Saturday, April 30, 2011

Things to Say to the Next Old Lady Who Fucks with Me at the Grocery Store, Specifically Heinens

It’s important that you realize there is literally nothing you can do to stop me. This was a foregone conclusion the minute I woke up, and maybe in fact the minute I learned to walk, the second I took my first breath outside my mothers wet warm uterus. Your first mistake was existing in the same world I do. Your second mistake was allowing me to learn your name. You know the reason you can’t stop me? Because I believe I am better than you. Better looking, smarter, cunning and resourceful, more interesting at parties. Because I believe this, and because my mind is tuned to the frequency of the universe which allows everything I believe to come true, it is therefore true. A weaker individual cannot stop a stronger one. I am better at sex than you. I am also better at kissing. I handle my liquor better. I believe in my smile, and when I smile at people they believe in me, because I understand that’s how it works. My brain can conceive of five possible solutions before you’ve even figured out where your keys are. My genes are naturally resistant to stupidity. I never get a bad haircut. People like you see the world the way you do because people like me tell you how to. This is the way the world was designed, you cannot change that just because you are at a disadvantage.You may go home and scoff at me to your friends, you may mock my face or my words or the fact there are no hubcaps on my car, but your denial of the truth does not make it any less true. I have already won by sheer factual superiority. I will simply have a much better life than you. So give the fuck up and move your fucking cart.

PS I have a motherfucking dinosaur at home. It eats stars for the sugar and old ladies for the fiber.

Friday, April 29, 2011

I Am a Terrible Promoter Because I Forget About Things Like My Etsy Shop

Today I just lowered all the prices, and you get free shipping AND free baby unicorns to the first 100 customers.

Only they will probably be dead because I have to ship them.
I mean, I'll poke air holes, but there's still the being tossed around and rained on and trucked and trained.
I've also heard baby unicorns can survive three days without food or water once they hatch, but that seems sort of optimistic.
If you see me soon, ask me about the Massacre at the Pearl Rd. Post Office.

Also, I'm not really giving away baby unicorns.
But please go buy stuff anyway.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Now I Will Attempt As Accurate A Description As Possible And Fail

There were tornado warnings, and the wind was heavy and wicked and large. I drove up with some Steves to Pittsburgh, because what's a trip there these days? My territory has expanded itself, pushing through the hills and toll roads like my life is too large these days to fit in the old limits. I will emotionally piss on all cities between me and the oceans, they will become mine.

Years ago I had seen Mogwai at the Beachland, and if you ask me to name my favorite concerts ever, that's on the list and when I tell you it is, you will see me shiver a little, remembering how frozen in place I was the minute it started. Closing my eyes and remembering the feeling standing up right against the speaker left to stage, and the guitars electrocuting me through a hand laid on the black wood casing. I remember the feeling of that show better than I remember most sex. I have a glow in my chest when I think of it. I love the Beachland for that show like I love the feel of motel room sheets.

And somehow I ended up right against that speaker again, only in a different place and time. I tried to move back and away, I really did. I said "this is going to make me deaf". But by the middle of the show, without even realizing it, my body had gravitated right back there, a junkie's body, the desire totally in control and ear drums fuck off. The justification of whatever, it's one show, I'll give up a year of hearing later in order to stand here with the song slamming into me, real and concrete as a jump on my chest, as a very large thing shaking me, and me powerless and hungry and desperate for it to be harder and louder. I couldn't even move of my own volition, I was paralyzed by this wall of sound, a deer being kissed by headlights and doom and a knife being slipped into a lung, and my stomach turned up in tight little knots, and I didn't know if I was going to throw up or come. It's a drug, a thick steel reverberating coffin, led by this little smiling soccer hooligan who kept going to the mike after each song and saying "thanks, cheers!" and I have to believe he knows exactly what this feels like and that's why he's so happy, reveling in the slaves he's created just by playing an instrument. For exactly the time and the length of them playing Like Herod, I would have done absolutely anything and everything that Englishman asked me to.

Afterwards, as the last encore song was dying down, I stood outside against the church wall, in the light rain, and I smoked a cigarette. I wasn't supposed to but I did. I haven't done it again today, but I don't regret it last night. I fell asleep in the car, and when I woke up to drive home from Euclid at 4am, the wind was even stronger and there were whole trees lying across the road, and I think that what I was feeling at that show is what made that happen. The echoes of it ripped across the Midwest.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Things I Would Be Able to Do If I Were A Spy And/Or Assassin

If I were a spy and/or a genetically engineered assassin, I would have perfect teeth. It would not matter how much coffee or red wine or cigars or blueberries I ate, they would always be shining white because they would be covered with a stain resistant alloy. My pant pleats would always fall perfectly without me having to learn how to or even buy an iron. The tips of my fingernails would cut you like fishing wire. My cellphone would contain the code to decrypt all state secrets in Bjork songs. I would wash my hair only twice a week, but it would maintain a healthy buoyancy. I would have ten different apartments, in ten different international cities, with ten different boxes of hair color in each one. I would always carry a Lands End Royal blue backpack, and inside would be an ax, a hammer, a cb radio, toothpicks, cotton bandages, five different sized flashlights, and two bottles of very rare Haitian rum. Also a photo of a small ugly child.

