Wednesday, August 25, 2004

27 million dollars

the CEO said: "i want you to imagine something! if 27 million dollars hit your account right now, if you just suddenly had 27 million dollars in your bank account, what would you do? What would happen is you would become the real you! your real self would come out, free from the financial burdens and all these barriers, and you would fully pursue these dreams you're keeping bottled up!" i imagined 27 million dollars hitting my account; and the one and only thing i imagined myself doing, was travelling-- my first and sole thought: if i had 27 million dollars today, i'd be GONE--- and the CEO continues: "you would get that great car! that great house! that great shacuzzi!" people clapped and yelped but i thought no, i wouldn't want any of that. i would have NO desire for anything, but to travel all around everywhere, and not be back... and it was the fact that he kept listing things, and others in the room kept clapping after them, that were all these material posessions; and realizing that what all these people want is nice new things, and that i don't have any compulsion towards any nice new things, and that travel was all there is- the only thing there is-- that really made me write down in my notes: "the ONLY thing i want in the world is to travel it-- i don't want anything else at all right now." not love or companionship or a stable job or a nice home or a sweet husband or a rockin car or a disco super-suit or any crap like that; just a ticket on a plane and a way to go and not have to be back for any reason, for a long time... then this morning dad says; are you thinking about moving away from that little room of yours yet? and i say of course, but i don't know where i would like to live. he says; keep thining, darlin. i tell him, for the first time: that what i'm really thinking about is to do the back-packing-through-europe thing, and then he bursts out laughing and repeats, with more emphasis: "KEEP THINKIN, DARLIN." and i think, very sadly and privatelly to myself, that i might have to fight tooth and nail or break some necks or slit a few throats in order to get the only thing i want, but that i might have to do it-- might HAVE to do it-- if that's what they force me to do--- if that's what they feel compelled to CORNERING me into having to do...

moments like that...

it's moments like that when all the yacking is just yacking; all the gossip and the stories are only that, and there is no profit to be gained by listening to either but by seeing the scene, the drama that's enwrapping us before us.. no other way to understand but by this tale; this humanly dilemma-- i will never see such a tale told in front of me again and the outcome could be anything, be anywhere-- but anywhere's as good enough a consequence as nowhere-- and whatever may happen does not affect the cognition that is of the now, and soley of the now, and which cannot be taken or denied by further analysis, later or far away-- there IS a more complex way to understand things--- too often we resort to black or white--- too often we are caught between, and there where the grey is not a point of freedom from the two but the trap, the gulf between where there is only chaos and confusion.. doubt, and dryness of desire... but this is a moment at which both hilltops show themselves in full as only spires, as only points in space around which others collect, or choose, pick and choose to collect-- it is nice for a while not to have to choose a side; to see simply the both of them as sides... but not the world, our complicated and wierd world, as a coin wherein there is room for only the two, and none between.

the company

last night i went to a meeting of my Company, for the first time as a licensed agent. i heard an incredably intense story while i was there: you see my company is a strange one. and news along the grapevine has told me a number of things; that they have ill-repute amongst their industry, that they have disenfranchised those they've promised to help, and also that the ones who become the most disenfranchised and cheated by this Company are new agents like myself, and i have already seen and heard the signs of the encroaching intrusions, the invasions and the attempts to clone--- i was told in fact, that if i was wise, i would aquire the licenses and "walk" as soon as possible--- of course, that was told me by a paranoid and all-around negative person... anyways, it's a kind-of odd company that resembles church more than anything, sometimes. At the commencement of the meeting i encounter a guy about my age-looking, who says he's been with the Company about 3 weeks, not licensed yet: but that he heard that the record held for getting all the licenses was 7 weeks, and that he wanted to talk to *THAT* person-- i thought to myself, wow-- that must be someone indeed to have a conversation with... after going to the lecture room, the branch CEO stands up and gives his introductory talk, and then he asks a certain young lady, blonde and age 19, to stand up, and says that it is SHE who has the record for getting all the licenses in 7 weeks... and not only that but she has a recent award for selling the most VUL's-- a package that the Company praises the most, above all others... and everyone applauds. Now the CEO tells the girl to tell her story. She shyly asks "my story?" and he says yes. she tells us that a few weeks ago she made up her mind that she was going to go forward with the Company "with all my heart", and at this point she tells us that if she starts crying, just ignore it, at which people chuckle; but now she starts really watering up, her little face turning red; and she tells us that she has no car, no phone, no car insurance, and that recently, her parents told her that they were disowning her- and she starts full-on sobbing in front of us-- and the room grinds instantly into a silence rounded by a mournful moan... the CEO comes and puts his arm around her shoulder, and he says, "Now her parents are doing that because they love her." (at this point i think: if my parents did that to me that would NOT be the way I would read it-- but anyways) The CEO begins, "what happened was--" and he continues her story-- i could hardly believe what i was hearing; it was almost too intense... the CEO says her parents intended her to be a doctor. and then he says that if she were to take that path, she would be in school X years, rack up a whole bunch of student loans-- people in the audience vocally nodding and agreeing here-- and he says "and would she be a doctor then? No! then you've gotta go on residency for a few years. and would she be a doctor then? No-- she'd have to practice for a few years before she would be a full-blown doctor. And so, by the time she's 34, she might have JUST become a full doctor, and she'd have all this debt, and be making about XX a year... now, if she stays with this Company, do you know where she could be by the time she's 24?" the room rouses up with cheering, he says; "she could be one of the most successful and wealthy women in America! And THEN her parents will be like: 'oh honey, we're sorry we did that to you back then! we didn't know it was this good!'" the room clapps and clapps... He continues, "and i've tried to call them-- they don't want to talk to me, and you know why: cause i'd write them up right away!" hollars of laughter and clapping, "i'd have CODE numbers for em!" laughter and laughter and clapping-- "but what i'm going to do is write her parents a letter-- she doesn't know this yet---" he hugs her, her face is still red-- "it's ok if i do that, right?" he asks her, she nods, wiping her face. she's wearing very teenage-looking silver eyeshadow, and an all-white 2-piece office suit that in-elegantly reveals the young-looking striped shirt underneath it, both above and below the single button on the jacket's front. her shoes have bowties on them, and i noticed that the pen she was using to take notes had a fabric flower attatched to the top. i think; when i was 19, i was graduating high school, just leaving foxtown for the first time in my life to live elsewhere, just entering college; just coming to live in Cloud Mountain with kids from places i'd either only visited or heard of on TV, who had never visited foxtown and never, ever would if their life depended on it... the CEO says, "i'm going to write her parents a letter and tell them I'm proud of their daughter and that they should be proud of her too--" soon the gathered crowd is standing up and clapping for her, a standing ovation, she is just standing there with a red face and an unfrowning/unsmiling expression, looking somewhat flatly out into the crowd somewhere-- i stood up too just in case it would help-- the people were shouting encouragement, saying that 'they'll come around SOON!'-- and it was one of the most intense experiences--- just knowing that those parents might not open a letter from her boss... just knowing, a part of me knowing, just what those parents were thinking; that this was a cult and their daughter was just forking over her life to a pyramidial anthill... or perhaps they just really wanted a doctor; who knows... and then to hear the other side of the coin; that ringing hollar whooping up from this host of believers-- the wierd dual-hopelessness-of-communication of the situation left me stunned, unable to speak or respond except to do what others around me were inclined to do, which is i suppose what you do when under such pressures... and then the CEO left to give his speech to the crowd in the other room, and it was her who was designated to give the lecture for the evening; on sales terminology. her high voice quivered and waivered greatly the whole time, not stabilizing once through the whole evening. she went over her top 11 reasons why the Company is great, and over reasons one and two she literally broke into sobbing right there at the podium, for which the whole audience applauded.

see

i have had time to realize a different self, now that the test is over... passing this test was unlike passing any other test i've ever taken; the sudden, overwhelming relief-- the sudden change; like suddenly being in a different world--- i've felt like i'm on vacation-- my free time has been noticeable... different... it's funny how free time isn't really and truly free until just right after being unfree for a long, long time-- for TOO long... you start to wish so hard for the freedom to just watch cartoons... eat when you want... sleep when you want... think of this thing or that thing or a lover... when you want... i start to daydream erratically about passed acts of love, at times when i have no time of my own in which to think of such things, or of anything of the like...

cloud-mountain...

