Monday, June 11, 2012

hobbies: sunday

little italy- 1961 by groucho5

it's been years since i had a weekend like this i thought to myself. rained gently. there was  a book tucked under my armpit, inside my jacket. ambling through a book fair. the opera. gym. the last time i saw her was... the hotel lobby. the time before in the girl's bathroom at roma street station. the stall doors are open at the bottom. some girls came in and started giggling it took me a minute to realise they could see our feet entangled, they knew i was there.
____and when i left, not a second after that adventure was over, the grey fog blanket covered me back up.

- years and years. for years this was how i spent my weekends. my life. walk. sit. read. look around for bits and pieces of nothing that would remind me who i was. second hand books. cds. vintage ties. notebooks and pens. all the sadness i wrote and wrote about , was it even true? was it even real? in hindsight it all feels so much more pleasant. why do i remember it so fondly?
____and these last years, 12 hours days of study and work all days of the week, which i enjoyed every minute of, why do i feel all of a sudden like it was such a waste?

(the inversion makes me smile).

how much i'd give now to just sit for a few days and read and drink coffee alone and hold my face up to the rain and think: yes. f&ck this city/earth/life, i'm bigger that it and too small for it to ever find me. i'm nothing and that is my only strength. yes!


i've decided to be more selfish with my time. (if that is even possible). everything will henceforth pass the strictest: but do i want to? test. till now i've had to make decisions based on social opportunity. i don't have enough of a network to do things when i want. if there is an event happening i've participated, knowing it may be weeks before i get an opportunity for it again.
___forget that. i'm done with that.

henceforth i go when i want, i'll just go through my phone/FB until i find willing company. i'll eat the humiliation of it.

and anyway my social life has turned into a strange motley crew of outliers. coffee with A once and never again. two breakfasts with C in one week but then not another for six weeks. D shows up once a month for dinner. there are 'no regulars' (as Capone would say). nothing is regular. it is made up of firsts. first conversations. my life is a life of first conversations. heightened awkwardnesses which i have mastered so that they cease to exist.

last week at breakfast, a first with Rr. wow. she said halfway through. 
- what?
- how... what... how..
- what?
- what is happening right now, how wh... who are you?
- a shadow. i've forgotten most of it.
- what?
- nothing. i'm trying to remember.
- what you said or who you are?
- when you put it that way: both.
- what universe is this [shakes her head]
- welcome to mine. [the darkest smile]


i should have known. the weekend started off with a phonecall from Geneva. woke me up. she'd always call me when she was drunk at parties. it's been months though. too many. did you miss me? she says
- even when i don't i do.
- ahh you are very clever chopinou

we speak and when she gets frustrated or thrilled she switches to french. why do i still think about you? she wants to know. i don't love you, i just want to have you. (suddenly i've never hated australia more than that instant).
- this is the best morning of my life.
- qua? moi?
- oui. you are the most perfect morning.
- you just like it when i say naughty things in french.
- so speak to me in french.
- ahaa, you think it is so easy?
- no. i think it is so hard. soo too hard.
- [speaks in french]

she tells me to read a book she has recommended. hours later i get a text telling me she is home safe.

______i've spent more time missing you than being with you. 

perhaps it's a quote. but it speaks clearly for many of us i'm sure.
it hurts. my body hurts, i can feel the mouth on every cell in me open for a woman's skin and hair and smell. to wrap her up and lie behind her and kiss her neck and shoulders...



mom --> q

check out this song, it's pretty. [youtube link].

q --> mom

very pretty. not as pretty as you, but still quite pretty. and in all fairness, you're very pretty, so there's not going to be too many things that can compete with your prettiness.


mom --> q

who taught you to speak like that?

q --> mom

i'm a poet remember?

mom --> q

ok. so keep writing me nice things. god knows i've had to put up with your poetic depressions

q --> mom



it's all been too much lately. and by lately i mean 2012. it fizzles. i feel it scattering everywhere. like cooking with too much oil. if someone were to ask me what my 2012 has been like i'd say: like cooking and the oil's fizzling everywhere and you can't stop it and everything's boiling over and the kitchen's a mess and it's too hot or cold or god knows what and you're late always but you came early god dammit i can't get here any earlier how am i not done at the end of the day?

it's too fast. too fast i can't keep up. i'm lost. i lost it around the start of march.

so i cut my pills. two for a few days. now singles for a few days. from tomorrow i'm going free-willy for a while. see what happens. let the body relax. recoup. i need things to slow down. i need to read on weekends. not cases, books. i need to sleep more than 3 hours. i need to kiss.

