Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Pulse-Quick Trip of Quixotic Attention and Other Beginnings

I'm sitting in the cold of my 95% empty old home eating all of the microwave popcorn before I, officially, live in a home that is microwave-less.

Not that this was an aim.

It simply doesn't come with one and I can't justify buying one on any level, really.

A new rice cooker, however, I can justify.

[Thank you to Taising who gave me her old one roughly 15 years ago. It has made it this far, has no legs left on it, and periodically sparks. It has done its duty, and I have pressed my luck. The time has come to move on from it, although I feel like a burial or ceremony is in order: So many years of perfect rice.]

I am sitting in what was my living room.  The only things left: Four boxes, a pair of tennis shoes and one, unmatched slipper.  The air still smells of popcorn which, to me, always smells slightly of eggs and cardboard.

A lot happened here, but not too much.

One Christmas. One Halloween. One break up. One collage-making party. One "you-got-the-job!". One death.  (It didn't actually *happen* here, but, you get the point.)

Lots of hugs. Tears. Writing. Toast burnings. Laughter. Stencils made with faith put into a bathroom fan and a closed door. Baths. Laundry. Dinner. Decisions.

Decisions were made, here.


There is something about this place that makes it easy to leave.

There's not too much to leave behind in these walls.

Not too much to ache for.

There are a handful of things.

There always are.

But not enough

to make me stay.

(image by Andrew Lyman via untrustyou Tumblr)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Rent, Revisited. Or, When My Best Boy Used His French Studies to Become a Trophy Wife.

One night, a matter of months ago, I stood on an awkward, quasi-suburban corner in scuffed white stilettos and a decorative jacket.  It was night time, and I was waiting for a friend to come pick me up.  I had just finished watching someone silently read 33 pages of filth from across a public room.  Having realized that he had finished the best part, I got up and left without saying anything other than turning my stare to drop, frankly, between his legs as I left.

After walking a number of blocks I found myself, there, on that corner, feeling slightly shocked at the contrast of the high ceilings one could see looking in through the streak-less windows of the houses in this neighborhood, and the unprofessionally painted polish on my fingertips.   It was the kind of corner that makes you look up into the trees, then left to right so as not to call attention. Then finally, at your feet, then down the street in an attempt to look like you are supposed to be there, or are simply casually passing the time.

As I stood there, I saw a woman walking down the sidewalk towards me with what looked to be a waist-tall poodle on a leash.  She was 48, I would guess. Well manicured. I guess that's what one says.  Whatever the appropriate term is for a woman whose hair looked perfectly trimmed, and hands lotion'ed so as to not show their age- a petite gold bracelet resting delicately on the bone of her wrist.

The dog was pulling her, and I was watching her try to maintain her grace of walk. She wore white slacks and the flat, almost ballerina type shoes that women who do not engage in any type of physical work tend to wear.

I looked around as if to find a bush to dive into, but there was nothing. I was basically standing on the corner of someone's lawn.

I realized it was strange to just be standing on this corner but, determined not to give that away on my face, I stood up taller and pointed my chin out slightly.

"Oh, I love your shoes!", she said.  "I used to have a pair just like them."

She went on.  Complimenting bits of my outfit. Trying to connect, somehow.  I can't remember what she said, only what it felt like.

She seemed friendly.



She wrestled with the dog a bit more and starting calling out commands in a language I didn't know.

She grabbed the dog's face to make it look at her as she commanded it, nose to nose, using the same language.  Then, giving up, shook her head.

"She only understands French", she explained, with a mixture of embarrassment and pride.

(image: via pocketfull-o-posey tumblr)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Spirits Around My Bed

I'm in love with the linguistics class I am taking. The professor makes jokes in her dry tone of voice about linguistics and no one laughs except me. It really is hilarious.

For example, yesterday, all during lecture she had been emphasizing that allomorphy is rampant and that it was important we keep an eye out for it. At the end of lecture, as students were packing up their things, she announced "Okay, that is all for today.  Have a great rest of your afternoon and look out for allomorphy." 

It was hysterical.

No one else was laughing.


As a perfect compliment to linguistics this evening, I attended a workshop that's been part of a series conducted in the language that I interpret.  It's fun to get more specialized vocabulary, and incredible to see how language changes along with society and attitudes. It's pretty rad. And nerdy.

While there, I ran into a fellow interpreter whom I adore as much as I look up to who has been in the process of having the diary of her grandmother translated from Italian.  The stories she shared were absolutely fascinating. Stranger than fiction, indeed. Tales of a governess-to-be and a love affair with a linguist. I want a diary like this. Some strange archived memoir from a distant relative to decode and decipher.  I'll have to make a mental note to grill my mother on such things when I see her next. To dig through boxes and folders and photo albums next I go home.


All in all, things are settling in.  I am in my new home. Nesting. Dreaming. Growing.

The memorial trip this past weekend was exactly what I needed to honor, to laugh, to cry- to see what is important. To not waste time on spectacles that are created outside of what love is- on any level: personal, societal, mundial. (Okay, yeah, I'm switching languages. But I'm on this kick with language and it just seemed to fit so much better with that -al pattern going on...) On our adventures, I also found an old, brownish-yellow brass candle lantern. It casts an incredible pattern around my room at night. Slices of warm light through the darkness. I feel reminded.  I feel watched over.

