Friday, January 30, 2004

About that Susan Sontag lecture. I got there about half an hour early to secure myself a seat. Ben, of course, did not go to the talk. I was sitting there by myself reading Whitman's "Song of Myself," pretending to, really just checking out all the other people also waiting in the Great Hall of Cooper Union. And then, in the midst of my scanning of the room, I notice Kevin walking up the aisle I was sitting in.

A quick refresh for those of you wondering who Kevin is. Over the summer, I constantly ran into him on the L train. Finally, he pointed this out, that we always sat across from each other on the train and asked for my number. He never called me and I was understandably sad. A month of two later, he wrote me on Friendster, and we met up for pancakes. And neither of us called the other person after that. Fast forward a few months to New Years, when Rebecca and I crash the party downstairs from Sterling's, and who is there? That's right, Kevin. I made out with him for a bit and that was that.

And now, there he is again, with a friend walking up the aisle engaged in conversation. He comes into the row I am sitting and says hi to his friends who are sitting right behind me, and then he sits next to me since that is where his friends are sitting. Out of all the seats in this huge Hall, probably 1000+ seats, and he ends up in the one right next to me. I talked to him and it was definitely a little uncomfortable. In my bag, was the book that I am reading right now, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, and Ben did not show up, and I ended up sitting next to Kevin, and it seemed all too appropriate. I could not talk to him. I didn't really have much to say, I really didn't want to say anything, and I felt so lame and self-conscious being stuck in this chair next to him, while he was animatedly engaged with his friends.

When I was leaving the lecture, filled with self-loathing brought on by sitting next to Kevin and Sontag's passionate speech that made me feel decadent and lazy for being too self-absorbed (i.e. this diary) amidst endless suffering instead of doing anything to work for change, instead going to galleries, schmoozing with fags, eating the free fruits and downing the free wine purchased by insane wealth, and yeah while leaving, just wanting to escape home and stuff my belly with pasta, I ran into Christopher who used to work at the Strand. I had pizza with him and had to suppress my crabbiness.

But then alone, I was happy. I thought about Sontag. I walked a different way to get around the BQE when I went to visit Joe, instead of going under it, I went down a couple of blocks and walked over it, and it was thrilling and so nice. I walked past graffiti that said, "Johnny Cash died of a broken heart." And that made me happy.

Today, the Domino Sugar factory is closing after 148 years. Right next to it, there is a tiny little park that I watched the sunset over Manhattan from countless times this past summer, and I would see the sun ripple by on crests of water against the docks of the sugar factory. It is also where I watched the fireworks from on the 4th of July. This closing makes me sad, especially because it may become hipster lofts. This is what gentrification looks like. I am part of the problem. I am not always okay with this.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

It goes like this and it goes well. I listen to music, eat pancakes drenched in butter and syrup because I am/was hungover, and really, there is nothing better in that state. You know this. The blue of the sky looks great, it looks particulary great from the saftey of my house, where I can look out my windows at the snow, at the piegon man and can do this all while listening to old music.

And about that hangover: Last night, I went to dollar beer night and consumed way too much beer. I am only saying way too much because I spent most of today in a stupor, and well, because I tried to get one of my co-workers to make out with me. Nothing new, I know. I talked to a boy James pretty much all night. I maybe made some blunt overtures to him that were sort of ignored. Way too much beer means being ridiculously liberated about my sexual desires and ignoring normal protocols of social interaction. When I have liquor in my system all I want to do is make out and play with cocks, that and dance, and Phoenix does not have dancing, so I was shooting for sex. It didn't happen. However, on my way home, I did buy a chocolate crossaint and beef jerky, which gave me an immense pleasure that was distinctly unique.

Now, I am going to go listen to Susan Sontag, perhaps Christy will be there, and perhaps, the love of my life, Ben, will also be there. Last night, I did talk to Ben about the talk and he said he wanted to go. Maybe he will. Maybe I need to stop having crushes on boys with boyfriends, especially when I am friends with these boyfriends.

I am drinking coffee now and man, oh man, if I could feel like this all the time. This guilt-free, this happy, this horny. The things I could do.

