if I switch your pills for sugar

365 day five: hip-hop resolve
356: day 5

I just went for tea with a long haired, one eyed stranger I met on the bus. Turns out we’ve got people in common, of course, this being Vancouver, and, even worse, this being Commercial Drive. Now he and everyone else are at a house party that I can almost see from my balcony window, at the place around the corner with the Tibetan prayer flags.

Full of hippies, burners, and a scattering of hip-hop designers, bicycle people, and uncomfortably with-it computer nerds smoking prodigious amounts of weed, the party felt very east side, very easy. I went in just long enough to assess the situation, then slipped home to take my daily picture and drop off my things, (there’s no reason to be hauling around personal items within spitting distance from my own front door), but I’ve already been here over an hour, trapped by the inertia of sucking about on the internet. I hope River’s still there. I’m going to post this and go back out.

edit: the next day, the woman who lives there somehow found this post through my livejournal to facebook RSS feed. the internet wins.

I really want custard and I don’t know why.

Last night I climbed onto the outside railing of a balcony and found on stage an attractively costumed man with painted eyes playing a banjo and crooning into a strange contraption that looked like a sci-fi prop black box had been caught molesting a trumpet.

Sometimes life is alright.

After him a girl in a black dress sang about the moon in New Orleans, holding her black curly head and complaining that she could hear people making love, then was a projector based shadow play with happy-face gelati spoons and a masked clown. The audience is entirely artists, strange clothes, odd conversations, a lot of raw talent. Beautiful Joanna stood in front of the velvet next and enchanted us while she played the guitar and sang everyone in love with her, and after her were women who started with thier feet on fire above thier heads, who became throaty chess-pieces in black and white hooped dresses who played matching clarinets.

Just another party at The Big Yellow House. I never feel as inadequate as I do when I visit.

How to remove Logos from your PDA / cell phone with sugar. found by lynchwalker.

Once again, I wanted to remind everyone that the fine establishment that is Sunday Tea tm is being held at my apartment this week.

Sunday Tea is a roving Vancouver tradition, an open-invite social event held weekly at different venues, generally from 11am-ish to 2pm-ish, depending on the hosts. Basically, if you’re reading this, you’re invited and so are all your muffins and your most fun friends. If you want to come but don’t know where I live, drop me a line and I’ll give you directions.

This time, it will also be a culture-jamming preparation day.

Here’s a quote from my roommate Graham: “This Monday will mark the five-year anniversary of September 11th; the day where a tragedy marked the beginning of the erosion of civil liberties throughout the Western world. I am organizing some humorous culture-jamming for the night of the 10th and the morning of the 11th to remind the world that not all demands for security are reasonable.

If you would like to participate, or are just curious, you should come to my house between 11 am and 2pm on the 10th. There, all will be explained.”

“You are welcome to invite other people if you think they’re reliable, interested and discreet (i.e. Zombie Militia, Rhino Party).”

He urges people to bring not only the usual trappings of Sunday Tea, which are tasty snacks and good people, but also tape.

spellcheck doesn’t think “motherfucker” is a word

“London, London” a video by Cibelle featuring Devendra Banhart.

I went to Vancouver Island alone for the first time in my life on Friday. All I knew was that somewhere in front of me was Oliver, whose name creates the feel of kisses on my tongue. He is an older man, as mine are, and sweet as I always wanted them to be. He won’t tell me he loves me yet, but says instead that it’s close, as if the words are a race he hopes to win.

I like the way he looks at me, mildly stunned, as if I am some ultimate unexpected good fortune. Silva likes it too. He is a nervous man, but his worries are only an outward mark of his extreme consideration, like a gold birthmark that stutters in the sun. He wraps his body around mine when we sleep, so always I wake with his arms curled around me, warm ribbons tying me comfortably to him.

I wonder if I will like his parents.

My inclination is for description, for setting down my appreciation for his hair and the length of his body, but no matter how charmed I am with his colours, his skin darker than mine, the streaks of tarnished blond silver that paint the frame of his friendly Brian Froud smile, it is other things that want to drop here. Moments of personality, of detached devotion. Thanks you’s for finally bringing me to somewhere safe. Today he gave me a key to his house. On my way home, I had the men at the hardware store cut him copies of mine.

Mexican court rejects full ballot recount, leftist candidate blasts partial tally.

