Tuesday, January 25, 2005

untold tales

I heard a story the other night, underground, with a drink in my hand. A woman's voice, disembodied because of the crowd between us. "This is a story I have been waiting my whole life to tell." The rest was lost on me, this great melancholy without direction. But it brought reason to me that I had never written the most painful moments down for anyone else. All the stories I simply would not tell. You think you can gather all the pieces for the perfect picture. You rarely notice the missing. You think my life is abstract and accept it like any other good piece of fiction. The people you love become convinced of a truth created by conjurations of a well-armored mind.

Sometimes you sit and wonder at night, while looking at the theatre sign's lights stretching up to the Oakland sky, if anyone can truly know any one.

I do not come unhinged in despair. I feel grief for the living and cannot recall having felt it before. Perhaps because I did not think I would have enough left, once I was through with the dead. But the dead have gone and I need offer them nothing now. The shame lies in what the living have wasted. That the shadows loom so long that we grow unaccustomed to light.

There are no happy endings for untold tales.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

blossom end rot

I often regret that I gave up so easily on all the things I wanted to do when I was younger. The acting, the singing, the poetry, the spoken word, the stories of my family. With the death of my Uncle Mickey (the one person who showed absolute support at all times), I gave up on these, slowly, one by one they fell. Now I wonder if I did his memory a great disservice by giving up on the things he was proud of me for doing. It should not have mattered that I did not have that support elsewhere. I should not have doubted my ability. I should not have relied so much on other people to make things possible. The universe would have found a way to guide me, but I never gave it that chance. I hid from so many opportunities. I turned away from so many chances. I feared risk and exposure and failure and never though twice that mediocrity might be worse.

At the same time, I hated the pretentiousness of artists. The never ending pissing and moaning of some. The unbelievably condescension of others. Either I was not poetic enough or I simply would never make it. They exuded so much fear. Fear that someone would be better. Fear that someone could beat them to some prize. Fear that someone could be more depressed, promiscuous, ambitious, creative. Name the emotion or action and there was a competition for it. Unspoken, completely denied, but nevertheless present in their circles.

I do not know what I would have wanted, had I stayed active with any of these artforms back then. It was over a decade ago that I left everything but writing to my past. Now I simply want to work quietly and alone. I fantasize about having days to myself to sit down and not get up until I've finished the thought rambling through my head. My heart seems to produce as much pain as it does blood lately and I have to siphon it off somewhere before it becomes too much for me. I often feel lately that I need to get away. Perhaps my reward for finishing this semester will be to go away somewhere. By myself. For a couple of weeks at least. Some place that I can wander comfortably in my favorite jeans, men's undershirts and faded hoodie. My hair pulled back from my eyes so that I miss nothing, the bulk of my ponytail brushing against my spine and the tips of my shoulder blades. Some place where I can walk until my trainers have worn away with whatever has been holding me down.

I want to make art again, this much I know. What will come out and in which medium, I have no idea. I cannot afford supplies, so I will work with what I have. That will be good enough, I believe.

This is simply the end of one life and the beginning of another.