Monday, January 26, 2004

You know how sometimes you could have woken up at nine, or ten at the latest, but there was something that disturbed your sleep cycle, fully woke you up for a period before you were ready to be awake, and so you slept later, until eleven. This occured today. At eight, I woke up, my bladder ready to absolutely burst. I ran to the bathroom, where if someone had not been in there taking a shower, I would have been able to relieve myself and fall back asleep before waking up all the way, doing all the motions in a state of half-sleep. However, Dara was in the bathroom, sho-sho-showering away, singing while doing it, and I went back to my room, and waited to hear that bathroom door squeak open.

I remember Hans telling me a story once about how he peed in the sink once while his roommate was showering. I thought about this and went into the kitchen. I looked at the sink full of dishes and decided that I did not want to have to move all those dirty dishes, and that I am also not Hans, that he is the type of person that can pee in a sink and see no problem with it, but I have certain notions of what is acceptable and what is not, and well, peeing in the sink fits into the what is not category. I don't want to be that type of person, I would like to be a little more liberated, but the truth is that I am not, I could pretend and pee in the sink, but I would feel so disingenous about it.

So back to my room, and waiting and waiting on the edge of my book, trying to read this David Wojnarowicz book but failing to do so, because all I could think about was my bladder. Finally, I heard that squeak, and ran into the bathroom, peed for what felt like two minutes, a constant stream, and then went back to bed, and of course I was not still going to get up at nine. Not until eleven because there are sleep cycles that really I could not tell you much more about than that, that there are them and that I had to go through one.

I just read the first installment of Dave Egger's new satire, and I am going to wait to tell you what I think until I read more installments. I have to go to work shortly. I get to leave early today though. Yesterday at work, I answered a question for Adam Yauch, a real live Beastie Boy. Things like that amuse me, to collapse those notions of celebrity and distance. That this short, gray-haired man before me made all those rocking tunes, that all these other people here also have secret histories, talents, and it ain't no thing, or it is, and that is the mind blowing thing - so many people, so much potential. I am so fucking lazy. Eleven!

Friday, January 23, 2004

Today, I read James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time. Two choice quotes that I want to remember:

The word "sensual" is not intended to bring to mind quivering dusky maidens or priapic black studs. I am referring to something much simpler and much less fanciful. To be sensual, I think, is to respect and rejoice in the force of life, of life itself, and to be present in all that one does, from the effort of loving to the breaking of bread. (43)

Life is tragic simply because the earth turns and the sun inexorably rises and sets, and one day, for each of us, the sun will go down for the last, last time. Perhaps the whole root of our trouble, the human trouble, is that we will sacrifice all the beauty of our lives, will imprision ourselves in totems, taboos, crosses, blood sacrifices, steeples, mosques, races, armies, flags, nations, in order to deny the fact of death, which is the only fact we have. It seems to me that one ought to rejoice in the fact of death - ought to decide, indeed, to earn one's death by confronting with passion the conundrum of life. (92-93)

And here, I go, ready to confront it. I have spent most of the paycheck I recieved today paying off the last three months of our electric bill. Today was the date that they were supposed to turn off our power. It is Friday, payday. I have electicity still flowing through my house, and caffeine pumping through my bloodstream, good tunes coursing through me also, and I am ready to have fun. I am going to the Tyson Reeder opening, and then I don't know what I will do from there, but I have options before me, and so I will do what I please and will do it with passion.

you can call me al...

I just won Scrabble for the second night in a row. It was another close game though, with the contested word "zoner" allowing me to win the game.

From the NY Times, this is the country we live in:

On Thursday night, only the Rev. Al Sharpton disagreed with the assertion by the other candidates that gay marriage should be left for the states to decide.

"I am unilaterally opposed to any civil or human right being left to states' rights," he said. "That is a dangerous precedent. I think the federal government has the obligation to protect all citizens on a federal level." He added, "If we start going back to states' rights, we're going back to pre-Civil War days, and I think that that, in its nature, is wrong."

In asserting that he was not out of the mainstream on social issues because his state had approved civil unions, Dr. Dean noted: "We chose not to do gay marriage. We chose to do civil unions. I think that position, actually, is very similar to Dick Cheney's, who thinks every state ought to be able to do what they want."

Why do I, why do you like Dean so much? Vernon God Little! Maybe Pierre's criticisms are right? WTF?

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Days like today, I realize that I live in New York. I just ate take-out Chinese food for dinner and I walked one block from my house to get it. That is wonderful. Now if only there was a burrito place a block away from my house . . .

