Portraits of girls that I know

She is the kind of girl that unknowingly inspires songs. She is one of those personalities that will be solidified and made infinite through art, through the adoring glances of thousands of lovers. She has messy hair, a messy life. I step over mountains of clothing, discarded objects. She is living life too quickly to notice the run-off. She was duty bound to this sort of living the minute she was born. Sweet Caroline! Her name is evocative of green Southern landscapes the way she is evocative of hurried escapes made in dilapidated Pintos. We are taking off across the country, hands out windows, palms open to the cool air that comes in off the plantations at night. I can hear bits and pieces of the music coming off of the radio, but she says, “really it is just the lazy jag of some lonely satellite.” I believe the things she tells me. We are cruising good, now, trying to make a break from the deserts and the crowds. We are sleepy now, tired from looking for our own faces in Pamela de Barres novels. Somewhere between Gun Barrel City and the Mason-Dixon line, I turned to her and saw nothing but her hair and the sun, which I told her was very important, like something I read in a novel I can’t quite remember. She always laughs indulgently at midnight madness because she understands the way that water springs from underground; she understands the way the subterranean can create a pressure that one is unable to deal with. She understands these things because they are part of her genetic code. They were hardwired into her through generations of dreamers. Truth is in her DNA like light, like water. If anyone on Earth can remember Genesis 1:1, it would be her, because her hair and the sun hold important information like this. And sometimes, when I am in the backseat and the afternoon is bearing down too hot and I have had too much sangria, I start to believe that her hair has become the sun. That her hair has always been the sun and this is what Genesis 1:1 said, what they were trying to convey. She’s always driving to somewhere else, to some next world’s Genesis 1:1, because she wears boots with fringe, and what else are fringed boots going to do? If I could tell her something to keep her from knitting a worried brow during these endless pilgrimages, it would be what good ol’ Val said: “when God made the world He did not abandon it to sit in contemplation—- somewhere in limbo. God made the world and he entered into it: that is the meaning of creation.” And all the congregation said, Sweet Caroline, Amen! –D, 2008

There was a night when we were speeding through dark lanes, and our headlights illuminated the thrashing body of a dying cat. We were shaken, and there were questions. She asked, “There’s nothing we can do, right?” And I told her she was.

I loved her more in that moment than ever before because at that time we shared a heart, and it pumped the poor blood of that unnamed animal.

In the nighttime, when she is illuminated by the lights of passing cars and liquor stores, I am sure that she is June Miller because she is crazy but comforting like a mother. When I was young, I was in love with my mother’s hands. They were cool and clean, the skin so tender that it was transparent, and I could see straight through her flesh to the pumping green veins below.

I have never looked at her fingers, but I know already that they are iridescent like my mother’s. She is the kind of girl that never has clammy hands. –D, 2008
  • Current Music
    Max Richter - Embers

(no subject)

Reading Henry Miller fanatically, jumping from one novel to the other when a passage leaves me dry, fills me up. I am in a period of gluttony; I am gorging myself on literature and paintings and experience and conversation. I am amassing fuel, having flashbacks to that night in the dark bar when I had that one epiphany-- you remember, don't you? The point is that things are not always on an upswell. There are times when the waves crest and break, receding into a blue-green plateau of salt and ambivalence. That is the point where I find myself, caught between water and flashbacks, the slight hint of an empty space that once used to contain good, true things. I am amassing fuel, I am filling myself up, I have taken on the sultry shape of an empty vessel. I have thrown open the gates; I am standing here with welcoming arms. I am straining to emote the fleshly glow of the easily impressionable. I am in need of direction.

I favor dark bars with dirty walls and floors, questionable personalities. These places are filled with carefully clad bodies, particularly emoted illusions. The youth are beautiful and sinewy, full of anger culled from a violence against them that they have yet to name. They are rumpled shirts and dirty hair, precise tastes. This is a new breed of aristocracy, because these are the artists and the muses and the hangers-on. The old and washed up have come here too, mixed in. The diffused light of candles and bad judgment helps them fit in, infuses them with youth again. They are sagging flesh wearing a golden gown, though, and everyone in the room can smell the encroaching stench of age and repetition. In a place where we are all running from the finite, reaching for relevance and meaning, no one wants to come face to face with the replica of their parents twenty years ago, the visage of themselves in just ten. However, hands are sliding up and down flanks and bodies are moving together and then apart. Willowy specters shift tenses and drift across the expanse of open air, an entire night cultivated of simple greetings. Rare are the conversations, the exchange of any thought or idea that will last past this night. Perhaps witty anecdotes about something that was said will be repeated at a future time, but it will no doubt be embellished with the rosy glow that retrospect grants the less than brilliant. Spaces like this, where the smell of so many skins mingle, should be warm and suffuse. The senses are affronted, however, by a gust of cold air. My internal romanticizations are rebuffed, and the position of my legs becomes awkward.


