have never so briskly and determinedly ended anything. It produced an empowering feeling.

I woke up this morning, and my body stunk like sweat and booze and grossness, like an old man. I took a shower. I feel better. This afternoon's agenda includes depositing my paycheck, finally paying my December's rent and then, of course, more gallery openings. Three of which I am so stoked about: the Rev. Billy, the Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin show, and the Marcel Dzama show!!! Today is good. Yesterday was. And tomorrow will be also. This is wonderful knowledge to possess. Try stopping me.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Work work worked tonight, went to the Phoenix with Joe even though I am supposed to be at work at 9:30 tomorrow morning. Drank way too many beers even though I am supposed to be at work at 9:30 tomorrow morning. Then went to some other bar on Avenue A where my friend Josh was spinning even though I am supposed to at work at 9:30 tomorrow. Danced to Le Tigre, Peaches, and drank more beer... even though, yes, I know, you know about my irresponsibleness.

Waited for the subway at 1st Avenue, listened to Talking Heads before my discman batteries died and checked out a girl across the platform who was checking me out. I was cruising a girl!!! She was a little, cute hipster girl and for some reason kept checking me out. When she got on her train, she gave me a "What's up?" head nod through the windows. And it was weird to flirt with girl, but I am blaming it on Talking Heads and the beer.

I got off the train and walked in the same direction as some random gay boy who I struck up a conversation with since we were walking at the same pace in the same direction, and talked about how awkward that is when you walk next to someone, should you slow down, or speed up, or tough it out. And then at my block, he gave me a kiss. And now, I am home, way drunk, and am supposed to be at work at 9:30 to make up for calling in sick yesterday, and working the early shift so I can get more drunk tomorrow afternoon at gallery openings.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

"Hi Charlie - I thought of you when I saw this - remembering how you wanted a UPS uniform."

My mom just forwarded me a warning about fake UPS employees, and prefaced it with the above sentence. I had totally forgotten that I got a job with UPS just to obtain a uniform. To do something like that seems unimaginable and irresponsible now. I realize that I am getting older when things like this occur, when someone says "Remember when..." and tells a crazy story that I had totally forgotten about, that I could not imagine participating in now. When I hear things like this, I really wonder if I was (or am) crazy.

"and every sound is a song to be found"

I just got back from watching Jamie Seerman and numerous other people from the anti-folk scene performing at Pete's Candy Store. It is a pretty nice bar to watch music in. Intimate, well-lit, kitschy. I got a little tired after watching three performers, and had less and less patience as the night wore on. I think three is the perfect number in many respects. This now includes the number of musical acts that should perform on a bill. Anything past three and the audience just gets tired, which is bad for everyone involved. The musicians aren't enjoying an engaged reception with their work, and the audience gets restless, and as result are not having any artistic visions. It ends up in bad art for everyone involved.

Watching Jamie though, and going to see her perform made me aware that I am friends with talented people who often want to share their amazing gifts with their friends, and I feel like I am not doing my part in these friendships, that I do not have beautiful creations to trade with them. It is unbalanced, there is taking and no giving, feeling of unworth. Tonight, I felt like a bit of a putz and thought that I needed to live a more inspired life so that when I see people like Diana and other people who ask the questions, "So what's new? Are you still working at the Strand?" that I can reply No, or can say Yes, I am still working there and I am also doing this amazing thing and this amazing thing.

Friends are good for sharing. I have found out about so many bands and so many writers from good, knowledgable friends. Their knowledge has inspired me to also see the world from these perspectives. I like cream cheese rolls because of Jamie. I like Amy's Burritos because of Bonnie. Friends are good for sharing their tastes with you, letting you discover that mmm, mmm, that is an amazing food product. Or that yes, that is wonderful, that music, or that yes, that is wonderful, those gigantic cloud formations.

And friendships also give the (positive! yes, positive!) gift of insecurities. Your friend works for positive social change. You feel insecure about your own uninvolvement with working towards social change. And out of these insecurites you become more aware of your own self, of your own actions, and often times, to quell those insecurities, you will take action to try to be a "better" person. Similar dynamics go on when you are friends with a creative person constantly producing pretty good art, it makes you want to nourish your own artistic tendencies. It makes you insecure about how you have been negligent in creating objects, about sharing things with this world. And for this, friends are awesome. Seeing Jamie tonight did make me feel a little insecure, made me whip myself for not being as good a human being as is possible. And now I know and will work on change, will work on sharing. Friends rock.

Tuesday, December 9, 2003

There are other things that I could talk about, about how I called in sick today because I drunkenly last night did not set my alarm after going to the Cock and decided I had a new crush. I could write about how I am still sick, but denying this fact. I could write about how I am reading 19th century British females right now. I could write about my rent (how I haven't paid it yet). Or, I could imagine that I am already late for leaving to see my friend Jamie play at Pete's Candy Store in my neighborhood. But, I just read the latest Ward Sutton cartoon in the Voice, and it shocked me because I had not yet heard that the turkey I saw served over and over again by Bush to US troops serving in Iraq on Thanksgiving was a motherfucking fake turkey! I searched online and found out that it is true! How did I not hear about this? This seriously disgusts me beyond words. Things get more and more horrible. Abominable! Did other people know about this and not post LJ posts about it? Because LJ is often my source for shocking news to further despirit me.

Saturday, December 6, 2003

So you know at the end of a makeover show when they unveil the changed person, decked out in a new haircut and a new outfit, and you, the audience, say wow and look at this person as a totally different person, or you see a person that ugly clothes and an ugly haircut prevented you from seeing.

Well, snow provides that same Wow effect for the landscape. Everything is cloaked in a fluffy whiteness, even the black streets. It is all white, it is all clean looking, it is all changed. Man, snow is so amazing. To make me see the same streets I have seen day after day for months now in a whole new light, to make me see the beauty of my surroundings, of this space that I occupy, that is incredible. Snow under streetlamps may very well be one of my favorite sights in the world. Both the snow flakes falling that are briefly illuminated as the pass through the streetlight's halo, and the snow already firmly settled on the ground that takes on a pinkish, light purple tone, a glow even. The snow contains the light, and it is so gorgeous.

I have slipped a couple times walking around in the snow, but I have yet to fall, although secretly, I would like to. Maybe tomorrow I will fall on purpose.

Tuesday, December 2, 2003

I called in sick to work today. I have a cough that will terrify kids and small animals. I have been awake for no more than three hours total today and I am about to go back to bed so that hopefully I can go into work tomorrow, so that I will get paid some money in this paycheck, so that I can pay my rent.

