Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I Swam Across Lake Michigan (...to be alone with you)

Despite myself I realized I "Twittered".
It happened like this:
not knowing how what to say to J. while he's gone--fearing that a bombardment of text-messages would be too much--I simply wrote: "Work almost put me in a coma. Started reading Nabakov's "Pnin". A st8 couple smoked me up outside the store. I worked hard to keep busy. Thinking of you."
I felt I needed to strike a simple tone: here's what I am doing. What I didn't include would have altered the message/tweet I sent to read: "...I worked hard to keep busy because all I can do is think of you."
..."And then the time begins to drag. I think of you in the van, I imagine it is a family sized sort of affair with a trailer hitched to the back. The sun was setting and so your face was basked in a stylized array of shadow and gold. It made your hair look coppery-red and the lids of your closed eyes--you didn't sleep last night--were untroubled. I remembered my own road-trips with my ex. We would set out as if on a transcontinental safari. You told me what safari really, or rather, literally, means. I think you said something about discovery. We headed-out with all the creature comforts a beautiful bourgy couple in a Mercedes SUV would have with them: bottled water, snack-bars, cookies, energy drinks, specially made mix CDs, contraband Ritalin for the wee hours of driving... It wasn't discovery. Still, the fantasy image of you I have reminds me of an Ani DiFranco song: "Virtue is relative, at best//there's nothing worse than a sunset when you're driving due west..."
"When she was asleep I would allow myself to play songs I could sing along to, and I don't like to release to Fate control over my ipod, so I dutifully listen to albums, and rarely to my "shuffled" library. Albums, if they are any good, should be like one of two things, I think: a lyric poem, or an epic poem. One will create a mood, and one will tell a story. From start to finish this album must be consistent, like a good novel--a Murakami novel. When you sing along to an album like that, you begin to allow it to transform you. Like the highschool novel that changed your life, I suppose. Like virtue, taste, too, is relative at best.
"Last night after we spoke I was hurt, and needed more than anything to punish someone for this vulnerability I was suffering. This, I suppose, is why I say people fundamentally fear themselves more than others: anger is what happens when we aren't strong enough to hurt. Nietzsche writes, of the pale criminal--of you and I, I think--"What is this man? A wild ball of snakes, which rarely enjoy rest from each other: so they go forth singly and seek prey in the world." I know, I know: it isn't my voice--but doesn't he capture it just so perfectly? See: it is not arrogance that leads me to quote others: it is a profound respect, a fear even, that I cannot speak myself better than these men and women have. Regardless, I picked a fight, like you did the night before, and I allowed all my frustrations to transmute into scorn and contempt and I poured it onto my guests. I was, in that moment, ugly, and I'm ashamed to have to have to admit my willingness to "hurt with what hurts me."
"Matthias called me out on a certain dimension of this: you want to be in control. It's half-true. I want someone to be in control, and I want to know who, and I want to know what they intend to do. I can follow as well as the next guy, I just need to know what the plan is. Of course, you refuse to even insinuate anything even resembling a plan--save your uninhibited affections when we are alone, I've nothing to hold onto, except this and, more fundamentally, the sheer facticity of your being-there with me, almost every day for the last month. Matthias says, why can't you just let his actions speak? And I quote him Goethe: "War am anfang die Tat." (In the beginning was the deed). It will be my last tattoo: we will see how long it takes me to begin living in a way I can honestly emblazon upon my body. But it is your deeds, and these alone, that you leave me to hold to. Maybe this is, to be vulgar, our own styles: you, a director of the stage, and performing artist--the deed reigns supreme; me, an academic, an intellectual, for whom the word, the idea, is everything.
"But I love that you are pulling me back to reality. I want this. I want you."

This would have been a terrible Tweet. It would have tried to say too much, and, as it does, fails to actually say anything other than confusing cliche. So I appealed to fantasy: here is the skeleton, now make me a body. It is possible that I want, also, a reciprocal text back: "I'm so tired! Played a show tonight, it was cool. Michigan is big. You always get people to smoke you up! haha! thinking of you too". I'm not going to over think it, though. He's with his friends, doing drugs, playing music, being with people who will let him sleep on their couch. Maybe, even, he is having to answer questions about me. I don't know what he is doing, but at least he knows what I am doing: I'm working hard to keep busy. And, I'm thinking of him.

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