The Hipster Brigade
the end is (too) near
i fell asleep on my couch today. it wasn't comfortable. i woke up feeling crooked, sweating and the back of my throat was terribly dry. naps should be kept to the afternoon, not 10pm.
so i'm not sleeping. i'm trying to remember every bit of this room before i have to move back into my old cramped one tomorrow. the built-in bookshelves on the wall, the off-white paint, the candy corn wedged between the cushions, the sound of the cars, the look of the city lights, the headlights of the cars on the highway, the mini pencil on the window sill, the collage on the wall, the time magazine, the way my wrist watch looks so small on the shelve but so much bigger on my wrist, my face in the mirror, the slow working drain in the shower. there are so many other things i cannot even remember now to put down so i won't forget.
i won't have these things again. there's no reason to come back. i doubt it would be as good the second time around. i'm not really that sad, but the change was nice.
: in case you haven't noticed, i hit the two year mark on my blog. the whole reason that this place even exists is because someone found my livejournal over thanksgiving break that i didn't want to see it and i freaked out and erased my old blog and all the posts in my livejournal that had to do with said person. i never intended to still be here or to have readers even. yeah. so here i still am. i have to say, i really did age well.
rainy day songs
i think you asked the wrong person to pick just 5 songs for a rainy day. i mean i did start out with just five originally, but there is no way that one can have just five songs for a rainy day. so i made an album of songs.
here it is:
asleep -- the smiths
when you notice the stripes -- the shins
everybody wants to rule the world -- tears for fears
oh! sweet nuthin' -- the velvet underground
bitter sweet symphony -- the verve
wonderwall -- oasis
nick drake -- mogwai
take my picture -- filter
time after time -- cyndi lauper
no rain -- blind melon
3 libras -- a perfect circle
i'm guessing most people wouldn't have spent hours on this, but damn most people.
p.s. i updated the "all about
" section and yeah. it still says shit about me.
it's just never enough
i am in the 8th floor writer's block common room. it's been over a year since i've stepped a foot in this room or even on this floor. i was wrong about sleeping on a couch, although that's where i am typing to you from. there were three beds in which to choose from. i thought about changing each night i stayed here, but i picked one by the heater and it has the most perfect white shelf for me to set my small clock on, so i'm staying put.
this room is so huge for just one person. it's three times the size of my walk-in closet. i almost miss being cramped. then i look out the windows (yes, i have four of them) and they overlook the boston skyline and when i look out and see the lights, i don't feel so alone. it's nice to see the cars zooming along the highway. it reminds me of driving back at 2am from maryland to pennsylvania with my mom. we'd all sit together in the bench sit and my sister would fall asleep against my shoulder and i'd stay up and play with the radio and talk to my mom to make sure she didn't fall asleep.
it's sad to think i only have 3 more nights here. i'm going to miss it.
it's also strange to visit a place in which at one time was so familiar to you. i guess it would be like visiting a childhood home, in which you got to spend the week, but then had to leave again. i get to walk around like i own the place (and i sorta do) and it's just comforting that it's not a stranger. i'm even going to miss the creepy shower and am looking to my shower in the morning.
yesterday, as you know, was thanksgiving. it was my first all alone. i almost wanted to stay cooped up here by myself and eat macaroni and cheese, but my friend nikki would just not let that happen. we ended up going to chinatown because "shit, chinese people do not celebrate thanksgiving" and everything was open. i have to say that i love that restaurant and that red bean shakes are extremely tasty. also, we got free tea and i swear to god that most chinese restaurants do not do that anymore, at least not ones in texas.
then we went to go see a movie, but after pow-wowing in the lobby for about 15 minutes we decided we needed to kill time till 21 Grams came on at 9:20 and then we would sneak into Bad Santa. i loved Lee's (nikki's boyfriend) tiny apartment. the one that nikki was constantly calling shitty. i totally saw myself in a place like that, maybe not for long, but just for a short time. although, i'm not sure how i could live alone in there. i'd get awfully lonely. we ended up playing the most kickass of board games, kill doctor lucky.
i swear i'm not saying it was kickass just because i won the game. but really i am genius.
then we ran to 7-11 where we snuck in nantucket nector fizzy drinks and i bought some yogurt covered raisins. well, 21 Grams ended up being completely disappointing. it was both cliche and pretentious and we sat in the back like good emerson students and make rude comments the whole time. quite grand.
now, this is when the night went sour for me. i had already told nikki i was very tired but i didn't want the night to end, so i figured my first experience with theater fraud would be good for me. well, i mean it was funny at first. yeah, bob thorton as santa. fucking hilarious. well, i don't know, after a bit i just couldn't take it anymore. i mean they really don't know when to end a joke. i just wanted it to end right there. i'm not sure what made me dislike it so much, but i just wanted to leave. nikki and lee followed me out and i felt so bad. i just couldn't handle it anymore. i'm not sure if it was a combination of me being tired and having a headache but i fucking hated that film.
i ended up crying on the way home, sniffling past the drunkards, and then of course i had to start in on all the things that had been happening to me recently or unhappening as it would. so then i thought about all the bad things that happened in my life and it was just.too.much. so i cried some more and then made chef boyardee cheese ravioli, which was dreadful but whatever. it made that pang of hunger settle away.
then i thought about all the things i like a lot. and read some. and felt a whole lot better. i guess everyone is entitled to a crying fit every now and then and tonight was mine.
again again again
i keep hearing car accidents. bang. skidding of tires. scratching of metal. the end.
all about me
so, i thought i should add an "about me
" section to my blog. i had one a long long time ago when i first started, but looking back on that now i have changed quite a bit. so, i'm looking for ideas as to what i should include. so, if you have something you would like to know or um, feel like giving me a rob gordonesque top 5 question, please feel free. i'm serious folks, i need ideas.
rated R or at least PG-13
yesterday, i spent the majority of the day re-writing my horror story for children. i'm not sure what happened but it became really dark and completely inappropriate, thus making it far surperior from the first draft
Tossa Salada was my first cousin twice-removed and our brand new babysitter. I tried to argue with Mom about how Ben and I can take care of ourselves but she would have none of it.
