emma b. says

Monday, April 30, 2007

within proximity of the sea

I am home. Or what is my home . Or what was my home, has been for half my life. There are a lot of flowers in Portland, but there is no ocean and there are no headlands. At what point do you trade beauty for practicality, at what point do you sacrifice for four walls and perhaps a garden to call your very fucking own, it's more than tempting, it's fear inducing, it's happening.... I met with a mortgage broker this morning and words were bandied about that I half understood on a theoretical level, but none that I could comprehend that are in direct correlation to my vocabulary, but a half an hour later, bursting with tepid office coffee and to my complete astonishment they told me I was approved for a loan. Then I fell out of my chair and fled to the loo.

We, my parents and my brother and I, combed the city in search of signs, condos and houses and town houses, in varying states of awesomeness and disrepair. We got tired, we got overwhelmed, we got giddy, we sniped and we fought. One day we saw houses when I was desperately hung-over well past my tits and I thought I'd go ahead and puke if I had to trade pleasanteries with another listing agent. I close my eyes, I see houses streaming past.

Change is something that has always been visualized as something vaguely beyond execution, something to pay lip service to, then one fine day you have been driving all day, and have got hung up by the weird ass paint jobs in Portland and the proliferation of MAKE YOUR EYES BLEED reds that all living rooms seem to be painted and have been thoroughly intoxicated by the bright bursts of rhodedendron and the virtuous pretty pinks of the dogwood stretching over streets, it's lush, drunkenly lush, and everyone is weirdly friendly and considerate, and the food is really good.

It's a perfect fit on so many levels, it's just not here.

I was tracking the coast from the airplane, the coves and the mouths of rivers that I know, this beach where I was with X, and on that day when I was with X, and the day we slid down the river and drank rose from the bottle, they are only memories after all, and I would be perfectly free if I could just divorce locale from my identity.

I am suprised at my mousiness, all these things I had thought I had put well behind me, have come surging into my waking thoughts, I am all aswhirl, desperate to keep pieces of me from leaking out beyond the perimeters -- which did not keep from having a complete and total melt down in front of my brother and his future wife (see below) after an evening of way too much wine followed by a couple of doses of tequila.... oh but it is tempting the theoretical house, and the theoretical garden to contain flowers and tomatoes and containing the theoretical puppy, and I might theoretcally sing with my brother's band, when I come home from my theoretically awesome job, and afterwards I might get theoretically laid by the theoretically fantastic man who is gainfully employed and does not sport a whispy theoretical beard. What is there to theoretically weep over, yet I have.

Sunday, April 29, 2007


hey hi, I am shedding tears like I might be molting feathers. I am a thousand miles from home. I am quite lost in all senses.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

wontcha come back, wontcha all come back, we'll have a party in the bath tub, I'll be Scarlett O'Hara in the tub. There we can sit and palaver, you can tell me all I done wrong and I'll sweat and run through the suitable hues, it'll be tight, but we'll be alright. Too many ghosts of christmas' promised... oh but hey guess what? HELLO! Emma is all sorts of peeved, and said as much to the eight year old who dared provoke the ire in the park today. The horrid little brat had the gaul to tell me I was on the wrong side of the path, here I was preambulating trying to temper my heartbeat and my temper when this wee squirt tells me I am on the wrong side - he's got two lanes of snot running into the corners of his mouth and something about his bratty tone just sets me into MASSIVE BITCH mode. So I gather all my hauteur and look down my nose and say - actually, young man, this path is clearly marked Pedestrian Only, so you'd best move to the bicycle path. Ah sweet, sweet vindication, then him mama took a step in my direction and I pointed to the words painted beneath my feet.... and went henceforth satisfied that I had bullied a snotty nosed seven year old and his mama, then I cried surreptitiously in the bushes - I got that poncy seven year old - oh yes I did.

I am not (well, yes I am) proud.

Yes I store these petty victories in the low branches, like a bonbon I can pluck and savor at my leisure, they are ill gotten gains, but I loves them just as I loves all the promises of the lovelorn and careworn, coming round the corner in the skinny jeans and the careless flesh spilling everywhere - have I told you yet that I miss you, you who I know or don't yet. You might find my derision distasteful, or maybe you'll just take me up or maybe you will just take me down that untrodden path, maybe it's just late and I should put me and my romantic notions to sleep. Because I am certifiably not in love with anyone or anything anymore, least of all myself.

