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balance (2): July 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009

gush

i have been going through a phase in which i like men who act like boys, i realized. not literal boys (except in the last boy's case, which was weird as he was 10 years younger, and it not only didn't last long but ended in my utter and deserved humiliation- oh but he had heartbreaking potential!).... choke, i digress... there is something that is so familiar to me about boys. i guess i just think of the people who made me happy while i was growing up. the boys i played nintendo with, the boys i would slip notes to in one of my junior high schools, where i was the only white girl in most of my classes and they would all line up in their baggy pants and wifebeaters to protect me valiantly from each other at lunchtime... or in one of my high schools, where the notes were mostly returned by clean cut athletes or mysterious drama students with the "no" box checked, to my sad shyness, but in which they all came back around later and took me to the movies (dates on which i wouldn't say a single word, driving them mad on the drive home). the boys i would talk on the phone to for hours (with rehearsed script in hand), do drugs and wander through the suburbs with in my solo 3 month drug phase, boys i would go on road trips with, pee on the side of the road with. lay around listening to music and looking at the glow stars on my ceiling with. boys i watch marathons of movies with, and make homemade porn videos with. boy i would go furniture shopping with. take baths with. boys who would run around with me on the playground and climb the jungle gym. boys i met on the floor of the bathroom at college parties. boys i peeled off of me jabbering and drooling in various backpacker ghettoes around the world. boys i stalked in clubs. boys i fought on the playground in my little brother's honor. boys i danced with, sang to, slapped and tickled. slept intertwined with. boys i philosophized with, lived with, grew up with.

i want a boy i can enjoy my life with. men are too serious. but... the men in my life could have all decorated wanted posters or covers of books about, say, bigoted immigrants who shirk all responsibility except for themselves, stars of after school specials on sex abuse and drug addiction. maybe i am too scared of men. all the responsibility involved in sex (as my boy above said, "too many designs"). the fear of being used. (the fear, period of things i have long put out of my head i thought). the fear of commitment. the crassness of growing old and ugly. the mediocrity of the single identity that you melt into with a man. the slithering of ties around your wrists. the guilt and contemptuousness thrown at each other like pies in the face.

yeah so boys.... but i have met a couple of men lately who have proven me wrong about men- or at least some of them. they have been kind, respectful, honest, interested. one of them with blue eyes and long lashes declared his infatuation with me at the coffeeshop this morning, and i melted appropriately. one of them escorted me home the other night, many blocks walking his bike. no pressure, genuine friendliness in the latter case. no pressure, but direct and honest lust from the former, for me as a whole, not just the exterior. it intrigued me. i wonder... well i appreciate the lesson but i am still not relaxed enough to trust them or (ack) make love to them (men!). even though the loins are stirring properly at the sight of a manly set of shoulders, a mysterious glare. i just can't tap that deep, passionate... thing that is supposed to happen with a man. i have never been able to look into a man's eyes and see any respect or caring there, and that is it for me, no intimacy possible from that point on. & in a lot of ways i have repressed my identity as a woman as well, preferring to remain a girl. hating the woman in me. i wonder if that will ever change?

people tell me that there are other types of relationships, but i don't really believe in them. i think people fall in love with love, and then out of it. they all just need something to believe in, like religion, at which i also scoff regularly. i think comfort is better long term (or is it?)... anyway i have been reading another girl's story of late, a writer like me but probably better, more focused. in boulder. one of those interesting people i meet a week or so before i leave a place, ugh. but she is awakening me with her writing to the magic of men. the romance and passion. the integrity. her name is 'k', and i appreciate her(!) for that. i now look forward to a whole city full of amazing men to practice acclimating myself to, in my head anyway, and a new girl friend to reflect off of and sometimes model. (i'll take another tantra yoga class too and whoever unstops this bottle is going to have a hell of a flood, god help them. hehe.) ahem. let's see.

