With just the door ajar, that oceans are.....
Sometimes I lie awake at night worrying that all the good melodies have been used up and there'll be no more good songs, ever. Jake1 used to tell me not to worry because people are inventing new ways to make music. E.g. in his band, Flashpapr, Ben played "computer," like he sat on stage with his lap-top. I thought that was very neat at the time, now it's probably normal. Flashpapr wrote one of the best songs ever written, ever, called "White Flowers." You can listen to it right here. Feeling half-finished and a strange sense of guilt: there is no dream you'll have when you sleep tonight that includes me in your arms...
This's a segue into talking about myspace, which has also "been done" by most bloggers, including me. This time's different though. I'm playing lap-top.
Marie, why did you erase your myspace profile? I'm not sure really. I think I just wanted to see how it felt to delete my myspace profile. 'Cause I think the internet is really funny. Like, all I have to do is press one little button [twice, because obvs Tom is like "WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME??!! You can never return to the way things were!"] and like: poof! There goes a whole year of stuff that I worked hard on and actually just spent three hours re-modeling! Bye! Like, I've clicked a lot of buttons on this computer, haven't I? A LOT!!! Like, millions. But that button, which I clicked with the same physical action I've used to click a whole lot of other buttons, made My Entire Space disappear forever! I guess I did it because, for one sweet minute, I felt like disappearing too.
I'm over that now.
How does it feel? Well, I feel really bad because my friends/fans put sweet comments on there that are now gone. So, yeah, that's how it feels: guilty. That's okay though 'cause I got a Beethoven Bust to keep me warm.
Tara: where does "automatic win" come from?
The parts of my existence I put great thought into are random; e.g., a Sunday Top Ten, what to pack when I leave home for a day, what magazine to read at the gym, how to phrase things in emails, what to have for dinner, a quote for a birthday card, what library books to check out. Perhaps it's that these small things take up so much mental energy, I've got none left over for many randomized big things.
But people, I think about people: I hold on tight though I often attempt to pretend like I don't, like I'm not holding at all: and even those few attachments often feel cumbersome, unwieldy, possibly dangerous. It is, in fact, dangerous. It's the scariest thing of all time. I take their advice, too. I lean on them, metaphorically and literally. Though literally often it's more of a lap-lean than a shoulder-lean.
-Herman Hesse, Demian
So then there's all the things I just decide lickity-split, saying, Fuck it: Pros/cons/whatevers. Boarding school: my Mom and I were fighting, and I yelled, hypothetically but with feeling; WHATEVER I'M GOING TO BOARDING SCHOOL. So then I got on the computer, waited til 1997 for the page to load, and applied, and got in, and left. I learn every room long enough to make it to the door, then I hear it click shut behind me.
Even college. Because I wasn't accepted to my top choice, I was like, well, I miss Ryan, and if I go to Sarah Lawrence, he and I can hang out a lot, which'd be fun. So okay, I'll go there.
Then, November '99, at Ernie's in Soho, SLC Parents Weekend, my Mom was feeding me and Jake and my brother Lewis and I was freaking out inside about everything; my whole body smelled like chlorine 'cause I'd spent the morning swimming laps and wondering why my heart wouldn't ever stop beating.
Why did I decide what I did that day? Because my Mom said, Marie maybe you should go to school part time. Maybe that will help you relax and then within a few hours I'd decided to drop out of college altogether, a thought which'd only entered my mind that day as a natural extension of the part-time idea. Like, why do part time when I could do NO TIME?
Back then, my rooommate Rachel would say amazing things when my alarm went off at Four A.M., always loud and piercing like a fire alarm, like the end of the world. [I mean: her voice, my alarm, both.] Rachel would shout: There are elephants pounding in my head! Could you possibly be any louder? Do you have to clomp around like that? So I quit the crew team before the first regatta. Because of the morning practices, because of Rachel, because my body was beginning to feel separate from itself, an abandoned ship marked by an enthusiastic if waning flag.
