Olbermann received a package of white powder the other day. He ended up spending 10 hours in a sealed hospital room while they ran an analysis on the powder, (which turned out to be soap flakes), then he was told not to talk about it. So he talked about it. I’m on his team because he’s on ours.
Also on my things-to-do: Pay more attention to the Vancouver International Film Festival.
I heard tell that the promising looking sci-fi Rennasaince, the Michel Gondry film, The Science of Sleep, (director of Spotless Mind, among other things), and the new Mamoru Oshii, (Ghost in the Shell), Tachigui: The Amazing Lives of the Fast Food Grifters, will all be playing at the festival, unlikely to ever return.
Sam’s arranging a group to go to Tachigui this Saturday afternoon, September 30, for 2:30pm at the Granville, (tickets are $7.50), and Kyle and I have October 11th tickets for The Fountain, which costs about $10, but I haven’t looked into the other shows yet. I’m too bloody tired at the moment. If anyone’s got any preferred times and dates, please, tell me and I’ll see about posting them. (As well, of course, as attending).
Another lonely night and I feel like a bad rip-off of a well crafted pop song. When does the hurting subside? It’s like I’m going to rhyme. Oh, too late. I’m repressing the urge to swear now in spite of the fact that this is text and I could always go back and edit all that out. Stress talking, stress guiding my fingers over the keys. They’re half worn away on this keyboard, letters and fingers both.
It reminds me of the root of scrupulous, being the Latin for a tiny stone that was the smallest unit of weight. Thus, a scrupulous person was a person so sensitive they’re irritated by the smallest stone in their shoe. It reminds me of the unintentional pacing of our lives with poetry that happens all the time. Bless used to mean to redden with blood as in sacrifice, giving a nice mental picture to the common western response to a sneeze. These are the things that occur to me late at night, when my topic tracking gets shaky, when I can’t pick threads so easily from the loom of my mental perspicacity. Loom, what navigators at sea call the halo of lights.
Which makes me think of celestial navigation, (celestial – residing in the heaven), which translates basically to pretending you know where you are until you’ve proved all your fictions wrong and you actually know where you’re bobbing on the ocean, which leads me to both treacherous waters, (Seattle, that bridge, meeting Eliza), and watching all those shooting-stars shining at Clinton, (just the faintest smudge of finger-painted Northern Lights on the edge of the sky). Two things that bring me back to my sudden ex-relationship.
I think it’s going to prove to be a long night. Counting sheep means tooling about on the internet, digging up articles on the first zero-gravity surgery set to be performed and useless first-world restaurants. I think I want to walk out my door too much, arrive at a house up the road a bit and to the left, (always my joking directions to find the g-spot), knock at the door and see myself reflected in a pair of welcoming eyes. (Seeing that effect, the Roman’s created the word pupil, which comes from little doll). This is my brain pretending to know where it is. This is my heart pretending that I haven’t been breaking down crying every day, the classic sextant based three-star triangle giving me a space the size of a city block, his block. The one with the house that I dangerously dreamed was orange and liked me. Something about driving on the wrong side of the street. I picked out the right paint chip and scared us.
Memories that I need to learn to dull. There is enough about poetry in my head to know that life’s seductive habits can be broken at will. I need to shepherd myself, write a palinode, relocate emotionally back into the damage, out of the alluring panoramic idea that I would get away with being allowed to do otherwise. That’s the worst, knowing I don’t need to love someone, that it’s just bloody nice to have something alive and pure and nice, (from the Latin nescīre, meaning to be ignorant). Needs are air, water. A place to sleep alone, (meaning unwanted, not desired, and dispensable).
Today I started a letter-book with Troll. A place to house our invisible secrets. My new schedule means that I will never see him now, which leaves all delivery of the book to third parties. I dearly hope, for this especially, the network does not fail.
The Blind Camera, by Sascha Pohflepp, a contributor to We-Make-Money-Not-Art and new media artist based in Berlin, captures a moment at the press of a button. Note that, a moment, not a picture. The device has no optical parts. Instead, the camera records only the time you depress the shutter button and immediately searches the net for other photos that have been taken in the exact same moment.
“Essentially, it is a camera that only takes photos that were created by someone who pressed a button somewhere else at that very time as its own button was pressed.”
After a few minutes or hours, depending on how soon someone else shares their photo on the web, an image will appear on the screen. In a way, it belongs half to the person who had pressed the button and still remembers that moment. Because of that connection, the photos are never dismissed as random, no matter how enigmatic they may be.