Keep checking the horizon for the that plume of smoke, I've a feeling that moment of metaphysical self immolation is close at hand, from my ashes, from my ashes we'll go soaring, I'll miss you, I always did, in all of your bodies and all of your voices. You trail behind me as knots in a kite string, whispering faults to the wind and the stoic pelicans, just let me go, let me let you go. No more pummeling, no more nothing, no more time that was. No more remembering all of that good, free sex. No more remembering when I was desired. How lovley it was.

I am ready for a ghost free roof.

Friday, April 20, 2007

running up that hill

or maybe just walking briskly. It's middling late or early on Friday night, you can take your pick, but you can't quite escape the perfect bluing that is curling in tendrils about your cheek, and the sliver moon hanging on the edge of the night sky, the cloudless night sky, where the rain was supposed to fall.

I hit the floor of the restaurant three times tonight, that's a record unto myself, I blame my shoes and the pine floor, I have hardly even broke tipsy no thanks to the twinks who thought we were lipstick dykes and plied up with drinks as they left their food untouched. What a world, it's been weeks and days since a straight man cast his gaze in my direction, at least while I was paying attention, but the gays just think everyone else is gay and that is alright if you have enough meth to last through the weekend. They were sweet enough and maybe I am not being fair, they were young and Bladerunner was playing above the bar and they disparaged the unparalleled Rutger Hauer for being tubby - P and I just shook our heads and tried to school the highboys.

Things change and what you shared with a generation as a seminal aesthetic just gets lost in the cultural drone... drones and on and on.

My right hip balked on the walk home, just like the rest of me was skittering on the four winds herking and thrusting through the trees, I have gone to pieces with the elements and ps I love you. My hair and my right eye have gone hurtling through the horizons, east, towards the rising sun, a blaze in my right gaze and the tarnished gold in my hair aflame at dawn. I'll be your harridan, oh yes I will.

To the west let my bones go a'knockin, they'll go west young man, oh yes they will, until the depths of the seas are exhausted, west and wet with every coral fingered, musseled delight, west with fingers articulating without joints, without smiles and without anything, just a fabulous calcium deposit jitterbugging through the depths of the sea with no purpose, accumulating wreaths of brightly jeweled necrotic creatures with bulging glittery eyes, unknowing of the glories of the marin sun.

C'mon then, Posiedon, lets get good and drunk then, I'll procure the retsina if you've got the rangy satyrs, we'll go up to the roof top and peer gimlet eyed at the stars, your skin is dry. The satyrs make things awfully goaty, but it's all good, I am only drinking - I mean I am only dreaming anyway, and besides, the best and most magical stars only ever fall when I am craning in the other direction.

C'mon then all you wary little gods, here I stand on the corner of Haight and Ashbury on this middling Friday evening with my fist thrust well into your vortex... Bring me out, bring me out covered in inter-galactic slime, I'll take anything but these indifferent winds I am sick of headaches and lassitude.

To the North then goes intellect and reason, to the white plains of nevermore and alwayswill, to the far shores of sagacity and the bloody corpses of baby seals.

To the South goes the heart, deep, deep south, the beautiful, brutal, unreasoning south, the heart only feasts on strange fruit and you can castigate and condemn for that, but the heart has no head and cares not. Be mindful that the most horrific acts of brutality are measured by the heart's selflessness. The heart doesn't arbitrate, the heart only ever is.

As for the rest of me that is not assaulting the elements with her fist up the vortex, well the rest of me is tired, craves a dreamless sleep and a good man, I think I'll get the good winey dreams of evermore and possibility -- as to the man, well, to the sweet girl tangled up in twin comforters, I say keep dreaming, maybe someday he'll be there as fleeting as starlight, maybe he already was, and that will have to suffice. The universe, I have said it before, is a fickle bitch, she prefers her soup salty with a dash of maudlin damn her, damn her all to her gloried blue diamond bright hell, damn her for not crushing that fleeting, fledgling, wriggling worm of hope. I damn her with my empty bed and all the gorgeous music that never was and never shall be. In the mean time, the car idles and bucks in it's spot next to the video store, fret not, we'll go soon.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The city gets unraveled in the latest of night, shrugs without scrutiny. I lay in bed wide awake in the strange hours the other night wide eyed and fearful of earthquakes, my bed shakes and my water glass surges when MUNI lumbers down Haight Street and the wraiths are riding.

Suddenly I am mortally afraid, all these years without fear save the firey car crash, and suddenly there are cancers blooming and joints in peril and crossword puzzles to solve to stave off the onset of alzheimers and -- and.... I have always trusted in my Scotch hardiness, farthest thing from a germaphobe you could encounter... And fucking whiskers, what the fuck is that about. Nobody told me about that.

