Tuesday, June 30, 2009

#2 transcribed from scraps

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I told the Athropologie phone operator to cancel a green shirt I ordered after deciding it probably wasn't meant to be. I said there was a good chance it would've offended somebody and they might've put a curse on me giving me weird ticks for life or something. That it might've given someone a seizure, or enraged someone's gentle pit bull in an outfit taking a shit on the sidewalk causing it to birth a hemorrhoid.
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She laughed; the phone operator said: that's the first time I've ever heard anything like that. She had depth in her laugh.
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Then there was the citicards guy from South Africa sounded like a British robot, even though his facebook picture shows some skinny black kid in t-shirts. I still can't believe he added me. We talked about mongeese being the equivalent of squirrels in the U.S. Is that how it's pronounced? Mongeese.

Last night at a hotel bar we lied and told the waitress wearing a very slinky dress that it was my birthday.

If someone asked me what my opinions were about drugs and people who used them, I would say my opinion's based on what the drugs were, how much I like or disliked the person using them, and how functional or dysfunctional their lives and the lives around them were subsequently affected.
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I realize some people are immediately turned off by the idea of drugs, i.e., in terms of youthful experimentation, perception expansion, recreation, escape, self-medication, etc.--because of fear; but to me, regardless of the people's lives that drugs have destroyed, fear is one of the greatest weapons against progress.
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I sound like an infomercial for cocaine & LSD. Shipping & Handling Not Included. Don't try drugs if you have an addictive personality and hate your life. Or if you're bored and have more money than you know what to do with. Okay, nevermind...drugs are bad.

#1 transcribed from scraps

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All of the combined elements in personalities of being extracted to make one source of nourishment minus excess in the same way we build our personalities from specks of essences of people we collect: monogamy, independence, compromise, compliance, boredom, temperance, awareness, honesty, conditioning, romance, intimacy, gluttony.

Missing someone before they're gone is much worse than missing someone once they're actually gone because you know you really like them enough to try to brace yourself for the missing once it comes. Gravity has a way of fucking with people who don't practice habits of suspecting.

She could give a man a look that made him want to kill himself and everyone he'd ever loved. Once a man called her a petulant teenager at a bar while she was sitting deliberately alone having a whiskey to get sleepy. She stared him straight, dead-on in his pupils and didn't say a single word. The man felt his dick shatter; on his way to the end of the bar he tripped on the floor shards; he walked to retrieve his tab and coat and left immediately.
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(The time-release effect on being called "petulant" a great hindsight response versus what Hannah said she did in asking what he meant by the remark thus encouraging the small talk to continue. Though: it's good to see someone utilizing their word-of-the-day calendar, would have worked too. But then they would have ended up the the bathroom going down on one another.)

Please don't lick my teeth anymore; that's what toothbrushes are for, and that's only in the morning.

I had to take Lariss's gift of Sweet Mint gum out of my purse today. The strong smell of spearmint kept whooshing me back to the time I was less than ten, my mom's sidekick in Korea; when she used to take me to commissaries, and rec centers, when I crawled around military bases. I hate going back there. I don't want to go back to times when I was fascinated with the variety of delicious treats in vending machines. Calls on payphones were ten cents. My mom smoked Kent 100's, long, white cigarettes, 60 cents a pack way back when I could eat a whole small pepperoni pizza by myself. I continue to have recurring dreams with vending machines in them. And floods, but I don't know why I have those dreams.

It took three years for him to fall in love with me permanently. Three years of trying not to care.

I do not want to say hello to the cross guard on N 4th because I know she will think we have formed some sort of relationship. One day she misinformed who knows how many people into riding taxis or buses to work,when the train was running fine because her mother didn't love her enough. But, I still feel guilty ignoring her.

Dear David, (part ii)

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DB:
Sorry, kitten--Okla called and we were figuring out some printing specs for this stupid book we said we'd design for someone, and then there was some financial talk, discussions of possible perjury, etc.

I knew that already. It's okay. There are three billtion trillion important things hovering in your mind right now, I'm sure. Listening to me talk about prostitutes will be more fun when we're fifty anyway.

billtion = the new: Creedence.

DB: When I brought up the butt-sniffing, our art consultant was like, "What else do dogs do?" I was like, when's a jackal and a whale gonna be hanging out? Shamu would surely be offended.

I think New York's making me feel crazy. I lived on the LES, explored most parts of Brooklyn, cat sat while earning a salary on the Upper East Side, a fling with a banker in Chelsea looking after an autistic man, yoga every Monday in the East Village, love affairs with artists, writers, a guru of unconditional joy; these parties, those parties, avoiding awkward gazes with books, walking, walking, walking, poetry readings, concerts in the park, museums, street food, fine dining, taxis--looking under all these rocks, this place is getting smaller by the minute, and the more reclusive I get for the sake of spring cleaning in quarantine, the more I realize I could do a lot of my favorite activities in any small place, as long as there's a healthy internet connection and enough love to keep my heart from drying up and dying.

It's definitely sniffing that whale's butt. I can make art for you.

DB: The suburbs are the new Williamsburg. A house like three doors down from me just got converted into a warehouse.

A key thing to understand for surviving in New York is one word: proxemics--meaning personal space. This is what decides tourists from the locals--the way one swings one's arms in relation to someone's salad outside a diner on a narrow sidewalk, compacting your breath so not to brush a whisp of the person's hair two inches in front of you on the train for the 8:30 rush.

It's about something else too, but this can apply to a lot of other places and situations, but I think I've found the meaning of life in flourishing as self-aware individual making conscious decisions regarding consequences in time-management; it's about pacing.

I feel like I have a lot on my mind.

I might be like three years late in coming here.