“But Mom,” I started, twirling my hair around my finger.
“Samantha, I don’t want to hear it. Tossa is coming over again tonight. You be nice.” She got so frustrated that she stopped concentrating on putting on her lipstick, and smeared some on her cheek.
“Fine then.” I walked away, I knew it was a lost cause. I was eleven years old and the only kid on the block that still had a babysitter. Mom tried to tell me it was more for Ben, my five year old little brother, than for me.
At first, I didn’t mind Tossa’s visits. She always brought a box of doughnuts with her, and let me drink coffee. Mom told me that coffee stunted your growth, but I liked to watch the swirls of cream settle into a pale brown. Besides, I was already the tallest kid in class, so I figured anything to stop the process was a good idea. Ben liked her immediately.
“You have green hair. Can I have it, too?” Ben said to her. Tossa just smiled back and her twinkling green eyes seemed to get brighter.
“Sure, kiddo,” She said patting his head. “Just eat your salad, okay.”
Ever since she told him that, he’s been up to five salads a day. Mom is more than thrilled, because Ben used to hide his vegetables under his plate at dinner or put them down the garbage disposal. I told Mom that the large consumption of vegetables was not good for him, but she just shook her head and shoved another bowl of salad in my lap. “Be more like your brother, Samantha.”
A month passed and Ben kept eating his salad, but Tossa stopped bringing the doughnuts and letting me drink her expensive gourmet coffee. She told me that Mom had talked to her about it and said that it was keeping me up at night and staining my teeth, too. That’s when I started spending the time when she was around in my room. Ben was charmed by her. I could tell. They would spend hours on the couch watching Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. She had them taped on video from the week, and they would spend hours giggling at Ben’s answers, which were mostly nonsense since he was only five.
Sometimes I would sit at the top of the stairs and write things down in my notebook. Mom told me it was impolite to eavesdrop, but I could tell that Tossa was up to something.
“Ben, would you like another salad?” I heard her say.
“Yes, Ma’am. I want lots of tomatoes and lettuce and pickles.” Tossa laughed because obviously most people didn’t have pickles on their salads, but most people didn’t eat five salads per day. Ben had salads for every meal and snack. He hadn’t realized that his hair wasn’t turning green yet and it was never going to. All I wanted was my little brother back. It was lonely finger painting by myself, and whenever Mom caught me she told me I was too old to be doing it in the first place. I just shrugged. “But Ben does it.”
I just closed my ears to whatever Mom said next. I knew it would just upset me. I tried to tell her that Tossa was up to no good, but she wouldn’t listen. That I had seen her doing some strange things lately, but Mom would just walk away.
Once, I caught Tossa tasting the soil out of the potted plants on the patio. I swear I had seen a can of worms in her purse, but when I looked again it was gone. Plus, she always smelled like bug spray, but Ben didn’t seem to notice.
“Ben, what do you think about Tossa?” I would ask while we would share an easel in my room. He was wearing his Batman smock, and I was wearing one of Dad’s old flannel shirts. “Don’t you think she’s weird?”
“Sam, I like her. She makes me salads with pickles. Plus, she smells sweet.” Ben had taken to drawing pictures of tomatoes with faces lately, completely ruining my frog on the side of pond scene. When I gave him a look, I noticed a glint of green in his eyes that I had never noticed before. Had his skin always seemed so pale? I reached over to feel his forehead but he pulled away before I could get one finger on his skin.
“Stop it. I’m painting.” I swear something was different about him. Wait, did that strand of hair look like a piece of romaine lettuce? No, that couldn’t be right
. But when I looked back it still looked the same. A piece of limp leafy lettuce dangling along with his blonde bowl cut. I just shook my head and left the room. Tossa would be over again tonight, and I’d know for sure.
“Hi, kids. Do you want to play a game?” She twisted a strand of green hair around a long slender finger painted to match her hair. This was new, normally she would ignore me and just pay attention to Ben. Maybe Mom talked her into including me in their activities. I really wish she hadn’t.
, I thought. “I’m going to my room,” I stretched my arms and yawned. “Soo, tired.”
“No, Sam. Please play with us,” Ben said, grabbing hold of my wrist tugging me closer to him. His hand was cold and slimy, but it was nice to be asked and not be ignored. Although, I was doing it for him and not for her.
“Well, alright. Just for you, Ben.” I said, shaking him loose from his grip. His fingers slid off leaving a moist trail on my arm. “I’ll count.”
As I hid my eyes under my palm, I could hear the excitement of both Tossa and my little brother. They were whispering but just low enough where it only sounded like muffled words.
Here…no…there…she’ll figure…yes…no, there…okay.
I heard as they scurried and tip toed around the house, footsteps muffled in the carpet. When I looked up there were soft carpeted footprints leading to their whereabouts, but I wandered around lost to think that they had a chance.
“Oh, where could they be? I have no clue. What good hiding places they picked.” I said, grabbing a carrot stick from a bowl of Ben’s leftover salad. I immediately spit it back in my hand. It tasted just like dirt and smelled like the chemicals Mom used to spray her daffodils. How could Ben eat this?
I could hear Ben breathing hard. I could tell that he was getting impatient so I decided to follow the footprints. I wanted to surprise them, so I walked as quietly as I could. That’s when I felt the tap on my shoulder. “Ben, you are supposed…”
“I’m not Ben,” the voice said cutting me off. The hand pushed my shoulder harder so I would face them. I felt the carrot stick fall from my hand. Then the lights turned off.