I went to college in a city i've been thinking of as Cloud Mountain-- and i'm back here now... the real name of the town means "clear mountain"-- but the real mountain, which lures and looms over the edge of the trees, is actually be-misted and obscurred quite often-- hidden by the sky itself; or the shadow cast on it by Champaigne Coast and its industrial tiers... the plastic and inorganic clouds, the supple and immense wind-blown trees below. the place is green, significantly more so than the surrounding neighborhood of towns, and this is where i have spent more time than any other, except for foxtown... The Cloud-Mountain Colleges, from which i graduated, only over a year ago now-- have been ranked very highly, very recently, in this strange nation... in its schools of that type... what a different place it is...

realize

it dawned upon me yesterday, while putting glass to cement-board, that i really am happier now than i was during high school- and it only dawned on me because the activity was so similar to those which we would do in art classes back then... that there wasn't the access trauma, going on in my head, to accompany the activity, as there always was back then... it took a complete overhaul of my mind; the passing of this test and the restoring of my free time to my own, for that to be noticeable... yes, as bad as things may get, they ARE better than they ever were in foxtown..

scratch

i just realized that an ancient scratch left by my cat is still on the back of my right hand from long ago-- it was just a touch on her part but it will probably last on me forever... and i had only been looking down at it, after a disturbing bit of news from online; just a statistic... but enough to make that right hand of mine quiver and grow cold-- and looking down on it to gain relief, as one does to re-establish that one is only dreaming whilst during a nightmare, i percieve that my cat's babtism has left a clear and straight, elegant trench amongst my other veins, settled neatly into those grooves which i was born with... how quickly knocked off course one is by an unnerving bit of news-- how far from the track-- and also, how notted and gruesome my hands have become, these weeks of glass... cats and glass; beloved things that, while smooth, cut with a touch...

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

stretch

i passed the exam yesterday and i can breathe now--- i've been asked to write a group reply to the kids i'm flocking to the desert with in a week, to let them know... a great sense of relief i will likely not be able to convey, is all over my life right now... i was prepared not to have made it yet, but instead, i have my life back... my own mind back...

Sunday, August 22, 2004

out

there is nothing i want, when i think about it, but out of here forever. forever and never to return, that's what i want-- and to not stop going--- that's all i want to "do" right now... but when people ask me "what is it you want to do?" it never seems like a good time to bring up the subject.

weep

i sat in the exam prep course today... i really, really longed at that point, while pouring over insurance tax and annuities, to just be a kid watching cartoons or something... i felt very wobbly, insecure; like 'what am i doing here? i can't do this! i'm way unpreparred! it's like i've got a recipie book to memorize by tomorrow, containing every possible recipie for chicken-- and i've never even tasted chicken! only heard about it on the news..' and i had an erosive feeling of desolation, and during break i walked outside and wondered if i really want to do this--- if i really CAN do this... the sun was cold... the trees were bluer than usual, and the streets weren't noisy at all... and then i left the place, to pack my brain with facts here in this coffee-place, at this internet terminal (and of course to bitch about the whole process here in blog). tomorrow i drive... i look forward to the drive... i actually, look forward to the drive more than i look forward to anything... all i want is out of here... all i want is a long, long trip somewhere, not to be anywhere near, for a while... i actually have been sitting dreaming about that drive, between here and SouthPlaya for the last several days... i've been longing towards it, to be just out on the road, alone with my music and the wind... and then the radio changes, the trees change, the patterns of the drivers change, and then finally the arrangement of the buildings on the rocks on either side of the highway change, and we are in a different place... the new ocean appears; the whole general sense of things shifts... gradually re-accumulates over a new metropolis... from where i sit now, i can see the school from which i graduated, it has been a year now... the touch of things is different here than Limetown. the folks are different. their contours, the way light itself treats them, shifted in reality from the dust that covers every particle of life in Lime... sometimes that song appears in my head: 'we've gotta get outta this place, if it's the last thing we ever do--'... sitting here i realize that something i really miss about this place and hate about Limetown is the memory of feeling okay walking outside at night. there is no one in my region now, that tiny place, who can fully understand the degree to which i hatefully despise being forced to be fearful, even though i am not, of the night. i hate it, and will never fully forgive any place which makes me feel that way. to feel trapped is hell. to be trapped, is the only, the one hell. trapped anywhere is hell, i don't care where it is. there is no place in existance where one can be trapped in, and be alright. to not have a way out is to have only death. only death's way out....

bitchy

i feel bitchy today-- sometimes i don't feel like myself, and i get a little more testy than regular, and i like to speculate that maybe i'm exploring a more open or confident or self-enforcing part of myself, or maybe that this is what it feels like to be a bitch, full of self-assurance that the other people really aren't going to come invade and kick my world in, from the slender sticks on which it stands, after all...

YOU

just a note, as i thought i'd mention it; that if i know you, there is every possibility that i might write about you here. Given, your name and whole identity will be in code as i'm renaming the whole world here, but, if you should recognize yourself, by description or event or some other familiarity, well, welcome to literature. hope you enjoy the ride...

writing

that last post was uncalled for... my self-control took its leave for a moment; last night gave me the opportunity to really, really see and experience how desperatelly i want out of here... i sit here now in a place... studying, of course; the test is tomorrow... studying and taking time to think, for i cannot think too well without the written word accompanying it.. i wonder sometimes, if anyone i know is reading this blog; or if anyone at all is reading it-- it's the only existing record i have of what's going on with me... of what i'm really thinking... the names may be changed but all the stuff in between is truer than most of the things i can normally tell to anyone's face... i realize that i say many of the same things over and over and over... a part of me really wants and hopes that my friends, or anyone i would have really know what i'm thinking-- who i am, would come and read this-- every word--- see how wierd i really am--- what my world has been like... and of course there is another part of me that enjoys the silence... the privacy... or the ambiguity of not knowing whether i am being "watched" as i talk... to the air... but it is a poisonous pain to talk and say all the things i have to tell to nothing but the open air.. the hollow, empty air that listens not.. records not... retains not and is the same air--- the same not-there--- the next day as the last, and gives me nothing back... it is better to speak to the emptiness of blank paper; at least you have the validity of your own record; your own drama and problems... but then, the stacks of blank pages get stuck on the shelf, and the air swirls by and people's blank faces still stare at you, as if the things you told to paper last night never were told to anyone... which, it sadly turns out, they weren't... unpublished pages count as no one... nobody knows what they know, no matter how fully... how completelly... and then you feel sad and isolated and hollow again; as though the vacancy you see in the world, in the faces of others, of the understanding of what you really want to say, incites or reflects a mirroring hollowness, inside of your own self-- like it makes you question whether you really are there, inside; whether your perceptions, your life, your thoughts themselves are real... with the inability to communicate may come, in extreme circumstances i suppose, a curiosity, whether you are the illusion--- you, and everything else you fail to proove... i loose hope about others sometimes... it seems so dismal at times; this headache of continued non-communication, and continued non-existance... so here is another page; but one which has a window on the other side of it; a way to look in... even as i type presumably... and all of us are invisible here... all of us, always, may or may not exist at any time, here in the Book of Electric Pages... the mental universe itself... and i wonder, still, whether i am alone... whether my voice goes unlistened-to, or for how long it will thus go... and what would it be like, if i found that my acquaintances had become my audience? would that alter their findings-- reshape my truths again, as it seems to do outside of this place?... i get saddened easilly, by the general miscommunication between myself and others--- by my seeming inability to explain, to present myself to them... it's as if it simply turns out to be just too complicated for them to understand, or in code of some kind... perhaps i have just spent too long in my own head, where even i am still trying to sort out what's what... ---i got asked what my "dream job" would be again, the other day. it's always the same, when someone presents that question to me; always the same dramatization. always the same, exact words drawn out. and these days i have always the same answer: 'i don't know' anymore. they always repeat the question, like my answer isn't what they want to hear, or like they think that somehow, by restating it, they can elicit further information from me, or make me realize somehow, from the repitition, that i really do know. but the answer remains the same. i can't respond to that question anymore. i have lost the will, the gumption to participate in that line of questionning. the real answer is just too far off the wall, and i don't want to get into it with someone else, not anymore. i've tried, and i've been punished hard for trying. miscommunication; it's more toxic than it seems. it poisoned the stream of thought relating to my "career goals." i feel like i hear the same things repeated over, and over, and over, and over and over, with regards to "career choice" these days. things like: "i'm still figuring out what *I* want to do"-- always follows, when i try to explain how lost i am with regards to finding out what i want to do. somehow, there is always someone in the room who comes forth to say that. does it mean anything? does a statement have meaning anymore, when it's been repeated and rehearsed to the point, where it just seems that it's an automatic reaction to certain missing information? that statement sounds like nothing more than a way to silence one, at this point; a way to hush a person's malcontent; 'there there, it doesn't really matter; we all feel the same way-- ALL of us--' ... and so the communication is lost again. utterly erased, like it was never there. i just feel like the world has all these check-points of conversation in it, through which anything unconventional or unexpected cannot pass without severe repremanding, fines, imprisonment, and other prosecution until it is effectively erased from the field of possible speech. it has made me tired of talking, or of trying to talk; trying to say things that i get beaten down for saying every time. i can't hold a conversation about my "career goals" with anyone; there's no one here who gets it; but not only that--- when they fail to get it, I'M the one who gets the hour-long lecture, the accusing looks, the permanent label as a naive little incompetent fool... i've been thrust into involuntary privacy, un-asked for confidentiality, and over a subject i never thought would be hard to understand-- it was never this hard before... i never had these troubles; it seems like it was always obvious... while i was in college, in school... people recognized my skills-- people even considered me special; a talent; an inspiration... people had faith in me, people looked at me, saw the things i would do, and would only just glow; just glow knowing, and there wasn't any question of what i would "do." But now i'm a stranger, and i have no way to proove myself. and no matter what efforts i put in or how hard i try, to demonstrate, or to illustrate, these things; people still demand to know what i'm going to do with that. they have a loss of hope that is impenetrable; and worse, contagious... i feel absolutelly desperate and worthless, like i've spent the last of my talent and now there's none left now that it's really needed... like i somehow unwittingly spent every grain of talent in stupid classroom assignments that are in boxes now. scattered in a thousand directions but all facing towards the past... the people from the past, the people who knew me before i graduated; i swear that when they look at me it's a different look that's on their faces, from the way people look at me now... like there's an understanding, like they see ME here--- the new people, it seems; just look at me and see a blank wall. a rock on the ground waiting to do something. they want to see me do a backflip or something, or tell them that that's who i am: the one that does backflips, in order for them to see anything at all, when they look my way. they need a way to categorize me, and they will let me have no peace until they find it. they are made disconcerted, or full of annoyance towards me, when they see something that won't fit into one of the boxes they've got in their heads... and fully intend to place me in one by the end of the conversation, by the time they're done with me, if i won't do the work for them... my relationships with many, many people have been thus strated since i've lived in Limetown... and that, really, is a hellish relationship to have with someone... it's not really a human relationship at all... i've finally reached the point where i just don't have any answer to give anyone, at all, when they ask me what i "do." all my answers have been pulled from me, one way or another. i have this test i'm going to take, and maybe pass and i'll have a license to wave in their face when they ask me that damned question, or maybe i'll fail, and cry all over SouthPlia, and be a Nothing again when i proceed to the desert, not knowing what it is i'm celebrating... but the ones that make being Nothing the most unbearable are the family, of course... i can't bear to continue being Nothing in front of them... it's just too hard, and they are so scrutinizing, so accusing... and they are in many ways not like me at all. It has gotten to the point where even they, even THEY who supposedly were seeing me perform all these miracles since my inception into them, are asking if i never thought about what i was going to "do." I don't really have any memory in particular of them asking me what i wanted to "be" when i grew up-- i just remember lots of arguments over whether i would go to law school... basically my future was all planned out through my entrance into college-- and not much imagining was done about my life after that. i didn't even THINK about existance beyond that point, at any point previous; so heavy was the emphasis on getting in... and then dad with his: and after that you're going to go to law school, and always i would say 'no i'm not.' and that would be all that would be said. i remember once a teacher asked me what i wanted to be when i grew up, and i said my dad will probably make me be a lawyer, even though i don't want to be one, and she exclaimed oh, no! you be whatever you want! don't listen to anybody else! and that was the end of that conversation. and now here i am: a non-lawyer, and not much else. and now here when i stand amongst my family, a crowd of tall lawyers-- an insurance person is better than Nothing... dad still hasn't given up hope that i'll be a lawyer... in fact, i think he's banking on it... there hasn't been anyone who i've been able to succesfully describe this dynamic to, either. on the one hand there's people who tell me 'well, would he pay for law school?' and 'well, lawyers make alot of money.' and on the other hand there's, 'you're nothing like a lawyer, you're totally an artist.' and of course, 'well if it's not what YOU want to do then you shouldn't do it.' and the conversations always stop there... no one has much to say; they always think they've heard my problem before, or that it's the exact same problem they have, or that they've seen enough TV that now they have complete knowledge and understanding of exactly what proceedures i should take and how exactly i should consider this circumstance... all i know is it's starting to look like the real answer to the question: "what do you want to be when you grow up?" is actually "NOTHING like YOU."

