doing things to her that belong to you

Elephant Three
Originally uploaded by anavrin.

Ever speculated on how much of a bad idea something would be, then jumped off the bridge anyway, inevitably changing everything and quietly saying “oops” under your breath, almost as if you meant it?

I’m beginning to think it’s simply how I run things. I can’t escape my name, my natural anthem of love’s disaster. Missing chances to death, walking strong and emotionally detached, I want it to end so much that it hurts bone deep. I feel like a stranger to my own body, to my own needs and choices and liabilities. Upon my breath, Sunday morning I was flying enough to let my impulses die a steady slumbering death, but today, in the smeary hour of midnight, I didn’t bother to keep myself in check.

Wearing myself out with all this sticky importance, I was in my element Saturday, not a visitor. Usually I feel somewhat out of context, a tourist in my own country, but stomping around in work boots and a corset was utterly perfect. This was the first year in five that I was also a visible performer. Pyrotech, dancer, different clothes, different steps. Tiny changes and all smiles. I almost kissed someone when they walked into a room. The partner impulse there and whole, downloaded entire into my frame without thought. Familiar and strange. I almost ruined the edges of my heart.

(Today my feet are criss-crossed with black electrical tape, my answer to the common plaster. In one place, it’s possible to see bone where I wore through my foot. Poor little toes, they will recover, but the body politic, it is not happy.)

I said I was planning on getting a good night’s sleep last night, but subtext occurred instead. I went to bed near five a.m. full of double-meant conversations, explanations slipped between words. It’s been going on all week, all before too. Supportive people, my hand being held, a place to fall to if I need it. It’s terrifying, this encouragement. I’d forgotten what it’s like.

(The mad poet, the awesome-sauce Mike McGee, wants the world to see this.)

pretty typical

pretty typical

the topless wish fairies

The Illuminares Lantern Festival is TODAY.

Saturday, July the 29th.

For those without previous plans, Andrew is collecting people at his apartment for a meet-up.

If you can read this, you’re invited.

Assemble at Andrew‘s place near Broadway and Commercial, between 10am and 1pm.

Call his cell for directions, if you don’t know where to go.

At 1pm they’ll migrate to Trout Lake.

I can’t attend this gathering myself,
as I’m going to be too busy wiring the fire-works,
then dancing for Toot-a-Lute,
helping with the processional,
and maybe being auctioned off,
but I recommend it.

Good people, good fun.

Silliness abounding.

I did it my wa-a-a-a-y

When I was a kid, I wanted a tree-house. I liked the idea of having a little place that was my own, high up, and floored in the cloth bound books I liked to read. I would hang tassels, I would paper with comics and pieces of sari. I wanted to tumble down the ladder in a rush of limbs to a mother waiting with ice-cream. I wanted what the real kids had, only to try. I could see them sometimes, transitory, from the window of the truck I was growing up in as we drove past little houses. Surrounded by trees, always on the highway, these houses, with a gas station at the end of the row that would sell cold things and packets of shrink wrapped pepperoni sticks that my father would open with his teeth. My favourite treat was the Cadbury cream eggs with shiny tinfoil that I would flatten with the back of my fingernail until I could pretend it was tain I’d peeled whole from some antique washroom mirror.

Andrew had a comment published on BoingBoing this week.

Have you ever been in love with someone to the point where you’re afraid? They meet your eyes and the amount of feeling that shoots in to your blood must betray you, it feels certain, but then they blink and look away. Disaster averted. It’s terrifying, like suddenly discovering you’ve got a red jewel of cancer in the palm of your heart.

I’m selling my old monitor on Craiglist for $50.

The fireworks last night were nice. I led everyone directly to the waterfront, with nothing between us and the show but for water. Blooming explosions of mostly gold, laced with red and Italy’s particular green. Their music choice was a little damning, no match of Denmark’s Abba medley of last year, the cheesiest possible clips of Celine Dion, Queen, & Ennio Morricone, but they made up for it with the intense amount of bang.