Coming back was not as difficult as going. In spite of a messenger glitch, meaning I didn’t get one damned message all weekend, there was plenty of news waiting. I didn’t get the job I’d hoped for and there’s nothing I can think to do about it. I have a little design portfolio made-up now that was in case of a second interview, perhaps it will come in handy later. At any rate, there was good news too. This week looks to be intensely and awesomely busy.
Tonight (or tomorrow night, her and the websites have different opinions on when), April and I are going to the Thee Silver Mt. Zion Orchestra & Tra-la-la Band concert at Richards on Richards. (A group led by founding Godspeed You! Black Emperor guitarist Efrim).

Thursday and Friday I have extra work on a film named Hot Rod, out at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds. (I have to figure out how to bus there first thing in the morning, augh).

Friday is the Robot Skytrain Party plus Sam‘s big party at the Treehouse. (“Come to the party that will send a shiver down your back years from now as you suddenly think “Oh, God… I remember that party.””).

Saturday is Vancouver’s first Flugtag, our Second Annual Zombiewalk, and Bob‘s party.

Wolf Parade plays the Commodore on Sunday, (not that I have a ticket, I’m just lusting after one), and Andrew says there’s something else but he forgets, so if you remember, I’d love a heads up.

Oh! And Snakes On a Motherfucking Plane is this Thursday at the Rio, (Broadway & Commercial), at 10pm.

If you comment here saying you can’t come, Andrew will have Samuel L. Jackson call and persuade you.

Also, he checked with the box office, you can buy your tickets at the Rio anytime it’s open now.

Oh, and CROSSPOST this mofo! We want to own the theatre.

I saved a life and slapped my cheating ex, what did you do?

New Year 2006
Originally uploaded by Foxtongue.

&nbsp I fell asleep once in front of tending a fire, an over sized teddy-bear as my pillow. When I awoke, it was startling. My hair thrown back, my feet half under me, the long slender piece of wood I’d used to prod the burning logs poised like a weapon over my baby/bear, I became a flame bronzed sculpture of the classic pose a woman makes protecting her child. Perfectly confident in myself and my action, I awoke the devil’s daughter because the sleeping bear Must Be Kept Safe. I was ready to spring, defend.

&nbsp I’m a little worn out from feeling like that all the time. I would appreciate respite, a chance even to merely rest aside someone else who is responsible for guarding others, like the two of us together would not have to be quite as alert to ward off danger and so have a chance to relax.

This is for you, Warren.

I have been silent here not from lack of content, (quite the opposite), but because my ex-roommate, James, in a fit of infinite wisdom, decided to take my modem with him when he moved out and hasn’t answered his door yet when I go across the hall to ask for it back. Tomorrow I plan on leaving a note. Thank you for the concerned letters. I am not as absent as the internet currently claims I am.

&nbsp &nbsp My New Year celebrations began as whispers in water. Distant from the occasion, I was swimming through SinCity, (click for pictures), nothing astray from the usual. Dancing, moving, the occasional warm hello. Matthew passed me while I was talking with Sarah and I ran my fingers through his hair when his back was turned, as I used to do. He held me close for a moment, said he was sorry, then walked away.

&nbsp &nbsp Counting down from five seconds to midnight happened on the dance-floor. The music calmed, we stopped thrashing about and reached out for each other, holding hands with whomever was next to us. There was an announcement of free champagne at the pool table. “Five,” we shouted, “Four.”. We started jumping with every number. “Three. Two.” and at “One”, I put my hands up and threw a prayer. May it all be right again some day. I miss you.
&nbsp &nbsp Precious Lasilana and I were meant to skedaddle off to the Annex House-party on the heels of midnight, but it didn’t quite work out that way. First there was a brief medical emergency, a friend of ours, incautious with a high-tension social situation, had an anxiety attack and had to be sent to the hospital. Then we lost each other in the morass of black fishnets and too tight corsets. Finally Nick found me, told me that she was outside waiting. First, I thought, say my goodbyes. A hug for Christopher, a faux swoon for Meghan, and a moment being lifted off my feet by Ross, and I thought I was gone, but no. I turn and there he is, that annoying bane.

I’m going now.
Ah, I hope you had fun. Good night.
There is a motion for a hug.
First you’re going to kiss me for New Years.
I don’t think I could handle that.
It didn’t ask you if you could.
I don’t have a choice in the matter, eh?
He smiles.
No, I don’t believe you do. Find us a dark corner.

