Friday, December 26, 2008

Romance by Miranda July

"I made orange juice from concentrate and showed her the trick of squeezing the juice of one real orange into it. It removes the taste of being frozen. She marveled at this, and I laughed and said, Life is easy. What I meant was, Life is easy with you here, and when you leave, it will be hard again. The day felt like a birthday, our first, and we ourselves were the gifts, to be opened again and again.
...we pressed our legs against each other's legs, and these, too, were radically different sizes, and our curiosity was blossoming like a rose, we wanted to know, we really wanted to know, all the unknowable things about each other and how we were the same and how we were different, if we even were, maybe nobody is. We wanted to strike lightning in dark waters, to see, if only for a second, the entire world that lives down there, the ten millions species in amazing colors and patterns; show us life, now. We pressed our stomachs and lips together, and these too, were different sizes, but my lips were roughly the same size as her ear, and her arm, when wrapped around my waist, felt long and, more important, was warm.
We grew still and stared at each other. It seemed incredibly dangerous to look into each other's eyes, but we were doing it. For how long can you behold another person? Before you have to think of yourself again, like dipping the brush back in for more ink. For a long time; you didn't need to get more ink, there was no reason to get anything else, because she was as good as me, she lived on earth like me, suffered as I did. It was she who looked away and pulled the sheet to her chin."

One of the standout paragraphs from Miranda July's collection of short stories No One Belongs Here More Than You. I just finished the book and these past days it's fit perfectly into my melancholy mood.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Early one morning

She looked up at the cracks on the wall. It was a mirror. Her reflection was sometimes hard to see. So many wrinkles, so many spots replaced a once clear, smooth, dark skin. All these creases in her body and face represented a story. The lines around her mouth were heartbreak. The bags under her brown eyes were regret and loss. The deep crevices on her forehead were worry.
She didn't care for any of them. Her jet black hair continued to thin, the skin on her hands continued to reveal more veins and arteries. Walking over four blocks she would be out of breathe.

As she was drying herself after a long shower she paused in between her legs. That part of her body had been dormant for so long. Delicately tracing the folds of her skin with the yolk of her fingers she tried to remember...remember
the last time she had been touched...
the last time she had been fucked...
the last time she had been loved....
She had ceased being a sexual being long before her body had. Only ashes remain where the flames of any passion could ignite. So be it.

Several years ago with every puff of her Malboro Lights she fantasized about how wonderful it would be to go to sleep and never wake up. She was just fed up. Didn't care for anything or anyone.

Sometime between then and now something shifted. Despite feeling tired most of the time she was able to find a reason to keep going. After her divorce she never remarried and never had children. A retired teacher, she had lost contact with most of her students. Just like her nieces and nephews they had all moved away and created new lives far away from her classroom. She was but a vague memory that would only surface when turning the pages of old pictures and yearbooks.

Despite all this she had begun to take pleasure in simple things. The crisp air as she stepped out of the house in the morning. The bitter taste of her instant coffee. The giggles of her youngest niece when she would visit.
She was excited again.
Being at an elderly age gave her power she wouldn’t have otherwise. No one could force her to do anything. She had lived long enough that she could speak her mind and not care about others opinions. She also had gained the power of invisibility. At family gatherings she could just sit back, amused and entertain herself watching the dramas of a younger generation without being noticed. At that age she just didn’t count for certain things. Being alone, she could do and go as she pleased. It was comforting. She had stopped trying and she was at peace.

Excited about starting her day and making herself breakfast she hastily finished getting dressed and opened her blinds. It would be a routine day, nevertheless a good one. She had the crossword puzzle to finish!

As she turned to leave the Earth suddenly spun off it’s axis and sent her stumbling forward. Caught by surprise she tried to regain her balance and gripped the bed frame, but with the loss of balance came loss of strength. The sun disappeared. Everything became dark before she hit the ground. Laying unconscious on her bedroom floor, she would never stand back up.

So I dedicate this story to one of my aunts in Chile. She was one of the aunts that raised me during my teen years there. Over a month ago I was informed she suffered a cerebral hemorrhage. One morning she just fell to the floor in her room. When she was found hours later she was lying in a puddle of her own piss and shit as the hemorrhage caused her to lose control of her bodily functions.
She stayed in the hospital for a month, drifting in and out of consciousness. Although she is better she will never quite recover. She can barely mouth words, has lost most motor skils and can't do anything by herself, needing 24hr. supervision Other age related problems make her situation worse.
We were never really that close. She was a lonely woman who didn't know how to love without smothering and would end up driving you away.
As it happens commonly with young adults and their parents I didn't really appreciate her until I moved away to college and wasn't living with her anymore. Our relationship improved greatly over the years despite never becoming extremely close.
The last time we spent together was when I visited in February. She took me to lunch and asked me if had met any nice girls, if I planned on getting married or have children soon(gay is synonym to pervert in her dictionary. Although this is something that might have changed in recent years, my sexuality was never discussed). This conversation amused me.
I hope I don't see her again. If I do this means it will be years from now after enduring years in a practically vegetative state. Everyone around her will grow old and weary feeding her, bathing her, wiping her. That's no way to live. Certainly not for her. So I hope that if she doesn't improve drastically that I will one day get the phone call that she passed away.
I won't be suprised because in a sense she died that morning on her bedroom floor and as hard as it might be there comes a time when there is no choice but to let go.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

random music rant

I went on some lame date a while ago and I could tell it wasn't going to go anywhere when I asked him what kind of music he was into. He replied by shrugging and stating that he wasn't really into music. He didn't listen to the radio, had very few cd's and could really just care less. No song or musician had ever given him goosebumps and he didn't like live shows.
I was unable to process that information and quickly lost interest. To me a life without music is a listless one.

Melancholy melodies usually suit my mood the most.
I was a classical piano player for 6 years. For a long time there was nothing like feeling the ivory keys under my fingers or the rush that came from playing at concert halls and colleges with my fellow piano mates.
Eventually that ended up taking a sour turn when my dad pushed me so much with it that he transformed it into a chore and I lost all pleasure in playing.
My foray into pop music happened in grade school, I remember really wanting the Ace of Base cassette, The Sign. I traded one of my classmates her Ace of Base cassette for my cassette of this spanish artist Christina y los Subterraneos. The first cd I ever bought was a Bon Jovi cd. I have a cousin who is to this day in love with Bon Jovi and we used to hang out alot so I guess it just caught on.
In Chile you couldn't get really good music in the '90s. It was all mainstream crap and if you were to ever stumble on some indie darling or some more obscure artist it would be a wild goose chase to try to find anything from them.
Now in my late 20's I'd like to think I have a pretty decent taste in music. And I try to go to live shows as much as I can.
anyway...these are 2 of my favorite performances/covers from 2 of my all time favorite artists that I found on youtube.
I want to do mushrooms with Devendra and a dance routine with Feist.