i was waiting for the bus in the rain when i got to thinking about umbrellas. that we have this thing where we suspend pieces of synthetic fabric over our heads when it rains. like small roofs. and then we just walk around, holding these roofs up to keep from getting wet. imagine an alien seeing us walking around like that. it’s strange. especially seen from above. a bunch of small roofs moving around, getting hit with thousands of small beads of water.
i fell in love on my way home tonight. i fell in love on the train. he was sitting opposite me, reading a book. he had blond tousled hair, a moustache and black clothes, and i really wanted to ask what he was reading. he kept his eyes on the pages almost the whole trip, except for the one station where he just kept flitting his eyes back and forth. i wanted to ask what was happening. but i didn’t. because that would be weird. sometimes, he’d smile a little as he read, and i wanted to smile too. but that would be weird, so i didn’t. some pages were dog-eared, and i didn’t approve, but i thought to myself, baby i don’t care. no i didn’t. because that would be weird. he got off one station before me and i thought to myself, what if i were to go after him, tell him i just had to say something. but no. that would be weird. when i reached my own station, i let him go. or almost. first, i wrote a post about how i fell in love with him on my way home tonight, just in case. no i didn’t. that would be weird.
i don’t know. there’s just something about a smiths sing-along that just breaks your heart. something about hearing people screaming the words in the next room while you stare into your glass, beer flat and disgusting. people dancing and laughing and kissing, and you’re just there. and you feel so alone. you don’t have anyone. you don’t have someone. no one that is right there, ready to bear themself whenever you look at them. intimately, whole-heartedly, because they’re yours. and you sit there thinking why and please and why again. and there’s just something about having a smiths song playing in the next room, hearing everyone scream along when you just want to hear it alone in your bedroom. and you realize that you’ve given away your headphones for the night. and you’re so lonely. it’s devastating.
donna tartt. small stature. impeccably fitted black suit, white shirt, red tie. patent oxfords. silky, perfectly straight hair – parted in the middle, cutting her chin. relaxed posture, spread out in her chair. confident. straight forward. enunciates, with clear t’s. doesn’t laugh if it isn’t funny. doesn’t give stupid answers to stupid questions. private. not harsh, despite probable interpretation of description. sometimes has to start a sentence over several times to find the right wording. genuine. dignified. sharp. very, very cool.
i don’t think i’ve ever seen a person resonate with the “me”, that i’m aspiring to let myself be, to the extent that she did. it’s strange, because she meant so much to me already – as the author of a book that changed me. and now we have the author herself. regardless of the sometimes questionable interviewer, she was perfect. inspiring.
the paper trembled with the shake of my hand as i prepared to have my book signed. opened to the right page, post-it with the spelling of my name ready. i stood in line, constantly looking past the other people in front of me to see her interactions with them. should i tell her how much the secret history means to me? how it took me to a world that was here and yet not here at all, and how that’s when i learned what real magic was? what writing could do? should i tell her that the first thing i wrote, that strangers could read and knew i wrote, was about her book? that it basically was me trying to get the whole world to read it, even though i knew it was only read by about a hundred people? should i tell her all that?
no, i thought. i don’t think she’s that kind of person. everyone’s just saying thank you and running away. she’s having to say “bye!” to countless backs, i think she already left minutes ago, really. and then it was my turn. and i shook, and said hi!, voice softer and an octave higher than dignified. she smiled a little and asked me how i was. i don’t think she ever smiles with even the slightest hint of a lie. the blood rushed through my ears and i think that i made sounds that equal me replying. she saw the post-it and asked: “is this your real name?” i said yes, and she asked how it’s pronounced. i told her, and as she was signing, she nodded her head and repeated it almost perfectly. r rolled and all.
a thought came into existence and decided to make an instant appearance. i just have to say that you’re my absolute favorite writer. in that moment, it was the total truth. i could hear it in my own voice, as if it was separate from me. she looked up into my eyes, and said thank you so much. as if it was the most natural thing in the world, we reached out at the same time and shook hands. warm. firm, but not harsh. earnest. thank you so much for signing, it really means a lot. thank you for coming, she replied. have a nice evening, i said and almost turned to leave. she spoke again. thank you. take care. time paused for just a nanosecond. you too!, i said, voice turning soft and an octave above dignified once more. then i sped off, thinking silent shouts to myself.
wow. so, so cool.