When I awoke to pee this morning at 11, my groggy sick mood vanished as soon as I looked out the window and saw it snowing like crazy and some accumulation already gathering on roofs. It made me so incredibly happy. With delight, I then thought about how I will be allowed to experience this snow joy this year since I am not in Florida for the first winter in four years.

When I next woke up to pee again at three, the snow had all melted.

I am tired of being sick. I am tired of being tired. It prevents the wild life.

Monday, December 1, 2003

don't fuck with michael jackson

Earlier this evening, as I was walking back from a Chinese restaurant with my manager's food, I kept passing lots of restaurants filled with people not too far from my age sitting with friends and eating. Gophering my manager's dinner past these dinner scenes led into a train of thought that went something along the lines of: I am so lame . . . I have been in this city for seven months or so now working at the Strand and have not even applied to one other job . . . I want a real daytime job so I can eat dinner at dinner time, so I can quit thinking two paychecks ahead of this one about how I am going to pay all the various bills I have.

And it was during this depressing train of thought that I passed a boy, and as soon as I passed him, I realized that it was my crush, Christopher. And I thought about whether I should call after him and say hi. I thought about this for a long time. Too long a time to actually do anything. And so, I kept walking back to work, filled now with not only self-loathing but a potent mixture of desire and loneliness (and the two are probaby the same at the root).

Then I started thinking about how perfect that was, just fucking perfect, that right as I am thinking about how much my life sucks, here walks by another aspect of my life practically screaming, "Hey, don't forget about me! While you're berating yourself, add to the list, your appaling lack of luck with boys." And I kid you not, right at this second as I was thinking about the timing of Christopher's appearance, I tripped over a curb. That's what you get for navel-gazing, I guess.

I have been sick. I still am, sort of. For this reason, I have not been in tip-top shape in any respect. Tomorrow, I will be better and the world will look rosy again. The world will look fucking sexy. When you are sick, nothing has sex appeal - you're a zombie with a soft dick, stumbling around the streets, mumbling grunts, coughes, and sneezes. Your body is too busy fighting off those viruses to get hot for all the amazing stimuli this world has to offer a young person, and hopefully tomorrow with the assistance of some more cold medicine tonight, I will be able to see the sexiness in each and every motherfucking last one of you.

PS: Have you guys heard the new Missy album? I stopped into Virgin today to listen to it, and it is so fucking fun. I have to get down to Canal Street to see if I can find a copy, and then I can dance my sickness away.

Saturday, November 29, 2003

Thirty of the past thirty five hours have been spent in bed. Painful headaches, the type where with every step, every slight movement it feels as though the insides of your neck are crashing around into each other. Back pain also. And wretched coughing so violent it hurt my abdomen.

Terrifying dreams probably due to the insane amount of cold medicine I have taking. Terrifying moments of being awake where my head pulses faster and louder and it seems as if things are moving really fast, making me really paranoid in nervous.

I am going to work in two hours. Will I be able to make it rhough my whole shift? Stay tuned.

Thursday, November 27, 2003

i need a tv so i can the paris hilton farm show and queer eye, so i can be part of america

I just got finished watching The O.C., and man, is it good! After I caught myself saying "Whoa" to some bit of outrageouness, I had a brief fit of nostalgia, thinking back to Cypress Circle viewings of American Idol, Joe Millionaire, and various Michael Jackson specials. I sometimes really wish that I had a tv in New York so that I could engage in trashy tv watching. I miss watching stuff that you know is bad, but enjoying it anyways, and having fun doing so.

This show, like 90210, is about a bunch of rich, white kids in California, doing wicked things and having fun doing so. The success of this format should probably give me pause, but I am going to cite Aristotle's Poetics to justify my liking of these shows about rich kids. His theory was something along the lines of: Drama should be about gods and nobility so that that way their falls are much bigger, are much more tragic. They have more to lose. It is a bullshit theory that privleges wealth, and assigns more meanings to the actions exercised by those in possession of it, and really I don't know why I just cited it to justify my love of shows like this, other than I want there to be a reason for their appeal. A reason other than an unacknowledged idolization of these people, of wealth and whiteness.

Okay, fuck it, the reason is sex. It always is. The show is about teenagers, and although they are richer and prettier than most of the teenagers I knew, there are still bitchy high school people, people that want to be cool, and people negotiating ways in which they can be concieved of as sexy. And this is (was) such a large part of the high school experience, and to see this acted out in such a magnified (histrionic, dramatic) fashion is to make these moments all the easier to say "Whoa!" about, to recognize what's going on, and to be distanced enough from the situation (thank god) to be able to say, "Whoa!", to say "I cannot believe she just did that." Watching humans interact in ways so believable that you are forced to say, "What is he thinking?"

The O.C. is not complete trash, there are admirable aspects about the show's production and writing, but it was still shocking tonight - shocking - to hear my current favorite Belle and Sebastin song, "If She Wants Me," played during the background. Belle and Sebastin on The O.C.?!

I also have a little crush on the Seth Coen character. His hair and his cheekbones(!) remind me of a former obsession, Marky Mark Fessenden. And I love having crushes, just seeing this O.C. character who reminded me slightly of an old crush, made me full of desire, a desire to be touched, a desire to touch someone's brown, moppy hair. Yours, Seth Coen. Anyone's really at this point.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

fortunate son

Sometimes I think I am being fucked with, that as soon as I think I have put something behind me, stepped into a normal routine, started living a joyful life, something (in this case, some one) has to emerge from the place I escaped, grab my ankles as I try to escape the horror house, and say "No, no, you didn't think you were going to get out that easy, did you?" It is my friend, now a zombie, a bloody fucking zombie, begging of me not to leave them there, to take them with me. And really, they just want me dead also. They don't want to be alone. No one does. I don't want to be alone, but I'd rather be alone than in the company of zombies, of bloody fucking zombies.

I just got off the phone with my dad's sister, my aunt, Herta. She called me about a week ago for the first time in a year or so, holding back tears, just saying she needed someone to talk to, and that she knew she could always call me, told me that my father was not doing well, and blah blah blah, more shit trying to make me numb. When she called last week, a chill went down my spine right before I answered the phone, there was a pause where I considered how I should react to the news of my father's death. However, that wasn't going to be the call. I have known the call was going to come one of these days out of the blue, telling me that my father had died. He has had lung cancer for the past two years, and when he was first diagnosed, he was only supposed to have six more months to live.

