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...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

here is where blogging becomes

slightly uncomfortable: i want to write about something, but i don't necessarily want the party concerned to know it. and although i'm pretty sure he doesn't read any of this, it is on the internet and so i have to assume the possibility is always there. and here it is now - the responsibility that comes with clicking the "publish post" button, usually so neatly curbed by being obtuse in phrasing and intent.

but that kind of goes to the heart of what i want to write about, so i'm going to anyway. it won't be the end of the world. if anything, it might be a useful example just how awkward i feel about it.

so. someone gave me a script to read yesterday.

it was a first draft of something he'd written, based in large part on his own experience. this i already knew. what i didn't know was how far the project had developed, nor just how personal is was. and concidering that he was looking to me for professional feedback on his work, i settled in to read it quite innocently.

ok, i'll admit the first few pages didn't grab me right away. may have been my natural reserve toward something i knew was written from life, as scripts of that nature - first drafts especially - tend to have a handful of very obvious, very typical flaws. besides, i already knew the broad strokes of the plot and was guarding against what i perceived to be its weaknesses. who knows. all i can say is, i was completely thrown by my own reactions the further i got into it.

oh, i'm not saying the flaws and weaknesses weren't there - it was very much a first draft. it was far better than many first drafts i've read; the dramatic structure was solid, the storytelling flowed well, the supporting characters were all appropriately developed. but that's not it, that's not it at all.

you know that awkward feeling you get when you realize someone is using a funny anecdote as a thinly veiled metaphor for something really difficult to talk about? well, this was a gigantic stride beyond that. this was actually saying the very things a metaphor like that would try to obscure, without fanfare or embellishment. it was a story told in such plain terms and so honestly, it made me feel like a voyeur. it embarrassed me. it challenged my professional detachment from the script as a creative product and made me question whether i was at all able to be unbiased in my criticism of it.

because - and i'd like you to know that i use this expression exteremely conservatively - it spoke to me. it spoke to me. it looked me right in the eye and laughed at my discomfort and made me want to be impossibly brave. and the thing is that i hadn't expected this at all. not because i'm such a huge pro, i'm beyond being personally affected by stuff i read - i hope to god i'm never that jaded - but, well...
truthfully? because i never thought the guy who wrote this was going to go there.

i'm a little ashamed of making that judgment, yes. but it almost isn't even a question of depth or artistic integrity. it's just that no one goes there. seriously. no one i have ever known, anyway - and i have many friends who write. i have written scripts myself and even produced a couple, always wanting to say something that was personal and important - of course, why else would anyone write a script? certainly not for monetary gain. a part of you inevitably ends up in every story you tell, and it's just a matter of skill to weave it in gracefully and polish the edges where your ego pokes through.

and some people are great at that, writing deeply personal content that reads both honest and inspired. but always - at least in my experience - a successfully dramatized story based on autobiographical events has a filter of sorts, something to cushion the abrasiveness of real, raw, unstructured emotion. the benefit of writing is that you can guide perception, and the benefit of guiding perception is that you can talk about your own vulnerability without actually leaving yourself wide open and vulnerable.

i've never read anything - well, nothing that wasn't the sort of writing one does in journals meant for oneself only - quite this... vulnerable. quite this gutsy, maybe. and no, this isn't really a professional opinion. this is me feeling shaken by how readily this writer put himself on the line, and by how painfully deeply i identified with many of the not-so-pretty sides of his story, and by how terrified i would be to share myself in that way.

maybe jealous, too. of the grace with which he was able to surrender himself to the script, when i don't even have the grace to do it in real life. before i was three-quarters through reading, my skin was crawling. by the time i reached the last page, i was tearing up with frustration and the craving for catharsis of some sort... the character's predicament was getting to me so much i couldn't stand it.

and i resented knowing how true it all was. i would have been so comforted thinking it was fiction.

so, in the end, i can't actually give a professional opinion. i am too involved. the story is too real to me. and almost without meaning to, i realize why i feel like i've been kicked in the gut by the honesty of his writing: i've lost the ability to deal with words that address too directly. naked, stark words for naked, stark feelings. i'm too used to distilling emotions into academic dissertations or diluting them into abstract poetry. i make things complicated, always excusing this with "...because they are."

but really, they are not. i just lack the courage to face them and handle the fallout.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

where do you see yourself ten years from now?

on a deck overlooking a rocky beach, writing a children's book or a master's thesis or both.

the weather is overcast. somewhere inside, a telephone starts ringing and i ignore it. the air smells like salt and rain.

it's the little things...

i might as well get used to it; i'm going to be behind on rent for all of eternity.

been dreaming an awful lot these days. i don't know why some people don't like dreaming. i love the narratives my mind spins. so complex and unpredictable.

a ladybug landed in the palm of my hand when i was walking to rehearsal yesterday. it stayed with me all the way down north street to where i turn onto gottingen. i shifted everything i was carrying to my other arm and walked precariously, as though i was holding a faberge egg.

my show opens a week from today.

the balance of all that is to come is so delicate. i cross my fingers and drink my coffee and try not to complain too much.

Monday, August 4, 2008

hi, there. long time.

it's hard to think of what to say to the internet these days.

the truth is, most of what i want to say is nothing that can be adequately expressed in writing. it'll come out bleak and flat. just watch.

i'm pretty fucking tired. tired right now, and tired in general. i'm tired of being worried, and in doubt, and constantly fighting to stay motivated. i would like to be able to go home. just for a few days, to be around people who love me unconditionally and want to take care of me. i'm twenty-seven and i have never missed my mom more.

that's just what i want. i need a lot of other things, which are equally as far out of reach right now. i tell myself, as always, that there's no point in focusing on those... that there's a lot i can do with where i'm at, and that's all i should be concerning myself with. a lot has been going well for me lately, after all.

i really hope i'm not lying. i feel especially small and vulnerable right now.

snap out of it, sister. this, too, shall pass.
i'll have better stories soon. right? right.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

it downright shocks me, at times,

the personal information i'm apparently willing to share with people i've only just met. my mouth flies open and words come out of it that i have previously had difficulty even formulating to myself. scandalous.

other times, i'm a fucking clam, and that's not a conscious choice, either.

contemplating one's flaws is far more pleasurable in the summertime, i've discovered. seriously. an iced mocha, a sunny stoop, and some light navel-gazing? best show in town.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

my innate cheekiness leads me

to sometimes reply to the subtext, rather than the actual statement, in a conversation. i don't even always know i'm doing it. people don't tend to like that - understandably, i suppose.

it's worst, though, when i reply to the wrong subtext and get that blank stare, telling me i've missed the mark by the length of a ball field. i think i may have myself convinced i read people far better than i really do.
should just learn to accept that some people, as far as i'm concerned, might as well be dusty scrolls written in sanskrit.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

we're sipping drinks

on the triangle patio after rehearsal and we're talking about clutter. you know, the stuff amassed in the back of your closet. old pictures, letters, boxes full of sentimental garbage... to ditch or to keep? all those in favor of 'ditch' raise their hands. i'm not one of them.

not that i'm a pack rat. anyone who's ever been to my apartment knows i travel light. but if i were to collect the essential pieces of my life in a bundle and hang it on a hobo stick, 90% would consist of keepsake shit with no real value to anybody else. i like to carry my history around with me.

"but, you know, tossing all that clutter is so much more liberating. memories are contained within you - why would you want to cling to the physical manifestations? it doesn't make sense. it's only what society's telling you you should do."

"on the contrary, society tells you you shouldn't do it. there's a mass culture of self-help books out there preaching the virtues of 'letting go' and 'moving beyond'... i think what you're talking about is the bastard child of basic denial and a materialism-is-the-root-of-all-evil notion. if you truly learn from and grow with your past, then why this ritualistic need to purge yourself of its reminders?"

"umm, well. it's just a way to... start with a clean slate, i guess. who wants to look at old love letters from people they don't even care to remember?"

"i do. it reminds me why i don't care to remember them."

"do you really need the letter to remind you, though?"

