Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The good thing about the Cantab is it makes me want to write.

The bad thing about the Cantab is when people like Brian Ellis read, I think how mediocre I am, and how I can never even hope to approach these people, and who do I think I am and what am I doing with my life, and if I'm just an okay writer what's the point of my breathing the air that could go to a rabbit who's at least reproducing.

I think the time is coming when I need to be unemployed for a while. I can feel it scraping the door like the black wish you should never have made.
Yesterday is better. I get out of work early and buy a box of red strawberries and eat them all. Random fact: I am physically unable to stop eating fresh strawberries if they are in front of me.

I talk to my brother and Val. John thinks my new life plan of never having another crush, of never falling in love with anyone again and just fucking attractive people and not calling them might sound fun at first, but will probably be ultimately unsatisfying. I guess he knows a lot about physics and the laws of motion and time and stuff, but I've worked hard for my right as a bitter single person to proclaim, "That's easy for you to say with your wife and your house with a fence around the yard for the doggies."

In my headphones, Journey sings "Don't stop believin'," but my iPod seems to have entered a state of suspended animation. My computer is being a special child, and last night the veins standing out on my neck in my hot, silent apartment as I all want to do is write and the bitch is taking an hour and a half to open a goddamn document. When all is nearly lost Lisa Roth calls and collects me to take me to the bar. Girl's night (read: dyke night) at this swank place downtown where a Jack is eight bucks plus tip and they don't play Shakira loud enough for us to properly shake our asses. The gayity [sic] reminds me of Bloomington, and I remember how much I enjoy dancing around anyone but straight men.

The days keep turning into night. I'm surprised by how many new poems I have. I still have this novel I don't know what to do with, but after the night the sun keeps rising.

My friend Caleb took this out the window of a plane. All I'm saying is sometimes things are outstandingly beautiful.



Peace.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Picture-rific!

I and Hillary enjoyed pizza once, before all of this madness. Before I even saw Boston and before I ever had a poem published and before Samson and I parted and before I met Isis boy and forgot how to fall asleep at night.
















Let us all dance and sing. Let us look at happy things, such as pictures.

Wasn't there just other madness, though? I don't think I ever knew how to sleep properly.

These days it's like manic-d. One day every bush burns, screaming beauty at me, the next all I see is endings and goodbyes and the terrible, inevitable cold of forgetfulness.

Once not too long ago I swam with dolphins in the Pacific, and I smiled like this:
















I was looking at pictures today. I stopped taking pictures for a long time in the spring when everything went nuts. I started again when I went to LA. Check it out.

Cape Cod, March 2007:
















Santa Monica, August 2007:



















In those five months, my face looks noticeably different. Older, I guess? I think it all caught up with me in my cheeks and my eyes. I also can't help but think I look better. Maybe I'm one of those people who had to grow into their looks, but I thought it worked the other way for women.

I want to start using more pictures in this blog. Thoughts, anyone?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

What a shitty day. Not even a corn muffin and a comped dirty grey goose martini could fix it.

I want to be unemployed and not in Boston. I want not to be alone.

Friday, September 21, 2007

After a few days of readjustment, of early nights and baths and reading, I'm back to my old self. Going to the Cantab for Pomes on Wednesday helped.

Today is my first day off in eight days. Last night out and getting wasted, happy to be 25 and pretty and independent, whatever that means. Ugly men buy me drinks, offer to take me to steak, to take me bowling, and I'm drunk so I say yes, but none of them are even close to my type so I will avoid them if they try to call me in my sober state. I want steak but I really don't want to have sex with this guy and steak + wine = expected BJ at least. At least that's what someone told me once.

This bald orc-like man follows Andy and me outside while I'm trying to give him Confidential Girl Advice. This man says he is thirty six, but looks at least ancient, and he once worked with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, which is all I find interesting about him. He's hammered and grabs my crotch, so I punch him in the balls and he cowers and leaves.

This fellow who is not my type buys me two whiskeys and two mudslides, which are pretty with chocolate sauce drizzled in martini glasses. He asks if I can tell what the last whiskey he buys me is, and I sip and say Maker's Mark and I am correct.

