emma b. says

Saturday, December 30, 2006

It's just before midnight on the last evening of this last year. Ten minutes and several songs will pass before I think of anything things else to write besides an expository asside (aside) whatever, can't spell so well and never could.

I can't describe it, but I feel weird, like much weirdness and wonderment, please god be the latter, is afoot... soonish, or not. Maybe it's just the burden of the birth of a new year, which is just another first of january and a hang over and a host of resolutions forgotten over days and weeks, just a series of false starts and casual victories, mixing up the mug full of chamomile tea with the mug full of tequila, taking a hearty of slug of each, the equal absence and promise of all the boys I plan on fucking and not fucking over the course of the next year, another odd year to eat plenty of cryptonite and thrash out my super powers in my imaginary garage.

Just another odd year and another notch on my lifeline, I choose the fortuitous, I choose winning the lottery over the losing encounter with the 71 Haight behemoth of a bus, I am thinking this will might be a very good year.

So here's to us, whoever you are and wherever you are, all my friends and family and all the boys I did love and sort of loved and all those hopeless crushes and we poor desperate romantics still holding out for a fable. Here it is again, the last evening of the last day of this last year, we'll all wake up on Monday to a subtle decimal shift. Everything and nothing will be different, but that is for the poets and the historians to parse, the bloggers will blog and deposed dictators will hang and the earth will continue to spin on it's axis a little warmer perhaps, but the fall out won't be ours. We'll go out in shirt sleeves in december and marvel at the sudden velocity of these fierce new winds. But in the meantime, the sky will still fade over San Francisco to the most heartbreaking blue and the night blooming jasimine will still waft unexpected in damp pockets, and Things Will Change and Things Will Stay the Same, almost, but not quite.

And if you haven't done so already - go out and see Children of Men. It was a matinee after a whole lotta dim sum at yank sing and I can still feel the tension coiling at the base of my spine and snaking through my shoulder blades. It begs the question when to renounce and when to fight, and just how soon will I have to ask that question of myself.

But we are so very, very soft, my charmed fellow americans of the great american upper middle class upbringing, we smart over our fragile egoes and fret over our percieved inadequacies, pop pills like we used to pop pez back when we were smallish and only had to contend with the summer hierarchies of the pool at the tennis club, and the occaisional slumming at the public park pool, though those kids were way more inimidating. I still see them when I go home, I saw them over christmas when I was stocking up on potatoes at safeway dandling babies over shoulders and tear stained toddlers in monster strollers and I felt like an interloper done up in city clothes with LONELY tatooed on my forehead, and at the same time I saw me through their eyes, the girl in the the city clothes with the sack of potatoes with FREE tatooed on her forehead. We might as well have NOBODY WINS tatooed on all of our foreheads.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

happy holidays and all the rest, I have only ever loved the lights. I have favorite trees all over the state and all over this city, California at Christmas is somebodie's idea of an oxymoron, but it's all I have ever known - even in the not so high foothills a white Christmas was a Hallmark cliche.

It's been exceptionally cold and it's been exceptionally clear, I expect the end of the world or the new messiah forthwith, rare is the day that calls for mittens in San Francisco, and yet here we are bundled and trundled pushing the heat gods at PG&E to their Enronless limits. I have been quietly pleading an absentia Christmas this year because I can't be assed and even if I could I fear that I am leaking a sad combo of bitumin, bile and the occasional tear (damn you NPR!)I have donated in lieu of gifts, but the magic of the season evades me and is eclipsed by the eulogy my mother has asked my to give for her mother and I have absolutlely nothing nice to say. It's heartbreaking but it's true, the only thing I wish I had from her is the songs she used to sing, that shoot through my memory like poison darts, that and the hot pants, but therein lies a legacy of vanity and deep, trenchant self-loathing. I've got enough of that! Thanks Dorothy! May you rest in peace with your tea cups of vodka and your pink feathered boas and your venom! Sleep well into this goodnight, don't let the door hit you on the ass on your way out! (I have now secured my place in the ninth circle for maligning my dead grandmother.)

