Friday, May 23, 2008

the importance of not wearing makeup for two days

the past two nights i slept over at one of my most favorite people in the world
i walk in her small harlem flat and if i had my eyes clothes, i would still know exactly where i was
the smell of eucalyptus greets you at the door and the space feels free, open, bright
if i were blind i would know i was in a very special place and not just any place but her place
she hangs bright sheets and various pictures from around the world and photos of her family and some of me and a trapeze artist hangs in the middle of the room.
a powerful photo of her as a child in a moment of what looks like defeat or maybe frustration or defeat hangs high but nothing hangs as high as the tapestry that reads "listen"
and she's right, the crappy frame she has it in does take away from the freedom of its speech
she puts on her music and it feels like her
sensual, funny, unpredictable and i feel somewhat envious of this world, this complete reflection of her presence.
i am struck by the picture of her as a child.
i want a picture of me in a moment like that and i would also hang it high in my room to remind me that failure is something we need. it is part of what makes us whole. what makes us brilliant.
we drink wine, eat pasta, we talk until one of us falls asleep or back asleep.
in the morning she lends me anything i need. underwear, toothbrush, her prized fancy boots.
but she does not have mascara. i am forced to go without make up for two days. throughout the days i catch glimpses of myself in the mirror, nut i realize that i pay attention to my little flaws less and less because i feel a certain sort of pride in showing my face to the world-raw, uninhibited, uncovered. i look younger. i feel a small sense of a cleansing effect
and i am reminded of one of the major reasons i came back to this magical place.
there is no one in the world like her and i am a better person after having been in her presence.

Friday, May 16, 2008

friday night

on second thought.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


a photograph is taken of a small eighth grade class and is hung a few weeks before they part into the saber tooth jaws of high school
there are three girls that stick out - literally.
They stick out their chests.
They tightly cross their legs.
They tilt their head down and give their best shot at looking coy.
They make me sad.
One comes down and is delighted by herself. She smiles and for a second she looks like she should- a child with a glow, probably the same one she had as baby.
The rest of the girls come down and one girl shrieks in terror in what she thinks is a bigger deal in the long run of her life than it really is.
Others wait till the first girl speaks before relinquishing their thoughts.
"I look soooo old. I look like I'm 20 years old."
She looks thirteen. And I think to myself why 20? What a peculiar age. Has someone told her that? Why not 16 or 18? When I was 13 I remember thinking 18 was the oldest and coolest I could get.
"At least we don't look flat-chested."
"Well some people do...but not us."
"Look at my knee cap." She is wearing jeans in the picture. I don't know what was special about the knee cap.
Others join and the cacophony of shrieks and laughs and commentary rises to a piercing level that caps off into a sea of voices- none particularly distinct from the other.
I wait for the right moment, the right lull, to ask them to quiet down but instead I let them have this moment without interruption.
I wish I could say something that would make a difference in the conversation I just heard.
"Your twenties suck. Don't rush into them."
"Focusing on outer beauty is...bullshit."
"Get smart. Go to college...please."
Instead, I let it go. Maybe tomorrow or perhaps a day where my voice will mean something to these thirteen year old girls.

Friday, May 9, 2008

may flowers

it is may and it is raining
it is may and i have a chest infection
it is may and my right shoulder is peeling
it is may and my acne does not care
it is may and green and blooming
it is may and it is 55 degrees
it is may and i have a contract sitting on my desk
it is may and i have a shitload of work
it is may and i miss my dad
it is may and i am still falling so much in love
it is may and i hold him tight
it is may and the only thing that really matters is that i can do that
it is may and i don't know how i feel about the humid summer approaching
it is may and i like new jersey
it is may and for now, i am okay.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

there's a ribbon in the sky

the ladies begin their harmony, too quiet at first.
but as the sky opens up so do their voices
kind of like a deflowering of the soul
the men harmonize bringing a much needed bass to the angelic choir
and we are making music, we are music.
it begins to rain, hard and fast, like a purging of fears, doubts, and sorrows
for this moment, this crowd is one, brought together by a love that words were not made for.
the keys jam on and the genius behind them takes the cacophony of voices, rain and music and guides it to a place where no one here will ever forget this moment.
he has created a memory that thousands of people will talk about for years and with that he has made the world that much better, that much more whole, that much more loving.
at the end of the show, a festival organizer comes out and preaches to the angels,
"you have just been baptized by stevie wonder." and while that sentence is beautiful, it seems to me that this is one particular case where words were not needed.