Wednesday, April 28, 2004

sticks & stones may break my bones but it's a song that finally kills me.

i had my screaming tree dream again this evening. i fell asleep for an hour while trying to 1/2 listen to the teley... and before i knew it i was...

sitting on the edge of a cliff by the sea. really windy, everything grey, grass is burned & crisp, wooden chair is weathered & splinters keep jabbing into my thighs & palms as i try to hold onto it. it teeters back & forth in the wind. grotesque, gnarled tree keeps lashing my head & back with it's branches. it hisses at me from behind. the harsh voices don't come so much from the tree as they just seem to slip up behind my ear, stick their tongue into my brain with a searing word or two & disappear. what they say is my business. most of it unfinished.
and then always, the breath is sucked out of me from behind, it's strong. i can feel my lungs crush against the back of my ribcage & my eyes twitch as though they might pop. when i feel like my flesh is about to be pulled completely from my skeleton this primordial howl like scream escapes from somewhere very bad below the base of my skull & sends me over the edge of the cliff.
no 'life that flashes before me'.. because i have nothing worth remembering (that is my only thought as i fall)
land face down on the pebble covered beach far below. broken. taste blood & sand mixing in my mouth with the salt water that is lapping my face.
unmoving i just stare at the pebbles in front of my face... they sing & dance... to a different song every time. tonight it was 'guilty' sung in french combined with about three different 'music box tunes' played at varying speeds & a deafening cacophony of ancient horns & drums that keep building until i feel my brain liquify & seep out my ears in pudding like glops.
then it all stops. i can't see anything. i manage to stand up & walk a little farther into the water-i usually don't make it past my calves. where i slowly sink beneath the surface into the sand & water. that's it. i'm not scared, not panicky, i just sink & that's it.

i really don't know how to describe the dream well, so much of it is about tactile & audible sensations & the visuals are super hyper -real.... like some computer geek went a little crazy with the cgi....i just really don't have the ability to put it into words.
but trust me, it's intense in a really horrible yet wonderful way.

it always terrifies me & sticks with me for a couple days usually... but there's something about it... the singing, dancing pebbles...they make me feel touched in a way i can't describe. sort of loved for a brief second- somewhat mockingly... but they make me happy. it's strange.
just one of those dreams.

Friday, April 23, 2004

fear & loathing in sacramento

the weeks are starting to blend together in surreal monotony. about the only thing that changes is my underwear... and even that has fallen off schedule. not that i neglect to change them mind you... just that i have a tendency to lounge around in my jammies until about 2 or 3 if i have no reason to venture out & therefore don't actually wear any until much later in the day.
i've been leading an almost monastic life. which actually, would be perfectly to my suiting, were i getting paid for it. i get up in the morning, make coffee, search my bevy of work sites and then call my agent.... begging and pleading for ANYTHING... and then we giggle & gossip about fashion like two teenage girls. i knew i had met my match when he said 'oh my god... is that a sound bite from the movie ANNIE on your voice mail?!'
official work completed for the day. i settle in for what will inevitably be a long afternoon. 2-3 hours of pilates/ballet or yoga, psychiatrist, reading & work on any of my 35 little 'projects' i have going. now that i have a new kitten & mother to look after i also spend a bit of time on my hands & knees in the dirt behind my apartment. it isn't a pleasant area at all... a 3' wide space between the building & a fence- forlorn & neglected. it is dirty, buggy & somewhat dark. but that is where momma cat has decided to hang with her baby & so that is where i must crawl around if i want to check on them. they seem to be doing quite nicely & have settled in as though they were residing at the carlyle rather than a cardboard box behind my house.
i have to go to my doctor again today. 2 times a week- seems excessive but i have nothing better to do & am really not very happy right now. i suppose it is better to cry to her & at least get it out of my system than sit at home & fester in my misery. everything always falls apart at once & it is so easy for me to just become overwhelmed & fall into a state of semi- comatose thought where nothing moves forward. i just sit & try to figure it out in my head (entirely) before making any steps towards rectifying my problems... which of course doesn't work at all.
besides not working, not knowing what i want to do / go, blah blah blah my friend who i have been fighting with for a couple months mistook something i said to mean i was on the verge of hurting myself & that it would be his fault. i wasn't at all, never entered my mind actually, but the fact that rather than simply ignore me he felt the need to mock & almost egg me on was a huge revelation into just how little he cares or hopes that someday we can work out our little issues. it actually made me kind of sick to think that there was so much hatred behind those few words. all i could think was 'well, it's a good think i wasn't actually on the brink... because that would have pretty much sealed the deal.' i've never even encountered such cruelty & total lack of compassion. dr. frank has 'forbid' (well.. vehemently advised against) any future contact unless it is for the sake of trying to deal with our problems as opposed to hurting each other for sport & even then she has her doubts. i think she might be right on this one. it just seems hard to believe things could have deteriorated & fallen apart so quickly & over so little.
a good friend told me recently that you can't care for or love 'potential' it has to be for what is right there in front of you. i realize now that the person i cared for as a friend & even more no longer exists- only the potential that he may return once his life settles. at any rate- his replacement could care less if i am dead or alive.
to make matters worse, a couple days later my ex-bf called out of the blue to 'see if i was ok' & proceeded to ply me for information about what was going on. i'm not sure, but i sort of got the feeling that he didn't call just because he cared & was concerned, but it was more of a fact finding mission - i don't really know. he's very jealous & i imagine that whatever he may know of the situation doesn't make him more inclined to honestly care about me. it left me feeling more alone than anything & managed to completely ruin the dinner i was actually looking forward to. rice does not mix nicely with tears.... too salty.