&nbsp &nbsp On the back porch, in a tiny pool of space that the smokers have left by the rail, we stand together, quietly examining another with words. “How have you been?” “Stressed, you?” “Maybe worse, hard to tell.” “Yeah.” We hug and something snaps and melts, it’s small, but I can feel it in his spine. Our faces are both buried in hair, in shoulders, our arms are warm. We pull back to see again and abruptly, Richard yanks open the door from inside, “Matthew, Jhayne, sorry, it’s an emergency, you have to come now!”

&nbsp &nbsp I begin to laugh, because how consummately flawless is his timing. If we were a film, this would be the moment where the music changes. Our heroes interrupted. I kissed him anyway, and then we ran impossibly quickly, hand in hand through the thick spiky crowd of heavily made-up women in towering heels and men in leather kilts and g-strings, all the way from the very back to out front the building.

&nbsp &nbsp On the ground, propped up by the wall, is an unconscious girl in a green fairy costume surrounded by too many people who don’t know what to do. Immediately, Matthew and I pull off her panicking friends. Lasilana is already there, she had caught them trying to pour water down the girls throat in a poorly thought out attempt at reviving her and now as we arrived, she began holding people back, trying to calm them down, giving us room to work. I took her clammy body from the cold wall, lean her sitting sprawled against my own and tilted her head back against my arm, trying to open a clear passage for air. We get her name, Jennifer, from one of the smeary tear-faced friends and I begin saying her name, pinching her lightly, checking the tracking of her eyes. Her breathing was laboured as I checked her weakening pulse. Matthew gets on the phone with the paramedics.

&nbsp &nbsp One one-thousand. Two one-thousand. Three one-thousand, feels a little like the counting inside from earlier, but she doesn’t get to four. I switch quickly from her wrist to her neck. Still no pulse. Four is simply not on the agenda unless I do something. Matthew is busy on the phone, almost standing on the street, and I can’t see Lasilana. I assume she’s behind one of the cement pillars calming crowd people, so I go it alone.

&nbsp &nbsp The heel of one hand in the middle of the chest, between her breasts, the other on top of it. I press down hard, pulling toward me sharply, press down again, again, remembering what to do without any consciousness. She coughs, fiercely gasps, and her eye-lids flutter. Something comes up that was blocking the air in her chest and her heart thuds almost audibly. I count eighteen a minute. The world spins again.

She is alive.

&nbsp &nbsp I sit with her body against me, one hand holding her jaw forward, trying to prompt a response from her until the medics arrive. I don’t even know if anyone saw what I did. We interrogate the fiance, find out that she’d only had one drink, but also a pill and a sip of something that might have been GHB, but nobody knows for certain. We can’t find the guy who gave her the drugs to confirm anything, but at that point, it didn’t really matter. His description is fairly generic for a fetish club, he probably left after midnight. If we’re lucky, he was from out of town. In the end, we sent the fiance into the ambulance with her and explained the effects of shock to her friends. Lasilana lit up a cigarette and Matthew and I fell into each other.

&nbsp &nbsp Again, I begin laughing. “Are you laughing at me?” “No, love.” I take his hand and we begin dancing to the faint music coming through the wall of the club. We’re calm and in control. I am, in fact, for a while. My forehead rests against his chin, then I start crying, just a little, through the smile. It’s a painful fairy-tale moment. Together we saved a life, together we’re singing softly to the music, I never meant to hurt you, together we’re dancing almost as flawlessly as we worked as a team.

&nbsp &nbsp “Too precious to discard, too painful to keep.” It’s nice, no matter I don’t know how much it’s meant, no matter that I said it first, months ago, the sentiment is appreciated. It sums up so much of my painful year. It casts the right kind of glow to what happens next. He steps back, holds me a step away from him. “I think it’s time.” We’re gleaming, mischievous now. “Are you sure?” “Can’t think of a better time than now,” he says, and I can’t help but agree. There’s tears in my eyes still a little, but my heart must have shone like the moon on fire that moment. I begin to take off my rings and Lasilana approaches, “Would you like me to take those?” She proffers her hand, “Yes, please. Thank you.” I’m so glad.

