[I'm hopeful that this random mishmash of words came all in a row for a reason and so as I try to make it into something that makes sense and has a point, the version number will increase. Larger numerical changes reflect larger changes in content and structure. This here be Autoportrait 1.6. - shifting notes around -- Feedback is welcome & appreciated -- there's parts I wanted to cut that I didn't 'cause you said you'd liked them, so it's good. You can tell me anything, clearly I will tell you anything I mean look at this carnival.]
It begins last year. It's April. We're in Malibu and the wind is as perfect as wind has ever been. She's looking at the beach because she recognizes a celebrity and her dog down there and you're huddled in her hoodie, your whole body squeezed up inside it 'cause you're always cold and colder now smack between the pool beside us and the ocean below. We put rocks atop our construction paper and our crayons throw caution to the wind.
I come back to this beginning [Malibu, April] because this is the scene that opens the novel [fictionalized, of course, with everyone playing someone else, including me] I assume I'll eventually finish, otherwise this is kinda anti-climactic. In this novel's opening scene we're in Malibu and I get an email from my other half -- I've lost him, that much is true -- and it turns out he's in LA but doesn't know I am to. When I tell her and her, she says, Clearly we are going to stalk him right now. My friends love me like that, drive faster for me. It's a novel. This didn't happen.
Malibu in April was a place where everything felt perfect except me. And you and you and you and you and you. It was like when crying and laughing at the same time, which's something all people should be able to do, in fact I require my loves to be capable of doing the following things simultaneously: cry & laugh, fuck & laugh, yell & laugh, hurt & laugh.
Oh my G-d. I've just realized it. The air, and the sky, and how at night the stone floor would get so cold, and how I slept so easily next to her because I trusted the silence so bad. I was torn up from all sides, like a fistful of frayed rope. Hoods-up, phones out but easily forgotten, dream on, shades shading.
The three of us in the sunshine; three jellyfish. It was a reunion with her, and I needed it. But almost nobody knows how I self-destructed in New York during those warm dumb almost-spring days before Malibu and the week after.
In Malibu we spoke in little bright charges of electricity and then retreated like lights going off.
I've just realized I remember Malibu because of where it sits smack perfect between those weeks where my heart crashed. I don't mean broke. I mean everything breaks my heart and my heart still works though, I mean that my heart crashed. I was alone at the time.
Something changed that week inside me. I mean it changed before I went. In a way I knew what I had to do but I decided instead not to do it because I was scared that if I did what I had to do that I would end up alone and heartcrashed. I mean that writing this I have to pretend like you'll never read it. You, and you, and you and you and you and you and you it was not just you, or even just you, vosotros, you, you ah'tem, ah'ten.
It's just that I don't know that much about the right time except that I'm determined to prove to you that right can come out of wrong, that right doesn't need to be new. Like I don't trust my own decision to always prefer the blank slate. Like I don't know what I want so I just feel like right now I am trying to remove myself from everyone who could be impacted by that decision.
I'm in her basement right now as I write this. We were talking about the way we were, back then. Before I knew the jellyfishes I know now.
The red light bulb in my Brooklyn room which was fine, because benders look good in red -- all dressed up and no place to go. I don't think I could do shit like that anymore, I said, I mean. Now you can't pretend like you don't get what you deserve when you get it.
I don't want to do anything we won't remember, I'd said then.
But it's fun, she'd said.
I don't know that girl back then. I was all desire, no want. I was patient and fast. I dug that Radiohead last night, she said the next morning a chunk of years ago. I love the things there isn't time to say at the time. That was years ago.
I was someone else. If you knew me then, I wouldn't want to talk about you. I wouldn't want to ruin what's left; or spoil what we did. It was so sweet. It was terrible, I loved every minute.
I was born with three wishes, but I didn't know any words. My head like a cannonball and flames to the brain. I wasted my first wish on words. My second: no one can leave before I'm ready. Third wish = Infinity.