Saturday, August 21, 2004

the test

the test is monday and my stomach is killing me. nothing i do seems to make my stomach stop hurting. lunch made me sick beyond belief. no one here has the capacity to comprehend what the fuck i'm going through. they all are blindly, neurotically telling me to cool down and take a study break-- i'm still failing the exam simulators. i really am at the point where i don't think i could psychologically endure failing this time. i think i would collapse; not be able to endure the rest of this fucked up city full of fucked up, brainless people. fuck them all. i'm taking this test to get away from them and they don't even understand. blind brainless rats.

Friday, August 20, 2004

trains!

i woke up this morning to the thundering sound of trains outside my window. i had stupidly left the tv on all night and the swim-stars were combating on the olympics-coverage overhead. silly reporters with screaming fans. there was a heinous rattling sound coming from the factory next door. the trucks must have been downshifting, or whatever other term my housemate uses to describe the queer activities of trucks would there apply, and a brutal, low humming, rumbling and undulating amongst the brittle trees outside, hovered above the air, lower than sound but higher than my mind, overtaking thought. i thought: "i've got to get out of here." and i had nowhere to go but to the car, downtown of LimeTown-- it is so hard to find a place to study anything here. the place isn't set up for it; and the people are not accustomed to studying-places, studying-people or study-times... this is one aspect in which the people here can never understand me; where i come from...

life insurance

i take a life insurance test on monday. my lifestyle has been to awaken in the morning, run to starbucks and plug in, drill myself with online quizzes and research all the terms i don't know until noon, go over and work 5 hours at the glass studio (a paid study break), get cut up a bit, run back to starbucks and plug back in again with slightly more mutilated fingers, research and study life and health insurance again until either starbucks closes or i collapse; whichever happens first. go home, sleep until i pry myself from bed the next day and do the whole thing again. i long to be free from this lifestyle, needless to say. and meanwhile my email gathers messages from this group of kids who i haven't told much about this test; with whom i am going away, for a while, to celebrate life in a very different setting, very soon after this test is done. so in a week, if all goes according to plan, i will be a life agent, running away to the desert, to dance around a burning pire... and then who will i be then, when it was done? i will return to the land of limes and pursue new licenses; i have car and home insurance to seek and obtain, as well as the esteemed securities license... will things feel different, as i am told they will, after that quest to the desert is done? i cannot predict, but it makes my stomach turn... turn... and turn in perpetual curiosity....

two lives

since graduating, every time i look into my life i see myself broken into two; at any given moment i can see two of me there in the mirror; my daily activities crossing the boundary between two worlds that never meet... this time, my life is revolving around the passing of the Insurance exam, and the preparation for a certain Festival which i may decide to name later; and both of these surround me with their accompanying host of new friends, come to guide me towards two very different lights: two very different selves to find in myself... it has been this way almost constantly since graduation, though i am involved in a different two, almost every new month. a month ago it was modelling and my business... that business which, until further notice, has been put on hold. i suppose i easilly become fully embroilled in things, but it never happens that i have only One to focus on; always two, and always opposite... almost opposite to the extent that they cannot really be told about each other. these other insurers, whom i will be joining, cannot know about the Festival, of the children of light who come from the sparkling spires of the mirror-Coasts to join in the Festivities, in but a week... and those children, gathered as they are, are not to accompany my strife, my toil, in this pursuit of such a strange and gruesome license, in the practice of such strange and gruesome work... i scarcely know how to approach either side of my life sometimes, the back-looking from either side of the mirror, confusing. dementing... this is how it has been; i have no one self these days. my stomach aches and turns for i have scarcely fed it, and have forced it labor days for the quest after this exam, this final success--- and with this pain i join my friends on sands that sparkle and endure a different heat... a different sun; and patchy-i, the one with two stray voices, knows not what to say to one about the other of its own kin... alike on either side but not the same...

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

weary

i arrive here and my mind feels used, and i am emptier of ambition and direction and energy than i was before the day began, and took me through the work of that quaint glass place, and my hands are tight and twisted and the hunching of my back has left me aching, sighing in the sun. the sun, still high, still banging us with shadows, strikes us in the face as we are walking on this ground. a boy approaches me, as i walk in the direction of its shadows, and he, squinting at me, asks my shadow for change. i tell him no because i can tell him no other, for i have no extra for anyone these days; but he has been around. he seems as though he's from another country: his hair is wild, his face long, his body stretched and wiry, and now for the first time in the sunlight i hear his voice; high and narrow, wiry like himself. i pass behind a column as i tell him no. i am approached by someone every day, multiple times a day, for change in this town; and every time i am forced to refuse, for i cannot; cannot bear to give to one when i cannot give to the next one and the next one. he sighs, perhaps the hundredth refusal today. at this time of sunset, it's getting near the hundredth refusal today for us all.

day

after a long day at the glass studio my hands are caked in glass-glue and my back is cracked and my shoulders are all sore, and i have still much work to do tonight...