I am thinner than I once was and cannot hold my alcohol as well. Andy knows the bartender and we get free tiramisu.

This morning there is misty haze over the lake as I take my walk of shame. Birds sing and squirrels jump around all in front of me in the woods and fields. I smile and say good morning to the middle aged women out speed-walking. My head hurts. Life is beautiful.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Had my first cigarette since Leah's birthday last night at the Cantab. Today I feel like death. My chest is heavy and angry, and I have a caffeine headache. I need my fix of espresso before I'm quite myself.

I'm old enough where I know how I react to thing. I know change is hard on me. I like working at my new store and like the people, but it will be a bit before I stop comparing everyone there to everyone at my old Starbucks. They were like my little neurotic Boston family. I can't get over thinking they're going to forget all about me when they don't see me every day.

This sleeping more than 3 hours a night thing is nice.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Tearing out of a guy's apartment at 5:55am so I will not be late to my last day at Starbucks, I realize my parting words, "See ya. Thanks," may have sounded a little coarse. It's a Sunday and his roommate is still up watching sports in the living room when I leave. If I don't see him again, I figure I stole an awesome t-shirt.

My last day at Starbucks is frustrating and cloudy. I work with my friends Brendan and Keri and all of us are leaving. At the end of the day I expect to feel sad, but as I tell Keri, all I feel is relief.

It's so strange how emotions can surprise you. The same way it can be so shockingly not weird to sleep with a friend and go right back to being friends, it can also be so completely not sad to leave a place that was so much of my life for so long. I guess when it's time to go, it's time to go. I think I'm getting better at recognizing when I'm staying somewhere not because it's making me happy or is good for me, but because it's easy and comfortable. Stasis is not happiness. To be happy, I need to grow, and to grow, I must always be changing. Someone taught me that indirectly, but probably doesn't know it.

This afternoon, I start at the Peet's Coffee in Harvard Square. I'm nervous because it's new and it looks so busy, but if I hate it I can always quit and maybe (no! anything but that!) get a non-coffee-related job. It'll be weird because it's in Cambridge, because I've always had my Cambridge life, with the poets and the craziness, and then my Brighton life, with the coffee and the bill paying. At work I always go by my legal name, which may confuse my writer friends if they come in and see me with a name tag that doesn't read Jade. I think we're all smart enough to handle it, though.

This job came about at the perfect time, completely by surprise. This is how it always happens with me, just like my lost bag in Los Angeles. Right when I give up, things fall into place. My mom says I have good Karma, and more and more it seems that way. I tell Mallory maybe I should rethink this whole atheist thing. I'm sure the Christian boy I've been sleeping with would agree.

Amber was a Christian for so long and now she says that none of that is real. That things just happen. Maybe it's just the writer in me that sees connections and plot arcs and meanings behind the random occurrences, or maybe they're there for anyone who looks enough to see them, or maybe they're only there for the people who want them to be, but aren't any less real for that. We create our own reality, after all.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

So, apparently all one needs to pull oneself out of a four month long depression is to get laid and to quit one's job.

Someone tell Eli Lilly he's been barking up the wrong tree.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

You want everything to be a journey.

You want to have this life-changing blinding light hit you when you open your eyes on a new year. You want a new life. You want 25 to feel somehow different from 24, to leave behind all those jaw aches and sleepless nights and wanting. You want to be new with the rising of the sun.

But then the Universe says no, I will not let you forget, and poignantly I will time it so that you know that I know, and that I am saying no to your wants. No you cannot leave it behind, no matter how far you fly away. These things are boulders in bags now, tied around your ankles, dragging you down.

So this is the slow back-break of adulthood.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

25

A year ago today I wrote a blog on my livejournal about all the things I did with 23. I remember writing it, but it almost seems like another lifetime, that me another person.

What happened at 24? Jesus. How to start.

