Date: May 18th, 2003
Time: 04:48 (4:48am)
Subject: It's in your head... don't loose your head
Given the honest decision to make out with a pretty girl and preach the
Dhamma, guess which I chose...
So today has been beyond all belief. Around the time Sheila and
Matt and his girlfriend Amy arrived at the Moustache on tenth between
1st Ave and A ave to meet Erin Adair and her posse, I hit total sensory
shutdown. I completely lost all ability to communicate effectively.
We had spent the day in Central park where I completely regressed to a
six year old mentality, climbing every rock and rambling through The Ramble,
after storming the Castle on Turtle Lake, after practising backflips in
preparation, after picking up a script with Sheila for an upcoming workshop,
after a madcap, adventure filled several weeks and having previously reached
the surge-blowout upon leaving Charlotte, after all of this, THIS unconscious
I meet Matt's dance partner...
She's 23 and clad in Leather. We are sitting in a bar, I am pressed
up against Erin Adair, whom I've had a horrible crush on from time immemorial,
who is in turn pressed up against her boyfriend Pete, a Punk Rock musician
who may be touring Japan in the coming months, who has full arm tatoo
sleeves (who is every bit as Corey would be were he a native New Yorker)
who is still to this day, even one of the best girls in the whole wide
world, one of the winners in every right, a fashion designer in training
wearing a shamrock poodle skirt and saddle shoes, a blond dreadlocked
goddess of a girl whom any man would recognize as one of the prime examples
of what is right about the world; and who should be across the table,
but the leather clad mystery dance partner of Matt, whom I recall from
his travels as an Itenerant Carpenter in a Van passing through Chicago,
he had danced, for money; hence becoming professional swing dance partners.
Claire sits there.
But before all this, Beth calls, while at dinner, while I am in the process
of mental/emotional shutting down; She asks about my sister's
wedding. It has been so long ago, so many lifetimes ago, a whole
WEEK ago and almost a thousand miles; rather five hundred miles that feel
like a million... My sister was married and I have not even begun to process
that, emotions eclipsed by the overflow of my time spent with Julie.
My appologies to the innocent, but I am not what this seems. Here
I stand on the overflow of emotion yet again, at this moment, sun rising
over Brooklyn, and I can not even imagine sleep. Sheila is in the
other room and I cannot even begin to grasp Penn Station at Three O'clock
on a Sunday, when I board a train back to Chicago, ride to the top of
the Sears Tower, visit Jessica at work, board another train and arrive
two days later in Emeryville, outside of Berkeley, where I left "home",
loosely speaking. There awaits a tree, a tarp, a down sleeping
bag, candles and a groundcloth. Maybe. But maybe for it all.
At this moment, I cannot say what is real and what is the matrix, reloaded.
[aside: while running to hide in the bathroom at dinner, I got into a
conversation with a woman before me in line; she said she too was escaping
the conversation at the table; they had just been to see the matrix and
without irony said, "oy vey, they want to philosophize about it."]
Two nights ago Erik and I rekindled our friendship; last night at this
hour we, Sheila, He, and I, were eating wedding cake from my sister's
wedding in this very spot where now I type this missive. And so
I want to know where to begin? With the present from... and names,
all names escape me, but lets say one life in the present, one life in
yesterday, one life in tomorrow. I cannot see the river for the
Not a single one in our group tonight was not wearing glasses.
And when Erin and Matt and Pete and Amy and I and Claire were crowded into
a bar I spoke of the chameleon nature of fashion and one's ability to
descretize [def: to make discrete, modularize], to unitize, to synthesize
a fashion out of constructs and wear it externally, yet like the skin
of a chameleon; fashion can be concieved of internally or externally;
as an expression of the inner being (i.e. Erin's highly individualistic
poodle skirt) or externally (i.e. following the magazines as I do).
Somehow, it all made sense at the time.
Sun rises over Brooklyn and I need another cigarette. I made calls
sitting atop the statue of Alice in Central Park. Central Park.