(everytime mom calls:
- have you found a girlfriend yet?
- no
- are you getting back with [ex]?
- no
- are you sleeping with anyone?
- no
- no?
- no
- no?
- i said no.
- since when?
- i said no.
- i know you did. but since when are you... not?
- i haven't been charmed by anyone.
- [mumbled to herself] this won't end well.
- amen mama. )

so i cut my pills. going to force the gym schedule to stand up on its feet again. get a haircut. i need to dream about the future. there's a future around here somewhere.



- Norton's Anthology of English Literature (8th Ed) (YAY!)
- Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (DOUBLE YAY!)
- Rushdie, Satanic Verses
- Robert Graves, Greek Myths (two volumes, hardcover, in a box set) (TOO MANY YAY!S TO COUNT)
- Seamus Heaney, Electric Light
- Milton, Poetic Works
- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, le Petit Prince (from 1956 with coloured photos and a gorgeous little inscription... Petes et Sabine. (whoever Petes et Sabine we(a)re... i hope that their life was filled with things that are too big to be contained in words)
- John Carey, Pure Pleasure: A Guide to the 20th Century's Most Enjoyable Books. It's quite amazing actually. his very short essays are remarkable for the brevity with which he expresses so much insight. he is/was Merton Professor of English at Oxford, so perhaps you'd expect that... but it's just so readable. 

there are others. i can't remember. 


i admit my unhappiness easily. it is harder to admit that i blame myself for it. that it is myself, my weakness, my fault that i am this way or that or the other and that i shouldn't be. that i should be greater. because there's no point being anything else. that's narcissism in a nutshell maybe? maybe it's just humanity in a nutshell. potentiality unbounded but crammed into coffee-cups spent with women you haven't seen in six years or seeing the smartest kids you know working jobs that'll drive them to drink and whores and i'd cut myself just to feel something if i had to time to bandage myself after (which i don't). ______she says to me you're sick you know that?, you'll never be happy, you always want more why aren't you ever satisfied? ___(potentiality unbounded) ___because there's more to monday than f&cking conversations about television personalities i don't care about and highlighting identification numbers and sitting on trains for hours and hours going to and from nowhere twice a day for too much of my week dizzy the whole time ready to throw up if someone would just punch me hard enough , a man almost hit me as i was crossing a crossing intersection it's flashing red are you blind? he shouted get out the car and i'll KILLLLLLL you i shouted back my roomate was terrified so was i but he drove away - you want me to be satisfied with that?


she wakes me up.
speaks to me in french.
i tingle. my arms and shoulders remember the touch
of lips and the wind of french words and french breaths
passing across them.

i die a death of missing.

dear q: where are you? 
___(echoes in my head for days

where are you?



this has been a better weekend than any i've had in years.
it's been a memory of who i was.
i remember who i was now.
i was smarter. quieter.
i was alone. drawn
to things, to places
by my feet alone
and the gravity
of sundays
and the
of women
and books

and i loved
soo many things
soo much.

i must remind myself to dance silently again.


Selah said...

"Ce qui embellit le désert, dit le petit prince, c'est qu'il cache un puits quelque part..." - Le Petit Prince

Keep searching for your well Q. Best wishes as always, from one lonely soul to another.

gol said...

reason #1982375 why i love your mum:

mom --> q

ok. so keep writing me nice things. god knows i've had to put up with your poetic depressions

Mary said...

your reading list is fairly perfect, Heaney and Le Petit Prince, doesn't get better than that

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

This is good Q. Inspired me to send something to your old apftog account. If it is no longer active, let me know and I'll send it to an active account.


Anonymous said...

I like the book for kings and planets. you might be able to relate to the displacement.