Tuesday, February 25, 2014


The choreographed dance moves of pop stars, a type of poetry that seems uniquely American. Watching Beyonce videos as I float through space, unmoored in some ways to conventional modes of experiencing being.

A fog of Benadryl. French people telling me they didn’t drink the wine.

Cup of coffee number two, something to counterbalance, attempt to counterbalance at least, and failing miserably in that, the somnolent effects of antihistamines.

What does it mean to watch a group of ladies move in sync with one another, blocked in neat lines? What is the source of the joy we get from such a thing? We witness humans, things we know to be imprecise, be, for the span of a pop song, precise things. The joy of pop songs, which really is the joy of life, its most magical manic moments, finds physical manifestation. We all turn on the exact same beat, no one’s timing off.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Shangri-Las - "The Train from Kansas City"

One of the coldest lines in any song ever: "I'll be back in the time it takes to break a heart."


I did some work for school with a classmate this morning, from a Dumbo classroom overlooking the skyline of Manhattan. I saw wet trains glowing in the sun, these golden streaks of light moving over the bridge. The sky was a blue that made me slightly delirious; it was some form of happiness that took you in its big blue arms and shook you around. I stepped out of the house today into blue. It was after the tornado, as you walked out your door and you crossed over from your black and white world straight into that of Oz. The world was in technicolor today. Weeks of snow and freezing temperatures had rendered the world in just grays and whites. I forgot about these other colors, these other modes of feeling, the brightness to it all.


On a stoop somewhere in the Lower East Side, sun shining on me, the sky so blue, still so overwhelmed with these feelings brought on by a blue sky and temperatures above freezing, I ate a chicken burrito from Mission Cantina. Beans spilling all over me. Everyone was out today, the weather bringing out all of the beautiful humans in beautiful clothes enjoying what it is to live in New York City and walk around on days like today after being cocooned inside for so long and seeing all of this beauty - people, blue sky, sunlit streets, smiles on face. A sense of leisure to it all - that one didn't need to race from indoor point to indoor point today just to escape the cold. There was a lot of strolling. I walked around the city. I looked at some galleries in Chelsea. I saw many future potential husbands gallery hopping as well. I fell in love so many times today.

There was woman on 11th Avenue outside of a building, smoking, leaning against the brick wall. The scene held the light of the sun that was beginning its descent over New Jersey. Everything was gold, glowed from within, the woman, the brick wall behind her, the sidewalk we both were on. There wasn't much oncoming traffic to ruin the scene.

There were so many beautiful unphotographed photographs today.

"The Train from Kansas City" is such a sad story, which, really, I guess is any Shangri-Las song. It's a story of doomed romance, of bad boys, of broken hearts. The singer addresses the song to her fiancé, telling him about her ex, how he had moved out of town but how he thought they were still together and sent her letters all the time. She says he is coming into the train station to see her. She tells her fiancé to wait, just wait, while she runs to the train station to break this guy's heart, that she will be "back in the time it takes to break a heart." Then there is the repeated and quickening chorus of "here comes the train, here comes the train" as the train and this guy approach, the chorus sounding more and more uncertain about what that means, about whether the singer is actually going to break up with the guy from Kansas City, whether she is going to have an affair with him, or whether she might actually be planning to get on train with him and run away to Kansas City. Who knows? She is a shady heartbreaker. I want to know how the story ends. Everything about the song is so great, particularly since pop songs usually don't build up a story just to end before coming to any resolution. Instead, it ends right there, right at the build-up, refusing to indulge your need for closure.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

"Put 'em on, put 'em on, put 'em on me"

I was watching this porn last night on my phone as I was in bed, falling asleep, jerking off. It was of a guy fucking a girl from behind. He grabbed her back as he was fucking her. For a couple frames, there was a clear shot of his hands on her back. They were beautiful things and turned me on so much.

I paused the video and played the brief second again and again, imaginging those hands and what it meant for a person to be in possession of such things, about what their hands said about them. There are guys that I have liked based soley on their hands. There are other guys, attractive and nice, that I have not had any interest in because their hands were quite far from some ideal I have of hands.

On the train, early this morning, sometime before 7am, everyone groggy and wanting to still be in bed, there was a man standing in front of me. He looked like a Southern college baseball player, vaguely like Channing Tatum. He was a beautiful hunk of man, not normally what I am used to seeing on my early morning commutes to work. But what really drew me to him were his hands. I couldn't quit staring at them and was getting so turned on by thoughts of what he did with those hands, places they have been. They were big, muscular hands. I wanted them on me.

The seat opened up next to me and, because sometimes dreams come true, or at least some watered down version of them does, he sat down next to me in the small seat opening, his shoulder pressed against mine.

I kept glancing at his hands in his lap, at his fingers, the mass of his arms pressing in against mine. I never wanted the train ride to end, but train rides, much like dreams, evenutally do.