I bought some wine and some wine glasses today. I did not write one word of one cover letter. I spent all day finishing Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre, the recent Booker prize winner that has been slammed by a few American critics as a painfully inauthentic rendering of American teen life. The criticisms are true. However, if one can get past the abundance of fat American jokes, the book does have quite a few shining moments. It is funny. I am also starting to notice a shared theme with two other novels presenting unsettling pictures of America: Portnoy's Complaint and The Corrections. In both of these, the father figures have difficulty controling their bowel movements. Portnoy's dad is constantly constipated while Alfred craps his pants. Vernon also has trouble controlling his BMs, having to run off and crap in bushes. Instances of bodily humor are funny because they are society failing, and nature rearing its head to let out a big belch. The body pooping is a fissure in the civilized ordering of things, the body erupts in these books to show that the constructions of society are just that, constructions, and here is a pooping body to prove it - to contrast this act of nature with a society that would hide these things, to show the "unnaturalness" (and I use this word very hesitantly, unable to think of a better word) of the current society.

But these aren't healthy bowels, so I am not sure if this theory is still applicable. Perhaps it is, if we say that these either stopped up or too loose bowels are proof of the "unnaturalness" of society and of how it not only effects us mentally, but also bodily. That our very bodies can also become disordered as a result of a disordered, corrupt society should be cause for alarm.

In other words, I like fart jokes.
The Gillain Welch CD that I was listening to just made that mechanical noise as you hear the CD coming to stop, no longer spinning, over. I played Scrabble tonight with Joe after our plans for seeing Crimson Gold did not work out because of my poor finances. Friday I get paid however, and soon thereafter, I will be seeing this movie for sure. We talked and listened to sad country music downing cans of Budweiser. It was really nice. It is nice outside. Almost painfully cold, but not quite, cold enough to make you nostalgic for nothing in particular, to love this city and the fact that you live here. Tomorrow, I am writing three cover letters for various jobs and internships.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Shh! Don't tell. Yes, it is only one in the afternoon, but I have already helped myself to a glass of wine. I made this yummy salad for lunch and it was just begging, just begging, along with the gorgeous afternoon streams of sunlight filtering through this orange sarong that has been hung up as curtain in a living room, they were begging for a leisurly glass of wine. It was called for.

I have also already had three cups of coffee, and I am going to go into work now in love with life.

Friday, January 16, 2004

"these divine captives"

I have written one cover letter, albeit for an unpaid internship. I will try to write one more tonight, one for a well-paying job. I have read lots of Proust today. I will try to read one hundred more page and finish Swann's Way. I just read an utterly amazing, take your breath away passage about the qualities of music. I read it while listening to Gillian Welch's Time (The Revealator), which made it all the more amazing. It is long, but it is good:

"He knew that the very memory of the piano falsified still further the perspective in which he saw the elements of music, that the field open to the musician is not a miserable stave of seven notes, but an immeasurable keyboard (still almost entirely unknown) on which, here and there only, seperated by the thick darkness of its unexplored tracts, some few among the millions of keys of tenderness, of passion, of courage, of serenity, which compose it, each one differing from all the rest as one universe differs from another, have been discovered by a few great artists who do us the service, when they awaken in us the emotion corresponding to the theme they have discovered, of showing us what richness, what variety lies hidden, unknown to us, in that vast, unfathomed and forbidding night of our soul which we take to be an impenetrable void. Vinteuil had been one of those musicians. In his little phrase, although it might present a clouded surface to the eye of reason, one sensed a content so solid, so consistent, so explicit, to which it gave so new, so original a force, that those who had once heard it preserved the memory of it on an equal footing with the ideas of the intellect. Swann referred back to it as to a conception of love and happiness whose distinctive character he recognized at once as he would that of the Princesse de Cleves, or of Rene, should either of those titles occur to him. Even when he was not thinking of the little phrase, it existed latent in his mind on the same footing as certain other notions without material equivalent, such as our notions of light, of sound, of perspective, of physical pleasure, the rich possessions wherewith our inner temple is diversified and adorned. Perhaps we shall lose them, perhaps they will be obliterated, if we return to nothingness. But so long as we are alive, we can no more bring ourselves to a state in which we shall not have know them than we can with regard to any material object, than we can, for example, doubt the luminosity of a lamp that has just been lit, in view of the changed aspect of everything in the room, from which even the memory of the darkness has vanished. In that way Vinteuil's phrase, like some theme, say, in Tristan, which represents to us also a certain emotional accretion, had espoused our mortal state, had endued a vesture of humanity that was peculiarly affecting. Its destiny was linked to the future, to the reality of the human soul, of which it was one of the most special and distinctive ornaments. Perhaps it is not-being that is the true state, and all our dream of life is inexistent; but, if so, we feel that these phrases of music, these conceptions which exist in relation to our dream, must be nothing either. We shall perish, but we have as hostages these divine captives who will follow and share our fate. And death in their company is somehow less bitter, less inglorious, perhaps even less probable." (496-498)
I love credit cards! A credit card just eased my depression, pretty much wiped it out in fact. I just paid my rent, and an old credit card bill after deposting my paycheck. This left me with something like two dollars and sixteen cents in my account until next Friday. I was fretting, wondering how I was going to get through the week since my metrocard expires in three days, and because, well you know, I do have to eat something. And then there were thoughts about how next Friday, my entire paycheck was probably going to pay more bills. We have yet to pay the last four months of our electric bill and the final date to pay before they turn it off is next Friday. My cell phone bill is also due around then. You can imagine, I was stressed and more than a little depressed about my inability to manage my finances.

