Archive for April, 2010

She Wears Gowns Belonging to Ghosts

Posted on April 25, 2010

Who Art Thou?

Who Art Thou?

It is nearly 4a.m. in Osaka.

The perfumes of cigarette smoke and pungent espresso intermingle and form callous clouds of dense grey air which shadow and shroud her face. Strangers chatter idly in indiscernible languages. An alabaster bird swoops down from the sky, skimming the crown of her head. This is now an emergency, she decides as she snuffs out her cigarette.

She sits for a spell before requesting water from the waiter. She waits. The waiter returns and places a small cup of water before her. In addition to water the cup contains a dead fruit fly and a crust of bread. She stares at it hard.

The waiter reappears unprompted and removes the menagerie, replacing it with a vase of fresh water and an empty cup. She smiles at him wanly, an overture which he does not see because he has already walked away.

She pours herself some water.

It is 3p.m. in New York.

Her cigarette continues to burn in the ashtray and she stares transfixed as the smoke twirls and dances before her and then trails stealthily out of the café and into the night. She drips a bit of her beverage on top of its remains; extinguishing it.

There has been an earthquake in Haiti so large that the Richter scale cannot measure it. There are no resources. Millions are feared dead. Many buried alive (!).

She purposefully catches her breath in her throat in attempt to simulate the feeling of being buried alive.

Of asphyxiating while still fully cognizant.

This is nothing like that, she is sure, but the idea intrigues and arouses her senses…

Women and children sob in the streets designating themselves appropriate spectacles for ravenous news cameras looking to spread their dis-ease. Their most private sorrow will be broadcast across the globe in 30-second clips brought to the faceless masses by Botox-ed anchor-people who will shake their heads in mock-empathy before cutting to a commercial for McDonalds or Paxil.

This is now an emergency, she thinks again.

She is innocent by reason of necessity. Innocent by reason of artistry. Innocent by reason of vagrancy.

She lights another cigarette. Images of a house-fire in the suburbs replace the tormented Hatians on the television.

She allows her eyes to gently close and imagines the heat of the flames lapping at her heels. They engulf her feet. She rolls a stray match between her thumb and forefinger and catches a faint whisp of sulfur. She wonders how fast she’d need to roll it before she burst into flame. She wonders if she might will herself into amalgamation with the hellfire. What would be left after this cataclysmic conflagration of sin and sinner and its brazen incineration of evil? Nothing.

They’d not even be able to separate her ribs from spleen in that sort of mess.

They might never know that she’d been here at all.

Dreamy music made by psychotic men taunts the air around her and she remains unaffected. She sips her cigarette. As she exhales, she follows her smoke and wanders out into the night. She nods at the waiter who is smoking in the alley while chasing the alabaster bird with a fork.

Bird deserves to forked, she thinks.

She is assuming this is the same bird which nearly decapitated her earlier.

It is just after 9pm in Paris and she feels the tug of it.

She is suddenly aware that she is urgently burning, urgently yearning, and feverishly seeking the darkness.

She is looking for trouble, excitement, deviation.

The emergency is now forgotten.

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Forward. March.

Posted on April 21, 2010

TRUTH

TRUTH

Move:

v. moved, mov·ing, moves

v.intr.

1. To change in position from one point to another

2. To progress in sequence; go forward

3. To progress toward a particular state or condition

Moving in. Moving up. Moving over. To remain in motion.

To perpetuate movement.

Life is nothing if not a series of movements. We each travel a path.

Some feel this path is predetermined, and where it leads, they will follow.

They do not ask any questions, least of all, “Why?”

Some feel the path is being created on the fly. We are both the strategists plotting the route and the captain of the vessel traveling it. There is only us and the wind and the moment.

Plans are made and changed according to unanticipated roadblocks or sea squalls or fanciful whim, but are never definitive.

The only constant, the only promise, is movement.

And now here we are (where “here” is; still undetermined,) looking at this nonsensical sequence of events that comprise our existence and wondering how it all happened.

“Who is in charge of this chaos?”

“I want to speak to your supervisor!”

“I want answers!!!”

(“Please hold…”)

And now the Earth is shaking and exploding and vomiting the thousands of years of toxicity we have foisted upon it…

It is trying to purge the problem (we are the problem,) in order to create a solution.

To begin again. To move forward. With or without us.