“Are you sure? I’m not sure I can do this.”
“Never more sure of anything. I owe you more than this.
&nbsp Really you should be giving me a swift kick between the legs.”
“But then there would never be any children and that would be a shame.
&nbsp You might want to close your eyes.”
“No thanks darling, I want to see this one coming.”

&nbsp &nbsp My hand felt like frostbite. As the snap of impact echoed off the building he put a dazed hand to his face and blinked his eyes. My fingers were imprinted white across his left cheek as if they’d been painted on with chalk. “Now I know why men roll with punches.” Lasilana approached and gave me back my rings, asked if he’d disappointed me in bed. We laughed and said Yes, but that was old news. “Not even with both hands and a flashlight” he said. I felt like we’d just starred in a series of events that had the strange accuracy of a post-typewriter conspiracy.

“I’ll call you.”
“That would be good.”

Then Lasilana and I, we walked out into the night like two vessels setting forth to sea.
For the first time in a long time, I felt beautiful.

lost my face

Wednesday night I fell asleep with the skin of a bear’s head draped over my hair and face like a mask and bodies sprawled at my feet. I was an urban medieval Frezetti painting. All I needed was a grand gold spear in the hand that wasn’t sleepily curled around one of the black fur ears.

Last night I didn’t sleep at all. Instead I held someone and let them come back to life. We’re damaged people, love. Yes, I know we are. That’s partially what holds this part of clan together inside our tribe. Family words, meaning country and lover and home. Parents, holding hands. The two of us writing words in the sand, the light off and my glasses by the side of the bed.

When I’m here, so are you. Everyone reading and here I’m sitting, thinking “what is that sound?” It’s people, trying to find themselves in what I write here, as if it were important. Until recently, I wasn’t aware. I’ve become used to being put aside. The world goes around without me, I think, it continues and carries on. I am the merest drop of rain and the rain will fall forever. New creatures will be born, they will have stories, they will stop and stare at the enormous sky that birthed them and think in tones of wonder long after I have passed my way.

I should be at a party right now. David Bloom sent out a mass invite to celebrate the fact that it’s not New Year’s Eve. No resolutions will be necessary, bad behaviour will be accepted, but I’m feeling a little lost for some reason. Alone and not a little intimidated, I want to leave the house and instead I’m thinking softly in excuses, It’s late. I hardly know any of his friends. If Bill is there, I’ll make him uncomfortable. Most of all, it’s late, as if they were real. Yet in denial, I still want to have my shoes on. I will leave the house, wrapped in this feeling of abandonment of not. This is what I want to believe. Make myself over into someone who can be brave with this strange cowardice bubble of uncertainty encasing my heart. (This is what I horribly suspect that other people might feel like all the time.)

Instead, my arms are stretched out, trying to hold onto something beautiful and failing. I’m scanning every face now, trying to see into the future, trying to see who I might encounter as a friend. This city is full of strangers, they look at me sometimes when I walk by them as if I were unexpected, but rationally I know that some of them I will talk to. We will meet some day and speak together, they will tell me they saw me with that hat or the ferret or in bare feet. I’m the red head hippie that girl hated or that boy couldn’t get over. A tragic figure they saw crying. I stand on the street corner like a door I’m looking out of, the traffic a heavy silence, wanting to see that perfect memory unfold before me. The one that I haven’t had yet, because it’s still in front of me, as far away as falling stars.

Before dreaming starts at night, there’s a time when you close your eyes and pictures begin unbidden through all the caring cells in your body. Mine have been providing me with the sensation of my hands on a piano, my body held warmly against the length of a stranger in time to old familiar music. Behind my lids, it’s not my hands I’m watching, it’s not my feet, the pattern on the carpet or the length of the room between me and that place to stay. I’m not re-evaluating my choices, my flight, my desire to meet those eyes across a room again with an impossible question. Instead, I’m trying to explain with equal grace to those images how much my strange days mean to me. It feels impossible, like climbing a rainbow.

Where the hell are my angels?

I can’t see the logistics, but I don’t care what’s in my bank account.

andrew dimmit – urban clowns
Originally uploaded by Foxtongue.

I leave Vancouver for Montreal on Saturday December 10th, 9 in the morning. I’m returning December 24th in the evening, arrival expected around 8pm.