Monday, August 16, 2004

anxious

most of my anxieties were given me by other people, and most of those anxieties have directly to do with age. the world seems obsessed with age. obsessed with youth and then obsessed again by older and older age. i have always been a little discusted by that, but now i feel myself getting swept up in it. Being rushed along by everyone's in a panic: and i am at the same time pressured to rush certain things, which i'm supposed to have done by now; and harped on by those who think i have so much time that i ought to do it differently. Everyone seems to think i'm going either way too fast or way too slow: everyone seems to think i'm either too young, or too old for myself; and their insistance is becoming more intense all the time, like i'm approaching a pressure point, or some wierd cosmetic fulcrum at which everyone will look at me and see both an incredably old and an incredably young person. there are certain things, which some people insist i need to do while i'm this young, and which other people scoff that i have my whole life to do. it's hard to take advice from anyone, when everyone has such an intensely strong belief to the extreme opposite of every other person who has anything to say about it. and all of it just makes me want more to be gone, and dissappear, and leave here and just be alone and far away from all of this yammering, screaming constant daily panic. the rush of others, making it seem like my decisions are more life-or-death than they really probably are...

age

i feel awkwardly that i am still a little kid in some ways; not ready for any of the things i NEED to be able to handle now. But then paradoxically i am beginning already to feel too old... bewildered where my time is going.. i guess on some level, i don't really know how old i am at all... for what is age but how much time you've got left?

wonder

i have spent time wondering, now and again, when i find myself in a place where i have never been, far away from all familiar-- i catch myself wondering, aimlessly, whether it is still possible to go somewhere... and never see anything, anyone i had ever seen before. out on the ocean on which Champaigne Coast overhangs, pranced-over by beautiful people wearing next to nothing, i walk a stranger, and i wonder how far i would have to go; to essentially dissappear... there is a great aching part of me that still wants nothing more than to be GONE-- like the invisible man... to put on a disguise and never be seen again; but to have reappeared, for the first time, somewhere else--- in another world; to be another person, another member of the same species but not the same category of person... there are days during which i catch myself wondering, if that point has passed yet, at which it would become impossible to never cross paths again with any ember of the life i've ever lived before... there are times, when i wonder, if it is too late to change Person... or if there is such a point...

mystery

i feel quite bewildered and perplexed about my own future, i find it very difficult to make plans as a result. i am inclined to look into moving away from dusty, cranky little Limetown, and coming out here to Champaigne Coast where the sky sparkles and the people know who they are and what they are doing... but i feel a bit confused about that longing; that hunger to become part of this-- to flee the small world towards the more poignant one; to trade the minor obsession for the Legendary level of existance... but i feel hesitant; i wonder, would i become trapped here? who would i become if i were to come here? how long would i stay, and how long would be too long? and all these conflicting voices, coming from far, far distant places, for me to come and explore... i feel a deep, burning drive to travel away from all of this... away from this end of my continent; for this is the only world that i have ever seen, and another one calls... another several holler out my name from across the sea... from numerous oceans away, i feel drawn... yet i worry; drawn is all i ever feel by things these days; madly compelled, and yet here i stand; being pulled in so many different directions, by so many different needs, and instead of acting on one or another, i stand afraid, afraid to move at all... one thing about Limetown is that it is cheap, and i am freer than i have ever lived before.... if i still lived in foxtown, where my parents would still rule my world, i would not have anything that i have now, and i would not be able to go the places i am going... so, while it may be hard to understand, i am, in Limetown, a step up from where i am before... but it has been a year--- a YEAR in Limetown now i've lingered... lingered wondering, and these days i fear i'm prone to any second, fly in madness, towards some unplanned, indistinct and insane destination; anywhere, anything, whatever the world would hand me or would hand me to the world...

affection

i have a person for whom i feel much affection, who dwells in these houses of steel. his name i will keep secret for now, and not even rename for now... he recently took his leave, and i feel the empty space under my hands where he was before...

morning, a dusty city

every city i have spent time in recently has been made in part of dust. i wake up in the shimmering towers in the industrial cathedrals of Champaigne Coast, a strange ghost town ruled by stars and other superheroes... it's a pleasant morning, with the intense street ringing outside with the metal sounds of machines clanking over acres of cement in all directions... pure cement, and cement-living people.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

a note on names...

just so that i will have taken note of it: i've obviously renamed every town, every person and district and location and even myself, to fend off the perils of being found in a search engine by the people i'm talking about... before this blog, i was on a website where i wrote about my family and the place where i live, and one night a guy i know comes up to me and says "so i found out your secret identity." and i was like, what? and he said he was bored one night and searched under the name of this town and came across my website Glore-phoria, which sadly has such an interesting-sounding real name that it perks everyone's interest who sees it in a list of search results, so he goes in there and sees all this other information about me. Not a big deal, but it made me think, "oh... so this looks like a little warning of something that could be a really huge disaster in the future... potentially..." and then when my aunt, who has the same name as me, did a search on her name for the heck of it and came up with my profile on hellish-looking Glore-phoria, and nearly had a heart attack and told all my family that i was in a cult of some kind, that was the last straw. so i started thinking up new names for all the places in my life, and i was going to keep the same names for the huge towns that would have lots of other hits on the net in a search, but then i noticed that these little towns would be easilly placeable if i mentioned what massive city was nearby, complications etc., so i said to myself "screw it! everybody gets a new name! across the board, from now on!" so now i get to create a whole parallel universe for myself... it's not that difficult actually, and actually it opens up a new way of looking at these places in a way, and makes my experience of these places more personalizable to my own, private take on each of them... so it's kind of useful in multiple ways... and i'll just continue to rename places as i come across them, as well as people and businesses, until it becomes too annoying or over the edge...

the city

i have someone i look forward to seeing, who lives in the tall towers out in the district known by me in this text as Champaigne Coast... He lives an interesting lifestyle, as they all do down there, or at least it looks very interesting to me; his place is painted all one color and has an extremely high cieling. maybe the people out in Champaigne Coast don't think their lives are as interesting as they look from out here in Limetown; it's hard to tell-- the people i left behind in the place i'll call Foxtown think that my lifestyle here in Lime is interesting... maybe if the folks in Champaigne Coast knew a little more about what it's like out here, they'd think it's interesting... but i don't really think they'd be convinced for long; since living in Champaigne Coast, as far as i understand, makes the rest of the world look dull... But anyways i look forward to going back there, and seeing my person there again, high in his place in those steeples of business... of industry... of power... I am strangely drawn to the metropolis; even though the thought of living there, of actually becoming embroiled and fully involved in that massive factory, that strange and broad center of the universe, makes a part of me shudder... today i walked by a window and looked inside, and saw a huge vast dark empty space with a sign: for office or retail, call 1-800---.. and suddenly a bus went by that had the name of Champaigne Coast in lights along its side, and the experience was wierd; it was like i was looking in on the world's offer to me to be a person of that kind of power; and that the place where such things happen is Champaigne Coast... at times i get this wierd feeling like that Megalopolis is talking to me, telling me to come closer, come closer; become a part of me, the city says... What a wierd thing for a little kid from a country town like Foxtown to be hearing these days... You know what, though? As much as this Champaigne Coast is summoning me from where i am, there is another city, even further away, on the other edge of this strange nation in fact, whose distant voice is stronger; and that's the town i'll call here in this text Lemuria. Lemuria was attacked a few years ago. People have sometimes told me that i have a Lemurian accent, or that I look like a Lemurian, even though i've never lived there. Since I was a kid I've wondered what it would be like to live there, to be amongst those skyscrapers... And at times I think about moving there, just to see what it would be like; but you know the thought of suddenly landing in that legendary town is a little intimidating: all big cities are just a little bit intimidating, when you come from an extremely small place... Foxtown doesn't train you for life in Champaigne Coast or Lemuria, and it never will: it doesn't know how, and can never learn... size matters to cities. Size matters more to Citizens. I feel like i haven't found my town yet: i've never lived in a place where i thought "i could live here-- i mean really LIVE here-- for all of my life..." It might even be that even Lemuria isn't for me, not in a long term sense... but i think perhaps i've always had a fascination and a fear of that place; and i guess that's to be expected of a person, towards the capital of the world, psychologically speaking.... But anyways its draw, the draw that's coming from Lemuria, has stretched across the nation and reached me even here, and drowned out the voice of massive Champaigne Coast, only just a few mountains away.

drunken nights

the morning after drunken nights, my mind is like numb fingers fumbling for thoughts and ideas and vague concepts, and seeks refuge in some outlet like the internet to spill its moistened goo into the void. that is why in the future i must carry two things at all times in my house: a jug of milk, to restore my body after drunken evenings, and the internet, to restore my mind to what it was before...

now, this beverage...

i claim to be resilient, but after writing that last post, this latte doesn't taste that nice anymore... it kind of tastes sour now actually... it's like you have to choose who to be discusted by; the ones who cant have what you have, or yourself, with every look you take into that constant aspect of the city: the homeless... and most of us make the choice to be discusted by *them*; because if you think about it too much, you start to taste foul flavors in the things you know are out of the reach of alot of people... you start to wonder why the hell so much haggling has to go on over a few dollars, and that this damn little drink is all a few dollars will get you anyway...

