I looked at a trash can strewn and crooked and swore it was art. Saw shadows from fanning lights and searched for the source. Thought things like how can this be? and how am I here? and I’m glad everything just is. But I kept these things to myself until I realized, in steady sobriety, that this was reality. That this was the nighttime. That this was the glittering town spread beneath our legs as strands of my hair swirled around free and one star peered down at us stories up above the ground. Sometimes I still don’t really believe it.
December 10th, 2013 // 12:50:00 pm
On the car ride home I detected, from the smoky poof of our deep conversation, wispy strands of respect in your eyes.
I really like people who have kind eyes. People with kind eyes are compassionate, and compassionate people have kind eyes. And kind people are beautiful and nice to talk to, and you can see it in their eyes. -trails off into a tune due to wordy redundancy-
But people can have normal eyes. People can have snarky eyes. People can have flat eyes that hover between life and lifelessness. And people can have sly eyes or suspicious eyes or cold, hard and dull eyes.
As my art teacher once cried: “Eyes are the window to the soul. Serendipity!”
I thought it was spelled “Sarahn Dipity” and wheeled around. “Who’s that?”
Sometimes I’ll miss people for their eyes. Whenever I have little moments of peering into people’s eyes, I’ll take a small creepy note of the types of eyes they have: far set, close-set, deep-creased, light-creased, blue or black or green or tan. Search for clues of their soul window decor. Like curtains of kindness or meanness or tiredness, or sadness.
Those with kind eyes are the ones who emanate the wisps of respect. Those with unkind eyes are the ones who pretend nothing ever happened.
Perused through my old Tumblr, which I tried decimating to bits 5 years ago, and found this old post from 2013. I remembered the exact moment I marinated in these thoughts. Again with the winding Texas roads and a heart full of resentment.
But less than three years later, puedo decir con confianza: all hail the force of forgiveness. They will sweep through your heart’s city and burn down houses of bitterness. For the better, ‘course, and I’m glad they did.
On the first day I said it was like opening a closet with monsters inside. Dancing skeletal monsters with joints that’d jingle and brush against each other when you dusted them. And I was here to do just that: dust the shit off of these monsters.
“Are you tired?”
“What’re you thinking about?”
You. Then I hoped to God you were lying. Because as I lied there I was counting skeletons instead, ghostly remnants and coats of dust that’d jump out and say “BOO”, then run away crying.
My throat itched Wednesday so I wouldn’t be there Friday, I said. Were we too close? you asked. You asked me this repeatedly. Like the game “are you nervous” we’d play at age twelve with fingers itching up plaid skirts asking repeatedly: are you nervous, are you nervous?
Were we too close?
Consciously, no. Subconsciously, maybe yes. Maybe you were hanging out with the skeletons without me and maybe you understood them better than I did myself and maybe I was afraid of that.
You can come up with a million exit strategies and still take none. So in the beautiful weather I felt like shit. In 3, 2, 1…had moseyed our way into discomfort. In the end we laughed it off with bloodshot eyes and I walked away knowing I’d done it again, done it again, done it again.
10: like a sleepy warm embrace 9: the sound of hisses pots pans before dinner “o I just throw things together” 8: organized disarray groaning under its own weight 7: driving down winding empty roads
6: (tethered) 5: dancing, singing, stepping on my own toes 4: cardboard sign that reads FREE HUGS 3: cracking tilting falling apart but it’s not about the SHELL it’s about the PEANUT 2: happy slow light
1: and warm. very very warm
(Earlier I was reading Michael Mira’s (@journalofdisposablethoughts) post on how we all have to have a “home as a reference point….It could be at a railway station in Nairobi or in your wife’s loving arms.” Just something that keeps us 6: tethered–“we all need a single point in the universe to attach our roots.”)
Y’know when you find shit that makes you really feel some type of way?
Like that one contemporary exhibit in DC I stayed behind at to stare at the pieces in prolonged hypnosis–
Or like the Japanese film photos that I became obsessed mid-Econ class. The ones with the weird lights, beautiful people, fuzzy looks. Later I said I wanted to be like that film photographer sans film camera, model friends and aesthetic).