Employment has fully landed. Wednesday I begin work as a base-rung contract clerk for a market research firm, Saturday I begin preparation for setting fire to the Renfrew Harvest Moon Festival, and Monday evening I start my training as a receptionist front-person for The Scotiabank Dance Centre.
The clerking is temporary, only a few months long, but it’s more than I have and the employers have said that I can shift hours around my pyrotechnic gigs. The Dance Center is also willing to help shuffle. This being October any minute now, that’s really important to me. Fifteen an hour to show kids how to properly light things on fire makes me a better person. The show on Saturday, October 7th, sounds like it’s going to be a really good one. There’s rumour of an orchestra performing in a swimming pool before the fireworks, but I won’t really know until dress rehearsal. In either case, I want as many of you as possible to be there supporting me in my ridiculous endeavors. They are good and worthy things and deserve audience.
Who has my copy of Dead Leaves? And my missing Invader Zim?
This means that next week, in between training shifts and rehearsals, I have no evening’s free until Sunday. The week after, things will open up again. Dance Center work is expected to only be two shifts a week, once I know what I’m doing. I’ll still be on the computer in the mornings, so it will be possible to get ahold of me, but I won’t be able to make it to anyone’s shows or parties, I’m sorry. I know there’s a couple.
Speaking of which, after a day of filming things at UBC and spending time with Chelsea-cat, tomorrow evening I’m planning on attending April Curry‘s Maha Samahdi Medicine Show at the Cottage Bistro at Main and 29th. The e-mail I received said that the event will be an informal collection of performances by four local songwriters, with a lot of improvised jamming on one another’s material. Between the lot of them, there’s going to be guitar, fiddle, banjo, and saxophone, which sounds like a pretty nice mix to me. The music starts around 8:30 pm and admission’s by donation.
I walk by the house like hanging up on an answering machine. It’s dark and I’m too delicate for this. Easier to walk home, continue, and not dare to put my hand on the gate. Footsteps the tempo to an old slow song. Lyrics winding through from my feet through my spine. “Hello, I’m so lonely, And it feels like disease, Come and stay, stay beside me”. The air like velvet wiping my face with the back of my hand. Child’s play, this is easy as child’s play. Something I never could understand. Tag, you’re it. My books were always thrown into puddles. My desk always full of sticky wet chewing gum. A young man walks past me, tastefully dressed in an unexceptional way, and offers me drugs. I hesitate and wonder what to say. I tell him that he’s not what I need. He looks offended a moment, as if I’d insulted his hair, then shrugs me off and walks on. I can’t wake up from this, because it’s not a dream.
Britain art project photoblog: “Little hand-painted people, left in London to fend for themselves.”
Talking with Alastair earlier on his black leather couch, the one I have the photographs on, he said, “All I offered you was stability. I think you wanted more than that.” I replied, “Stability was nice, I appreciate stability.” “I think you needed more from me. I think you needed romance, attention, affection.” “That last one, yes. That was what I needed the most”. A little peculiar, it was a miniature revelation, realizing how that’s the only base-line of my demands, just like he used to always give me. Two years almost and practically nothing’s changed. He’s better at communicating as I am more sad. He was never scared of me.
I would like to say this is going to be my last six:thirty a.m. awake for awhile now that I finally have a job, but I know that would be a greedy lie. My face down unhappiness has been heaping lots of them upon me lately and I don’t like that my bed no longer smells like me. The air of the apartment has been filling with Kier, our house-guest who hasn’t paid his rent yet. It’s unsettling, it makes me want to double-wash all my sheets and blankets. I have no desire to climb naked into a bed that someone else has been rewriting while I’ve been away.
Sam’s lent me a novel, Futureland by Walter Mosely, that I’m halfway through and still can’t decide what to do with. I get the feeling off this book that it’s not trying to be anything but a sci-fi novel. It was not written to be enduring, inspiring or to be especially moving. This isn’t rocking me, not even like a baby. It was written to be put in a bookstore and bought off the wire-rack shelf, to be consumed and then lost to some second-hand table fair. It’s a little.. baffling. I remember skimming past books like this in gift shops when I was younger, (and still commonly bought books), scanning the covers and dismissing them, the metallic newspaper quotes on the back covers.
I decided then I was only going to read books I would like to write, or literature that pushed my envelope, built of a nature so different that I can barely grasp them, insisting in my head that the better quality I read, the better I will write. Input matching output, I decided I want my shelf to be full of books that are endlessly interesting, not quite classics, but of the sort that can light up repeatedly and at different times of my life. This leaves me a rabbit in the headlights, uncertain what Futureland is for. This book is entirely alien to my nature. I suspect it’s meant to be entertaining, but it doesn’t survive my criteria, I don’t feel challenged. Is this what people commonly read?