I have not yet mastered the wiles of women and men. I feel like I am looking at these faces with someone else's eyes, so little does my mind resemble my social behavior. In solitude and creation I feel strong and self-assured. I am positive that my time should be spent on fruitful endeavors; I am giving too much credence and thought to these paltry exchanges, but I am human and there is a pull that continues to hurtle me deeper and deeper into the social maelstrom. I have not perfected social poise, the art of seduction. I am still in a state of careful tutelage. My eyes wander and observe, I see the scenes played out by bodies vibrating with loneliness and alcohol and double bass drums. I am struggling to learn calculation, the effect of timing and brevity. I am learning that self-confidence does not exist, that by even giving it a name you are categorically denying its existence. Were there such a thing as loving yourself, you would never have to declare, would never have to say, "I have come to accept who and what I am," because such a thing would be the natural state of being. It would be the home, the plush center you would always return to. When you were a child you never gave home a name; it was the place where all things started and eventually returned to. It was the primordial, for you, so should self-contentment be.

Instead I am learning that self-confidence is a carefully crafted series of self-affirmations and lies. It is a one-way mirror, it is the longest running fiction that one will ever write. It is the age old, say and make it so philosophy. When I was a child, I would live in fear after telling a lie. I would be tormented by anxiety and guilt; the only way to assuage these feelings was to convince myself that the lie was the truth. I would convince myself, and my fear would be over. Solutions are always simple. Now, I walk with my head up, my spine straight. I look strangers in the eye, and I laugh loudly. I don't turn back when I have finished a sentence; I am committed to the myth. I am a bodily fabrication. What you think you see is not here. I am a falling house of cards.


Last night I was sitting next to you, completely aware of the level of our awkwardness, even more aware of my need to make it go away. My mind would create a dramatic entrance in which she swept through the door, torrents of cold night air blowing street refuse in behind her. The truth is that she walked in behind a mutual acquaintance, and that I really didn't even notice her until she sat down at the table. She is all legs and breasts and show, there is no craft or delicacy to her. She is a large cat stalking small game. You are quiet and smiling, you, the perpetual lover of fun. The air is purpling underneath the weight of everything I do not know about you and her, and now you two are throwing back and forth funny remarks whose root systems run deep to inside jokes you two have had for weeks or months. Now there are drinks being handed out-- you are playing the part of the congenial host, eager to please, desperate for a good time. She is all lips and eyelashes and hair, taking a sip, casting those large brown beauties upwards, letting the coy nature of it all seep out of every pore. She is all wrists and heels and perfume, turning her body toward you, pointedly ignoring my presence, watching your face while you laugh at something someone else has said. This is all so choreographed, dripping with trickery learned from after-school soap operas. She is obvious and lazy, her flesh is slow and sloppy. There is no taste or aesthetics to this, there is only the sad clutching of lonely people at the slippery shadow of something real. I make my retreat-- it is tidy and it is glorious. I do not feel sad at the passing of the scene; curtains close and I am able to sleep and dream of things more beautiful than these streets and the people that fill them-- you included.
  • Current Music
    Max Richter - Embers

(no subject)

Written and saved several days ago: I obviously can't drink and listen to music that you've given me, because I do nothing but ponder the unsolvable question of you+me for hours, to no avail, because there are no answers to questions that have never been asked.

In the days between when that as written and now, I have effectively marred a singular emotion. I have drunk myself under the table, into isolations, into silence. I have managed to keep my body out of the groping hands of people willing to sell their attentions. I have managed to keep my skin intact, sharp blades in the drawer. I never really said that I was doing well, just that I was keeping it together. There are levels of mediocrity that I am dabbling in; I'll settle for just about anything these days.

Listening to "Rid of Me" while driving the bike on ridiculously sunny days. Harvest moons have come and gone with no particularly pagan ritual to mark it's passing. We are officially headlong into fall and usually I am excited to embrace this change in seasons. However, this time, I can only guess that winter is going to cause me to shrivel. Bodies will going forward be clothed. Workloads will be doubled. We will talk less, dance less, hibernate more. I am feeling empty, as in waning. I am stockpiling the vertiginous throes of summer. I will unleash them this winter, amidst the dreary dirty gutters, amidst the lovers snuggling warm on couches. Because I cannot have a cold one, I cannot afford another six months to pass with nothing more to show than a slight sense of discontent. No, I'm savoring bad decisions, self destruction, complete narcissism, trashiness and subtle refuse. This will be the season that I exploded and was somehow all right.