I would be able to break someone's neck with the same amount of force it takes to open a jar of pickles. My skills at hacking into orbiting satellites would be renown in Brooklyn and Portland. All of my credit cards would be black, marked with unknown Indonesian banks, and would work at every ATM. You would not be able to see my reflection. My enemies would be able to identify me with the slightest whiff of roses, but only long after I was gone. I would never drink tea.

My true love would a lockpicker and document forger in the Ukraine named Elvis, who has a dying wife. We would meet for coffee in Instanbul and never touch. Whenever I needed a new identity, I would send him a dove with code wrapped around her foot, and only he would know what the seemingly random pictures of kittens meant. His wife would also be blind. Later, he would go blind too, and I would live with him in a small cottage on a desolate Spanish rock, where he would write books in Braille about the unfairness of a well lived life.

My favorite spot in the world would be the very southern point of the South American continent. It would be the only place anyone could see my natural hair color, and the birthmark left there by the research facility that raised me to survive in space.

I would not own a boat or a plane or a train or a helicopter, but I would be able to use one whenever I needed, through contacts made in my prior life as a world famous rock bassist. Everyone that met me would fall in love with me, and be doomed to compare all other people's collarbones with mine unsatisfactorily. My arch nemesis would be a 19 year old boy living in an abandoned resort on the Black Sea, who believes I killed his father. I would know I have to kill him one day, but would avoid him because of his eyes, which look exactly like mine.

Every time I died, I would be reactivated in the Congo.
I would own cardigans in every color known to the human eye.
A nomadic tribe in Tibet would hold my mail.
My wrists would be too small for any handcuffs.
I would be an expert on Turkish novelists.
17 men would be unable to kill me. Not one of them would survive to report my gender or height or timbre of my voice.
Occasionally, I would amuse myself by writing scathing social essays for the New Yorker, but just to let my parents know I was still alive.
I would have a scar running from my left breast all the way down to the hollow of my hipbone, but it would be from a polar bear.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Days of Significance

That's Carrie's Easter Gin Martini. She swears it goes well with foil wrapped chocolate.

Easter is magical even to us hard souled ne'er-do-wells because it is a combination of all things important to little infantile hearts: Tragic Mythical Death at the hands of Villains, Flowers, Fancy Chocolate in Shapes you can only get once a year, and Fuzzy Baby Animals. Any holiday with this combination is guaranteed to be a success.

Possible New Holiday Ideas: Martin Luther King Day, with black and white chain shaped candies, lots of magnolias, baby doves.

Anne Boleyn Day: red roses, hard candies in the shape of royal jewels (we could wear them!), cocker spaniel puppies.

Ghandi Day: Lotus blossoms, cow shaped caramels, peacocks and calves.

John Lennon Day: Dandelions, pink colored sugar elephants and peanut butter filled globes, kittens.

Chico Mendes Day: Orchids, cinnamon and chili spiced Brazil shaped chocolates, baby parrots. Cause adult parrots are sort of scary.

Euripides Day: peonies, almond and pistachio wafers shaped like dogs, baby lambs and goats.

Tsar Nicholas II Day: Chamomiles and daisies, white chocolate revolvers and horses, bear cubs.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Detroit, Darling, You.

Lately this is my experience outside of Cleveland: these gray rainy places are growing tentacles and groping at me as I speed on past. But not in the shiny collectible way they were before, all fun and games. Instead in this sincere desperate shoving pressing grope, like the cities want to crawl on me and inside me and just snuggle up all round in my warm intestines. Yeah, that's what it's like, it's like a cat stuck outside in April. Millvale and Toledo and Akron and Detroit and Youngstown. Strays that I've been feeding and now they're expecting the next step. And maybe that's right, maybe I'm meant to be moving down the circles of decay, find new wet gritty corners. Maybe I notice the groping and grasping because I'm so ready to fall in love with something new I'm falling in love with everything.

Also I think it's funny how many people I've known in my life with the last name Jones, and they've all been decent sorts. Wendy and Nate and Sarah. So this is what happened. Sarah got these tickets for the Pixies in Detroit, and Perren couldn't go, so I went because it takes nothing, literally nothing, to convince me to go to Detroit. I fucking love Detroit. It's so goddamn blue and gray, all of it, always. So we made this mad rush, and got there in plenty of time, and talked about stuff and made plans. We go over the Great Sailboat Bridge, and I'm all like Sarah, watch and tell me if you see Michigan get flatter, and she does! Cause it does it immediately. I'm getting a little obsessed with this idea of state borders, that the whole terrain changes so drastically along these little thin lines I had believed were basically arbitrary. And of course if I had thought that through all the way, I would have long ago realized the subtleties of them not being arbitrary at all, but that was a theme this night, the realizations of obvious but not necessarily important things. Point is, I can tell when I'm in Ohio, or Pennsylvania, or Michigan, or Indiana. The trees are all different, the low bushes too. In Michigan for instance, along the border and into the city are all these little thick dark pointy trees, that give the place the look of an orchard. It's real lake country, not just part of it like Ohio, but all of it. It's marshy and northerly. The color scheme is cargo ship.