That wasn't the call I recieved today either. Herta started off this call by saying that she would understand if I couldn't answer her question, that I didn't have to. And I wondered what question could warrant this warning, nervous about what she was to ask, and then she asked me if she could have my address so she could mail me letters. And that was the question I did not want the most. I did not want my father to have my address, I did not want him to ever show up helpless on my doorstep. And so, I was forced to be an asshole and refuse my address to my dying father. Herta seemed a little suprised by my No, and asked if she could ask why. I merely said that I did not want many people having my address. Then she went into a near crying monologue with these themes, all tied together, and repeated numerous times: I don't know everything that occured with your father, I know he has had problems, He has found peace now and this makes me so happy to know that my brother has found God, I don't know if you are religious or not, Your father is very sick, I need to know who is going to take care of him when the time comes, If your mother is, Or if not, if you are, Because I need to know if I need to take care of him, I really don't understand what I have done or what your father has done for you, and your mother, and your sister to act this way, I know that you and your sister are the most important things to him in the world, He loves you, Have a good life.

And she ended our conversation by saying, "Have a good life." Throughout the entire conversation, I was laconic, my heart is cautious when it comes to my father, cautious from experience, not letting other people know the pain he has inflicted, guarded so as not to allow him to inflict any more pain. My only real inputs into the conversation were, "No, I just don't feel comfortable giving out my address. I am sorry," and, "I don't know what my mom's plans regarding my father's arrangements are, but I know there is no way that I can do anything. I have no money, whatsoever. So yeah, that's something that my mom's going to have to decide." And it was shortly after this last statement that Herta told me to have a good life, but not before telling me to ask my mom to contact her.

My mom is doing her best to avoid the zombie's lunges for her ankles, is trying to keep her heart away from the swamp creatures, and so I am the only person right now in contact with my aunt, and man, it is rough. I am going home for Thanksgiving today, am boarding a bus in three short hours, and I don't know whether to tell my mom about this or not. I don't want to be the zombie lunging for my mom's ankles, the Herta in her life. I am glad my mom is doing well. I am sorry that it took to many shocks to her Catholic sense of charity to finally say No to my father. And we'll see, we'll see. I will have time on the bus to think about this, and to not think about this, to read the magazines I purchased yesterday for my bus ride, to listen to music on my headphones, and to watch the earth roll on by me at sixty, maybe seventy miles an hour.

Monday, November 24, 2003

Throughout 21 Grams tonight, I found myself feeling the pimples forming on my upper lip, fingering them to try to determine how large they were, feeling them form since they were not there when I left for work this morning and wondered with an annoyance why it is that at twenty two years old, I still have troubles with acne.

I want my adolescence to be over. When I got home from the movie, I looked in the mirror to actually see what I had been touching, what I knew I should not have been touching with my oily fingers throughout the movie, but yet could not help it. And I replaced my tactile memorey of my face with a visual one, and then went about replacing that visual one with an altered visual one. I tried to assert my adulthood tonight by popping my zits, tried to assert the fact that I am not fifteen anymore, tried to assert the fact that I rolled my eyes tonight during the film when the kids next to me made "Whoo!" hoots at the sight of cocaine on screen, that I am past that point in my life where I might have made cheers like that, or even had solidarity with those that do. Tonight, I rolled my eyes at the immaturity exhibited by these kids, and said in my head like a grumpy old man, "Shut up," wishing that these punks did not have to interrupt my more earnest interaction with the movie. At home, I tried assert this fact that I am not fifteen some more, tried to show my face that I am mature. I popped the little pimples one by one by one. They are these little white pimples that form on my upper lip, and I am sure that they have some thing to do with my shaving cream, my razor, my lotion, or some combination of any of the three. But man, being little pimples, they also pop so easily. And so with ease, I asserted my adulthood, washed my face, and then looked into the mirror at what I had tried to do, and saw the acne scars, the red, irritated skin, and the just popped pimples oozing that stuff that they ooze when they have just been popped, and knew that I was not there yet, that I am still a teen saying: I am mature, I am an adult now, I can do this. But I am not sure who I am saying this to now. Who, or even why.

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Christy is on my living room floor right now, probably not sleeping, because she is sleeping on this tiny, narrow 4 foot long couch cushion set upon the floor since our couch is tiny and she didn't want to scrunch up. I felt really bad saying good-night since I was going off to my bed, my full-length twin sized bed. I felt really guilty, like I was eating in front of a starving person.

But I am glad Christy is here, even though I don't really have adequate sleeping conditions for guests. Tonight we went to the Sidewalk Cafe to see Jaymay perform, and she was really good. Some of the songs she performed had some lines that were a little too saccharine for my tastes, but those occasional problems were cancelled out by her singing. She has such an amazing voice these days. She has always had a good one, but lately, she has a lot better control over it and it sounds fucking awesome. Man, the melodic humming that she does conjures up idealized depictions of lullabies being sung, and you feel all right, because that's the purpose of lullabies to make you feel so, that everything is all right.

It is an amazing thing to see someone improve so much. I have seen Jaymay play numerous times here in my past six months here in New York, saw her play when it was still just two songs at the Monday open mics, and then she was really good, but now, she is a lot more comfortable performing and delivers the lines in the songs just right. She practiced. And that is how things are made great, by a devotion to your craft. And watching her, I thought about my own artisic production, my lack of it, and I chided myself for not being disciplined enough to ever write anything meaningful, to not create in general, to instead, just be a consumer, and at most times not even a critical one. I see lots of art. I go to galleries just about every week, but I don't even formulate criticism of this art that could pass as anything near what using my critical thinking capacities should be able to produce. I say, "That's hot!" to art that I like, because that is easy, and conveys my love without me having to explain my love. Consume. Consume.

Things will change, and this is how they will work: I will write meaningful stuff. I will revise it and rewrite. I will practice and practice, and then I will show it to you, and you will produce meaningful criticism. And then you'll show me your stuff, and I'll produce meaningful criticism. It will be so great.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Man, there is really no reason to be trying to write this diary entry right now, and plenty of reasons why I should not be trying to write this diary entry, but yet I persist anyways.

The reasons why I shouldn't be writing this now: I am drunk. Incredibly so. I was rejected by two of my crushes in really cruel ways tonight. And I encountered a third crush with his boyfriennd.

I have been listening to Morrisey's Viva Hate for the past three days non-stop. I love my fucking discman more than any possesion I own right now. It is amazing to sit outside on gray, chilly, cloudy days bitterly downing your lunch to Morrisey. And fuck you, all of you, fuck fucking all of you who are saying cliche, how cliche, like my manager tonight. My manager who last night asked me about my diary, who somehow, god knows how, found out I had one, may even be reading this entry right here, but asked me what song I was singing tonight, and then when he found out, said, how cliched. And fuck all of you.

