Sunday, December 27, 2009

Black Boots

And of all the things that you could have written about, and all the things that you should have said; all those damned things you wish you'd speak up about or fought harder for, or said hello to (yes, you on the subway) all of those things equal up to the moment when you are walking home alone with a peaceful mind. It takes a whole lot of shit, a cold, a skin virus, a bad stomach ache, a terrible situation and the possibility of things much worse for you to see a movie with a great friend, and laugh your ass off. It takes a whole lot riding home on the subway, exchanging pastries and leftover bread because you didn't have enough money to eat that night, and she worried about your stomach. It takes a whole lot of friendship and awareness to leave happy and smiling after a heavy subject. Friends can take heaviness lightly, when you need them to. And its the sound of your new black boots not lightly tapping, but punching the pavement beneath your feet as you walk by every closed window and locked door of Houston Street for you to realize that the life you live is great and not a single, solitary person or problem is going to snatch that from you. It's then you know you shouldn't have walked alone that night, and you know you shouldn't have stayed out that late because you have a million things to do the following day and a job to nail down and your whole future to figure out. But you also know it isn't about all of that. Not right now. Not this moment. Not when the whole city lays before you, quiet on a Sunday night and you suddenly let yourself realize that it has become a greater part of you than you would willing admit. For better, or for better. It's for that moment when, in the first time in months, you felt like you held up your head a little higher. That you got your confidence back for a while, not because of a guy looking at you, or your friends saying something nice: but because it just felt like the time to do it. Because you felt like you were ready to do it.

Countless people who have never been to New York City ask me if it's really anything like it is in the movies. I always tell them the same thing: New York City can be anything you want it to be. That's the thing about it, the movies can be all right and all wrong at the same time. Of course, anywhere can mean anything to anyone. But New York City is a pretty bold character, isn't he? Isn't she? With so much change going on right in the open and underneath the surface, sometimes you can confuse it with a living, breathing person. Always changing while they're changing.

I came home, took off my boots and noticed I had managed to trash the place in a single night. I told myself, outloud, good. Chaotic. Just like I like it. Then continued to clean up the dishes, my shoes, some clothes and drank water from a wine glass because I liked it like that too. It's cold even though the windows aren't open, and my tan socks stretched over my pleather-covered legs draw the cold in like a drafty fireplace. I drink my water and look around.

I'll get this all figured out.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Fake Snowballs

I laid awake on the small, cramped couch, my feet sticking out of the three blankets I piled on top of my shaking figure, almost kicking the fake Christmas tree. I watched the digital numbers click steadily onward and as the weather threw Christmas rain drops at the windows. Face halfway between my pillow and a couch cushion, I thought of him in bed with her. Each time I blocked out the semi-dark with the permanent black of my eyelids, there they were: having mountain-men sex in my head, all over the pine needle covered forest, all pumping to the lyrics of Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan that I loved and have scribbled everywhere in my notebooks, on top of my favorite blanket. It was blasphemous and beautiful, crude, and its everything that I and he ever wanted except it was here it was them, naked, not: me. I never wanted to gouge my mind’s eye out of its socket more. It isn’t the memory of “I love you” or the way he nuzzled my neck: the finding of every text he sent me just before we split, right around the time the conversation was sparse and he could hardly bargain anything but an “Oi! I’m sorry. Call you soon?” No, it is memories of sex in mosquito-ridden tents that kills me, in parking lots, in his bed. That, and ocean-filled kisses we exchanged over the fact that we promised we’d never be like those other couples, tossing a football over the shallow waves. In a lot of ways, we never were. In a lot of ways, that is what made this harder.

If it’s time for me to start being brutally (and I mean, brutally) honest with myself, then honestly comes with a continental lemon, salt, and a lofty price. The kind of price higher than any Anthropologie hand-sewn dress all patch-worked together somewhere in the back under the piano music and above the Indian floor cushions. The kind of price that today made me stare into the beautiful displays of clean white paper and plastic sculptured into a pristine, indoor, oil-heated winter and want only to lay in the display of fake snowballs and never get up again. Most confusing thing about my heartbreak, really, is that it isn’t like anyone else’s I’ve seen. It doesn’t come in waves and it sure plays an obvious game of hide and seek. There he is right in front of me. All photographed, smiling and happy, lips upturned in his permanent smile, his early crows feet locked in his hopeful squint. My head took that still shot, its still up there developing behind my forehead. Only life has taken the largest pair of scissors created and meticulously cut out his shape. Only his dim outline, the lake, and his canoe exist beyond the metal cutting away at his memory. His lack of a presence now becoming a dull throbbing just under my eighth layer of skin cells. All at once I want to write him a thousand letters explaining other people aren’t meant for each other, but we! We were crafted from the same tree, you see, carved with the same knife, and sewn with the same thread. I am the bristly bark, he is the soft chamber of collected rings. And there is the genius of the thing: you think we are nothing alike, but really, we are just different sides of the same sapling. Then I want to take those same letters all made of our tree and burn them all, so I could keep them from being true.

