Sunday, September 30, 2012

i'm the one that loves you, baby, and don't you never forget it...

that's what the homeless man at the gas station told me last night.  true story.

maybe it was the full moon.  maybe it was the way i looked last night.  maybe it was because i gave him a dollar.

i only looked nice because i was going to see someone else.  i always try to look the absolute best that i can when we hang out because i want him  to look at me and see someone beautiful.  but the truth is, i don't think it matters at all to him what i look like.

Friday, July 27, 2012

some optimal degree of connectedness

i haven't written in a while.  i wanted to write, but it's been too hot. or i've been too tired.  or...it's always something.

but, as always tends to happen, my emotions get the better of me.  and i have no place to put them.  so i think that's what always drives me to write.  it's a way of externalizing things that cause me a lot of pain.

i'm gonna go ahead and admit that i stole the blog title from a statistics paper.  as much as i experience a severe degree of anxiety regarding actually interpreting results, i love theoretical math.  in particular, i have the greatest respect for people who instead of simply acknowledging the limitations of assumptions, reconfigure things and find a new way. or, at the very least, explore the restrictiveness to the nth degree in an illustration of the extent to which the restrictions are problematic.

that is a total aside.  i am beginning to believe that my optimal degree of connectedness is disconnectedess.  or unconnectedness.  the optimal degree would be....zero, i guess.

it is incredibly hard for me to get close to people.  it takes a lot of consistency, as in consistent behavior through repeated interactions over time.  i have to know someone is there, even when they aren't.  especially when they're not.

my day was painful from start to finish today.  someone hurt my feelings and as much as i know it isn't about them,  it doesn't hurt less.  i had to revisit some things that were not comfortable.  things that i can't tell to the person that triggered this without sounding completely ridiculous.  but it is hard keeping it to myself.  

Thursday, July 5, 2012

nebulous clarity

yesterday was supposed to bring me clarity.  that is what all the horoscopes said, especially the so-called lovescopes that promised that i would know where i stood, that everything would become clear and it would be wonderful  and so on.   that efforts would pay off and hard work and that dedication in interpersonal relationships would yield clear results.

there was only one thing i wanted clarity on and with the full moon in capricorn, a moon that promises that things will become unstuck, i considered my desire to be reasonable.

i got clarity, but not the clarity i sought.

unable to get the validation i wanted from the person i wanted it from, which for me was the same as clarification, i was inspired to seek validation from someone i knew would give it to me...my ex-boyfriend.  i realize that the desire for validation isn't the most attractive thing about my personality.  however, as far as seeking temporary validation, i consider that my ex to be semi-acceptable, given that he lives hundreds of miles from me and i have no real feelings for him other than nostalgia.

but.  i knew that if i texted him, for any reason whatsoever, he would answer me within five minutes and that even if i simply asked how he was he would be quick to use this opening to segue into other forms of validation.  and after the third super strong tom collins, texting him just seemed like the right thing to do.

and it went exactly as i had supposed.

the clarification i got had to do with us, an us that ceased to exist more than five years ago when he broke up with me out of nowhere.  i mean, it wasn't out of nowhere for him as i assume he had been thinking it through for a while before actually breaking up with me.  it was a huge surprise to me.

i knew even at the time that there was someone else.  he would  never come out and say it, but it was fairly obvious.  at the time, he told me that i just needed too much.  that i was incapable of taking care of myself.  when i pointed out that i pretty much take care of everything myself, including moving and starting my academic career he said that i was capable of doing everything BUT taking care of myself emotionally.  he said that tb had taken care of me until i met him and that he was no longer going to do it.  which was pretty awful to hear.

but things go on.  apparently, however, he and the girl broke up on very bad terms.  and here is where i get clarification.  i didn't ask exactly what happened, even though the petty side of me wanted to know what fucked up thing this girl did just for the satisfaction of imagining him having to experience the kind of emotional pain that i had to experience.

but i didn't ask, because it's pretty much irrelevant. i just said that i was sorry things were fucked up.  and he said that things were fine, but that this person was crazy.

to which i replied, "crazier than me?"

and his answer surprised me.  "you were never crazy," he said and then related that this other person has no regard for other people and, apparently, no conscience.

i always had good intentions.  and for what it's worth, i always loved him.  he thought that was a very sweet thing to say and thanked me.

it was true.  but it is just as true that this is past tense love.

and don't it always seem to go...

it was all oddly comforting.



Friday, June 29, 2012

don't let it get you down

today.  today, i fully intended to get things done.

and i was doing things.

but then, i fell in a hole.  i fell in a hole of neil young music.  it started with someone posting a thirty minute concert video on facebook.

after listening to the whole thing, twice, i descended into a a two hour long voyage into neil young's song catalog.  and after that...i went and bought some beer.  because no more work was even going to be attempted.

then i called an old friend.  years ago, a decade or more, on those rare days when nether of us were working a double shift at the restaurant...we would sit on the porch and drink all day.  and listen to neil young.

and so i called him, because he's the person i think of when i hear neil young.  always.  i think of us drinking cheap beer and talking about philosophy (he loved hegel) and smoking cigarettes and playing cards.  and fighting.

i liked him a lot.  we were such good friends.  then i found out that he liked me and i balked.  while i was thinking about things, he met someone.  then i realized i liked him.  and then he met someone else.  and then i really liked him, but also someone else too.  and so it went.

