Monday, December 29, 2008

Things You Do.Think On Days When You Hear News Like I Heard News Today, A List:









____It is the hour of departure, the hard cold hour
____which the night fastens to all the timetables.

______Pablo Neruda









December 15, 2008 by Hollis Brown Thornton


i find it takes a little while for things to settle with me. for arrows to find their mark. in happiness and in... the other thing. a breakup took 10 days. realizing i wasn't in medical school, and i wasn't going back, and i now had nothing took several months. today's took several hours. My first inclination was to

____1. write

anything, anything would have done. but i restrained that. no no no, i'd have nothing worthwhile to say; and i still don't.

____2. buy a bottle of vermouth and get drunk listening to Chet Baker till teary red eyes see red and collapse into a corner singing nothing to myself.

but then i realized that vermouth isn't that strong and you need a double-shot per drink, which i hate. so i revised to

____2b. buy a bottle of rum (dark or light doesn't matter), and get drunk listening to Counting Crows till teary red eyes see Mr. Jones himself and we say to one another: forget about it right? rightright.

but of course i wasn't going to do that. i've never really ever done that, so that wasn't going to happen. i dealt with it the way i always deal with things, i swallow it, and then try and find a way to expel it from my body.

____3. move the kingsize mattress that's been sitting on my floor back into the master bedroom by myself. it's floppy and heavy as all hell and took about 35 minutes to do. left me panting and mildly sweaty and terribly vexed.

i found myself sitting on my (own) bed, doing nothing much (ostensibly, i had come in to check my phone for missed blah blah), over and over in my head repeating

____4. the phrase arrested development resounds in my head. for years now i think about it sometimes. all the circumstantial walls that keep me walking in circles so that all those key milestones are left unmet. and that's what's got me riled up, nothing to do with you, but how it is that my life has been at a virtual standstill for the last 2 years.

amongst this it occurs to me that

____5. the very living of life is a rat-race. like a silly purposeless game since in the end, every quality.attribute.virtue.knowledge we attain fits into a meticulous score-keeping scheme that rates performance against an ideal personal-best scenario. i am uncomfortable with the idea of life itself, (in the deepest sense), because i am uncomfortable with my perfunctorily going from day to day and... well... not really caring.

and now it is apparent that i'm wallowing in self pity. having discarded points 2 and 2b from my mind, and not having ready access to a gym till school starts in 3 weeks, i do the closest thing i can think of:

____6. find myself on the high-way with a fourpack of V (that's a rather delicious Australian energy-drink that all gas-stations have a discount on at the moment) driving strictly to speed limit and drinking one after the other so that 20 minutes later, my hands are shaking and i feel cold but my skin is sweating.

and as the drive continues, i realize i need to occupy myself with mind games to keep myself from drifting into the abyss of nostalgia and self-scrutiny and post-you-what-have-we-learneds which do nobody any good since the thing we learn most from the past is what Joyce reminds us history is a nightmare of myself from which i'm trying to wake (and at this point:

____7. though appreciate the good advice everyone gave me, realize that i am the memory-machine, and that perhaps tempermentally, perhaps mental-erroneously, i cannot forgive the past, hate the past, and hate myself for the past, and hate the past for the past, and hate the world for the past. (also, i decided that i would eventually have to find a way to remedy this preoccupation,

____7b. thought about my mother crying as she read my novel, and saying, oh baby... it is not right to remember soo much. forget it. forget it all. we all love you, but for your sake, learn to be someone else.

notice i'm driving markedly faster, and am headed towards Ikea, which is a great place to lose yourself and become confused about other things; but i'm still 30 minutes away. i decide to play Sholeh's the Golden 11 game. (pick your top 11 bands, and your single favorite song per band). 10 minutes later when this was finished, i decide to add the word why. (as we all know, i'm a wordy type, so my reasons are most often lyrical).