“Huh? Ben this isn’t funny.” I yelled, groping for the hallway wall. “Ben?” Then I heard his giggle in the opposite direction. Then I felt a hot musky breath on my neck and a slimy hand hold mine pulling me away from the wall.
“Come this way.” The voice was dragging me down the stairs and I kept tripping over the steps, too afraid to let go. I could smell the bug spray and I could hear the giggling behind me pushing me further.
“Samantha, don’t you want some salad? Don’t you want to be like your brother?” When I opened my eyes, I saw two bright green eyes staring at me. I knew it was Tossa.
“Tossa, please let me go. Yes, I’ll eat your salad but just let me go,” I whimpered, no longer resisting the persistent urging down the stairs. That’s when she stopped and I could feel her forcing something cold and slippery in my mouth. It felt rubbery in-between my teeth and my tongue, and I could feel it’s resistance as I kept chewing, chewing, chewing. I gave up and spit it out.
“No, I can’t eat.” I could feel Tossa’s breath on my neck again. Then there were arms around me -- one, two, three, four -- urging me down the stairs again. I couldn’t feel Tossa in front of me anymore, but I could hear her in the kitchen. There were still four arms around me and the sound of Ben giggling.
“Sam, come on, you’d like it.” But I didn’t want to like it. I didn’t want to eat it. Then the sound of the key in the lock. Could it be my parents? Please be Mom. Please.
It’s still dark and Ben is pushing me to the patio. “Ben, where are we going?”
“Sam, it’s okay. Just follow Tossa.” Then I feel myself fall and the ground is moist. Wait, what’s that falling on my head? Dirt?
I yell, but my neighbors are gone to Bermuda and my parents are still out. There is no one to hear me. That’s when it all goes dark and I can feel the earth worms squirm under my bare feet.
i have them all -- rolling stone, magnet, punk planet, bang, Q, copper press, etc. i horde them in piles under my bed and desk. i even stack them neatly to be read later by the door. however, their pages stay clean of fingerprints. i cleverly deduced that it's because i do not have a bathroom of my own this year. no place to escape and just sit and read. now, i know the (fine) art of reading in one's bathroom is held as disgusting to some, but i have no shame and admit to this form of readery. so over the break, i'm going to catch up on underground culture and sit on "my" dirty couch
now, when i step into the hall during a late night, it's absolutely still. there is no one stirring. empty. cold. i can feel my own heartbeat as walking down a dark hall is just crying for a chalk outline to be there in the morning.
i first noticed it last week. the dark halls. then it happened the next night and the night after. in fact, it left me groping for light switches as i made it to my 7am work shift.
it just feels strange for this to feel like home.
my friend procrastination
it took me two weeks to hand in this paper on grunge music and nirvana. i didn't reread it but i spoke to my professor and she told me to write from stream of consciousness and that is what i did. it's probably full of lies and crap that you guys will make fun of me about later. anyways, i will most likely regret this in a few days.
Bleached Blonde Savior: The Impact of Nirvana
I was sitting in my friend Meghan’s room when I first heard Nirvana. She was eleven and I was thirteen. She played Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and Nirvana, and I sat on her bed and looked bored. It was rock music and I hadn’t gotten used to it yet. I knew it existed but there was something about fluffy nineties pop hits and lingering new wave artists that I was still interested in. I had little tolerance for angry guitar mope rock, and that was the end of that. I continued to ignore a growing trend while everyone else’s world collapsed around them. Five months later, Kurt Cobain was found dead and America’s youth lost an idol and a best friend. I lost nothing but the chance to get to really know him. He slipped through my fingers and all there was left were in-memoriam posters and LPs, and I remember staring at these things longing that it had affected me more.
Kurt Cobain stirred the late-1980's American music scene with his instrument-abusive Nirvana, and continued his influence into the 1990's when their album,Nevermind
, hit the US charts at No. 1, and Grunge music brought Michael Jackson's music to a "Dangerous" halt. Cobain’s Nirvana introduced bored youths to a rough-edged music scene beloved and recognized by college radio. The angsty assault of Grunge, a combination of punk and the dying Heavy Metal bands, began in America’s Northwest. Although, Grunge saw its decline with the passing of Kurt Cobain in April of 1994, he got the wheels turning for a generation of music listeners who were being offered up nothing but dry pop hooks and clichéd lyrics.
It all began in the 1980's in Aberdeen, Washington. High schoolers Cobain and Krist Novoselic, alternative Aberdeenians, met in 1985 through a Hardcore band called The Melvins, with several name changes and Chad Channing's addition as drummer, Cobain moved from drumming to lead vocalist and guitarist. Nirvana was the end product. Their trademark was a confusing blend of sound that college students raved about and considered “their sound.” Nirvana started to gain notice and developed a fan base. They went to a Seattle Indie label called Sub Pop and released their first single in 1988. The song was a cover of Shocking Blue's "Love Buzz." Several songs, endorsements and tours eventually brought the band to Butch Vig (producer and future leader of the band, Garbage), and Dave Grohl from Scream, together. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" brought them to music television. The ensuing album, Nevermind
(1991) became rock's new "rulebook." It propelled Grunge to mainstream music and Nevermind
went triple platinum.
Grunge was to the nineties, what Folk was to the sixties. It was less about politics and more about expressing the everyday humdrum and the conflicts of one’s inner frustrations. It brought together the “Damn the Man” attitude of Punk and the thrashing guitars of Metal bands. The lyrics ranged from making serious statements to just plain dumb. Kurt Cobain said, “We sound like the Knack and the Bay City Rollers being molested by Black Flag and Black Sabbath” (Nirvana). With the success of Nirvana’s second album,Nevermind
, Grunge was accepted into the mainstream for more than just a music scene but an attitude and even a fashion statement. This scene had been thriving and building in Washington since the mid-1980s till finally being recognized in 1991. Soon, other bands were gaining popularity, such as Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains and Soundgarden.