Monday, July 20, 2009

weeeeee

so somehow i have a ticket to NY all booked (woah where did the weekend go- i got lost after harry potter)... though i have no place to stay there. should be fun! woke me up out of the little trap i felt myself slipping into in boulder anyway. i will miss my little home badly, but i will always come back. like a sweet, simple lover you are not quite ready to commit to yet, is boulder. the familiarity here, so comforting, safe, kind, friendly. it would be nice to re-visit when i am old and drive the 'hop' bus around, i think, with my music, chatting to the neighbors who ride... all the niceness is a little bit deceiving though, as the housing has gotten almost as expensive as NY! & it is harder to support yourself here (basically agency x is the only decent option in the area for me. and i decided after the first month i could never commit to a place with no windows. i worked on my porch in the jungle a short walk through an amazing asian village to the beach for 4 years, for f's sake!)

i know NY will be all abuzz, probably about the economy- there is always something coming to get you there, but a sense that you will face it together, at least since 9-11, which was a very beautiful part of NY's history to me in some aspects. NY is a home too, with lots of interesting if intimidating people. i love to wander there as well and take things in- the industrial lots painted yard to roof with art, the bodegas, the gangsters with their nice shoes on the train, the hasids busily moving about in their strange costumes, the buskers providing the soundtrack in the stations, the artisans and their street stalls... but i have to hold on to the peace i have gotten from thailand and boulder, that sense of freedom that has been so hard to give up but isn't going to be available to me for awhile longer. still, if i can hop around the world on my own NY is cake. i will make my own peace. and if i don't, island hopping in the east will sound appealing again.


"what did you expect from all the places you have been?" (asks leonard cohen) "it's come to this, and wasn't it a strange way down- everywhere you went along love seemed to come along with you" (sometimes in disguise i might add, but nevertheless...) -dress rehearsal rag

Thursday, July 16, 2009

planplanplan

NY is calling me. should i answer? i love boulder but i've sort of done it now, there are no sublets and the hostel is full... while there is a cheap room open on hipster row in williamsburg, brooklyn. can i hack the big city? the wind across the river and in the alleys of soho.... the maddenly stimulating subways. the walking walking walking. the surrounding beautiful people who are better at most things than you are (or i am anyway) and know it, or who just represent interesting cultures if nothing else. in the city everyone is someone and no one at the same time. can i take the constant sense of being on the verge but not quite grasping something? (my boss at x agency would say yes, i am probably familiar with it heh heh). can i take the lust at every corner for unbearably cool and sometimes famous people, usually expensive useless trendy baubles, art music literature all? can i bear the competition and aloofness? can i dig up the fun? can i break out of my shell?... i heart NY for real, the magic and that wild survival- though it is scary. it's probably not the fountain of freelance work i am fantasizing it is nowadays, but all i will have is time and i do have a couple of old clients there i can hit up. and a bass guitar in storage and a fuzzy blanket to go with my satin sheets. and roller skates for the park. and a journal to draw in. do they have netflix there i wonder??? i might try it out for a month and if i crash and burn head back to thailand and relax for the winter. hrmm.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

stutter

it's difficult to explain to someone exactly how neurotic i am sometimes. they just don't get it because they are not that way. david sedaris understands somewhat. i have been listening to his audiobooks lately, which crack me up. it's like trying to explain being gay to a heterosexual! he knows! plus he has obsessive-compulsiveness (in which he can't control himself licking walls and such). i am almost that unstable too, but more mental and less physical, and less funny. :) i have a one track mind, which means if i fixate on something, it is extremely hard to divert myself from a concept, person, train of thought, or (sometimes inane) task, unless i make a drastic effort to cut off. it's almost like a tic- i keep coming back to it over and over until i shake it off. i am a slave to it. when i was a little kid i was a serious perfectionist. which is why i skipped two grades and had straight As despite all the chaos around me (that you blog readers don't know the half of). until i rebelled in high school, anyway. i was teacher's pet and always the perfect mother's helper (though she would never admit it). everything on my desk had to be perfectly aligned. the vaccuum marks too when i was cleaning. and if i made a mistake in my writing it didn't matter how far along i was in my essay i would have to start all over again. and even now i read every email i send no less than 5 or 6 times, no matter how unimportant the content. insane!ly meticulous and obsessive (unless i don't happen to care much about what i am doing, which is actually a nice break).... my job is even organizing large amounts of conflicting info (chaos) into some usable order. that is why my company name is 'usable jungle' (that and it was conceived in the jungle). i am ridiculously analytical. when my brain starts going it is difficult to slow it down, like a hummingbird or a helicopter propeller when they are fluttering. brrrrrrrrrrr. get it? anyone understand besides david?