I am bored and listless and alternately antsy and chewing on the upholstery. I want to kick and scream and throw tantrums, I want to have sex with nameless men, I want to flail, I am already floundering. I want to reneg on my decision to leave, I want to crawl into warm, dark place and hibernate. I want to go already, I hate the in betweens.

I really hate stasis... Should I say that I had been in stasis and now I am in flux, I hate it, I hate it, makes my skin crawl, makes me skritchy and makes me want to flout convention and holler and bash in my stupid computer waiting for the stupid emails and the stupid phone calls that lodged in some transitory purgatory.

And behind all this futile champing at my imaginary bit, there is all the history and the shipping containers of want. Want and desire and victorian romance, but my dance card is empty and my horizon is strictly empty.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

The un-Killers

K asked me some time ago if I wanted to see the Killers... I think I must have been feeling amenable that day, so I agreed. Wait, that makes me sound curmudgeonly, oh but who am I kidding, I am. Curmudgeonly - bum ankle and bum kneed. But I was willing to be game.

So this afternoon I tarted up, lipstick and heels, the nine. That's what you do for a show, to gawp and to be gawped at. I hadn't seen a show at Bill Graham since Radiohead, which as I recall through the haze was exceptional.

Before that was during the way back days - Jane's Addiction, Ritual de lo Habitual tour (K and I tonight in the tiers, nothing sacred? no that's not right.... not the one with the twins on fire, but the other one. fuck. do you think there is any liquor in this seven dollar drink? no, no the other one... with three of them in the bed, on the cassette cover, yeah, awesome to fuck to, but we all did in those days. Nothing Shocking! But not that one). (I admit I had to google it) maybe 1990? I was still a country mouse in those days, trying desperately to be urbane, we came into the city in our finery for the big show of the seminal band, in those days of waning big hair and the first big gulps of independence. San Francisco was my Nirvana and my Gomorah. Such decadence, everyone was flying their freak flag, but fiercely, it was fierce. In those days you could still smoke inside the venues, the air was thick with cigarettes and joints, everyone was beautiful and hung back with an affected desultory disaffectation. I was too young and too green to understand that these were only poses, also I had eaten mushrooms so everything was dusted in sparkly devil dust, I recall that I was filled with lust - for that life, sexdrugs and rockandroll, darling.

We fought our way towards the stage, fighting back my nascent claustrophobia, doused in the sweat of others, heaving with the crowd, make-up melting, completely exhilerated. God, and the ladies room in those days... vintage heels and the reek of aquanet, jostling for space in the mirror to repair lipstick and eyeliner, the things that came out of purses were astonishing for ingenuity, how in god's name did you get your hairdryer into that bag.... this was before security, girls puking and girls gossiping and girls fighting and girls squeezed into stalls doing lines, all the girls all done up. I had waist lenghth hair in those days, I was always fighting with it's cumbersome weight, it was always coming undone and no amount of product could tame it. I felt I couldn't measure up, that chic would always elude me....

K was at that show, so were several other people who would be important to me in this life. I wonder had we seen each other in those days, if our gazes had crossed, would we have summed up and dismissed, dress not vintage-y enough, hair wrong, wrong drug. I was only twenty. Or maybe I was nineteen.

I met K and his boyfriend R for Brazilian at six, as we are no longer quite so feral we require sustenance before our eardrums are assaulted, that and civilised cocktails before we pay a premium for the two ounce swill we pay for at the show. You know things are not as they were when you kvetch about price gouging. In the old days, even had I been legal, I would have done my drinking before hand -- I simply could not have afforded it. These days we sit in the tiers and talk economics between thorax rattling sets.

And everything has changed.

In lieu of the dense miasma of cigarette and illicit smoke they pump some kind of equally heinous, if not more so, sweet chemical air freshener, my nasal passages are still inflamed. Nobody dresses anymore. In the ladies room the ladies are applying lipgloss, feets in flip flops and a sea of denim. I feel almost heretical in my red lipstick, and don't even get me started on the menchild in the goddamned ironic t-shirts, christ am I tired of the ironic t-shirt. I liked 'em better when they were dangerously earnest, at least in those days the asshole cards were all out on the table and nobody could get by with just a self-deprecating shrug.

And the band. OK, fine. I can get that we are in the great age of derivation and recycling and global warming, haha, but I think my head exploded a little tonight. As K said to me during one of their songs and they are singing about Indie music to their million dollar light show, I think we are witnessing them jump the shark.

It's pop music and it's manufactured straight down to their ironic creepers, scripted, joyless. I found myself yearning for the days when there was a slugfest on stage, or the great guitar virtuoso solo. Instead it's just the mormon creeper boy show and really fancy lights... and glitter... I really liked the glitter, but I am sucker for shiney.