After, though, was better than nice, it was magical. Police arrived on horses, with back-up from police boats and helicopters, to clear people from the beach. Horses in riot gear, to be more precise, with little see-thru plastic helmets and shiny reflective socks. Lit only by beacons and searchlights, they came out of the heavy sulpherous smoke like a slowly solidifying dream. It was impossible to focus on them, they were so ephemeral, such perfect phantasmagorical memories come real. They seemed both bigger and smaller than horses are, because they faded in and out of the flashing lights so strangely, so beautifully. The police on top seemed grown from the same dark flesh, details were so randomly precise. A leg would show in stark detail then vanish again into the sand and night. I’ve never seen anything like it. Pristine wonder, approaching.

like heroin amber dust

There are flower petals flying past much how I’ve always imagined lightning-bugs must be. Bright fluttering pieces of colour added into the air over the street like a surreal yet expected light pink snow.

I’ve never seen a lightning-bug, except on television. I’ve always wanted to see them. They sound magical. When I was a child, I carried a particular episode of the Twilight Zone with me, just because it had them in it. They were something a vampire showed a boy before he died. Black and white, a little bit grainy. Those were my lightning bugs, my tiny bits of flying fire, almost pure static showing through some sound-stage reality.

Originally uploaded by * jo_anna *.

The sparks from the first highway torch I ever lit reminded me of that show. They way the red flared and sputtered, all the sparks flying up harmlessly to bat my fingers. Moths, I thought, No. Lightning bugs. Bright chemicals with soft wings. Later, when I began being lucky enough to work in fireworks, it was like my peaon to all those lost moments of my childhood. How I never saw a lightning bug, how I never broke a window, how I still don’t know how to play marbles. Lighting the torch was my victory over all those things. My mirror movement to a hundred people before me, touching contact to contact, connecting the charge. All of my work going up in a blaze of glory. It’s a silly phrase, blaze of glory, but that was it exactly. The light shooting into the sky, the exultation I found in myself watching it, knowing that I had created this, that my hands were responsible.

The last show I worked was Illuminaires, Vancouver’s lantern Festival of Lights. Thousands of people slowly turning around a lake, carrying waxed dragons and paper nuns and all the towers of Moscow above their heads, the water reflecting all the fire and muted colours into a faint vision of another world. It was supposed to be my first success in the struggle against my difficulties. Life had been hard, a stress test that I was rapidly failing. Friends had been dying like teenage drunken drivers, family had been absent, lovers untouchable.

Instead I lit the match, took my place by the sand and explosions, and cried at the foot of my spectacular display. Exciting as it was, when I turned away to examine the thick sea of faces crushed together at the edge of our orange barriers, there was not one face that I knew, not one person to share my moment with. I had painted the sky with pyrotechnics, brought heaven like the seventeenth century. This was my passion play, this intense exhibition, and there was no one to give it to. I could only see the empty excitement of strangers glaring into the light. Eyes that never once dropped to meet mine, eyes that didn’t conceive how I had worked that day, blistered my fingers twisting wire, slivered my palms on the trestles, eyes that didn’t know my name.

That night was when I finally shivered apart. That was the last and final thing, being unable to reach out and touch another face, even in such an incredible place. I lost myself after that. I wasn’t anymore than the sum of my fragile parts, more a mirrored reflection of myself split into delicate pieces. I stopped sleeping, I forgot how to eat. Between my experiences and the inside of my head was such an incredible distance that it seemed ineradicable. My hands would never stop shaking and I would fall down in the street in fugues of missing time.

Now is recovery. Flower petals above the street.

To everyone present last night, thank you.

rehashing dates

Alright, let’s try to figure this out.

Friday, July 15th, is Amanda‘s birthday party, a huge thing planned at Patti, Simon, Tyler, and Karen’s house.

Saturday, July 16th, is Quicky Culture Night downtown at Jervis & Davie.

Monday, July 18th., Korean Movie Monday, where we’ll be watching Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring.

Saturday, July 23rd, is Illuminares, the lantern festival at Trout Lake.

Is there anything else of note?