DB: You sort of just blew my mind--I'll get you next time.

The consequences of time absolutely rule my life. And mostly I've come to live in fear of these consequences, and the ensuing depression makes pacing more difficult to manage, which reinforces said fear and said depression until it's now time to make some sort of radical career shift. I can't say enough how sincere and urgent this change is. And yet I have no idea how to begin.

I don't even remember bringing up law school, but it's a fact, jack: I *am* a Raymond Carver protagonist. With a few secondary characters from Denis Johnson thrown in--Johnson's characters are so much more honest about their anxiety and desperation, which we appreciate.

I heard wind turbine maintenance guys make six figures easy, though, so there might be a way out yet. Or if someone buys my film script--those guys go for 35K just to option.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Dear David,

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Oh shit, DB. I feel like I'm dying every minute behind my desk job not doing jack and making more money not doing jack than most high school teachers or cops make in my hometown praying for lunchtime to come around as a mile marker for a two mile crawl.

You know...law school won't make it right for you. I fear it'll make things worse, actually. You're going to have to cram SO MUCH JUNK in your head to max capacity and purge that junk--with no room to exercise your creative muscles, and once you make those A's, which I know you'll relentlessly score, your integrity might get slaughtered for the sake of some cheesy dime, and then what will you do? By then your heart will have the mange, and you'll try to find peace in being some little league coach and Maggie and Joe will come over for dinner every Friday night and hopefully I won't be too long distance away when you're in your hand-made bomb shelter sipping bourbon, so you can call and say: what happened? I'm old now and my knees hurt. And I'll say: Bring your knees to me and I'll kick your knees, you ass.

ps. I mean that with much love, DB. The most even

pps. I'm not trying to make it worse, I just want you to think about what would make you happy--let's say utilitarianism is a dirty whore we found blowing P-Diddy at Piggly Wiggly. I want you to be happy, and I know you were raised too conservative to let yourself become full blown bohemian, though you've got a romantic bohemian heart aching to sing songs under a cherub perched tree & all that, and there's nothing wrong with being an adult and being responsible--you know, I think, speaking of pacing, you're just tired from taking on too much this last semester; it'll get better. You're a baddass professor, I'm sure of it. I mean, you've been teaching me and you've barely even tried.

ppps. YOU'RE GOING TO TURN INTO A RAYMOND CARVER PROTAGONIST, DAVID BOWEN. IS THAT OKAY?

pppps. You haven't been pacing yourself properly and you're burning yourself out, maybe.

ppppps. I think law school's going to be another bumrushfeast. Are you trying to age prematurely? Is that your masochism? Seriously...
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Sunday, June 28, 2009

olfactory mnemonics

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A surge of the scent of mop water filled my nose and head,
with the days I served my time as an indentured servant
with Stockholm Syndrome, for my family's petroleum business.
"What's that disgusting smell?" said Mel, really not
knowing where to begin in only recognizing it as gross.
But I knew. I knew if you didn't wash a mop
and squeeze it dry after scrubbing a dirty floor with it,
it would smell sour the next day, and that that very smell
was the smeared stain of laziness and neglect
for the sake of who-knows-what of doing a half-assed
cleaning job to any building's floor.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

40 seconds on youtube


My morbid curiosity, while surfing a networking site, made me watch a 26 year-old woman die in front of a camera after being shot by militia during an Iranian protest.

Watching blood spill from her eyes and mouth, sprawled in shock on the ground, people nearby in grief and panic, I was instantly traumatized; the moment felt like déjà vu in my compliant familiarity of it all; and in that: it made too much sense to disregard it as another casual incident of war in the media, of people blowing people up with suicide bombs, AIDS in Africa.

And for weeks people in New York were sick and scared to death of dying from a sneeze or cough on the subway, breathing into their sleeves, wearing masks, terrified by a swine flu from Mexico.

My thoughts attempting to grapple and digest the incident said: She must've suffered a severe internal injury, she's hemorrhaging through the orifices in her face; and I can't recall where I learned about that particular side-effect of being shot in the chest, since I studied mostly Art in school, but certainly and without a doubt, this was real. Anyone with even half a brain could see that.

This was on youtube, someone filmed this; it wasn't Apocalypse Now; it wasn't some R rated street fight whateversploitation kickboxing flick; and it certainly wasn't ER, or a forensics show with an indignant-gun-happy-tough-guy-cop named Mancinni.

A very disgusting fact about my life is: I watched a beautiful young woman die on a day that I was mad at the weather for not being bright and warm enough to enjoy. On a day I casually discussed boredom as a noxious disease, over a miso soup and fried dumpling dinner, while complaining that my donation-based yoga class was too "extra sweaty" as a reasonable fitness strategy.

What the hell is wrong with me? What the hell is this obnoxious product of idle human waste I've become? It's terrible. And now I can't shake this weight-laced guilt of taking up too much space in society as a worthless, unproductive American.

To think: that tragic scene of real blood and death was displayed on the same medium where I watched David visit the dentist only a few days before. Where in a 7-minute horror film spoof, a few friends and I get shot down and slashed to death by machetes on rural soil by the hands of vicious redneck marauders.

Imagine all the incidents left unrecorded. Undocumented history. Unknown incidents that slide by undetected. This girl had blood pouring from her face. Everyone was screaming. She was at a rally. For Freedom. All recorded on a cellphone camera.

Had Neda ever even heard of youtube? I'm hoping that question's not completely ignorant. But then again, what if she had?

Either way, her dramatic "faces of death" scene has burned a vision of tragedy into the eyes and souls of the world's attention, and in the untimely death of a beautiful, young Iranian protester, a new media martyr is born to stir a drowsy, distracted mass--awake.
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