Monday, February 17, 2014

"I'm willing to let your child wither and die inside of you if that's what's required."

Though I am fine with the cold, I am quite excited about being able to walk again at a normal gait, even a fast one. Soon, I will no longer have to take baby steps in my neighborhood. Right now, the sidewalks are a thick layer of ice that have nearly sent me crashing to the ground several times. The forecast for later this week is finally above the freezing mark. All of this ice will melt soon. I think there is a metaphor in there, one I don’t feel like unspooling.

I went to the gym this weekend. That was the only time I left my house this weekend, a few hours. The rest of the time was spent on my couch, not doing many of the things that I had intended to do this weekend, instead just binge-watching the entire new season of House of Cards.

I really don’t like the way that Netflix releases its series - all at once - because I am not a temperate person. Nothing is ever in moderation with me. I will watch the entire series as soon as possible. I want to beat the spoilers that friends or critics will let drop. I assume Netflix does this not solely for the reason they claim, to let viewers binge watch entire series, but rather to have people watching the series like this, everyone at different points, so as not to overload and crash their servers with everyone trying to watch the same episode at the same time. But the result of their dropping the entire series at once is that the conversation that happens around Netflix series is different than what happens around other series, that there is not the same weekly discourse that cultural commentators and viewers can all engage in, going through episode by episode. Instead, because everyone is at different points in the series, if they have even started it all, there is very little conversation about specifics, rather just broad gushing generalizations about how the show is “so good,” and there is not the same in-depth conversations that occur around Netflix series as, say, Girls or Mad Men.

And so as not be that asshole that gives away plot points, I’ll just also say it’s so good. I’ll also say that Robin Wright’s character, Claire Underwood, is so amazing. There is a lot to explore in why we, as audiences, love villains so much, why it is we take such pleasure in their wicked deeds. Perhaps it is to see our own repressed impulses given free reign; perhaps we are all bloodthirsty villains as well but have conformed to the rules of propriety, decency, and morality, and for a moment, the brief span of a tv show or film, we can delight in someone so unbound by the things that we are.I am captivated every time she is on the screen. She is so poised, elegant, and ruthless, such an amazing screen presence.

There is some not small part of me that wants to be her.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Sun Kil Moon - "Dogs"

There are things that you can't control and then there are things that you can control. More and more, I am realizing that most things belong to the latter, that you can control most things. You can stand up straight, for one. I am trying to remember to do this, to exercise more control in how I present myself, for it to be what I would like it to be. You can dislike your job but you can also do things to change it. You can be a happy person. You can be friendly and polite. These are things you can easily control.

This is all such simple stuff, but also so easily forgotten as one moves through life day-to-day, letting exterior forces determine one's mood or posture or whatever other thing it might be. It's just a process of continuing to make ourselves more conscious of our own existence in this world and to exercise a little more authority against the winds that blow against us.

I should also mention that I am writing this after not leaving the house all day, now a little stoned. I am now feeling ready to tackle the things I put off all day. I had planned to do homework, to read, to work on my portfolio, to go the gym, and to go see River of Fundament. I did none of these things. It was another snowy day and there were all of these new episodes of House of Cards to watch. And so I sat on my couch and ordered Mexican food and watched way too many of these episodes. And that was okay. It was a decision I made and I am happy with it. There is a productivity in downtime. Tomorrow, I will be productive in more easily quantifiable ways.

I am at some point soon going to get dressed for the first time today, nearly 11pm, to head out to the city to a friend's goodbye party, someone moving to LA. I really though, much as I like this person, would rather just curl on my couch and watch more of Frank and Claire Underwood be deliciously sinister. Living in New York now for ten years, I have gone to so many of these goodbye parties, sometimes several of them for the same people separated by years. People come and go in this city all the time. And so I really don't care that much about goodbyes, about these rituals that people construct to have people wave them off from this city, however I should add that I think most parties people arrange for themselves for some occasion are always weird, suspect - maybe because it's so anathema to my own nature.

And so I will go and say goodbye, will put on boots to go through these streets to do so.

Frank and Claire will still be here, waiting for me when I get home. This is the company I keep - this devious couple, memories of exes, porn Tumblrs, dirty Vines, burritos, marijuana, and the idea that there might somewhere be a person out there.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Blue Jasmine

Friday night, I ordered a burrito, ate it, and passed out by 9pm. There had been the desire to go out, to dance, get drunk, and partake in the carnival of people out in bars looking for various thrills. But, goddamn, that sleep felt so good. My body was so exhausted. I slept a good deal of this weekend. My current weekday schedule of work and school from 7am to 10pm has meant I have been getting about four hours of sleep a night. My body was so hungry for sleep, ravenous for it, and gorged on it this weekend. It was delightful.