i keep saying that none of it matters, that i just need to remove myself from it all & get on with my life. but the truth is, as much as i say that it does matter & hurts very much & only compounds the disappointment of everything else that is going wrong. i've been accused of running away & just ditching my problems in a weak & pathetic fashion. but i don't really see what is weak or pathetic about trying to forget someone who hates me & will make no effort to even talk to me or deal with the me.
what choice do i have but to move on?
i don't get it.

Friday, April 09, 2004

total girl day...jane austin would be proud

i marvel at my girly ways sometimes- true, technically speaking i am one- so it shouldn't come as quite a surprise- but i do have my boyish ways... maybe it's just hormonal, maybe it's just the current state of affairs- but the tomboy in me has faded into the background lately. if only i could completely separate the two... i would never want for male companionship- but alas, i haven't the scientific skills to dissect my 'selves' & fully generate my male counterpart in the bathroom sink for lonely weekends at home.
but that's a whole other saga... back to the feasible, the real... the afternoon spent milling about my apartment- after managing to sleep in until 1:30 in the afternoon....(a trace remnant of that teenage boy trapped inside)

i didn't answer the phone once. i brought my down comforter & pillows into the living room & cuddled in a HUGE fluffy pill with my cats monty & tallulah for a good portion of the afternoon. watched 'the long hot summer' and 'sense & sensibility' - shedding many a girlish tear before i finally managed to drag myself into the bathroom where i soaked in a long hot bath until my toes & finger tips were merely pruney nubs. too tired to even dry myself, i wrapped up in a towel & resumed my station on the sofa- doing my best to not attract the attention of my cats for fear of becoming so covered with persian cat hair i would require another bath.
another hour spent listlessly lounging on the sofa listening to billie holiday, sarah vaughn & judy garland readied me for a couple hours worth of baking: short bread cookies iced in robin's egg blue with chocolate brown dots. actually, i am getting ahead of myself. i did manage to slip into proper baking attire- a little dress & heeled espadrilles & i did make the dough & the icing...but everything is in the fridge chilling & i can not begin to actually bake for another hour.
so here i sit. billie just finished her crooning about her miserable dope & lost love riddled life & i am trying to decide what movie to watch next. i really want to watch bleu- since it is currently mirroring my life to a tee (minus the writing of a symphonic piece for the unification of germany....) but i can't find it so i will most likely end up watching 'much ado about nothing' (fast-forwarding through keanu reeves' scenes- what were they thinking of??? was it a JOKE?????) and then keeping with the whole traged-drama-romance/elizabethan/shakespearean/classic literate mood thing i am in i will probably watch elizabeth, or maybe richard the III with ian mckellen... hardly the best version of richard III to be sure...but it DOES have ian, great costumes/sets & men in nazi uniforms.... and yes I KNOW nazi's are/were a very bad lot of people.... but damn if they didn't have the hottest uniforms in all of wwII. hate me if you will for my bad choice in men- everyone else does.... i have a way with such matters. hahahah. god just put a gun in my mouth....oh what the fuck am i talking about- as pathetic & soooo stereotypic of the 'lonely librarian' type day as this has been... i've rather enjoyed myself. or at least found comfort in others' misery.... hence lessening the focus of my own.

