Friday, January 31, 2003

reason number 223

I just got in a screaming match with my landlord. I am still shaking from nervousness.

She is a terrifying little old woman and I really thought she was going to hit me. She kept getting up in my face to yell. She came upstairs to tell me to move our bikes from the hallway into our apartment. And I told her that they were in no one's way and if she wanted to worry about that, I could show her many other things she was going to have to worry about also. Made her come into our apartment and showed her our peeling floor, and told her I wanted that fixed, and that that was way more important than our bikes in the hallway of the top floor of the building that no one passes through. I do not know where this bit of testiness came from in me, but I am so tired of her bullshit.

Man, then that's where things got heated and she started screaming and getting more and more in my face, telling me I needed to talk to her daughter, Iris. And then my testiness picked up and I said, "Aren't you the landlord? No, aren't you the landlord? You own the building, right? So I am talking to you! You are the landlord!" Messy, messy, messy. Probably not a good idea to pick a fight with your landlord when you are going to be late with your rent.

And then after she kept telling me to call her daughter, I did. Iris answered and I said hello and she could hear her mom screaming in the background and sighed and apologized and asked what was going on, because she knows her mom is bat shit insane, and to make matters worse, an insanity bound up with a case of testorone aggressiveness. And I told her the same thing, that we had this bikes up against the railing, and that Ada wanted me to move them, and so I showed her other problems and she started yelling at me. Iris told me to tell her mom to go downstairs so she could call her and calm her down. And I really hate it when they leave her here. This apartment is not half bad when I don't have to deal with my loud, crazy ass landlords. I don't know if you have ever spent time in my apartment and heard Ada screaming throughout the house, but I am not exaggerating when I say screaming, she is a fiery little troll who yells as if it is her only defense against the world, that as long she is loud people will listen to a small, old woman.

Thursday, January 30, 2003

ken said to liver off their riches

And tonight, we found ourselves in Society. In that Sarasota party circuit of rich art patrons who have $75 to plop down to attend a little Cine-World party. We got dressed up, and after walking around the places, checking out various sneak-in possibilites, Beki, Jamie, Bonnie, and I sauntered in to snack on the yummy delights of pricey Sarasota restaurants. And yum yum yummy, I ate so much lovely food, including a gazillion of these fucking orgasmic chocolate deserts that were heaven. Ken was there, because he had his film in the festival, and he got me beer and told me to live off the riches, or the fat of the land. One or the other. He said it was the secret of life. And maybe, but I don't know. I don't know if he was serious, or if he was right, or just partially.

I know that I played tennis today for three hours and my muscles fucking ache, but I am ready to get up and try again, to try to defeat Jamie, or to at least not get defeated so badly. I am finding the joy in trying and trying again. I did not want to quit today, I never want to fucking quit. I am ready for it all.

And PS - I went to Selby earlier this week for the first time in my four years here in Sarasota. Maybe I never knew that it was free with a student ID, but now you do, and for fuck sake's, I was in heaven looking at orchids, at how amazing the natural design of some things can be, realized that the natural design of everything (you even) is this amazing, and the orchids helped me see this, helped me see the amazing design in leaves, trees, and cactuses, bamboo even that I see all the time and take for granted. I want to return to Selby soon, maybe bike there one day, and spend forever staring into orchids.

Sunday, January 26, 2003

No, Bob. I am younger than you.

The truth is that it is all here. Hug myself and it's there. Laugh, and right there, in that hearty laugh, the rising falling chest. I find myself saying "Fuck you" more often then ever, said to every idiot I encounter at Best Western as soon as they are out of hearing range. Fuck you, you stupid cunt. And I said it today on the phone to someone before I had hung up. And you know, sometimes, you just got to say Fuck You, reaffirm yourself against the Other, the fucking idiots, the not yous. Call people assholes cause they don't get it, you guys aren't feeling the same groove. Asshole, get it together.

I am drunk, I am caffeniated, I am horny. I have decided everyone's an idiot but me. Fuck you assholes. It's all about mastubartion, affirming the self. And yeah, here I go.

Saturday, January 18, 2003

sarasota, your cold fronts can not chill our hearts

I know the secret. One of them. I thought it curious that while I was home in Virginia over break, I managed to get up around nine every day on my own accord, and yet since my return to Sarasota, I find it difficult to wake up when my alarm goes off at 11!