"yes, sometimes. for the most part, i don't actively remember them. i think that says more about having truly gotten over something."

there is more to it than that, but i get the sense i've said enough - the conversation reaches a halt and i realize there will be no consensus, and no consensus is needed. people have different ways of dealing with their past. theirs is just as valid as mine.

besides, i don't really expect anyone to fully share my taste for nostalgia. most people only like to reminisce about the good moments, the happy golden snapshots of times gone by, and i'm exactly the opposite. it's the sad moments i want to remember the best. it may seem a little backwards, but i've always been of the opinion that this is actually healthier, and makes me more of a natural optimist.

healthier how?? well, i'm in no danger of getting stuck on the past, for one. i don't miss anything about it. in keeping a memory bank of my unfortunate experiences - and the negative aspects of certain choices i made - i appreciate my nows that much more, and look forward to everything new that is to come. a friend told me last week, in an entirely unrelated context, that he's impressed with how well i deal with change - where he himself wishes for same-ness and stability. i do take a certain amount of pride in that, whether or not i should. i gamble a lot with the life decisions i make - financially, emotionally, and in every other way. i burn, i heal, i go back for more. it never stops. thank god it never stops.

but yes, i like the reminders. they're tiny imprints in time of all the different people i used to be and am not anymore. i like having a connect-the-dots map of where i went before. and maybe, in the end, it's a cultural issue as well: one of the things that forever sets me apart from those around me who grew up on this continent, with its default ideals and sentiments. or maybe not. but the concept of needing to exorcise bad memories in order to "move on" from them seems a very westernized pop-psychological party trick to me. no?

the aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware; joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.
~ henry miller

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

yes. this is just how i

remember it: the exact moment in the process where you start seeing texture. it's a little oasis of feel-good in a gruelling desert of repetitious work and logistical torture.

do you know what i mean? someone out there surely does. putting together a show is such an emotional rollercoaster - from the first wave of excitement over the gorgeous unfamiliarity of a new script, straight through to opening night anxiety attacks. here's the basic structure i have found is rarely deviated from:

stage 1 - unbridled enthusiasm
stage 2 - terrifying chaos
stage 3 - hard fucking work
stage 4 - TEXTURE! hooray.
stage 5 - more hard fucking work
stage 6 - sudden paralyzing fear over timeframe; second-guessing choices made thus far; second-guessing entire vocation
stage 7 - annoying, obsessive nitpickery
stage 8 - mad scramble
stage 9 - pre-opening nerves/excitement
stage 10 - opening night; happiest moment of life; desire to drink all the booze in the entire world.

and today, today today, i realized i've hit stage 4 and there was something so great about that. so reassuring, especially in anticipation of the scary territory from here on in. it just helps remind me that these are all perfectly natural phases of what i do. and that, when i do start losing my mind over deadlines not met and props not procured, that will be natural, too.

but perhaps the most gratifying part is actually watching that texture emerge for the very first time, in a very physical sense. you're never prepared for it. everything takes on a new quality of life and the artificial reality you've been so painstakingly constructing is suddenly so complete, so overwhelming... it sent chills down my spine and made my eyes water. and i was dumbstruck for an entire five seconds, searching for something i could say that was useful direction.

it feels like. well, it feels like. staring at a garden-variety road map and it turning topographic right before your eyes. or something.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

this is what's known as the

obligatory you-don't-know-me-as-well-as-you-might-think post. also known as the post that every single blogger at some point writes, whether or not they should, because online vanity just ain't the same without it...

"without further ado":


1. i know how to make the perfect espresso and i'm hopelessly snobby about it.

2. i also make (in no particular order) a mean caesar, a more-than-decent martini, and an abolutely delightful tom collins. to name a few.

3. i have no sense of direction. i'd get lost in my own back yard. i can never take the shortcut through scotia square because it adds about 10 minutes to my travel time.

4. i used to have ridiculously lush woman-of-the-jungle hair down to my hips for a good seven years of my life. pulled into a ponytail, it was as thick as my wrist around.

5. the cellophane wrapping around new cds drives me absolutely insane. i bite and claw at it like a crazy person and usually have to get someone else to open it for me in the end.

6. when i was about 14 i had a crush on this boy who was utterly obsessed with movies. i used to be at his house all the time, watching stuff, thinking about wanting to kiss him. he never clued in. anyway, a year or so later i went to see him in a school play and ended up sitting next to his older sister. i'd never met her before. she was stunning. she made me feel funny. pretty sure that was the first time i felt that way about a girl, although i couldn't for the life of me explain what was going on at the time - yet, funnily, after this occurrence i had suddenly lost all interest in him.

7. i love the pet shop boys and modern rocketry and really cheesy new order songs. i am not one bit ashamed.

8. i'm disturbingly flexible. i can lay both my palms flat on the floor without bending at the knees, and do a backward bridge standing straight up. the sad part is that i tend to do the latter on dancefloors, while drunk.

9. i like small, feral cats and eerily precocious children.

10. drawing was an early and major interest that i abandoned at some point in my teens, but (for all the good it does me now) i can still draw a perfectly anatomically accurate female form.

11. a shortlist of things i can't do even a little bit: drive, skate, roll my r's, get to sleep before 2 am.

12. a shortlist of things i do rather poorly: cook, swim, sing, gracefully end a small talk conversation.

13. a shortlist of things i always wanted to do: skydive, bungee jump, work on a tall ship (preferably in the 1800's, and preferably while also being a teenage boy), international espionage have a lucrative career that involves travel, anonymity and deception.

14. i've read everything stephen king wrote up to and including hearts in atlantis. so sue me, i love most of the dude's early output.

15. cockroaches don't bother me. snakes are my friends. mice can hang. however, anything remotely arachnid makes me want to run and scream and die.

16. i hate people who hear the above confession and instantly launch into a scary spider story. hate them with a grim passion.

17. deserts are incredibly sexy. the cliched beach fantasy that people have, i have that with deserts and i'm not above admitting it.

18. i never get the hiccups. ever. that's right, you wish you were me.

19. i have a (small and barely significant) fascination with true crime stories, inexplicable phenomena, and tales of archaic psychiatric practices.

20. i can recite more poems from memory than you've likely ever read, though i'm not sure how this has come to be as i never actually try to memorize poetry.

21. i never knew a damn thing about jesus until starting grade five in norway, but i firmly believed in santa claus till i was eight years old.

22. my natural body temperature is ridiculously low. something like 35.6°C. this means high-temperature climates don't faze me at all, but also that i'm more often cold than the average person. or in other words, am incredibly ill-suited to life at my current latitude.

23. there was a time in my life when ribbed corsets, patent leather pants and heavily studded accessories were pretty much what my wardrobe consisted of. people tend to assume i'm a dominatrix more frequently now than they did then. i don't know how to make sense of this.

24. one of the classic stories that always gets brought up at family reunions: i am, oh i don't know, probably three and i'm being forced to hang out with my mom and her friend at a coffee shop. i'm cranky and i don't like the friend one bit. she coos and slobbers all over me, asking silly things like "who's a cute little baby girl?" so i look at her, deadpan like only cute little girls can be, and i say (direct translation): "i will put you in the garbage and leave you to rust." who knows where i picked that gem up. anyway, thus began a lifetime of being rude to well-meaning strangers...

25. two bulgarian superstitions i actually observe: never passing a ring from one person's hand into another; walking over freshly spilled water on one's way to a new job/important meeting/whatever for good luck.

26. i have a near-fetishistic relationship to all things jewish. don't ask me about that one, because i really fucking can't explain it.

27. the obligatory list of future baby names, milestone of many an adolescence: my girl names were always unusual and pseudo-artsy, like ronya and valencia. my boy names, in comparison, had a flavor of tradition and ivy league, like benjamin and sebastian. weird.

28. sebastian is still my favorite name in the world and i've yet to meet someone who manages to ruin it for me.

29. a novel i have a particular soft spot for is beatles by norwegian contemporary author lars saabye christensen. i've never been successful in finding it in translation, but it's a coming of age story about four boys in 1950's oslo who indentify with the members of, guess which band... anyway, the george harrison alter ego is a boy called sebastian. he ends up a junkie in paris in the early 70's.

30. george harrison is, incidentally, my favorite beatle.

31. i know the words to every beatles song ever, including obscure unreleased shit and bootleg covers. i also used to know the working titles to most of 'em. you can't stump me.