Pt. 1

I remember leaving one week after it came, flying to Ireland and snaking my way down through the European continent like some goddamned nineteenth century French something or other. What was the point of that? So I could see gay czec sommelier slice the top off a champagne bottle with a kitchen knife? So I could go high out of my mind to a small concert in Amsterdam where they sell rich beers at cost from a cooler and Jennifer Terran sings my mind's soundtrack? So I could see the autumn leaves in Paris? So I could sit shirtless in front of the blue, blue Mediterranean? A million people have done it better, and I crossed the Atlantic for god's sake like that nineteenth century what-have-you. So I made a lot of week-long friendships. So I didn't sleep. I saw Miami and rode up to Indianapolis on a bus. So.

Then then. I moved to Boston, got a job at the Starbucks down the street. Everything was so perfect. It was cold and the snow was deep and all the sidewalks were ice. I wore my black wool coat as I walked through them. I made new friends, I went to poetry readings. I was writing.

Pt. 2

I broke up with Thade. A five year relationship ended. It took months for him to find a new place. The house was electric with anger. I didn't sleep.

People reached out. I made instant fast deep lifelong friends. So lucky there.

In the spring haze I fell in love. Since then my heart has not stopped breaking. I lost my appetite, started smoking, stopped smoking, started eating meat, flew across the country and drank every night to forget about it. I spent late nights walking the empty streets, hearing the hard click of the heels of my boots against the sidewalk, sleeping when whiskey took me. I barely noticed the seasons change. Now it is fall and I keep thinking "Summer's coming."

I wrote poetry. I had my own feature. So many people came some got turned away. People said I did a good job. Some poems of mine got published. I finished a novel and started another one. I became a writer this year.

My brother got married. I was a bridesmaid. I danced in a red dress. John, Orestis, Dad, Russ, and I sang karaoke in a dive bar and ate 4am Taco Bell on John's last night as a single man. Some things are just perfect.

I visited Indiana, my friends and family back home. I went to LA and stayed with Amber and Maegan. I saw dolphins and ate cake. I bought a dress and the woman gave me a discount for a poem. I have met so many people this year.

And somewhere in all of this I realized I'm not afraid of death anymore. At least not as afraid -- not like I used to be. Maybe it's because I'm depressed, maybe it's because I'm past depression, maybe it's something to do with attachment, or maybe I'm actually happier than I ever have been in my life, but that Fear, that anxiety that was always omnipresent has dissipated.

Now there is only this feeling, this ache. I don't know what it is other than a tightness in my chest, a constant pain. It is both great sorrow and great joy. It is this swelling love for the people in my life, how grateful I am that I can walk down the street in grey September and breathe the air, that I am so lucky to be alive and to know these people, and at the same time it is sadness because I can never get close enough to anyone. How no one can really love anyone fully. How people hurt each other so deeply and so often. But then even as I cry about these things, and I can cry in front of people now, people are there to hug me, to take me to steak, to drive me home, to put me to bed when I've gotten so drunk I'm speaking French with a Southern accent, and how it's all the same thing, all part of the same thing, maybe even the Meaning of Life because I think if we're here for anything it's to love each other. It is too intense sometimes and I can't move, but I always get up again, always keep walking, and when I go to sleep at night I feel somewhere deep that I'm living a good life.

My mom sent me a cheesy e-card and I cried. I remember being a lonely teenager and not crying for years at at time. Now here I am tearing up writing this. I want to go back and hug fifteen-year-old me. Tell her I know it's hard, but just wait ten years and it'll be okay. You turn out pretty well, all things considered.

Friday, September 7, 2007

I don't know what I've done to deserve so many people being so nice to me. People have been feeding me. Like, actually feeding me. Good, homemade food. Someone knows I need this.

I'm so tired, but there's no rest yet. Some day I'll sleep well.

In two days I will be 25. Everyone says it's a good year. I'm just trying not to freak out too much.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Los Angeles: Part II Russel Saves the Day

Amber and I lay on her building's roof surrounded by LA picking out the tenacious points of stars that fought their ways through the citylight to our eyes and talked about what we believe in. I said I didn't know anything except that I believe in the Universe, and I believe that the Universe makes sense. It was one of those moments you know is important even as it's happening.

I remembered how she used to be Christian and how I used to be jealous. I remembered the first time I saw her in block class in 11th grade, her standing in front talking to Mr. Bardos because she was a new student. It was one of those moments when you first see someone you know will be important.