This morning, in Sarasota, I woke up a few minutes before nine.

And the secret, the reason that would seem logical given the evidence is that last night even though I was up until around three reading in the bathtub, doing face masks, and enjoying the solitude of an empty house, is that last night I had nothing to drink. I am going to start limiting my alcohol intake because it does dull me, my senses, and because I do like waking up early, I like being alive. No more drinking on weeknights, period. And try not to drink on weekends either. Think of all the things you could do in the morning. Even if it is just wandering an empty house, opening doors, examining piles of papers, the physical world and shrines we have created in this archealogical wonder, looking at how they lived, taking in the sounds of CCR, making food with a slowness that does not display the slightest bit of hunger, but making food for the doingness that the activity priveleges. And yeah this was all time normally spent under the covers, dreaming whatever dreams a twenty one year old boy will dream in this American land.

And last night, it was West Potomac High School in Alexandria, the bricks, the delirious chill of a fall or winter or early spring day. The dream was not that specific. School was out and I went to where I had parked my car to leave, to go home, and it was not there. The car, my car, was missing, obviously so. There was an explicit physical absence where my car should have been, an empty parking space surrounded by filled ones. I waited a bit, I don't remember doing what - and soon the parking lot was empty, all the spaces were empty. Kids sped home and I was so confused about my missing car. I went into Springbank, the drama building to use the phone, and as I was walking up to it, I saw Jesse Robinson and Brendan Bradley, painting the front door for some reason. I started talking them, telling them the story - and I don't remember all too clearly what happened from that point. I don't know if there was much more to the dream because Jesse and Brendan are two boys that I had unrealized crushes on back in high school, back when I did not believe I was gay, and just thought these two boys were "so cool." But yeah, at some point soon after encountering them painting the door, I half woke up with one of those comfortable boners that you get in the middle of the night sometimes, where your body is so sleepy and comfortable and everything is natural and the world just seems fucking perfect because you are at the whim of all these earthly forces, not doing a thing besides sleeping and yet feeling a contentment that borders of heavenly as your press your cock into your sheets and you try to fall back asleep thinking of Jesse and Brendan. I don't even know if I would consider this masturbation because you are still half asleep, too tired to actually stroke your cock. You just want it to be erect and to press it into the sheets like a yawn and fall into comfortable sleep.

I went to Barnes and Nobles the other day and yanked a bunch of books that looked lovely. One of them was Sharon Olds' new collection,The Unswept Room, and boy oh boy, it is indeed a lovely book. New poetry can be good, can be fucking excellent! My respect for contemporary poetry is pretty much nonexistant. I have heard too many students read either self-absorbed or self-righteous poetry, crappy poetry that doesn't jive with me, jive with fucking anything. I have read too many poets who break up already bad prose with line breaks and think that that is poetry, that it is art and meaningful. But then in the year 2003, I can open up a book with a copyright of 2002 and be absolutely floored by the first poem.

the back of my mind, for an instant, I wonder
if this is the little family my relative
killed, when he was drunk, with his car, but I know
that the dead, at the moment of death, do not go
somewhere else, as if on vacation,
showing up in bathing suits,
unwounded--no, the work was deeply
done, thorough. ...


...If you know someone
who was there, that hour, at the burial,
could you tell them--I don't know what you could tell them.
Across the pond, the day's neighbors
open the earthen doors of the hamper.
Salt for the eggs, a cup of milk.
If they should lack for something! If they would ask me!
Unless they have already asked me, and I did not know them.

Sharon Olds amazes me, she does what poetry is supposed to do. She inspires me, the reader, to take a better look at some things, points out the beauty and the sadness in things normal. Makes the ordinary extraordinary. I can read a couple poems and then bike to work in blistery cold weather. The fucking forties in the Sunshine State. And I bike with an awareness of life, am so happy with it all, to be a part of it.

Monday, January 13, 2003

moving towards a better politics, towards the human ideal

I am a racist.