anyway this especially happens when i am stressed out or uncertain, both of which i am now. i know exactly what i want but not how to get it. and being a control freak that frustrates me to no end. i feel like the spoiled brat in 'charlie and the chocolate factory', singing "i want it now!", but i am trying to discipline myself a bit and relax, let things fall into place. i forget to breathe, can't chill out enough to do yoga, and stop sleeping. and if i am lonely on top of that i will smother whoever is around. (beware!!!!) this is also why i am socially anxious, because it's hard for me to calm down enough to speak coherently sometimes or figure out what i am thinking. and it is the number one reason i smoke weed! which should be legalized for neurotics if it hasn't been already... real drugs for this disorder are too harsh and i will never impose them on myself. so- i just have to keep learning to reign myself in. this applies to my writing as well... 'x' used to tell me that the only way to be a good writer or artist is to learn to be messy, to let things flow as they will and not worry about consequences. i am trying really really hard to live that way! my german friend 'n' says too, "let it flow"!

luckily some of my friends do understand this about me. my movie star friend (whom i was unfair to in my previous post as we really are pretty close now- we'll call him 'tj' by they way) knows that i will barrage him with neurotic emails, and that i mean well even though i overthink everything. he just waits for me to calm down and then comes back to me and shoots the shit. i love him for that. and 'y', my sister-friend with the fire under her ass, who has hopped to canada most recently, accepts that i am a bit crazy and talks me through it patiently. i absolutely love these two for this, and i try to reciprocate in dealing with their individual afflictions. ('x' doesn't get it at all, or try. for some unbeknownst to god reason i still love him too.) ....but i hope my newer friends will get it. :( because i love them too and want to keep them around, not scare them off! promise me those of you who read this will try!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

time travel



i can't remember how 'l' and i first became friends. we worked together, many years ago, at the neighborhood video store, an oasis to which i would gladly escape on my rusty moped, from the stark desert of family life, in lafayette- a pleasant suburb full of apathetic and bored teenagers not far from boulder. i had inadvertently fallen into the madness again (namely constant conflict with my mother), when i ran back "home", after dropping out of my first college in a northern colorado cow town (there were blood boiling days which made the stench even more unbearable than usual, and my roommate was christian, obese, and endlessly annoying).... i was too distracted with being in desperate flux to recognize 'l' as anything more than a passing coworker at that time. we had separate lives, separate friends (mine would come in the store stoned and try to convince me in sideways whispers to remove their late fees from their accounts). 'l' was still in high school. i don't think i ever said more than two words to her. but i used to watch her on camera from the office at the back, and muse that she looked a lot like me....and it's true, we're alike- though she is more light and i dark. we both have an eastern european profile, and bright eyes, and a bit of a naughty and curious bent to our personalities.

i met 'd', the dead boy of my last entry, around that time. he dj'd at our local basement club. he ran the record store. he lived in the basement of his happy friend g's family house, where they would pile up strange toys and musical instruments, watch marathons of star trek or cohen brothers films, and make stupid jokes in childish voices over their complex drinking games. i would raid d's thousands of cds and learn about the evolution of bands whose names i now forget, memorize lyrics to songs that were abandoned in boxes of broken mix tapes somewhere on the long and twisty line from then to now. 'd' often got us free tickets to loud shows with inevitable mosh pits, and backstage passes to meet big stars, who would barely glance at me while 'd' babbled his way charmingly into the center of their circles. i would check out the girls on the periphery and wonder if i should pierce my eyebrow or buy platform heels and vintage duds. i had moved out of my mom's house by that time, and was living with a nice woman and her two tiny daughters. her very sexy boyfriend would drop by on his motorcycle, and rifle through drawers or behind light fixtures for hidden whiskey bottles. by the end of most nights, he would be yelling and throwing my roommate down stairs. i moved in with 'd', and soon after we road tripped down to the steamy swampland of south florida, where we took pictures of armadillos in our plant-lined linai and rode yachts on the turquoise atlantic (i since heard that the drunk boyfriend burned down the apartment and the woman had to move away alone with her little girls).