These strange anchors in my life, I’m visiting with them tonight. Chains several years long, I’m always the only one. Over in decency, I’m singular, the bed. This one, he cried once. It meant a lot to him that I held his hand. We see each other more now, but less. His computer’s broken, our connection severed. This one, they confessed beautiful things looking at me with eyes like sand, my fingers trapped in his hair. It’s all been waiting for the blossoms to burst into fire. Time creeping along on little cat feet, giving me more reasons to be wanted. This is picking up the pieces I dropped a year ago, two years, three. If this is growing older, I like it. I’m better suited, pin stripe and today a historian stopped me in the street. This will sound ridiculous, but you’re like a chic version of a rich person from the middle ages.

Sunday night, a group is getting together to go to Lady of the Camillas. 8pm at the Havana, tickets are either $15 or half price if you can pretend to remember the password, some long complicated word beginning with L.

The picture framed in my closet used to be in a movie theater. I wonder if somehow metaphorically, it burned down this week. Unborn, our friend yelled at us. All of this wasn’t allowed, so instead we held our breath and closed our eyes. Nothing changed but perfect timing. It’s a little rescue.

Tonight Jason, Jeff, and W. Stretch are hosting a gathering in New West, Benn Neufeld is finally having his house-warming over by Commercial and First, and the Work Less Party are having their Circus party down at the Maritime Centre. I’m going to attempt to hit as many of these as possible, armed with the knowledge that at each place are people visiting who I otherwise would never get to see before I leave. Burrow is up from the States for the Masque, for example, and this is the first time Benn has lived in civilized confines for something like a year. It’s now nine:fifteen. My clock says go.

dreaming is ruining my appetite for sleep

he didn't know I was there until the very last second

I watched the clock today with the intensity of a dysfunctional bird trapped in a beige-tone plastic coated cage. The sale descriptions on the boxes for latex underwear have the closing line, feel the forbidden sensuality of its stretchy caress. I wondered briefly, when I noticed, if that’s a technical term, because why else would anyone be attracted to the term stretchy caress? This is the same store that sells an item named someone’s Salsa Pussy. Every one of these tawdry products was made by people. Multiple people. There were entire meetings and production facilities and conversations at three in the morning involving asset pitches to different time zones. Whenever I think of people bringing home a product as banal as Inflatable Fat Fanny, something shrivels inside my glands. My conclusion is that working in this love shop is strange and deadens my soul to random desire like hammered lead. People ask if anyone ever buys some of of our more extremely large dildos and I tell them to look it up on-line. Every toy in the store is likely in a video somewhere, and no, women can’t use that, our bone structure won’t allow for it, suckers. Take that. All twenty by nine inches of it.

then I told him to point the gun at me

A highlight of the day was sitting alone and writing in my black book, my feet on the counter between the tiny packets of silicone lube and the love dice, (place and position), while the other employees went to point at Al Pacino across the street. They were thrilled, but my personal moment of well being came from hearing R.C. on the radio orating poetry like the rumbling of a chop-top hotrod with candy pinstripe detailing just over some mythical hill of mocking english majors. It was like a light of sanity in the new glo-in-the-darkness. Right, I thought. I know this man. This wonderful intelligent man. I know him enough to want to hug him when I say hello. Suddenly my life wasn’t as bad as reading a magazine in a waiting room. It had been upgraded to sitting like a mannequin on stage, listening for my next line, remembering that I’m scheduled to be human soon.

Flirting with me was a slight fantasy about going trick or treating. Putting a sheet over my head with holes cut out and hitting up all my friend’s houses. If I had a vehicle, I might have done it. Gathered my courage and knocked on doors to say “Trick or treat, I haven’t seen you in awhile. Happy birthday in case I missed it. Do you have chocolate? I’m hoping for chocolate.” then laughed and hugged them, pulled them close to kiss them on the cheek. I could have dragged as many people as possible over to Main and fourteenth for the maze and fright houses set up by the local gods of spooky and collected treasure heaps of candy to live off of for the next few months. (For a sugar hound, I have an admirable habit left over from a dirt poor childhood of hoarding my rare and precious sweets.) From all reports, it’s not like the local kids went out to brave the neighborhoods for candy. I suppose I should have stood up to my psyche and run with it. Ah well, regrets and hindsight. The movie was pleasant enough and the company comforting. Graham came as some sort of proto-goth, Beth was a string fairy, Herminia was a preppy, and Eugene might have come as a straight boy. I couldn’t tell.