An “alternative” underground culture had been brewing for awhile all over the United States. However, it was being embraced and recognized only by a small group of individuals, who all held one thing in common, a love for music. Grunge began as a small music scene and spread into a much bigger subculture. Pat Blashill, contributing editor of Details Magazine
Alternative culture wasn’t invented by Nirvana in 1992. They just brought an anthem of disaffection and anger to the top of the charts, to the malls, to the army bases, and into the living rooms of a nation that had spent most of the eighties trying to convince itself that it was a kind and gentle place. (Blashill 16)
When Nirvana brought Grunge to the masses, it opened the door to all the bands in the Seattle area, which was a breeding ground to this new sound. However, many people were upset that something they held sacred, the “I found it first” mentality started to take over, even the bands themselves were having a hard time taking themselves seriously once they hit it big.
It took years for me to understand the hoopla that surrounded Nirvana and the other artists of the grunge era. Whenever I heard, “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” I thought more about deodorant than a rock anthem. Sure, I had the lyrics memorized and I turned it up on the stereo whenever I heard it, but I didn’t understand it. Not really, not fully. Then something happened when I turned fifteen. Something that gave me the authority over all my younger friends, I was older and I was tackling the issues that every teenager has to tackle: boyfriends, best friends, malls, clothes and a raging libido. That’s when things started to sound different. When the constant yelling and screaming that was going on inside my head was being put out by the music I was listening to. It was like everything I couldn’t relate to others – parents, friends, myself – was right here in this music, written by these bands, hidden in this genre. It was three years after Kurt Cobain’s death, but I had finally gotten to the point that I had longed for so long ago.
Although, Kurt never became my hero, it was because of his music that other bands like his could attain fame and fortune. I found alternative music through a band called The Smashing Pumpkins. Billy Corgan was to me what Kurt Cobain was to a whole generation of angsty American youths in 1992. In fact, Kurt became my rival just as he was to Billy. For years, I ignored everything about the band that defined grunge. I grimaced as I found myself falling in love with the Foo Fighters, Dave Grohl’s band and one of the former drummers of Nirvana. Eventually, I let go of the feud and bought Nevermind
. I had to admit that I liked it a lot more than I thought it would. It was so much more than just “Smells Like Teen Spirit” played ten different ways. It was dumb and it was genius. The songs were unforgettable and moving and raw. Cobain said, “I don’t want to use a computer, I want to keep my music pure.” It was refreshing to hear just guitar rock, something that was made with just hands and guitars. The energy behind the music sounded different. It wasn’t beautiful and melodic like a Smashing Pumpkins song, it was dirty and angry like pulling tiger teeth after dinner.
Grunge made rock music alive again at a time when everyone had given up hope on rock and roll. The punk movement affected “underground” kids, but was clearly too aggressive or too edgy to be played over the radio. Grunge took the best of punk and the cheesiness of heavy metal bands combining them into an angsty guitar swagger. They were the last big development in rock and roll. It took America by storm and wouldn’t let go till the hurricane had demolished the entire country. Although, Nirvana paved the way for more aggressive rock to be played on the radio, alternative music is clearly changing. There is no longer the same edginess there. It has broken up into several subgenres – new ones emerging and branching off each other all the time. The numerous movements are catalogued in small press magazines or zines for a subculture of hungry youths. The music is still being made but the impact is gone, even with the appearance of garage bands such as The White Stripes and The Strokes, their influence is not as momentous as the one Nirvana started and ended. The lines are blurred to when alternative music stopped being alternative and just started to be mainstream, some sources say it ended with the death of Cobain, but others say it continued to thrive till 1997. It clearly ended because the music is not the same. A band no longer needs to be angry and thrashing for us to listen. It just has to be there and sound good, but not glossy. It has to be raw and dirty in a way that is different than Nirvana. Other bands have tried to be like them, Bush and Silverchair, but failed. They were good at what they do, but not good at what Nirvana did. You can’t repeat the past and if you do, it’s never as good as the first time. It’s not new and exciting. It’s repetitive dribble that every single reviewer will site as the new Nirvana but with more this or less of that or this new twist. There was always room for improvement but that should be left for the artist himself to make changes and progress with age and familiarity and times. He can’t and the others can’t do it for him. I think along with Kurt rock music died. There is still passionate music being made, but not in the way that will ever be the same. Not in a way that will move the same number of people. Not in a way that became more than just music but a culture and an attitude. It’s this impact that makes Nirvana so unforgettable. Their music still living through the media.
The reason that Nirvana became so popular was their ability to embrace a pop-y sound that was radio friendly. They merged the sound of The Beatles with their Black Flag/Black Sabbath influences. It was this sound that made their singles race to the top of the charts and for their albums to go platinum. “WithNevermind
, Cobain forced the pop world to accommodate the long-resisted punk aesthetic at both its harshest and smartest, and did so at a time when many pundits had declared that rock and roll was effectively finished as either mainstream cultural or commercial force.” It’s this sound that still makes them popular. Although, you can compare them to the bands that were all popular at the time – ironically, they were all from Washington. There was Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains and Mudhoney. Each one of them borrowing from punk and metal. Each one of them bored with what was around them.
