“Look me in the eye and tell me you don’t find me attractive. Look me in the heart and tell me you won’t go. Look me in the eye and promise no love is like our love. Look me in the heart and unbreak the broken, it won’t happen.”
Heart breaks for the holidays.
See, this is why we need buddies, guys. Not an emo post, but T&S always gets a reblog. Come on.
On Wednesday when I get off of work, my parents will drive down to the Loop and pick me up in the minivan. We’ll get in the car and start down 55 all the way till we hit 40 all the way overnight to Oklahoma. Maybe I’ll be singing Johnny Cash or Lucinda Williams or Neko Case. Maybe I’ll be jonesing so bad for a cigarette my eyes water. As is, I try not to smoke round the fam and I’m needing a break.
And I hate the holidays and I always have. No, I’m serious. There’s these terrible pictures of me at age eight with this mushroom-Dorothy-Hamill haircut and a (in hindsight PRETTY AWESOME) hand me down sweater from my cousins staring at this turkey and my eyes are dead. I am not joking. My brother somewhere next to me grinning with his buckteeth and chickenlegs. Every year I want to order pizza and watch action movies with the family. Or anything other than my mother feeling forced to cook a turkey (never brined, I always want it brined, Christ) and the rest and my father making other dumb plans and being late or inviting foreign clients over that throws my mother’s inferiority complex into high heaven and my brother and I used to be allies and now, well, earbuds and need to please got in the way of that.
Still, there is a deep love for my salty So’Western family I can’t escape from. My grandmother and her hands of warm paper. Big empty lots. Phone trees that fly for miles. A smell that is dry and on fire and you can’t quite tell if its good or bad for you. Horses and dogs crying. Used to be we’d all be in that small ranch house off Indian Meridian and all the cousins running wild with the dogs, up trees, shooting cans off the fence. Now some got married and some just ran off and some just don’t bother. I worry about having to corral my grandfather like the stubborn burro he is into silence if he decides to fight with his wife and daughter. I’m too old to put up with that.
But I want them to be proud. Been a year and a half and I’m the first of the line with a little piece of paper that counts for something, right? There, grandmama, that’s the signature of my president. They don’t know the truth about Mills or what really went on there (but who does?), cos Christ, it’d just kill them.
So its not the prospect of eating deep fried turkey (I am excited) in a double wide amidst donkeys and step-cousins and dogs and crazy moms that exhausts me. Okay, a bit. Just that the Holidays are tiring. Right? They are. It used to be I’d get the best of the West, partying during finals, finishing papers, Christmas Cafeteria dinner, warm palmtrees, wine, and bittersweet goodbyes. Then snow, pristine and something I’d get to leave, winter too. Warm hugs, friends, cookies, family that missed me. New Years with people to kiss, cold cigarettes, cold cars, long drives.
Now its just winter and just hollidays and they say have buddy systems in place, have people you can talk to. That Christmas smoke with the boys sounds amazing about now. And there is always New Years. California Love Style.
But as is, when I drive past this stupid sign, this stupid town, in that stupid middle of this state, it’ll be the middle of the night and all cast in highway light. My family will be sleeping in the car and it’ll be all I got to not light up and curse. Or turn up the music loud to drown out that winter four years ago. When you went to school there and when I drove down the day I got back from being jet-lagged and tear-swollen leaving Oakland to see you and help you move out from State School. And this isn’t a bad memory, at least where it stands. There was barely snow in the fields. We bought cheap cigarettes and I finally felt average. Or like everyone else. In a good way. You know?
It was driving to see your boyfriend in a shitty dorm room in a cold college town. It was drinking bad vodka with his gay friends and making out in a bunk bed. Big cafeterias and warm mittens. I helped you move out.
Every time I drive past that sign something sort of lumps. This year it will be dark. And in a month, a new year, where I can start making piles of days where I wake up and know that that part of us that existed in winters is dead. Where I start a whole new year and seasons alone and forgetting you breathe.
You know what that means? It’s a Spanish word for balls, as in testicles, which most men lack. Guys need to get their shit together, seriously. Like, figure out what the fuck you want out of life. Draw out a game plan and tackle it. Don’t stand around and wait for shit to come to you, because that hardly ever works out. And if you don’t do it for your future, do it for the sake of your sex life. Nobody wants to fuck a loser.
“By now, all’s wrong. In everyone there sleeps
A sense of life lived according to love.
To some it means the difference they could make
By loving others, but across most it sweeps
As all they might have done had they been loved.
That nothing cures. An immense slackening ache,
As when, thawing, the rigid landscape weeps,
Spreads slowly through them - that, and the voice above Saying Dear child, and all time has disproved.”—Philip Larkin, from “Faith Healing” (I have been thinking of this poem all week)
Stacks on deck, Patron on ice, we can pop bottles all night and baby you can have whatever you like.Whatever You Like, Anya Marina covering my estranged boyfriend (ha) T.I.
