For those of you who are inexplicably not on Myspace, this is my latest About Me:
Last New Year’s I was in Bulgaria, in bed by 10, force-spooning Matilda, both of us as close as possible to the space heater without risking accidental immolation, both of us drifting, waking, drifting to fireworks shaking intermittent street and sky corners.
It was me and Mati versus Bulgaria.
I missed Ryan.
Missed is such a little word.
America was my foreign country.
This New Year’s I was in Amsterdam, with Ryan, two bodies compacted by a mass of millions in Dam Square’s midnight revelry. It was a one-night war, complete with fires, bombs, hookers, and the innocent deaths of women and children.
It was every drunk man versus himself.
I held onto Ryan for dear life. He held me back.
We’d survived a year. A Myspace love story turned exciting social experiment turned normal/dysfunctional relationship turned dream turned blog turned best experience of my life.
You can hate me. Ryan gave me all of 07 to find myself. I could read, write, wander and sleep all day. He loved my bitch as much as I love my bitch. He let us live in an orange, blue, green, red walled wonderland. He ate my veggie dishes and said they were “surprisingly edible.” He showed me my favorite movies I’d never seen. He let me binge shop on Amazon, filling our walls with all the words we’d get to. He took my friends out for phenomenal wine-drenched meals. He let me out of my one woman Panopticon. In 07, Ryan brought me back from Bulgaria, took me to Hawaii, Chicago, Boston, Maryland, Milwaukee, Montana, Idaho, Seattle, all roads in between. And then the place of all places: Amsterdam.
We are on our way, we are still going, we are there.
He showed me a better way of living.
Less berate self, more destroy all concept of self.
Less wallow, more woo hoo.
Less less, more more.
He was patient with me. Last year I became an Olympic-level javelin throwerist of raw emotion. The world was my Target logo. I contained myself in Bulgaria, for two and a half years building my arsenal of injustices, of things I Couldn’t Change, of terrible voices in my head, all of which spoke Bulgarian. I misinterpreted. I needed my own translator. I came back home, a weapon of mass self-destruction. I hurled everything back at the world, which was me, which was everyone, which was Ryan holding my hands and saying: shh.
I don’t do shh.
I know, that’s why I’m telling you to shh.
Today, January 22, 2008, I live in Seattle, and by live, I mean I have paused here, a parenthesis in time, a place between places.
Today, I’ve been thinking about how we are always looking back, judging ourselves using a biased scoring system that offers points for where you are now in comparison to where you’ve been, judging you now against the hypothetical you tomorrow, where you’ve perhaps reached, or surpassed, your potential.
But what is potential, and who gave it to me? Who set the bar? Who keeps raising it? Is it my own bastard left hand? Is it my parents? Friends and their tacit employment that says, I may hate my life but at least I have a fantastic benefits package! What’s fantastic?
Why does everyone think carpe diem was so last year?
I don’t know many people living up to their potential.
Did 50 cent surpass his?
I don’t know him.
Will we know when we are there? Frolicking in Fulfilled Potential Land?
Ryan says I am an amazing person waiting to happen.
Who’s in front of me?
Why she taking so long?
Ryan says we should always dance in line. Then we’re not waiting, we’re dancing.
I’ll be so caught up in my running-man-cabbage-patch combo that all lines will disappear. Lines I’ve drawn between myself and everyone else, a chalk outline against the sky. I’m alive, I’m alive, watch me as I do the hustle.
Most people I know are heading toward their potential, as though it is at the end of a one way staircase you have to climb while rolling a well-greased boulder that’s been chiseled into the shape of a rhombus. Every year, you flip yourself over to your side, put in your time, pay your dues, earn your equity, get promoted to slave sr., and then get excited when you’re named slave sr. of the month.
I just have a short attention span, sometimes I
All I really want to do with my life is write about it.
I used to pencil Writer of self-absorbed non-fiction in the form of freely associated ramblings into the career multiple choice every few years. Now I’m engraving it.