Around the age of four, I remember spending Christmas vacation in a small cabin somewhere close to Seattle. All there was around me was a tiny beach, a foghorn and water that seemed to go on endlessly. Most days I would sit on the picnic table in the backyard and count seagulls through a misty fog. I remember collecting seashells and seeing hermit crabs crawl through the sand in the shallow parts. Whenever, I was brave enough to go close to the foghorn, I would cover my ears frightened it may go off at any second. Although, I remember this time fondly of outings to the curiosity shop that sold strange wooden carvings and shark teeth, and playing with the neighbor’s dog. I don’t remember there being a lot of potential there. I remember there being long ferry rides and the hot cocoa machine and sitting and staring out the window at the waves. I knew something was there, but I couldn’t place it. The mid-eighties brought a revolution of music and I guess Washington found its answer. It was right there in the kids. I’ve never been back since that last visit, but I would love to see the impact that the alternative culture has left on Washington. Has it changed a lot from what I remember? What would be different? What would be the same? It would be like reading your favorite book over again.
these chucks were made for walking
i can overhear the music from the frog pond -- the ice skating rink in the common -- britney, green day and some other lost 90s pop hit i forgot until just now. i'm walking up beacon hill dodging tourists and locals. i've had a craving for samosas ever since i woke up this morning and i can almost feel the spicy potatoes and lentils on my tongue. i have to walk faster. almost there. take a short cut through quincy market.
i leave with 8 dollars worth of indian food and a thai iced tea.
now, my plan was to go home and enjoy this but instead i remember i want to buy cds. i contemplate buying about 7 different beatles cds -- they're on sell -- but when i finally tear myself away, i'm the proud owner of "chutes too narrow" and three pins (like i need anymore. i swear only one is for me).
but for some reason, i don't walk home. i just keep walking. i end up in one bookstore where i pick up and put down several items, leaving empty handed. i think about purchasing clothes but instead i go into the other bookstore, where i pick up and put down the same amount of items. i say this is a good kind of shopping because it's not just for me. it's for other people. spending money is bad, but how can spending money on other people be bad.
finally, i run into friends and for some reason it's easier to stop walking aimlessly when i'm with company and i make it home with cold indian food and a new cd. oh, and a new bag. with stripes.
don't read between the lines
sometimes when i write things like i'm going to write right now, i'm afraid people think i have an ulterior motive. when all i'm really doing is writing about images, so i can never forget them and how they felt.
this morning i woke up warm, the heater was off but the room still felt like toast. i looked at the clock and realized that i could lie there for one more hour before my alarm would ring, and i didn't notice at first but i had kicked all the blankets off of me in the night and that the shirt i had been wearing was on the floor. i had done this a few times before, so i didn't think much of it. night stripping, i guess. and when i look at myself and see my breasts, i always want to touch them. in high school, i was so ashamed of what i looked like, not because i thought i was ugly, but because no one else had told me i was beautiful or pretty. besides my mom, but she doesn't count. now, because of previous validation, i don't really worry anymore. i think sometimes that it's sad i needed to hear it from someone else, but really how else do you know. anyways, high school is a confusing time and nothing seems how it really is at all. it's like Alice in Wonderland where you can't believe what is going on in front of you. all these changes. all that misery.
then there are times when you wanted to write about how you touch yourself in the morning, but it ends up being another post about self worth. go figure.
you'll never find it if you are looking for it
this morning there is nothing else i'd rather do than slip out of my clothes and feel cool skin against just washed cotton sheets. i turn on the heat to prepare for the sauna, but instead i pull on a red sweater, striped shirt and my favorite jeans and walk out the door. i can make it through one class, then i have the rest of the afternoon to just lie there staring at the ceiling thinking about re-reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower, but instead close my eyes and cuddle with an invisible boyofmydreams.
i'm out the door especially early so it calls for a celebration. a bagel. a bagel with cream cheese. so now i have one white bag full of perfectly toasted crusty bagel with melting cream cheese and i'm licking the cheese off the top out of the nooks of bread and i'm humming songs in my head. i'm cold because the wind was stronger than i thought, but i shrug it off and take the long leisurely stroll to class.
i cut through the public garden like i do everyday and walk on the grass before hitting my first obstacle -- a foot high metal fence held together by dangling chains. i've stepped, jumped, skipped over this in the past, but today my toes snag across the chain awkwardly and i'm falling. while i'm falling, i think:
you are falling. did anyone see that? did i rip a hole in my jeans? the bagel, dear god is the bagel okay?
i look up, no one's there. i exhale. my knees are muddy and my hand is bleeding, but no holes. i feel a bit shaken and i keep looking around to make sure no tourist has me on video. i can see the tape name now in lights, "stupid bostian falls over foot high fence." i'm on the internet and i'm the next star wars kid. this could be good publicity but i'm not sure if i'm ready for it yet.
something in me knows that is not going to be a good day, and i fight every urge of turning back. there is a close encounter with a bike messenger who nearly mows me down, but he sees me at the last second. i exhale. good job. i fight through a gang, swarm, mass of people waiting for the new musical. must get tickets. they have been there since 6am waiting for the Lion King. really, it's not that great folks. turn back now.
class goes and goes and goes and it's over and all i can think about is going to sleep. i don't fall once on the way back home, but i see the neck of a corona bottle in the shallow end of the Duck Pond. i can't quite reach it, but i hate to think that the ducks have to swim in filth because some bum couldn't recycle. couldn't trash his alcoholic addiction. don't make the animals suffer, please.
this makes me think of last night's conversation with my mom, "if you could be any animal, what would you be?" i blurt out, "a duck." i feel stupid, so i follow with, "er...or cat." i picture her nodding and then she resumes her thoughts on the emerson college financial situation. i cringe. (squinting cauces crows feet -- that's okay, i don't mind being an unattractive 35 year old.)
i wake up after 6 hours of napping with the hugest craving for pizza. on the way back from the parlor, i trip twice.