She failed to mention that this was the Doolittle Anniversary Tour, and they were going to play the entire album, like in entirety. Once she mentioned that, my chest just sort of jumped and seized up and stayed that way, which is what happens when I get excited of course, and that's the feeling I go searching for every day. Being really excited and filled with anticipation is the absolute best most addictive feeling, and I wonder if that's why I don't watch horror movies because it's the same physical reaction as being scared right? Only without wanting to think about it over and over again for days.

I thought I had been the Fox theater before when Belle and Sebastian came, but now I wonder, because this theater is so very shiny and decked out, I feel sure I would have remembered that. But that show was a long time ago, and we had a whole group that had been sitting on the van floor for hours, and we were young and way less comfortable in our skins, so far less prone to look around and notice things like hidden windows. Turned out the seats Sarah got were Row A, which wasn't orchestra pit but right before it, and we were basically 6 rows from the stage in a packed theater of 5,000. That's a power rush itself. Though I do wonder about who spends 150 on a seat when you can be the 6th row for 60? Where's the real difference there? These guys in front of us kept turning around and waving imperiously at the peasants. I would have thrown a beer at them in a more productive life. I had quite enough beer soaking into my leather boots though, running like a little hillside creek down the seats to pool at the railing. The show was so good, I didn't care, and didn't even notice till we left.

First it was some B Sides, then all of Doolittle, and then like three sets of encores that were basically an entire other concert. The whole place full of 30 year olds and forty year olds screaming and laughing, something you don't get to see enough of in the real world. People had dressed up for the nineties. All gathered together in huge groups of friends they had known since high school, having planned this night in advance the carpooling and the calling off work and stuff. The young ones, who could usually be found isolated and aloof in corners on their phones, stood out like sore self aware thumbs.

I think I would have taped every minute of that show, except I consciously kept telling myself to put the fucking camera down asshole. BUT IT WAS SO GOOD. Like, these clips don't even begin to do it justice, because I had planned to tape these songs, and I Love You was the crowning moment of the night but it was too late, I was already into it. U-Mass too. I did record Debaser, it's on my youtube if you wanna watch, but the it's not as good a recording. But it does sort of show you that jump of OH THE ALBUM'S BEGINNING.

After the show, I waited in the lobby while Sarah braved the merch table for 30 minutes. A guy who was either crazy or drunk walked by me, could have been either really. Didn't look crazy, but then he stopped and turned around and got really up in my face and said very seriously "I'm a poet and I have two published books and you, you have the bluest eyes. Your eyes are just swimmable." See, that first part of the sentence? Definitely crazy right? And he didn't leave. He just stood there looking at me, and giving me his number, and talking in his sort of sane drunken charmingly fracture way that I did actually like against my best judgement. Which was fun, but at one point he asked if he could touch my chin, and I was like sure. He cupped my chin in his hand, and lifted it up just a bit to look me in the eyes. "It's not just that they're blue, they're also almond shaped, they have this dip. Oh that dip! And your eyebrows, you have the most complete eyebrows. And a little pug nose. You're so beautiful." Then he just went back to talking about nonsense, and would stop again and stare again and then run off to his friends and then run back. It was the most flattering drunk attention from a stranger I've ever had, but it crazy. He asked if he could kiss my neck and I said uh uh, no, I've been sick, I'm covered in sick, and then he asked if we'd come have a drink at the casino and I declined cause we had to go back to Cleveland, but you know what drunk or crazy man? You were cute enough. If I didn't have to work, I would have stayed and had a drink. I did give him my number. I said to myself, at the very least some crazy guy can entertain me on the phone every once in a while. I'm back into talking on the phone these days, not texting or emailing, but like talking for a while. I missed that a lot it turns out.

The lesson here is I am the world's biggest sucker for compliments. There has never been a girl more willing to listen to what you like about me than me.

After Michigan tried to kiss me, Ohio tried to drown us in thunder and glass as we slid our way home, over the sailboat bridge and past the chemical plants with American flags painted on their sides, and billboard for strip clubs and dark lit scrap yards with mysterious flames and miles and miles of wet wet road.

More photos from the concert here.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Cracking the Mysteries of the Ages

This had better be my last day being sick. I feel like it is. My voice still sounds hauntingly like a 95 yr old asthmatic, and the stuff coming out of my lungs is this particular shade of sea foam green yellow, that I imagine Betty Draper will be painting her kitchen in about two seasons. But I'm so restless, and that's a good sign. Like, I just want to DO stuff. Only not anything that involves talking to people or being responsible for any fine motor functions. Later I'm going to eat the spiciest Thai food I can find, to try and jumpstart my senses into working. This morning, it took me till 1 in the afternoon to realize I hadn't brushed my teeth since yesterday.

Since I couldn't think of anything real to post about, but didn't want to leave that weed post up as my last entry cause I fear it leaves the wrong impression of me to newcomers (I may have already sabotaged this effort with that teeth confession), here's another no photo throw away post from the sickbed. Have I mentioned inhalers are like, the most amazing invention ever? After morning after pills, coffee liquor, and marshmallow eggs, of course.


If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

This is a trick question. The real question is how no one could be around? What have you done to your forest to kill it so completely that there are no birds, or insects, or small woodland vermin? There is always someone around in the forest. You don't even need to be in the forest. There are like seven raccoons living in my garage. So the correct answer here is: always assume someone is listening. And recording. Or eating your garbage.