But the masses are suddenly angry and frightened and engaged in a fight to the death. They arbitrarily hurl money and prayer and blame and platitudes at that which they do not understand, in order to regain control and create a sense of security surrounding the epic calamity that is life. They prefer a falsified sense of comprehension to an unverifiable truth.

They ignore the obvious to propagate their ignorance. It’s simpler.

The Girl is not implying that she is not guilty of this (she is) or that she is not fighting alongside her fellow men, but she does see a few key strategic differences with regard to the battle plan itself, which prevent her from offering alliance…

Where an overarching fear of melting into oblivion dictates that the masses “Keep Calm, and Carry On,” as they methodically create PowerPoint presentations and graphs and charts and statistics, The Girl observes from the sidelines.

“That doesn’t look fun,” she thinks.

And then she turns around. She faces away from them. She stares at nothing. She shuts her eyes and opens them quickly, repeating this pattern until she tires of it. She clicks her heels three times, but finds it trite, and so she clicks some more. She spins in her chair. She points her toes. She wonders what all of the hubbub is about. Life is pretty simple from where she sits.

She thinks about inviting the masses to join her. She wants them to peer through her lens, if only for short while. But then she ponders the noise and the inevitable protest and the overcrowding. She loathes overcrowding. She considers what might happen when she wants them to leave so that she can once again be alone in her spin-ny chair…she worries about the ones who won’t want to leave. The stragglers. There are always stragglers. She really loathes stragglers.

She knows she is selfish in certain regards, and now she embraces it and leaves them to their own devices.

The Girl considers her tactical defenses and is momentarily disquieted. She has few defenses, she realizes.  And then her anxiety is pacified. After all, “The best defense is a good offense.”

She says this aloud…as a mantra, of sorts. She considers herself acutely offensive.

She subtly smiles. She spins in her chair.

The Earth bubbles around The Girl, but she is unafraid. She is curious. Eager for Part Two.

“Sequels don’t always suck,” she reasons.

Still she wonders…

(She blames this wonderment on her innate humanity, which not for lack of trying, she has been unable to banish completely)

Still, she wonders… why The Earth must always be so boisterous in its upheavals and coup’s.

“Why must so many enemies be made in the name of progress?”

Maybe it is The Earth that needs a peek through her lens. A little perspective shift…

While she empathizes wholly with The Earth’s desire for advancement beyond its current situation and the innate need to discard that which troubles it, The Girl questions the validity of complete decimation as the ultimate solution.

She thinks on her own experience. She does this often.

She spins in her chair and then leans back far (so far, in fact, that she experiences a brief sizzle of excitement during a fleeting moment when the chair teeters perilously on its hind wheels and she fears that the thing might tip over completely and spill her out unto the floor with a loud Thud!)

But then the moment passes and she returns to vertical, considering the process of recovering or righting that which we perceive to be wrong in our lives.

She wonders whether we are actually evolving during these times, and learning lessons to take with us into future experiences or if we just crushing some piece of ourselves?

Is moving on always moving forward? Or is the whole process just a more acceptable method of building walls and layering fresh scar tissue upon our souls in the name of “preservation”?

When we dogmatically try to forget someone or something, we will.

Eventually, anyway.

But forgetting is dicey because then it’s all just gone…

Though we have cleansed our wounds and may no longer be susceptible to infection by a given assailant, is it not reasonable to assume that we’ve also succeeded in killing a great many good bacteria in the process?

“Penicillin,” she mutters.

One would be hard-pressed to find a more ardent advocate of passionate devastation than The Girl. Of this fact, she is well aware. And while she openly admits that at first blush the whole thing sounds very self-destructive and maddeningly cyclical; she believes that it also keeps her aflame.

Unlike the fighting masses and the belligerent Earth, The Girl is acutely conscious that without both awareness of and active participation in “The Spiral,” in some regards, one is avoiding life altogether.

“Balance,” she whispers, as places her hands on the uneven floorboards and kicks her legs mightily, resulting in a full inversion of her body. Her heels easily find the wall, which is behind her now, and she relaxes into the handstand as the blood rushes to her head. Her arms begin to shake at one point, but it is here that she remains. Because she knows that when she does right herself again, all will not be forgotten. She will be as she was, perhaps a bit flush and dizzy, possessing a slightly revised perspective on the events that led her to this space; but herself nonetheless.

And this pleases her. It is her way.

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