homeless

there are so many homeless here in this town. i have already encountered 2 people this morning who asked me for change, and i've only been awake about an hour. a lady just came up to me, while i was sitting here at this table and asked for change. i never give anymore. i used to once, when i was new to the city; when i first came from my little country town and encountered real homeless people for the first time in my life, i wanted to give them change. so i gave them change at every chance i got.. but then there were more of them... and then, it became that no matter how many people i gave help to, there would be someone else, who looked even worse off than the other ones, around the corner and i realized i just didn't have enough change for them all... so now i never give change to anyone; i just tell them all that i don't have any money on me... and there was a time when i would put away my cell phone really fast when i saw a homeless person coming, so that i would be able to fib a little better, so i wouldn't LOOK like i'd be the type of person that has money on me-- but now i don't even do that. it's like we're both in a loop now: they don't see or notice or care that they approached me in this same place two days ago, and asked me for change for the 480 bus that never comes, and i didn't have money for them then and i don't have money for them now-- and *I* don't see or notice or care that they can clearly see my laptop, my glasses, my cellphone, and that i'm in a starbucks, and that i expect them to accept that i somehow have no money to give away. so we're all stuck in a loop out here: the homeless people, and the rest of us residents with homes: repeating meaningless words to each other, the same ones every day, like the most pathetic shadow of the business world; of ads and sales. it's like the homeless have their sales pitch, and they go around repeating it endlessly to potential customers: and the customer group is so used to the ads by now, and sick of being advertized to at every turn, that they have in turn develloped a way how not to be affected. And then the homeless have to become more advanced in their sales tactics, and we have to grow yet more insensitive and resilient, and it just goes on and on.

fond

i like to think fondly on my memories of people whose company i have enjoyed... to think back on our close, close encounters; those physical, smooth memories of touch... it is like a pass-time for me sometimes, just to sit and recall some offering, late at night, or early in the morning...

drunken weekends

this weekend, like most of the other ones, has left me with an odd impression that time went only during the day, and then somehow turned off at night; replaced by hazy non-time, during which everything happens at once, and i am rushing from place to place or being rushed, and doing a thousand simultaneous things, and talking to countless people, all in no particular order and unsequenced-- like time dissappears... crazy drunken evenings are like that. and here, this sunday, this day after--- my mind is still reeling from the effect, and is having trouble piecing the memories back together.

this latte

This latte tastes nice, though there isn't much of it. they never put very much liquid in the cups when it's on ice. there's never enough of whatever drink it is, in starbuck's iced drinks. but for now, it feels nice.

longing

there are some days when i really long to see my friends who are far away, especially the ones with whom i am in love. that may sound funny, but there are a few of my friends for whom passion is intertwined with my affections... it has been a long, long time now that i haven't held this one's hand that i am thinking of... almost a few weeks... that's much too long...

psychologist

i didn't manage to get around to seeing the puppeteer last night; but instead i got wrapped up in conversation with a psychologist i met at one of my friends' stores. she talked about schizophrenia and multiple personality disorder and all kinds of interesting things, and also about psychology school and crazy psychology teachers, and about the disorders people have who work in the social psych field. i always like a party where i can just sip the wine and talk to people about things i don't usually get to talk about, or hear other people talk about.

sigh

there are definatelly mornings when i wake up and really wish i could just walk in my pajamas to a computer and get online right away, instead of having to go down to the car and drive to starbucks, where everyone can see me, and it's the same music and the same staff everyday.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

ideas

i have a great many ideas for stories, but i find it extremely difficult to actually write them down in full, and i believe this must be a widespread problem because i hear about many people complaining about the same phenomenon. what's cool about its being widespread is you can bitch about it and people get you. what sucks about its being widespread is nobody knows what to do about it.

puppeteer

Tonight there will be a puppet show here in Limetown. this time of month is special for this city; they have a special name for it and all the galleries open up thier doors. and certain people who usually go unseen come out and do acts in the little theatres in the galleries' corners and there are local bands that come and play. it's a weird little down but it has this special, most important weekend once a month. there's a single puppeteer in this city, i located her once while i was searching for info about puppets online long ago, and i had discovered that, of all the puppeteers around, she's the single representative of our little region. so she's been appearing more and more often, coming out of her little studio to do performances in the crazy downtown. she never used to do that before: her art was for the troubled teenagers in the area, and she's never even put up one of her puppets for sale. but now she's getting into the Limetown Downtown scheme of things, and i heard her say that perhaps she would have a gallery opening of the marionettes she's made, and have them for sale; since that's how art works here. that's how it's set up to work. i get swept in too: i start thinking, "maybe i could make some things, and put them right in this place where this thing by someone else is now, and maybe somebody would buy it and maybe i could make some money, if it was just the right kind of thing and just the type of stuff that people around here really want to take home..." it's kind of contagious, and i never worked in that type of artistic environment before. i mean, in college it was all academic; the most cerebral art piece won the teacher's affections. but now it's visceral. now it's more sex organs and violence and lifestyle-art. more decorations for the kitchen, the bathroom, the space next to the couch. my college would have frowned upon such uses of art, but that doesn't seem to matter from here. i actually was concerned, for a little while, of the little puppeteer, whose trade it was to entertain children and help emotionally and mentally-challenged teenagers to learn, coming into the crazy atmosphere of downtown, where the main theme of art seems, honestly, to be sex, in its nastiest sense, more often than not. i see more grotesque images of naked women, disembodied female body parts, random disembodied sex parts, angels screwing, wrestlers screwing, saints and religious figures with overgrown blasphemous organs, and erotic etc than much of any other single topic around here. The only other subject that gets as much attention as sex is probably Jesus, and even he isn't cast in a very positive light. The main bulk of art here isn't made to be 'pretty' per se; it's big on gutteral and dark humor and ugly commentary and gut-reactions. Lots of skaters and punks walk around here, and so there gets to be alot of fire and thorns to "cool"-ize a regular work of art. There is literally a mobile hanging in the main gallery right now that's just a bunch of ceramic flacid penises and breasts just hanging on strings from the cieling, i am not kidding. So i'm in the main band venue a few nights ago, and it happens to be open mic night, and all these folks are there with their guitars, and i notice the puppeteer lady is there, and i instantly wonder "is she going to sing the song about the happy orangatangues in the jungle that she sang in her last performance in this neighborhood?" and the first two guys get up with their guitars and sing songs from Radiohead and Green Day and really suck. Then a few folks who used to work in the same store as me get up and do a really adorable, but still kinda sucky version of an Indigo Girls song. Then this chick with an amazing voice who i'd seen perform a town over gets up and does some awesome renditions of indie tunes i'd never heard before... and then this puppeteer gets up, and she talks to the crowd of artists and indie-wannabee-kids like "hello, ladies and gentlemen!" her tone of voice is so ingrained with the kids-performance tone that it seems like she couldn't roughen it up for our crowd if she tried... and she explains that the song she's going to sing is usually for children with learning disabilities and that it's about the jungle, and that usually she has the audience fill in the words she doesn't say-- and i'm thinkin 'oh no... not that... DON'T let this poor lady do that...' imagining her singing "the monkeys love to swing from the...?" and people going "cock! skank-ho" randomly or something... but fortunatelly she says that she won't do it that way for this time, which relieves me somewhat.... acutally, she didn't do a bad job. just a perfectly normal song about happy little monkeys swinging in the rainforest and all that jazz... then the awesome chick got up to sing some more and everybody cheered... so tonight i'm going to go and check out this lady's act, her REAL act-- and i don't mean singing to 10 year olds about animals-- i mean she's breaking out her Asian puppets and going to do some shadow theatre, which is what i've been waiting to see her do... coincidentally, she's doing this act in a room at the end of the same hallway in which, earlier today, i coincidently saw a photo of a Mutaytor performer I saw in person not long ago... i wonder if he knows he's there.. and that he's for sale for about 600 bucks :)

wierd

i feel so hopeless sometimes! like it's all a lost cause! like i'm just a stupid little kid that doesn't know the world and is lodging in a hopeless place where only hopeless people like me find themselves stuck! i feel sometimes that my hopes are so huge that there is no way i can surmount them in this lifetime. i feel sometimes like my goals are so widely spread, so dispersed that there is no way i can have everything i want. i feel sometimes like the job is so complicated and vast, and that i begin so far behind the curve that there's no way i can get there, no way i can get to that extreme... there are times when i wonder if my goals aren't really goals, and they're only just the whimsical daydreams of someone really wierd.

walked into an art gallery today...