32. few people seem to have even heard of an 80's animated tv series called the mysterious cities of gold, but it was my favorite thing in the world as a kid - next to pulp novels about cowboys and shipwrecked sailors.

33. i desperately want at least one real car chase to occur at some point in my life. where i'm not the one driving, and i don't get caught. :P

34. the first thing i ever did on stage, school play nonsense excluded, was an oddly ambitious project based on sylvia plath's life and poetry. it was andy warholesque peformance art, really... and i could defend it even now, but it's not worth the trouble. anyway i was 17. the waldorf school pta set was left doing some serious head-scrathing, i can tell you that much.

35. i hate the color yellow. plain and simple. it only has bad associations for me.

36. ...oh my god. is this really only #36?! crap. um. i had my first orgasm when i was five. WHAT? it was bound to come up eventually.

37. in stark contrast, i didn't have my first real kiss till i was 15. is that late, in north america? 'cause it's pretty darn late for a european.

38. LOGIC PUZZLES! love'em. you know, the things with the grid. "mary can't sit next to anyone who's wearing blue or has curly hair. tim's last name is not smith", etc. i've books full of them. i get them off the net, too.

39. i lost a year of my life to the online multiplayer sensation that was everquest, when i could've been out drinking it away instead... sigh. my inner nerd and my inner alcoholic, eternally at odds.

40. my primary character was a wood elf druid. my secondary character was an erudite enchanter... or was she a wizard? i'm only happy to forget. jeez, i'm really running low on pointless trivia here.

41. my favorite place in the whole world will always remain sozopol, a small-town community of grecian heritage on the bulgarian black sea coast. it was the town where my grandmother lived, and where 95% of all my happy childhood memories took place. i haven't visited there for at least five years.

42. i somehow got away with cutting the same class every week for an entire year in junior high. i leave you to wonder what one.

43. i once had a serious, long-term relationship with a "former" jehova's witness. (i say "former" because we had deep, passionate arguments about things like blood transfusion.)

44. the tattoo i have on my back is not the tattoo i wanted. i went in with a photocopy of two designs and pointed out the one i liked best. somehow, i still ended up with the other one... life-long lesson on the subject of paying attention, that.

45. bad spelling = instant deal-breaker.

46. one time i was climbing down some rain-slick scaffolding from the top of a cathedral at night, and i had to pee so bad, and i was so sure i'd slip and fall to my death. and it occurred to me that probably only a handful of other people in the world had found themselves in the same predicament, in my lifetime.

47. worst panic attack of my life: drunk and stoned at cafe mocha after hours, 2001 or maybe early 2002. i got up to use the washroom and suddenly, i went blind. dropped to the floor like a sack of potatoes. it took minutes to remember how to use my muscles again. then, the heart race, and an overwhelming wave of nausea... repeatedly sticking my fingers down my throat to make it stop. eventually i made it out to the sidewalk and threw up again and again. all i could think to do was lie face down in the snow. the cold, for once in my life, was calming - an anchor to reality.

48. i quit smoking pot for good shortly after this incident.

49. the first horror movie i ever saw was poltergeist, the original one. i couldn't have been more than eleven. my world was never quite the same.

50. next time that i go to a fair (which had better be soon), i want to wear a dress.

51. a small treacherous part of me really wouldn't mind living a life of much leisure and little consequence, waking up to champagne and kittens every morning.

52. the rest of me, however, positively revels in dealing with adversity and romanticizing trouble.

53. oh and also, i want to change the world.

54. i used to shoplift when i was sixteen... jesus, that's only eleven years ago.

55. i wanted to be in gymnastics as a kid but my parents wouldn't let me. they had this odd idea that i was too slight and brittle-boned - although i've never broken a bone to this day, save my nose (in a faceplant off a jungle jim).

56. dreaded phrase #1: "say something in norwegian/bulgarian".

57. i deal with confrontation much better than with passive-aggressive behaviour.

58. i cry at plays more frequently than movies.

59. i always do my crosswords in pen.

60. i still don't get why you north american folk love monkeys so much.

61. it sometimes pisses me off that i'm completely useless at science. the rest of the time, i know i would never trade science smarts for anything i'm good at, ever.

62. i like challenges. ok, no. adore challenges. they are at least 50% of the motivating force behind everything i do. this probably makes me sound bad, but it sure beats apathy, doesn't it?

63. i want to quit smoking before i'm thirty.

64. i smoked my first cigarette when i was eight, with two eleven-year-old friends. we were playing dress-up and we felt so cool. hid behind some foliage in the back yard and smoked. my uncle could smell the tobacco off me when i went back in the house and i got in real trouble... i didn't have another one till i was 14.

65. my uncle, my mom and myself are all born on the third day of our respective months. all the women in my family have blue eyes, and all the men have brown. on both sides.

66. i have, at one point in the very distant past, walked to a cornerstore in the wintertime dressed in ONLY boots and a long winter coat.

67. cds that have somehow made their way into my record collection without my knowledge or consent: marilyn manson, dio, lenny kravitz.

68. it's very, very sad how many hours i can waste playing computer games of the crime-solving variety.

69. no hour of the day or night is inappropriate for any one of the following: breakfast food, rehearsing for any sort of show, beer, going on a trip, sleep, burgers, coffee, sex.

70. i have this thing about flowers. i don't especially like them. i hate floral patterns and designs and i'm not much for the real thing, either. if you're trying to win me over... don't give me flowers.

71. if i could play anyone in anything at all, written or not, i would want to be tallulah bankhead in a play about her life. i know there is one in existance, although it hasn't been around long and i've never read it - i'm tempted to write my own, anyway.

72. one of my biggest pet peeves is ill-informed people who insist on talking politics.

73. i like an obscene amount of cream in my coffee. cream, not milk. and no sugar, ever, in anything.

74. in my younger and rather more wayward days, i had a myspace account. on this myspace account, i had a tagline which read multisyllable words make me wet. that's right. i used to receive messages from strangers every other day, consisting of nothing but a list of items such as 'onomatopoeia' and 'histrionism'. i guess i should have specified that context was at least equally important, but why make things easy?

75. i never really played with dolls the way you're "supposed to", i don't think. my favorite childhood activity involving dolls was to create elaborate art installations with them, using strings and props and pieces of furniture. sometimes i did things like take their heads off and fill them with confetti. sometimes i would suspended household utensils around them. usually i would paint their eyes red with nail polish. i sure was a weird kid.

76. i'm a skeptic. i don't buy into shit easily. but i also never firmly disbelieve anything i can't disprove... i suppose skepticism works both ways.

77. for years, i held onto this notion that i'm the least romantic person you'll meet; now i know that's not really true. it's just that my sense of romance does not apply to any hallmark standards. i even hate the word "romance", it evokes images of cheesy couples photos and stuffed animals. it's superficial trappings of love without the actual thing. maybe that actually makes me a profound romantic, i don't know.

78. i went out with someone - a long, long time ago - who used to say you should never attempt to describe yourself to a third party, as doing so instantly alters you and makes each statement a lie. i suppose i see the point, sort of. i just choose to continuously ignore it.

79. i have notoriously bad luck with people called megan (meaghan, meghan and whatever other variations exist) and andrew.

80. i love travelling anywhere alone.

81. i don't take gender stereotypes seriously at all and this pisses a lot of people off.

82. in my high school history final, i disregarded pretty much the entire curriculum for the year and wrote emphatically - and exclusively - about youth propaganda during world war 2 and the cold war era. still not sure how i got away with relating absolutely everything to that topic, but i made a surprisingly good grade.

83. i have never played risk, watched the sopranos or read the five people you meet in heaven.

84. i don't appreciate people calling me 'honey' unless they're sweet little old ladies. 'hon' is even worse. oddly, though, i take no issue with 'baby'.

85. i'm sorry. i think shakira is totally hot. i do!!

86. i resent catching myself in a lie. i deeply resent being forced into situations which require me to lie in order to keep others happy. sometimes i ponder, for hours and hours, the moral intricacies of coddling people's feelings.

87. i have a deviantart.com account that nobody knows about. it's been there for years. and you'll never find me on it, and i'll never share the link.

