“you look fabulous”

Litost (Czech): a state of torment created by the sudden sight of one’s own misery

A polyglot of limbs, tongue twisted in front of a film, I remember this room better than I thought I would, the incongruous poster on the wall of dancing dolphins, the shelf with less books than I would have assumed. Somehow, I am sorry that I do. Situations have shifted, dried like parchment, a fact more important than anything I felt when I woke here a different butterfly Sunday, months ago, tangled, content, and terrified, my fists full of hair and red between my legs, teetering on the cliff edge of falling in love. Certain doors have slammed. The blood I left has either been washed away or covered by a sheet, erased into history, like the skin of our relationship, something no longer demonstrably in existence.

Outside, it’s raining, so we’re cozy inside on a bed made of pillows that takes up half the room, watching Oldboy, a Korean masterpiece of paper doll romance, revenge, kung fu, and dark, bitter humour. It’s one of my favourites. It slams out of the screen, shaking us into screams and laughter, revulsion and sympathy. I can almost ignore his hands. My Seattle friends had never seen it, so at certain moments MaryJane squirms, impressed into squeals, and Adam crawls farther up the bed, away from the screen, but we’re loving it. The film is a beautiful bird of prey, gracefully eviscerating a small furry creature that completely deserved it. Possibly it did something bad to the bird’s mother. It’s fun, full of blood, and a horrible mystery, all at once. Wicked, it goes over well, and then it’s time to leave. Evening, my bus, don’t want to get stranded for the night.

Work would forgive me, but I might not.

“I’ve been trying to expand my horizons, I’ve started to listen to techno”

Everything is going to be alright.

To West Seattle, the striking warm scent of wet, wild loam, near the sea, mixed with his sweet papaya shampoo and the cigarettes from the club, ears full of unconscious music, of the hum of the machine. I look away from us, to downtown receding on our right, the vast industrial plane of cometary orange lights sparkling, the port a polished commerce tumble of stacked container boxes and carnelian chrysoberyl. It’s so beautiful I decide I never want to forget what it feels like to be there, in that moment, as I twist back to see, arms close, the bike heavy on the road, as if we and the city were forged of sunset spun of our caramel hair.

American Law has a Three-Pony-Rule

I’ll embed myself later, for now this is the surface I work from

A list of common misconceptions.

Something is falling. On my desk, to the left of my keyboard, is a small plate with meat, a pen, a cup of red tea so dark it’s ox-blood, and David’s hat like a black ikon, the object everything else is arranged around. Today I wore it like a talisman, not against the weather, but against myself, as a ward against memory, against remaining asleep. I missed him when I was gone, but couldn’t imagine how he’d fit where I was, where his place might be.

I arrived late by five hours, and felt lost, though my mental map of the city is beginning to be more accurate than that of some people who live there. The accident threw my nerves, the never-ending wait at the border had softened them, and my head hurt from hitting the window. Thankfully, I like the city I was left in, like it better than the one I currently call home, so I stayed happy, refreshed by the place rather than the trip to. Joseph didn’t pick up when I called, but Adam did, and plans were made to meet, to find haven up on Capital Hill. By the time I got there, however, what with Seattle transit only running on a half hour schedule, (which is mad), Joseph was on his way. Clever boy, calling my obvious second shot in the dark.

By the time I got to Broadway, we were four over dessert, sitting as two couples, but three relationships. Cousin/not-cousins, ex’s who never were are’s, connections described in tiny arcs, sparking, amused, created from joyful assumption, certain history, and fact. Over cake we decided to head out to a birthday party, a burner thing up on yet another hill, new people, a new house, somewhere I had never been. I rode with Adam and Anna, as Joseph was nervous of me on his new bike. He’s only a neophyte driver, two months in, on a bike I wouldn’t call a starter. Later I would ride with him, later with less people on the roads, less complexity to our uncertain route.

The party was nice, pleasant people in a pleasant house owned by a famous circus performer who was unfortunately out of town. We sang Happy Birthday, ate cake, and sat in the attic, then in the hot-tub, and got used to being in the same place again, our names transformed into something more colourful, a little more happy, flowing like water from each other to ourselves, warming the hollow under my ribs. Life as a you-had-to-be-there joke, like the importance of soapy water and “thank you, I work out.”

By the time Joseph and I peeled away, it was late enough to go dancing, a staple of our visits, something I haven’t done since I was last in Seattle. We went first to Noc Noc, where we spent an entire night once, but the music was terrible, so we headed off soon to the Mercury, the private goth club, where we had spent out New Year’s, back before we knew each other. Unfortunately, it became private to skirt smoking laws, so it might have better music and friendlier clientele, but that only goes so far when it comes to dancing in carcinogenic fog. It was wonderful to finally move, but eventually I had to give up, so it was there in the black nail-polished dark that I finally pulled out Joseph’s lap-top and got in touch with David, somewhere around three in the morning.

I kind of like this guy. He just seems happy.

I wonder if my seeds will find purchase in your soil

About a mile past the bridge, my throat creaked, and something broke, and tears fled down my face.

Every highway exit closer to the border was like a stich sewn into my chest, black thread spun by the rolling tyres of the bus, that closed my heart back up, and kept anything else from spilling out.

I can’t remember the last time I cried. Maybe when someone died. I don’t actually know.

post midnight update from a nightclub

Quick version: Vancouver->Seattle bus hit by semi. Result: a five hour border wait and a nasty knock to the head. Missed NZ David, was rescued By Adam. Okay now. At the Merc with Joseph, who is a darling.

Now to get back to dancing until I drop from smoke inhalation. My lips have already begun to tingle.

In Seattle this weekend, see you all Monday

Giant squid dissection video.

Since I moved in, there has been an untrusty bike rack outside my building under some scruffy bushes. Untrusty, because it has never been bolted down, and where it sits is completely hidden from the street. As of last night, I have moved it inside to a unused space next to the stairs see what would happen. This morning, someone had already locked their bicycle to it. If, in a few days, management has not shifted it back outside, my bike will join it, a mild victory.

Human plastination photos.

hoping Kyle’s camera arrives in time to make some money

Violent storm uncovers Nazi bunkers buried by sand for 63 years.

I’m planning for my trip back east in September today, figuring Greyhound tickets and time out of the office. (The first official e-mail to my boss just happened). I’m trying to arrange to work remotely while I’m gone, as I’m doing nothing that should glue me to this particular desk. It should be okay. Fingers crossed.

From a quick poke at the Greyhound website, the best trip I can find has us leaving Sept 18th at 6:30 in the morning, ($287.50), arriving in Montreal at 10:20am on the 20th or 21st, leaving Montreal on Thursday, September 25, for Toronto, ($77.40), going to the wedding on the 27th, and leaving Toronto for Vancouver on the 29th, ($287.50), which should bring us back in time for October 1st. This gets David and I out there and back for a total of 652.40 plus some tax, which is about how much it would cost for one on-sale plane ticket. I’m going to physically go to the bus-station, though, and have them figure it out, as maybe we’ll get lucky and find out that booking everything at once makes for a round-trip ticket discount. Anyone have any odd jobs they wouldn’t mind throwing my way? I’m surprisingly handy. Even better, I’ll do a blog post for you by donation. How’s that?

McSweeny’s – Selections from HP Lovecraft’s brief tenure as a Whitman’s Sampler copywriter