I was wandering around my little Limetown today and the door of an art gallery was open, so i went inside. on the walls was an exhibit of photography, and it seemed the photographer had a thing for flamenco dancers. in a corner, and through a different hallway, was a string of photos on other subjects, and one of them was this intriguing image of a male body arched backwards, just a torso, and wearing black shiny pleather pants, his legs on the ground under him, and in the background, above this body, were a few pinpoints of fire. it was in black and white and an awesome photo. i thought for sure it must be a posed model who the photographer had had dressed in pleather for the photo shoot. but then i looked at the label under the photo, and i saw that the title was: "Mutaytor fire dancer" and my heart just about shattered! I looked at other pictures in that hallway, and there were other photos of performers with the band Mutaytor... the coincidence is that i had just become aquainted with Mutaytor; they just about became my favorite band, the very first time i saw them; but what really had intrigued me about this band, what had really swelled my heart and turned on the whole of my desire, was that their band came with a whole troup of performers: it was their impassioned dances that had caught me and held me their and given me to the act's total devotion: very seldom had i witnessed such total abandon, such complete revelry and convincing display of rapture as those fire dancers that spun flame to the techno beats of Mutaytor-- i had never even imagined such a show before i saw it... and it had made me, upon seeing it, to burn with an ancient and strong desire which i have always had, to perform... and those photos, this photographer who was so interested with the rapture of dance, the looks on performers faces as they are in their trances, had captured just that aspect, in those few photos of a mutaytor fire dancer, a mutaytor hoop dancer, and a mutaytor angel--- and oh god it made a feeling erupt inside me like my heart was bleeding suddenly; a feeling almost like that of jealousy and almost like that of extreme desire---- the longing to be that one, thus enwrapped, thus engaged in the movement... i have craved that exertion for the better part of my life, but oh so rarely am i on a stage; oh so rarely am i given the chance to use my physical self to give the illusion; engineer the capacity to see beyond, as art is meant to make happen... i looked at the body twisted organically and so impassioned over itself in that photo again, and i knew it was such a different image than the one i'd first thought i was looking at... a captured moment of someone's fury converted into beauty... ah, such a hole has existed in my life since the last time i was on a stage... i don't even care what kind of stage it is, a rave would do, but i must find my spotlight again... most of the time i settle for the life in which i am a user of my hands to make everything i need to create; but in another life i am an actor always; like i have infinite movement and nowhere to put it and nothing to do with it... i am confused where to start, though... where to begin.... but seeing those photos made me ache, and i left that gallery with such a strong lusting longing infuriating desire, just to go and be around that band again... connect myself to them, to that feeling, to the rare and pleasant satisfaction of so strange a need...

a disgusting dream...

I had a really gross dream the night before last... do you remember the models of cells and molecules we used to do in 4th grade? well, perhaps i shouldn't assume that everyone that will pass by this site will have had the same 4th grade education as me, but anyways i still remember those wierd artsy craftsy plates with wierd junk glued to them, that were supposed to be a learning trick to teach us all the bizarre parts of a cell. bright and colorful and multi-media and 3-d and the whole thing. well, in my dream, there was a new disease going around where REAL bacteria were manifesting on people's skin and looking just like those 4th-grade projects; huge green jelly-like circles with heinous bulges in the center representing nuclei and whatnot, and people were in general freaking out just because these things were so ugly. and in my dream i myself got a nasty one on my arm. it was an unpleasant dream, and such a real-feeling one that even now, 2 days later, i can feel that ugly symptom there on my arm. It makes you wonder sometimes what a dream is really talking about, when even remembering back on the dream turns your stomach, the way only things in real life are supposed to do. that's what we mean when we say a dream "felt real:" some dreams come around that hold such a sway over our actual bodilly reactions, that we actually squirm and writhe or feel the burn or fear down deep inside; respond instinctively, as though they were no less real than the world we are awake in.

the way starbucks feels...

Starbucks feels a little like a machine, compared to all the other coffee shops and restaurants here in Limetown. I was a little hesitant to come in here today, since i've been in this same starbucks everyday for the last two weeks and honestly i don't like thinking the staff might be thinking wierd thoughts about me like "why doesn't she get a job" or stuff like that... i don't know why i would care except maybe for pride or some other silly reason. when i order my ten-thousandth coffee-grande-thingie in here, if they give me an opportunity to explain myself, i'll let them know that i'm studying for a license that will help me GET a job, which is actually the true reason why i've been in here every day..... That, and the fact that i can get internet in here.... It's kinda annoying to have to go to starbucks every time you want to randomly poke around on the internet, but as long as i can reassure myself that it's all just a big machine, that the employees don't care and aren't paid to care, that if i dress up cute no one will mind my presence anyway, and that everyone's too involved with their own part of the mechanics of the world to be concerned about what i'm doing in here every day with my computer and my books, i'll be able to come in again tomorrow and the next day with a clear conscience.

starbucks blogger

i came in here, to this starbucks today, just to blog myself out. i have no internet access where i live, and i haven't had internet access in the place i live for over a year now, and the neighborhood starbucks is absolutelly the only place where i can get online for any useful amount of time and acutally DO anything. i began blogging when i realized that another website i'm a member of, which i'll call Glore-phoria dot com although that's not its real name, was just serving as a journalling device for me; and that all i really wanted to do was write these long long journals and empty my head onto someone else's eyeballs and just be free of all this thinking i always do.... but what really made me jump and go and set up this (and three other) blog is an entry i didn't post on that site, which made me cry while writing it: in the post i realize, right there through the keyboard, that the reason i journal so much is that i don't have anyone in my life to tell all these things to, that i have no other way but that damn website to tell anyone in the world anything about how i'm really feeling and what is really happening with me-- that it's my only outlet and the only way to express any of the things i have to keep cooped up inside here-- and i started tearing up right here in this starbucks... and then i deleted that post, and i fled to a blog site and started immediatelly gushing... it seems at times that i have so much thought inside my head and nowhere to put it, that there couldn't possibly be a website big enough to hold it... there are phases of my life where every day i could write a whole book... so many little miniscule things happen every day and i have such a vast expansive reaction to all of it... this little gimpy town of LimeTown... all it's odd people of every odd shape and size... all these confusing things that go on... there are some days where all i want is to write and write and write on into the night of all the things that are going on inside my mind, but i don't usually get enough time for that and what i write in journals never makes it anywhere but in my storage, under stacks and stacks of notebooks all with hundreds of pages of my writing in them... all just writing about stuff; sometimes fantasy, sometimes commentary, sometimes ongoing rambling, sometimes facts and sometimes fiction and sometimes nothing like any other thing... a very seldom rare times in my life, there've been someone who asks to see inside my journals, my physical written journals i mean, and i've been drunk or otherwise loose-feeling enough to tell them sure go ahead... and each one of those curious people were so suprised at what they read in there; they instantly would find things they did not expect to see; a deeper me, i guess, or something like that. i've gotten the strange question "Is that REALLY the way you WRITE??" more than once, whatever that's supposed to mean. of course it's the way i write. it's written right there. but i always answer the question with "yeah i write like that." so it comes down to, maybe i should have my words where more folks can see them; folks who i don't know... i don't really care what they think or say or come to know about me. i just need to fume. need to exhaust parts of this repertoire. need to exist.

fingers 2

my fingers are more scratched now that i've worked a few days in the glass shop. the biggest scrape on my first finger, is almost grown back now. i had a ring on that finger when i cut it, with an owl image on it... it's a ring i wear for good luck sometimes when there's something i'm studying. when i got cut, the finger swelled so much i couldn't get the ring off, and part of me wondered what if the finger was permanently swollen, and what if i would be wearing that ring forever; continuously lucky in learning... but that was when, the other day, i peered under the bandaid and what was there was a few white globules of milky flesh growing in a tiny pool of red gelatinous blood, and it looked really heinous and scary and discusting, and when i tried to get my ring off, since it was squeezing and i was worried it would cut off bloodflow or something, it only made the white chunks turn red and i got all freaked out and just covered it with the bandaid again. today, though, the swelling was reduced to the point i could get the ring off... and i did so immediatelly. now it's my other fingers that have little cuts all over them; this always happens after a hietus from glass work... returning to the stuff always chopps me up a bit; i get rusty in how to handle it, or maybe my skin softens back up after it's been away from the stuff for a while... one's hands turn hard after a while with it; exposed to cuts and scratches and scrapes and even burns (i got another of my fingers burned on a led-iron yesterday... it doesn't hurt though)...