88. the only expensive thing i have ever successfully saved up for was a two-week trip to the greek islands, in the summer of 1999.

89. i very nearly killed myself driving a scooter, on this same trip. when i say "very nearly", i do mean i saw my life flash before my eyes and shook uncontrollably for two whole hours following the incident.

90. i absolutely love jeans. love the way they look on me, love the way they look on others. i think a pair of well-fitting jeans and a t-shirt is possibly the sexiest outfit in the world. yet i loathe the whole process of shopping for them and usually only own two or three pairs at a time that i really like wearing.

91. ...only nine left, come on, you can do this. oh, here's one: i can't fucking stand johnny depp. seriously. it always ruins a perfectly good movie to have to watch his self-important mug prance around, being all "character actor"-y.

92. i have frequent dreams about dying in plane crashes, yet i've no fear of flying whatsoever.

93. or heights. i actually really dig heights. i get crazy impulses to climb things (especially when drunk, as evidenced by #46). there's been many a situation where i've had to be restrained from carrying out these impulses - most memorably, the time stewart had to talk me out of climbing a crane at four o'clock in the freakin' morning.

94. vampire: the masquerade. yup. anybody want to play this again ever?

95. when i dance with other people, i tend to copy their dancing style(s). i'm not usually aware i'm doing it.

96. i hated on the road but loved the dharma bums. go figure.

97. cruelty to animals fills me with a rage like you can't even imagine.

98. the longest period of time i've gone without any sleep - and without the aid of class a narcotics, at that - is 44 hours.

99. my favorite bagel is cheese & onion - today, a near-extinct bagel species. why can we not live in natural equilibrium with our cheesy, onion-flavoured friends?

100. i love the sound of crickets and the smell of steamed corn.

whew. well, i commend my own stubbornness but this was quite possibly the worst idea i've ever had.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

at the same time,

it's really not all bad. what am i even saying - i love it, most of the time.

i went for a long walk around the north end tonight. and while there was nothing particularly special about the night or the walk, on some level it was profoundly memorable. i know i will miss it. i know i will never have it again, not like this. i can already sense the impeding shadows of stress that are just around the corner - stress about the show, stress about money, stress... about other things, bigger things, scarier things.

but right now and right here, there is a calmness unlike anything i've felt before. or perhaps i have, but not since i was a child. nothing can touch me here; i'm surrounded by some kind of golden shroud of peace, and i walk at an extremely even pace, and all my thoughts are so wonderfully lucid. i had a dream last night that they offered me my job back at the restaurant - "it was just a test, you're back on the schedule now" - and i just stood there, watching the boiling bubbling chaos of service industry hell around me, wondering what i could do to make them fire me for good.
i woke up laughing with relief. oh, it's so good to know it was a dream! i wouldn't go back to that life if they offered me twice what i was making. i'd rather eat nothing but kraft dinner for months.

i really would, you know. this is something i was thinking about while wandering around tonight: how it was all too easy to forget that living on a tiny budget can be more rewarding; how fully i had myself convinced in no time that i couldn't do without a serving job i hated, under a boss i didn't get along with. there is literally not a thing about it i look back at fondly. time slid away from under me like quicksand in that job, and so did all that glorified cash i was making. jesus, how much money did i throw right back into that bar? all i ever had there that's worth remembering was fun, but fun and being happy are so fucking far from being the same thing.
besides, come on - even the fun wasn't usually much to write home about. all my best stories come from other places.

i'm realistic. i know i probably won't love the next "real" job i get, either. but i'll be cautious this time, and mindful of what chances i take. it's far scarier to be owned by a shit job than to have to cook your own dinner. i chose the career path i did far from naively: i knew i would end up living in houses that look like junkyards, and that i'd have to budget for things that are bare necessities. i knew and i didn't care. i know how to function under dire financial conditions, it's what i know. i came from that. how to put money away and invest in the future? not so much. i chose a moment-to-moment kind of life, and when that moment-to-moment yielded more funds than i was used to, i spent it just as lightly as i had come by it. and then that's what i became used to.

concentric circles, though, right? i'm here right now, happy to have reclaimed a peace of mind that's been lacking from me for entirely too long. also happy to be in better control of how i'm living and what i'm spending. it will get old, of course, as being broke tends to. in a year i'll likely be making more than i was leading up to all this.
well, either i'll be making more or at the very least i'll be much happier. maybe both. but definitely one.

right this minute, i'm feeling pretty optimistic about everything.

i used to have favourite

restaurants. now i have a favourite superstore clerk.
we always chitchat and he makes fun of my grocery purchases, because i can't afford to buy anything good.

...well, he doesn't yet. but i'm sure he will soon.

in other news, all this idle time on my hands has led to undertaking a blogging venture i almost instantly wished i hadn't. i started compiling a list of '101 little-known things about me' and dear god, it's taken me three days so far and i've only gotten to #85... of course, now it's past the point of no return and i have to finish the fucker. shit. who knew it was going to be so hard and so dull to make me sound interesting?!

Monday, June 30, 2008

look ma, i wrote a fairy tale

we may learn from life a little
how to look men in the eye
how to make a great martini
how to tell the perfect lie

back in olden days, in the old country, when i a wee thing was being dragged around outdoor markets by my grandmother - perhaps i should have taken a moment to talk to the gypsy women.
of course, i wasn't actually allowed to. gypsies, as per common knowledge, would take your money and put a hex on you. make you grow up ugly. especially if you looked them in the eye.

but maybe i should have anyway. spited all superstition and just walked up to one while my granny was haggling with the tomato vendor. i should have given her some spare change and let her hold my hand and talk to me in her odd tongue, a mix of slavic and romani, as she told my fortune. perhaps, even at seven, i could have made out the meaning of what she was saying. perhaps the story would have gone something like this:

" you will not always be this shy. you will not always be scared of people. you will lose all that you now think defines you, and travel to a cold land where people drink unboiled milk without fear of disease. your skin will go pale like the midnight sun in this land, and you will try to forget your roots and change your name. you will grow up without a god, surrounded by much love but little guidance, and you will run wild when the opportunity presents itself, and you will never look back.

" as a young woman, you will travel once more to a faraway land - a strange place where even elegant folk wear sneakers, and look to tv instead of books to provide meaningful commentary on their lives. you will hate it there, for a while. but then you'll meet people who turn your life around. you will want nothing more than to be on stage. you will invest all of you into this place, eventually, and with this will come many sacrifices: you won't see your family for years. you will not be able to be near your mother when she gets sick. you will not attend your parents' graduations, nor they yours. and you will wonder, forever, if you've made the right decisions. if your passion was worth it.

" you will fall in love with the wrong people, at the wrong times, and you'll act foolishly. you will break and think you're beyond repair, but this will never be true. you will know and understand both the pain and the value of leaving things behind, and this will be your triumph in life and also perhaps your tragedy. "

...i wish i knew how her story would go on from here. or do i? i certainly wouldn't have wanted to hear all the things she's said up to this point, back then. or i wouldn't have believed them. not a one of them. same difference.

can knowledge of future events help shape them? change them? does fate exist? and other such cliched questions. at best, we can perhaps manage an educated guess as to the short-term course of our lives, although looking at my past - it's one big mishmash of unpredictability. i wonder, i wonder, i wonder. i'm having a 'what if' kind of day. the good kind, not the bad kind... but still.

well, no matter what. i mean, no matter what. i'm still trapped in the fluid, yet finite confines of the now, and there is no gypsy lady to tell stories of my future, whether or not i actually want to hear them. thank fuck. isn't the excuse for doing things that seem ridiculous in hindsight always that they made perfect sense at the time??

though I've gained a little insight
lost my heart and sold my soul
i am still a rank beginner
when it comes to self control

(poetry excerpts from fran landesman, of course.)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

dear diary,

when i grow up and get a real job and make lots of money,
these are some things i'm going to do:

- buy a digital camera and take lots of silly pictures of myself and my friends. (seriously... if i wait much longer to do this, i'll grow out of it, or it just won't be cute anymore.)

- go out for dinner somewhere fancy and order anything that looks good on the menu, without so much as looking at the prices.

- spontaneously hop on a plane to toronto, just to spend a day walking around kensington market and smoking on patios.

