Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Mid-semester update [or, like, later than mid-semester update since I apparently can no longer keep track of time]:

Carrying on, like usual. Still loving every little thing about Los Angeles. Like the fact that it looks like spring all year round. And the fact that I can grow jalapeƱos in my front yard in October. And I can sit outside in the courtyard of the library on campus and meet with my students. And I can ride my bike to and from school every day in the same shorts and tank top as always.
My one red jalapeƱo. It was the spiciest [read: most delicious].
The street I live on.
The canyons.
Seeing my best friend in Midsummer.
The most beautiful, perfect stage I've ever seen.
Every time I walk through my front gate and down the path to my bungalow,
I feel so much peace.

It's rained once all semester. And on the day[s] it did[does] rain, I can sit inside with my littlest creatures and find calm in my work and in planning my adventures.
From left to right: Phillip [Seymour Hoffman], Pink Marfa, Ghost.
Ghost [with a tiny little Marfa in the background. Rest in peace, tiny Marfa].
My Boogsie.
This scratch map I got that makes me feel like I've got a hell of a lot of
traveling left to do.

And when it doesn't rain, which is always, I can walk to my junction and read and grade and people watch at a billion different coffee shops. But of course I'm a creature, too, of habit, and I don't like change. But I do like making myself look like Godzilla in the bathroom of Intelligentsia.

Six more weeks left of actual classes. One week [almost] of Thanksgiving break, during which I will venture back up north, as I do at least once every semester, to see my brother and my sister. Brother doesn't know I'm coming, though. Sometimes you just gotta show up on someone's doorstep with a bottle of whiskey and have hope that they won't turn you away. Oh, and I've decided how I'm going to use Ghost Ticket to Berlin. I am flying to a tiny island in the sea in December. I am staying through the new year. Malta. Don't ask me why. It's not a secret. I truly do not know what's calling me there. Maybe something about it being two letters off from "Marfa." Maybe because it's an island. Maybe because of Malta Kano in Murakami's The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. But it came to me one day that I might go to Malta with my ghost ticket. And since I spent last New Years on the other side of the world, why not do it again. Why not make a habit of it, really. No question marks.

And tonight is the last in a series of 6 nights in a row in which I did something each night. Updates about that wonderful shitshow of a life [week long] plan forthcoming.

*     &     *

Here are some things I've been thinking about as the semester, as the fall, as the year progresses:

I moved to Los Angeles in large part to run away from winter. And I succeeded. And I love it. But. Sometimes the sunshine and heat in the midst of what should be impending snowfall [if I were home, if I were other home ((SLC))] makes my insides feel like static. Which, in case you're not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing, is a bad thing. I was talking to my students about this the other day, and I decided that it bothers me not because heat and sunshine bother me, but because it makes it truly feel like summer. And I love summer more than anyone I know, but when it's summer and then school starts, and then get it gets fall-ish, and then it gets summer again, it makes me feel like time is moving backward. Or not moving at all. Like there's no difference between last week's 80 degrees and the two weeks before school's 80 degrees. It's October. My blood knows it. My blood made me buy sipping chocolate mix at Trader Joe's but the sun's too hot to let me enjoy it yet. Halloween is coming. Usually I'd be bracing for hibernation. I don't know what to brace for now.

I'm realizing that the hardest part of this process of heartbreak, at least now, six months later, is admitting that I was wrong. Since I was 14, I've been writing this narrative. I used to tell it to myself over and over. It was a way out. It was a road to somewhere different than where I felt I was trapped at that age. It was a narrative that appropriated every love story I'd ever heard of unrequited love of years of back and forth, finally ending in togetherness. It was Ginny telling Harry that she always knew eventually he'd love her. It was Ross and Rachel in her apartment after she got off the plane, it was Big and Carrie in Paris, it was Derek and Meredith in a hallway, pick me, choose me, love me, it was JD and Elliot realizing that they were already always in love, that song with all the clapping playing in the background where are we going/have we gone too far? This is embarrassing to admit for a few reasons. One is that you now know just how much trashy television I've watched [I've watched all the best television, too, so don't judge me]. Two is that you now know how deeply I incorporated fictional romance into my being to the point where my life couldn't possibly turn out any other way than my fictional characters' lives did without severe mental rupture and a lot of personal reckoning. Well, here I am. At personal reckoning, in the midst of severe mental rupture. I was wrong. I was wrong about the person I've loved for 11 years. I was wrong about our future, about fate, about this love being something other than unrequited. I was wrong to have faith. The faith I always held onto no matter what. Faith that feels like a fucking joke now. Like holding onto it even a second longer would be the equivalent of swallowing a vat of rat poison, of hugging a radioactive something, of falling asleep in a pool of acid. The story I've always told myself isn't real. It's one thing to say this. It's another thing to feel it. It isn't real. And it's all I gave myself. And so... nothing. I'm starting over. It feels like it's from scratch, but I know it's not. I know I've built an entire self between then and now and I know that self is everything even without my partner. But my entire story, if it doesn't end like I always thought [and now it never will], becomes negated. Not only will it never be, but it becomes as if it never was. Because if that whole time I thought I knew the ending, and the ending turned out differently, then that rewrites the plot points for me, reweighs their significance. Weight. Nothing. Story. Nothing. Love. Nothing. Self. Rebuilding. The story I always thought I could write about this, the real story, one on a page, not one in my head, the story he helped me outline when he walked me through the meanings of attack decay sustain release, and I saw the narrative of our [at the time, fictional] downfall. I have to write that story now. When I told him I wanted to write it back then, after all the explaining, smiling at each other, holding each other in my kitchen in Salt Lake City, I told him but I can never write this story, because this is the story of us not working out. This is the story of our relationship falling apart. So it'll be a story I'm never able to write. Fuck me for tempting fate, is all I have to say about that.

I moved to New York when I was 18. My brother moved to New York when he was 18. I moved to California in my 20s. My brother moved to California in his 20s. I miss him.

I bought this watch the other day. I've only ever owned two watches that I actually wore. And eventually I decided it pained me to have time ticking away like that, right on my own arm. Like I was complicit in it or something. So I decided never to wear a watch in my whole life. But then I found this watch. And all it says is NOW, and what more could I ask for? I wear it every day.

&c &c &c:
Brought cupcakes to my babskies today. I think we're all completely exhausted
 at this point in the semester, so I opted for treats and a documentary instead of a
discussion and a new assignment.
I only turn on my television once every one to two weeks to watch the shows
I've recorded. And of course I turned it on a few nights ago. And of course this is
what appeared on the screen. Win Butler in all his impending album release glory,
singing with that voice that only reminds me of how heartbroken I still am.
M tells me, lean into the heartbreak. And in my head I say, yes but not so far that
I fall in. Arcade Fire is one of the harder ones to hold onto in this process of
letting go.

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