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.

Monday, April 28, 2008

i am five

years old and playing with my cousin on some beach, while the adults are smoking cigarettes at the bar-and-grill.

i cut my hand on a piece of tinted glass. it doesn't hurt, but it's the first time i have seen my own blood. it's a loud startling red and watching it trickle between my fingers produces an odd, woozy feeling in the pit of my stomach. not bad. not good. just different. even at the age of five, i already know the thrill of different. i don't cry, i watch; i am fascinated.

what i also know: blood is supposed to go on the inside of you, not the outside. i lift my hand to my face and lick the blood off. it tastes like the back of a clean spoon. more blood comes out. i lick that off, too.

my cousin passes out. i mean, literally. he's a blond boy about my age and his eyes roll into the back of his head and he keels over in the sand, just like that.

it's the first time i've seen that happen, too. it's scary. i scream, and now the alarm's going and adults come running and everything gets very confusing very fast. but it's not about my bleeding hand, at all. and yet it is about my bleeding hand. i'm sitting in the eye of the storm, watching red dots in the sand where a few drops of blood got away, and thinking of how fascinating this stuff is.

it has the power to make people pass out? how strange, and how cool. significant moment number one at the age of five: blood on a beach. turned me into a little gothy philosopher.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

ok then. it's been pointed

out to me that some of my old writing still exists out there on the three-double-ewes, and while i suppose i did know this in theory, in my self-configured reality old websites wear out like newspaper - the further down the list of google search results, the more yellowed and wrinkly and illegible... no? that's not how it works? damn, all these years of internetting, and still so much to learn.

the thing is, i'm not particularly proud of the shit i was writing then. some of it was all right, but most of it was self-indulgent, awkwardly facetious, and choke-full of so much pop lingo. gag me with a spoon! yeah, like that.

anyway, i forced myself to re-encounter 23-year-old me, and i can (with some amount of relief) report back that she's not all garbage. so, vintage moment! here's a little tidbit of nostalgia that i actually still appreciate, dated july 12th, 2004.

There are days when it's so much easier being warm than being cold.
There are days when I feel like a character from a book, by which I mean rather more real and well-composed than an actual human being: every single tiny imperfection makes sense; every blemish on my skin is deliberate and meaningful. A unique composition of flesh and mind, gritty and paradoxal, continuously invented. This is tragedy at times, but god, what a beautiful tragedy.

If only I knew what those moments - minutes, hours? - were made of, how to replicate them, how to wrap them neatly and present them to loved ones when the world seems threateningly non-sensical. The real tragedy, of course, is that we are all completely unequipped to alter other people, and only barely ourselves.

There are different days. There are days when I am a blank, a non-person, a random incident in a plotless story. Everything I am is entirely futile in the face of everything I am not. I am only words and words are only excuses.

Those days are every bit as subjective as the other kind. Only quite a bit more selfish, and a whole lot more cruel. Why do we do this to ourselves?

There are many kinds of days, many kinds of nights, many kinds of love. There is only one kind of people: the kind who have the capacity to feel happiness and pain beyond any power of reason. We all know this. We all are this.

I wanted to say something else, but I don't know what that was anymore. Take care of yourself, and I will take care of me, and maybe somewhere in the middle we can share ourselves with each other without falling apart in the attempt.

i wish i could remember what prompted this - though it could very well have been nothing. i guess i never did grow out of the capacity to wax melancholy for no particular reason. though i like to think that when i quit capital letters, i also cut down on the pretentious.

still, i like it - so sue me. there's a sweetness there i didn't know i had, and a vulnerability that i'm sure is genuine. maybe i'm just more introspective these days. or just honest about the right things.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

reference of the day

which pretty much no one reading this is likely to get:

i feel like i'm walking through the dreams of the city, chasing shimmery people in shadowed buildings, and nothing i do seems quite right.

i wish i could flip a switch in my head and just. go. to. sleep.

