erinnonentity (erinnonentity) wrote,

"what crime could i commit to be worthy of her beauty?"

so. life. twenty-three years old. adrift, yet firmly grounded. once i felt like a bird who flew too far out over the ocean -- a bird whose wings were exhausted from flying, but couldn't find a single solid bit of anything to settle down on. now, gravity doesn't make me quite as languid, and the fact that we are rotating around the sun and spinning around doesn't make me dizzy and frantic. i've gone through that lifestage that started at 16 where i couldn't define myself without a messy, tragic, consuming relationship. i learned how to be alone long ago, to just exist within walls, listen to my own thoughts, and take notes when the good bits flashed by. there's been a godawful lot of pain. the girl i started out as -- straight by default, awkward, odd, sweet, virginal, dreamy -- that girl, she's gone. i've died ten thousand deaths since then (each death more desperately metaphorical than the previous one). as ellen miller wrote, and amy was so fond of quoting, "It's amazing how many times a person can die." Also: "I had been aware for years of an important deficiency in the english language: a word for losing something that was never really mine to begin with." And: "I didn't sleep, but I did dream....this is how far I would go to find home." Endless others. The jaded narrator of "Like Being Killed," Illyana Meyerovich, was her alter-ego. When I was first getting to know her she would tell me she did things like go to the hairdresser weekly just to have the comforting contact of a stranger massaging her scalp, which I discovered when I read the book, was something Illyana does. It was a pretty charming thing, really, to read this amazing book and find out what Amy was confessing as her own history was really something she gleaned from the pages of a lurid, modern novel. Well, maybe I should have been more concerned about the deceit of her words, but I was so stunned by her complexity, so dazzled by the whitehot radiance pouring from her oildrop eyes.

So. Me. Now. about more memories attached to "like being killed?" How about that I read the entire thing -- the whole book! -- to my ex-girlfriend, over the period of a week, maybe two. Maybe even quicker than that. Extraordinary sensation to be re-reading "Like being killed," and with each word my eyes absorb I hear the ghost of my own voice, reciting it to her, over a year ago...I read it to her to comfort her, that night she spent some time in the land of the dead and was so sick upon her return to the land of the living, where I was so bashfully dwelling. Silly me, I was touched, floored with gratitude, that she had chosen to return to this, to our crooked house with its wallpaper torn from magazines and mythology books and the interior of our skulls.....

books! i love it. and I am finding new ones all the time. It's only arrogance that makes me think I've found all the good ones, and a morbid fear. I can't ever just trust anything is essentially wonderful and unending...and can you blame me, so few things are.....that there are books, and people writing them, and that i may meet some of these people someday, and influence them....that is a miracle to me. lame, nerdy, sure, but also, i think, kind of wonderful. look at this, everybody. i'm having a good self esteem day! that person i was at 16, i was miles and years and scars and traumas away from this kind of self assurance. to accept everything that i've done and had done to me, in full understanding, and to just walk through the world open to connections, listening to the internal vibrations, participating, making an effort....this is also a miracle. sometimes it seems my salvation lies in recognizing these humble little miracles.

remember this one, Marcia -- remember the morning of my beautiful breakfast? it was that dawn, the dawn we spent listening to what -- trembling blue stars? olivia tremor control? metric? my voice cracked with smoking and prolonged use, reading to you "like being killed," that morning, remember? we were really in synch that dawn. we were moving together, and moving towards something. it was lovely. we felt like adults. i had a graveyard shift diner job and i bought us and our kittens (our children) food and we made love with the windows open and wasn't that adult? it was. i felt it, it was exhilarating. i remember the feeling it gave me was like that scene in american beauty, towards the end, right before kevin spacey dies, when the boy and the girl are lying in bed planning their getaway to new york city with rain running down the windows, and they're looking in each other's eyes as they lay on the bed and there's this realization of a deepening of reality -- they are existing independent of their parents, they are moving into their own lives -- i kept thinking of that scene, and it felt really nice, and though we were both a bit brokendown then with our slightly used hearts and boundless love there was that feeling, and even though we ended up in the emergency room at dawn a lot too, that was lovely in its way, wasn't it? i know you felt it too. and you confessed you wanted to tell me that you thought my breakfast was very beautiful that morning. i had brought up wheat toast, fresh blueberries, and a big glass of blueberry juice. it was aesthetically pleasing. it went with the heightened sense of life in us, since you had come so close to total annihalating death, ultimate nihil, the point beyond all points.

so. the present. last week like i wrote i think i went to sisters & woodys with drew. that night the sky misted diamond shards upon us, we wandered down alleys giggling & damp with twilight vapors smoking cigs with a determined delinquent air. i will float through this concrete womb. i will brush up against shadows & bathe in nocturnal heat. music releases us. we spill over our boundaries, searching for a catalyst.i danced until my muscles felt liquid;the music and candy-colored lights making us a hot mess. the bassbeat kidnapping my heatbeat and i recall remnants of the past, a formula long forgotten and instantly recalled....searching for the cadence in the chaos, a nightlight to comfort my turbulent mind.

and there was this daytrip to norristown, the R6 train, the 99 bus, morgan's apartment, a night spent sharing our crazy stories, comparing unbelievable pasts.i left early in the morning as she gathered her luggage, bound for an airport& oklahoma. i was madly jealous, of course. all i really want and have wanted since childhood and will want forever is to travel everywhere always without stop........

i wanted the trainride home to last forever, or at least be slowed down, so i had more time to understand what was happening, there was a mystery there. suburban, mountainous pennsylvania melted majestically and then shoddilly into the slums of northern philly. the land flattened, concrete monoliths emerged, but it was gradual, so it almost seemed natural. it's strange to think of cities as organic, but on some level of my mind i certainly do, cities are entities and have personalities and either hate you or love you...philly has loved me well, and i've loved it back, spectacularly. when i'd get done my shift at johnny rockets i'd go put some of my writing in the wooden shoe for anyone to pick up, then i'd go price out some tattoo i wanted at moo tattoo, then i'd buy a coffee or odwalla vanilla ala mode & go sit in one of the sunny, pleasant, avant garde alleyes connecting south & pine, reading something -- i was reading "the swimming pool library" at that point having found it at the aids thrift shop, and also "the aerial letter" and "the well of loneliness." i remember i found a huge shard of broken mirror and used a sharpie marker to write sam a letter on it about the clouds i saw reflected in the mirror as i wrote her that note. sadly, it was too unweildy and dangerous for her to carry home and we left it in some bushes by the community center's concrete stage where we used to meet all the time after my shifts (she got there by bus, god bless her, she came through camden and dealt with all that, the bus, the outrageous fare, the creeps hitting on her, to come walk around south street and the gayborhood with me, sitting for endless hours in coffeeshops -- we went to that one, with the open-air porch attachment where you could smoke, the village, that's what it was called, right across from that amazing icecream place we always went to -- and i would pause to tear the stickers off news stands, feeling guilty as i secured them in my journal, for i was depriving the world of something beautiful, but i only took those that i had seen a duplicate of somewhere down the street & i loved them so, those stickers, i have them all, in my scrapbooks, and i share them with people, they are not lost, just better cared for.....
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