Posts Tagged ‘ Distraction and Detriment’

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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Written Omissions…

Posted on November 12, 2009

SHHHudder. Just listen

SHHHudder. Just listen

He was the second one. He emerged in the space between the first and the third.

She promised to love him forever, for now.

He loved her well enough. (It was never enough for her.)

In the beginning: “You are red. Always running from here to there and there to here. Where are you trying to get to?”

She is unsure. So, she stops for a spell.

Red is not well suited to her, this much is sure. She ponders her options…

Meanwhile: (She likes his colour) “May I have some of yours, please? We can share it…”

He thinks she has a pirate’s smile. He is well familiar with grifters of her sort.

“Still, there can be little harm. So long as she keeps her hands where my eyes can see…”

Reasonablizations. Rationalizations.

Together they are green.

It is suitable.

Time passes.

(It always does.)

Verdant days grow mold. Trash is strewn atop the moss.

Transcendence cedes to the murky mire.

Eventually: “You are grey. This place is killing you.”

She leaves then. It is her way.

He follows her. (He fears that she will lose her way)

After all, he does love her well enough.

The pavement is cracked. She prefers it so.

The monochromatic starkness suits her.

It turns her orange. She thrives in the hellfire.

She sidles through the alley. It is fun for her.

He follows, always 10 paces behind. It is not fun for him.

But it is his burden. She is his burden.

“That tiny, treacherous, spindly girl,” he thinks, “how she does love to hide.”

He tells himself it’s a game. (Plot. Coup.)

He lifts the lid of a garbage can. Still searching.


He hears her tinkling laughter then. It emanates from a foreign space.

It floats through the air, oxidizing at an alarming rate.

Daggers made from the remains of her rusty mirth, draw and quarter him. (Destroy.)

Broken now, he fits easily within the confines of the receptacle.

He piles bits of rubbish atop his own corpse. He is hiding. (Game. Over.)

Anyway, it doesn’t matter what colour you are in the dark.

Reasonablizations. Rationalizations.

Time passes.

(It always does)

“The air is too thin down here,” she thinks “there is not enough breath to be had.”

She negotiates with the gatekeeper. She agrees to die a little.

What had been “not enough,” is now.

(It is hard being her keeper) She is her own burden now.

It is not fun for her.

Time passes.

(It always does)

Diverge. Converge. Submerge.

Eternal. Return.

And then: “You are a shadow”

And then: “I always was.”

And then: “Ever allusive”

And then: “Ever illusive”

And then: “You look just like me.”

And then: “I always have.”


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On the Existence of Ignorance…

Posted on December 3, 2008

True ignorance is not always bliss...

True ignorance is not always bliss...

In early 2005, I fell in love with The Bravery. It was a phase. Indie rock bands were my rebellious answer to a recent “hard” hip hop/rap stage. Their song “An Honest Mistake” was always my favorite, but like many “phasial” placeholders, my need to place it on repeat and walk the streets of New York with it’s beats flowing through my head faded and it is now officially filed in the “Aw, remember THAT?!” spot in my brain.

Until today. I was just trying to make eggs. But I had foolishly started that process before making coffee, which is much like putting your socks on over your shoes.

So, I’m now cleaning up the egg from the counter and internally whining about the injustice of it all, when “An Honest Mistake” infiltrates the Sirius. Perhaps it is because I recently caught up on House (who’s mantra is “Everybody Lies”), perhaps it’s due to a recent conversation regarding the legitimacy of ignorance as an reason or excuse, but whatever the cause, this song is hitting me again.

Sam Endicott begs us “not to look at me that way.” He says it was “An honest mistake.” He seems to believe the words he says.

Interesting, indeed. I have, in fact, claimed ignorance on numerous occasions. To justify. To beg forgiveness. To shroud possible discovery. But I have never once believed my own claim. Of the numerous dissolute decisions I’ve made, I can honestly say that not ONCE were these transgressions committed in actual ignorance. I always knew what I was doing. I just didn’t care.

Maybe I should blame my tendency towards obsessive thinking, but for me, I cannot fathom making an HONEST mistake. Motivation is always a major clue. Why am I doing this? How will Others be affected? Do I still need to check this path out, regardless?

There. Done. Ask yourself those questions and the grey area of “honest ignorance” is zapped from existence. Trust me, I love a good grey area, so for ME to advocate zapping it is huge, I just think we need to live in our treachery a bit more. It’s human nature. Always has been.

Queen Gertrude couldn’t wash it from her hands. We may not be able to wash it from our souls. But why should we?

I can “honestly” see the busy Starbucks barista shortchanging a customer by a dollar with no cognitive thought attached. I cannot see legitimately NOT knowing that holding a million dollars of your firm’s money in your personal account for “safe keeping” is not Kosher.

In summation, dear friends, let’s embrace our evil genius and purge the need to claim that we “didn’t know.”

Let’s take pride in being creative enough to do things that err on the side of “wrong.” I guarantee that it means that we are having more fun. Or are at least more stimulated than our truly ignorant human counterparts.

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What’s With All the STUFF, Hilo Hattie?

Posted on October 13, 2008

Distraction is key.

When I couldn’t buy one more flip flop or bikini in preparation for our Hawaii trip, we decided to move. When we decided to move, the new place necessitated paint. And preparation. And faux antiquities. And when even I couldn’t stomach spending one more dollar on a mosaic mirror or clay red dishes, we left for the afore mentioned Hawaii trip. And we wore our flip-flops and bikinis and returned to the mainland to settle into our, um…stuff.

But as I said, distraction is key and my seemingly endless supply is running short.

The stuff isn’t helping anymore and I’ve noticed that which I could ignore before, is now splashing against my consciousness as the waves do the rocks. Constant. Unrelenting. Eroding all that I’d come to pretend I valued.

Spouse of the Water believes that the rebel soul can only be contained for so long before it rebels against its container. I believe he may be correct and I’m strangely grateful. My soul had been distracted by stuff. Tres Hilo Hattie.

Hawaiian performer, Clarissa Haili became known as Hilo Hattie after popularizing the song “When Hilo Hattie Does the Hula Hop”. She enjoyed fame and it’s trappings but apparently never lost her Aloha Spirit. Never forgot who she was and where she came from. She even lent her name to a “souvenir” shop of sorts, which boasts the largest selection of Aloha Shirts and Made In Hawaii fashion, gifts, shotgalsses and muumuu’s anywhere. Oddly, the only “thing” we bought from a Hilo Hattie store was directions. Funny how I didn’t crave stuff or distraction in Hawaii.

I wonder if Ms. Hattie would be happy with the way her store has been developed and her memory altered. After all, she died in 1979. And a lot can happen in 29 years. I should know.

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