Don't ask me why I feel the need to plumb the depths of this strain of depravity. I've just become too enamored of it now to turn away.

(no subject)

The ancient tradition that the world will be consumed in fire at the
end of six thousand years is true. as I have heard from Hell.
For the cherub with his flaming sword is hereby commanded to
leave his guard at the tree of life, and when he does, the whole crea-
tion will be consumed, and appear infinite. and holy whereas it now
appears finite & corrupt.
This will come to pass by an improvement of sensual enjoyment.
But first the notion that man has a body distinct from his soul, is to
be expunged; this I shall do, by printing in the infernal method, by
corrosives, which in Hell are salutary and medicinal, melting apparent
surfaces away, and displaying the infinite which was hid.
If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear
to man as it is: infinite.
For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow
chinks of his cavern.

-William Blake, "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell"

(no subject)

For 30 days, I am not going to write about myself. I am only going to write about other people.

I just can't handle introspection, anymore. It's become a disease.

(no subject)

When people ask me, "How are you?" I can only wish that they really meant it. Because when people ask that, they are doing so out of social obligation. No one really wants to hear how you REALLY are. It's all nicety, posturing, platitudes. I am dying for someone to ask, to really care.

However, even faced with such a rarity, I couldn't handle the openness. I always feel like a leech, a masturbatory freak, when I am opening up to someone, sharing my feelings. It seems scary and selfish. Days later, when our contact has waned, when I am alone again, I am always positive it is because I opened up too much and have scared them away. For some reason, I have always felt so noxious.

When I was fifteen I was a self-mutilator. I would writhe internally all day, every day, hating myself and everything around me. When I got home from school, I would open up my skin and feel better, for an instant. I knew I was disgusting and sick for relishing so much in my own wounds, but no matter how bad it got, when my mother came home and asked me, "How was your day?" I would smile and play cheerful. I was cutting myself for four years before anyone noticed, I had put on such a good front. I really should have been in theater, I tell you.

This doesn't have much to do with the present other than to illustrate that I have always internalized things. It comes full circle in that when I am sitting naked on the side of the tub, lately, I have become transfixed by the large stripes of fat keloid that run horizontal across my thighs. It's been so long since there have been fresh wounds there, but I can see them, still. I miss it. I always liked the color of them, set off by my pale skin. Is this a sick obsession? I don't really act on it; just daydream. I'm sure other people think far less creepy things in their moments alone.

That doesn't have much to do with the heart of the feeling, other than to illustrate that observers always peg it wrong. Sometimes I'm playing devil's advocate, and sometimes I'm intentionally trying to lead you astray. I know that he has an idea of how my time is spent, how I am feeling. I want to tell him that I hurt and hurt and hurt and this hurts and that I miss him. I want to tell him that I am terrified that I made a horrible mistake, but that I am even more terrified of trying again and failing again. I want to tell him that I realized yesterday I am still in love with him, and that when I said I was over it I lied. I want to tell him that I am scared silent by stories of people who left the best thing they had, and they never found another good thing their entire lives. I want to tell him that I am scared of ending up alone. I am tired of being alone now. I want to tell him that the other day I had a memory of myself standing on tiptoe, naked, rifling through his closet looking for a shirt, and that the memory made me cry. I want to tell him that I am crying now.

But telling anyone that would be selfish.
And I'm trying to work on these things.

(I want to tell him about my realization that I was at this exact place before I met him, and that when we met, I felt saved.)

A friend of mine has been living alone for twenty years. Another has been single for four years.

There is no way that I can do this for that long. I feel anxious; I think I may need to vomit, now.

I'm not vomiting. I'm thinking of exorcism and wondering if it works. I'm thinking of catharsis and how I really need it. I'm thinking of when M told me, "You need to do some soul searching," and I figured it'd be a short journey because I've always surface gloss and little substance. I'm thinking about how each person is really just a load of crap until someone else gives them validation, sees something beautiful in them. Because really, if you die alone, nothing inside of you really mattered. It was wasted and snuffed out without a witness. It may have never existed, for all anyone knows or cares.

And so it goes. I am equipped to deal with this world and its existensial crises.
  • Current Music
    Thank You.