Monday, April 05, 2004

my sister just wrote to inform me

that the month was april, the "springtime holiday with candy" is easter & furthermore, the 10 commandments is strictly old testament, 100 percent hebrew, no jesus, no candy eggs....
she's an archaelogist & gets sort of finicky about these matters i guess.
in my defense... DID I MENTION EASTER?????? i mentioned candy.....they sell passover candy don't they???? chocolate matzos???? oh well, i give up.
i don't care if moses was b.c. or a.d. (& for the record...i KNOW he was b.c... or for the politically correct... b.c.e.- "before common era" as opposed to 'before christ")..... he still shouldn't look like kenny rogers.

Sunday, April 04, 2004

technicolor tales from the old testament

not being a very good christian or organized enough to have a calendar on hand- i generally gauge the time of year & it's associated holidays by the shape & color of the candy prominently displayed at the front of drug stores & what epic films are being played over & over again on turner classic movies & TNT.
i recall liking cecil's 'the 10 commandments' as a kid. it was one of those yearly events, where popcorn was popped, much kool aid consumed & us kids got to stay up late. it was an event that wasn't so much religious for religion's sake as it was cinematic... the same fanfare and excitement ensued when the sound of music, west side story & everyone's favorite..... the wizard of oz, made their annual debut on television.
as i said, i've never been a very good "christian." i boycotted church at the age of 6, explaining to my mother that though i really liked the architecture of our old gothic episcopalian church, i really didn't dig much else. & after many a blood curdling battle, that in my opinion should have made the good lord jeebus rise again if he was all father baker had cracked him up to be, my mother finally threw in the towel. the family only made sporadic appearances from that point forward.... usually for non religious functions such as a performance of bach's brandenburg concerto or some choral piece. as a result i know very little about all those great stories turned into cinematic features... not to mention that my art history courses in college were an absolute bitch because of all the religious iconography that meant nothing to me.... 'oh jesus,,, ANOTHER mary & child'..... i got so i could at least pick them out of a crowd....but not much else. but really, i don't feel that depraved. with all the movies to pick from- you really need never step foot in a church.

anyway.... i'm sitting here tonight, bored & depressed out of my mind- flipping through the channels & i come across charleston heston looking very much like kenny rogers in an itchy hippie version of a house dress- with incredibly coiffed hair.... out loud i proclaim 'hot damn.... it's the 10 commandments... with my favorite angle of death! wish i had some kool aid & pop corn... 'cause it's a jim jones kinda night!'....and then realizing my windows were open & the downstairs neighbors outside.... i sheepishly sat back down on my sofa & settled in for 3 hours of technicolor tales from the old testament.
now it has been years since i attempted to watch this movie... and i realized quickly that for all it's 'special effects' & cecil b demille 'drama' it's pretty boring & the only part i've ever really liked was the freaky ass fog a.k.a. the angel of death. i got a certain degree of excitement & fulfillment watching it slither through town picking off the first born sons. it fascinated me & i imagine somewhere deep in my psyche there was a bit of me looking sideways at my little brother each time the fog crept around that first dung hut.... always wondering... 'could it come to warren pennsylvania??? no need to part seas, but if you can do something about this brother of mine.... you're ok in my book.'
...and speaking of that ground breaking special effect wizardry that parted cecil's sea... i always thought it would be far more entertaining had they gotten ester williams to do some of her swanky rope swing through flame & fire acrobatics from one edge of the parted sea to the next.... regardless of diverging from 'the written word' ..... let's face it, as far as cecil was concerned... had he wanted to add it to the script, it would have been as good as god's word.
and in closing...i love yul brynner,... i once even had an office that was entirely covered in wallpaper with his image (amazing what you can create with unlimited use of a color copier) but call me fickle... he loses a little when covered in 'egyptian orange' body paint. and his hot masculinity falls by the wayside when you find yourself saying 'oh that is such a cute skirt!' every-time he walks on screen.