troubling

i woke up this morning and my housemate/landlord, who i'll call Charlie here, was madly cleaning up the kitchen. 2 and a half hours he was in there, incessantly scrubbing every object he came across. He told me he'd had a revelation that what was causing all his sickness was mold, and he spent the next few hours explaining it to me. I am almost never able to repeat these revelations my roommate seems to recieve, and then describe in great detail to me, but for some reason this morning i felt compelled to at least listen, before i made any replies or judgements. it's hard to explain what forces incline me towards heeding or ignoring the funny things he says; i just sometimes feel interested... At times, the wierdest claims he makes, though most anyone would judge them absurd, just seem at least intriguing enough for me to at least take it in for what it is, and then allow myself to think about it more later. I guess a part of me is also sorry for him since everyone else just gets freaked out at his stories. I sometimes get worried that i listen to too many people's absurdities, because i feel sorry for anyone who isn't listened to by anybody... I sometimes wonder if i am, in a way, out of control; being propelled to this and that extreme, all by the obsessions of others. but then, when i try to determine a standing ground, a place at which to bring all this mad swinging to an end, i get the feeling that no one place is any better than any other; maybe it's my tolerance, or my vagueness, that makes me difficult to place myself... to find out what i really believe in; whose stories, whose wild claims that sound true but that i couldn't admit in public to believing, to believe and whose not to believe. it seems like everybody stands around talking about the obvious things; the things everyone agrees on, and the things the tv is telling all of us ensemble every day about our world; and THAT'S the "real world"-- that's "reality" for everyone... and whenever we deviate from that, whenever we start to make additions or subtractions on that agreement, based on personal perspective, that's when arguments begin. that's when feelings get hurt. that's when people feel like nobody's listening to them; and i feel bad for everyone that feels that way... so i guess i try to give an effort to listening to everybody i can... only, just "listening" to someone turns out to be a more complicated thing than just that; it winds up intertwining with what you believe yourself; what you in turn start telling other people; the arguments you find yourself embroilled in. i guess, it's kinda like there's a safety net; a safe-ground where everyone can stand and agree, and have no arguments, and everyone just repeating one another, reciting what the tv told them last night or whatever. or what the posters and ads everywhere around us even this very second, leaning down over the top of this web page, are telling us about our world (here i am putting all the blame on ads and the media-- but it's GOT to be more intricate, more bizarre and subtle and continuous than just tv and ads, right? there's got to be more TO the "world" than those things-- everyone blames the tv, because no one knows where else to point, except perhaps to "society," as vague a frame of reference as that is-- but something tells me it's what we're NOT pointing to-- that's a better source-- a better culprit, to who is to blame for what we "know")... Anyone that stands up gets shouted down by everyone else. it takes a whole people standing up and LEAVING-- (i'm thinking of a few web site-communities i know-- societies consisting totally of rebels tend to make new laws of both behavior and physics alike) for anything different to be spoken... you can hardly speak alone... you have to be the one who can be termed "remarkable," in order to be the one who stands, and isn't indeed shouted off as perverted, obtruse or naive about the universe we "live" in... i guess that's what i'm looking for, trying to come by, wondering why it isn't around more often; the "remarkable" ones who say something different, radically different, from the norm... i suppose that's what keeps me listening, i suppose that's what causes me to tolerate the uncertainty, and the uneasy feeling of having no certain thing to latch on to-- no one to follow.... it's because, in a way, the people whose opinions i can be MOST SURE are grounded in "reality," still are lacking in understanding me-- in explaining to me, the way i feel certain ways about certain things, the connections i feel to things, unusual things; the artful, the creative, the mystical, the spiritual, music itself, the contents of my soul... i can't rely on the concrete for such answers; i have tried to find them there and i have left empty handed... i realize that the face that's carved of stone with years of living in the agreed-on world, has nothing for me inside of it, that's any more morpheous than what objects lie here on this desk.. there's more to life, there's more to the world than what we see before us, and everyone knows that on some level at this point i think-- but it turns out to be so, SO complicated and difficult to begin a conversation about these things; it isn't easy to speak of something we haven't been taught to see... they taught us to see apples, pencils, telephone poles and cars; they didn't tell me i would feel this way, at this time in my life, and so now i have nothing to rely on for assistance, for an explanation, except these other souls i come across who seem also to see more, feel more and know about more things than folks are supposed to know about.........And then it troubles me, it troubles me to no end, when those same people, who are in a way, i feel, my only hope, my last resort, turn out to exhibit symptoms of the insane: and no matter how stiffly i may avert my glance to not percieve it, still i must endure the echoes of their mad hollering, and then i feel lost again. the second, that same second in which the one who i was using as a guide through the Dark Forest turns around and seems to present proof, firm firm proof that he is nonetheless not in touch with his own sanity-- with the world in any sense that i can believe anymore-- is the same second in which i have to wonder if the forest is even there at all, or if i am the one who is crazy after all, and that perhaps, there really is nothing more to the world than apples and pencils and wire... it wearies me, and it leaves me feeling shifty, insecure, uncertain where to turn, alone in all the world... this has happened to me many times, and i am confusedly trying to devise some way of listening, learning about this unseen world i feel compelled to believe is there, is as substantial if not more so than the alterior, ad-universe one; and not loosing my own grip with it, and being swept down someone else's mindless loop-hole... right now, i'm at a point where the best method i can think of is to listen to the things which sound right to listen to, and ignore when it sounds more like mad ranting. sadly i hear both of these things from the same individuals at times: the same Charlie, who at times is hopelessly rattling on about things which i am *sure* (as sure as i CAN be anyway) must be nothing but a part of his own head, his own out-of-control imagination, is also the same Charlie who sometimes makes a statement which makes me think differently about the world, consider new things i hadn't thought of before, and just ring of truth: whatever it is that makes a statement just *sound* true... and i'm amazed, though i find myself unable to repeat or record the content of what he said; and all because i'd never heard anything like that from anybody else. And all of it makes me unsure how much of it to take in, how much of it to take seriously... whether to act on any of it, whether or not to actually let a life-changing statement, change my life... whether or not i'd be crazy, or more sane than the norm to involve myself; to even continue listening to him... And he is not the first person i've come across, to cause this dilemma in me. I remember the first person who started telling me about interesting things; he would appear in the coffee shop with a new thing to say every day; he was very frank and to the point, things to say about the world, about people, about reality and the human mind, that i hadn't thought before. interesting, i thought, and listened to the guy, and continued listening to him as his statements grew more and more obscure and esoteric and involved, and my life started bending; it started to warp a little bit, to conform with this new information i was recieving... and then one day, he did a thing that proved to me that he was in fact dilusional; there was no denying it anymore, at ALL--- and this in a way shattered my world, my worldview--- like breaking one's heart but instead, breaking one's *mind*... i felt betrayed and forsaken and i didn't understand how i'd gotten there, except being inquisitive and trying to learn about the world and open to the perspectives of others... now, i know some people who are so jaded, so immobile in their beliefs, that they will never be drawn in by another's erroneous ideas; they will sooner turn a blind eye on *everything* someone else does and says and IS, than let a word they don't already personally believe, slip in from the outside. and those people disturb me far more than an insane person ever will. but it's so difficult to find a balance, when it seems like THAT type of person, the jaded kind, is the other end of the spectrum: the only cure or security from being misled... no wonder so many people fall full in on whatever religion they subscribe to: it's easier to just settle on exactly who and what it is that's going to direct all of your thinking for all of your life, than to constantly be searching for it... for where to direct your own... or maybe, everyone thinks that they direct their own thinking... everyone THINKS they do... don't we? and by being thus convinced, we avoid someone else's comparative conviction sway us, draw us into a whirlpool we didn't ask, weren't meant to get lost in: the whirlpool of another person's mind, spinning in on itself... maybe my problem isn't that i can't figure out who to trust or believe or rely on; maybe my problem is that everyone ELSE thinks that i would be just fine, if only i would rely on THEM. Follow THEIR beliefs. THEIR observations and opinions. If only i fell full in on what THEY have come to let themselves fall full in on... then i would have Reality in my hand. as they surely do, right? we are so jaded... we are so selfish and leech-like in wanting others' minds to be contaminated with OURS. i don't want to be jaded. i don't want to be fooled every day. i don't want to be guided by a satellite in the sky to a life that is less than the one possible... i just don't want to be one of those jaded, unimaginitive, immobile, stony, unyielding, unchanging, unchangeable people, who are the people who discust me most in all this world. really, nothing repulses me more than a person who absolutelly positively will not consider changing their mind. Considering something different than what they thought. i guess i'm so heatedly repulsed by this, annoyed at every instance of this, that i fervently try to make myself its opposite. the opposite, though, seems to translate into something else i don't want to be; a dillusional sap that'll fall for anything, be led anywhere, waste my life and efforts in following someone insane... on some level i can kind of relate to all those people who have followed cult-leaders numbly; there's a part of the human soul that just wants relief from all the uncertainty, all the wondering where to go and what to do with one's life... i fear, though, that i myself have come close to being such a follower time and again... it's freakish to think that i might be so clouded, so pathetic as that... i have been searching, waiting, and searching some more, for someone who sees eye to eye with me on certain things, or at least has something to say about certain phenomena that i am interested to hear about, and doesn't turn out in the end to have a streak of pure illogical insanity... i tell myself sometimes that it's not just them: that EVERYONE has a streak of such insanity, it just manifests differently for others, who don't have such perception... what i mean is, that perhaps obeying the messages of that tv, of "society," is a mild type of insanity, comperable in its own way to thinking you see visions... but somehow, this doesn't seem right... it doesn't seem to equate, to fall into place... and then, when i unravel out that conclusion, it makes it seem as though we're all very distant, very alone and very far apart from each other; each with this totally divorced experience of reality, seen and unseen... i had this friend once, when i was in high school, who said of religions that, whatever any person believes, that's "real to them," and i couldn't accept this definition: "REAL to THEM" sounded like an oxymoron... a paradox... like there just had to be something huge missing in that... that couldn't be the whole story.................when i think about it, and though it makes me sick to my stomach to think it, i've personally watched a great many perfectly-healthy-seeming people suddenly and unexpectedly exhibit total loss of control; total insanity... i mean i've seen people who just *DON'T* loose it, loose it... explode... in public, on the street; become a different person... i feel betrayed when that happens; when they suddenly aren't the sane interesting human being they were 15 minutes ago, and now they're 100%, full on, raging rabid animals... throwing tantrums and wreaking havoc against total strangers... ready to kill someone... i can't explain that to myself other, than that they just seem to go temporarilly insane. that worries me... it really confuses me; am i just hanging around the wrong people? do i cause something in people to suddenly turn violent and absurd and senseless? do i just draw people to me who have these inclinations, somewhere hidden down inside? and if so, what do i do to stop it? what do i possibly change to stop something so bizarre? it's like, i can know a person for a couple hours or a couple weeks, and one night they're suddenly throwing bottles at a person or full-on chasing a stranger around threatening to kill them... how does a person loose it so completelly? is it just the alchahol? how can alchohol distrort a person so badly? does a person have to already be distorted somehow, for alchohol to do that to them? or other drugs? and then at times they don't remember it afterwards.. or can't understand how that overcame them, or are apologizing profusely... i can't understand why that happens either, but it means i can't really trust them anymore... right? that i can't really feel ok being around them... right? it's all so perplexing... so troubling...