It is as beautiful as it is peaceful, tonight.


That's all for now.

Be honest. Be loving. Be proud of what you are doing, and what you offer the world and those in your life while you are here.


(photo: via bluesonplanetmars tumblr)

Friday, April 17, 2015

Pillars, Parallels, Part II-s, and Structural Support Beams.

Death impacts us in such a vast array of ways.

A dear friend from back home died late last week, and the rest of everything has been a blur of planning, connecting, reflecting, flight ticket price searching, and crying.

And dreams. So many dreams. Many of them including a shape that can roughly be replicated by this symbol:   II


In the past few years, there has been a lot of reflection on who I want to invest in to become closer with. To solidify. Deepen. Grow.

I think of friends who show up in a no bullshit type way.  Weddings, funerals, illnesses, graduations, job losses, income losses, and, if we can remember them without Facebook, these days: birthdays.

I've been thinking of who it feels loving and warm and right (even when it is hard, sad, and downright ugly) to show up for in friendship.  Who gets the pass that will have me rearrange everything in the world I can to support or talk to or see them? In the past, I've looked the other way in imbalances.  In the past two years, I can see that changing. It feels good. It has felt sad in some of the realizations that some of the relationships in my life that felt as solid as oak, turned out to be as easy to disappear as driftwood.

Friends and family are who act as the cushion to the more difficult events in life.  They absorb some of the shock. Ease some of the pain. Make things difficult, less so.  

Some of these people are people I am in constant contact with.  Others, no less important by any stretch of the imagination, are people I text with periodically-  about music or language or art or any number of things that are all related to, well, life, and all of the people experiencing it with or around us at the same time at this particular point in history.

I. My mother, when talking with me about plans for the funeral, told me that she would love to just pay for my flight home if it would be of any help, but that she knew she wouldn't be able to take the money out of her account without my father noticing it and blowing up on her. "You understand, don't you?" I didn't tell her I understood. I just told her I could afford my own ticket.  Of course I don't understand. I never want to understand how a mother isn't allowed to try and help out her child whose friend has died because her husband is an abusive, controlling maniac.

II. A friend of mine is in a year old relationship. His partner has taken issue with our friendship, even though our friendship has existed since far beyond their meeting. They will be moving in together. It will be an issue to stay with them when I visit the state he lives in. "You understand, don't you?" It is left unsaid, but I hear my mother's voice, all the same. I don't, no. I never want to understand how a person is in a position to turn a friend away because of their partner's insecurities.

While these conversations are going on

I. A dear friend from high school is rearranging things to go on a memorial road trip in honor of our friend that died. She can't find a dog sitter, so we are figuring out how we can figure it out together. A friend of mine offers to do it, and a friend of hers might be able to.

II.  A newer friend calls and is locked out of his house.  I ask how I can help out. He says just stay on the phone with me while I wait for the locksmith so I don't feel like an idiot sitting on my own porch. You got it.

None of these thing are polarized. They are more complex.  It is not "good friend; bad mother".  There is simply a difference in how one goes about maintaining connection with loved ones who are behind strange fences of restrictions of who and how they can express their love. Some believe that some restrictions are more atrocious than others. I would ask where it is, exactly, that that line is drawn.


And so things go on.

And closure will come in time, and it will also never come.

Yesterday I randomly came across an old photograph from the punk show venue back home that someone had been posted online. It was blurry, and thus it appeared fittingly as a ghost, but, anyone who knew him would recognize that oversized, long sleeved shirt with thin, horizontal stripes, as Eric.  It was M, after all, who accompanied me to his funeral.  How fitting that Eric would make an appearance after all these years on the night before M's.


Be well; be loved. Know that there isn't all the time in the world, so make shit count. I've been lucky and blessed enough to have told the friends in my life who have passed away all of what I've ever wanted to tell them before they passed. That doesn't mean I don't regret things.  It just means that if you are afraid to tell someone you love something that you feel for or about them, make sure that you do.

Rest in peace, M. Thank you for letting me love you as best as I could from all sorts of distances with all sorts of gaps. J and I will be off on our trip, tomorrow, to remember and celebrate you in the way we always did with you:  Wandering and laughing, with no time sensitive destination in mind other than a general one in the comfort of her car, and each other.


(post-script: One of the last dreams I had included a person I met long ago who was super into Rune stones.  After writing this, I looked up the Runes and saw that the symbol I was seeing in my dream appeared as the image of two Runes, alternating.  That of hagalaz: hail and as mannaz: man/humankind.  It fits, and it's strange how much it reflects much of what I have written, here. Scroll down to Hagalaz: Hail and to Mannaz: Man Humankind if you're curious, or are into that kind of thing.)

photo: part of Toshitaka Aoyagi: Area via Arqsa Tumblr)

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

I Think Most Clearly While Sliding a Warm Mug of Something, Slowly, Back and Forth Across My Collar Bone: The Art of Decision-Making

I've just had my morning coffee. It is almost 11 am. I can't remember the last time that I've been able to do this, recently.

I've gotten the job.

I'm on the cusp of getting the apartment.

I knock on wood.

I've always been fascinated with the ritual of superstition.


For now, I watch the leaves of the trees outside my window wave hello and goodbye. They know something I don't:

As per usual, and how

it always should be.

Hold on to me.

(image: arqsa tumblr)