I checked my credit cards online, figuring out how I could get through these weeks, and I find that contrary to being maxed out on all my cards, one, the MBNA card, upped my line of credit by 500 dollars. And they are the card with the insanely low interest rate of 7.9 percent and the card that does not charge me any late fees when I pay the day after. I love MBNA! So I will be able to eat, I will be able to ride the subway to work. I am so happy. And sure, you could point to this as evidence of how predatory credit cards are, how Americans love to spend on deficit, how we are a nation of rabid consumers. But you could also stick that finger you are pointing with up your ass.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Man, I love being an adult. Living on my own, working a five day a week job, having days off, and doing nothing on them. Causally playing with my pubes after masturbating, glancing at the snowy outside world through the slits in my blinds. Listening to New Order's "Temptation" on repeat for hours, that "You've got green eyes" song that I love so much. There is no one home to get annoyed about it playing on repeat, and so it gets repeated and repeated and I sing along and dance. I do this while eating half a pint of ice cream for breakfast. The same song on repeat. I turn up the volume. And man, there is nothing that comes close to this. Do you know how much freedom we have? I can eat whatever I want, no matter how bad it is for me, at whatever time I so choose. And this power to eat ice cream for breakfast, if I think about it long enough makes me so ridiculously happy. Happy, not only because I am doing what I want regardless of what I "should" be doing, but because - and this is the kicker here, the ephiphany for today that's got me coasting right now - the ability to do this thing, small as it is, is knowledge, a whispered hint that I can do whatever I want with regards to anything. That each day is filled with these potentials, these opportunities to eat ice cream fcr breakfast and listen to That Green Eyes song on repeat. And all I have to do is to do these things, to do things that give me joy, to not do things that don't, and to take control of this life, to have as much fun as possible. And with this knowledge, I think I will take a shower and kick off this day.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

A week or so ago at work, I got into a discussion with a few of my co-workers about the merits of the Village Voice, and was fairly shocked to find out that so many people had a low opinion of it. In the Voice's defense, I kept on citing the names Jerry Saltz, Nat Hentoff and Ricahrd Goldstein, as examples of the paper's frequently awesome articles. More proof with the latest issue. Here is the latest Goldstein piece, another well-written queer reading of recent events in popular culture.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

it's the joke that has lost its humor at the Strand: I am Stranded

Some days, I have the joy. Today was not one of them. The day started out well. I listened to Bjork's Post on the way to work, an album that I have not listened to in an insanely long time. Bjork used to be such a source of joy for me in high school and my first year of college, but like everything, she was subject to the whims of time, and she was no longer the sure source of joy. But today, this morning on the subway, that unrestrained happiness in her voice, the burps and squeaks of joy - it had its effect.

