Friday, November 21, 2008

a sleep with no dreams

(Running home, running home, running home, running home...)

____For Emma, Forever Ago, Bon Iver

Akif Hakan,

the girl in this photo is someone i need to get to know. she's the last piece i think. i know she has a messy apartment. i know she vacuums in the nude. i think she's pretty quiet, and we'll have to learn to read her thoughts. i know she says:

Lying in that bed it suddenly hit me how far I was from the earth. From soil. I wanted to be close to it but there I was occupying some piece of sky.
(not my words, credit due to the person who wrote them)

i know she thinks the most dreadful saturday night she ever had was the one where she tried to learn to play the guitar someone left behind by herself. the dress she wore to her sister's wedding is on the floor now. i don't know if she's lost home (like Ali) or if she never could hang on to one (like me). she's an enigma of sorts - even to me. i don't know where i can find her. she's not in a song somewhere. she's not described for me in a book i've read, and i think back through my past and think to myself: who could she be? and can't settle it.

but when i know her... then i think i'll be ready. the parts will start to lock into one another. Ali i already know well, and his history's just variations on my own. and me, well... that's easy enough. but her... i want to conjure her. i want her to be mine. i want her to be someone who would like me (not the Q in the book, the Q in life). i want her to be an expression of that female-limbo, which is so different from the male version. a woman's sadness is soo different. it's a whole different season to a man's. has its own ebbs and tides, and reacts in its own individual way to wind, and to words, and to invisible things. But that's not even it, i don't want her to be sad. no one is going to be sad. there is no sadness here. she just needs some air.

talk to me dearest, who do you want to be? what should be important to you? are you sure you want me to make you so... stoic? so aloof and apathetic and distant? that's not you. i know you're not this person. who are you really? what are your stories, where can i find them? shall your father be wonderful?, i think he will be. and your mother too. but she'll die first, and your sister is typical. she'll take it well. and you'll never quite find your niche. perhaps you work at a vintage-clothing store that you run with a migrant-girl from Nigeria. The migrant-girl's parents are wealthy, and they sent her abroad to study. But she's used her tuition money to open this store, and that's where you work. how's that? will that work for you? i'm still not convinsed.

i don't know.


i had promised myself the next novel would be my happy-novel. it will not be. my next novel will be a story about air. about small confined (figurative) spaces. it will be about contortionists in funny poses, stuck in place, and held in place by time and circumstance and finances and family and religion and drink and everything that feeds off us. it will be a novel abou history, which we hold soo dear and hate soo much. it is a story that's soo distant, and soo insipid there's no room for love. it's a dusty life led by dusty, confused people. it's a story about sensed locomotion, but when we open our eyes, we're still right back where we started (at: who?). It's Bon Iver's Re:Stacks as a story. It's about a 38 year old man who smokes on his balcony. and my sojourn in LA. and this girl, who is naked in her apartment, in the sky. and homelessness of course. home, which is where things are supposed to start, and which never ends at. about the multitudes of homes we can't have. about walking down Santa Monica Blvd. at 3am with a limp and your hands soo deep in your pockets you worry they won't come back out. it's a story about being divorced three-times. it's a story about how much i hate family. and history. and the past. and heritage. and how my grandfather did too. how he locked himself in his room for 30 years and would only leave once a week to buy groceries and books. how he waited it out. sat on the clock till it stopped. it's a story about women and how beautiful their knees are. and their ankles. and how the heels of women are soo attractive. and navels. and eyelashes and why do wet eyes feel so strange to touch? it's about being against a wall. it's about Run Orestes, Run! it's about Bye Bye LA. it's about Exile and the Kingdom. it's about A Sleep With No Dreams, and i think, in fact, that's what it ought to be called. because now that i think about it: a sleep with no dreams is as much solace as it is the emptiest, darkest, most silent, far-flung, edge-of-the-no-where i've never had the (mis)fortune to visit.


when i get her down, i think i can start.

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