navel gazing in the east on west coast time

spent the day playing trey songz ‘gotta make it’ over and over again. people keep asking me how it feels to be back in ny and really i think those words sum it up. its much easier to feel like life is fabulous and adventurous when you’re bouncing from place to place and no one can hold you to more than a few days of an impression.

ny is the city i love, full of the people i love and have held closest to me, but in ny i’m currently on my own shit list, constantly faced with the ways in which i’ve failed to be the person i was aiming for – oh what’s the bumper sticker i saw in nm: lord let me be the person my dog thinks i am. sadly i don’t even have a loving dog because shane said we would neglect it and it would die.

in organizational development there’s a concept of competing values, holding two opposite values that cancel each other out. i have this idea of my values that includes being trustworthy, accountable, strong and supportive. on one hand. and on the other i have this idea of being fearless, being fully present for each experience, being free, being who i am. i keep ending up in a shrug saying i’m sorry. and anyways, it doesn’t matter if others will forgive you or try to, if you can’t forgive yourself.

ah this shit’s a downer, but today was full of bad news:

– damn georgia. first i found out two people i really like are moving to soviet georgia. i knew, but had blocked it out. and then in a major blow to the voting rights movement, the glorious state of georgia will now require photo id for folks to vote.

– the earth continues to snap her fingers to get our attention. tearing the roofs off of everything in and around the mouth of the mississippi, she says – look at the sky, its falling all around you. i think of the neverending story when i think of global warming and this climate crisis we are in the midst of. how people are going through their lives and losing touch with their dreams and have become so out of touch that the nothing could come up on us and we’d just cover it on the 6 o’clock news and keep it movin.

– i found out a couple i grew up thinking of as the perfect love story is getting divorced after something like 30 years together. one’s mother just died, the other was seeing someone else. love is this constant work and sometimes no matter how much time you’ve worked, it fails. i mean, i’d like to even get to one year someday, but i still recently found myself walking down a street with two people over 5 years younger than me and swearing that love is it, its what we live for, its the very point and purpose, the opening to all that is divine in this world. but i am beginning to doubt its permanence. perhaps the same force of destruction that is keeping the earth spinning and storming and shaking is having an equal effect on our ability to love each other, to stay solid, to not turn in on ourselves and destroy everything in sight. 

4. and in another damning uppercut, i was watching the then and now mariah carey package on yahoo music today and realized she has been surgically adjusting her body. now in general i am not against a nip and tuck for the spiritual uplift of one’s confidence. if i ever shake off my baby fat i sure am gonna get some miracle whip laid on me…but i am in that small skool of people who think of mariah as one of music’s 9 pure wonders. sure she had her hoochie stage, but she was pure hoochie! sigh. i will say her boobie dr is excellent. 

5. the whole mars thing was a spoof. my boy isaac pointed it out, and then i checked it on www.snopes.com. i am worried, cause i was pretty sure i saw it more than once. unfortunately that is scientifically impossible. so…what did i see?

now, onto question/comments about this blog i’ve heard in the past couple of days:

1. do you ever edit?

i said no. that’s not true. technically i sit and write for a long time and sometimes go back and read to make sure the words are all there, usually adding lots more until i am finally tired. i rarely cut, hence the somewhat tacky length of recent entries.

2. ‘it’s exaggerated’

absolutely not!! i am just very dramatic about the events of my own life. i see the story unfolding at this level, that’s the crazy part i suppose. my crushes are manic, my guilt is visceral, and i end up in bizarre situations fairly regularly. but i’ve always come from that school of thought that says if a tree falls in a forest and no one hears it, who cares? from the very beginning, the living have always found our way through to the next day through stories, marking what we see and experience in any way we can, wherever we can. i learn through stories, life lessons, algebra, whatever. narrative keeps me alive.

3. who would want to know that much?

i have no idea why folks read this. all kinds of people i wouldn’t expect to read it say they check it daily. two people have told me its a guilty pleasure, which i don’t know if that’s good or not…i admit that it’s far less political than it should be, and that its a struggle not think about who might be reading it as i write. i really think the people i come across demand to be written about. those who i miss, i miss literally – i wish i could tell you stories about nathan berger, and more about this dude evans whose up at yale for what seems to be forever, and this amazing woman tanjila islam. you would love them.

but – i started it largely as a point of discipline and with the intention of commenting on the world. i often feel too overwhelmed and humbled by the world, so i get limited to writing about subjects i can actually tackle, and even those sometimes leave me fumbling over words. theoretically, if i could write something potentially public on a daily basis then that would hone my writing skills and my discipline and my memory. so far the effect has been to make me lose discipline, i lean into life nowadays when perhaps i should pull away. the idea that there is reality and fantasy has fallen apart as i’ve gotten older and realized that we are the ones living those stories we so long to watch – we fall over in public, we love the wrong people long before we love the right ones, we lie, we steal, we are pathetic and underwhelming and brilliant and amazing. we spill secrets in confidence, we want to tell our stories, we hurt those closest to us and we live with it. this is my memory box.

some confessions:

– i love commentary. i watched edward scissorhands for the first time last night. then i watched it with tim burton’s commentary, he’s kind of one of my favorite directors. then i watched it with danny elfman’s commentary and no dialogue, only the music. awesome.

– i hate not having money. the foundation of this is that i hate the existence of money. but in practice it usually equates to hating when i can’t take care of my needs. and furthermore, my wants. i’m cheap, and yet between debt and rent and travel and food i am still always coming up short, and its not romantic or righteous, it just sucks.

– as soon as i know someone likes me i start clawing about like a trapped bear, ripping and tearing everything in sight with senseless groans and fast words. i suspect that if i could be still long enough to let the feeling build it might heal all kinds of scar tissue i’ve kind of gotten proud of sporting.

– i miss my mama and my daddy. and i miss driving around.

– i am convinced that the world sometimes chases my awkward moments around to lay them out more explicitly. like – have you ever been listening to music with someone and a song comes on that exactly explains whatever fight or ill shit y’all have gone through and you both just sort of listen and don’t look at each other? or same with a tv show? its uncanny and personally i don’t like it. note to the god of coincidental media: please cut it out, isht is hard enough as it is!

– i just watched mariah’s ‘we belong together’ 8 times. i love yahoo music! i’m gonna break the cycle with a little trey and try to induce passing out! or missy’s lose control with ciara which is BRILLIANT.