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Eating eggs is gross. I mean, I still do it, but they are gross. You are eating undeveloped fetus juice, fried hard. Ugh. That dropped literally out of somethings uterus. (I'm generalizing here, I don't really think it's called a uterus, but same concept, someplace inside an animal that's a warm dark incubator for sex juice. Oh wait, I just looked it up and it's totally called a uterus.) Full grown chickens are gross too, they are mean carnivorous vicious tiny dinosaurs who will eat absolutely anything, including tape. I once had my finger bitten by a goose at the zoo, and geese are just chickens on steroids. Also I read that scene in Mama Day where the guy gets killed by the chickens, and I suspect that was a true story, which is just another reason why I will never whitewash anything ever.

The best phase of chickenhood is when they are just chicks. Sort of like how Pikachu was always cutest before he evolved. Chicks are adorable. They are fuzzy and skittish and impossibly crushable.

The correct answer here is: the egg. Duh.

What goes on four legs in the morning, on two legs at noon, and on three legs in the evening?

Sarah's mini-greyhound Maurice. Sometimes he uses no feet at all.

What is the room you leave without entering? The Maproom.
That's a bar downtown.

What is the room you enter without leaving? The kitchen at any house party ever.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


There are so many different things I could talk about here, but you know what, we're not going to talk about any of them. Instead I am merely going to point out that you don't see alcoholics having a holiday solely to celebrate drinking alcohol. No, St. Patrick's Day isn't that, and while there is Catholicism, you can't have it. I would think the repealing of Prohibition would be Alcohol Day. But nobody really treats it that way. Probably cause you were all too hungover in history class to care.

The truth is, alcoholics have always been seedier than potheads, no pun intended. What are alcoholics known for? Temper tantrums, violence, pissing themselves, killing people with cars. Potheads? Sterility, memory loss, not leaving their house, and eating awesome food. Sometimes job loss, I've worked with those guys. Sure, weed can make an already unreliable and lazy person more so. And like any mood altering drug, people will abuse it to escape their drab or overwhelming lives, if they are the type of people to do that. But lots of you are perfectly responsible, pleasant occasional users that I'm more than happy to call friends. I don't usually continue to call alcoholics friends, though I may still keep fucking them. Kudos to reasonable people everywhere.

I guess my point here is that if you want me to respect alcohol as much as weed, then don't let the POTHEADS be more organized than you.

My favorite 4/20 tweets from the day:


420, Skynet, and Adolf Hitler: According to Twitter, this is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a stoned, racists robot attack

How many potheads does it take to screw in a light bulb? - F**k it, we got lighters.

Some guy is getting road head at east portal #happy420

#happy420 hahahahaha not...#happybiebertuesday instead...I'm obsessed with him...not drugs...THANK GOD

Monday, April 18, 2011

Thinking about Murder

So while I lay here in the throes of unlovable contagious plague, watching Antiques Roadshow from Billings Montana, which is great because nobody in Billings ever throws anything out, here is a train of thought I had:

1) I eat meat.
2) But I can't fish or hunt. It's too hard for me.
3) Also I keep my cats alive even though they do nothing for me except shed and puke.
4) I support the right of women to have an abortion. I think it's important.
5) I wouldn't have an abortion myself though, probably, cause I do think of it as a form of murder. But the kind of murder that doesn't bother me.
6) For example, I eat murdered things all the time.
7) Except squid. I can't eat squid. Because they are intelligent.
8) Pigs are intelligent too, but I eat them.
9) I guess this means I value squid over fetuses.
10) I wouldn't eat a fetus though. I would probably eat a squid if it was that or starve.
11) Murder is just this thing that happens a lot, you know?
12) Fish are basically just mobile plants, right? I wish I liked eating them more.

My friend Camilla is bowling in the National Abortion Access Bowl-a-thon, and you can go pledge money for that here.

My friend Sarah is raising money for the Cleveland Animal Protective League, and will be matching donations up to a 100 dollars. Her donation page is here.

13) My friends are all probably much more moral than I am. I'm kind of a bad person.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Being Single and Being Sick

So I've been varying degrees of sickface for like, EVER. If March was my month of getting laid, April has proven to be my month of spontaneously producing whole new mucus universes in my lungs and then coughing them up chunk by chunk. Destroyer of worlds.

It started two weeks ago. I got really horrible sick for a few days, feverish and all that nonsense. Spent the day at Mommy's and called off work for a day. I got better, but I still had a cough. The cough got a little better. Then about a day after I got back from Pittsburgh it hit me hard. Another fever. I wanted to sleep constantly. A horrible cough that happened every five seconds, every time I took a breath or moved a muscle. Yesterday was the worst though. I couldn't breathe, I couldn't lay down. Every time I put my head in anything approximating a horizontal position, like lying on the couch or snuggled under covers, the coughing just got worse. Throw up anything you eat worse. Wear a pad because you might piss yourself coughing worse. Your neighbors are convinced you have lung cancer worse. I didn't go to sleep at all last night, except for about a hour's nap I caught after discovering that if you masturbate, it opens up your lungs, something to do with bloodflow I imagine. It didn't last though.