Because tonight, crush #1, Christopher (see last entry), was with his boyfriend, but way more friendly with me than either crush #2 and crush #3.

Crush #2 came up and talked to me at the Phoenix tonight talking about how awkward that was the last time we rode on the subway going home with different people. Except I was just riding with a friend, but yeah that was awkward riding on the same car with two of my crushes that were going home together. He, Josh, said as if this was common knowledge that I should have a crush on him, "Oh, you had a crush on that other boy too?" When Josh was leaving the bar, to me, he said, "Well, it looks like another lonely night, I am going home, and I it looks like you're going to go home by yourself too." Ouch. Fucking ouch.

Crush #3, Jared. His quote of the night is: "If you fucking touch me again, I am going to hit you." Jared is about a foot shorter than me, and for this reason, I perhaps thought I would have good chances with him. But he has really good hair, and like every other boy I like and don't like, rejected me, took pleasure in it.

And man, I like to think that I am cute, I like to think that I am more intelligent than most people, but these little ego-gratifying assertions start to waver, start to become doubtful, very doubtful when you are not only rejected, but rejected blantantly and harshly by boys you think that you are better than, and you wonder if you are anything at all other than an ugly stupid boy who works a shitty retail job. And Josh rubbed my arm tonight hard after he asked if I was still working at the Strand, and I said, Sure, rub salt in the wound, asshole. And that was the most I was touched my any boy, by anyone tonight. And really, I think all I want is to be touched, to be touched out of desire perhaps. It would make me so happy.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

today's word

Last night, Joe called me tragic. This was in reference to my tendency to become outrageously infatuated with people that are not interested in me (that, or they are not gay), and even after I know that they are not interested in me to still carry this torch and obsessively long over them, having my ego smashed over and over again with each slight. Maybe I like that pang in my chest when I am slighted. Maybe that is the whole purpose of the routine, to feel emotions physically, to get high.

Man, why is this how my relationships with boys have always been, developing huge crushes on boys that don't like me? When will I have a crush on a boy that likes me? Or better yet, when will a boy have a crush on me? I can't contantly be giving all my energy to lifting up the masses, to inflating everyone's sense of self, but my own. The key word is teamwork. We all need to help out if we are to make it, to get off this island alive.

Sunday, November 9, 2003

better living through capitalism

Right now, as I am contemplating this day, the past couple of them, I am sipping a cup of hot chocolate that came in a value pack of 16 or so packets that I bought for three and something dollars. As I was sipping down the warm hot chocolate, I could not but smugly think to myself: This was a very wise purchase, this hot chocolate.

Even though my Catholic upbringing and education at New College have tried to instill in me an awareness that getting excited about consumer purchases should be a bad thing, I cannot but help rejoicing when I make wise purchases. It gives me a special thrill to make unnecessary purchases with money earned from my low wage job.

Two days ago, I bought a discman and this was also a wise purchase. I have been hesitant about purchasing a portable music player because I thought that instead of distracting myself, of tuning out my surroundings, I should try my best to engage with them, to notice the sounds, to be open to the conversation of strangers. But the sounds are noise, are not usually more than screeching subway cars or traffic, or indistinguisable voices, and the conversations with strangers just were not happening, and now I have a discman, and I think that it actually makes me more attuned to my surroudings. I am more comfortable. I walk slower and take in the visuals, thinking of what a good film shot a particualr street scene would be, how perfectly it would correspond to the piece of music that I am listening to. My mood is made more steady because of the steady music, rather than as erratic as all the usually curt interactions I had with fellow pedestrians tended to make it. This evening after I got off the subway and was walking home to Nico's Chelsea Girl, people were walking right behind me at the same pace and normally such a thing would have made me feel awkward, made me feel like I should either speed up or slow down, but tonight, the uncomfortable feeling of closeness was not experienced because I couldn't hear their footsteps or their breathing, all I heard was Nico, and I walked at the exact same pace, so comfortable in my own little bubble. They soon overtook me and it was a young father with a boy of around six or so. The father was walking fast, or at least faster than the boy could keep up with, and the boy would skip or run to catch up with his father, only to fall behind again and have to skip to catch up again. And I watched these boy with such fascination, and I attribute this to my wise purchase of the discman, of how to the soundtrack of Nico, this sight took on an even more privleged beauty.

And if a purchase can make my life more beautiful, than more power to hot chocolate and discmans. Life is nice. I am thinking more and more so that beauty is the goal, to live a life of beauty and to notice the beauty in things. That it is a pretty simple task, one that gives such a pure happiness when realized, its just that there are some many hindrances and obstacles to this task. The amount of ugliness in the world is sometimes mind-boggling, that there are many attitudes out there that are doing their best to stomp on beauty. This boy at my work, Will, really has the ugliest attitude of anyone in recent memorey that I have encountered. He is so bitter and cyncial about every topic that we discuss. The prayer of St. Francis of Assisi: "Lord, let me be an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred let me sow love. . . Where there is darkness, light ... Where there is depair, hope." This prayer was on a bookmark and I was talking about what a positive message it was. He said that it was not. This prayer about spreading love and hope not a positive message because of its Christian associations. We jumped to various other topics throughout the night, all of us Strand employees, hanging out in the back corner instead of working. Rock and roll, MTV's trying to encourage political awareness, the Gossip, Gary Null - and to everything, Will would exclaim how horrible this or that was, tacking on to just about everything the adjective "banal." Now if "banal" is the adjective that you most use to describe things than something is wrong with your way of looking at the world. He is a force of negativity that I am constantly battling in the struggle for beauty, to realize the beauty in things, in MTV or whatever. So ugly people can stomp all that they want now, stomp, stomp, stomp and try to get me to notice, but I'll have my headphones on and will be noticing the beautiful, the magic things that sometimes get obscured by all the ugly people screaming, "Look at me! Look at me!"

Saturday, November 8, 2003

Probably #1 on "Things That I Miss List" has to be my Fever to Tell cd that I left at the place I subletted at the beginning of the summer. I have been listening to the same Yeah Yeah Yeah's song, "Bang," over and over for the past hour or so that I downloaded from their site. Man, it is no lie, I love Karen O and listening to this song makes me want that album. Peter said he would burn me a copy. In which case, it would lose its position on "Things That I Miss List," would in fact not be on the list at all.

Other things that would be on this list in no particular order are: my glasses, various items of clothing, having clear skin, my childhood dogs, my pair of nail clippers, two notebooks, the leg painting.

Things I want in a very particular order that all should be attainable: A new job at a school where I can take classes for free, to learn to play the guitar, a cute boy to make out with, a new bike seat.

