Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Go Ask Oscar

"So you don't believe in love, do you?"

"What do you mean?"

"Like true love, between two people. Two separate entities. Two different floating masses of energy. Two poets. That everlasting kind of love that you couldn't get rid of if you wanted to. Love that is so strong it literally hurts your heart to think about existing without it. The pressure on your chest cavity is constant and consistent, and it is the weight of that person. Heavy in your heart, heavy in your head. It is the most confusing kind of love, it makes you believe even if you never thought you could. You're suddenly feeling things again, you're smiling at yourself. You feel beautiful and safe, even in the dark. You don't care about tomorrow any more, you are alive in the now, you are alive today. You wonder how this person could be real. How this person, standing there holding everything you are into place, could be. Carrying your life in their hands with delicacy you didn't know existed in this world. A love stronger than this explanation. Love so strong that it transcends human thought and language. It is the kind of love that you don't think you deserve, but you take it with the intentions to never, ever give it back."

", no I don't believe. Not really."

"I didn't think so."

"Really? Well how'd you know?"

"A while back, after Julian's birthday. Everyone left and we were sitting around your dining room table, finishing a bottle of wine and talking about literature. You told me you love Oscar Wilde. You told me you love his quotes on love and marriage. And that's when I knew you were broken in ways that I couldn't fix, and I knew I had to stop loving you because you would never be able to love me back. And finally, it all made sense to me. I knew that you weren't capable of loving me like I'd hoped you could, I just never realized all I had to do was go ask Oscar. "

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Door Knobs

This morning he asked me why I didn't  want to be loved. Why I didn't  want him to love me. And it's times like these that require grace and understanding, compassion and intimacy. It's times like these when I fail to deliver. The curtain goes up, spot light is on, but no one is standing in it. It is in that very moment where my inability to grasp on to the last bit of my humanity leaves me tongue twisted and terrified. I wish questions didn't require answers because I never seem to have a good response to the important ones. What I want to say is that I do want him to love me. I want him to love me with every ounce of his entire being. So that breathing gets harder when I'm not around. I want his heart to scorch his chest; third degree burns every time my eyelashes hit his cheeks. I want him to love me so much that he'd tear off his skin if I ever left him. The only problem is that I don't want to love him back. Not the same way. Not at all. The queen and her jester. The host and the parasite. The relationship: one gains everything and the other losses all. Love is a gamble. You're all in, the stakes are high. But I'm no lady luck and these odds aren't in our favor. I want to say all of the beautiful lies I can think of so that he never stops believing in love. Cause I know what it's like to not believe. Somewhere along these crooked lines I've stopped believing in anything at all. I want to say things to him that make him start building our future in his head. But I won't and I can't. I can't say anything at all. It's actions that matter. It's what you do that counts. So I throw back the sheets, lift myself from the bed. I grab my keys, my bag, turn the door knob and close the door behind me.

The Corner of Hollywood and Las Palmas

Last call, lights up. It’s Saturday to you, but for these people it could be Tuesday. The music’s stopped, now everything just rings. Colors blend, faces melt, and you burn your throat one last time. Set the glass down, look over at the bottle. Empty. When did that happen? What happens in this place must take place in a some different dimension. There’s no such thing as time here, but everything has a time limit. There is no distance between the people infesting this space. Endless length, endless width. No time? No space? No length or with? No dimension. So where did we all go? This isn't the place to go looking for answers, nor is it the place to ask these kinds of questions. Just go with it.
So if you haven’t defiled your lungs yet, if you haven’t littered your nasal passages or tortured your liver by now…well, it’s too late. Not here, the club owners got a business to run, not addictions to feed. At least I think. 2 a.m. when the place where the stars hang out becomes the place where the scars come out. You don’t know why you’re even still here. Night life always seemed a little bit more like night death to you. None of these people are real, they aren’t actually alive, that’s how they ended up here. Trying to get to born, maybe again, maybe for the first time. You don’t really give a fuck. Not about these people with their too long lashes and their too tall heels and their fake fucking facades and their reputations, whether they're building them or destroying them. Drastic. Plastic. Yea you’ve talked to them but there isn’t room for any real conversation cause the clubs always too packed. No one every actually says anything here. How could they, with their faces painted and their bodies plastered, and their minds drained.?
This is what you’d normally be thinking but tonight you’re too fucked up to be resilient. You just float off into the crowd. Stumble to the door. Fuck it’s far. Nearest lounge chair. Just need to sit. Your friends will find you so you just close your eyes for a second. From an arm’s length away, an unfamiliar voice, “Where you from?” You’re initial reaction is defensive; you think, "What the fuck do you care? " You say, “Studio City.” He is too. "What's your name?" You stop staring at the ground, jerk to the left, too fast cause now you can't see anything. Should not have had that much to drink. When your vision comes back you're not in the shadowy corners of what used to be a night club, but you're in a field. The greenest, green you've ever seen. And in seconds the field zooms out becoming two distant circles. His eyes. Holy shit. Maybe you're just that wasted but you've never seen anything so fucking green before in your life.
How long has it been quiet? How long have you been starring? Hopefully he just thinks you're drunk. You've never felt so insecure with those green lasers drilling right through you. You get out the bricks, start building that wall. "Why do you wanna know?" "Because I'd like to know and because you wanna tell me." He's right, absolutely, unquestionably right. You want him to know it and never forget it. And you have no fucking clue why. "Erin". He repeats it back to you and your ears melt. You play 20 questions for a little while longer and soon you're giggling, and laughing, he's funny, and you're flirty. You think, "What the fuck am I doing?" The gap between the two of you closes and you're touching and teasing.  You know its late but the night has just started all over for you.
Here comes the black suit and the bald head forcing you to leave. For the first time in your existence you don't want to leave the night club. This can't end here. Standing outside, the cold breeze reminds you where you are. The dark, dirty streets of Hollywood close in on you again. You know that whether you're in Hollywood or not, life's no fucking movie and you're short encounter with romance is over. Cut. That's a wrap. Go home. You're drunk, and sloppy, and stupid. There's a hand on your hand. His hand, and you actually hold it. You know you should pull away but you can't. So you're in his car, you're in his apartment with no clue how you got there, but you're so glad you are. No one in the world knows where you are, or how to save you, or if you need saving. but you're not scared, not at all. You've never been so excited, and comfortable, and captivated. There's real conversation, and interest. You're consumed by each other. Face to face. Sitting on the white sheets of his sky scraper of a bed. You're up so high and you're in his arms. And he could drop you, rather push you off the side. Body on Body. So you're not that kinda girl, but he’s not that kinda guy. So how did we end up here. Together in the dark. lights off, last call. Is this the drop? Is this the fall?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Great American Poet