"I just had to tell you this because I don't know what else to tell you."
i don't really feel lonely. it's not like you were filling up an empty space, you were just making my space a bit more crowded. a bit warmer. a bit hotter. and i have to admit to feeling ridiculously happy during that time. during those weeks. where all i could do was think about you in class and shake my leg with anticipation for the next time. the time we would spend making fun of old people and watching movies i should have seen ages ago but never did. the time we spent being stupid and laughing at our own jokes. the ones that no one else got but gave me belly aches and tears in the corners of my eyes.
but i have to admit that i started to feel weird that thursday. not that we were weird. but i was weird. different. changed. and that feeling hasn't gone away yet. but neither did being exceptionally happy. everyone thinks i should be upset, but when have i ever followed the crowd?
when i was 15, i thought constantly of death. it wasn't that i was fascinated with the dead or corpses or funerals. i just didn't want to be here anymore. here anywhere in any sort of living form. i think i could have handled the life as a spirit haunting my mourning relatives and hanging out with kurt cobain. i was just exhausted and i wanted out.
"i'll do it mom, i'll do it." i never followed through with my threats.
then high school ended and everything seemed too neatly wrapped up. nothing really made anymore sense but i didn't feel the same heavy weight on my shoulders.
then last year, things blew up. i couldn't figure out what i was doing or where i was going. literally, i felt like i was stuck in that sandy beach with the huge black and white snakes from Beetlejuice. there was no way out, except bleeding for hours on a tiled floor. i always knew i'd use pills if i'd ever gone through with it, but there was something so much more romantic about slit wrists and a long flowing white nightgown spread out like wings around me on the bathroom floor where i knew someone would find me. anybody.
i remember wanting to see the reaction on their faces. i think i wanted that more than anything. just a reaction. to something. to me.
now, even though i don't think about it in the same way, i still wonder what it would be like. to be cold.
Nothing Quite Like a Dormitory
Single sex bathrooms, yeah right. There is nothing single about the sex in the dorm bathrooms.
I hear the giggling first and their speaking in tongues. No, it’s French. How romantic.
I roll my eyes and sigh. The laughing stops and they’re in the shower stall next to me. The sound of water not masking the low thud of one body smacking up against checkered tile. Please not again. Jesus, get a room.
She’s moaning now, louder and louder. I sing louder and louder in my head to make it stop. Then it does. A one minute man, eh?
The water is still running and I keep soaping my breasts over and over again. I’ve been done minutes ago and the water is starting to get cold. Are they finished already? Thank God.
I get curious and pull back my curtain. I have red marks against my chest from scratching too hard with the loofah. I look to the right, eyes still stinging from the shampoo incident moments earlier. I blink through the foam. “Hello?” But the only sound is of running water. I try again louder. “Hello!?” Still no answer. I rinse off and turn the faucet to the zero. I pull on my robe, and use my hand to squeegee off the water running down in streams down my thighs, shins, ankles and collecting around my feet. I forgot my towel again. I step out of the shower, right into a bigger puddle of water.
“Shit,” I yell. “Hey guys, turn off the fucking…” I don’t finish the sentence, looking down I notice it’s not water. It’s the watery red of nicked legs after a too close shave. I see a tangled mess of legs and arms lying out of the shower stall. This is not right.
I scream and then I feel the fingers on my neck.
i want to write beautiful words along your wrists like tiny tattoos that never wash clean
i remember watching my mother's hands while driving, beautiful crisp hands and thin wrists i admired. if there was one thing i wanted from my mother was those wrists. i got them in the package of puberty, where i was continually being complimented on my beautiful hands, wrists ignored, but i knew the beauty they held.
in high school, i never noticed wrists. just hair and eyes. in college, i targeted the forgettable features. i went back to the hands. big hands with slender wrists. musician fingers. artist hands. i was always about the artists. they always got an in, even if they weren't interested. longing from afar was something i was more interested in anyways.
it's so much more poetic to lust and to never recieve than to have a fairy tale ending.
never thought i'd say this
there's a path behind my house. my real house. my real house in texas. i remember walking my dog
on adventures, where i'd play the detective and every piece of discarded garbage was a clue. for days on end i would find more evidence for an obvious car robbing or a rape or a burglary. sometimes he'd chase away the cats i'd try to coax in closer, scolding him taught him no lesson. he couldn't understand that i liked all animals as much as i liked him.
on that same path, i waded in the creek, trying my skirt with a hair scrunchie. touching slimy rocks with bare feet and avoiding glass as we slipped by laughing.
further still was the walgreens where my sister and i would treat ourselves to bags of chips and soda, when our mother refused to drive us anywhere.
to the left pass the william's chicken was the popeye's chicken, fast food rivals stare down, and i'd dream of their buttermilk biscuits and red beans and rice.
to the left right and inbetween were grocery stores where they knew me by name and would ask how my mother was doing if she waited in the car. we got so embarrassed about being recognized we started to drive a half an hour to another grocery store. there we could be anonymous, not small town celebrities.
then there was the thai and indian restaurants that we would visit frequently, greeted by warm smiles. the health food store and the place that sold us the good organic produce. places that i took for granted.
miles to a wal-mart or target. bags too heavy to carry on the T.
the library where they have seen me grow up and where i've spent a lot of time getting really close to the stacks.
the used bookstores that my mom and i spend hours collecting goods at and leave with arms full of books and magazines and cds for future reference. our goal: mini library.
the music venues i know like the back of my hand.
the indie kids i see at every show and make out with too drunk to remember afterwards.
a real mailbox with a red flag and the postman waving hello.
me too exhausted to stay there any longer trapped in the house and waving goodbye from the airport terminal. never thinking i'd want to be back there so badly.
in the dining hall
today i asked for the rigatoni only to find out on close inspection dark brown pieces of beef sprinkled on each delicious noodle. i thought really hard about it and decided to eat it anyway -- picking off the big pieces of meat -- not knowing what could be lurking inside waiting to be stuck inbetween teeth. however, after two bites i had to stop. i could not do it. each blob of meat turned into one whole tiny spotted cow staring up at me. mooing. yelling. screaming. as i brought the fork closer to my mouth, heads would poke out from either side of the noodle, staring at me wiggling their moist noses. everything looked like eyes and hooves, disjointed and angry to be there.