- drink like a fish. live like a rock star.

- get a new fucking bottle of shampoo. who knows, i may even splurge and get conditioner while i'm at it.

maybe beggars can't be choosers, but i simply refuse to forsake my expensive taste in hair products. they'll have to wait for starvation to get me before they pry that bottle of redken out of my cold, dead hands.

i'm some sad excuse for a bohemian.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

something very strange

is going on around here. maybe it's the heat.

1. i spent the greater part of my night looking up russian, bulgarian and norwegian poetry online. there is distrubingly little out there, or else i'm just inept with a search engine - i could barely find any of my favorites, which were the whole reason for this undertaking. however;

2. i read pretty much everything that i did find, along with the (mostly horrible) english translations available. this means i quite literally read hundreds of poems in three or four different languages over the last few hours. attention span deficit certainly doesn't live here... i don't know if i should be impressed or scared.

3. but wait, it gets worse.
there is one particular poem that not a single individual in norway, no matter how little s/he cares for literature, has managed to avoid exposure to in the public education system. it's got the sort of reputation that makes teenagers groan just to hear the title, of course. even the kind of teenagers that actually read. even the kind that actually read shakespeare.
now, i have not remotely brushed with this tidbit of national lore since i graduated high school. nor did i really have a reason to seek it out tonight. but:

4. i found it and i read it, all forty-odd stanzas in the original edit. it was awfully melodramatic and sentimental; i mean, it's never really been my style of writing or anything. and around the part where he confronts the english lord and his family, i realized i was crying; not just tearing up, either, full-on waterworks and sobbing and what the hell is that all about?!?

4.1. i didn't think i liked the poem that much - if at all.
4.2. i don't remember the last time a movie, a story or even a real life event made me bawl quite like that.

bullshit. bullshit!! nostalgia? homesickness? WHAT? have i completely lost my mind??

well, not that this helps make sense of what i'm talking about, but i did manage to dig up an english translation of the poem, if you're so inclined:
terje viken by henrik ibsen
(the very bottom one)

do not expect anything typically ibsen-esque - it was an "early effort" and is largely unrecognized as part of his ingenious output by everyone except norwegians. the translation, though, is actually surprisingly adequate if a little loose in content.

it's gotta be the heat, or the lack of a job. my sensibilities are clearly coming undone... what's next? am i unwittingly about to join the ranks of the secret converts? will i wear hemp belts and listen to weepy girly music? no, seriously i'm a little freaked right now.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

we walked around the commons

for a bit after brunch, acting stupid. funny how some people automatically play to a particular aspect of your personality. it's great when you just want to feel like you're ten and have never had a worry in the world.

a puggle puppy came running toward us, and we both instantly dropped to our knees and rolled around on the grass making silly sounds. her name was paprika. the couple who owned her gave us dog treats and she went wild with love.

five minutes later, we were bored with the puppy and started walking down to gottingen to grab a beverage. josh had found an elongated object that looked like it was once the handle of a mop or broom, and was now lugging it around and using to point at things meaningfully.

"YOU. are a bearded iris."
"who did you just call a bearded iris??"
"...the bearded iris we just passed?"
"oh, thank god. i thought you were talking to that woman up ahead."

later, on the backpackers patio. marinating in the sun, wishing i hadn't worn jeans on this hotter than hell afternoon.

"i've been thinking of getting a tattoo. i don't know if it would suit me, though."
"bullshit. anyone can pull off the right tattoo."
"ok, how about this: anne of green gables carrying a platter of puffs."
"you would never get laid again."
"what if i tattoo it on my ass?"
"then people will just assume you're a child molester."

when i was making my way home up north street, the world looked colorized and airbrushed and i was, quite unselfconsciously, humming a tune from west side story.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

it's not so weird, i guess,

that i've always had this strange sense of displacement. it's probably weirder that i usually get over it. ever since i was little, no environment has felt like home, not entirely.

sure, i would eventually become attached to individuals or communities - given enough time - but never to the degree of belonging anywhere, in the way most people use the word 'belong'. probably that's not what it looks like on the outside. trial and error teaches a number of useful life skills, and i'm pretty adept at giving the impression that i fit into my surroundings quite comfortably.

it's not untrue, exactly. i'm comfortable most of the time. most of the time... i'm comfortably disconnected.

maybe this is a long-term side effect of thrusting an already socially alienated pre-teen into extremely unfamiliar new reality. adapting to foreignness became both second nature and practically impossible - almost like my system overloaded and then crashed, leaving me with the conviction that true integration is unachievable, so i better develop some serious chamelion skills.

i remember how i did it, too. i started making a movie in my head where i was the main character. i would play with camera angles and lighting, edits and various movie magics, until each moment of my life was a perfectly captured scene and everything i said was a perfectly delivered line. movie characters, you see - my young self brilliantly reasoned - are never not at home in the movie. no matter how awkward or vulnerable or destitute at times, they're an integral part of everything that goes on around them. i could do this; i could be this.

it seemed to work wonders, for a few years.

in high school i taught myself - with a fair amount of practice - to tilt my chin at a slightly more obtuse angle when walking, forcing my posture to change dramatically. this made me feel like i appeared more confident, which in turn made me feel more confident. ah, how close pretending things can bring you to the real deal! of course, with this slight physical shift came a general impression that i was arrogant and very likely bitchy. people were so convinced of this, i probably ended up arrogant and bitchy.

other things, too. like language. articulation is power, i discovered, and threw myself into what i can only describe as linguistic acrobatics in my attempts to master this amazing tool of control. no heightened turn of phrase nor lowbrow tidbit of slang was to remain unexplored, because language was a social costume for every occasion and no way was i going to show up underdressed.

well, i met all my goals. i note this with a combination of pride and sadness: i've conditioned myself so well, it's hard to be brutally honest with myself about how i feel in any given situation. when things are tough or strange or awkward for me, i feign okay-ness all too easily.

lately it's hard not to think about it. i'm getting cosmically tested, aren't i? it's just been one blow after another, these past few months. and i've been okay, and i am okay, and i may not belong anywhere but maybe people like me aren't ever meant to.
it doesn't have to be a bad thing, i don't think. just gotta learn how to think about it right. nothing is home, and i can never go home again.

fine. there is worse out there.

i remember things about you

that you've forgotten all about, years ago.

i'm like an old blackboard that needs to be replaced. the words are long gone but the ghostsly chalk imprints linger.

the school doesn't have a budget for this kind of damage.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

'what not to wear' for the newly unemployed

"yeah, i suppose black jeans are okay if you dress them up with a conservative shirt and heels. take off the leather cuff, though. and the necklace."
"really?! i can't wear this necklace? but it's so small and inoffensive."
"tuck it into your shirt, then. you don't want to look rock'n'roll. you want streamlined and professional."

i grumble, but i do as she says. sigh. i don't even want another dining job.

"can i wear my jean jacket? or does that have too much personality for the prospective employer, too."

she ponders a moment.

"no, you can wear it. it looks clean and preppy, with the rest of your outfit... you look like a gap ad."
eyeroll. "it's a sad state of affairs when the gap ad image is what's considered the epitome of hireable."
"look, you need a job, right??"

my roommate can be a hardass, but she's right, of course. i put on my jean jacket and study the results in our full-length mirror. "i suppose i should probably remove the north end, i love you button from the breast pocket."
"yes. you really should."
i do it, with what i hope is an endearing pout. i feel like a store mannequin.

candice laughs, in her carefree look-at-me-i-have-a-job-and-can-wear-what-i-feel-like ruffled skirt.
"relax. you can go back to squatting abandoned houses, after you do your interview."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

"down here, we all float"

i look at my last post and i'm like, eye-ruh-neeee.

maybe i'm a low-level psychic or something. things have happened this way before - little echoes of the future, causing a stir in my mind that i can't understand or place. it's confusing, but also comforting somehow. almost like i already dealt with the fallout of this, before "this" became a fact.

stephen called to see how i was doing, for the fourth time. this was directly after i had summoned the courage to face my account balances. it had been a very grave and gruelling fifteen minutes.
"i don't have any money. none at all. i have negative-money. i don't own a cent."
"it's a good thing you have a me, then."
"i suppose i'm not going to die, am i."
"nope. you're not going to die."