Of probably unrelated interest, if even of interst at all, I love giving myself haircuts and more often than not they look totally awful. But it's fucking hair, it grows back, it is there to play with, to chop at will. Sort a faux-hawk, but more so just a bad haircut, but it's okay because I live in Williamsburg and I can make it pass for "hip". Hopefully.

Thursday, November 6, 2003

I had coffee today for the first time in three weeks, and as a result I was hyped up, full of energy and went out to a bar for the first time in three weeks. Coffee will equal beer evenutally is today's lesson. I talked to two people with Sarasota connections at the Phoenix tonight, and I also talked to my long time crush, Christopher, only to be rejected again with a polite, "I have to go home." And I love seeing a boy that I want but can't have every time I go out. The desire, the intense desire that occurs every time I see this boy, is so worth the rejections that only instensify the pleasure, the buzz of desiring someone unattainable. And one day, a cute boy will like me back. Bjork knows. One day, it'll happen, it'll all come true.

Wednesday, November 5, 2003

An Apology

I am sorry my last couple entries have been bitchy complaints. Right now, I am in the best of moods. I saw Le Tigre perform tonight, and they were totally awesome. Sometimes you just need to yell and shout until you are drenched with your sweat and the sweat of your fellow concert-goers, and then everything is all right, you can walk out of the venue, drenched and hot, and step into the cool moist air and breath out. This part of the evening, the post-concert exhale is the equivalent of the cinematic post-coital smoke. You catch your breath out there on the street, and think: Man, that was good.

So good. I was right against the stage because at Irving Plaza there is always an open spot on the far left side of the stage because there is a huge speaker stack there that will make your limbs vibrate with each beat, that will make you want to cover your ears, and worry about the long term effects to your hearing for getting to stand so close. But I didn't care, or not that much, it made the experience that much more intense, the fact that I could feel the music vibrating through me. It made me want to dance and scream more.

And because I love opportunities to scream along, Johanna Fateman is my new favorite member of Le Tigre. Lately, I am in love with female singers who just shriek and wail, and man, oh man, can Johanna fucking yell those lyrics like she's pissed. In between one of the songs, in a normal speaking voice that makes you wonder if all these polite talking people also have an inner punk rock scream just waiting to come out, she read an announcement about some feminist lending library, Jane Doe, starting up in Bushwick, how they are queer and trans friendly, and how we should support them, when some audience member started shouting "Gentrification! Gentrification!" And Johanna was trying to listen to this audience member and it took a couple more repeated shouts before Johanna heard her. This person then shouted: "They are not trans friendly."

This is at Irving Plaze, a fairly large venue, large enough so that it is weird when an audience member is shouting at a performer. Johanna, unfazed, and tough as nails said something along the lines of: "Dialogue is great, but I am just reading their information from this card. I think what they are trying to do though is really great, something that needs to be done, and if you have a problem with them, you should talk to them, get involved and try to change things."

So diplomatic, but yet still so firm in what she believes, and in her belief that we can affect positive change if we participate instead of griping. It really is such an empowering message that they are trying to promote in their music, it's so admirable, and so dancey, and inspiring. Because of the danciness, of the sing-a-longability of their songs, we particpate with the songs, we sing and dance with them, and they move us to action, making us see that mobilization is not impossible, that it totally fucking is, that it is happening right now with everyone singing this anthem.

Their encore song was my favorite, "Keep on Living," the slightly schmaltzy song that always gets me so excited about life and about living it. So I shouted along extra hard because I knew it was the last song, that soon it would be over and I would be in that post-concert state of catharsis, and I wanted to make that cathrasis as intense as possible, and so did everyone else there, so we all shouted like fucking maniacs and danced harder than we had all night because we knew this was our last chance to get off, to achieve orgasm.

And man that cool air felt so good outside. I rode the subway home with positive thoughts and high hopes in my head, and saw this insanely hip boy that I met at the Bruce La Bruce show over a month ago. I didn't say hi to him because I did not remember his name and I was worried that he did not remember me at all and he was reading the New Yorker and my voice was hoarse and I have no self-confidence. But when he was getting off the subway, he noticed me and said, "Hi Charlie." And I know it shouldn't be, but whenever someone remembers my name I think it is such a big deal, such an honor, and this is probably because I have such trouble with names and it takes about two weeks of knowing someone before I remember their name. But yeah, he remembered my name and I saw Le Tigre rock and roll, and so I went home totally stoked, totally happy and excited about life, reinvigorated, and so again, I am sorry for my sour mood these past couple days, sorry for being the the fat kid from the Goonies who didn't think anything was a good idea, sorry for being the heckler from the audience who just wants to point out faults. It was stupid. It was petty. Let's affect positive change.

Tuesday, November 4, 2003

I have been holding myself back from punching my computer screen all day today. So maybe I did look at porn on my computer this morning, but need I suffer from it all day long?Some horrible software has downloaded to my computer and keeps popping up ads each time I go to a new page. I have spent three or so hours trying to find this obnoxious program. As I have typed these few sentances, it was already interrupted by a pop-up ad for an online casino. The shame, the constant shame and remembering of the cause of all these pop-up ads. I have deleted so many things, but yet the ads still appear.

In other sad news, I am an idiot and threw away my Le Tigre ticket when I decided to chuck out all the reciepts in my wallet a couple days ago. I bought another ticket today, one that I was very careful to secure. I called in sick to work today, and now I am going to go see some Le Tigre.

And does anyone have an extra LJ code that they would not mind letting me have, so my friend Joe can join LJ. You can e-mail me at seniorcitizendiscount@hotmail.com. If so, thanks.

Monday, November 3, 2003

I got home from work a short time ago, and have since eaten some pasta and drank a beer. I am tired and exhausted, not so much from working today at work, but from encounters with people today at work, and from thinking of things I need to do shortly, like pay bills, like sewing up my one pair of jeans that ripped today, like getting new contacts, like voting tomorrow, and like waking up in eight or so hours to work tomorrow morning so that I can see Le Tigre perform tomorrow night and just breath out and dance my troubles away.

I miss conversing with people who share the same value-systems that I possess. Dare I say it, but I miss New College on days like today, where at work, after telling someone what type of deodorant I use (Tom’s), I got into the most stupid argument about why anti-perspirant is bad for you.

Here is one of the highlights of this conversation:

Me: [Not really feeling like having this discussion because it is totally asanine, and so not being as eloquent as probably is possible under different circumstances, namely an argument worth participating in] What do you mean how’s it bad for you? It’s a natural function of your body to produce sweat, it is not healthy, it is unnatural to stop the production of sweat.