I went into work so happy. I am not sure how long this lasted, or exactly at what point it switched to something else, but I was cranky and irritable later at work. I find myself constantly tired unless I drink six cups of coffee a day, which I should continue to do because it makes me happy and productive. There are a couple of factors at work in the unhappiness of today. Let us examine them in turn:

1. My Job: Today, I dealt with a few unpleasant people. I had to do some unpleasant chores at work, and I realized that I am tired of working at the Strand, some days it is fun, but days, like today, unstimulated, I know that I need to find a new job, or at least some activity on my days off to keep me coasting through my days at the Strand. My new year's resolution was to find a mentally stimulating and satisfying form of employment. I have been negligent in searching for jobs. This will change because my job is contributing to my unhappiness.

2. My Diet: A co-worker randomly asked me, "What do you eat?" And I replied, "Cereal, coffee, pizza, beer." This is my diet and I am putting not only bad things into my body, but nothing good. When I eat healthy, I feel it in my spirits. I want to cite my especially outrageous diet these past couple of days as one of the reasons of my unhappiness. I am going to eat healthier.

3. My Finances: Oy. Thinking about all of the various bills I have to pay makes me stressed. This is problem is slightly related to Factor in Unhappiness #1. I need to get ahead of the bills curve.

4. My Lack of Physical Movement: It is cold outside, so I don't really do much walking, don't really do anything outside. I cannot afford a gym membership now (see Factor in Unhappiness #3). I haven't been dancing in way too long. The only exercise I get is at work, and that, is not enough to keep those happy chemicals flowing through my body.

And I am sorry for whining, for being one of those people. Trust me, I am not. I am going to work on things to make sure of that. Thank god for music. Thank god for headphones, and yes, Bjork does sing a similar ode on Post, and yes, she is right, music is my one sure source of happiness these days, that and too much coffee. I will work on combining the two. It will be beautiful. Tomorrow, I will be. Maybe a colon cleanser will help things? Maybe if I chop off my hair?

Sunday, January 11, 2004

I called my boss this morning, said, "I am not going to be able to come into work this morning." Annoyed, she responded, "You just asked to come in and work this morning."

"I know," I said, very well aware that I had indeed done so, but today I just could not come into work. "My apartment is flooded. The boiler exploded last night, and I have to clean it up today."

"Okay," she said annoyed, probably believing that I was lying.

I was not. Last night, I got home from work, saw a puddle on the living room floor, and heard a jet stream of water splashing around in Min's room. The heater in Min's room was shooting out water onto the walls. I realized that the plot of horror movies is just a more exaggerated version of the homeowner's nightmare. Water/blood shooting out everywhere. The domestic space spiraling out of control, turning into a haunted house, something we cannot control. I put a towel over the source of the water, threw a towel on the living room floor and ran downstairs panicked in search of my landlord, Iris. She was not there, but her tiny old mother was, mopping up water that was way worse on their floor and was streaming through the ceilings. She also does not speak English. The rest of her family was in Pennsylvannia. With many difficulties communicating with her, I found out tha tshe had contacted the heating company, and that they were on their way, but it would take a while since appearantly lots of boilers could not handle the coldness of yesterday. I said okay, and went back upstairs to fret about the situation some more even though there was really nothing I could do. I eventually went to bed, only to be woken up at six, by a violent pounding on my door. It was the little old grandma, screaming for help, that I needed to call the heating people for her since she doesn't speak much English. Appearantly the guy came at three, and it took little grandma a while to get to the door since she was upstairs, and she yelled after him but he was already leaving.

So I called, talked to a very confused heating guy who didn't understand why the owner wasn't calling. I explained. And he said he would send someone but it might take a couple of hours but to turn off the main water. I went downstairs with grandma to look at the pipes. She let me borrow a pair of her tiny flip flops. We went down into the wet basement, stood in freezing cold water and tried to figure out the pipes. She said that she had already tried but that the water didn't turn off. And true enough, I found the same thing. I was no handyman. My father tried to get me to help when he played around with cars, when he did mechanical things, but I didn't, and now, times like these, I pay the price, standing in ankle deep ice water, twisting a pipe handle grudingly and finding it does nothing, that I don't know what I am doing. I am dependent on some heating guy to come resue this apartment building, feeling impotent.

I gave her back her flip flops, her tiny flip flops, which I wore anyways, told her that the heating guy should come soon, apoligized because I didn't know what else to do, saw that the ceiling on the main floor had come off, and water was streaming through, went back to the top floor, wrapped towels around my feet, hoped that the buidling did not collapse, and went back to sleep. So, no, I was not lying about the flood.

Saturday, January 10, 2004

ny times weather, for real, is this a joke?

