Tuesday, September 30, 2008

a portrait of the artist

It came at a weird time; in fact, as I was sitting in Lauren's bathroom (yes, indeed) during a quick break from our Sing Star training. Flush with success from "Move Along" and "Baby, One More Time," I mentally prepared to get back in the game.

And then I semi-saw it in quiet coolness. Maybe why the part of me that was so adamant about the MFA instead of an MA eventually won out. Why I feel increasingly discouraged that I will never have a story worth writing or any publication beyond The Blog. Why I know that regardless, to add would be fine (espanol, por ejemplo, otra materia) but to give up would be wrong.

Because if I hadn't happily chosen gymnastics at age 11, I would have been a dancer. We all know I'm a bit of an actress and if I wasn't so timid to sing and improve that pitch, maybe I'd give it a try.

Published or not, I am a writer. And if it wasn't writing, it'd still be something impractical. Something emotional, something that breathes. Something that dreams.

Sunday, September 28, 2008



1. very diesel or strong; ready to fight at any time.

ex.: "You mad brawlic."

Saturday, September 27, 2008

more than halfway through weekend duty

And isn't this who I have wanted to be?

Things That Are Black, "Who wants ice cream?", Things With Spots, God-awful ring tone, directions to the nearest barbershop, fog and fingers touching windmill, Wainscott, running running (but not away this time), okay let's go -

four in the backseat, both windows down, one CD blaring, many voices laughing.

Friday, September 26, 2008

why so serious?

One person's trauma is another person's...laughter?

I was convinced that what I'd written was, at most, melodramatic and, at the minimum, emotionally charged. Hell, just writing it had put me in a bad mood. And by the time it came my turn to read out loud, I slumped a bit and hoped that maybe she'd pass over my story this week.

I read the first page. I look up.

And everyone is...grinning.

"This was really amusing and fun to read," one classmate says.


"It sounds like you're mad at him for doing exactly what you did!"

"He sounds like a nice fellow and he really seems to care about you."

"This could be a sitcom!"

They pale in comparison to how I've felt about her for my entire life.

Italicized lines are from someone else about someone else, but I see just how right they are. They all are.

Because, well, it hurt like hell but if I know now that I can forgive, that we are very much human and no matter if I cry or swear certain things to myself -

isn't this a test, after all? -

"Despite all that, I'm here," I told you my first night there -

that I will still feel the very same if not stronger -

I feel strongly that I can overlook that, because of how much she matters to me.

then, well,

why not smile with them?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

the story's in the first paragraph, they say

"It is narcissistic, vain, egotistical, unrealistic, selfish, and hateful to assume ownership of a town or a word.

"It is also essential."

Inconsistent courage pisses me off, but tonight I choose to be stupidly brave. To walk on dark path under trees instead of in safely-lit areas the way they tell us to.

"Your words used your way will generate your meanings. Your obsessions lead you to inner life."

Grass crinkles softly in yellow lights. I see no one. I see thoughts.

This place is haunted, you know.

Compromise: dark path with solid lights from buildings ahead.

So many dark windows. Who is like me?

I can't cry. Would you believe that? Well, last night I looked up at the stars while I was driving home and they made me so sad. I don't know why. I mean, hell, they're always there. What else is?

But besides that.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

a break like this

http://www.dakotafilms.com/clips/promos/the-bourne-ultimatum <-- my cousin is the pizza delivery guy!

To Eric and Matt

Feet pause. "Is that a finger?"

"I'm talking to the nice man," she says.

"We're bored here. Can you drive onto the grass or something?" he wants to know.

"Later," we promise.

Sashaying with umbrellas past bright facades and brick pathways. "Don't have a cow!" and we groan and laugh.

Sprinting over sand - cool but not yet wet - meet grey crashing white grey again and again -

I stand at the shore, watch crashing grey and know that the desperately rushing tide runs to meet me - I smile - this overwhelming chaos, this beauty - I have finally found a place that is me.

"Let's break out the wine," Kim suggests as the trouble alarm beeps loudly and emergency lights shine on the residents in the hallway who look at me.

We play power outtage instead of power hour. Never have I ever kissed a cheerleader. Giggling fits take us outside. Intriguing basement conversations next to the room with one chair. Kid in the blue poncho, what's his story? Keep it on the DL.

"You two were in bathing suits and I was wearing a tank top," she'll claim later. Rain and wind slap our skin like the volleyball that keeps soaring under the net. Orange lights illuminate laughing bodies in the night.

White skirt,
soaking rain,
brilliantly clear morning.

This is the best time I've had in three years.
What have you been doing?
You don't want to know.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

silent dim way of spirits

It's ten o'clock and we're already yawning. She pulls her fingers through reddish blond hair and talks about traffic court and moving south.

So who's the adult who lives in here?

Radio stations come in as crisply as headlights on dotted lines. Laughs come as sharply as plastic ball to plastic bat.

Are they, like, the school gangsters?

Ghosts on the highway each night. If I were the ghost in the windmill, I'd come down to this field to run from sweatshirt to sweatshirt, laughing in the silent dim way of spirits.

The thing is that you can't be afraid. You have to push through.

Reading about writing and as I listen, something glows again.

I should be here.

We should go sometime. I don't need to drink. I just like to dance.

I like learning to love small towns. But as she drives through the two stoplights that separate us from my car, I have the urge to tell her to keep going. Keep moving. Past these places.

I've lost the old nostalgia that upstate skies had for me, even from the start. I'm south and the stars are sharp and she laughs, good friend, keeping me clear, present.

Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.

I want to be the ghost tonight and not the driver. I want to get lost tonight, flowing through forests under the red slice of moon until someone whispers softly for me to turn back.

Monday, September 01, 2008

to the next to the next sort of life

What I've learned:

RCR's = death. There's nothing quite like the desperation - yet liberation - of knowing for certain, "I am fucked." Everyone has a story. Everyone. I can function on one hour of sleep, apparently. Never think that you won't run into someone again. We may be exhausted but I will always be trying to make you laugh - and laughing even if you stay silent. My friends roll deep. Always. These bathrooms do not include soap. Or towels. I say I'm nervous but I walk up and down as if this is in fact mine. As if those answers are mine.

And I love this dizzying jolts of words - laughs in slow times - quick quick feet - one hour of sleep smile and pass from the next to the next to the next sort of life.