Will, the silly co-worker: I don’t understand how someone like yourself who is constantly bashing essentialism, can then in an argument make claims that there is such thing as nature and things are natural.

Me: [Annoyed beyond the ability to form a decent argument against such stupidity] They are totally different things.

Will: See, but they are not.
[And blah, blah, blah ... more unintelligent gibber gabber that does not grasp either what essentialism is, or what nature, in the earthly sense is]

And it is conversations like these where I want to bash my head against a wall over and over that stress me out, that make me wonder why it is that I can not have cool friends in New York. And cool not meaning anything elitist, but meaning people that share my worldview, that are cool because of that, because they know what is what.

But it is okay, it is all okay. Tomorrow, I am going to wake up and affect democratic change. I am going to be a good American citizen and vote no on #3. I am going to go to work with a heart full of love like I do every single day, and am going to try to keep it full of love all day long, to laugh off stupidity, and then I am going to go shout feminist anthems till my lungs are hoarse and dance till I am covered, fucking drenched in sweat.

Saturday, November 1, 2003


For some reason, it is more fun to be in a big group of people that you do not know than with a big group people that you do know, and have known for years. There is still something to be learned from the unknown. Those conversations are not all some variation of: "So, what have you been up to since the last time I saw you?" They are more broad, more playful: What do you do, What's your story, What are you doing here, Wait, where are you from? And in those questions, as shallow as they may be, there is still a genuine curiousity exercised in the asking of them, however pruient the cause of this curiousity. Things are new, people are, and there are still things to be learned. You still want to.

And so, last night, after attending the parade in the village that was marred by cold as ice weather and mobs of people preventing good visibility, I went with Dara and Mariah to Chris Mitchell's party, which was the big party full of people that I already knew, that I had known for years. A New College reunion of sorts: Maggie Ray, Shellly, Anna Montanna, Jason Grimste, Brian, Sarah, Melissa, and on and on, more people arriving each couple of mintues, and so after about fifteen minutes or so, I said good-bye to Dara and Mariah and slipped quietly away into the night, back onto the street, where my slight depression about the party that had caused so much social anxiety in me disappeared at the first drunken call of "Peter Pan!" that I recieved on Bedford Avenue. I remembered that I was running around in green tights, was called back into the Halloween spirit with the repeated callings of my name by passer-by.

And I made my way back into Manhattan where I went to Josh's Halloween party (the boy whose window I vomited out of after going home with him). There were a couple people from my work there but it didn't matter, because they were dots, small little dots in a whole crowd of people that I did not know, dancing to really fun music. And I danced and sang along to songs I knew the words to, but even more importantly, to songs that I liked. And I talked to people that I did not know, asked them questions that I wanted to know the answers to, and I even made attempts at flirting with some people.

Perhaps all that talk about knowing a crowd and not knowing a crowd all comes down to whether or not you are so familiar with everyone there and already know that you should not flirt with any of them, that nothing would come of it, or that you would never in your life want anything to ever come of it that determines how exciting, or unexciting the party will be. And this second party was exciting because of this, because familiarity is the death of desire and here I was not familiar with anyone, because there were people there that I desired, and there were people there that I tried to flirt with, and really that's all I can ask for, all I really want from a party. Besides the booze and the dancing that are requisite of any party and as such, not even worth mentioning as neccesary, the neccesary thing for me to enjoy myself at a pary is conversation initiated and further propelled by desire. Conversations brimming with excitement because latent in them is a wift of potential sex, of naked bodies togehter doing things, and so I talk and talk.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

This morning, two men from Time Warner came to my apartment and installed internet, and since that moment, I have done nothing but reconnect with my lost love, the internet. Oh, how I have missed you and wasted afternoons reading every web publication I love, every one that I mildy like, reading online diaries, doing stupid google seaches, and doing all of this to the soundtrack of newly downloaded mp3s.

I did all of this today, pretty much all day long, interupted only for a quick trip to the grocery store and a shower. I did this on the day before Halloween, instead of going into the city to try to find something to wear tomorrow on Halloween. I love how people that live in the outer boroughs talk like they live in the suburbs or something, referring to Manhattan as The City. This is one of the things that amuses me a lot about the customs of this area. The only other localspeak that still sounds odd to my ears is the habit of saying "Let's get a slice," as opposed to saying "Let's get some pizza."

But yes, it will soon be Halloween, and I can think of the weather around Halloweens in Florida, can recall it fairly easily, and can also recall even more easily the weather of high school Halloweens that preceeded those college years, adolescent Halloweens, elementary school Halloweens all spent in northern Virginia, and I can recall this even easier because this weather that I am experiencing right now in New York is something I have experienced before, back in Virginia, and everytime I walk down a still wet from the rain street, and see a puddle in the gutter with fallen leaves in it, submerged under the rainwater, I am shocked, continually shocked by how beautiful fallen leaves look submerged in water, and I am perhaps more shocked because at each viewing of one of these puddle of leaves sight, a flash of recollections sprints past my consciouness quickly before receding back into my long term memorey, only to emerge again for another sprint before my eyes the next time I walk past a puddle of submerged leaves. The Smashing Pumpkins are recalled, the walk over the creek home from the busstop after school, the lonely afternoons after school, the crisp air, guilty masturbation, locked bedrooms, making food in the microwaves, dad sleeping on the green and white couch, tv always on, cold tile floor of the porch, and the lonelier days at school, the dark wood varnish on the dinner table my mom, sister, and I sat around, laconic conversations that would occasionly erupt into teenage rage, working out boundaries of space, trying to declare some, declaring some with a car, early mornings with my sister driving to school.

And everytime now, at a good healthy 22 years old, that I see some wet leaves, these memories are evoked, and I finger them gently, nostalgic and missing those moments now that time has allowed distance from them.

Back then, I had something I wanted to escape. I think that is what I miss so much in moments like those, having a good outlet to direct your rage at (sorry mom), knowing that soon, just a couple more years and you would be in college and wouldn't have to live here, there anymore. The other day at work, I was trying to describe this to Keith and Will, neither of whom cared to hear it really, both of whom have reached their threshold for tolerating my excited revelations and my happiness about boys or music, or whatever it is that provokes my fancy on any particular day. But I had just heard Stevie Nicks' "Edge of Seventeen" played over the radio in the pizza place I ate lunch in, and there's that part where she wails over and over "Run away, run away, run away." And I was way caught up in the song, back in that sixteen year old mental state where everything seemed okay as long I had the option that I could occasionlly entertain whenever things got bad enough of just running away, when that sill seemed like a plausible idea, before the effects of rationality fully sunk in when the idea is now dismissed with a I could never... I have to do this and this and pay this and this...