The current temperature (not including wind chill) is 5 degrees. If we are lucky, we will make it to that predicted high of 15 today. Florida, Florida, Florida, I miss you.

Friday, January 9, 2004

My reflection in the bathroom mirror this morning was not a welcome sight. Few sights were probably going to elate me in my hungover state, but looking at my dry, chapped face, at the pimples that made their secret appearance during the night, made me groan. The promises of youth and happiness seemed unfulfilled. I rested my leg on the rocking horse, sat there naked on the chair, a bored expression on my face wondering what happened, where it went, and my sagging breasts told the answer too explicitly. Time happened. The aging process. This morning I was a Philip Pearlstein painting.

Last night, I went to the Philip Pearlstein opening at the Robert Miller gallery, and empathized with artwork for the first time in a long time. There has been work that I liked, that had a message I could nod my head in agreement with, but not something that I could feel. Enter Pearlstein. The large paintings were all of naked middle-aged people (usually women) with either bored faraway looks in their eyes, or eyes closed for what looked like similar reasons, because they did not want to see where they were. The pieces were all adorned prominently with props of youth, the detritus of our childhood memories. A rocking horse. A mickey mouse puppet. A toy lion. And these childhood props, these objects symbolizing youth stood there in stark contrast to these sagging bodies, these unhappy bodies. So much was evoked for me by these paintings. The promises made us to in our youth never seemed to pan out like we hoped, like we were promised. Reailty never seems as much fun as its representation. We age, our skin is dry, chapped, and pimply and the Mickey of our youth, the rocking horse of our youth is still in the same ageless condition. For eternity, or at least for the span of our own lives, as we age, these fetishized objects will remain in the same state, unwrinkled, maybe dusty, but still there promising the same things, and fooled too many times now, we look at the objects differently, but still with hope that ennui can be overcome, thinking back to those days before it existed. The mood of these paintings for whatever reason seemed similar to the mood of Lost in Translation, and during the show, I could hear Jesus and Mary Chain's "Just Like Honey." Can you tell that I loved this show? I encourage anyone in New York to check in out. 526 W. 26th Street.

This show was especially pleasant to see after having seen John Currin's show at the Whitney last week, who also has a similar subject matter: suburban middle-aged women. However, the Currin show infuriated me. I am still a little undecided about it, whether the offense it provoked in me is a good thing or a bad thing. I went through the show backwards chronologically, starting with his most recent paintings, which I liked, to his smarmy depictions of suburban women, to his female nudes, to his obnoxious paitings of absurdly buxom women, to crap. His work is rife with insincerity and condescenion. I hate it so much. It rubs me in completely the wrong way. I think a Currin's a jackass.

After that scary encounter with the mirror, I shaved, showered, applied moisturizer and with the passage of a few hours and the consumption of a few cups of coffee felt better, could still believe the promises.

In celeb spotting news, Ryan Adams was at the Pearlstein opening. And Chuck Close (!!!) was at the Joe Zucker opening. Megan spotted both of them. Just about every time I am with Megan, she spots celebs, people that I would never have noticed. It can't just be that everytime I am with Megan, there are celebs, it must be that I am oblivious and probably pass them all the time not noticing. Tonight, I am going to check out the Stay Gold gallery across the street from me, and then hopefully finish this tranny memoir, She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders.

Thursday, January 8, 2004

I just finished reading How Soon is Never? by Marc Spitz, a fairly mediocre work of fiction that was only read because it is all about a kid who is obsessed with the Smiths. I read most of it listening to Bona Drag which is the perfect soundtrack to these cold, lonely days. And I want to emphasize that cold part. High of 28 today! That is painfully cold.

I bought a five dollar hat so my ears wouldn't fall off today. My face gets dry and requires constant moisturizer. I do not like being outside. The sky is clear on these cold nights, but I never want to linger too long staring at it, thinking about all those little suns out there. Full moon tonight. And I am here in my bedroom alone, right next door, Dara is in hers with some boy. Thank god for headphones and Morrissey. I dream about hugging people, cute moody boys with pompadours, holding them close, feeling less lonely. Again, it is cold. Again, I am listening to Morrissey.

Tuesday, January 6, 2004

Today's mission: Smile at ten strangers on the street. Observe the results.