Yesterday there was a foxrain, where the rain falls through a sunny cloudless sky, bright and beautiful, the light illuminating every drop, limning the world. Everything was splashed with intense rainbows, the sky crammed with stunning arcs of the purest colours. Uniquely beautiful, it is one of the most precious events I can witness. It felt like the world was attempting to bless us, clean us all of darkness. In Japan they call it the kitsune no yomiire or ‘fox’s wedding’ rain. Mythology has it there that foxes may only marry during sun-showers. More importantly to me, however, it is not only Japan that has that story. Linguists have found references to the same belief all over the world. It is Iranian, Armenian, Finnish, Bulgarian, Indian, Portuguese, Korean, Welsh, Fijian, and Malay. It is found wherever there are foxes.
Here sun-showers only occur only once a year, generally in the late summer or fall. They are rare and naked jewel days, times so full of personal wonder that to witness them alone feels like a crime. Last year when it happened, I was walking up the Drive, having to go home after dropping Andrew off with Karen at the J.J. Bean. The water fell so heavily that I was soaked within minutes, but I didn’t care. I tore off my shoes, took off whatever clothing I could (and still remain decent), and put everything in my bag, all the better to experience this wonder that nature was giving us to be in. I laughed and I danced and I cackled.
This year, my options were less. The joy that lit the sky only served to illuminate the ache in my chest. I wanted so badly to share the glory of the weather with Oliver that I made the mistake of borrowing Robin’s awful phone and calling him. We weren’t together long enough for him to understand how much stories mean to me, how much legend and world mythology I carry inside myself. I was on the bus, hardly able to hear him. Over the phone, too quiet, crackly, threatening to cut off at any minute, I couldn’t explain. When the line went dead, I cried so hard I was blind, and I felt everything within me that had brightened with the sky, simply die. Cut off for lack of oxygen, lack of anything meaningful.
You and yours, and theirs, and theirs, we make a horizon girding the earth. We make a line of communication that spans our entire globe. Through all terrain, we hold down the sky together. Anousheh Ansari just arrived at the International Space Station, and she’s blogging from orbit. That is foxrain to me, that wonder, that inescapable future. We are a line and somewhere, someone is singing.
Originally uploaded by Foxtongue.
I feel as if I were planted in a warm garden only to be drowned in someone else’s story, some thick memory of another woman’s legs wrapped around him and how that tangle painfully untied. This feels like it has so little to do with me that I don’t understand how it came between us. It makes me wish I were a drinker, have the ability to blur my sold-out world, so I could take that fourth drink then try to drive to some mythical home. My heart is heavy and red, holding me down like a lover with their hands at my neck. I wake up raw, my nails having clawed into my sides when I wasn’t paying attention.
I know that come some far tomorrow, I will learn to break yesterday. Dismantle what I cared about and wish instead for something else, but right now I wake up with my eyes watering, exhaustion paramount, only knowing that I hurt and that there’s nothing to hold me up, nothing to feel right.
Tyler brought me to the opening of a comedy club tonight. It helped. The last man on, Marc Maron, strangely reminded me of a welcoming yet possibly unsettling-only-if-I-consider-it mix of an ex of mine and my not-godfather-seriously-people, Michael Green. In a charming aside, he explained from the stage why he and I shouldn’t go back to his hotel room and have sex. How it would only end in tears. His painted image had a lot of the intense flavour of We-Both-Have-The-T-Shirt.
Walking through Crackton to the bus-stop, I wondered what it would be like to live in a building with a lobby and an elevator, a swimming pool in the basement that’s always watched by a security man on the other end of a camera. See, I know there’s an enormous sun-dial on top of Tinseltown that’s always wrong. It uses the apartment building as a gnomon, but it doesn’t account for any time in the world. Useless thing, I love it. It’s not even pretty. It’s just this tacky secret for everyone who lives in a certain half of the building.
Stephen sez: Here’s a low rez picture of the Tinseltown sundial.
(Oh, right, and I figure I should mention this because there are people here who would appreciate it: In spite of the fact that I have been barely sleeping, barely eating, I still scored apparently far too high (only 155) on an IQ test, resulting in the people testing me refusing to hire me on the basis that I would “get too bored”. I also “did them too fast” no matter they gave me half an hour to fill out only 80 questions. Oi. Shoot me. Least it’s Rosh Hashanah tomorrow, which means a delicious dinner at Silva’s.)
Originally uploaded by Airchinapilot.