countours, bits

The most recent "entry" in the handwritten journal that is to become my memoir and graduate thesis, as it is, unedited:

23 MARCH 2012

...I feel so intensely

   I cry at everything, at the completion of a lie or the parsing of truth; or maybe I cry because all of that feels the same and I need the dichotomies I've always believed

   I wonder "why" about all of this

   I put everything about myself and my non-existent world (space without a limit) ahead of the self that falls and gnaws through hangnails, before the blood that pools there and only seems to harden

   I make myself do many things and never ask, or explore, within (my guts?) myself, the body and ever-growing (by fractions in material and not imaginary terms) brain always coming first, winning out, testing the discipline I myself exact

   I live by discipline

   I live by another falsehood

   I shit and call it evolution; I bawl and call it my deteriorated modern condition

   I soften and yearn for hatred

   I soften and remember life before I recognized how life happened

   I operate only and always retroactively

   I wish for fulfillment but recoil when it presents itself because that means something closes off

   I recall certain measures of control and lament their toxicity

   I am toxic

   I remain, aware of the use of poison and the need for violence, and then I really never cry

   I cling to times when I'm crying and know, as much as I can even know anything, that it's for my own loss and here I am allowed the vanity that opposes my life

   I fantasize about drawing-and-quartering

   I dream of all-over nerve damage

   I can't sleep because I forget how

   I move constantly to ward off hunger and poor circulation and hate every way that my body figures, not just in mirrors but in rooms without chairs or windows

   I always, as a rule, assume the worst

   I feel so intensely that I've died X times and can't wait to let it happen again.


artichoke heart

For about two hours this afternoon Spex and I cleaned. My parents and sister arrive tomorrow in the early afternoon, mother most definitely with any one of a number of new handbags in tow; and if their visit wasn't reason enough to perform the almost bi-monthly scrubadub our cats, in unknowing, apathetic feline fashion, have done much work in depositing swatches of hair and dust and litter in, around, and on top of everything. I take to the broom at least twice a day, as the kitchen floor is too easily littered upon. Futility aside we are both glad to have it done and our sheets turned and new.

Real time: almost the moment I began this post Nick sent a text from the F/G station in our neighborhood. He had only left about ten minutes previous and sent word that an unknown committed suicide by throwing h/erself in front of one of the departing trains. "I feel weird," he said. You hear of people doing this, of standing with their toes flush with the edge of the platform, forgetting everyone else that's with them there in the underground, and thinking things I could try and list but won't for fear of crying. Heads down, potentially eyes closed. The oncoming train sends a prefacing wind that rustles their hair or their dangling tie or their knee-length skirt and they wince, fastening their eyelids shut, perhaps bent more severely over the tracks in anticipation of the lit, animated steel. And they even need to wait for it to stop - they might question if it's eaten to fullness - and to wait even more for the electric noise of its starting-up, the trill of its forward lurch. And then, I imagine, their backs straighten and eyes look out once more in the desperation of finality that must accompany the start and quick end of the last look they'll ever take, and it's of a rat burrowing in a shit-encrusted bag of miniature muffins. It's of one person or another on the opposite side of the station who's been watching them the whole time. The two or three make eye contact and as their observers put a name to the melancholy between this group of strangers, they jump.


one down, _____ to go

As of 6:30 PM Thursday NYU's spring break officially began for me, even though I tutored yesterday morning and visited campus briefly for a quick drop-off/pick-up. The current weather bodes well for temperatures to be ever on the up-and-up, at least until they reach sixty-five, seventy, and that means the bike(s) can ride again. I might even begin one of my personal summer projects early: learning to skateboard. No helmet, no kneepads. What sneaks will I wear? Most likely the muddy, formerly white, chucks. It will also be a relief to run simply in a teeshirt and shorts, although I cannot find any of my multiple bandanas (short hair troubles) and have been wanting for a new pair of running shoes for at least a year. My tax return and recent happinesses seem to suggest that I should just bite the bullet and buy. I am, after all, finally getting my first passport today, a formidable expense; and just the other day I bought myself a Fjallraven back-sack after having accepted the imminent fraying of my 1960s Hungarian messenger bag.

NY, 1960s, shot by Bill Eldridge

Cali, 1970s

Honey-freckled skin! Another goal of this short holiday is to read some books "for fun" - I had originally set the number at two, but have already finished Aleksandar Hemon's Love and Obstacles (in one day) and, just this morning, began to read The Crack-up, a collection of essays by/about F. Scott Fitzy. It feels wonderful to move, to commit, to be productive, to feel just fine with how I conduct my days. All of this on top of my having been working on writing and transcribing more of my memoir, applying for summer internships and jobs, watching good films (although Videodrome was so fucked, no surprise there, Cronie-berg), contemplating the future, and you all know how that goes. It's just that things are moving ever forward and I am talking with new people and learning so much about humility and tempering my moods. All good. Great things.


a Proclamation for Women's Day

The love of the body of man or woman balks account, the body itself balks account,
That of the male is perfect, and that of the female is perfect.

(I, too, sing the body electric - thank you, W.)


ici ici ici!

---I have been putting off writing in your book because doing so reminds me of the selfish reasons I wish you would stay.

---I love your fire, your light, your life, your will to fight, your gusto! More than anything, I love how free I feel when I am with you. Use others as your mirror when your eyes fail.

---You have made my experience here better than I expected and could have imagined. I had such a difficult time on my first day, but even listening to you talk and play games with you at the dinner table that night made me feel somewhat okay. You have such a powerful voice and I think you've used it extremely well. I hope you continue to use it once you leave, but I have no doubt that you will be able to. I hope for myself that someday I can use my voice like you have used yours.

---So many times since I've been here you've spoken the words in my heart that I've never been able to verbalize.

---I know you fight so much with the idea of perfection or failure, black or white, but to me, Jackie, you bring so much color and life into everything you do. You've seen how much you've touched people here, so obviously it doesn't matter if you're perfect: you're at an eating disorder clinic.

---I've never seen anyone want recovery as much as you do. You reject negativity so strongly and that is just one reason I know you will find happiness, health and whatever you set your mind to. I love you.

---You have been a strong and positive leader and role model in the community. I am so glad you "tell it like it is" - we all need a little of that to shake us out of our complacency.

---Whether you express yourself through art, writing, or music, your soul is so greatly appreciated by all those around you. I'm amazed by you Jackie and hope that we stay in touch forever.

---I remember my first day at Renfrew and how, during lunch, I sat at a table with you and thought you were a counselor (which I believe I've already told you). I think this is because you exude such confidence and poise - characteristics I honestly didn't believe people in an eating disorder treatment center would have. I resisted coming into treatment for so long in large part because I really believed that these places were full of weak and voiceless people who didn't have the strength to make a stand in any area of their lives except in regards to their disorders. I definitely saw some of that voicelessness(?) in myself and probably didn't want to see it in others. In short, I didn't expect to find people like you here - someone who entered treatment because she had the desire and strength to confront a difficult situation. You have become the voice of the community.

---Thank you so much for all your contributions to your peers. Your words and wisdom were truly inspirational to all of us; including staff. Listen to yourself.

I do not represent all of us - I only fully represent myself - but my voice holds all of theirs, yours. To write them is to write myself, their bodies up against mine, their silence fracturing mine. In the two years since I left them their sounding has gone all into one and how am I to make anything out without this contact book? So many things I forgot. It goes that you forget, and then you write, and then you remember. They'll read me and remember.


until tomorrow:

at which point I will have a lengthy post about 
a certain anniversary