Tuesday, April 22, 2008

moby dick

twice now i have made a four mile run through the park near my house.
there's a section of the run that goes under an overpass.
it runs alongside the river and the other side is covered in graffiti but not the scary kind of graffiti you see in LA
this graffiti is bright with professions of love or political viewpoints.
but still there is a heightened awareness that exists in these places that i suppose no matter where would still make me pick up my pace.
i hear footsteps, loud, coming up behind me and i run faster with the sound of footsteps louder, closer, almost.
i don't want to look behind me, but if i am about to be killed i'll be damn sure i'm going to look the person in the eye
i whip my head around and there is no one...anywhere.
i slow my pace and the footsteps slow and i realize i am running away from myself
the echo of my own feet hitting the pavement
i find it profound, metaphorical, angering and sad.
i continue my run at a steady pace with creased eyebrows and a red face.

last friday i wait at a corner talking with one of my favorite people in the entire world.
"i spend so much time fighting myself. arguing if i'm a writer or not a writer. if i'm a big fraud. i think about what i'm really going to do with my life. i freak out. but the days when i can get over the fear of it all, i actually do write. like all day, i'll write. and i know that if i'm ever going to be successful, the biggest hurdle i will have to overcome is myself...and i hate that."
the confession makes me hate its honesty. hate its rawness and the fact that it now exists in the world for others to interpret, break down, analyze.
i feel like a failure. i feel old. i know i am young. the clock is ticking.
questions, arguments, all in my head all the time.
maybe i should just be living my life right now, enjoying each moment, taking in my space, my presence in this space, time.
give myself a break and be happy with the shit i put myself through.
in a perpetual battle to find meaning for my life or to find the greater purpose i know exists for me.
enjoying the pain in my legs that i have every morning from the torturous exercise i am putting myself through.
listening, really listening to the sound my computer keyboard makes when i get on a tangent.
loving each clack like it is the beat of a drum or some other vibrating musical instrument.

ani difranco's "shameless" comes on at this moment.
for the last two days i have kept my iTunes on shuffle finding pieces of music that i have never heard and finding meaning in their random arrangement
praise to the mac gods, i guess.
here's a woman who just went and fucking did it and didn't ask permission or forgiveness.
i think I'll listen to a few more from her today.

Monday, April 14, 2008

sunset in new jersey

my desk overlooks what looks like a hundred trees and an the best slice of the Raritan River.
Green buds are starting to fill in the spaces between the branches and when the sun sets it reflects off the river giving me silhouettes and colors and clouds that i can't quite describe yet.
there is a bird nesting right outside our window and even though we know that in a few weeks we will want to kill a handful of loud chicks, for today, we let the bird continue to nest.
i wrote today without fear, but not without distraction.
but two characters were born and now the real work begins.
i feel like i am finally over the initial panic attacks that choked me at the beginning of the move.
we are settled and the room is exactly how it should be now.
i am breathing but more importantly, i'm enjoying each breath.
something was different about today.
if happiness is really a choice, i wonder if its the same for confidence and courage.
i walk with my friend, the one i love like a sister, near Central Park
she is explaining a story about her sister and her niece and going to the park.
she tells me that when she taught toddlers it wasn't just about what they were going to do once they got to the park.
it was about getting ready for the park and putting your coats on and gathering any toys or snacks...
"it was more about going to the park then the actual park. there was a lesson in each part."
and for the rest of the weekend that sits with me. somewhere between my subconscious and reality.
and today became about every part of the day.
it was an awesome one.

Friday, April 11, 2008

to juliet

its 5 am and i can't sleep.
i am having nightmares
i am hot
i am uncomfortable
i keep thinking about how much pain my little cousin is in
the pretty one who has always been incredibly sensitive and incredibly sweet
i remember babysitting her when i was 18, a college freshman
i did not have many friends that year, hardly any
so i spent my weekends at my uncle's house
she is now in high school and way more popular and beautiful than any of us ever were
she seemed to skip that ugly duckling phase as if god knew that she was always more of a swan
she has lost her romeo
i assume it is her first love
she is fourteen years old and i worry about her and what this will now do to her
how will this affect her?
somewhere a mother has lost her son
a father is quoted, "a father is not supposed to bury his son."
how do people recover? how do we heal?
i tell my aunt that i will write my cousin a letter as if it is any consolation
but i have to do something even though i know there is nothing.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

40 Minutes

Yesterday I went on my first run in months. I did not get very far and ultimately was disappointed with myself. So, today I brought out my iPod, put on my favorite workout mix and went for it. I got a lot further than the last run and ended up lasting for forty minutes. My legs hurt and I am terribly out of shape but I felt good.
I felt capable.
I felt free.
There's a lot of time that happens in forty minutes. I hope to get to sixty soon. Who knows what twenty more minutes could do?
I took a writing class in college that required us to go to the gym.
The professor insisted that in order to be truly creative you need to unleash some endorphins.
Looking back she was probably trying to ward off any eager wanna be writers aching at the chance to wallow in self-inflicted depression.
But either way, it was clever and I think there was something behind it.
Next step: a job.
Next step: discipline.
So much to learn.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Jug Handles...Location: New Jersey

A fresh start.
We all need these.
In the last three weeks, I wrapped up my job in Beverly Hills. Packed up my life and spent ten days on the road traveling across the country.
We stopped in Aspen, snowboarded the Highlands Bowl with an elevation of 12,000+ feet.
He sprained his ankle on a mogul at the very end of the trip making me the main driver for the remainder of the 3,000 miles. We stopped in Boulder where I caught up with some of my favorite people in the world and I realized how much I miss my friends.
Several herbs and constipation conversations later, along with a sunburn, three different ice creams and two viewings of The Darjeeling Limited we packed up quietly before dawn and stepped out to our car in the middle of a faint snowfall.
We head to St. Louis...one of the flattest and dreariest drives I have ever seen.
The sky was gray with spits of rain here and there and all those fruited plains were painted brown with death. I guess we caught the midwest with its skirt up just before spring.
We hit St. Louis and about 15 minutes before we get to our destination, the gas light comes on, the rain breaks into a heavy downpour and I can't see the lines on the road anymore.
"You alright over there?"
"I can't really see."
"Pull over."
Normally I would fight this, but I know that even with his busted ankle he is the safer driver at this point.
We plan to stay only the night.
In the morning she takes us to breakfast.
"You guys should stay! I could show you around and he gets back Saturday morning. You could hang out. You guys should stay."
She seems lonely. A young bride in a castle of an apartment with every state of the art technological accoutrement one could think of. A perfectly poised chow. A grown up job with grown up friends. She has ambitions and plans and goals...and he is in Dallas tonight. Somewhere else a few days later.
We stay until Sunday and have a blast.
It is nice visiting these lives throughout the country. Like window shopping or an all night drive in movie theatre with back to back classics.
We drive from St. Louis to New Jersey and at 2:30am we park the car outside of "The Compound," and I freeze. This is home now. I have had my phone in my hand for the last two hours waiting to receive a text on whether or not my new godson has arrived.
In the morning I see that we both arrived to our new lives at roughly the same time. I decided to keep that to myself when talking to my family. I coo over his picture and make plans to come home and it starts to feel really difficult.
"I wish you were here," she says to me.
I brush it off and tell her, "I'll be home for the baptism soon," when all I really want to say is "me too."
I forget how hard it is to adjust. I get upset at night, scared, paralyzed. Insecurities run freer at night it seems.
But every morning I wake up and am so grateful for doing all of this. As difficult as it is, it is liberating to have a fresh start.