Sunday, November 4, 2012

Someone broke into my dead friend's house and stole all of her things, ripped open the walls and took the copper wire. My friend, who died a year ago, who helped raise me, who was eaten by cancer, which is at least a different way to die than other people in my life have gone recently. Reading Jeanette Winterson's Written on the Body in the midst of this news complicates things, beautifies things. Why do I collude in this misuse of language?

I was driven to the beach today. By my car and by my longing for water and for the edge of something. The sunshine dust was on everything. The water was on fire. The boats were on fire. The sand was on fire. I was probably on fire, too, only I didn't notice because I was thinking too hard about how cold it is in other parts of the world right now and how even though I gained an hour today, I am now an hour farther from the person I love. And not that that even hurts. Just that it's something I noticed. And thought about. While I was on the very edge of my country, the part where it soon becomes not my country anymore [if you believe in borders, in nations]. The sea is a means not an end. 

On Halloween night, I rode the metro from campus into downtown LA and found my way to REDCAT for Mark Z Danielewski's reading/performance of his new book, The Fifty Year Sword. Haunting. And beautiful. A kind gentleman bought an extra hardcover edition of the book and gave it to me.

Doors opened up into ghost town downtown Los Angeles and I walked to the metro and there was a woman on her knees on a blanket on the sidewalk facing the buildings facing the moon praying in Spanish, praying for something, repenting for everything. It was pretty cold out that night. I didn't interrupt her prayers. I sat on the train thinking about how many opportunities I have here in this city, how there is art and life all around me. But how so much of what I'm missing is so far away and always will be because you can't bring back the dead and you can't bring Europe or South America or Utah or Colorado or New York City into to the city of Los Angeles through any employment of science or hope or wizardry. Is happiness always a compromise?

[All italics in this post come from Winterson's Written on the Body]

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