So here I am in 08, standing on the sidelines of my life–I see everything, I hear Ryan singing Janet Jackson into Sting into Sade. It’s Saturday morning in Seattle, I’m warmed up, there are fleece vest wearers playing frisbee at the park across the street, all wearing some combination of the colors earth green, grey, black and khaki. One city, so many shades of khaki. We’ve decide they’re gay, a gay Saturday morning Seattle Frisbee club. Ryan’s been standing at the bay window with his balls out to see if anyone looks and reveals themselves as gay.
This is Saturday morning.
Some days I play, sliding into home naked on a yellow-yellow slip and slide, traveling with the ball and getting away with it, leaping off the high board and busting out inanimate object poses all the way down.
and the always challenging egg carton.
I am not here to race.
Still, I run and I am every run: I am 20 listening to Dar Williams, Tori Amos, Dave Matthews Band, Tom Petty on my mixed tape learning to jog along the Charles River; I am 21 along Mission Bay, Michelle Branch in my Discman, past mast after mast lining the shore, a row of stiff necks, leaning with the wind; I am 24 running with Dr. Boyfriend, looping Hawaii Kai Drive the night before I leave our life and begin mine; I am 26, on hour three of marathon training, chasing horse carts in the early morning white of Bulgaria to Smack my, passing them with Bitch up; I am 27, chasing Mati in empty Dupnitza hills, iPod shuffling drum and bass, Outkast, Natasha Bedingfield, Britney, Nelly Furtado, N.E.R.D; I am 28, along the Schuylkill, sprinting into the sun down wonder of my new life, Ryan. Ryan, waiting for me at the art museum to hand me water, an apple. To take me home.
Every step I have taken, I have taken.
Different shoes, same legs.
I write about my life because it is what I know most and least.
Today, I am beading my memories, gently dropping my little yesterdays onto an invisible string of identity, random patterns: red I am in love, black I am down, blue I can’t, white I am new, lavender I am dream, red, red, red, lavender, black, blueblackblue, white. I’ll wear this everywhere–a friendship bracelet, a lucky charm, something beautiful to pass onto myself when I’m gone.
This year, I will write about what I love.
And I love.
I love homemade meals with friends, wine, laughter, silliness over politics, books over bestsellers, tofu over non-tofu, dancing to 80s music over sitting to 80s music, bros before hos, my bitch over your bitch, climbing over hiking, Myspace over Facebook, outdoor markets over supermarkets, cluttered used book stores over over-lit chains that charge for wireless with books on weight loss and financial planning at the front door.
I love coffeshop marathons. Soy cappuccino with cinnamon is my new soy chai.
I love new old friends, old new friends, people I have everything or nothing in common with. I love waking Ryan up in the middle of the night with my hysterical laugher, as I read Steve Martin or Woody Allen or Ryan Matsumoto. I love laughter over the universal hand gesture for I’m going to vomit.
I love believing in other people. I love believing in other people believing in me.
I love Ryan asking if I want to watch a movie at night and then falling asleep five minutes in. Or, on a good night, six minutes.
I love sake bombs.
I love when I’m mixing veggie burgers from scratch as Ryan’s ground cow lump sizzles and bleeds, and he looks over my shoulder at my wholesome goodness and says, “God, that looks disgusting.”
I love that my sister lets me use her as material for my demented humor.
I love greeting cards as short stories.
I love the art of my friends.
I love the patient, bottomless sustenance from my parents.
I love thumb-holes in long-sleeved thermal shirts.
I love I love lists.
I love having more favorites than I could ever list.
I love I am chains.
I am nobody. I am ambien. I am on both sides of the mirror. I am through the looking glass. I am third person plural. I am Saturn returning. I am mantra. I am mantra. I am palm, I am reader. I am mispronounced French word. I am mise en place. I am standing on the edge of the sky. I am tag, I am it. I am rubber, I am glue. I am countdown. I am channeling. I am cable access. I am Lifetime movie. I am remote. I am control.
I am switching the channel.
I am spin cycle.
I am a circle.
I am holding myself together.