The first hurdle is admitting to the problem. That whole I am an alcoholic thing. Tonight, working at the Best Western, I realized this, that I am a racist. It was a slow Sunday night as it usually tends to be on Sunday nights and at eleven thirtyish, a young, rough looking Latino male came in. Immediately, I was scared. I wondered if he was going to try to rob the Best Western, since robberies along US 41 are not that rare. He had a full top set of gold teeth. This added to the scariness. And I made sure I knew where the police call button was in case he was a robber. It sounds silly now. But it was late and I was alone and here was the popular image of a criminal, and I was seriously scared.

This was horrible of me. He was just drunk, didn't want to drive home from the Bahi Hut and wanted a room. His cell phone rang and he started talking to someone. When he got off of it, he said laughingly as if to explain why he was on the phone for so long, "Girls! You know how they can be." And I said, "Actually, I don't." Because I don't, or maybe I do but you know how that can be. And he laughed and we chatted, and he was actually nice, so nice. And this should not have been surprising at all. He was me. I felt like shit when I realized that my fear was completely bogus, grounded on gross stereotypes, was internalized racism.

I hate it so much when people treat me differently, am so aware of it when it does occur, and here I was on the giving end of racism this time. The other day, me and my roommates went to this women's film fest of shorts at the downtown library. We all walked in together, sat down together, and then one of the organizers came over and very pointedly just gave programs and stickers to Jamie and Bonnie. I was pissed as hell that because I was not a white lady, I was not welcome. I wanted to punch some old lady gut, wanted the world to be righteous. And I am trying. It's all about learning and unlearning, recognizing flaws in yourself and trying to correct them to become a more fully realized human being. No fear. Smiles and warmth to everyone. I am going to try to infuse my life with more positive energy.

Tonight's brief moment of panic is all the more disturbing because I can be pretty easily lumped into this category of young Latino male that I was briefly frightened of, and I have this self-hatred, or even worse, a lack of awareness of my own self, so decieved that I could still think of someone of the same race as me as Other. And I partly attribute this to going to New College, to being surrounded by white kids and perhaps identifying more with this race that for the most part constitutes my visual reality here. Some of it definitly also has to do with being mixed and being a lot closer to my mom's white Catholic family (Moosbrugger for God's sake!) than to my dad's Chilean family.

But whatever. As Charlie Sheen's character says in Platoon: "Excuses are like assholes; everybody's got one." I am working on it, trying to change. And I watched Richard Pryor's Live at Sunset Strip performance the other day and loved it and think Pryor is so beautiful and real and right on. And he said, "Racism is a bitch ... It's hard enough being a human being." And goddamnit, if it isn't true.

Sunday, January 12, 2003

a dennis leary song

And goddamnit, I either want to punch you in the stomach or give you a big hug, and hear your chin bone bump against my shoulder bone. Bones bumping. Thump. Noises. And it's one or the other. And right now, I don't know. I went to school, drunk off expensive stolen wine, played a 1981 version of Trivial Pursuit before Bonnie decided she was bored and then there was dancing and a bunch of kids I hated dancing to bad music. Jay-Z. And it offended me. I didn't know what their reasons were but I considered them suspect., their reasons, considered them, the dancers, racist pigs, and I wanted to leave.

And I did and I am at home now on Bonnie's Mac eating String Cheese and too tired to go to bed, so writing here even though I have nothing to say and I am in no state to state coherently whatever it would be that I had to say. I still don't know what to do with myself. I know that I like cheese, people, and that I normally think that the world is all right and that I am going to make it. But other times when I read about stupid people, I have a very strong desire to punch these news characters in the gut, like Nelson, yelling ha ha as they fall. Ha ha in that obnoxious Nelson tone. I have to either do that. Do do do. Or channel it into some other outlet. But not supress it. That is bad. I would die. You fucking would, you asshole e o e o e o.

Wednesday, January 8, 2003

sewing machine machete

I still don't know. I never do. I do not want to have to make a decision about what to do with my life. I don't like taking such an active role in determining my future, or even my present. Being in school has allowed things to happen to me. There was the decision to come to school but since then it has been things happening to me, moving with the flow of life, thinking life had a flow that could just take you along. But now I am in the position of not having a flow, of having to determine one. And it troubles me a little. Not for any serious reasons, but just because I do not like making descisions. I do not know if I should enroll or not next semester. Just do not know.

