Friday, January 2, 2009


there was a door to which i had no key
there was a veil past which i could not see
some talk a while of me and thee
and then, no more of thee and me

~rubayat by omar khayyam~

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

side effects of too much wine and too little conversation

imagine what it would be like living like this. with this degree of uncertainty.

it doesn't seem like i really feel it, but i do, constantly. like i have some sort of noncommunicable, yet incurable decease. what do you reckon it would be like for you?

feeling like you're on borrowed time can be a dangerous thing. that's not an excuse. it's just a fact.

Monday, December 1, 2008

there is this thing i want to do

and i don't know why i want to do it. well, i have some theories.

i want to help a friend create a character in his play that is essentially modeled on someone i was once very close to. it was just a freaky coincidence, at first, how many similarities there were between the person he'd initially written and the person i knew, but the picture wasn't complete. the first draft of the play left an awful lot out, information that was pertinent to understanding both the character's essential motivation and her relationships to other people. maybe i started identifying too closely, but there was so much truth between the lines, and i could see it, i could see everything that was missing so clearly.

understand, i would never choose to write a play that dealt with a character like that, or even with the particular subject matter. they may say "write what you know", but at some point - especially with dramatic writing, perhaps - it stops being a work of art and becomes a form of self-journalism, which i would absolutely want to avoid. it's just not dramatically viable. there needs to be a sense of the bigger picture, a way to distance oneself enough from the story in order to add texture and structure to it. real life is raw, unwieldy material which does not readily bend and fold into a balanced narrative... unless someone else is telling it, someone who's just far enough removed to wrangle reality into shape.

whoa. have i written this before? i'm having the oddest deja vu moment.

anyway, back to how i don't really know why i want to do this. i'm kind of terrified of being used as source reference. for one, the real person in question has not given her consent - and, for reasons which are too complex to get into, i would rather she didn't. i am only a perspective, after all, and there is nothing there to actually identify the source of my source. writers do this all the time, anyway, consciously or not.

but more importantly, this endeavor would leave me extremely vulnerable. me - not her. our dealings with each other have been... well, dealt with. locked up and stowed away, ages ago. what hasn't, perhaps, been dealt with so effectively, is my feelings about the entire experience. it's rickety ground. i don't know why, but even the thought of remembering that year of my past makes me instantly uncomfortable.

i'm going to do it. fuck it. maybe it will all be good for something in the end. maybe that was the whole point all along.

i know exactly which drawer the notebooks i need are in, and i'm going to go get them, and all the years in between will melt away in a single second.
but only temporarily, of course.
i can do this.

i am compiling

nominations for a new year's resolution. it's december first, so you know, gotta start thinking about these things.

1. cut down smoking to "only when i drink".
- benefits: i will not be spending inordinate amounts of money on a (by and large) useless habit. and something to do with health.
- drawbacks: i will, inevitably, always be either drunk or hung over and cranky. this does not seem to me a good way to improve on my efficiency or quality of life. REJECTED.

2. limit the hours i waste on the internet.
- benefits: presumably, this will lead to getting more important things accomplished on my off-time.
- drawbacks: well, nothing really except that i don't want to. UNDER CONSIDERATION.

3. be smarter with money.
- benefits: duh.
- drawbacks: "be smarter" has no practically executable value whatsoever. UNDER CONSIDERATION.

4. be more considerate of other people's needs and feelings.
- benefits: feel... better about myself? well, more responsible. is more responsible better? more righteous, maybe. umm... nicer?
- drawbacks: involves developing mind-reading skills, as people's needs and feelings are all too rarely clearly communicated. UNDER CONSIDERATION.

5. clearly communicate my needs and feelings.
- benefits: in a perfect world, this would mean a greater chance of having said needs and feelings be taken seriously.
- drawbacks: in the real world, pretty much everything. REJECTED.