Monday, April 21, 2008

facebook killed the blogging community

in halifax like video killed the radio star.

i'm not being cheeky. well, not... a lot. chances are, if you weren't sleeping under a rock some four or five years ago, you were at the very least aware that blogging was a bit of a local phenomenon.

feels so long ago, somehow. certainly, a lot of the key characters that made up that 'scene' still blog, somewhere out in the ether. but many have moved away and the community feel is not there anymore - you can't go to a party, say, and read extensive internet coverage on it the next day the way you used to. the social environments that used to be a convergence point for halifax bloggers have fragmented: bands that are defunct, bars that have changed or gone under - all these undercurrent elements that seemed to sustain it are gone. nothing stays the same, although around here we love saying that it does, probably to avoid being personally responsible for our apathy.

it was mostly philip's doing, of course. i'd like to know how many people threw themselves into self-publishing solely as a result of his influence - by association or otherwise. many more, including yours truly, completely owe their five minutes of blogging fame to being linked to by him at the height of halifax blogmania. here's the outline: everyone who was connected to local music, art and/or alternative performance was reading halifaxlocals. with me so far? everyone reading halifaxlocals was reading philip, and everyone who was reading philip was reading everyone philip was reading, and there you have it: the rise of an empire from a grain of sand.

it's not that we were all friends or even knew each other, except for the occasional "sighting" at any given downtown event. i'd been reading mood surgery for well over a year before i realized that eben was my downstairs neighbour. we then proceeded to spend the summer of whatever-year-this-was drinking beer on our creighton street stoop until the sun was up, amicably arguing about music - it was one of few friendships i made on the internet that effortlessly bled into real life. but the following year, i moved out of that apartment, months later i quit blogging, and after that the world was suddenly awash with a facebook pandemic that effectively wiped out all other forms of online communication (and many offline ones, as well).

am i bitter about the demise of our little self-indulgent blogging circle? not so much - there is a freedom in not reading three acccounts of the same stupid party all the who's whos went to, as well. mostly, i was disappointed that i wasn't writing anymore, but here's a shortlist of things i did miss about it: keeping in touch with people like eben, engaging in verbal banter and debate in a non-social setting, and being able to glimpse into somebody - virtual strangers, even - on a level you never do from reading a facebook status line.

hmm. may be a little bit of a double standard, that. because a couple of nights ago, i put my status on a whim to "needs a whip, got one?" (i really did need one, if you're wondering - the whim was to broadcast it on the internet) and minutes later, eben replied that he could be over and drop one off within the hour. we ended up hanging out for a good three, catching up on years of unblogged-about life stuff, and spawned the conversation that spawned this post.

but yes, we also argued about music. amicably. life goes on, and i promise i'm done with all the self-referential blogging about blogging now... in fact, if you even see me type that word again, you have my full permission to un-friend me. on facebook.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

this is a place and a time of

such sweet, precarious perfection. the north end, this house, this spring, this moment. i'm scared i'll blink and it will be gone, drowned out by the hum of bigger and more important life things.

but this is where perfection lives, that much i know. i do double-takes just to double-notice every gorgeous flaw, like paint peeling off houses in the sunlight. trying to read the paper on my stoop and the breeze not letting me. my feet ache because i bought a new pair of converses and then wore them all around the neighbourhood. so glorious.

i quit blogging in the summer of 2005 and i don't remember exactly why. i mean, not the ins and outs of it, anyway. it had something to do with a girl. i wanted to be alone in my head, maybe... it was a bad summer - beautiful, but bad. i only retain glimpses of it: bike handlebars, rain, a jacket that remained on my door hanger for too many weeks. then i became addicted to michelle tea and started missing those 5 am phonecalls.
and then, just like that, summer had turned to fall, and everything changed once again, like these things go. i stopped whiting out paragraphs of my inner narrative.

no, i didn't. well, i did, for a time. then i re-edited everything and i didn't do a very good job.

we travel in such strange concentric circles. i don't remember last summer at all. i want to remember this one. i would like to be new. i think i deserve to be new. i hope the narrative is here to stay, this time.

the problem with having a blog again

is that i'm exactly the same person, and feel incredibly clever and profound when it's six o'clock in the morning and i'm still up from the night before.

shut up. go to bed. do it now.

hmm... maybe not quite the same. i don't remember this ever working in the past.

Friday, April 18, 2008

this is going to be THE summer hit of 2008, i just know it.

(to the tune of "little boxes" by malvina reynolds)

little bitches at the fireside,
little bitches made of ticky-tacky,
little bitches, little bitches,
little bitches, all the same.
there's a green one and a pink one
and a blue one and a yellow one
and they're all made out of ticky-tacky
and they all look just the same.

and the bitches order bitch drinks
and they all go to university,
so they know all kinds of nonsense
but they don't know how to tip.
and they all have jocky boyfriends
who'll be business executives,
and they're all made out of ticky-tacky
and they all look just the same.

and the dudes wear stripy golf shirts
and get shitfaced on three melon balls
and they end up at the palace
or in faces magazine.
and i watch them and i think that
god i hope they never procreate
but they tend to do eventually
and they all come out the same.