The worst part about being sick is that I get so emotionally needy. Like, this morning I got really really mad about a facebook post one of my friends had put up DAYS ago, about hanging out with the Toxic Ex, Ayers. And a bunch of my other friends had "liked" it, all people who said they didn't talk to Ayers anymore, and logically I know it is the dumbest thing to get mad about ever, and they were just "liking" the Big Lebowski video. I wouldn't have even thought about it twice if my stupid phone app hadn't thrown it up on the wall again. But this morning? Sleep deprived and crying every time I hacked a new piece of lung into the Cup for Pieces of Lung that I keep now by my bed? I almost called this friend and told him we couldn't be friends anymore if he was hanging out with him for this very long and involved reason I won't go into. I almost defriended him. It was, for about thirty minutes, the worst most painful thing in the whole world. Everyone was against me. I was going to cull my entire facebook list and get rid of anyone that might know him, or drink with him, or meet him in the future. Since this is Cleveland, I think that would work out to roughly a third of the people I know.

Then I ate some pudding and watched Inception, which quickly put it all out of my head. Because that kind of shit is crazy. Seriously, when I'm really sick? You might as well be dealing with a prepubescent girl. A paranoid weepy prepubescent girl. Also that movie needed to calm the fuck down.

It's a weird thing, living alone and being really really sick. On one hand, you just want someone to crawl into bed with you and hold you, and watch bad movies with you, and go get you vapor rub when you run out. On the other hand, you want another person to Want to do that, just so you can tell them to fucking go away and leave you alone to bleed out. The worst part about being sick when I lived with Ayers was that on top of the whole Dying thing, there was also a thick layer of guilt and disgust at the state of my own body, for keeping him awake or looking so nasty. So it's nice to be able to ferment in your own inevitable rot without any witnesses.

Nice being a relative term. I still wish I was dead. And I have to go to the store myself right now, to restock on tissues and look for some sort of miracle sedative that will allow me to fall asleep at some point in the next 48 hours. Like, wasp killer? What I would like most is for somebody with very large hands to squeeze my skull hard for about fifteen minutes, and then leave.

If another person tells me to get more vitamin C, I will fucking scream. Do you have any idea how much pineapple juice I drink? I mean seriously, OBVIOUSLY, I should quit smoking. But no, fine, go ahead and tell me how to avoid getting scurvy.

PS I think it's inevitable I am going to end watching a lot of Harry Potter tonight. Or Narnia. Really anything with CGI talking animals, right?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

There's Blood in the River and It Isn't Mine

First he went with me to Hipster Mass, The Mountain Goats at Mr. Smalls in Millvale, so no really I meant it, actual Hipster Mass. It exists. No one smokes there anymore. There is whiskey at the bar. Girls will go wild. I waited at the bar down the street from his house for him to get off work, and so I might have been a little sparkly and excited. I might have felt that grip of fandom in my chest, turning my cheeks pink. I remember the first time I saw Dylan in high school, smoking weed with the old guys at Nautica. Or the first time I saw R.E.M. Or staring intensely at Scott Spillane a few weeks ago. Like that. Exactly like that. Oh, let me take off work for a few days, drive to another city, meet up with a friend, and then go to the hills to see my hero play in a church with blacked out windows. Let him play at least two songs I had on my short list. More in love than ever.

I think Pittsburgh may beat Cleveland because they have more church based venues. Didn't we just close all those churches? Lets do something about that, people. Also let's build some mountains. And listen to Flashdance a little more. And drink way more than we should, so that we forget the people with us are also drunk, maybe forget we are drunk at all.

Then there was the obligatory trip home, gathering up people, being late to meet other people, handing over of the keys to people who know how to parallel park, more whiskey and at some point I ordered a cherry lambic which was disgusting why did I do that? There were meetings in booths with curtains, and being kicked out by bouncers There was walking in the rain. There was pretty much the whole Southside thing, which is a thing I can get behind, as long as it's not a Saturday night. There is a bath house I have to go back to, because it has the same stone window work as my old high school.

The next morning I set out to explore. Well first we slept till 12, and then ate pad thai, and then I set out. His house is so fucking clean. I had a general idea, and a phone with google maps, but the Pittsburgh highway system exists to mess with me. I found a beautiful abandoned place, but it lived alone, across three lanes of backed up traffic, on 28 North. Which took me about an hour to get to, all because I took a wrong turn right as I left his house. But now I know that Greenwood exists. I guess. I finally made it back to where I wanted to go, only somehow I was in Millvale again. Millvale loves me. Millvale never wants me to leave. It held me close and tight, up and down the one ways and hills and pretty much any way you can get on Grant street ever. I knew where the bridge was that I wanted across the river (which river? I have no clue. There are rivers?), but every time I got to the place I thought I wanted, I took a wrong turn. It was adorable. Millvale is like a puppy dog you really want to take home cause it keeps following you down the street. It was like "Look Bridget, a park! Look Bridget, really old signs! Stay here, love me!"

But finally, ultimately, I made it to Lawrenceville. So I could relax and get really lost there.