I went to on the Yuengling brewery tour in Tampa yesterday, the drive was fun, pretty, glowing little rivers, houses, and cars, and big skies. Free beer. Middle fingers. Soon I am going to a talk at the Selby library. And it is a daily struggle to occupy my time on days I have off, to think of things to do with myself. I tried sewing pillow covers for our couch cushions today, and it was a fight, a match between me and the sewing machine. Man in this corner, Machine in this one. And the Machine won. I fucking could not get it to work properly, could not get the tiny little thread, bobbin and needle to coroporate with my big fingers. So maybe I won, because I am not at that stupid machine anymore even if I could not get it to comply with my wishes. Not everything needs to comply with my wishes, my desires. Not everything is going to. You have to deal with things that upset your flow, that impede it, you have to learn how to go around them, to forget it. I am learning this. I am learning many things.

Saturday, January 4, 2003

ch ch ch changes

The tourism season has started for South Florida and returning to work for the first time in a couple of weeks at Best Western, I found this out in a major way, as what was normally eight hours of sitting on my ass was reduced to only a couple hours sitting on my ass time and the rest of that time juggling phones, calming eager guests checking standing in front of me, running to guests rooms for whatever silly things they needed, faxes being spit out at me, new reservations coming in, and running reports reports reports. While it did get a little hectic and I did think I was going to have a breakdown at several points, I loved it and think that it was entirelly beneficial for me to be out and be busy with myself, to be doing things. They have me on the schedule for 32 hours a week during January which makes me really happy that they are throwing me some extra hours this month and I am going to call Dominos tomorrow to see if they need any help over break on my days off.

I am less and less sure about dropping out every day now. Right now, I really think that I am still going to enroll next semester and am going to try to transfer to Hunter for the fall, where I can hopefully finish off my credits in a semester. And that way I can be in NY, and still graduate when I thought I was going to - I just have to make sure they are cool about transfer credit from NC. Add that to my to do list.

Another option which I am giving serious thought to lately is the army. I am thinking about taking their recruiting tests and placement tests to see if I would be eligible to go to the Defense Language Institute in Monteray and then serve as a linguist. But it is the army, and there is that whole five year commitment thing, and the whole being part of a war machine thing, and the whole me being a big homo thing, and there is also the whole difficutly in rocking these four different tests you have take. But I think I may go to the Recruiting Center in Bradenton and find out more about taking these tests.

But in other signs of change, at work, late at night, once things had slowed down, I ordered me some Dominos (not a change) and watched the Ohio-Miami game and fucking hell, I got so into this thing rooting for Miami. This game was so fun and tense, especially the end and that field goal. I rushed home, biking as fast as I could, so I could watch the rest of the overtime, the rest of the game, and hope that Miami would kick Ohio's ass, getting so hopeful in those last seconds when Miami was so close. Yeah, football can be exciting. Bucs? Playoffs? I am oddly excited.

Thursday, January 2, 2003

a new year

Folks, it is the new year. Great things are possible. I still feel the excitement of a new year, felt it tonight while downing coffee with Sarah, talking about the past, and seeing the moist dark air outside, the future, and fucking I still feel it. And tomorrow I am going to take this momentum and board a plane out of here, zoom zoom zoom back into Sarasota, and I got to keep the momentum going, keep this hyper pulse under my skin going. We all do. Do you feel it? That energy? Fucking shit, we have to tap into this energy every fucking day. Imagine all of the things we could do, the fantastic feats we would accomplish. Two thousand and three!

Last night, watching the countdown on TV, I was wondering if it would happen, if we would reach midnight. REM lines were sang throughout the day. One of them was. It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine. And was there to be a world, a life past that midnight, or would we all implode, would Fin flash across a screen somewhere and that be that. I sort of have this feeling whenever I watch that countdown, that it is the end of the world. I don't know what to attribute this to, don't really fucking care either, because it is a new fucking year. 2003. I am alive and aware of this, am human, and you are too, and great things are going to happen. (We are.)