Or like the cluttery winding dancing prose I have to stop reading (think: junior year when I swam in Nabokov’s words and hated how much I loved them), the books I have to put down because I’m on the verge of–verge of what? I don’t know.
But that’s when I know I like something. When there’s no word or phrase to describe how I experience something, just that I’m experiencing it and feeling some strange type of way. It’s not a flood of admiration or appreciation. It’s not feeling floored with emotion. It’s more like being quietly submerged in obsession, stricken with a raw sense of “holy shit, this is some shit“. Guess that’s just the way it is with art.
In between ceramic tiles, I empathize with Murakami’s characters (disjointed, numb). I’m reminded of how disconnected I’d once felt, as if this was myself but somehow it wasn’t. I tossed and turned, ran through storms, writhed in bed. Wondered: and so how did she, this other self, feel? Because I felt nothing.
I never let you see anything, except maybe an organ or two.
Like: this bloody fleshy thing, with all its pipes and nerves. With all the cars stocked to the brim, with baggage clogging it up perpetually. And on this street were trash-cans set aflame in a dreamt-up city where everything was burning down and I was running away (Ophelia drowned, the Little Prince ran away. The drunken man drank to forget, to forget he was ashamed, to forget he was ashamed of his drinking)–
And this was the aftermath.
is flat, typical, winding, slow
it’s 2 in the morning as I dance a tired dance with bad sleep habits and writer’s block …
there’s one on the living wall of the first house we bought when I was small enough to cartwheel across
I peer over
my hair is short. my collar bones jut out. camera slung over one arm, book clutched in the other hand, posture bordering on “poor” so I straighten my back
as I stare out the car window later I feel frozen empty shrunken in time
At two in the morning I’m never quite sure of what I’m doing anymore or what this is except that it feels a little like madness and I’m hell-bent on creating. Being consumed by art is familiar and reassuring and like being home again.
But it does not/will not/cannot replace the voltage you feel at 5 in the morning when you’re inching along and it suddenly dawns upon you: this fits. You fit. Then collapse on your bed in tired happiness and make poetry out of it in the morning. (Hearts handing out little paper milk cartons that read MISSING.)
In the cosmic blink of an eye we will be gone; in the cosmic flutter of a lash we’ll fall in love. With things like definitions and coppery fingers and catchy songs and awful hope. With deviant behaviors like smiling all the time and daydreaming through class. With rain and shadows that you skip-skip-skip through because you’re too busy, you’re too busy dreaming in the confusion and the emptiness.
SO you take it upon yourself to judge the content of someone’s heart without ever having the chance to rip open a chest to peer inside. Instead you look at the way the arms flail and the facial expression twists, the way someone extends a hand or recoils in fear. On a bench or through a friend of a friend, you decide on which adjectives you’ll use to describe this heart.
You decide that:
the heart is open, the heart is cold, the heart is kind, the heart is distant, the heart is hardened, the heart is shut-off, the heart is readable, the heart is murky, the heart is big. The heart is stony. The heart is a million things except for what it simply is: a heart.
It never occurs to you that: maybe we’re all just wasting our time trying to superimpose these value judgments on an organ.
But that usually does not stop us.
(orig. posted on Tumblr)
Overhead and through the speakers, Kanye’s insisting that “diamonds are forever.”
Hair hat-flattened and fingers pink, I wonder why I’m alone at night in the city in a part I’ve never been to.
I’ve just missed my bus and it’s cold so I wait in Urban Outfitters. When I step outside, the streets glitter and swell with din. “Fuck you,” some girl’s voice rings as she passes by me. She’s on the phone. Her lips are a bright pink.
In going into the city, I’d anticipated a brief respite. False: the city, by default, is an adventure. It always is. I always feel like I’m running or floating when I’m here, like my feet are hovering three inches above the ground and I’m skirting around from place to place. The city is movement, it’s energy, and if you stop to observe closely, you might notice that it pulsates…
(orig. posted on tumblr)