lots of life in between, which i will save for my book. years later (or maybe before) 'l' and i would spot each other across various local dance floors, in our dark eyeliner, dominatrix bobs, and black clothing. we both were drawn like moths to the flaming 80's, and the goth aesthetic, and the slick oily energy of industrial bands and punk girls with cigarettes in dark corner booths. we both had younger sisters who would sneak out with us, to compare shoes, flirt shamelessly with the muscled bouncer, and ogle floppy haired introvert boys (and girls) who danced like homosexuals to my life with the thrill kill kult, the smiths, soft cell, bauhaus, siouxie... we danced too, with abandon, with ourselves.

somewhere along the line i think i realized i had my first ever girl crush on 'l', and was both devastated plus intrigued (which equals obsession) by the fact that she had acquired an actual girlfriend! so i contrived to be near her, with emails inviting her to glasses of wine, over which i would try to keep my greedy stares unobtrusive, and my prodding for details casual. i didn't think (and still don't) that i could ever have an actual relationship with a girl, i just found them yummy. 'l' was so plumply sensuous and pale. i couldn't believe she lived with a lesbian lover, slept beside her, shared the mundane details of their lives together, had jealous spats. i felt surprisingly prudish at these revelations. by this time 'l' (a drama major) had begun what was to become a long career of burlesque dancing and vaudeville acts. she was a traveller too, and had stories of russian boys and french mothers. none of this helped dissuade me from my secret adoration of her, but my blurted suggestions of naked pillow fights went unrecognized, as lesbians, apparently, were mystifyingly loyal to each other, or at least these two, at that time. still, i was able to always keep 'l' on her pretty pin-up pedestal in my mind, and to miss her over the years, as we dropped in and out of contact.

now 'l' is back again, in this month of retro reminiscence, in lafayette. fresh from a messy divorce and a life of warehouse clubs in dreary seattle. still girlie, still dancing. still travelling. still like me. we drove last night in her car to denver, to a basement theater under the clocktower, to drink champagne and watch 80's-themed burlesque. girls in bloomers and long gloves, swinging from hoops and peeling their tops to flick their tassles at the hooting audience with fetching smiles and fluttering eyelashes. girls in mohawks and prom dresses and boys in trilby hats with bare chests danced before the stage. a george michael impersonator did a sly striptease to gales of titillated laughter from bachelorettes. 'l' was hugged by girl after girl in corsets and knee highs, and i performed a few distracted handshakes as i twirled my noisemaker giddily. i marvelled at again, the sense that coming back to colorado was like jumping into a time machine, as strains of duran duran and the violent femmes drifted through the room and stray cuts of film flashing 80s icons flicked against the dark wall. i giggled progressively more as the champagne worked it's bubbles into my bloodstream. 'l' will be dancing again, in future nights at this theater, and i begged her to let me do a routine with her. every girl's dream is to dance onstage, and though i was a topless dancer for 2 days once (a long and other story), i am greedy for that presumably exhilirating feeling of being dressed in a tantalizing array of costumes and teasing an audience from behind the lights. perhaps this is what i will do next with my life- is 33 too old to do burlesque? we shall see.


one of my old costumes

anyway, later in the evening 'l' and i went to watch her mother play blues in a dive bar somewhere at the edge of town. we must have looked like sexy sisters, walking in, still high on fantasies of ourselves as pin-ups, and both about 20 years younger than the average patron. the bored men draped over the bar perked up. we navigated to a plastic booth to watch the band- probably the coolest band over 50 in existence as far as i am concerned. if only l's mother was my mother! she plays bass, which is the instrument i have tried and failed several times to teach myself, wanting to be a hip chick player. she picked it up when she was 38! she also has a great voice. her band mates were scraggly and stylish. i felt like they were a big family, and i tried my best to fit in. i got progressively more drunk, and when i realized i was becoming the center of conversation, in an effort to avoid annoying or embarassing 'l', i snuck outside to smoke (ugh) and tease drunken rednecks (might as well practice). when i came back in 'l' pushed my hair out of my eyes and put her hand on my leg. i nervously kept drinking long after she stopped....