But the point that I was trying to make was everyting seemed simpler then because the option of escape was always possible. At eighteen you would be free and could do whatever you fucking wanted. Parents be damned. Even in college, there was the post-collegiate life to look forward to as running away, doing whatever you wanted, moving wherever you chose.

And I moved wherever I chose, I am here in New York, not doing what I wanted except seeing lots of good rock and roll and reading good books, but other than that, working a fairly crappy job, failing to make any close meaningful relationships, not falling in love with one of the many New York gay boys, and most importantly, not making art, any art. And somedays, especially now that the weather is that perfect for brooding fall weather, I think about these things, think about how much better I would like my life to be and then I get sad, sometimes terribly so, thinking about this, and how there's not really that much I can do, how now I have no place else to go, no plans of running away. I am an adult now, I say, and convince myself that I have to live my life, do something meaningful. And I am going to try. I really am. Now that I have internet, I am going to spend lots of time job hunting and sending out resumes for a job I would consider meaningful. So, I am not going to run away, I am going to fucking run towards it, tackle it, and scream like a fucking mad man. Look out world.

Saturday, October 25, 2003

Last night. CMJ. I smooched Hunx from Gravy Train!!!! The Gossip were totally amazing, and I am going to try to see them play again tonight. Perhaps the best live performance I have ever seen. I am at work, updating livejournal. That is sad. But tonight, rock and roll hopefully - to redeem this, to redeem everything.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

it hurts sooo good

I just attended a union meeting for my bookstore that was held at of all places, the gay bar I frequent way too much, the Phoenix. Not that many people showed up, and I even questioned whether I should bother to attend or not since I hope to God that I will have found a new source of employment by the time a new contract is negotiated for the union (next summer). But being part of a union is such an appealing concept to me, as a leftist raised in the suburbs, in Virginia, in a "right to work" state (which you should all hopefully know means "anti-union").

Not much got addressed, but I did offer up my two cents and other people did too - it was a session of collective griping, a chance to see what this talk about democracy and the people is all about, and I liked it, I really liked being with other workers and talking about our rights, about how we needed to demand certain things from our employers in the next contract, and seeing how this whole process works.

In other news: It is colder than a polar bear's toenail, to quote Outkast. I am an idiot, and spent from 10 am to 2 pm waiting for the cable guy to come and install internet in my apartment, until at 2:30, pissed that the guy didn't come, and searching for the piece of paper that I had written the confirmation number on, I realized that the appointment is actually for next Thursday. I watched Keith's movie today at Megan's house. It's cold, I am mildy drunk, and have to pee so insanely bad right now and am thinking of where the closest bathroom must be. But tomorrow night, tomorrow night my friends and foes, tomorrow night I will be in attendance with some of my fellow co-workers, none of whom made it to the union meeting tonight, but will be with them anyways watching and dancing to some good rock and roll, to Hella, Gravy Train, and the motherfucking Gossip. Did I mention that I am so excited? And that it is cold out? So cold? And that I have have to pee? So fucking bad?

Thursday, October 16, 2003

go-go is my role model

In Times Square yet again, hopefully for the last time at this internet place, since Dara and I are beginning to take seriously the project of our house. We have painted our living room an orange that I altertanely like and dislike, we have hung up lights, hung up pictures and polka albums, placed a bathmat on our bathroom floor. I now have a working electric outlet in my bedroom, and soon, very soon, like today, we are going to call and schedule an appointment to get some internet flowing through our little home. I want to have lots of people over soon, something involving food.

Yesterday my mom was here for a few short hours, and left me with a computer, and some old kitchen knick-knacks of hers, including: a breadmaker, an espresso maker, and an electric wok. Beki and Stephanie are here now, staying with me for a few days and are out shopping. I couldn't deal with it, I left them, and will meet back up again to cruise some galleries and consume some free booze.

Last night, I had an awesome time at Phoenix. I am spending far too much time there. It really is becoming my bar, in the Cheers sense. Last week, Joe and I figured we were there three times. That is probably not good, but I am getting to talk to people, nice people, and so right now, it is enough. Soon, I will get bored though, no doubt, it always occurs, but now, I am in that space of time when there is a self-awareness of impending boredom without any actual boredom present, a high before the comedown, if you will pardon the overused drug reference.

I want to be in school. I am going to go the Hunter offices after my time expires here and see if it is to late for the spring.

I need to connect more with my body. I don't dance enough. I rarely masturbate. Let's not enough talk about how long it has been since I have had sex. I am the sedentary duck that was in that Voice comic this week. I need to do something besides eat.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Shit... Open Bar at Triple Crown, so many vodka tonics consumed, then Tainted Lady Lounge, already too wasted for belief. And oh yeah, remember how I told you earlier this week I made the easiest money ever, well scratch that - because tonight man, also less than fifteen minutes while watching MTV - businessmen rock! What did I ever use to say about capitalism? Um, then we ran into the worst drug dealer ever - who sold me ten dollars worth of weed - um, what? In New York? And yeah, he gave me so much weed - and then proceeded to smoke Jillian and me out. Fuck yeah! Got pretty fucking stoned, then went to Capone's, ate pizza, smoked, and danced to Montel Jordan! Then a party on Grand Street where I ran into an old straight crush from the Strand (Joe, you know who!), Liam, and talked to him for so long. Tonight equals fucking awesome.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

For the past week or so, I have been eagerly anticipating last night, Monday night, the Cock, hoping to run into Craig, the NC alum I met there last week, that told me he would be there again this week. And so, I went there with Joe after downing rum and cokes with him in my kitchen, found Craig, talked to him, and was told by yet another crush that he's seeing someone.

It was shortly after this utterance by him that the peaking excitment of the past week looking forward to Monday quickly came to a halt. In fact, took a nose dive. The self-esteem that had been building in me for reasons that whatever sick notions of being liked by someone will foster, quickly fizzled, and how fragile our egos are. Our moods can change from one second to the next. Yes, that's very obvious, but fascinating to me nonetheless, that there is no real stable identity, stable feeling, that our emotional constituions are constantly at the whims of things outside ourselves.

At this point, I was ready to go home. Craig's friend gave me a blinking taillight for my bike before they all biked off home. I could find some symbolism in this. I will try not to.

I rode the subway home, with a nice Southern boy, a boy who introduced himself as Christopher (not Chris, mind you). He had brown hair and brown eyes, and had that same shy, overwhelmed look in his eyes that Sam G had. He was nice and I was glad to meet him, had no interest in pursuing it any further, and wished him a good night as I got off the train.