so i got vegetarian chili and raised my fist and yelled, "i hate you dining hall for teasing me with italian food i cannot eat."
everyone moved two chairs away and i still sat alone, quiet and miserable.
goodbyes are never really final
happened months ago but i still feel sick to my stomach. at least it's less dramatic and no one mourns the loss of a one album rock and roll band. everything is easier the second time around.
i wrote you a letter when i was 16. i remember the ink kept smudging with a combination of my clumsy fingers and the taers running down my cheeks. i kept writing "i live through your music" and "its gotten me through this and without it i'd be so lost." i really didn't know what else to write. i just wanted to let someone know how i was feeling. the next day when i put the letter out to be mailed my mom asked, "are you sure you want to send this?" i nodded my head. it needed to be said. i needed him, them, to know.
i look back on it now and i wish that aws a letter i had kept. one of the many drafts that stayed with the others, unstamped in white envelopes with the same scrawled address.
i predicted the break-up a year before it happened. i was leaning up against the outside wall of my school -- overlooking the parking lot -- and i said to one of my friends, "i can feel it. they're going to break up soon." he just nodded. he didn't know the band like i did.
my life ended at the age of 18. i had predicted this too. he was 33 and i was 18 and in two years we'd be married. the logic behind this seemed to make sense i was starstruck, awestruck and dumbstruck. i had written another letter to him while waiting in line -- 9:30am to 4:30pm -- was a lot of time to kill. but once i was ushered inside, i was moving on instict. i can't remember what i was thinking exactly because it went so fast. words barely formed as i looked him in the eye.
it went something like:
me: can i have a hug?
him: sure, sweetie.
me: i was second in line and didn't get tickets.
him: does his thinky look.
me: i tried to get them from a scalper too.
him: i'll give you tickets sweetie.
i'm trying to remember my name and how to get out of the store. i realize once outside as i'm spinning in circles and yelling loudly inside my head that my letter is still in my hand. i'm not allowed to go back inside and no one else is close enough to hand it to them. it doesn't matter now. nothing matters.
that was my one goal. my make-a-wish had come true.
now it's not the same. when i listen to the songs they are just songs now. i want to hear what i did back then. i want to feel that alive somehow. i just can't and they have never been replaced. it just ended and i moved on to new bands and new songs. but they will always be number one.
every now and then
sometimes i'll be sitting in class and get a huge shining light bulb over my head, sorta like a lighthouse. one that makes me start writing down things immediately before i forget everything. i started writing this one about a friend last week thursday. it's nowhere near finished and not edited.
Dave was sick of it all. He was tired of numbers and computers and cell phones and roommates. So he decided he was through and bought a one-way ticket to Hawaii. The Big Island. His suitcase was empty except for several Hawaiian shirts, 2 pairs of khaki shorts, a compisition notebook and The Big Book on Martinis.
His new apartment, The Landing Pad, was empty, but slowly, he started collecting discared furniture he had found off the sidewalk. First there was a green couch, the color of mold, then two white chairs, cracked and peeling, then a small bamboo table with a warped glass top and a matching stoll that wobbled.
"Yes, this is quite nice," he said outloud, his voice echoing down the wall. "But there is still one thing missing."
The next day, Dave was walking down the beach, when he noticed a box labeled "Carlos" and he heard a strange whimpering sound coming from it. Inside was a tan puppy with a stubby tal and one ear.
"This is it," he said, scooping up Carlos and cradling him in his arms. "Carlos."
about fucking time
has started a haiku blog
. it's looking for members that are clever and pretty, just like yours truly. however, remember my japanese roots ground me in the art of short seasonal poetry, so don't be intimidated.
excercise my writing through blasphemy
inspired by illustrations by chris van allsburg
There was nothing Katherine hated more than pumpkins. Whenever, she saw their fat bulbous bodies, she quickly imagined slicing into their ripe delicate flesh, letting their slimy guts collect on the knife. After, she had peeled away the orange rind and sliced away eight equal sections, she'd warm the oven to make it into a meal for Molly, her goat. Molly loved pumpkins as much as Katherine hated them. So, Katherine delightfully watched Molly consume each bite, she'd cackl and crack open the pumpkin seeds with her teeth. She'd spit the shells as far away as she could, merely a morsel for a squirrel or bird.
Ezra studied rodents in his spare time. There were books about gerbils, rabbits, guinea pigs and mice lying around in every room of the house. As soon as Exra came home from a long day of exchanging dollars for shiny subway tokens that meants nothing more than a paycheck for him, he would read. Then feed, Scooter, his guinea pig.
Archie Smith collected alphabet magnets. Right now, he owned about four different sets. Some with stripes, others with polka dots and still more with bold bright primary colours. He loved making up his own words by scattering the letters on the rug and by closing his eyes and choosing random letters one at time. His favorite word so far was Snarfmungus.