I started The Flame Throwers, and only thirty or so pages in I am seeing why this book was so praised - so far, I am thoroughly impressed with the writerly skill of Rachel Kushner. I watched Blue Jasmine and more of Peep Show. I ate another burrito. I went to the gym, another luxury like sleep that I have been missing out on.

There is a deep freeze out on these streets. It has been sub-freezing for seemingly weeks now. My apartment is well-heated but I still like to curl up under layers of blankets and sheets - to feel the weight of something on my body, the press of something against me, the embrace of down and cotton. It’s a big world, an endless universe that I am unsure of my own role in. There are moments when that scares me and I want the embrace of someone to make me feel less unbound, less like some fleeting thing soon to dissolve in time and space, someone to hold me tight and make me feel bound, tethered. I put sheets on top of blankets on top of sheets, a substitute for something else, the heat working just fine in my apartment.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Warpaint - "Feeling Alright"

This cold is dying slowly, a monster in one of those horror movies, a zombie or something, incapable, nearly incapable, of death. You have to keep shooting and shooting it, stabbing it with a wooden stake in some vital organ, push its body off a cliff, make its body blow up all over the place, and a hand, a lone hand will keep on crawling along past the bits of exploded body, still intent on its evil course. The evil of the world, despite all our work, our hard, hard work, at killing it, will always keep grasping along, that disembodied and bloodied hand crawling along the ground toward some weapon to hurt you, a thirst for violence, for wickedness, for evilness, that, no matter what you do, is impossible to stop.

Most of the major symptoms are gone. It's just these lingering ones, the kind of drippy nose, the kind of sore throat, this feeling of not exactly sick, but not exactly healthy either.

I slept in, feeling sick when I woke up. I took some pills to feel less so. I drank some tea and some coffee to feel another type of way. Enhanced emotional states chosen with ease. Pill of this, puff of this, drink of that. Modern medicine. The dream is alive as long as the right song is on and it is loud enough to make us forget.

My gas stove stopped working a couple of days ago - it clear that someone turned off the gas. My landlord came out to look at it today. He brought me down into the basement and showed me the gas meter to my apartment turned off and locked. He asked if I called the gas company to set it up. No, I said, I didn't know I needed to. I have lived here for a year and a half. I have thought the gas was included with my rent and it might very well be, but I have no clue where my lease is.

This is when he told me that then I never had gas.

What do you mean, I asked? I have lived for a year and a half and have had gas up until two days ago.

Nope, he said, not possible. You never turned it on.

I cook eggs on it every morning. What do you mean I didn't haven't gas? You're saying I didn't cook ever on my stove?

And he shrugged his shoulders seriously to indicate that this was very likely, that I never had gas in my apartment. He again said that I never had it if I never called. My head was about to explode at how unreal this man was being. I wasn't sure if he was fucking with me or what. I am pretty certain that he turned off the gas himself. I have no idea. Anyways, I am not calling Keyspan to try to get gas on for two months here just to end up having to pay some huge gas bill for the last year and a half. This is just more reason to order burritos I guess, though I was planning on cooking more in order to save as much money as possible for this move that I will need to do in two months. I have had it with these crazy landlords and would really love to once live in a building without them. Fingers crossed that my next apartment is one of them.

I saw the guy on 96th Street, got a blowjob. I went to the gym. I lifted weights and watched a muted television that played Mob Wives while the pop hits of the moment blared over speakers. I felt perfectly at home in the world, had found my place for a few moments. As I physically exerted myself each set, I was surrounded by presence, bythese beautiful women with their silent movie faces, always exaggerated expressions playing to the back of the house, the wide eyes at anger, the twitch back and forth at furiousness - usually their expressions on some anger-furious spectrum - none more so than Rene Graziano. She could easily be a telenovela star. As this plays, pop songs blast, songs meant for you to move your body to, to feel sexy to, confident to, to feel some reaction in your actual body. These combined pulled at me with as much force as the resistance of various weight machines. I felt exhausted but ready for more forms of exhaustions. I felt incredibly present, focused on this task, this music, thoughts of the past morning and my idiot landlord gone, thoughts of further worries also put off, thoughts of where I will move to, what ideas I should be thinking of for various ad campaign projects due soon - all of this gone for these moments. It's why I love going to the gym so much.

I went to the Strand, bought The Flame Throwers. A man, a fevered erotic dream of a man, a total babe, asked me if I wanted a bag when I was checking out. No, I said, unable to quit staring and staring hard at this beautiful man. I looked at his nametag - Jeremy. I looked at this face again, unable to step away from the desk, probably drooling. I finally quit being creepy and left the store. For a block, I dreamed about my future life with Jeremy, about going on a date with him, walking down the street with him, the two of us holding hands, our love for each other radiating outward, a glow around us. This dream lasted a block or so. Then there were thoughts about what to eat for dinner.