Because they aren’t true.

Just as you and I are not two sides of the same coin, missing you and wanting to forget you at the same time, is.

For months I have stared at my notebook, refusing to write, afraid of what might come out. Lately, I’ve been more prolific. Speaking of lately, I have been thinking deeply about the fact that I have always wanted someone to wear lacy underwear for. I know for a fact that I don’t look like someone who would own any, but maybe that is what makes the idea more tempting. But I would get some for him and he would think it cute rather than sexy because, well, I’m petite and that’s just the way these things work. When I say I have been thinking deeply about this, I mean that in the sense that I wonder what the deeper meaning of lacy underwear could possibly be, and why it is the first thing that comes to mind. Mental hilarity, of course, ensues.

You come to realize that after all this speculation and self-searching, heartbreak is really something ridiculous, poisionious, but ultimately: what could be more neccasary? How else would we build up a certain knowledge of ourselves and of other people, if it doesn't get to be converted into utter shrapnel and we have to start all over, rebuild it again? Thanatos complex aside, that's just it. Those moments when you just want to fall into a pile of fake snowballs, and stare up into the plastic icicles of yesteryear forever, wondering, "how can I ever be strong enough to feel happy again?": those moments, are when you begin to find a way.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

And A Very Merry See You To You Too

The door to McNulty's opened, and the distinct smell of musty tea and coffee beans hit the mix of fresh air flowing in from behind me. I looked around at the boxes upon boxes of teas and large glass containers with labels reading LAPSONG OOLONG and GREEN GUNPOWDER in old typeset. I noticed the diced, dried fruit in a large glass canister, and saw the strange reflection in red of a teabox behind it. The strange manipulation of the light and the colour made me realize how much love has made me miss out. That's when I realized I wouldn't let this take over, what you admitted to me. You told me last night that she was yours now: the girl you said you didn't like is who you are with now, and you felt bad telling me. I asked if you cared about her when you were still with me, and your silence told me everything. It took me two phonecalls, an hour of staring, an hour of crying, approximately 5 hours of terrible sleep, and one lunch with four cups of coffee to realize that all you are is a coward and that all of this still isn't my fault. I loved with you with every inch of my being, and to be honest, I don't know that you will ever know what exactly that meant to me. You changed me, and you stayed exactly the same. You told me I introduced you to a lot of new things. Sure. Like books and art, and what did you give me? Only a soul cleanse and a better outlook, but sure, that is only cheap change I know. And you would have me be alright with the situation ("Don't worry, things don't have to change with us, we can still talk. And if she gets jealous, well, oh well"). Congratulations. You aren't the saint you or anyone thought you were. Congratulations on your first instance of being the bad guy. Welcome to the club, enjoy your stay among the real people.

And I refuse to believe that I will be forever forced to fall to ill-fated love. Whether I am comfortably wedged in my warm bubble of denial or not remains to be seen, however, even if the universe owes and will never owe anyone anything, I do know that I will find someone, someday. But that isn't what I want right now. And you claimed that wasn't what you wanted- that you couldn't be with someone even if you wanted to because it would take away from how you wanted to travel, see the world: no one should hold you back. But therein lies your weakness, eh? You claim all these things and are too weak and too abstract to find yourself. You think its better to be a terribly disfunctional sponge that only half soaks up the experience it lands itself in, rather than fully absorbing, or fully squeezing and expelling the world around you. At this rate, by giving yourself no time to be comfortable and figure out how you work, you WILL never be fully happy, not in the way you could be. Not in a passing happy-go-lucky way. You will always be that, I have absolutely no doubt. But you WILL miss out. You will.

Not for a moment would I change the way I truly feel and live every piece and part of my world. Not for a second am I humiliated that you derrailed me, not for a second would I take back the sheer, momunmental amount of construction these past months have made me take on. I don't wish unhappiness on you. I am not bitter. I am shocked, yes. Am I dissapointed? I am MOST of all dissapointed. Because you never admitted that sometimes being hypocrites is alright. Humans innately go back on things they say. But you could never see it that way. Humans are innately just, we can be good for reasons beyond reward, and everything is innately good and wonderful! You CAN'T see things that way. NOT everything is as shiny and magical as you would have it. There is plenty of hate and terrible things in this world, and its in having that dark side that GIVES the world its light. If you refuse to see the darkness, even within yourself, then you will never truly have shine.