i have not had such a fun night in many years- a combination of my fondness for 'l'; the hours of laughter and stimulation at the burlesque show; the heady dizziness of memories blurring with eerily similar actual events; the sense of family, adopted though it was; the nice, unpretentious people that fill colorado's borders; the alcohol.... i barely remember the drive home, and didn't elaborate on plans... but i have resolved not to let 'l' out of my life so easily this time around, as if there is one thing i need, it is some intrigue and fun, and a re-capturing of a more free and daring me, set to an 80's soundtrack.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

gloomy sunday

       

so many blasts from the past. i tell one boy i am too tired to remember things, on the phone, and he sounds crushed. "don't forget me" he pleads, "i promise i am more interesting now". i hang up and resolutely forget him, and his black eyes, his dusky skin, his wry humor and the sexy way his hair used to fall into his face, back before most of my life happened and turned me into this pensive recluse. i take pictures of the fireworks from the sad solitude of my balcony. i hear the crowd cheering in the distance, families on blankets under the stars, the smoke of a thousand barbecues mingling with falling ashes. i close the doors, close the sound out, and i fall into benzo paralysis on my sofa, trying to blank out memories and succumb to the sickly sweet black nothingness of now.

other ghosts (family) i cancel my visits to, just can't face a house full of what are now strangers, aged doppelgangers of the people in my dreams, with matching children. people who know too much about me but not enough to really know anything at all. i don't want them to see how alone i am after having cut them all off, taken off running- but i know it never could have been any other way. the only way to stop the pain sometimes is to remove the source completely. the only way to avoid getting eaten is to recognize their disguises, and not let the monsters in... i don't want to be a monster myself but i think it might be too late. or maybe we are all monsters.

the past catches up anyway, this weekend of independence squashed. i accidentally downloaded and listened to the albums i used to sleep to with my now dead boyfriend, my surprise brother in law, holding my breath in memory of his lack of it... the nostalgia was sparked by my meeting his oblivious twin, my pen pal of many years, come to visit from NY in his fedora and piercings, with his hard drive full of treasures and his uncanny honesty and kind smile. he made me ache for things i could not have. he made me feel too much, remember too much, and it terrified me, that instant closeness, the recognition. i did my best to not get attached to him, knowing i was getting attached to something and someone else that will always be denied me. not again. i tried to see him as the very nice, very alive boy he really is, who probably doesn't have room for my neurosis in his life anyway. my eyes were blurry, i wasn't sure where i was- my past? his future? was i in love with this boy with whom i felt i shared a past and could see a future? or had i confused him with the other happy dj in a fedora, the other one with skinny legs and crushes on younger sisters?

we wandered around all the places "we" used to go. drove through the mountains. dropped the same names. bemoaned the closures of party venues of old. spent a whole day on my porch feeling each other out, poking each others buttons and listening to the recordings which issued forth in shaky streams like old homemade videos. i made him sleep on my very small couch and then had dreams from the other room, of snakes trying to crawl into my bed and penetrate me. i scrunched my eyes harder, wished hard for them to be real, for something or someone to come fill all these holes before i leak slowly into the feathers of my blanket. but when i awoke suddenly again, neither were there- not the snakes nor the dead boy with his curious, prodding penis in the too sunny morning.

but i am fortunate my wishes don't come true.... i am never good enough and i am not ready for revised heartbreak, not from the twin. not from the hungarian hippie boy with dreads down to his ass, with two scruffy dogs in his truck either. not from the now brewmaster i once kissed slowly with a bloody nose. not from the boy on the bus with his unpredictable sweetness and crave-able sexuality. not from the movie star who ignores my calls until he feels like being flattered (i know better). not from the spanish man with the curls who spends a lot of time trying to coaxe me out of my shell when he contrives to bump into me at the office.... for once, i am closed off to the people around me, when for once i think they all have good intentions.


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