I am not doing so well on the boy front, but on the home front, I am doing excellent. Today at 7:30, I am hopefully going to go sign a lease for a three bedroom off the Lorimer stop to live with Dara and a girl I met at a bar, Jessica, in a room that I will be paying 400 a month for. Then, I will have the stability of a home for a year and can then devote my energies to finding additional forms of stability.

Tuesday, August 5, 2003

The skin on the roof of my mouth is all mangled and soft. I just ate a really hot piece of cheese pizza, should have let it cooled, but man, there are few things better than warm cheese, and it was so worth it.

Went to the Cock again last night, because really, I don't think there has been a Monday in two months that I haven't. And this boy that I had a crush on was there, I had seen him dancing at the Traci and the Plastics show. And I talked to him, finding out that he also went to New College, that the world is way too small. He said he would make out with me next Monday. I hope so.

Looking for an apartment with Niki. Trying to move by Sept. 1. And maybe, I'll get another slice of pizza. Entries of depth coming soon, once I get a disk to save my laptop writings on and upload them here, for the cost of ten cents a minute.

Saturday, July 26, 2003

I sprayed my mom's bike chain in WD-40 this afternoon, pumped the tires full of air, did this in our backyard, in the sunshine. The sun beaming, making everything brighter, more brilliant. The noticably (after being in a towering city) gigantic blue sky and the white clouds floating through it were made especially brilliant by the intensity of the light.

This little light of mine, I am going to let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

The chain already is looking a lot better than the rusty state it was in earlier today, and now the bike is in the backseat of my mom's car, waiting for the car ride we will embark on tomorrow. You have to leave or lose something to fully (or, at least more so) appreciate the absent object. Distance allows for either objectivity or nostalgia. A weird mixture of both, with nostalgia being the really flavorful ingredient in the mix, the cinammon you know was thrown in there. And there are things about urban life I miss, and I am already preparing to miss the breezy indolence that being in Northern Virginia allows. I appreciate them all, am grateful for each setting, and with each shift in location, I know that the slight fit of nostalgia felt for the departed place, the ebullient sadness is a sadness felt not only for the just left place but a sadness steeped in premonitions, the awareness that there will be more left places, that all of these are just preparations, ways of getting ready for when at some point there will be a leaving of all places, a residing in no places. And this is there always in departures, and so I take joy in the fact that I can will my departures, know the results of them, get on a bus and in four or five hours time end up in a place I know, a place I wanted to go back to, and that I can just as easily leave that place (at least, physically) for another place. Leaving a psychic space though is another matter and that too, is part of the joy in shifting around through physical spaces, learning that you can shift from place to place and yet will still occupy the same psychic space - and this, this seeming permanence of thought, is the source of joy in departures, that maybe there is a permanence to it all.

Friday, July 25, 2003

total participation excludes self-doubt

And I am home in Virginia. I took the Chinatown bus, got an aisle to myself, looked down into other cars, saw fields, factories, and rivers, got really excited about the rivers especially, passing over bridges, and water underneath, so much of it, empty space, a big shining strip of it. America, America, America - I saw you today, and fuck, so beautiful, so so beautiul. To the right across the aisle, I saw the sunset. I understood the line: "Purple mountain's majesty. The purple and pink of the sky, looking so otherworldy after having spent months in the city, or actually looking so of this world, so worldy, and for that reason, so beautiful.

I ate a Snickers and a bag of Combos on the bus, kept on wishing that they would turn off the A/C, and finished reading Nabakov's Speak, Memory, the last chapter of which can be read alone, and perhaps should be, since the writing is about time and memory, a topic which would already give the writing weight, but Nabakov sets off the "veral pyrotechnics" (a phrase Dimino once said about Faulkner) and says some sentences that will either awe you or make you jealous, depending on your confidence in your on writing.

I took the Metro from the bus to my neighborhood, and looking at the Metro map trying to figure out how to get home, I realized that we deal with what we are given. That, today, this Metro map which never seemed so easy and so tiny, looked like a map of a pretend city. The New York subway map has about eight million stops on it, and you have to run your finger along the map on the platforms to help with the sense of where exactly you are or are going, trace it with your finger, let the sense of touch try to help, make it seem more there, that you can touch it. But the Metro, this evening, looked as if it had maybe ten stops when I was looking at the map. And I have never noticed its puniness, have always thought it adequate, more so - but now, I know something else, I have even become accustomed to it, and I am not sure. The streets are emptier here, there was one other person on my Metro car.

I came home, so happy to see my mom and sister, and went off into a tirade about Bush's deception about Iraq, provoked by what, now I am not sure, and my sister told me that living in "the city" (that's what she called it, that's what lots of people call it, the city), that living in the city was making me neurotic, that I needed to spend time in the country, but it's not the city, shit, it is Bush, it is being lied to, it is our collective complacency, our unacted upon discontent that makes me neurotic. When the whole Niger lie first dropped, I was sick for days with a sore throat, and I was a little convinced that my personal sickness was a more localized version of a national sickness setting in, a "malaise" if we want to reapply Carter's term of a post-Watergate nation for whatever this one will be. And it really does make my blood boil, such things. Someone needs a good shaking. Democratic leaders in Congress, for one, who are failing to exercise leadership on this issue. Conservatives, for all I disagree with them, exercise leadership when they feel wronged, when they want to take someone down, and they do it fearlessly. And shockingly enough, Fox News, from my watching of the cable news networks tonight is being the toughest on Bush about this, cranking up the heat.

All of this makes me seriously mad. That's an expression that people use, and so you may think that I am doing the same, but my appreciation for this country and its institutions of government is a heartfelt, sincere one - and reconciling that with a willful deception by these instituitions really is the source of a deep pang whenever I walk by a newstand.

I am here in Virgina tonight, and I will sleep in my old bed, here in one of these fifty states, and I passed through a few today, and Saturday, I am going back to New York, driving there with my Mom. Last night in Brooklyn with Rebecca, I saw Traci and the Plastics, which moved me by its excellence and really inspired me to, if not create art, then to at least live more artfully. One of her personas in the video show, read some poem/song, one line in which was: "Total participation excludes self-doubt."

And that is my current motto: Total participation excludes self-doubt.

With that knowledge, I totatlly participated in the dancing festivities that followed at Luxx, I danced and danced and danced, and my heart beat like a fucking drum, something about velocity in Nabakov today, human's desire for it, his son's particularly. My legs felt like jelly when I got home. And this morning, I went to the Fela Kuti tribute/exhibit at the New Museum which was also inspiring. And then I left New York, left Rebecca, came to our nation's captiol with too much on my mind, and will hopefully leave here with even more on it, because I love it, the thoughts, the living.