6. ok, here's a good one. no seriously, this is good. considering that i am an inherently impulsive person with a self-discipline deficiency, who quickly becomes deeply unhappy with absolute rules, i could work towards a more realistic goal of allowing myself a limited amount of "bad idea" decisions. like say, five per month.
examples include, but are not limited, to:

"i have an early day tomorrow, but would much rather have another five drinks and dance till 4am than go home and to bed." bad decision! one! four more to go.
"i'm still behind on rent, but there's a new csi game i just downloaded a trial version of, and my credit card is right here." bad decision! two! three more to go.

- benefits: moderation seems more achievable in smaller packages.
- drawbacks: will five per month be enough? shit. maybe in dire situations i can "borrow" an extra indulgence credit from the following month's stock? UNDER SERIOUS CONSIDERATION.

sigh. this is the crap that i spend my time obsessing over these days.
i'm in serious need of some cosmic inspiration here.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

sick to my stomach.

maybe i should consult a book. the internet is useless when it comes to the important things. yes... a book. preferably a heavy leather-bound one, the kind that has nothing but etchings on the cover, and all the hand-drawn diagrams inside make your head spin along with the smell of mothballs.

maybe i should see a psychic. maybe i should not see a psychic. maybe i should see a shrink. maybe i should see a friend. not a friend. a stranger. a priest. maybe i should throw some coins in a wishing well. maybe i should get really, really high and speak in tongues and keep a tape recorder nearby. maybe i should sleep for a week straight.

maybe i should pack my bags and say my goodbyes quickly, brazenly and forever. maybe i should flush my phone down the toilet. maybe i should maybe i should maybe i should i don't know.

i'm watching everything much too carefully, like some old gypsy lady trying to read postcards from the universe. if only something - anything, really anything - could tell me what to do with my stupid heart.
i just can't catch a break......

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

not by their nature, but by my approach

i am watching my life barrel toward me full-speed like a cartoon freight train.

there is so much real danger in everything and i can't even bring myself to look at the charts. it's like being paralyzed. it's not even real. like, i'm sitting here eating salted peanuts when i should be building a bomb shelter. crunchety crunch crunch.

any moment now... and then, what?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

pickup trucks

maybe the most beautiful moment ever
was pulling out of the desert propped up
in the back of a pickup truck, watching
the sky collapse into a purple-orange mess,
watching it all get pulled away, the dusky lumps
of hill, rocks that stopped mid-crumble,
silhouettes of sad cactus, it was like a strong
and noble lover who didn't want you
if you were stupid enough to leave.
the whole scene was like a postcard
or a painting, too gorgeous to be something
you could walk into the middle of,
you doubted its existence even as you
watched it, so enormous and incredible
and proud like it knew its only job
was to just be there, that perfect.

tonight i rumbled on my back,
flat in another pickup truck,
getting the weird view of this city,
the endless wires that hook the whole place
together, the frosted tops of our corroding
birthday cake homes, they're beautiful,
chunks of whipped cream topping
hardening to scabs and flaking into the streets.
just because something is beautiful
doesn't mean it will be cared for
is no guarantee it's even wanted

i sucked down an oyster at a barbecue
more sport than eating
it lodged then passed through my throat
like a fleshy pill trailing horseradish.
i ate chicken and grilled salmon and
chunks of potato salad with my fingers
i hadn't eaten all day so it was really great
to arrive at such a feast
and all my friends were impressed
that i had brought them to the home
of people who ate so good.
the next party was raver stoner all-boy
fiesta, maybe 3 girls, so straight
it was like wild kingdom, watching them.
you brought me watermelon, thank you,

at the bar, you thought of me today
when i wasn't there to poke you
with my presense, but i didn't write
on the bathroom wall for you
and you wrote nothing for me
and obviously something's amiss,
the wrong forces are at work here

i really hate wanting something like this
i'm like all the girls who didn't make the squad
this season, i'm picking up all kinds of
secondary habits to pull me through this
shitty night. if i got whacked by a car
just think of the desert of cactus
that would bloom in your guts.
it's all i imagine.
i am so careful walking through the world,
moving with caution so i can live long enough
to give you another chance.