long story short, it never really happened with us.  we had some fights.  we didn't speak for long periods of time.

then, we eventually became friends again.  i still care so much about him.  the idea of 'us' is not ever possible, but he is one of my favorite people.

and so there i was calling him.  asking him did he remember all those times.  and he did.  and did he also remember when he said that every girl he knew was associated in his mind with a particular neil young song and that mine was 'like a hurricane' but i wanted to be 'cowgirl in the sand'....he said he didn't remember.  he was more than likely drunk, but he laughed that my song was 'like a hurricane' and said that sounded right, but that i could be the cowgirl if i wanted.

but i know he was right the first time.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

the hands of the elephant man

my body is freaking out.

this year i have been plagued by allergies.  it started with hayfeverish symptoms.  watery eyes.  compulsive sneezing.  a general feeling of ill health and misery.

now i am breaking into hives.  the first one i got i thought was a spider bite.  my foot swelled up.  now, i think that it might be mosquitoes.  my hands have swelled.  anywhere i get bitten, it swells.  like really painful swelling.  it hurts my joints.

it's so bad that my mother, the least indulgent of my hypochondriac tendencies of anyone, insisted that i go to the doctor.  which i did.  but the doctor seemed really dismissive, as if i was just there because if a bug bite.

i tried to explain that the real reason i was there was not because of the immediate reaction, but because the reaction was so severe and that in some cases it can keep getting worse and eventually lead to anaphylaxis.  i recognize that this is rare, but it is a possibility.  she basically treated me like i was a hysteric.  

it mostly just scared me.  and made me feel really, really alone.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

artistic differences

i've been thinking about art lately.  years and years ago, when i was living in london, i used to go to galleries all the time.  the big galleries like the tate and the national gallery and also the smaller galleries.  i went to any gallery that was displaying work that i thought would be interesting.  i've always known a lot of artists.  when i was in memphis, i hung out a lot with the art grad students.  i didn't like all of them, as artists are notoriously narcissistic and hanging out with them was sometimes overwhelming because everyone was trying to be the center of attention all the time.  but i loved going to their shows.


what i love about art is transcendence.  when you look at true art, you can truly transcend the artificial boundaries between self and aesthetic.  pure aesthetic.  


stendhal syndrome.


stendhal, who traveled to florence and became overtaken with emotion when confronted with the intense reality of caravaggio.


i felt these feelings a very long time before i knew it was an actual thing.  it's pure unadulterated emotion.  i spend most of my life trying NOT to feel things, but with art it is the one thing that i allow myself to be overwhelmed by the experience of perception.


i  remember the first time i felt that way.  i was in st bride's fleet st.  there was something about the way the ceiling reminded me of a sky with all of this glowing light and the flickering of the multitude of candles that were burning for journalists in places like bosnia and lebanon and the carved wood and the geometry of the room.  it was the most sublime feeling.  it was like everything perfect all at one time.  everything fit together.  everything made everything else better.


i felt it the first time i saw a van gogh in person.  i had always been lukewarm towards van gogh prior to this.  i mean, his prints are everywhere.  but when you are staring right at the starry night and you can see the thick layers of paint that look like they were textured with fingers, not brushes, and you can actually feel the movement of the subject.  i couldn't look away.  after seeing them, i refuse to own any van gogh  print.  ever.


i felt it the first time i looked through larry clark's 'teenage lust.'  even though the images leave you completely sickened, in many cases.


i went to a kandinsky retrospective that changed my life.  it literally changed me.  before that i had been incredibly dismissive about abstract art.  but seeing those paintings.  painting after perfect painting.  the lines and the shapes and the colors and the balance.  i felt feverish.  i didn't look at things the same way after that.


i remember the last time i felt it in a gallery.  i was at a student show in memphis.  there was this installation piece in a room.  all of these symmetrical, hanging crystal beads.  there's no description i could give that would even begin to explain.  you had to feel it.  i didn't expect to like it.  i walked by the room several times, unimpressed with the sparkling.  then i got bored waiting for my artist date who was talking to some people about this photograph that everyone was intrigued by that was really just a bad knock-off of larry clark's 'i am one of god's mistakes'.  when is stepped into the middle of the room i caught my breath.  it was the most amazing feeling.  i felt light.


this is what art should be.  this is what i'm looking for.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

love is a many splendored thing

while i was waiting for a take-out order tonight i was sitting next to this really young couple. they were maybe twenty and i could tell by their conversation that they were on a first date.  they were telling each other all about their families and their childhoods.  and the girl had a really annoying laugh.


i was drinking a beer and being dismissive of their awkward, but sickeningly genuine, getting-to-know-you conversation.

and i realized that it wasn't the annoying laugh or their stupid conversation that annoyed me.  it was that i was, in many ways, quite envious of their hopefulness.  i resented the fact that they were having this experience that i haven't had in very long time.

if i learned anything over the past three years, it's that there's no sure thing.  love is all about probability estimation.  but the bad experiences have left me in a very dismal place from which to estimate the likelihood that things will work out in any capacity.  instead of assuming someone is telling the truth, i assume that they are lying.  i require constant reassurance. but i can't ask for that, because it's unreasonable.  and so i just keep it to myself, even though it means that i experience a lot of anxiety. and hiding that is hard, so i just withdraw.  

so i don't usually go out with people who ask me.
 
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