The general rule, you know, go to where the water is. Always head towards the banks, that's where the stuff you want to see is. The industrial rollercoasters and chunks of broken rock and train tracks with boxcars sitting on them. Dear Pittsburgh, paint your bridges as much as you want, but I know where you really live.

Lawrenceville was great, except for this one strip that had trash cans painted with the artsy community logo. That part, geez, why do people paint their trash cans? I was the worst driver down Butler, peering down the side streets, looking for the dark dinosaur silouhettes at the water's edge. People were getting pissed at me. Another thing I noticed, and maybe this isn't true really, but I saw very few trucks and SUVS, which given the hills surprised me, and made me feel safe.

I wandered around the train tracks, the soft cold gravelly mud squishing into my ballet slippers left over from last night. I walked between the depots and the sun kept teasing me, until finally it gave in, slut. I said hi to guys in hard hats, and listened to a lot of guitar rock, and at one point I did actually taste that whiskey again in my mouth, but only for a moment and then the wind washed it away.

Someday I will buy an entire city block. Or I will just take it over, with dogs, it will just become mine because I choose it.

I took Butler down to 8, and drove through the strip mall paradise that I can't help but like because the crazy on top of each other bright store signs are backdropped by such pretty undeveloped hills and trees, and all those little broken mechanic shops and bike shops and ancient gas stations. I saw that cellphone tower/giant cemetery cross we found once. I had a conversation with Sam recently where he said that he preferred states with natural borders, and I thought about that as I crossed the state line, how flat Ohio got almost immediately. And how much flatter Michigan is further on. The flattening, the rolling out pancake like of Middle America. The trucks were lined up on the toll road like migrating elephants.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Car is King

First of all, today, cause it is today already, is my Dad's birthday. Happy Birthday Dad, I love you very much and I'm extremely grateful you of all people are my father, and I'm sorry that your daughter is so weird. Also thanks for the eyes. I like those very much.

And this will always be the song that makes me happy because of you.

Do you know what this morning means? It means it's finally here, Spring and all subsequent consequences of the same. It means we no longer have to get up Monday mornings and ponder the weather, trying to figure out if we can go exploring. Like, sure it was gray and rainy and got pretty chilly in the end, but I still walked around all day in just a t-shirt splattered occasionally with sweat and raindrops. And got to drive with the windows open and the radio on. My hair got all fucked up from the wind. Inside me is this constant quiet ringing of joy.

We were going to hit up a building, but by the time I got to his house, and we had a minute or two to catch up, it was decided the thing to do really was to drive all the way down the Valley, to Kent maybe or to Akron, or Helltown. We drove for a long time. Hours going around curves and hills and highways. There were remnants of mud tainted snow melting on the ski slopes, and the moss was shining bright green along the road.

I appreciate people who you don't run out of conversation with, maybe most of all. And people who know how to just get in the car and drive for a while. We drove through all the places Peter used to drive me to in the dark, where he used to have me shine the spotlight out the window into the black woods to spot deer because I had never seen one in the wild before, and I thought about the long line of boys who have driven me places. Peter was the first and therefore the standard. It's his fault I do this. But all the others, they've just reinforced this addiction, oh some of us we had the best drives. It's the way to my heart, Ohio. Now I'm the one who does the driving, and that took a minute to get used to, but in the end it turned out to be the thing I was meant to be doing too.

We stopped off places and walked around. Locks and woods and parks. Train tracks. I was reminded how much I want to go back to Hope Furnace, that place down South where we went camping, and at the base of the huge stone fireplace we would collect those shiny black glass pieces of slag. When I was little, I loved those black shinies, and they lived with the fake gold, quartz, and tiger eyes I got from the Natural History museum gift shop, and the geode we found when the neighbors were digging up their yard.

In this tunnel, we found this guy, waiting out the rain with his hiking gear. He had been walking the Buckeye Trail for a month. He has a blog about it. There's a thing to do at some point in your life, huh? Jere told me a story about the old times in the Flats, when there used to be street brawls there every Friday and Saturday night, over stupid things like cars, and a girl he met once who said she came down every weekend just to photograph the fights. That girl and this guy are cut of the same cloth. A specific sort of genius.

The canals are a strange thing. 300 miles stretch of barges, supplies, people, mules. Now sitting all weeded and choked up, more like a statewide garden fixture, a landscaping project overgrown. Someday you know, people will dig them up and look at them like pyramids. Here is the best quote from the wiki article on the Ohio and Erie canals:

"As a teenager in 1847, James Garfield worked as a Hoggee, driving mules to pull barges along the canal.[12] After repeatedly falling into the canal on the job, Garfield became ill, and decided to go to college instead"

I don't know if that's true, but it is just like that ITT Tech commercial. "And I thought, I'd better get in school."

We went to a place in Akron for lunch, and on the back of the bathroom stalls they had pages from today's Wall Street Journal hung. I had to steal the one in my stall, fold it up as discreet as I could in my pocket, because it had this headline: Kremlin Connection Fails To Save BP From Oligarchs. Which is pretty much the best sentence of the day.