- michelle tea
"the city at the end of the world", 1997

Thursday, August 21, 2008

pet peeve #3709.1: having to be up

early for a morning commitment that takes about, oh, an hour or so - then having six idle hours before your next scheduled errand. it seems to me that wasting time should always be a conscious decision, rather than a default: if i can't jam-pack my day with efficiency, i resent being made to stand at attention and watch the hours go by.

one of many reasons dance class at university was a constant source of anguish. who makes chronically hung over college students do strenuous physical exercise at 8:30 am?! and worse yet, who gives them a schedule gap of six hours between that an a late afternoon lecture class?!?

i tried to alternate which of the two classes i skipped each week. needless to say, i wasn't a superstar in my dance class - but preferred taking the rap to the embarrassment of being asleep in the auditorium during history of the musical theatre.

time is, time was, time's past. i'm four years out of college; i just directed a complex full-length show that i'm intensely proud of (and that i truly wish my lovely history of musical theatre prof could've made it to - and stayed awake during, hypocrite that i am). maybe things are actually finally, dare i say it, going well for me. all things considered. maybe. it is certainly becoming easier to use the term self-employed rather than unemployed, though it still feels like a little bit of a lie, considering that the emphasis on "employed" suggests i'm making a living.

am i making a living? well, i'm alive. so, there's that. and i almost have rent for the month that's almost over. so... there's that. and i just landed a two-week salaried gig teching the atlantic fringe festival. aha! there is that, too.

there's something undeniably exciting about looking no further than next week. poverty, schmoverty. i wanted to do exactly what i'm doing right now: work on projects that excite me, live a less extravagant lifestyle (well... i didn't so much WANT this as realized i probably SHOULD), stay open to casual work when it came along, and lookie here: three out of three. teching the fringe, indeed. what do i know about teching? not a thing. learning experience! challenge! being able to cover rent for next month! possibly even getting out of overdraft for as much as a week! glorious.

today, i feel hopeful, and even with the darkness of less predictable matters ahead, life is good to me right now. it's probably important to acknowledge that when i can, so i am, and you be my witness: thanks, life, for not fucking me over right this second.

now, i knock on wood. i can't be superstitious enough about these things. who would've thought?

before i get awfully silly, let's go back to what i was talking about in the first place: being up too early when all you need to do happens late, and how i'm not pissed about it for once. my day so far has consisted of having coffee with a friend, solidifying the aforementioned job, and blogging on my porch in the late august sun.

it is on these, all too rare, occasions that i think being awake and functional in the morning isn't so bad... not so bad at all.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

feeling much better

today. you can all go home now. nothing to see here...

for statistical purposes ONLY:

- food ingested in the course of the day: 2 bowls of cereal, 1 muffin, several chips.
- cup of coffee count: 2 (i'm a freakin' saint!)
- promotional tasks accomplished: 2 (1 phone interview given, 1 press release composed).
- pages of notes taken at tech runthrough: 4
- cigarettes smoked: obscene amounts.
- trouble i wish i could afford to get into tonight: limitless.

Monday, August 11, 2008

doubt, i want to do

away with you. quit following me around. seriously, you're like that annoying little sibling who's hanging off your leg making faces while you're trying to work.

today's just one of those days when everything is eating me, all at once. why can i not find the time to e-mail my folks and make sure they haven't forgotten i love them? why do i let my people-pleasing tendencies torture me so much and turn me into a liar? why can i not be different, better; why can i not be so talented that the world forgives me for everything i do wrong, and good fortune rains on me out of a clear blue sky. why do i work so hard and always feel like i deserve so little??

i am trying to tell myself these are just pre-show nerves, but i don't know that it's ever been this bad before. certainly there is more responsibility involved in this one, but shouldn't my confidence be rising to the task? i worry about this so much it's kind of ridiculous. i worry that i've been blindsighted by my own ambition and don't at all have the skill set necessary to pull it off, and that nobody will tell me i did a poor job out of sympathy. argh. argh. ARGH.

i hate everything right now. including the fact that i'm letting myself talk about it. i honestly just don't know what else to do... this message will self-destruct.

in three. two. one...