Driving in my dad's purple pick-up truck, I was always a little embarrassed by the color, but he never was. Circa 2005, my dad pops in a Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits album. Song by song, from "Times They Are-a Changing" to "Like a Rolling Stone" my dad's nostalgic, listening to this album to and describing the poetic genius and lyrical expertise of Bob Dylan's work in real time. And there he was 17 years young, but in his late 40's, telling his two best friends, disguised as his pre-teen daughters, which lines were his favorite and what he was doing the first time he heard his favorite tracks. I was 13, hungry for destruction, over-dosed on angst, and trying really hard to keep my "I don't give a fuck attitude" consistent. I didn’t want to listen, let alone understand. But at 13 you don't really know what anything means yet. But there was a line "when you got nothing, you got nothing to lose," and it came stampeding out of the stereo, merciless, drilling itself deep into my head, or maybe it was my heart, I'm not really sure. And like I said, I was 13, so I didn't really know what it meant then but I knew it meant something. It was my dad’s favorite lyric. He talked about it for what seemed like seconds and for what seemed like hours. Caught somewhere in between despise and absolute admiration for the voice of explanation, I could see through the haze of what the last 3 years had been. For the first time since the truth I could see this lesser-than-a-man with clarity again. I knew who he had been, was someone I would have really grown to like. Sight and sound in perfect alliance at this moment. What had 3 minutes earlier been “old people’s weird folk music” was a glimpse into the past as well as the present and the only bridge between the gap of daughter and father, shaky as it was, I was willing to cross. For the whole of the 60 minutes that the album lasted, that the motor turned, that the word "timeless" finally had a definition, I sat suspended above the rushing waters under the bridge and I wasn’t scared. The wind swayed the ropes at both ends of the viaduct and we smiled at each other from just off center, it was effortless. I couldn’t help wishing that the moment would last forever and that music wouldn’t be the only connection we’d ever have again, but we just aren’t as powerful as people. Eventually the hurt, and the memories, and the regret would sever the ties and the water would rise, first soaking our feet, then drenching our clothes and filling our lungs, and the hopes that everything would be alright would die in silence and any second now the music would stop. I’d hoped for one more song so I could finally say the unsaid, but I had to face it, I was no Dylan, no Great American Poet and no arrangement of words could suffice what had occurred and no strength of will would make that moment last forever. I knew it would end, the same way car rides end, the same way songs end, the same way albums end, the same way lives end. Even our smiles end at the corners of our mouths. I knew I couldn’t in front of him, but I wanted to cry. I wanted to run backwards in hopes that I’d make it to the past so we could fix what had already been done. I hear the click of the stereo starting the CD over. I hear my head click back to reality. I hear the click of the transmission back to park. We’re here, or should I say we’re back. I, in a million years, never would have thought that getting picked up from school that day would change my life forever. I had no idea that 7 years later I’d be 20 years old, living in L.A., studying music, sitting at my computer, fatherless, I'd stumble across some Dylan songs, unexpectedly. Remembering that moment that changed my life what feels like centuries ago. Remembering the most special moment I’ve ever shared with my dad and knowing it would remain the most special moment until my own ending. And even though I'm older now, and I understand poetry at greater lengths and I can analyze harmonic structure, and the form of what I’m listening to all I really hear is that voice again, describing the indescribable. And I sit on that swaying bridge and the water is moving rapidly below me. I am alone and I know it but I start telling him everything I’d wanted to say in that purple pickup truck a couple years ago, but this time I’m not scared and I know I’ve got nothing so I’ve got nothing to lose.