On our way to Akron, we passed this scene, which is either an art project, or an upcoming sacrifice to a gray unknown farm god. Maybe horses are really scared of themselves, and these are like horsie scarecrows? I mean, I'd stay out of any field with straw effigies of myself too. I assume the Daddy horse is the tall one, and the Mommy horse is the shorter one, and that raises my hackles a little, which should tell you I'm definitely in the mood for hackles, cause that's pretty dumb, that's just me being contrary. It's all the excitement.

We ended the night at Annabell's, meeting up with his Akron boys and drinking our hackles up. The bouncer there had the exact same tone of voice as Boots, the same bloody Irishness, and did impressions of Ronald Regan and Rocky. There was a mark on his arm that looked very much like a large bite mark, from an extremely large mouth, like maybe a prehistoric fish. I was sent to the jukebox to put on some Wilson Pickett, and he stopped me to remark on it, to point out he had put similar music on just before. Okay. His dog was awesome.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Internet is Killing Me, The Sunshine is Trying to Save Me, It's All Very Complicated

Today was 80 degrees. This was a big deal to some people, who lived in this farcical little post industrial city, which had been trying to function, despite the cold and the wind trying to blow it down every day for the last six months. I had forgotten what it was like to not be cold. I too had rejoiced at every little 45 degree break that winter sometimes throws at you, but the thing that hadn't changed was me sitting in my still running car, after driving home late at night, not wanting to leave because the car was warm. At one point, 3am in the morning, having refused to wear a coat that night because goddamn coats damn them to hell, I remember having the thought that maybe I would never be warm again, because I was no longer capable of being warm. My nerves had deadened, and I wouldn't recognize being hot, if it ever came again, which it wasn't going to. Desperation leading to acceptance leading to death.

But then the strawberries came back.

We walked around the park, and it was full of people. Not attractive people. Not rich or successful people who liked their jobs and had found the love of their lives, or any kind of affective shit like that. Just the people of Cleveland who couldn't stand it anymore, who didn't give a fuck about what they wore out of the house, just as long as they could actually get out of the house. They were fishing in a river that was too cold for fish, and breaking in the grills, and following their dogs and children around, who were all slightly dazed as if they had just broken out of the egg and were seeing the sun for the first time. Some of those kids and dogs were pretty young, so that may have actually been the case. New things.

So we walked around the river, and got around to the other side, away from the crowd. We did the first careful climb of the year down a muddy steep hill heel to heel, little slide here and little stumble there. As our reward, there were flowers and clover and sprouting things, which, fucking A, is pretty amazing. Is pretty miraculous every time it happens, even though it's happened 31 times for me now. Then we wandered back to the group, and ate food outside, and sat, dazed ourselves, in the heat and light. Urban lizards, and I got reacquainted with that sweat that comes not from exertion but just from above, like the sun's version of rain. I felt my skin burning, the old worn out cells that had done such a good job protecting me from the cold and ice, and now they are going to sizzle up like tiny little Phoenixes each and every one of them. That's their reward.

Later, as the sun drifted down, I drove home and started throwing things away, just everything I could come up with any reason to throw away at all. What I really want is an entirely empty place, where I can just sit in the middle of the floor and do nothing. I cleaned up the back porch, where I had forgotten a carpet I left out there over the winter, and it had rotted to pieces. It fell apart in my hands as I tried to stuff it into bags. There were large plastic looking brown folds of mushrooms all over it. I stuck both of the cats on the porch when I was done. Eddy was all about it, probably cause she's as sick as I am of living and breathing and sleeping in her hair. Nina was a little freaked out, which is fine with me cause I'm sure one of these days she's going to end up on the roof, once she figures it out. Stray cats always hate being put out of doors again, like I'm just going to change my mind about keeping them and never let them back in again, where the food is. Abandonment complexes. I haven't done it yet, even though the fucking garbage bag with the cat litter broke TWICE on the way to the curb, despite being triple bagged. I still have cat litter in the hallway outside my door, which I will vacuum tomorrow, and litter in the front yard by the sidewalk which I am honestly just going to leave there until it rains and hides it. Tonight it was more important to just get the shit out of my house. I put out 12 garbage bags of stuff, and still didn't go through my clothes.

Then I watched Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf by myself, and spent way too much time on Twitter and Facebook in this odd head space. That's sort of like smoking an entire pack of cigarettes in one go, you come down and vow to give it up completely, never do it again. Especially when you're watching a movie like that, a movie that will remind you of every demon you have ever seen in the mirror. You will catalog them, and then feel even worse because you know when you inevitably go crazy, HI: Historical Inevitability, you will not be hot like Elizabeth Taylor, you will instead just be the wild haired wide hipped middle aged drunk woman, rejecting reality out of a misplaced sense of safety and security in love which will be your punishment. Ending up with a guy just like you, who tears people open and rips them to shreds to see how they work, and between the two of you there will be so much blood. I emailed Don "It wasn't my parents that soured me on marriage, it was this movie."