Oh just go ahead and fuck me, and all the goddamned rest - I'll be fine if I can just make it through past the new year. When we can dispense with the streamers and the feigned good cheer, when we can collectively head stolidly into the doldrums of deep winter, when our good Californian sun will peek out for a day as glorious as a chest of treasure, when the abandoned trees are weeping on street corners and the pointsettias are finally wilting, I will trade my grinch for a glimmer of hope that this year, the year 2007 and my future 36th year will be the best year yet.

All the augers are in place - the chinese magnolia is considering its magnificence at the head of Page Street, I am not renting my heart from my breast, I have been reduced to pounding my rib cage occaisionally, playing the xylophone on my rib cage in the name of sentimental exorcism.

I plod along increasingly perplexed and amazed at how fast the world passes into yet another ideology and lapses into another dogma. I was at a big box store (also recent to my vocabulary) buying one of those super cutsie photo printers and spent a few hours up way past my bedtime delighting in the very fact, the very fact that I could print my own pictures like a goddamned photomart in the middle of suburban fuckall, I was making pictures.... like I did with those brownie cameras in the early eighties, before fax machines in the age of the Apple IIE. I used to deposit film at Longs and have to wait seven to ten business days to get to the thrill of a bit of artistry and the abject disappointment in illconcieved photos. Part of the pleasure was the wait......... But there is no wait anymore, not for anything. The buzzing thrill of anticipation is an antecedant, why would you wait in the face of the dominating and frosted present. We mollify our grandiose dreams of the love we dont have and the success that continues to mysteriously elude us with a steady diet of internet gossip and futile comparisons with the rich and exceedingly idle, then again, I might just be be projecting across the whole of the vast expanse of the internets.

Just so you know, last weekend was a wash. Lot's of booze, exhusbands and old friends and the like, they just keep coming, sometimes I think I am the swirl in a frosty so preciously co-opted by the various western facing foodie meccas plaguing us like macerated locusts. Exotic goat's milk or not, I am just a dullard being trotted out in the name of novelty, I am as familiar as your highschool back pack, so find me there if you dare, half hidden under the shiny bag of semi-discarded chips and the carefully wrapped US history text book, adorned with your favorite bands and the identifiers of your makeshift tribe, way back in those brown paper days, way back in the days when we all had a stab at parity, when we were young and promise was at our feet. These days I am just a luddite confounded in solitude.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

For the Kims

It goes like this, we the legions of peers and denizens of any city. We of the tarnished and mildy insufficient glitterati, making the ends meet and making families makeshift and biological, but making it nonetheless, astonished and sort of shell shocked at the magnificence of our accomplishments, no matter how minor and no matter how feeble. We were never going to be anyone's greatest generation. Many of us were lucky enough to cobble together a few shards of art and a dismal amount of faith to make clusters of tribes of the perenially disenfranchised, because that's what we've been reduced to, the Us against the Mighty Them.

And then there was snow and a late night and children and a shortcut through the mountains. Just like the movies. And we watch the internets safe in our perches. I flew over you, flew over the wilds of Oregon from Portland and was dazzled by the onset of darkness and the wildness in the sky, I flew over you as surely as the crow flies after having surreptitiously wept in the airport ladies, maybe I was crying so hard for you and maybe I was crying so hard for my grandmother who would die later that night, or maybe I was just crying for the man who just drove off without me, forever and ever without me.

But it's not like the movies and it's never like the movies. I was reading trash and wishing for more wine and you and your children were burning your tires and having a conversation I hope to never have, all because of a wrong turn. What kind of fucked up cliche is that, really what kind of fucked up cliche is that. Where is the justice and and where is the righteousness in that, where is delivery, where is the angel, why does the father die delirious in the woods face down in the river. How would you ever find the peace in that, how could you ever make peace with that. A wrong turn, one wrong turn could cost you your life, one wrong turn and you are a fatherless child, one wrong turn and your wife will have ten thousand questions and eleven thousand queries spoke unto the serious depths where the questions beckon and linger but the ghosts keep their cards close to their chests.