Archie collected all his words on large pieces of white construction paper, and he'd hang htem on the wall. But because Snarfmungus was his favorite, he taped it to the window for the world to see.
no self control
i wake up and look down at my own exposed thigh. my room is so hot that i don't need covers, but i'm too scared to sleep naked in case of a fire alarm or strong breeze that unlocks my door in the night. i can just imagine waking up with an aroused boy by my side, and unless he's Emo Boy from the floor above, i'd be very disappointed.
i've noticed that i can't last more than 5 days without touching myself. skin. lips. pussy. i get cranky, irritable. sometimes i can't even tell if that's the problem, it just hits me that maybe it would be a good time to get off. i always feel so much better afterwards.
you know those parts in porn movies, where they guy is totally railing the girl, and then he grabs her neck just as she is about to cum? when i'm alone, i do that, too. i don't even notice the gesture till i'm done and there's a hand on my neck.
i'm clenching my fists, knuckles white, as i sit on the linoleum floor. i'm trying to think of my story. my reason. my failure
. i've decided my family friend died. my close family friend. lisa, if she asks, but she won't. i think i feel tears in the corners of my eyes. i want there to be something to show how i'm affected. tears. spit. blood.
i'm thinking of blood wiped under my eyes like a football player and that i'd have to think of a whole new story. one that required rape in the common or rough sex resulting in an eye injury. i don't want to explain penetration. i stick with story #1.
i can tell she's aggrivated. she lets me go and i don't really feel relieved but i feel better. out of the exam. out of the class. out on the street. i drink a fancy vitamin water and talk to the squirrels on my way home.
day in reverse
they were playing dave matthew's band "crash into me" in 7-11 tonight when i walked in and i mouthed the words too embarrassed to let anyone knew it was my favorite song by them. the only song i like by them. i recognize a girl from my dorm dancing with another boy. they invite me to dance, too but i'm too tired. i just watch. and wish.
scarf ninja and the T station. best.hug.ever.
i really need to work on that eye contact with you. sorry. your hands are nice.
i like that you IM me first.
skipping home, still giddy, i cross the path of one Mr. Chip. i never knew him well. in fact, i didn't know if his name was chip. or if he was a he. but let's just presume he was for this bit of the story. all i know for certain is that chip is a squirrel and he's dead. i look up and there are 13 squirrels looking at me surrounding him in a semi-circle, eating nuts. i've interrupted the wake. i apologize and hang my head in silent mourning.
my photo booth worked today and i don't have a mullet.
he was in two magazines. i find out more later and realize that perhaps i'm a bit obsessive.
i buy rock 'n' roll and love is hell pt. 1. i can't wait. they play one of his songs while i'm in line. they don't have the new shins. i frown.
i'm not tired in my classes, so i close my eyes during the video. i have to keep up appearances.
she critiques psychic cat as a favor. i tell her i owe her one.
i wake up at 7am but don't get out of bed till 9:05.
my bed feels nice. nicer with two.
i need a cat.
i never had an attachment to the water. other than i always preferred baths to showers, except now i don't have the patience for them. not even bubble baths.
as a child, we traveled a lot and i remember hotel swimming pools and playing with my father. he'd pretend he was dead and float across the water, face down, and i'd tug him by his toes. then sometimes he'd be a shark and i'd scream as he chased me around with his hand up like the infamous Jaws fin. i never was good at getting away. i never learned how to swim, despite his many attempts. i refused to swim underwater. instead, i can do this doggy paddle frog kick type thing and i get around without drowning. i can hold my breath, i'm just no fish.
the last time i went to the beach was three years ago on easter. i was in oahu and we thought we had found a quiet beach, but when we went back there were tons of people there flying kites and becoming rich with a leathery tanned cancerous coat of skin. i walked around in shorts and a bright blue shirt with bunnies on the front. i changed into my swimming suit, perhaps the first time i'd worn one in two years. it was new just for the occasion. a two piece. i had never owned one of those before. it barely showed my skin at all, although, now i think i could handle that. i'm less of a "prude" than i was before or rather, just not scared.
my father and i just walked along the water and staring out over the sea and watching the surfers. suddenly, a man ran up to us and informed us we were about to walk right into a seal. and there it was right before us. they angry easy and i can just imagine being attacked by a sunbathing seal. pretty in a way, tragic in another.
that was the last day i can remember at the beach, but i know there were other times.
i remember wading in the water by galveston island. the gulf of mexico, i'd imagine. the waves were high and we were scared of getting stung by jellyfish. and i would go out in the water and jump into the waves which would carry you standing to a different location. you felt like flying. so fluid.
and then before that i start to draw more blanks. i know there are pictures. i'm grimacing and in overalls and there's a waterfall and across from that set of rocks is the beach but we didn't go that day. my dad's shorts are way too short and he looks younger than i can remember him being.
then there's seattle, washington and the cabin on base. those pictures were so perfect. when i was still mommy's little girl and i was wearing dresses. it was christmas but it wasn't cold. and i'd always buy hot cocoa on the ferry ride to the city. i remember being sick to my stomach and watching A Christmas Story. that was my favorite movie. i asked for a poodle that year and i didn't get one. i had to use socks as stockings.
later that christmas day, my mom held my hand and we watched hermit crabs on the beach.
never gonna get it right
she was never the prettiest girl in her class and when she raised her hand, foot shaking to the steady rhythm in her head, she was never called. he always called the blondes. the ones with the wild blue eyes and the sparkles hidden within babyface dimples. they looked glittery, where she only felt it inside, hidden away behind guts and chipped nail polish. she never looked how she felt.
now she was confused for someone beautiful. the girl with the blonde hair she's always wanted for her own. the tattoos on her wrists, she was always too scared to get. and for an hour everyday, she was her as she watched her across the room. the teacher calling out her name while staring at the other's eyes.
i'm that girl. i'm the she.
sometimes i long to sit on the hoods of cars, still warm from driving, looking for constellations while drinking strawberry milkshakes. it's like the ends of WB dramas with good-looking girl A sitting with stud B on the park swings talking about where they will be in 10 years. i've gotten tired of that conversation, so instead it's sitting inside of subway cars making fun of advertisements and brushing legs and wanting to kiss your neck and waiting to see who cracks first.
and never thinking of a good ending.
i'm not telling anyone this trying to hurt their feelings, but i'm going to buckle down and update MAF
everyday this week. i'm sorry i've been slacking with it. but please don't complain, because i'm going to warn you now, unless you are insensitive and into dark dark morbid humor
, it's better if you don't visit.