Wednesday, January 1, 2003

new year

"Yes, here is optimism, like a disease: one day she'll have to let us out and then, and then, wait and see, maybe we should form, I don't know, a new political party, yes, the Midnight Party, what chance do politics have against people who can multiply fishes and turn base metals into gold? Children, something is being born here, in this dark time of our captivity; let Widows do their worst; unity is invincibility!Children: we've won!" (502)

Yesterday, New Year's Eve, I was riding on the metro because I had to and I was reading Rushdie's Midnight's Children, also because Ihad to. Because last night, a big midnight was approaching, a new year was only eight or so odd hours away, and because for whatever reasons, because one day I am going to die at a certain age, after having lived through a finite number of these midnights, because of this, I was feeling the life force in a major way. I had to get out of the house and go into DC, anywhere really. I wanted to touch the moonrock, I wanted to see art, I wanted to fucking live. So, I was sitting at home on my couch reading this book that I have been off and on reading since June or so, and I read one of the many passages about midnight fast fast approaching, and I started to feel it, I knew that for some reason I had to finish this book prior to midnight, prior to the fast fast approaching 2003. And children, I did. But, why read at home on your couch when you could be reading on the metro, passing beautiful graffiti under countless overpasses and random concrete walls between Sringfield and the Van Dorn stop? And fuck it, I was feeling the pricklings in my fingertips of something great, something on the way, and these giddy fingertips turned pages with the speed speed speed.

And I got off at Smithsonian with my book, hopped skipped and jumped my way up the esalator, past some man playing a flute, into the brightness of a setting sun, a fucking setting year for god sake's. And time time time, we've got to move if we want to do anything, if we are going to accomplish anything with ourselves. The sun was nearing the horizion behind me, and I was moving on, marching towards the glimmering Capital, the legislative seat of this great land. And finally, I got to the Air and Space Museum where I had one goal: to touch the moonrock, a piece of the sky.

And I went through the metal detectors that they have nowadays everywhere and right there, right past the metal detectors, obscured by them, was a little tiny rock from the moon that I have always giddily fingered ever since I was a little kid, many midnights ago. Millions upon millions have been here too, have touched this same rock, just about every person who has ever visited this place has touched this thing before moving on to look at those Wright Brothers planes hanging from the ceiling, and fucking we have all made contact with it, all of us connected by this little pebble of moon. And fuck think of all the people who haven't touched it, those countless numbers from centuries, millenia past who have looked at this thing, a piece of which we have touched!

And then I bounded out of there, down those steps and back onto the mall with a sun even closer to the horizion, even closer to 2003, and I walked fast fast fast towards the White House to see if Rebecca was still there. She wasn't, but I got a hot dog, a motherfucking hot dog soaked in mustard and ketchup for only one dollar and fifty cents and slowly ate it like the culinary delight it was.

Wandered around some more, taking in streets, people, and billboards on buses, taking in the last sun rays of yesterday, of 2002, and now it is 2003 and there are no sun rays. None at all.

This seems like sort of a bad omen, how dreary today has been, nothing but fog, gray, and rain. But, I have high hopes for this year and my life in general after spending last night watching silly movies with my sister and reflecting over where my life is right now and how I could better live, how I could be a more fully-realized human being. And with that, I'll segue into My New Year's Resolutions:

1. To be outrageously kind-hearted. I know I can be mean-spirited sometimes, and I think this is bad for numerous reasons, among them that meanness is usually rewarded with meanness in return, and maybe I'd like a little love in my life.

2. To not associate with people with lame world-views or people that are dumb in ways that are offensive. This is where much of my meanness stems from, at the anger that builds up inside me from remaining friends with people that I find boring or just lame. Just because I have been friends with them for a long period is no reason to remain friends. And in seeming disagreement with this:

3. Make friends. Be friendly and nice.

4. Say something. Because there is some Le Tigre lyric that says "I went to your concert and you didn't say anything," and I find myself saying that to myself when I am engaged in conversation with someone and I don't want to be, when the topic is petty, is crushes, is silly inter-personal relations. Find something more meaningful to talk about, this is your fucking life you are living spending talking about crushes on stupid fags. Say something else, something real.

5. Be thankful and grateful for every fucking second, every fucking thing and body. Say a little reminder with every act, every bite that grounds you in this thought. "Praise be to God." Or "All Thanks is Due to God." Say this silently.

6. Try to get laid more often. It makes you happy. Being happy is a good thing.

7. Live more intensely. This one is the broad catch-all. Do more physical activity. Move places, do things, be as forward as possible, harness whatever creative potential you think you have. Produce more, consume less. And do it with a fucking smile.