i miss...

the jackson pollack to my lee krasner :: cooking dinner with friends who not only don't mind if i drop something on the floor or lick my finders: expect it :: going to the 'shore' on the weekends :: walking up 5 flights of stairs no matter where i lived or what sort of apartment it was :: shopping with joey on sat. mornings & giggling at the old chinese man at the asian vegetable stand with the catfish mustache :: smoking in bars :: being a 'pretty' girl :: skating at the federal prison in lower manhattan :: mrs. yauch's lemon tree in the living room bay window :: having kevin aucion do my makeup for parties :: actually going to parties :: shakespeare's garden at night in july when the roses are blooming & heavy :: new shoes & pretty outfits :: kona coffee :: good chocolate :: 1940's white tile kitchens :: going to museums & galleries :: my playhouse in the english garden :: waking up with the warm breath of someone i love on my neck :: being excited to see bands play :: putting the time & effort into writing a real hand written letter to someone deserving of my time & effort :: having a painting studio & a place to 'do' all my stuff :: 'bath house' parties :: being adored & appreciated instead of the girl that nobody really knows what to make of or what to do with :: rooftops, alleyways & abandoned subway tunnels :: gardening :: CBGB's :: feeling like i could do anything i wanted instead of not knowing what it is i want to do :: coming home from work filthy & exhausted but with a feeling of having actually DONE something i can be proud of instead of struggling to describe what it is that i do all day :: building tree houses in the woods behind my parents house when i was little :: going for long walks or to movies in the middle of the night when i can't sleep :: riding old motorcycles & getting all dirty & greasy :: building stuff :: sewing dresses & skirts :: real chocolate gelato :: spending sundays in bed watching movies, reading or just talking about stupid yet utterly important stuff with the same person who was breathing on my neck the night before :: having someone that understands why sometimes it is really important to spend 20 minutes searching for a cd so you can hear a 2 minute song :: being excited :: caring & being cared for :: having hope.

Saturday, April 03, 2004

ANGELS & INSECTS

"your minimalist form emphasizes the negative spaces & completely expresses the sheer whiteness & glow that radiates from your heart & mind... all while you do everything in your power to hide beauty with brain. hush, my sweet, dear, girl-woman-broad & muse... few know you are 'angels & insects' at once, and of those, even fewer will ever truly understand the brilliance & real beauty which that encompasses- until it is too late"

— from someone i miss very much

Friday, April 02, 2004

goodbye miss kelly

yet another action packed afternoon with my head shrinker today. asked the question 'are you happy to be back in therapy after all these years' i replied 'yeah, i think it's time.' and then out of nowhere 'i call you dr. frank'
the fact that my doctor is in fact a woman named barbara holds little relevance to what comfortably rolls off my tongue. but psychiatrists are wily little things, sneaky little information scavengers & she didn't seem to take offense to the fact that i had completely disregarded both her real name & sex. she only smiled a little and said 'that's fine dear, we'll get into that another day' as she jotted notes furiously into her notebook. 'yes we will' i thought as i waged an imaginary battle of therapists in my head between the real dr. frank (my sister's doctor- who has sparked many an hour of entertaining banter between my sister & me- post session) and the dr. barbara nestled behind her desk.
she had commented on the complete change in fashion since my last visit- 2 days ago & said that she quite liked my little matching pleated skirt & jacket ensemble- i looked quite feminine & delicate compared to the work pants & the tattered 'one man army' t emblazoned with a man holding a machine gun i had been sporting only days ago. 'yes, well 'lily' decided to come today & she really detests those dirty dickies & spiked belts the 'others' like to sport from time to time!' she looked at me quizzically ... 'JOKING!' i said but the pen had already started it's race across the notepad & i made a mental note NOT to crack jokes at my psyche's expense in the future. quite obviously, i was dealing with no dr. frank & certain modifications would have to be made.
disheartened i settled into my chair, regretting that i had practiced my grace kelly 'lady who lunches' persona the entire bike ride here for no reason. i knew we were going to discuss scheduling & i thought it would be fun to whip out an 'oh no dear- that simply won't work! you KNOW it's time for the new fashion season to debut- i cant possibly be here, milan, paris & new york at the same time can i?! sorry luv, i know you understand- it's a dreadfully busy month for me- they doooo drag it on these days you know- what with the parties & all that nonsense. (sighhhhhh) really, it would be quite dreadful you know...if it wasn't so much fun!"
followed by much gay laughter than can only come from a woman who has never had to drive herself anywhere.
obviously, grace would have to be kept under wraps. it isn't like she really exists (god knows i wouldn't be riding a bike if she did) but she's fun to play sometimes & if i say so myself...i do her QUITE NICELY!