I always assumed I had been there, when all I had done was visit the perimeter.
I had never bodily penetrated the park. Yet. I led
the others, Matt, Amy, and Sheila, on a tour of the park nonetheless.
I have studied that fucker on maps for years. I have seen pictures
of it from when Manhattan was a forested island to a gridded development,
to a landscaped cityscape. I have studied the city from arial photos,
satelite photo, urban density studies, in cross-section, in plan, in perspective,
social, allegorical and graphic. I have seen it in movies, I have
dreamed it in dreams. Turned loose in the park I became a six year
old. My parents spent, what, 17 years in the city? Central
park is genetic memory for me; with the silent hallowed feeling of a library.
We stormed the castle, quested for and crossed the fabled Bow Bridge while
a Gondoleer sang arias to his passengers; Sheila and I freestyled in Iambic
Pentameter... it was a beautiful day. Like being six, but with longer
legs and more style. Speaking of style, lets not forget the transvestite
jester in the grotto singing duets with himself in the most beautiful
falsetto I have ever heard, wearing gold lamee and a formidable codspiece...
And somehow, after sensory overload, careening around the cliffs of emotional
collapse, overwhelmed, nothing more than a cup of coffee resuscitated
me; by nine I was ready for bed and here I am still, watching the
sun rise again. But that was before I met Claire. After dinner,
we went for said coffee and deserts; I had NY Cheesecake (obligatory
tourist jesture); Sheila bowed out of that dance; went home, perchance
to sleep before the AIDS walk today. We went from bar to bar to
bar until we found one without cover, with lights, and a narrow booth.
One by one the entourage of fifteen dwindled to just us two, Clair and
I. The night wore on. And, I could think of nothing but what
is real. As soon as we were alone, she and I, the chameleon skin
was pealed back. And the Buddha Dhamma flowed. Mental note:
never try to pick up a beautiful leather clad beauty with an exegetical
synthesis of Saussurian Linguistics, Buddhist epistemology and Hegelian
dialectics. We talked until four, to her "local bar,"
to the front door, but I was not invited inside :-( Left to my
own devices the species clearly would not survive...
And Beth is in Seattle. And WiL is in Seattle. And Jayme
is in Seattle. And Matt is (soon) in Conneticut. And Tommy
is in Asheville. And Lindy is in Berkeley. And Julie is in
Charleston. And Jessica is in Chicago. And Claire is on the
Lower East Side, between Chicago and Conneticut. And what the fuck
was that all about.
Internal Soundtrack: "Don't loose your head!!!
Its in your head!!!"
Date: May 19th, 2003
Subject: recap on
Back to Chicago from New York. Full circle again. Spontaneous
change of plans around five. Decided to not do three straight
days on the train; I'll push back my itenerary by a day.
Overall, I'll have to say the month and a half obsessing about this
itenerary was a success. I was wrong about when I was leaving
Charlotte, and I was wrong about thinking it would be a good idea to
travel three days straight on a train when there was an attractive alternative.
So tomorrow I'll deal with Chicago; red line to somewhere and on to
the Urban Oasis. Via the top of the Sears tower or a museum or
something... I have a really hard time accepting that any place
is any different than any other. If memory serves, "the 'L'"
in Chicagan parlance refers to the "elevated train" whereas
in context of NYC, the "L" is the train that runs out to Brooklyn,
to Williamsburg, to Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Botanical gardens,
and most importantly to Sheila Joon Ostadazeem (sp??? sorry sheila!).
Really the differences are in the similarities.
what the hell just happened; My sister is now married to a really
nice guy, career tracked, bound to a home, a new life in Charlotte.
Children are the next priority. Think they're giving it two years
to settle into married life? that's the plan? Whereas with me
'planning for children' takes on a much more apocalyptic timbre: "and
when they opened the seventh seal..."
The wedding. I don't think I've properly addressed the wedding.
I don't really have a steady flow of thoughts about it yet...
,,,to be continued!