Thursday, August 12, 2004

darker today

outside these windows i can see a darkness uncharacteristic of augusts in this place... this place: what shall i call it? i'm going to avoid using real-world names for now, to make myself a little less search-vulnerable (ask me later...) and so i think... i'll call this place Limetown.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

fingers

I somewhat shredded my fingers yesterday, that's what working in a glass store will do to you. I just recieved the job from a friend of mine, someone i interned with for a time, not too long ago; she called me while i was in Vegas to let me know she had some work for me again, if i wanted to come by the shop for a few hours, during the next few weeks. when i appeared yesterday i saw immediatelly why she was asking for the extra help: on the table lay a gigantic mosaic, depicting a vast and complicated pile of fruit; intricate down to the seeds in certain places, and at least 4 by 6 feet in dimension. I also could see immediatelly why her current interns are not enough: while it seemed they had done a good job so far, a few hours in the company of these kids made it blatantly clear to me that that's what they were-- kids-- high school kids to be precise... Now, I've known my share of talented high school kids to be sure, but it's true that when doing very expensive and exhaustive projects for professional clients, one starts to get a little nervous when one thinks how permanent- and prominent- a mistake made due to a lack of skill or experience could potentially be... I had been told, in months before, that my employer was having trouble now that I and her other, older interns had taken leave of the shop, and now she had all these kids with spare time coming in to intern with her... She's a perfectionist, to say the least, and pours over one's work when one is working on something that's going to be labelled "her" product... We were trying to determine a proper background color for the cluster of fruit; one of the young interns suggested white-- cut up a few bits of glass and arrainged them in the spaces between the globes of color, and the group of us stared at the result for a minute, before gluing them down, trying to imagine the whole 4x6 feet of it completed that way. It was hard to say... I myself, just happy to be being paid to be doing anything these days, was willing to take any color decided upon by the shop, and stayed silent while our employer and the high-school graduate debated over whether the white looked good or not. they finally settled that it looked fine, and i was selected to glue the pieces down. So i set about chopping up plates-ful of tiny pieces of triangular, white glass, and methodically snapping them down into place, onto the board. In time, I felt the shadow of my employer over my shoulder; lingering there the way she does when she's peering deep into the job you're doing, examining your every move, although it's often hard to tell what exactly she's looking at in your work. I looked up and saw her staring down at the mosaic right under my hands with a hard quizzical look. I shrugged and asked "well? Is it ok?" She didn't answer for a while. Then she shook her head and said "no, it'll be fine." and abruptly turned and left. At times it's a little spooky figuring out whether something looks great or rotten to our fearless employer, you get left with this shaky feeling at times, when you know SOMEthing's awry about the piece-- perhaps glaringly wrong-- that just isn't glaring at you...
So about 20 minutes pass and i've filled in the spaces within a half foot of space on the mosaic, stand up to wash my hands, and then it's when i'm walking back, and i see the whole mosaic spread out over the table from a distance, that it hits me: the white is currently the boldest color in the composition: standing out against the field of reds and yellows and purples, muting them and making a foreground of the intended background; and my stomach turns. I go up to our employer: "I can see what you mean now by the white." She looks at me intensely for a second, then down at the mosaic, then back at me, and in a very serious tone, like we're on a military mission, "yeah?" I answer: "Yeah. I mean, it CAN work; it might just mean we might have to wrestle with it more--" And that's when she unveils her true thoughts: "Yes! your eye has to wrestle with it-- that's the problem. It's like your eye is thinking: 'do i look at the colors, or the white between the colors?' it won't work! we need to take it off." I knew it. Our employer vanishes to have her picture taken by the local press, next to another huge, public work of art created in our shop, and I sit down with the pliers. You've got to pick those things off fast, when they've been glued down, since the stuff is meant to be permanent, and once it dries it's pretty much impossible to get it free again... So i vigorously start ramming the tool against possibly hundreds of tiny little glass triangles.
We have a saying in the shop: that you're not fully "initiated" until you've accidently wound up with a bloody cut from the glass. Everyone gets cut sometimes, no matter how experienced. It's just a matter of the constant exposure to thousands of edges of pieces of glass, and all the tools used to clip and shear and break up the glass expose you to more. It's when you're going at it with less caution, though, that you get torn more often than necessary... In my head was spinning my need of this extra money, my fortune in being given this job, and my extreme need not to screw it all up by permantly uglifying a prominent studio masterwork... And so when I ripped some of my nuckles, i just cursed and kept at it, with more ruthlessness than before; determined that the horrid white pieces would all be off the thing by the time my employer got back. And we have another, unofficial saying in the shop, which goes something like: "one day you're just working along and suddenly you look down and think, 'hey, why is all this white glass suddenly red?... oh my god!!!'" this is intended as a shop joke, of course... Many times you're working on something yellow or orange or some other color and suddenly there's these mysterious red spots on it and you have to think "Damn! now where are those coming from?" and look around your fingers to see if it's bad enough to stop working and get a band aid-- you really never think of your fingers as that big of an area, until you get down to all the trillions of ways fingers can be nicked and scratched to become really difficult to use...
Our employer returned with another, famously local artist, and was showing him around the shop in a sparkly and cheerful way, and i had to avoid being on the same end of the shop as him, to avoid him even SEEING my hands, let alone shaking them... I had a pretty nasty tear on the top of my right index nuckle, which had saturated 2 band-aids and which i was currently stifling with a paper towel around it... not a pretty sight, i was just greatful that hands turn out to be easy things to hide if you try... I overheard her explaining to him why we were removing the white background from the work; describing the reason with a vast artistic vocabulary... and he was nodding and saying "ah" and doing all the appropriate motions and reactions, the way visiting artists always do when they come in our shop... Our employer has a knack for impressing the hell out of people, and she always manages to show off the studio, and all its inner workings, in a way that still leaves a visitor with a sense that they have witnessed something just a little mystical and mysterious; she maintains that particular air, even as she is seeming to describe-away the secrets of how things are done and made here. There's still that sense of something-else-unseen going on between these walls, after all the steps have been explained and all the tools and actions pointed out. I've seen her do this time and time again: she becomes suddenly a glowing show-person when a visitor appears, especially an important one, and suddenly we're like a behind-the-scenes show on TV; each of us a stage in a process, ready to explain what we're doing, as well as what we're working on, to a guest. The visitors are almost always wowed, whether it is by how intricate or difficult it looks to them, or how pretty the colors are, or how massive the object is, or how impressed they are by our hard work etc. It is an unsaid rule not to let a guest see huge gorey lesions on one's flesh... And it is also a little embarrasing, like something which doesn't make sense within these purple walls, to let a guest see that we've made a mistake: and that we have to undo something that we have done. That's part of the illusion-- the magic: the idea that we just don't make mistakes in the shop. For the most part, that illusion remains intact; we get rid of errors relatively fast... Or shrink them down to maneagable size by the time a visitor appears. It's good for business to look like what you're doing is at least a little bit inexplicable... Just a little impossible; astound the viewer, with creation that's just too perfect to be real...
It is possible to create something too perfect to be real; all you have to do is divert that little imperfections that occur, make the errors go elsewhere, so they stay out of the public spotlight. Glass is hard; it's stiff and sturdy and can stay in place for thousands of years, if cemented down in stone... And the morning after the first day after coming back to the glass shop, i always have a number of wounds on my hands, and soreness in several my fingers, hidden and far away from the masterpiece, where those thousands of years worth of viewers will never see...