Wednesday, December 24, 2008

At Starbucks on Christmas Day, a letter to Ashtree

_So to one neutrall thing both sexes fit,
__Wee dye and rise the same, and prove
__Mysterious by this love.


sonatine: iii, tommy oshima

Dear(est) A-Digg,
____In recent times Christmas has become a day of exile. A day for departure lounges and solo-coffees. A day to measure the relativistic duration of these long Decembers. Like a bookmark, everything they hold in place... new names, like yours, and words I never knew before, and dates and moments and objects... Salvatore Ferragamo half-boots, new ties and the funerals and weddings I bought them for... and the occasions I wore them to. December is a dam. A hard, long, cement wall to try and hold back in place the 11 months prior.
____I had hoped to write a great novel this year. I have not done that. I haven't even written a decent short-story. In bursts I wrote well enough didn't I? The miniatures I display here aren't all bad are they? I only say this because I'm an autobiographicalist. It's what I do: write the autobiographies of moments and daydreams and partial memories and the blurred, deformed relics of history. If I write bad, perhaps I have lived it bad. (lived it wrong). I fear bad writing makes me a graceless man living a jarring graceless life. Maybe it's true, considering all the sweat, shed hair, dirty post-shower water, spit, groans, nail-clippings, trembling 3am fingers, hearty laughs, unslept blackened eyes, rare moments of transcendental prayer, the friction and inertia of hugs, repeated curses (over and over), all those things it takes to build a year, how can that ever be graceful? I suppose looking like magazine models floating through airports calmly, perfectly pressed trousers even after a 12 hours flight, no beads of sweat or stubble on chins, I suppose not everyone can have that.
____What do we do with all this time? Sometimes I think of it and I'm elated. inspired. relieved. Other times... frightened. Right now I'm a little... bland. Time has turned, this year, into a muddy haze of static white noise. I myself, my life too. Time, future, all of it, a translucent substance, a blurry half-forgotten memory-photograph. I see it that way, everything floating, nothing solid, nothing pinned down. nothing certain. I like it this by the way. It makes it easier to move around. There are no right angles left in my world, everything I touch is smoothe. ____Can things exist as music?, half-formed, temporary as vibrating air. Did you know light is just an oscillating electromagnetic wave? Similar concepts have been proposed about matter. Perhaps I am an oscillating field. A temporary anomaly, a ripple along time's clear lake. Perhaps I am just vibrating air, nothing at all. A balloon, a thin membrane holding in some air. (I like that idea). I like the idea of being a set of variations on the theme of clouds.
____It is a Thursday. It feels like a Sunday. Sunday seems to have invaded most of this week.
____I have not been in love this year. A whole loveless year. I'd be tempted to proclaim a loveless year a year not worth living. On the other hand, there are only soo many natural disasters a person can endure in one lifetime.
____The interesting thing is, the way this year has wound down. So gently. Like the last Shostakovich symphony, percussion and a celesta for a full two minutes. not with a bang but a whimper. Like playing, round & round & round & round and all . fall . down . And here we lay, panting and smiling and looking left and right. Gol says I am "stamping out the last embers of 2008"... honestly, I thought they were just getting done stamping me out.
____Anniversary dates are a little... depressing for me. Reflection days (birthdays, New Years, etc) are always a little overcast. Each of my year's is about 2 or 3 in typical human time. Too much happens in my life. Too much stimulation. You should measure me in dog years, that accounts for the discrepancy in my age. Yet despite all the coffee and people-watching, I can't determine the weight of 2008. It is too heavy a year, a singularity point (a point where you must divide by zero - it means your division explodes to ∞... it's what happens with gravity at the singularity point of black holes), the fulcrum between past and future. it is the year that changed everything (and every thing is alot). it was soo wonderful and soo miserable, that's what makes it different- most years, in the final assessment are reduced to 'a good year', 'it was an ok year', 'it was a pretty terrible year'... but 2008... is the worst year ever and the best year ever simultaneously and i can't disassemble it back into blocks and triangles and simple geometric moments. the oceanic vastness of it, it has submerged every doorway, it is refracting the light of the past in new ways, it is the massive dragon in the living room, it nudges pawns, and