____8. THE GOLDEN 11, a list (in non-prioritized order)

__- Bon Iver, re: stacks
why?
the moment he says and your love is safe with me and every fragile thing about that is obvious. and everything to do with permanence, and loss and safeguarding 'us' from everything that seeks to divide 2 back into 1's.


__- the Deftones, Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)
why?
if the title isn't enough,
_____________i don't care where just far
_____________________________(away)
_____________i don't care where just far
_____________________________(away)
shouted over and over.


__-
Big Runga, Gravity
why?
it's the perfect love song. the most honest, attainable. a perfect symbiosis of music and words, when i hear
If gravity let us go
We would all go flying
And I'll meet you somewhere
in the milky night
Away past the satellites
i actually feel lighter. i drift away. somewhere where all the love i've ever felt still lives, and still breathes, and still sits quietly and watches Tameeka smoke in the rain on my sister's green swing. and sees Vanessa for the first time on the 345 bus... and the other stuff.


__- Bjork, Bachelorette
why?
Love's a two way dream & I'm your one way street


__- Radiohead, (previously has been: Exit Music, Idioteque, Life in a Glasshouse, Where I End and You Begin, but is currently: Videotape
why?
cause. i. know. to.day. has. been. themost. perfect. day. i've. ever. seen.


__-
Nina Simone, Don't Smoke in Bed
why?
most poetic lyrics, simplest music imaginable, saddest song known to man, poetry is truth, raw and unbridled.


__- Frou Frou & Imogen Heap (same bunch of people anyway), Hide and Seek
why?
WWWWwwwwwhhhhhheeerre are we?


__- Kanye West, Never Let Me Down
why?
J.Ivy's BOMB monologue that ends: Cuz whenever I open my heart, my soul, or my mouth
A touch of God reigns out


__-
Blonde Redhead, the Dress
why?
People hate you when you're changing


__- Calla, Tijerina
why?
after the intro, he whispers.rasps, almost inaudibly, i think i'm coming back home. it's safer if i stay close to home. and suddenly there are a million stories that start and end with those two affirmations.


__- the Shins, Caring is Creepy
why?
the lead in to gold teeth and the curse for this...

and now, i'm done at Ikea. i'm driving home.

____9. windows down. windows up. music up. music down. noise. louder. static. cram it all in there. there can't be thinking if there's no room to think. windows down. music up. louder. it's not distorting yet, make it distort. yeesss. yesss. make a real mess of it q.

and i arrive home. i can't be home. this isn't home. there is no home.

____10. i close the windows and sit staring out at the lightning storm, repeating to myself over and over the year of everything that wasn't , the year of everything that wasn't , the year of everything , year everything , everything wasn't, year wasn't

____11. i'm at Chad's playing Resident Evil 4 for no less than 5 hours, while drinking tea and watching his two kittens play and then fall asleep cuddling. we aren't talking much. time flies. it's late. i know as soon as i leave

____12. i think alot about the Great Gatsby, i think about that stereotypical male yearning to 'catch-up', to be made worthy, to be approved of... a kind of thing that doesn't go away after even decades. I wonder where Fitzgerald must have discovered it. When i read it at 16, that aspect made no sense to me. as i grow older, i seem to settle more and more with the elegiac Gatsby, trying to win back affections that don't deserve him. then from behind the corner it comes back, a variation on Joyce: boats against the current, ceaselessly borne into the past

i start to realize maybe i'm running.

2 comments:

capone said...

what is worse than losing your arm? telling your best friend that ....
what is better than losing your arm?
joking around about hunting deer/buffalo with your best friend...

meet you in montana?

Sholeh said...

I thought of you last night, actually, as I wrote and wrote and only stopped because I knew I needed sleep. I am glad you did the golden 11, didn't think you would. I almost put the "why" in, but after 3 hours of putting my list together I was much too tired.

Re: "memory-machine" I am the one who remembers almost everything, and I like the terminology you've come up with here. It is almost robotic by now.

also: you can run forever, but eventually you realize that you're going in circles.