then he said he was taking me out for dinner and i said, maybe i should lose my job more often. then i laughed the laugh of the temporarily insane.

well, hopefully the temporarily insane.

i'm alone in the middle of a winter landscape which suddenly turns out to be a gigantic sno-globe. i only know it's not real because someone on the outside is shaking it. i'm weightless and tiny and bouncing off the glass, and the world is a flurry of plastic snow.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

but sometimes, like say

right now, i just want a real life. a real job, with real people. who read real books. this false glamour of living in a world entirely made up of concepts and ideas gets so old.

i look at my hands, they've aged; they're these strange foreign objects now. my fingers scream of years spent in the service industry. not that there's anything wrong with that. my hands are so unpretentious, they've never even heard of nail polish or any of that cuticle cream jazz. i don't mind that. who gives a shit about cuticle cream??

i don't mind my hands, but i'd like to get to know them again. there has to be a new chapter around the corner somewhere, there has to... these days, my mind is always either on hold or in overdrive, and it can't be healthy and it doesn't feel good. it hurts, actually. all the time.

how did this take me so long to realize? i think some part of me honestly believed that i was living the dream. or a dream, anyway. well, i don't want it anymore. i want things to start being real.

i want that so bad it makes me cry.

i always look for the

sour notes first.

when reading a script, or when reading a person.

read once for content, and then once for texture. you'll find them in the texture read. sometimes they're less obvious, but they're always the most interesting. a situation in musical terms: perfect rendition of a 'moonlight sonata' where a finger suddenly brushes a wrong key, creating a dissonance that reverberates through the whole piece. a half-second delay, perhaps, which breaks the mathematical pattern of a composition.

the most beautiful thing about symmetry is the deviation from it.

have you ever had one of these moments; walking away from a conversation and realizing that one particular sentence is stuck in your head like a skipping record? it undulates in your mind and the more you try to milk it for hidden meaning, the more it refuses to yield? anyway, neither here nor there.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

water to wine

and wine to vinegar
and vinegar to lye
and lye to honey
and honey to grapes
and grapes to wine
and wine to water
and water to salt
and salt to blood
and blood to power
and power to disaster
and disaster to bliss
and bliss to... to... i don't know what

but it never stops, goddamn it, there's never a moment's peace
i'm so tired
i just want to put my head down and close my eyes
and never need punctuation again to explain how i fucking feel

(use your words use your words your WORDS)

Monday, June 9, 2008

absolutely glorious


i am sitting at javablend on north street, and i just witnessed a very old lady walk by with a t-shirt that professed

i gave up DRINKING and SMOKING and SEX
and it was the worst 15 minutes of my life

oh, summertime.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

haven't been feeling like

writing anything lately.

mostly it's a time thing. i feel guilty spending it here when there's so little to go around.

but almost as importantly, i don't like the stuff that leaks out my fingertips when they get near the keyboard. nothing new is forming in my head, no stories, not even the tiniest anecdote. all the words that want out are visceral and introspective and of no use to anyone. your blog is all smoke and mirrors these days, anne said in a recent e-mail, and yes! yes it is! and i hate smoke and mirrors. well... in excess, anyway.

and with that, i welcome you to: yet another smoke and mirrors post.

i've always had trouble asking for things.
anything. stuff i fully deserve, especially. it's a strange, misconceived issue of pride. the more i deserve something - a raise, a break, help, a kind word - the more obstinately i refuse to ask for it; the more i feel that i shouldn't have to.

i guess it's really a fear of rejection. the more i feel i've earned something, the harder the fall if i don't get the payoff... so much easier to just sit around, stupidly full of pride, and wait for the reward to come to me - and if it doesn't, so much easier to walk away. a little angry, perhaps, but nothing compared to the ego bruise of having asked and having been turned down.

that's so dumb. i don't think i've ever fully realized how fucking dumb that is.

sigh. i suppose it is a silly time to learn to swim when you start to drown.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

this living, this living, this living / was never a project of mine


Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song,
A medley of extemporanea;
And love is a thing that can never go wrong;
And I am Marie of Roumania.

~ Dorothy Parker

Thursday, May 29, 2008

so i used to be extremely obsessed

with other people's belongings as a child. right? i couldn't keep my hands off them. i would feel them and smell them and chew on them and play with them, sometimes inevitably destroy them in my enthusiasm, and i would become terribly upset if an adult tried to take away my toy. it felt like emotional robbery. how dare they??

i'm not talking toddler, either. i was completely infatuated with strangers' stuff well into my adolescence. not in a weird cleptomaniac way where i wanted to make it my own: i just wanted to be close to it. like, an all-senses-involved-kind of close. and if ever there was a time when a stranger noticed and graciously gave me the thing i was so consumed by, why then it instantly ceased to be of any interest to me.

i still vividly remember that feeling of rapture, and i think i understand the reason behind it, too. it was the foreignness of the objects that i found so intoxicating, the fact that they had a life within the life of someone else who wasn't me. like they carried within them the essence of another person; a neatly wrapped package of alien humanity that i was desperate to explore... well, it's hard to explain, really.

in later years, i've equated my infantile need to interact with the belongings of others with the need many a fledging mechanic has to take electric fans apart and put them back together. except in my case, it wasn't about the inner workings of actual things. what i wanted to experience was the people who owned them, and the only way i knew how - remember, i was a fairly socially inept child - was to attack the physical manifestations of their personality. maybe this also betrays an instinctively sensual approach to life in general, i'm not sure, but i do know for a fact that the pursuit was intellectual in nature: i simply wanted to understand how other people went about being... well, other people.

objects have stories, you know. they don't have to be especially dramatic or eventful, as most real things are not: they can be as mundane as that time you spilled a drop of wine on your leather wallet and it stained the edge, and now i'm looking at it and i can see the discoloration, but it's been years since the drop of wine was spilled and how could i ever wrangle a context out of it? yet the context exists, out there, beyond mine and even your own reckoning: the restaurant you were at, where they served a really awful pasta salad, and how hard your date laughed when you told her the story about your dad catching you masturbating in the bathroom at his birthday party, and a million other things besides. so many stories. and if i couldn't get them all from one hands-on reading of your personal effects, i would make them up, filling in the blanks. your life - or at any rate, my interpretation of it - passing before my eyes. for a split second, i can be you. i can imagine being you. it's the same thing.

this is most likely how i started being an actor. it begins in your gut. whether or not i would have ended up actually acting is a whole different matter.

the other version of my backstory to being an actor involves watching a really bad river phoenix film as a teenager and being moved to tears, but really i probably just had a crush on him - it's the novelty version that people always dig. i mean, there might be a modicum of truth to it, but i don't fundamentally believe people decide they want to act from just watching someone else do it and being impressed. i think, at that point, it's no longer a decision. you just need a good source of inspiration to bring certainty to the surface. river phoenix was my trigger factor.

anyway, this is what i've discovered, years since and many foreign belongings handled, characters dissected, and parts played:
1. understanding how people work and trying them on for size are not even in the realm of being the same.
2. playing is not exactly being, theatre is not exactly reality: but it is the next closest thing and, when come by earnestly, ought to be no further away than an entirely plausible version of it.
3. being everybody feels the exact same. how you think, reason, and react within the parameters you're given is all kinds of different. but how being a person feels is the exact fucking same, in the end.

so don't tell me i wasn't there, because i could have been, and my imagination is sharper than a pitchfork and i have spent my whole life learning how to walk in other people's shoes.
well, that, and sniffing their wallets.