recomputes all future vectors. i am lost without this year. and i am lost because of it. i hate everything that's ever happened because of this year. and everything that is going to happen in the future is because of this year. everything i hate about life is exemplified in this year, and everything i love about it. i just can't find a way to condense this year into a single word that isn't: 2008?, uhh, fu&^ man. I want to love it. I do. When with time I drift away from it a little (my face slammed into this glass right now it is a bit hard on the perspective-eye) I know I'll come to see its intricacies. It's beautiful stains and marks and the intelligence of its brutality. Right now, I can't commit to 'loving it', or being 'grateful for it', because 2008 is a year that makes me wretch. It is a year that took me from a passionate hatred of life to a... dreamy aloofness. a sort of genuine resignation, the kind that makes one feel... constantly floating, constantly flying, constantly falling... (i exist in space between stars). 2008 was a year I dreamt of dead grandfathers... which for some reason, summarizes everything to me.
____And, of course, the jury has been debating whether it was indeed the year of/for miracles (the jury never decided if it was to be the year of miracles, or a year for miracles). I assume G-Bomb will argue till her dying breath it most certainly was, which is perfectly in character and not the least bit surprising. I don't know what Monz has to say about it... if she's ready to make her call. As for me... I suppose it's time to make up my mind. I think it was a year of silence. a year of anticlimax. a year of waiting for massive things to happen, so much so, that we missed them when they did (L'attendant Godot). i think it was a year of minute micro-changes. a year where insects ate the foundations of every building right beneath our feet without us seeing. (and a year where gardens bloomed outside that we forgot to notice we were soo busy staring at the sky hoping for rain). they were the sort of miracles that pass you by in hallways and elevators and walk right in front of you as you sit at Starbucks. you look, fail to absorb, then look away. it was a year of vampire weekends and perfectly nuanced monday afternoons. they were the sort of miracles that are sculpted out of wind, the shape of clouds, the shadows on grass, the kind you won't understand till you're a septuagenarian, where, as you sit alone and try and fathom your crumbling withered body, you'll stare at family portraits and the dusted faces of paintings you don't have the strength to wipe off, and little morsels of food gathering in the corners of your kitchen you just ignore, and you finally grasp (grasp) in an awesome awkward humility the mutidunious miracle of that train-wreck.
____and until then, you sit at Starbucks on Thursdays that are really Sundays, alone, which you prefer because your thoughts can't be put into spoken words, staring at every-other-woman-wearing-a-maxi-dress and brown wrap up sandals, and children confusedly looking around, and uncaring teenagers checking their cell phones... and scribble in your notebook and people hate you because you are taking up a four-seater-table all on your own. and you sweat and layers of your skin peel off and the frowns on your forehead deepend. you grow more silent and if you close your eyes and reach out your hands can sense the longitude and latitude of wind, and the humidity in the air makes it thick so when you're thirsty you breathe it in, and you try and forget the sound of the alarm that woke you up at 3:45am for months so you could start work at 4, and the dreams of all your yesterdays suddenly start to dwindle, sadly walk across
London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many,
and you feel that, on the other side of this moody afternoon, on the other side of your blurred misvision, on the other side of your most earnest efforts and most dreaded failures, several billion stars are still burning, and that if you concentrate- can feel their tingles of heat on your arms, pinpricks of light, like being kissed by an invisible ant, spots of rapture, the tiniest imaginable slithers of an otherworld, a sense of continuity, the undeaded part of you that after hours without speaking, suddenly surprises you by exhaling a gush of air that says it all, that releases you out of the cage of yourself, and there you sit, air staring at air, anomaly to anomaly, unreflective surface to unreflective surface, and everything you love.hate.cannot understand meets its moment and its death... and time which now means nothing, and victory and failure which now mean nothing, and love and wretched hate which now mean nothing and the lost artform of being human, is redeemed.

perhaps not all miracles are sensed.

much love

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