In the past day, the same solicitor has called me twenty times. Finally I answered and she said I was a past customer but she won't even tell me what I bought. She wants to give me gas cards, I don't have a car, she says it's their way of thanking me for being a preferred customer, I say what did I buy, she says it's privileged, like you, our privileged customer, I say I don't even have a car, she says my friends and family want me to buy gas for them.
That man yelling in the stock-trading room or whatever, that man confuses me. I mean I'd like to see you take that to Camden and interview someone and see if anyone is audacious enough to declare want so loudly, and now, and I promise you that they wouldn't, because you know what they never thought anything would be that easy.
It's funny. Money money money. I don't know why I continue to refuse to take it seriously. I'm stunned at very basic symbolic level that it exists with such subjective power, and so consistently. I am interested in going back to a trade system.
I made an appointment with my local H & R Block Professional today so I can get my shit together for real this time but I don't know how to explain what I've done. I mean 2008. 07. 06. 05. I mean really all the way back. I just don't know what to tell you about what I've done, but I'm hoping for some stimulus.
I don't know what to say for this world right now, it's like we're all at a manic low secretly grasping for shooting stars and scared knowing they aren't there, and what exactly are we supposed to reach for if not stars.
Ultimately most education is traditional, life has its likelihoods, this is the national crisis. I don't love or hate it. I don't even know if I like my life. I've never been so detached from my own opinions. Not my feelings -- I'm down with my feelings. I'm confused about my opinions.
And we're pretty sure the sky's falling, we're just trying to figure out exactly how many hours we personally will be required to put in trying to hoist it back up. Pretty much since the year I graduated from an institution that had the balls to tell me I was preparing myself for a world where art matters I've been painfully aware of how little it ultimately does. I mean tangibly. First and foremost people need to eat and need to be safe I want art to be the safe part.
Now she's picking glass out of her foot with tweezers.
I missed the part when she stepped in the glass.
Her first wish.
Is that what you want.
You want me to buy you gasoline.
I mean everyone. I mean everyone who shared my blood or fucked it, a boring biological bond I've always disregarded in favor of the bonds I choose, which are many, and changing, and when she wrote me and said It's stagnant, and you don't like that, I said you're right even though I'd never really thought that before. I never thought I craved change because I didn't like staying still. I always assumed I craved change because where I am never feels right. By "assumed" I mean "I've always known."
They all read it and that surprised me. Things have been different since that time around Malibu when my heart crashed. But did I tell you about how the air in Malibu was so perfect, how everything was so perfect and airy, how slippery it is on top of a rainbow and skating.
She just came down with a sandwich and asked her if she wants a the middle or the end of the sandwich
"I like pretzel ends, I like hot dog ends, Twizzler ends. The ends of things."
I'm telling you the air was perfect. I mean it when I tell you that I think it was in the air. In Malibu, remember? Where we were when this story began, and a place we will never be again. Those were the last moments of that dream. So there it is. Behind me. I had mentioned, after all, the ocean.
Now there are so many yous, there are so many shes, it's like the universal you. The universal she.
What scares me is not what is said publicly, but what is said in response to what I said publicly when we're alone. It doesn't seem fair sometimes.
I think writers feel like they'll have a chance later to re-write it, so they're more comfortable with shit not making sense at the time.
When I re-write you, I will make the breeze breezier. I will make your eyes bluer even if they weren't blue in the first place. I pick blue because it's the color of sky. You will laugh at me when I say this. I kinda feel like one of you laughed at me from above me and the other laughed at me from below which means obvs I am in the middle laughing at myself and I can't hear.
Which is to say none of the pronouns I so carelessly employ necessarily apply to anyone specific, I mean that.
I wish we had a proper vosotros.
I feel like ... I have some questions for you, readers-you, internet-you. Some other stuff. More general stuff. Bigger stuff. About what you want. Some things to launch.
The world stuff.
A break from mememe.
I'm sort of on my own right now, in a weird way. Not for reasons I can explain. But I am, in my head. Oh, no one ever makes sense.
I think of Neal Cassady,
I even think of Old Neal Cassady the father we never found,
I think of Neal Cassady, I think of Neal Cassady.
The ends of things.
Then she left, and I wasn't ready.