we got down to business and before i knew it i was drying my eyes and gathering my handbag & scarf
'goodbye, dear. have a nice weekend & try to focus on all your wonderful qualities we've discussed today - most people only strive for such compassion & perseverance - few achieve. i can tell already you have an over abundance- you just tend to focus on pain & anger as the source of energy to realize your ambitions. and another thing, remember what we talked about concerning the drugs.'
fearing she was about to light some incense & begin chanting, i nodded my head & said 'goodbye dr. frank' as i exited the office.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

a gentleman & his hat

i was riding my bike down the street today, on my way to the grocery store when i came across a homeless man i see on the street fairly often. he's older, though it's hard to tell if it's purely age or simply a hard life that has put the creases up and down his weathered face. he's usually rather disheveled looking, but as i came upon him i noticed he was wearing a mismatched suit, dress shoes so ratty & worn they must have sent pain shooting up his legs with every step & a battered and stained gentleman's hat that he always has with him, quite possibly the only vestige left from another life long gone. he pushed his possessions along 26th street in an overflowing shopping cart- it's contents which could have easily filled two, precariously held into place with a web of bungy cords.

as i pulled up beside him he sort of gazed at me from the corners of his eyes, i think half expecting me to yell at him to get out of the way- though the thought would have never occurred to me. much to his surprise, i smiled and said 'hello.'
he started for a second and looking rather bewildered said 'hello' back as he tried to steer his cart farther to the right so i could pass- but there wasn't enough room for all of 'us.' i told him not to worry about it, i wasn't in any hurry & we continued on in silence side by side for a couple seconds until i mentioned i had seen him around quite a bit & asked his name. his bewilderment was only compounded by my query so i offered up my own name & yet another smile to reassure him that i wasn't a boones farm induced apparition, just a girl on a bike asking his name. he smiled, quite possibly one of the warmest, toothless smiles i've ever laid eyes on & introduced himself as jim, all hesitation having dissipated, he extended his hand into mine & shook it like a perfect gentleman.

he admitted to having seen me zip through the streets a number of times himself & commented on the fact that i was the only woman he had seen ride an old beat up schwinn in a skirt & heels since 'after the war' & that each time i passed he thought maybe he had seen a ghost. i laughed & confessed that i often felt the same way... 'who knows, maybe i am & i just don't know it? i always feel sort of out of place' i said as i shrugged. he took this as a perfectly plausible explanation & added that i made a lovely ghost if that was in fact the case and then completely changing the subject inhaled deeply & pointed to the garden we were about to pass, telling me it was one of his favorites in sacramento. i nodded knowingly & said 'every week it smells different because something knew is blooming- but i can never figure out which plants are the ones that smell so good'.......

and then we were at the alleyway where our paths dissected. he held out his hand again & thanked me for no reason, touching the torn brim of his hat with a nod before turning his cart to leave. i stood there for a second watching him make his way down the alley & it struck me that i was probably the only stranger who had actually spoken to him all day, maybe even longer, who hadn't looked upon him with an air total disgust & disregard. it nearly made me cry to think what a pathetic miserable life that must be- to just not exist in society except as something to be avoided, not spoken to or looked at in the eye because you simply don't matter to anyone. i felt so guilty for having spent the afternoon sitting in my apartment crying over what a mess & disappointment so much of my life is & has been. it's no one's fault but my own if i am unhappy & comparatively speaking i have little reason to feel so. i hope i see him again soon. he was the first person in a long time with whom i haven't felt like a ghost.