Let nothing that is inherently human
be foreign to you

- Stanislavski

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

in my third year of university, i

took this contemporary studies class with the longest, wrongest name ever. from symbolism and surrealism to the new novel and beyond. does anyone else feel that if a course title seems to require punctuation, it probably indicates bad things about the curriculum? well, anyway.

i never did finish the course. i wasn't terribly attached to it in the first place, it had been an elective - and in the end, the credit was mine for the taking, i simply opted out of it. the class was an afternoon lecture i rarely made it to, and whenever i did, i always seemed to end up at the grad house afterwards, drinking wine with the prof and a couple of the other students. it was hilarious to watch the way they idolized him. he was this bohemian-looking british man with a glint in his eye, a bevy of ex-wives and a summer home on the french riviera. i remember once i was behind on an assignment and tried to make him give me an extention on the deadline: he listened to my excuses, flashed a very wolverine grin, and said a sentence i can't forget. don't worry about nonsense. do the things that exhilarate you.

because, really - isn't that what every 22-year-old with a discipline problem needs to hear? give me a break, mr validation.

perhaps it was his attitude, then, that made me pause and decide that i really didn't care enough for maguerite duras to drag myself through a year's worth of the coursework. his arrogance; the decidedly decadent notion that none of it mattered unless it made me drip with passion. the other students tripping all over their own feet in fascination over this man's unorthodox methods and ideas - i didn't get them at all. i wasn't the least bit taken in by the intellectual rebel act. surely, i was already rebellious enough without needing him as a reminder.

so, yes, on some level he completely failed to inspire me - if that was indeed his aim. he also failed to impress me, seduce me, and teach me anything that i might have found useful (i know for a fact he was trying for at least two out of three). maybe i'm being a little harsh here; i don't necessarily believe he was a bad man. but he was full of reverse psychology tactics and poetic pep talks taylor-made for impressionable campus co-eds, of which i wasn't one.

regardless, this isn't about him - although an introduction into his persona is necessary to fully appreciate the assignment that broke the camel's back for me in that class. i had been on the fence for a while about continuing to pursue the credit, procrastinating a term paper on andre breton's novel 'nadia' practically to the point of no return. eventually, there came a moment of truth: do i buckle down and write the damn thing? even though i really, really don't want to? or do i say to hell with it?


the prof had called me into his office to discuss what "options" there were for me. this was confusing, as i thought i had thoroughly examined the options available, and there were exactly the two. yet here he was, telling me no - no, you can still have the credit. forget the term paper. here's what you do.

take three sheets of paper. put 'to have' at the top of the first one. 'to do' at the top of the second. 'to be' on the third. now write, in list form, everything you want out of life.

you're kidding, i said. you're going to grade me on that??

no, he said, and grinned that wolverine grin of his. not grade you.


i didn't end up doing it, of course. too weird. and i think i had already given up on the credit anyway at that point. i mean, really: if you can't give away a bag of tricks, what makes you think you can sell it? shouldn't i have been more insulted at being offered special treatment in the form of a parlor game of sorts?

well, i just stopped showing up and dropped the class and that was that. never discussed why. but i did, later, ponder this curious notion: three sheets of paper. to have, to do, to be.

i did it then, just to see what it would look like. and i'm doing it again now, just because. and i wonder if the two versions would have been much different - i wish i'd held onto the first one for posterity.

- permanent immigration status, for once in my life
- a career
- freedom to travel, move about, or stay put, and do exactly as i please
- fun
- love, in its many forms
- relative financial stability
- excitement - i go through phases where i tell myself it's overrated, but those never last
- good health
- recognition

- act, direct, produce, create
- travel
- laugh
- love
- write
- hedonistically consume all the finer things in life
- meet everybody and experience everything (gluttonous, i know, but it's been my burning wish since i was a wee thing)

- happy
- intellectually stimulated
- entertained
- appreciated
- working
- loved
- self-reliant
- free
- wise
- real

grade this, dr ***.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

it was a good end to the night, but i took

the last conversation to bed with me, and it fermented in my sleep. when i woke up i could feel it: a hot, tight ball of compact rage in my belly. poisonous. deadly. if i make any sudden moves, it could mean absolute disaster.

i have to learn little by little, and cautiously. i thought, for a time, that it would be possible to snap right back like none of it ever happened. it seemed possible. i could just refuse to be angry. life goes on, all that happy horseshit.

it's most terrifying when it happens like that, for no reason. all of a sudden out of a clear blue sky there's a downpour of words i should have said, things i should have done. ways i should have protected myself. blame. guilt. hate. i failed myself, i really did, and no matter how nice people are being about it, i know that's the case. and i feel stupid and weak and broken and nothing can make any of it better.

then. then, the anger comes. it's so ugly and so relentless. i control it, with my mind, and it makes my stomach hurt. i'm sick with fear that i can't contain anger this big, that it's going to eventually unravel in my gut and pour out of me like radioactive lava, destroying the precarious threads of confidence that keep me in one piece. destroying everything.

that it's going to happen when i least expect it. that is, perhaps, my biggest fear.

i build myself on rationality, or at least the aspiration to rationality. i love logic. i love intellectualizing the world into submission. right now, right this second, all that is is a house of cards in a draughty room. how am i supposed to go about not knowing if i'm going to fall off the hinges at any given time? how could this even have happened to me in the first place?

quicksand. no real ground. just a whole bunch of ridiculous notions about the sturdiness of human character and the power of self-assurance.

i want my two years back. i want it all back. i am so fucking angry and i want it all fucking back and i can never win this one.

they all have something in common

hotel rooms. the pristine quiet, just moments after you've swiped your key card and flipped the switch. the soft hum of the ac and the crispness of the linen. nothing has felt so alien and so completely mine at the same time.

corn fields. sky dipping into a yellow horizon. the smells of summer all rolled into this one; possibly the simplest and truest sense of freedom there is.

an old pair of chuck taylors, shaped perfectly after a single pair of feet. laces gray with dust, spilled beer, heartbreak and punk rock. been around for all the best stories you can and can't remember.

a slow pub on a lazy mid-afternoon in a new city, and being aware of all the eyes pretending not to notice you at the end of the bar with your pretentious fucking book and your foaming beverage.

expensive jeans. a dark denim that looks like it would bleed volumes in the wash. understated creases in all the right places.

midsummer rainstorms. heat rising off the pavement. getting soaked to the core and seeking cover in doorways while the sky is torn in half by lightning. blue and purple flashes. can feel wet mascara pool under my eyes. the weather is like a violent kiss.

cobblestone. ivy. red brick. white sheets on clotheslines. sun-lit chimneys punctuating a landscape of rooftops.

watching 'the seventh seal' in bed with a bottle of scotch. finishing it, and deciding to watch 'the trial' while the bottle lasts. finishing that too. the light fades out there and the shadows crawling in from the window get longer, but it doesn't matter, you've nothing important to do today.

a crackling fire pit. a thousand sparks chasing each other. silence, and absolute calm.

the first time you hear a song that flips your gut.

beautiful lips stained with good red wine. a few errant drops on some of the playing cards.

hands doing things.

eyes thinking about things.

the way one would hold a kitten.

gasoline. everywhere that's far from home. everywhere that's big and filthy and populated with fashion-conscious strangers. everywhere i'm a stranger to.

tousled hair, matted with salt water and sweat.

a desert, with red sand and a red moon, and a highway that stretches out into infinity.

Monday, May 12, 2008

so many pictures

swirling around in my head. worse when i close my eyes. i see washes of color, sharp backlit silhouettes, shadows distorting facial features. a geometrical grid glowing neon on the floor. shapes floating along pre-determined lines and continuously recreating their space; molding into something new, yet oddly recognizable. light and darkness punctuating speech.

it's all liquified atmosphere, of course. i don't see anything that is of any real use to me. this wild cacophony of disjointed images is just a byproduct. potato peels flying off the edge of a frantic knife.

it's frustrating, this initial stage, but i've learned to wait it out. i'll hit the eye of the hurricane soon. well... i will at some point. there is always that point, when you've finally beaten the script into submission, when it quits buckling and bending just outside your reach. don't be greedy. wait. keep stretching for it. it's there, closer and closer and closer. closer now.

then suddenly your fingers close around the heart of the words, and it all comes into focus. the world of the play crystallizes, the images become more definite. and you don't let go. you build. slowly, painstakingly. separating moments and seconds and thoughts and concepts into managable little packages, each one pristine and individually wrapped. you build. you build. you build.

it takes forever and it's uncomfortable and your hands get sweaty from the strain, but you don't let go, because you can't. eventually it's just an extension of your skin. you look at it and you see you. you look at you and you are it. and it's as though, it's as though it was never any other way. it was never a marble block in the first place. and all the chaos has long since been silenced and forgotten.

there is nowhere else i'd rather be.