(ps. happy birthday, blog. one year already. time is an illusion with the ability of aviation.)
the bassline (de-ba-ser) the melody (DEBASER) girl you so groovy (de-ba-ser) the drums (DEBASER) the scream-singing (de-ba-ser) i am un chien andalusia (DEBASER) the back-ups (de-ba-ser)
do you know
the way i feel tonight?
don’t let go…
it’s beautiful tonight
it makes me feel alive
it’s beautiful inside
i’m safe here in a pale blue sky
it’s beautiful inside
brighter than the stars
when i catch your eye,
when i catch your eye
when i catch your eye
it’s beautiful inside
when our tears subside
it’s beautiful inside
a while ago, in the midst of winter, the idea of planting a flower entered my head. as i saw everything around me dead and covered in cold, i became fixated with bringing something to life. i told myself that once spring was here, i’d create something beautiful that whispered spring. that laughed summer. one flower became three, and now i finally have my seeds planted. i’m already too attached. no really. they have names and everything. my thoughts of them are already tinted with love. i think they deserve it though – they’re the earth. the sun’s still being shy, but i hope it’ll work anyway. that the seeds will grow and bloom. you take what you get and do what you can, right?
At midnight, I gave her the poems.
“What’s going on?” she asked.
“Well, the last word in the first line is a trochee, and it rhymes with the end of the next line. So ‘catachresis’ rhymes with ‘fleece’.”
“No, what’s going on?”
“In a catachresis?”
“No. What are you talking about?”
“Uh… I have a big crush on you.”
“Oooooh,” she said. She smiled and let the pages fall on the table. She relaxed in front of my eyes. “So how did it start?”
“Well, I think you’re really beautiful.”
She relaxed a lot more – in fact, her face changed shape a little, got a little more round as if her jaw had unclenched. I didn’t know whether that was a good sign or not, but I couldn’t shut up yet.
“I always thought so. Right away, when I saw you.”
“The amazing black dress,” she nodded. “I was wearing that when I met you. There’s, uh, a lot of me in that dress. My Fuck the Hostess dress. It’s a real ‘drop to your knees and say amen’ dress.”
“I noticed. It’s gotten a lot worse since then.”
“I know.” She lit one of my Dunhills. I had never seen her so comfortable. “I was on the phone with my friend Merit tonight, and she was like, Does Rob like you? And I said, I don’t know, he made me a tape and he didn’t call and then we danced together and then he left and called and left a message but didn’t call after that. And Merit was like, So, do you like Rob?”
I couldn’t believe she was making me do this. “So, do you?”
She smiled. “I don’t know. He’s not my type, but I really like him.”
love is a mixtape, by rob sheffield
i found this book about five years ago, just wandering around in the library. this was back when the library next door was still a place of wonder and mystery, and not, well, work. so there i was, scanning the shelves, looking for something new to read when – hm. it’s weird to think that i would have never known it existed, had my eyes just skipped this one spine. this actual, real life, life story that’s so sad and wonderful at the same time. it’s weird, having never heard of it outside of myself. all of this music, that i wouldn’t have heard in this beautiful way. my eyes always linger an extra second or two when i pass it by; stacking books, lost in work. i look at the title and the corners of my mouth turn up, just a little. life and loss, one song at a time.
12:30 pm. seven girls sit around the table, drawing. six of them, circa age 8. the seventh, circa age 16. the seventh asks: “what country are you from?”
– … i don’t want to say.
why is it so, that a little girl has to feel like a minority, even amongst other minorities? why is it so, that a little girl has to keep her guard up, even amongst other children? why does she have to hear from her mother, or her father, or anyone else, that she needs to be protected? that she needs to protect herself? why does she has to feel so different, so off, so wrong – when she’s perfect?
society isn’t protecting these little girls, these little boys. it isn’t protecting these women, or these men. so we have to protect ourselves. and we have to protect each other.
the day before yesterday, i took a stand. i said no. that it’s not okay to make someone feel bad for the way they are different. that it isn’t okay to remind someone of the horrible way that they’ve, that we’ve, been treated. it’s not okay to say things of hate, even if you don’t mean it in a hateful way. i said no for me and i said no for us. and i am proud. i will stand tall and fight for all my sisters and brothers. i will fight for our mothers, our fathers; and, most of all, i will fight for our children.