Watching that and going through all my stuff and things and stuff and junk, made me realize how much there is I don't get to say to people, because they are what? Dark thoughts? Mean thoughts? Crazy sounding? A friend asked me yesterday if I just spent all my time getting fucked up and posting on facebook, and I was like, "dude, I'm not usually fucked up." Dude, wait till you see me actually fucked up, like bleeding and maudlin and desperate. Then my words escape me in waves. But you can't be honest on the internet. You're not supposed to, because it's just like the outside world. No sweety, instead you are supposed to be writing that shit down into actual stories. Remember, that thing you love to do and also hate? That doesn't involve dissecting each thought for mass consumption, separated from it's context? You know, I don't really miss having a boyfriend most of the time, but there's that thing you can do with someone you fight with and fuck with, which is telling them everything. However sometimes, when you're me, you actually tell them everything, the way you see it and try to communicate the entirety of your world, and it's a massive failure. Usually the parts that apply to them. Oops. I wonder sometimes if I write just to keep throwing myself out there into the void, hoping someone else gets it one day. Not just the pictures and the pithy diary entries, but the enormity of it all. Like, this is me! I'm shouting! Somebody love me for realsies! Be somebody I can love too! Be dirty and weird and enormous! Martha's a romantic at heart. Wild broken Martha.

Mostly I'm just whispering things to myself and writing memos on my phone I can't use till later because someone will recognize themselves in it. I have some good memos though. You have all been stars lately. Please don't mistake my holes and rips as having anything to do with my love for you, oh general life and face of the universe whose name I probably forgot at least twice. That lives strong and quarantined in the seat of my soul.

It's dark now, the wind is picking up in the trees, and I want the rain to come. I want to go to sleep tonight with no covers on, and wake up cold with all of the windows open and the rain blowing in and the sunburn on my skin. And tomorrow (today) is going to be wonderful.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

I'm So Susceptible to Lights

Things that happened:

I totally forgot about how much I loved the Starlight Mints. So that's happening for at least the next 2 days.

We did this thing for Pechakucha where we got up in front of like 500 people and told 15 second stories that were kinda melancholy all around frankly, and then did shots from the stories. I totally didn't want to get wasted, even though we basically were doing six shots each in 6 minutes, cause I didn't want to embarrass the friend I was with by being my drunk self. So I only had an Irish coffee to calm my nerves beforehand, and then a beer when we got there, but also maybe some cold medicine, non-drowsy, cause I was terrified of breaking into a barking coughing fit in front of everyone. Well, that may have been my undoing. But it totally made me talk fast enough. And talk a lot. Perhaps..maybe...too much? Oh, no such thing.

No, it's a thing.

Shots done: Southern comfort, tequila, pineapple and vodka, vodka, another vodka. In combination with the experience of Vodka night, I'm starting to think straight vodka is my gin.

We went all scurrying into the Higbees building, which is very white and office like when you first walk in, but then the elevators betray it, darling stamps of the industrialists, that totally knew sexy elevators. Up to the 10th floor, where the ceiling curled around like a movie set, and I twitched my nose and bounced my feet a lot while waiting. It's nerve wracking you know, it's shattering to sit there waiting to take your turn. Especially when you can't be drunk beforehand, which is the way I got through it last time. This time I tried wearing sequins instead. I mean, it's not quite the same. But random strangers will always tell you how shiny you are, like you've forgotten, and so it's a cheap way to get an ego boost. Using strangers as medication.

I also forgot how much I liked Cake. Jesus. It's totally going to be one of those weeks.

So we got up there and did our thing. So this thing I do when I have to be in front of people, I sort of zone out and I'm in some sort of time bubble where the audience is frozen and it doesn't matter what I say, it's just bouncing off of them in icy waves and falling to the floor crackling. Anyway, it seems to have gone well. People were awfully nice afterwards. We were leaving, and somebody in their car driving by shouted "Good job!" and that was so cool, to be jaywalking across a dark cold city street, dodging cars in a shiny dress with two cute boys next to you, and to get yelled at like that from a car. Best moment. Reason #356 to wear sequins, when you do something, people will remember you and be able to spot you cause you were wearing That Dress. Probably that should be the way you pick all dresses, the ones you keep. Only ones that help people pick you out from a crowd.

After our thing, it was a break, and I had to run outside to stick a cigarette in my mouth and try to erase the taste of Southern Comfort/tequila/water of the Polish wanderer. Like blood. More nice people saying hi, and Public Square being it's well lit abandoned blue dark self.

When we went back upstairs, I could barely stay still, I was drunk and wired from the cold stuff and the nerves and so James and I went wandering around into rooms. Everything on the tenth floor was weird hallways, bathrooms with rows of vanities, freight elevators and old christmas decorations stored in between concrete pillars. James posed with a cigarette and pulled off dashing. Eventually I came back, unwillingly, and tapped my fingers nervously watching the rest of the presenters. I'm pretty sure I really liked at least two of them, but frankly, I was floating off somewhere ADD, until afterwards someone gave me dice and then there was the same embarrassing thing I did last time where people kept coming to talk to me and I was all like La La La I'm incapable of listening to you, or not being drunk but I really love that you're here! And really maybe if you see me do something in public and you ever really wanted to watch me being stupid, afterglow is the best time for that.

Later I met a girl who had one of those faces that makes you happy, makes you smile somehow regardless, and man, I wish I could be a ray of sunshine. But it's hard to pull off. You don't want to give someone sunburn, right? And some of us, we just aren't those people. But hey, we got some other things going on at least. Like a burning desire to listen to indie pop music from 2003 all the time, and wear shiny inappropriate things, and take a million pictures of walls.