Thursday, December 24, 2009

chrismas eve

So hold me, Mom, in your long arms. So hold me,
Mom, in your long arms.
In your automatic arms. Your electronic arms.
In your arms.

____Laurie Anderson, O Superman

untitled, claire arman

when the cold air comes i feel like taking a walk. i told myself to remember that line. i said 'Q, remember that line, it can be the start of something'. then i told myself to remember to write a story about attending weddings back home. or a story about assaulting bakeries at knife-point. no, wait. no no. that was Murakami, i was reading late last night - sometimes when i do that i think stories i've read are stories i've dreamt. but the cold air did come. the sky was dark. i ate chicken and drank cranberry juice. i fondled hopes of the future as i ate a blueberry muffin and drank tea, and i fondled them in my head, turning them over like beads. what i'd wear when wonderful thing X happened. and, when wonderful thing Y finally sorted itself out, what words i'd use.

___- we're too big for this town Monz
___- dude, come on
___- people move all the time, how'd we get stuck in this country?
___- i _ have _ no _ idea. ___but we're seriously trapped.

so then i tell myself to write a story about people who drink a lot. who feel bad when they have sex with strangers but want to do it anyway. god dammit Q, just write something doesn't matter what justwritejustwritejustwrite.

i will say this about being home. dad's tea. dad's tea = home. my mom's gone. my sister's gone. my friend's are all gone. but the smell of my dad's tea-brew... makes home. feel 'right', like i imagine home should.

before you know it's 2am. there goes time again. dipping itself in and out of hours and mealtimes and moment-before/afters and then you're sitting in little-boy underwear at 2am writing godknowswhat just because you feel you should. trying to shake your soul into feeling something again. c'mon Q. have a feeling. have one, then write it down. just have one, please god, when'd i turn into such a robot?

___- why's your girlfriend your girlfriend?
___- you really asking me that right now?
___- yah.
___- cause she likes southpark.
___- that's it?
___- it's a good start.
___- there's gotta be more to it than that.
___- of course there is.
___- so?
___- so. she. she has freckles. you know my track record with freckled girls. sucker for them.
___- Q! i'm serious.
___- so am i.
___- stop being facetious.
___- because, my dear, it is nice to laugh with a person.
___- you can laugh with anybody.
___- no. no, you can't.
___- ...
___- you can, of course you can, but the better you know somebody, the more deeply you laugh - wait, what i mean is, that laugh, even a small giggle, even if its just a smirk, it's where it comes from, it comes from a deepester place. it's like love, but funner. it's a different kind of happiness. less intense. more... joy.
___- dude, you can have fun with people who aren't your girlfriend.
___- waitwaitwait, i never said fun. fun is frivolous. fun means nothing. you can have fun whilst being utterly miserable. i should know, i've been miserable most my life and still managed 'fun' on occasion. i'm talking about shades of happiness. happiness is different to 'fun'. screw fun. but happiness, you could be in a trench, in a jungle, you could be anywhere, and you could still feel happiness. even when you're bored or alone or cornered, happiness is a different thing altogether.
___- so she makes you happy?
___- god no.
___- i'm soo confused.
___- she can share it.
___- and not anyone can?
___- of course not. happiness is a matter for interpretation, she'd have to speak my language, see happiness as i see it, understand it a certain way, laugh at life's fangs with me. that's all it is.
___- anything else?
___- never underestimate witty banter.
___- you're a sucker for wit huh?
___- rare.
___- tru dat.
___- true, i'll drink to that.
___- cheers
[he sips a soy vanilla latte, she a long black. when the waiter had put them down he'd placed the opposite drinks in front of patrons. she'd laughed, said that was common. he'd laughed, said there wasn't a gayer drink on the planet he could possibly pick. she'd said tru dat.]

we got old she says. we got old and we got stuck and now we're stuck with our lives she says. and she drinks. f*ck me he says, ain't it true he says. she nods. he sips. she asks where could we move? America, London, usual suspects he says. she nods. how does everybody pull it off? he asks. she shrugs. Richard's in China he says, let's go to China. you me and my-Mona he says. she nods slowly, not really listening.

so now that you're happy, now that 2009's proven to be a flower in an alleyway, what do you do with it? what do you do once you know that your father's tea smells like the last petal of 'home', or rather, the only remaining fossil of what you think might resemble what once-would-have-been the feeling of the (now nonsensical) word 'home'... what now?

___- i need a new suit when i graduate.
___- what are you thinking?
___- i don know. Ralph Lauren i think. navy, or touch lighter, solid. two button.
___- don't go too light.
___- tru. gonna need a few for work. cheaper in America you know.
___- is that reason enough?
___- you kidding?
___- ha. you wish you were that superficial.
___- let a man dream huh kiddo?
___- dream on.

you think you'll ever write a love story? that's an easy way to make a buck and a name. girlies love that love-talk. something about your GFs bright-blue eyes. starshine resembling freckles. skin is... a magnet. a body an atlas. in your hands it is malleable. a movable feast. Atlas loved. something like that, easy to do. some banter, some poetry, and some idealized sex scenes. all a person ever wants is to come home and hang up their jacket and say Thursday, what a f*cker. babe, gimme a kiss, and to actually get one. the rest can carry on in silence. maybe the sounds of people sipping on some tea. i drink mine hot, i'm finished by the time she touches hers. and she likes the couch, i sit behind the small, white, kitchen-sized table. we stare at our computers. i've finished my tea now she sips a little at hers. happiness is a quiet creature. when it settles it hasn't much to say. do what you want, it's happy just lazing about basking in its own 'being there'. hey babs he says, hmmm? she responds typing out something, BL? (code for Boston Legal) she finishes typing her sentence then she looks up. gives a mischievous smile. kiss-me-smile. as a man you gotta get good at spotting those when they turn up. you miss a lot if you can't spot those. perfect kisses, they're there, hiding behind dinner-dish-washing sessions and parking-lot-open-the-doors, if you can spot them... some of the best kisses start with the right kinda smile. this was one such. he knows better than to waste the opportunity, he gets up from behind his chair, dutifully. comes around to the couch, she glances up, pretending she doesn't know where he's going. he puts a knee on the couch, lowers his head, she looks up. he likes it when lips meet at odd angles. it's nice to feel novelty when you kiss. oh yes he purrs, i'd forgotten how lovely this was.

for the heart - let the right one in
for the brain - serious man

sitting at the steps at the back of the house by the lake with a 4 year old at sunset watching fish jump out the water with her yelping fisshies! sporadically, and eventually, throwing her over my shoulder and carrying her back in

more sweet bread i say to the waiter as i sip my second refill of lemonade while ranting a mile-a-minute about why religion should never be a source of bitterness with Ashley resisting my humanist-undisciplined-anti-religious-propaganda every step of the way but i don't care because i'm in the Cheesecake Factory and i'm leaving LA in precisely 10 hours and i'm gonna enjoy my last meal and my last chat with my dear friend come hell, high-water or eternal damnation

i'm laying on grass under the sun reading John Ashberry poems with a coffee in one hand. Q, what the hell you doing? he asks shouldn't you be in class? i look up to him, covering the sun glare with my forearm sure sure, but, it was freezing with the air-con in there i just needed to thaw-out a little bit, plus... plu... he waits for my to finish, but i don't. plus what? he wants to know i guess. plus i just took a shit-ton of amphetamines and i'm tingly as all-f*ck and feel like i'm having an orgasm. __life's rarely this good. i don... remember it being this good. __didn't wanna waste it. i'm sad just saying the last part. he walks away. the sun works its magic.

six months later i write this.

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