Monday, February 27, 2012
Monday, October 31, 2011
Curled up knees below on a chair upstairs of the Campus Library. Reading for class, placated solo, round nine in the evening. Though then Brian finds me, as it was in those months he took it upon himself to care for me. He hunted me down, as this was before I owned a phone. Took me out of the library, from my reading, into his car, where he played tapes of himself singing and playing guitar. We went and got ten pm milkshakes from a Virginia rundown drive through. Not some shining chain, but some loose sign in old neon. Strawberry, I believe. Maybe rather vanilla.
Sitting on the floor of a bookstore with Christine, Lori, and Mary. We’ve found the band Hem for the first time; they’ve just released their album rabbit songs. We sit and I start crying. Can’t help but cry, with redheaded Sally singing, hearing her for the first time. Later, I wear grey corduroys, a powder blue tshirt, and a thick blue wool cardigan that belonged to Lori. It had a hole in the elbow. Lori and I walked over to Mathew and Daniel’s room, where they had baked me a cake absolutely coated in sprinkles. We drove to Washington DC and played hackeysack off the statue of Lincoln until a cop told us to beat it. We drove home, listening to Simon and Garfunkel, and that song we couldn’t stop, Hoarding it for Home.
A party at Marie and Jacob’s. Jackie and I went as the two girls from Ghost World. I wore a pink cardigan and grey tailored slacks, as if going on some professional interview. Someone was a robot, most likely Jackie Small. Mary was a nun, Jym a priest, and Christine, a ballerina. The following day they presented me with the gift (didn’t want to bother you on your birthday, they said). They got me a year’s subscription to National Geographic. One of the best gifts yet.
Worst. Frantic energy with friends asking “what would you like to do?” Well, didn’t know, couldn’t know, left it at me freezing, them saying “call if you can” which I can’t, so I go run. For the first time ever, I run five miles, and I’m sobbing whilst doing so. Later, I speak to my mother on the phone from the balcony. Attempt to hide my crying, but break and both mom and dad know. In the evening, I find myself on the backporch of Parcel House
Best. Opened the bookshop in Jackie’s red cowboy boots and a knee length plaid skirt. Swept the lower floor while listening to Everybody Fields, then John Prine, then Willie Nelson. Accumulated bits of objects from loveys all day, including the Dan Finnegan mug P&E gift me. After work, run around the neighborhoods, watch trick-or-treaters, listen to Andrew Bird. Come home to Hunter house with a living room of friends. We sit and wait for Ian to drive down from DC, and while waiting a knock. Jackie says “come in” but no one comes in, only knocks again. Shit, she realizes, trick-or-treaters, and we have no candy. She scrambles to find something, grabs at a dog toy ball, and thrusts it into the confused fingers of a costumed kid. We close the blinds, turn off the lights, become that house. Ian arrives and in an attempt to grab me, hits his head. Roommates secretly snicker, though this incident will be referenced many times as proof in the pudding. After dinner at Sammy Ts, McAfee knocks on my bedroom door and presents me with a tape of bird songs. I blush and think the coloring’s indecently wrong.
Run about Newmiller Dam in Yorkshire. Run around it twice, then back up the hill. Took a train to York, solo, and swam in the international swimming pool. Then, drink a latte, because I can, then buy a book of poems inspired by Joseph Cornell, because I can. That evening, the international farm staff throw me an “American party” which involves cheap beer and drinking games. The Hungarians bake me a cake, but at this point, I’m not eating any sugar, so watch the international metabolisms feast at. Turns out I’m more than half way decent at Beer Pong. Who knew? Get sufficiently drunk and turn to tequila, terrible.
Work in Brooklyn and run around Prospect Park. Return home to Harlem, where Slelm and Joan present me with a Holga. Take the subway back downtown to meet Eliot on the lower east side. On the subway, another car passes my own, and a zombie stares back at me. I can barely stand it. We eat falafel or pizza or something random, and I head back up to sleep without knowing really what was done or what to do. It’s new york so I’m miserable, no matter.
Harvest Morning, which relieves me of birthday anxiety. Just harvest all morning until they announce the Friday Harvest Farmers’ lunch can be me-centered. I reject and rather run, say I’ll meet up with them once they’ve finished. I finish my run at the café, and little Florian comes out with a cheesecake lit with a sparkler. I try to not fuss, but after blowing out the candles, pass to everyone pieces. They ask, where is yours? I look down. They push, where is yours? Eat some. So I admit and mutter to my running clothed legs, I don’t like cheesecake, because I don’t. Later, I dress like an animal and watch skits put on by the villagers. I like this part very much.
Wake on a farm in Conneticut. Drive to another in upstate New York, in a car with 4 men and no other women. No mention of birthday. Finally, fed up, I lean forward and ask Sebastian if we can stop so I can get coffee. I want coffee. It’s my birthday. He responds “McDonalds?” and I fall quiet. Later in the evening, they eat man sandwiches, with thick and wet meats, which I do not touch. I cry while washing their dishes, alone in the kitchen of a barn we’ve been supplied. Eno, the floating alien German farmboy, pitters up beside me and holds out a handsewn book of handwritten german poems, with English translations as well. Happy Birthday he whispers and enlarges one of his already enormous eyes. He pitters away and I am left with soapy hands staring at such.
Sunday. I’m sick. I run, regardless. I’m sick, but then I ride my bicycle to the yoga studio and do hot yoga. I’m sick, it’s my birthday, so I get a giant fruit smoothie and feel better. I do homework, then eat a hamburger, because it’s my birthday, but it’s a terrible idea, because I’m sick. I go to some concert I can’t remember with a guy I wish I didn’t remember, and I speak to Jackie on the phone, where I am alone at the bar, drinking a gin and tonic, and miss her, miss her, miss her.
Last night, I ate a pear and read Ulysses. I warmed almond milk with honey and read my blue canvas novel. I took a bath and scrubbed. Scrubbed and clipped and then coated it all with cocoa oil so that this morning my body was soft. I woke at 7 and read Ulysses. I finished the episode, laced up running shoes, and ran. I thought about all these birthdays and how they all are full of food not eaten and runs taken and friends present or sideways and how funny it all is. How simple it all is. It’s all what we consume and what we avoid. The interplay of the two. Today, surprise, I run. I drink coffee. I can, and some things I can’t, and so on. And So forth, we go.