Thursday, July 16, 2009


Dash Snow, courtesy tv blog

it may not look like i am, but i am. collecting stories. listening. nodding. noting things. (his eyes get a little watery, at 2am he speaks loudly and his wide-eyes dart right and left and he talks about his father and the length and breadth of human lives and the pills that save us. drinks. women). i may be a terrible story-teller, i don't know, probably am. can't think-up an original story if it kills me- so i try and memorize yours. take them apart. fragments of my own conversations. threads of thought (even my own thoughts come like distant radio-signals. coming out from a depth of space, from behind some darkness inside me, deranged by static and sadness, this tinny message). there must be a gravity pulling it all together, all these scraps slowly coalescing into sentences and chapters and characters and... meaning.

and i can't think what meaning is if not just... anecdotes. bread crumbs from our days. eroded contexts. words severed from sentences, all i have left are little bits and pieces. ssshh just sleep baby, sleep (i don't need to remember anything else from that night, that's all i need. her voice saying that. that's the whole story right there). meaning huh? painted toe-nails. freckles. they come into the macdonald's barefoot. one has long-toes. dirty. they are beautiful these women. their dresses. and their long hair. and my eyes exhausted from not sleeping, sting. and meaning is just history. we all have our demons i offer him. yes! he concurs. eyes wide you're gorgeous he says to her and she smiles as she walks to order. barefoot. dress. hair. demons. history. ghosts. heavy ghosts. complacent, and too lazy to leave us. and even when they do, they leave us momentos. their bones. the bones of our ghosts. lightly touching each other, shaken by the wind outside.

and i find my story-telling is changing too. no more parables. anthropomorphic transmutations. little girls in wheelchairs reinventing physics and hands conversing and japanese teapots in which we evacuate our soul. not soo much anymore. my stories now are... the flourescent lights of mcdonald's at 2am. the after-taste of cheeseburgers. somewhere inside my body amphetamines are tweaking my heartbeat. focusing my eyes. wrapping around my brain a curtain to protect it from its own self-destructive nails and teeth. you hear my body humming, like a refrigerator. everyone else has gone to have sex. presumably. that's what people do. i stare at women's faces, i speak but i never know what i'm saying. automaton. my concentration is on trying to find constellation shapes on her freckles. i look into eyes too deeply. i'm trying to gather clues. stories about tongue-kissing and fathers and mothers divorcing and sisters in wheelchairs and nights at the beach and broken-in-half love affairs and rum and coke spilled on shirts and jeans. hand jobs under tables and in the women's bathrooms at Roma St. Station. these are young stories. stories about my generation- of which i'm a distant observer- on account of my self-exile. my incessant loneliness. my perpetual outsiderness. (i shake my head at my mother. - no no no. i can't agree with that proposition mom. not entirely anyway.
- why not?
- one thing is there's no baseline. in your time there was. common knowledge. shared experiences, and history. and religion or cultural a... a normative behavioural outlook. people had protocols of behaviour, behaved similarly. liked and disliked things all together. there were movements and collectives.
- not now?
- god no! we are flooded with ideas. with perspectives. no two people have even heard of the music the other listens to. movies. books. education is different. cultures all mixed and intertwined. religion. ranges in the socioeconomic spectrum. everything hazy and blurry. no one can expect, nay fathom, commonality in any sense. we are all pods. floating and groping and misunderstanding. that's where the lack of empathy comes from. the pandemic loneliness. mental isolation. pill-popers and prayer-mumblers, all the same. (and my therapist who says i'm addicted to connection). (it's 4:47am, friday morning. another night of tricking myself out looking for it... exhausted if it wasn't for chemical processes flooding my blood with adrenaline, and disappointed, hollow, humiliated, dejected, if it wasn't for the chemical-curtain cordoning the hungry patter of blood-thirsty neurons away from me. often i'm terrified not to feel it. like... i've been hiding from them all day, they're just gonna wait for me after-school, and be twice as angry).

the new beat generation. not cool enough to be hipsters. not brave or special. just guys. girls. stories about working in coffee-shops to make rent. people screaming in other rooms. about first kisses on parkbenches. the crack when you finally get to the icecream cone, your fingers sticky with melted cookies&cream. stories about fumbled drunken sex, all around me, people stumbling into each other. i stand with a mouthful of redbull i don't want to swallow, gum still in my mouth too. looking at red-eyes and freckles in poor lights and watery eyes at 2am and barefoot blondes in blue dresses with long toes, and barefoot brunettes in black dresses with small cute feet. smiling suggestively, and me staring from a sober, distant clarity. drugged enough to challenge reality. i get quiet. calm. hard for me to care. i notice i laugh less, i make jokes with a straight face. i 'see' thoughts, feelings, they just can't get to me. i don't 'have' them.

how these fragments come together i don't know. the stories of our happiness and our afternoons and our sunrises at the beach, with Regina the night/morning we first met with me staring at the seagulls and saying not very much as the sky turned from a near-death-blue to a brazen orange. do characters exist? are we even characters?, or just people? just that guy. the goodlooking blonde you know the one. that guy who's always speaking on his phone. i don't like the idea of a writer as a storyteller. i like the idea of a writer as an archiver. a collector of miracles and hard-work and near-misses and complete failures. a collector of blurry red-eyes and the girls who stared back at me with them. of pushy guys waiting for drinks at the bar, sleeves rolled up to exhibit ostentatious biceps. just the guy who follows you around scribbling the pricks you feel from looks and stares and phrases sighed and mumbled and prayers said in cars at sunrise staring at the beach.

i'm not a new person. i'm not fixed. i'm the same guy. only now i'm distanced from myself too. (and i'm unable to feel sad about that. i'm actually unable to compute that thought). (it's the strangest of my dreams to come true).

and it's not enough for a story. just scraps. by the ways. PS.

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