I loved hanging out with them in their Los Angeles. We went to a midnight comedy show and to bookstores and ate Mexican food. Amber and I got our nails done at the cheap Korean place with five-dollar-off coupons. Mine are shimmery lavender.

The night before I left, I lost my purse with my wallet, my id, my cell phone, and all my cards on Mulholland Drive. We drove back, looked, and called my phone for hours before deciding it was gone for good. I froze all my cards and sat there, saying shit, how the fuck am I going to get on the plane tomorrow? Amber and Travis, mensches that they are, grabbed my arm and said fuck it, it's your birthday in five days, we're buying you steak.

We went and I ate my first steak medium rare. I talked about some Leo. I was wondering aloud if there was any way I could get on the plane as a Jane Doe, thinking okay, maybe not back to Boston, maybe just stay here on the West Coast, because lord that lofty blue Pacific says my name in a way her brother never has. I'd given up hope of getting back today when Amber's phone rang and it was my dad. Some British tourist found my purse and called the number in my phone titled "Home." My dad called Russ, his BFF who lives in LA, and he drove to get my purse and met us at the restaurant with it.

Russ is like my uncle. I cannot tell you how much I love this man. After my meat Russ took us to this amazing cafe whose name escapes me and I had an ideal cappuccino with impeccable cloudy foam and an amazing berry whip cream cake and a fudgey frosty cookie. Food has never been this good. I still couldn't believe that my purse came back to me and brought me this moment. I want to write something and call it "Russel Saves the Day."

Today a final In-N-Out and goodbye to Amber and I was back on the plane to home, where I met a Leo named Lisa with whom I made instant friends. Lisa lives in Harvard Square, is a dancer, speaks Russian, and has tiny hands and pretty brown eyes. We watched the in-flight movie and found out we were on the same flight going out to LA too. We both agreed the week seemed like four, and that it was going to be weird to be back home. We decided it was kismet that we should be friends. She and her two best friends are going to come to my birthday party.

I came home to Mallory, corn, mint chocolate chip, a birthday card from Grandma, and a handwritten letter from a Leo from my past I never expected to hear from again. I opened it and inside was a gorgeous color picture she drew me which sits on my fridge door, and a note. She has fairy tattoos and freckles. She says I made her dance. I can't help it.

God these Lions. Is there even a lesson to learn? Does Virgin flesh like sacrifice attract the tongues of man-eaters? I must ask my Virgos about their experiences.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Los Angeles: Part I

I got on the plane jubilant and hungover Wednesday afternoon and haven't looked back. The sky when I arrived was this crystal sapphire with splattered puffy clouds.

The first day I put my feet in the Pacific ocean and looked back at LA, back at Indianapolis and Boston and you. It was so cold and blue. I ate seafood.

Five days in a row I was surprised by the apparently random incorporation by outside influences of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" Is the universe trying to tell me something?

I went to Disneyland, somewhere I thought for some reason I'd never see. Maegan and I wore matching polo dresses and pretended to be a lesbian couple. I rode Space Mountain with my hands up screaming like a kid, and did Pirates of the Caribbean twice.

Today I saw Michael Madsen at a chili cook-off in Malibu. And check; I sighted my movie star.

Amber, Travis, and I went to the beach afterward and wrestled the Pacific. Her waves are irreverent and swell high and fast, pushing and pulling you, so different from the neurotic, limp waves of the Atlantic. So loving but so cold.

Today she was violent. When you swim in her, you fight her, leaping with the waves, falling under, choking salt. Her water is filled with sands not soft and white, but harsh rock shards which pelt, cut, and bruise. The waves throw you against these sands and drag you back again and again. When you step out, your skin is scraped pink and raw, and you will never win, and even as you fight her you love her, so you go and lie by the boulders in the blasting sun for a while listening to her waves.

Driving back to Amber's apartment on the PCH, watching the sunset (sun setting, not rising here) over the ocean, I saw a group of dolphins jumping in the water.

I miss everyone, but I can't even think of coming home right now.

To be continued...