I wish you nothing but the best, and I mean that. Can I talk to you anymore. Hm. Would it be worth it? Honestly, no. You are removed from my life and I have spent too long getting by without you for you to leave any more marks on me than you already have. I will not allow you to cause more damage.

But no one can, anymore. Not right now. I'm officially locking up and throwing away the key. No one is allowed in, just as none of my friends are allowed out. I have my loved ones already, my family, my close friends, all deep in my arteries and nothing will change that. But no one else is entering, not for a while. I owe it to myself to be strong for myself, so that I might be strong for others who need me, like my friends, and my family.

He was sent back the institution, for trying to hurt her, yet again. Now he has to be sent away to a home, and his little brother hasn't even been tested for anything. At least, not to my knowledge. I am afraid for young mind, just as I am afraid for his mother's. I would wish to be there in a closer way, but I am afraid, I cannot. It would be a dangerous path to tread. Christmas is going to be a rough one, but when is it ever not for us? I have Mr. Munchie, the diva dog, to tend to on Christmas Eve day and for a week after that. But he is a personality I don't mind traversing 2 subway rides and 2 1/2 hours to spend time with. And that is what we have to revel in, isn't it? What little things that keep us going and all at once remind us that some things may never be okay, while other things always WILL be.

Contrary to all of the above, I am feeling stronger and luckier than I ever have. I have loving parents, a roof over my head, some great friends who I love, other friends to share a laugh or a sigh with, and some futures ahead of me for the writing. I will be bold and the days ahead will be rough, but if anyone will take them on head first,

You bet your fucking ass it will be me.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


And writing cannot do these days justice, but my words, they try their best. My lack of writing cannot do my words or grammar justice but they try their best.

The snow engulfed the street ahead. We walked in silence, both too tired, knowing that things weren't going our way and that-- and maybe now we could face those facts all there in the fine print-- things won't be going our way for a while yet. Not until this blizzard is a memory. Not until the sparkle and shine fade away down the street drains, and the streets are all reduced to slush, revealing the shattered bottles beneath its glaze. But for now, the white covered everything we didn't want to see. All the ugly parts. All the things about these roads we walk that we can't change, until we learn to chose between our left and our right, instead of considering the forks and divets ahead. Instead the flowing white keeps all the facts quiet, keeps our feet numb, and the miles forever stretching, even if the West Side Highway keeps us from crossing rivers. Even if the wind mixed our hair and the snow and icicles hung from our faces, we trudged on, laughing at the fact of all our facts and at the blank canvas being lain before us, our only job to dirty it with our feet. We lay in the streets, almost anyway, setting down our wings and halos in the snow where cars passed dangerously close.

I lay in the snow thinking about my size and shape: large and all masonry. My corners reaching across the quiet avenues: an empty cathedral, hoping for piety from the religious that walk through her doors, with no religion of her own to fill all the guts. Only the weeping of a sole cellist and the lonesome song of a whale are heard, all wrapped in their velvet depths, all swimming and playing in my echoing cavern. Only the sounds reaching up through the years, echoing down my halls, all ancestral and guiding, ascending and mixing with the metaphysical, could comfort me buried under my dusting of snow under those lit Christmas trees. I lay in the snow, thinking about how under all these layers, be they socks and leggings and jacket and hat or logic, there is love lodged there for you: boy. Something complex and not all at once certain, but it is there nonetheless, it is warm, and it is for you. Lodged where snow glitters under the streetlights and dances around the ribbons all tied up in the hope that this year, that this time, things would work and things would be difference and for Christ's sake we could have faith in something. Love all tied up in trees and the wind whisking our souls around from place to place, our heads all in the clouds and our bodies never once forgetting that we were never of this earth.

But for once, the love for myself is at greater value, and so your love will stay lodged there, all discontent in my ignorance for it, all shriveled and annoyed. I will revel in the cool dissonance in my own voice, in the warmth of my own hand holding my own hand, my own eyes all starry and mystic in their reach for something beyond all of this. In this shining landscape, I find myself all over the place. I am a structure who, for now, will chose to stand ignored. Who will, yes, feel the pangs of loneliness when passersbyes don't stop to take pictures; who all wonder why I am so quiet and such a far walk from the main drag. But these bells will not be forever hushed. One day they will chime, and my love will burst from the doors, leap from the stairs, and my stained glass will light every street, all at once. The time needing to be taken for that instance is now, so that I may open those bronze, heavy doors, one day, when I am ready.

I touched my cheek to the cold of the ice, and breathed myself in, all icy and distant, all happy in my emptiness. I smiled in the beauty of my exactness. For once, no grey.
Only white.