sometimes, i do think about getting my shit together.

you know. like people do. in their late twenties especially. i mean, that's what they do, right? quitting smoking and cutting back on the booze and never ever touching drugs again. going for "a run" before having some green tea and putting cucumber slices on my face. eight square hours of sleep, career commitment, multivitamins and sensible spending choices, sunscreen and umbrellas.

then again, sometimes i think about jumping off a very high ledge, too.

the former and latter have several key things in common: they're all about craving an excuse for escape, sparing myself worry about the future, and not fucking likely to happen.

besides, why would i want to burden myself with responsible adulthood if it only means i get to relapse when i hit my mid-life crisis? christ. i'd rather be doing other things then.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

i have an inner drag queen like some people have an inner child.

and she's every bit as entertaining and precocious, if not nearly as innocent.

if i ever open my mouth and a true gem of self-deprecating comedy comes out, it comes verbatim from the drag queen. when i face difficult confrontation head on, it's thanks to her. she's so fucking loud at times i can't hear my own thoughts, but she's always forgiven, as she alone bails my ass out of trouble when the actual me would be tongue-tied and flustered and useless. she makes certain people instantly uncomfortable, and i avoid a lot of meaningless interaction that way. i wouldn't trade my inner drag queen in for any other psychological crutch.

there's no debating her presence, she's just there. she's been around for a while. so long, in fact, that if i tell her i need some alone time and she decides to sulk and stay away for a few days, people start asking me why i "don't seem myself lately".

nobody has ever questioned why my inner person is a drag queen - not that everyone knows she is, of course. i haven't really even questioned it myself, though. but it's a curious notion: at what age did i first get the concept of drag queens? at what age did i discover a voice within me that belonged to one? how can i explain why this voice falls into such a specific demographic? and also: what does this say about my own understanding of identity and gender?

deconstruction of gender is a powerful thing that alienates many. it has always held a strong attraction for me; perhaps initially for its transgressive nature, as a form of social rebellion. but it is so infinitely much more than that - a liberation from a norm that is so ingrained in us, it limits our perspective on beauty and emotional honesty; a willingness to play with constructed ideals and see beyond what is biologically relevant to what is universally important. am i making sense here? feels like i'm writing an academic paper.

anyway, by the time i was able to intellectually grasp the concept of drag, i already had an inner drag queen. she spawned out of my own crumbling foundation of gender identity, coupled with the empowering knowledge that social perception is malleable, and thus stereotypes can be used quite cleverly to subvert their own condemning nature. in other words - the drag queen was the result of a pretty impressive experiment in mental alchemy: she came from bottomless vulnerability, fusing with a zest for self-actualization against all 'natural' odds.

see? how could she have been anything else.

saying all that, i think i may have neglected to stess a really important detail about her. she's just so goddamn fun.

like today. she took one look at what i posted earlier, and her voice sounded loud and clear in my head. it's a gorgeous day out, kittentits. don't make me bitch-slap the angsty out of you.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

when i look at my face in the mirror sometimes,

i don't see my face. i see scattered elements of my mother's face from years back, superimposed. and my mind fills in the blanks like some fucked-up connect-the-dots image, and then all i can see is her. i get trapped in her face.

i know i'm under there, somewhere. i squint, i unfocus, like people do when they look at a 3d picture. but try as i might, i just can't... see... me.

sometimes this happens for a week straight and i actually forget what i look like. then i catch a glimpse of myself one day, walking by a mirror or a window. usually by accident. and suddenly, there i am... me. really, really me! this whole separate, fresh new person.

it's a terrifying experience each time. what if i disappear and never come back? seriously. how is it possible to know who you are, if you're not what you see? when it first happened years ago, it gave me a full-blown panic attack. or maybe the panic attack is why it happened in the first place. who knows? everything reflects itself endlessly.

be okay with that, be okay with that, be okay with that. okay?

you know what.

frustration, at times, can be a beautiful thing.

i'm trying to learn new stuff about myself. i have this oddly constant feeling that i'm running out of time, but it's so vague and i can't place it, it's like a bruise you don't know how you got. keeps me in a state of alertness and makes me slightly high. it's not at all unpleasent... only worrysome.
complacency is the killer; worrysome i can do.

this template is a bitch.

why can't i shrink the sidebar? why won't the text align?

sigh. there's clearly a reason i almost failed programming for arts majors. for arts majors!! ...ooh, look, italics.

i give up...


nobody knows i'm back yet.