Yesterday, I did exercises in participating in conversations with strangers. Rather than just directing people towards books, I asked them questions. Some guy asked me, "Do you have Gay Street?", and I followed with "Let me check, what's that about, is that the one they had a big write-up in the Times about?" When a female asked for Samuel Delaney and Judith Butler, I talked to her about both of them, and talked to her about her thesis, and she asked me what I was doing, and then gave me encouraging advice when I said that I did not really know, that I need to figure that out. I was screaming about Whitman (who else?) to Will and Allison when some old Jewish man interjected, "Whitman was a patriot!" And then I entered into a twenty minute talk with this old man about Whitman, Frost, current "American" poetry, terrorism, Israel, and listened to him explain why "every Arab" hates the Jews. It was definitely an encounter. I am trying to make myself as open to these encounters as possible, that this is where life is, here in these interactions. Today, I am going to chase it. You can participate too. You should. At least ten strangers.

Friday, January 2, 2004

I woke up yesterday, on the first day of this new year at 2004, reasonably bright and early, considering that I went to bed late and drunk on New Year's Eve, and I put on good music, looked out my kitchen window at the first light of this year and rejoiced. Rejoiced because two of my good friends were asleep on my living room and I woke them up, brought them into 2004.

One day before that, on New Year's Eve, I was at work so happy, high, literally high on coffee and could not hold in my sense of jubulation that time was moving, we were on the cusp of something new, and man, imagine all the things that could occur, all the amazing things that had. So hold on tight, tight, and grasp at every object of beauty. The sun sets really early up here during this time of year, and during my lunch on the eve of 2004, I could already see the sun setting behind office buildings, high rises, apartments. I grasped at it, told a couple of my co-workers to be quick, to catch those last rays of this year. Things are constantly ending, we recieve news that people we have known have died, one year closes, and all we can do is grasp at the beauty that does surround us before it fades, before it scatters off to other states and counties.

This year, I cut off ties with my dying father for the most part. I was kicked out of school, and I moved away from my closest friends in this world, I moved away from the best community I ever lived in, moved from the Sunshine State to New York where I knew one person. I moved for no real reason in particular other than I knew that it was time for something new. And each one of those fucking moments, and all the moments in between them, the downtime, I loved, I fucking loved so much. And in nostalgic moments (the start of a new year, for example), I think back on those things, think of biking on my crappy bike down 41 to the Best Western, which was the easiest job I ever had, and where I encountered so many people, new people coming in every day from all over, occasionally giving me glimmers of wisdom. Stealing subs from Publix, glossy magazines from Barnes and Nobles, and taking the loot to the beach where they were consumed under a gorgeous sun, on white sand next to clear, warm water. Dancing under stars to music I liked. Living room sing-a-longs to Jamie's guitar. Citrus trees. Starfruit.

And I arrived here with all my worldy possesions stuffed into two bags. I have lived in Red Hook, and three apartments in Williamsburg. I have a job, health insurance, and am going about the process of creating a community of friends here in New York. I have seen shows that made me excited about visual art, about music, and even more importantly, these works, these performaces, have also got me excited about the process of life, have made me thrilled at the sight of sunrays, of someone singing along to their headphones as walk down the street, as they pass me in a state of bliss, making me see the possibility of my own bliss is never that far away as I will sometimes imagaine on days where I am feeling lethargic and do not do enough activities, do not take this project of life as seriously as it demands of us.

December 30th, I was too tired to go out with Beki. Inspired by a story Peter told me, I have resolved to not to not anything because I am too ired. I am in Brooklyn, yes, but sleep can wait. And so after partying all New Year's Eve at Sterling's, kissing a boy briefly, seeing firewords from a rooftop, and dancing, I woke up with a few hours of sleep and a smile on my face, and headed off to Coney Island with Rebecca, Beki, and Christy for the New Year's day Polar Bear event. We got there after the big jump but Beki, Rebecca, and I still jumped into the freezing water. And it was fun. The March Band, a ragtag marching band, played and danced. It was an awesome sight. The sun was already lowering. People were fishing. A homeless sage in the public bathroom wished me a happy new year and told me I was a good guy. And I loved it. There are all these things to do. So many moments that I am going to live through.


1. Never not do anything because you are tired.
2. Sleep less
3. Apply for new jobs
4. Go to school
5. Get a part-time internship on days off or volunteer
6. Write gorgeous things
7. Make friends
8. Smile and be kind