But then! Rachel’s alarm--Rachel preferred the radio---began at 6 (I’m going swimming at 6, Rachel said) and continued for hours, every 9 minutes, another snooze, another painful pop song. Sometimes the alarm didn’t wake her up, and I'd yell: Rachel! To which Rachel responded, on a good day, with something like I know! or on a worse day, I’m fucking going swimming! or on a really bad day: It’s not as bad as your fucking alarm and you clomping like a horse, like an elephant, like a goddamn tortoise, I’ve never seen a skinny girl make so much fucking noise!
One morning, our fight escalated til we were tearing through the house like tigers, leaping across banisters, between other people’s rooms, yelling, throwing around animal metaphors, any swear word that fit neatly between two other words. It ended at the bottom of the stairwell, I looked at her eyes: they flashed with hate. Then, as if on cue, we both started crying.
why we treasure our secrets.
We're in love with our sadness sometimes.
-Chris Pureka, "Cruel and Clumsy"
Rachel had bleached hair and big eyes and wrote dirty brilliant poems. I told my friends on the phone: Eyes that get big, like a frog’s, when she is mad. She can be quite beautiful, I told them, and also quite frightening.
So I packed up a backpack and stayed in my friends’ dormitory for a week. A trial separation. I called myself a “hobo.” It was a joke. I slept with Amber, cuddled up next to her: she slept in tights and dresses and had dinner at 4 A.M. Sometimes we'd go to "The Grill" and wait for the cookies to come out of the oven, then lick them off our fingers while they were still hot and moist and perfect. I'd fall asleep before Amber, but sometimes we fell asleep together. She kept a list of all the boys she'd kissed on her nightstand.
Rachel and I both started smoking but didn't tell each other. We shared an ashtray.
In Amber's dorm, there was no yelling, only smoking and parties. At the end of my week as a hobo, my mother visited and I relished the sanctuary of a hotel. I slept on a cot and it felt like paradise. I felt ready to return to my room, prepared for more yelling, for more half-asleep fights, to pillows thrust across rooms, to unbearable alarm clocks.
Two weeks later, I told my Don I was to dropping out of college and moving to New York City, to take time off before I lost my mind. Because I had friends in the city, because I was on the Slim-Fast diet, literally, but also underweight, because what I did eat I quickly got rid of, because I knew there was no reason for this besides that I wasn't happy and needed to leave.
I wanted to be in the city, anyhow. That's where I'd wanted to go to school.
"I just can't take this like, little fake world on a hill," I told my Don.
"That's called 'going to a Liberal Arts College," He told me.
"Well, I guess I don't want to do that then," I told him.
He told me I was the best student, the most promising writer, he'd had in years, that it'd be a huge mistake to leave. Yes: he extracted a can of gasoline from his pocket, he threw it recklessly around my fire and then turned his head when it started burning I hate white rabbits I hate white rabbits.
And Behold! Ryan! After two weeks of ignoring me completely because I'd disobeyed him by attending a play he was in [he thought it was bad, and my opinion mattered too much to risk things], Ryan told me: Marie, I'm coming with you. I'm moving to the city with you. And we did. We got a bunk bed. Sarah slept in the other room.
The name of Flashpapr's album: Do What You Must Do.
Rachel decided to move back home to Philadelphia to dance, because she didn’t like the dancing at Sarah Lawrence. Because she felt fat. Because her family, she reminded me, is in Philly.
We left behind an empty room, poster putty like melted fossils of a half-started life. We left with our reasons for leaving.
So just like that: lickity split, decided to go home, even though I used to tell people I'd rather go to an all women's school in the middle of the desert than go back to Ann Arbor. But you never know, you know? You never know what you must do 'til you're doing it, sometimes.
The one you've been hearing for decades
Endlessly ghosts laughing at histories repeating
Them in you
-Flashpapr, 'the air in my stomach'
Cause I never explain who's who:
1: Jake. Violin-player. Met in Ann Arbor, MI at Commie High. Colleged at Columbia in NYC, and, a little bit after that, moved to CA w/his girlfriend for music school. One of the best people I've ever known, hands-down totes.
2: Sarah. Harp-player. Met in Boarding School (Interlochen). She wanted to live in NYC real bad too, so I convinced her to drop out of Tufts and move there with me, so she did.