There is a metephor here about the ruthlessness of nature, but here I am not going to crow about it, in this case nobody had it coming, in this case it was four stranded and hungry people pleading for life, and three of them made it with ingenuity and the father, the father he died looking for help. So James, Godspeed, go from these icy waters onwards and upwards, watch over your daughters. And for you Kati, you of the store down the street, go fearlessly into the future, go with your girls and go with all of our glad tidings, may love find you and hold you close.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Here we go again, it's the season of last year's party dress, tarted up with this year's hair and this year's eye shadow and maybe a new pair of boots, but it is the same faces and it the same conversations, and it's still me in the corner, except this year I am naked without my cigarettes, sipping perrier with my car keys gouging into my palms.

A year ago I was out of love and, and, and was I anymore free, was I any happier, all I feel these days is the swelling of my age, in my ankles, oh, and in my heart. In my feet after long walks and in my hands, and in that tantalizing sparkle in my vacated loins, spark, spark, that aggravated wild fire.... I have to keep reminding myself of his absence, I have to keep reminding myself that talking to him in my head doesn't mean that he hears me. I have these moments of utter clarity behind the gossamer curtain of reason, I have got it totally nailed down, only to find that I have been conversing with the drawn blinds, and they can't reach out and take my hand. So I just stomp around, I have taken to stomping around, it seems to ease the malaise. It's rhythmic and soothing and prevents me from kicking other people's teeth in.

When I sat down late on this Sunday evening, I was thinking about tacking in another direction with these writings. First of all I vowed that I would not get maudlin (ha!) and repetitive (read drunk)(ha!ha!) and spew and spew, and I have always had a pretty rigorous coda that I would not delete what I threw up... and I have held to that by and large inspite of the shamefacedness the morning after, heavens how I have burned... for the sic, and the sloppy grammar, and the dumbo sentimentality, too much baroque and not enough reason, never enough reason. I have stuck to my arbitrary.

Last night after another party, in Marin, I have had champagne and glass after glass of gassy water. We are in the proximations of a uniform, tall boots, sheath dresses, an air of disregard, the chatter of nothing being said. I hated it when I was twenty-five and I hate even more at thirty-five, I feign a rush of heat and go to look at the smattering of stars between storm fronts. Hold tight to the bracing night, and go to sleep with the windows thown open to the falling rain. It's cold comfort on the pillow case, but it's a comfort nonetheless. It's a cool comfort, without a fellow body, but it's mine, and it's singular, and that's just the way it goes.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

part II

how does the music play and how do those silly songs manage to drown you out, I can't hear you anymore because I am that girl hitting hard on the slurpee and holding fast to the edge, holding tight and steadfast to the edge, just like the inevitable end - god is gonna ask you who you love best (and my best girls, it wasn't me), it wasn't and it wasn't ever going to be me. I was always meant for that uttered bit of solimnlity, the nice girl who would have cherished your dark side of the moon, sadly you were only fearful of the golum that you called forth.

so we sing the songs, I sing him the old songs. I love you, I love you, I loved you, I love you hanging on the banks. I love you down the bank, I loved you when you didn't love me twirling in the middle of the river with nothing but everywhere to go, and the sirens sing and the sirens sting and the sirens howl, and I curl around myself.. we are along passed those easy cliches, I lost you there in the sirens' song.

so maybe we will meet again in the crystalline moment between photographs, I'll be caught between disbelief and you'll be caught with the fervor of a westsuit and super caffeinated chai, and for you and I and only for you and I, it will have never been enough.

Dorothy Morgan plays the organ

we all come and go, like rice paper on the coming snow.
I was a point on a map and I was a momentatrary locus, and now I am stuck, bitumin and glue, I'll continue to haunt the causeways and the highways and the biways. Here comes Dororthy, here comes the soft beware.

She dies then, and she'll die alone, some camps will say it's a good death, others will sigh, others will say that the debt is still unpaid. she'll die alone like I will....

but then again fuck you loki, fuck you for coming down, and fuck you for coming 'round. I am never going to thank you for your glorious dawn rent asunder. I will harbor your heartache in my eyes, run dark as swift as foreign rivers, willammette and columbia and there is really no going back now, nor no need. Two swift breaths and exhale over a city, let it go, flightless phoenix, let it all go, let the love go, let it all go and throw it out out the window.

years before now I will throw your purse out the window, and years before now you will steal in my name and I will burn with the peculiar sort of shame of the very innocent and the very wiley.