There is a reason I watch Gossip Girl online before work. I can survive Friday. In other news, I wish Lily and Rufus were my parents. Not that I could be as cool as Jenny, I’m definitely Dan in the v-necks. El sigh.
“"Look up, see that?" An editor at Reagan Arthur drunkenly smiled during the boozy, Bat Mitzvah-y after party held on the balcony overlooking the ballroom of the Cipriani Wall Street, and woozily pointed up to a perch some 25-feet above the dance floor. "See where the DJ is?" We stared above us. "Next year, it’s not going to be a DJ. It’s gonna be a Kindle." Brilliantly wasted drunkspeak that it was, she had a point. And she couldn’t have been the only one thinking it.”—It’s the 2009 National Book Awards and These People Feel Fine - Oh God.
Feeling anxious and overwhelmed is sometimes unavoidable, but other times giving in to those emotions can be an inconvenient and masochistic form of escapism. If you can balance your blah needs, like paying the bills and charging your phone, with your needs for love and creativity, you may find that you’re more stressed but less anxious. Deal with the real. (SFBG)
In the beginning of his career, poet Linh Dinh loved to stay up late and write, sometimes riding a creative surge till dawn. The power of the darkness unleashed a stark fertility. He was free to think thoughts that were harder to invoke during the bright hours when hordes of wide-awake people were pouring their chattering thoughts out into the soup. Dinh’s habits changed as he aged, though, in part because he got married and chose to keep more regular hours. But his early imprint has stayed alive inside him. “Now I can write at any time of the day,” he says, “because I always carry the night inside of me.” In accordance with your astrological omens, Taurus, I’m making that your prescription for the coming week: Carry the night inside you during the day. (Free Will Astrology, and Linn Dinh gets to be in the WEEKLY?!)
Career demands could be overwhelming, but if you prioritize your objectives, you’ll find it easier to manage your time and energy. (Aquarium Age)
"When we conceive of acquaintance-rapists this way, solutions tend to be woman-focused — women need to say ‘no’ louder, to avoid sending mixed signals, or, most upsettingly, to accept that the vagaries of sex are such that occasionally someone will just "accidentally" rape them." Jesus. WTF?
The sky is the most beautiful pink color right now. If I had my camera I would take a picture, but I don’t. It’s seconds like this that make me think I should stay here, even though I know I shouldn’t. It’s seconds like this that make it harder.
So I drink coffee with baily’s and I sit on the floor of my clean room and I breath in and out.
It is neither cold nor beautiful here and so I think I wish I was there. (Take a picture with my camera).
As I stood outside having my smoke break, the driver of the #60 was chatting with a young woman and an old man in a hat with a cane. They finished and the old man began to make his way slowly down the street. Kindly bus driver walked out of the bus, hollered, “Sir! I’ll give you a ride down the block!” hopped in and they took off together.
Whether or not you feel prepared, it’s high time you made some major changes. Your internal stability may feel fab or drab, but either way, it’s time to rely on it. The foundations you build on are important for your mental health. But in terms of your goals, the most important thing is to move. Go in the direction of your ideals. (SFBG)
"Dear Rob: I’ve read horoscope columns written by many astrologers, and yours is the only one that’s not prejudiced against at least one of the signs. You really do treat everyone equally. You play no favorites. But that’s exactly the bone I have to pick with you. I’m wondering if you’ve got a passion deficiency or something. It seems abnormal not to display a hint of bias now and then. -Suspicious Taurus." Dear Suspicious: My own birth chart includes elements of both Taurus and Libra. The Taurus part of me has strong feelings and deep passions, while the Libra part of me is fair-minded and well-balanced. They’ve worked out a synergistic arrangement that allows me to maintain my equilibrium as I feed my intensity. I recommend this approach to you right now. (Free Will Astrology is a little nutty today)
One of the ways through the waves is to take an objective approach to everything that occurs. Observe the symptoms, and then diagnose the remedy. (Aquarium Age)
(I am wondering about this Saturn/Pluto square. It does not bode well.)
“Yes, young men need to see thoughtful, feminist men, especially if they’re not yet truly comfortable with women. But said thoughtful, feminist men don’t necessarily have to offer a new masculinity — rather, they can simply teach that how men understand their gender is up to them, and that they shouldn’t feel the need to fit themselves into any particular mold. This might be difficult — young people, despite their protestations of rebellion, kind of like molds — but it would move us one step closer to a world in which gender was an opportunity for self-expression, not a cage of expectations. The lack of a new paradigm for masculinity may look like emptiness, but it’s also freedom.”—Do Young Men Need A New Kind Of Masculinity? - Masculinity - Jezebel
I ended up listening to this quite often during April on Pandora, when I was in a state of constant hangover/editing a literary magazine/in denial about a LTR dissolution. But it is sunny and nice here today and I’m going to reclaim it as a winking and toe-out shuffle song to the last steps of the sun this season before a gray winter. A warm, patched elbow hug, a soft goodbye and see you soon.