We hit the floor when we got in, but both opening bands were so awful that we quickly repaired to the tiers. I am long past the days when I am willing stand and be sweat upon in heels, plus I like watching the floor even more than I like watching the band.... and here I am losing my train of thought, plus I am listening to New Order to erase that crap pop I absorbed tonight..... oh I know.... I turned to K, because I was momentarily perplexed by all the lights in the crowd, my experience was hard wired to the lighter in hand swaying to the favorite song, and then he pointed out that it was camera phones or text messaging, and then my head exploded a little more. Is no one present these days.... and then I thought had I had my lap top would I have live blogged the fucking concert - answer - definite maybe. Also, white people and brown people can't dance and should just stop trying. Your ass is blocking my view of the pretty, pretty lights.

That is all.

Monday, April 02, 2007

The Bee's Knees

So everything is going along rather swimmingly. Plans are put in motion, fortified, approved via quorum. Prospect is trumping terror. I am feeling vital and bittersweet. The season has gone lush and the weather is compliant.... Winds of change are breathless in the eves, whispers of promise so languid I stamp my feet goodnaturedly and then WHAM.


Off the moving truck trussed in sunlight, arms empty, jumps for the joy of it. My friend's fantastic new apartment with the other side of the hill view from my own, life is good and I am feeling effervescent.

Skips off the truck and lands squarley, feels a hitch in her knee, disregards.

Pain, nagging, chomping pain builds through the assembling of chairs and the beers that I don't drink. But if I can be reformed about brussel sprouts I can change my mind about beer. It hurts to the point where I am driven to distraction, but I suck it up. Because I am a good soldier and a better mover. I suck it up.

I call the Monster at 8:30 the next morning, after I have stepped out of bed and buckled. After I have dragged myself bodily down the hallway in a cold sweat to the toilet, I don't know whether to puke or scream, all I can think is how the hell am I going to get back down the hallway to the phone. This when all the fears flick through my mind like a flip book, I am all alone, I am less than half clad, I need help, I am all alone and I am not even sure I can make it to my drawers for a nice pair of panties and shirt. I am going to keel midway from the toilet and it's all going to be terribly undignified, how the hell am I going to get a cab to the ER.

Funny who you think to call in crisis. I called my Monster, who came across town in a taxi and sat with me through the mild quotidien terror of the ER on a sunday morning. I in the wheel chair and the hallway littered with the sentient waiting on gurneys, waiting for someone to wheel them back somewhere where they will wait some more. Monster was impatient to whisk me somewhere, anywhere, but that hallway with that linoleum, when the toothless man launched in to the most fabulous/horrifying unpunctuated monologue, I thought surely the man is going to exhaust his very last breath. But he didn't stop, and a magical attendant appeared from behind a secret door to take him to the next weigh station he was still jawing. We looked at each other in slack-jawed amazement, I thought I might cry.

Bowels of hospitals are frightening places, there was an idle gurney waiting for no one before the elevators, smudged with not old traces of blood. I should be an old hat by now, since I realized I have been making biannual trips to the ER for awhile, holding dear friends captive while the docs assess what the hell I have done this time. This time it's a tear in my miniscus, that may or may not require surgery. Only 45 minutes and a couple of thousand dollars will tell as they parse the hums and clicks of the MRI. (god do I love digital imaging, nothing like being confronted by the starkness of your very own bones)

The doc said I had lovely bones.

I was parked across the hallway, wearing my ice pack as an amish cap. Monster saw my bones and went to quizz the doc and I had the strangest of pangs. Those are my bones. It was weirdest kind of intimacy, you have now seen my bones, the core of what lies beneath, I felt nakeder than naked. I felt protective of the femur and the tibia and the disenfranchised knee cap, back lit for scrutiny. At the same time, I wished I could have the films to frame. I am fascinated by my bones. And I like the MRI's even better. So colorful all those muscles and tendons and veins.

I've another brace to add to my menagerie of the horrid boot and the crutches and the ankle braces and the ace bandages. Now I have the Immobilizer. Clunks on to my upper thigh to my calf and slides down to my ankle after five hip rolling lurches. In other words the Immobilizer is totally useless.

So it's back to Dr. Ankle, rechristened as Dr. Knee, another fucking injury that I need like I need like a motherfucking hole in my head. Another injury to quash all my best laid plans and ruin my summer.

Internets I am moving. I am going to embrace adulthood and buy a house in Portland. I am planning on going in September. That is if my dumb body doesn't go into some kind of adolescent revolt and start shedding limbs just to be fucking contrary.