"how i spent my summer vacation", or

the remarkable feats i accomplished on my day off:

1a) bought what passes for 'groceries', correctly assuming i would have time neither to order in nor to eat out, AND
1b) bought them at the gas station, to save time and effort on navigating the plethora of choices the supermarket offers;

2a) moved a gigantic couch and belonging love seat down a flight of stairs, into and on top of a van, and across town
2b) was stuck waiting in said van with said couch on top outside the library, in the piss weather, watching twenty minutes of scheduled rehearsal time trickle away like so many raindrops;

3a) got to burlesque rehearsal awfully late
3b) ate a fenomenal muffin and did cheesy things for a couple of hours (this may have been the high point of my day);

4) made a quick stop at home to check e-mail and find out the aforementioned couch was too gigantic to even make it into the house, much less up the stairs;

5) [sigh]

6a) failed repeatedly to find my copy of a doll's house (seriously??...)
6b) went to cafe dapopo rehearsal completely and utterly unprepared
6c) did a stumblethrough of scenes from two plays i've never worked on before, script in hand;

7) scheduled rehearsal #3 on my next day off;

8) [sigh squared]

9a) came home and read a gazillion pages of yet another script
9b) took notes and drew set diagrams for hours
9c) freaked out about everything at least once;

10) decided that i need, in no particular order:
- a personal secretary
- a live-in dietetician who prevents me from existing on orange juice and hot dogs for the next who knows how long
- a professional motivator
- a job where i actually get paid to do all this stuff, thus enabling me to hire all of the above

holy shit i need sleep

Monday, May 5, 2008

Main Entry: wan·der
Pronunciation: \ˈwän-dər\
Function: verb
Etymology: Middle English wandren, from Old English wandrian; akin to Middle High German wandern to wander, Old English windan to wind, twist
Date: before 12th century
intransitive verb
1a: to move about without a fixed course, aim, or goal b: to go idly about : ramble
2: to follow a winding course : meander
3: to go astray (as from a course) : stray

Main Entry: lust
Pronunciation: \ˈləst\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German lust pleasure and perhaps to Latin lascivus wanton
Date: before 12th century
1a: pleasure, delight b: personal inclination : wish
2: usu. intense or unbridled sexual desire : lasciviousness
3 a: an intense longing : craving b: enthusiasm, eagerness

main entry. wanderlust: warm air mixes the smells of wet asphalt and gasoline.
wanderlust: a 16 oz takeout coffee container.
wanderlust: the gas station attendant wanted to see my id; i didn't bring it but he sold me cigarettes anyway.
wanderlust: like being seventeen at some el corte ingles in valencia - i didn't know the difference between filtered luckies and straights, so i was spitting little bits of tobacco on the pavement all day, giddy and slightly sun-struck and awfully adult.
wanderlust: i'm twenty-seven now and i still don't have a driver's licence.
wanderlust: if i had a car, i would play pj harvey on the stereo and throw a disposable camera in the glove compartment and get the hell out of here.

not that i claim to be

synaesthetic to any real degree, but sometimes certain feelings have scents and colours.

like passive-agressive, which looks something like dull rust, and smells like a cloying potpourri. potpourri that you burn to cover up stale tobacco smoke. yup.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

it's a lovely early spring afternoon

in the halifax bible belt. and it's sunday.

...oh shit. matt, don't turn around right now, but the house right behind you? there's an old woman standing behind the screen door staring out at us... and i think she's praying.

i looked again a minute later and she was gone. probably looking for that panic button - the one that activates the underworld shute she had installed in her front yard.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

off early on a thursday night, and i'm taking in

the atmosphere down at the old triangle with a pint of rickard's white in front of me. my co-worker (who's been drinking since the late afternoon) is trying to convince me that i am, deep down, as much a victim of my generation's romantic ideals as any female stereotype - i'm trying to convince him that i have no poetry in my soul. really, we're both just taking the piss. a lovely time is being had underneath the half-hearted guise of a philosophical debate.

there are fiddles, and middle-aged couples dancing, and all the irishness you can handle at one time. the band consists of two elderly gentlemen whose brogue sounds suspiciously authentic, in that daniel day lewis way we know and love so well. i wonder if their beards are homegrown or store bought.

halfway through the obligatory whiskey in the jar number, my co-worker grins and suggests that suffering though the live act must be hell for me. surely, someone with my attitude to life has little enough regard for irish folk music and its traditional sentiments? but, lo! here an opportunity presents itself to screw with his feeble grasp on my personality: i actually listened to enough irish folk growing up that i freely admit to a soft spot for it. that's right. never underestimate the eclectic.

in particular, i tell him, there was one song that haunted my adolescence and has since proved quite impossible to track down. believe me, google has never even heard of the damn thing. it was called 'a-rovin' i will go' and i've never come across another recording of it than the one lived in my parents' tape deck between '89 and '93.
this puzzles my entire party.
"you're certain it's not to be found on the internet?"
"well, that's strange. umm... have you tried searching an alternate spelling?"
"i've tried with the g, without the g, with the apostrophe, without the apostrophe, with and without the hyphen; i've tried various lyrics - i tell you, nothing."
"well, why don't you ask them about it? i'm sure they've heard of it before."

and with that, despite my protests, my co-worker snags one of the bearded irishmen just as they're taking a set break. "listen, this lady is wondering if you're familiar with a tune..."
blah, blah blah. imagine my surprise when said bearded guy leans close to me and hums, without mistake, the opening chorus line to 'a-rovin' i will go'.

sadly, that's as exciting as the story gets - he has certainly heard of the song, but that one line is all he can remember. he also doesn't know who and when might have recorded it, but now the whole thing sounds like a bit of a challenge, so he engages his colleague... this lass here knows a song... etcetera.

the colleague peers at me over a pint of guiness. well, perrrhaps if you could quote some of the lyrrrics, he says. and i can, of course.
sweet mary was me sunshine
sweet mary was so true
sweet mary dug me heart out
then she cut it right in two

...ring any bells?

the irishman stands for a moment, contemplating, then shakes his head in defeat. nah, he says, nah i don't know the song. i know the girrul, though. i swear to ya, i know that girrul.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

she was very much half-dressed
and big indiscreet trees threw
out their leaves against the pane
cunningly, and close, quite close.

~ rimbaud

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

in summary of everything,

i can never decide if i want to be the storyteller or the story.

that's not as convoluted as it sounds. think about it. in the end, you can only be one. live in fame, go down in flame, get used to people talking behind your back, attract passionate waves of love and resentment... but fearlessly, and without stopping to regret a single second. there just isn't enough time. if you choose to be the story, you choose the responsibility to never be dull. even at the expense of... well, everything.

the other option? well, there's always telling the stories. sitting back and observing and editing reality down. cautiously, laborously. it takes forever and is not always worth the output, but it's decidedly healthier and often more stimulating to the mind. not to mention, it's a form of investment in the future and allows for more creative control: after all, the whos and whats and hows of the story are entirely up to you.

and yet. notice how the second paragraph was a yawn to read compared to the first? that's not a coincidence.

some people are probably born knowing they're one or the other. i migrate between worlds, as it were. sometimes i'd gladly trade in my whole bag of tricks just to be able to always live inside my head, where words resonate like symphonies. there are moments when i'm convinced of my own invincibility behind the smokescreen of stories continously being told; i feel protected and ingenious and there is no better feeling in the world. if i can be a tool of myth, and myth is eternal - isn't that the ultimate dream of any indulgently creative mind?

indulgently creative. creatively indulgent. which one am i first? story: i walked down champs-elysees wearing a black catsuit and looking very much like a teenage prostitute in the mid-90's. story: i jumped off a 50 foot cliff into a stormy sea, clothes and everything, just to prove to my friends i could do it even though i was a terrible swimmer. story: i veered off a greek mountain hill road on a scooter at eighteen, very nearly missing being taken out by a tour bus, and sat there shaking for two whole hours, and the scenery was gorgeous.

these really aren't stories worth telling, only stories worth being in. maybe, in the end, i have nothing to say. i guess that would be all right, too. but i can still never decide.

oh god. is this depressing? it wasn't meant to be, i swear.