Friday, March 29, 2013
Things that stop me from talking to you like I would talk to myself, washing dishes in my kitchen on a sunny afternoon, listening to the water pour over porcelain bowls and into the metal of the sink, with my cheeks and hair warm from the light, and the thoughts that lay heavy but quick on my mind, drumming:
1) I cannot stand the way your hair looks, the patterns and teases it takes on. Him with the fractalized mop of muppet coal, Him with the thick golden brown mane of dog hair, Him with the silvery patina carefully sculpted and trimmed. Your hair silences me, it takes all of my concentration to not touch it, and then there is no energy left for being witty. I feel my own lank oil pan brown tresses, which are soft in my fingers, but overall disappointing aesthetically, and I want you to want to touch my own hair the same way, but doubt that many people in the world feel the need for touch the way I do, and therefore out of deference, I never do. He once accused me of not being affectionate enough, but when I heard that, I thought of all the times I had looked at him and thought about kissing him, thought about touching his face or his shoulders, and had refrained because what if it wasn't right? This is how I feel most of the time, like I am a vast being of air and wind which longs to caress everything, and I am bottled up inside a short squat rubber mold, disconnected even from the nerves that flow through this plastic skin, cut off by the habit of courtesy. Of not wanting to make people uncomfortable.
2) I am not witty. I string any witticisms that come out of my mouth from the fragmented broken bodies of other better thoughts. I cut and pare and pair, until a thought has become a joke, but I never like my jokes as much as I do the messy convoluted things I say to myself, out loud, or to you, stoned on a Friday night, trying to explain how I can be personally offended by you calling your ex crazy, not because I'm actually personally offended, but because on a universal level all women are offended by a man who judges them crazy without attaching the caveat of his own craziness, and all older women, we recognize we have been brutalized by this, we shy away from the suggestion of it as if you had raised your hand against us. But if I explain this to you, you will merely nod and think to yourself that I am crazy too. Which of course I am, we are all crazy, we long for punchlines instead of discussions so we can easily compartmentalize the crazy and quickly judge it, because crazy is okay as long as it produces art, and only then, and even then not for sleeping with.
I am exactly like every other girl. When I was younger, I pretended I was not, and I got laid a lot more. But I don't have any interest in lying anymore.
3) I am awkward. I fumble with my body. I overthink how I look, how you look, the distances with which we're sitting, the surrounding people, the position of the car seat, the smudge of my eyeliner, the little curl by my ear, and the proportion of skin to cloth. I think this way because I want you to love me, guy or girl, dog or bird or car, I want you to love me enough to keep me close by always, I need protection. I collect people like armor. Despite my attempts at being correct, this desire to be loved seeps through the best intention and artifice. It is thick and gray and like fog or cilantro, some people have the yen for it and others only smell fire and taste soap. He told me that it was a problem for me, this wanting to be loved so much. I told him I knew, but I couldn't change it, the way you can't change current or the natural color of your hair.
4) I don't look up to you. I don't look up to anyone. Therefore, if you won't give me escape from this awkwardness, I won't beg for it, and it will harden and cement, as if affection and ease were a liquid to be mixed in slowly with the dry, folded even, tablespoon by tablespoon, and once the bread bakes up flat there is no saving it.
5) I have assumed things about you.
5) You should understand that these charges of emotion that hurl around me, while volatile and vulnerable, are not the things I subsist on. You take my pronouncements as seriously as if I had just cut my wrists in front of you, but I only articulate these thoughts for entertainment. I was only heartbroken once, when it broke for months and I ate nothing, and did nothing, and felt dead. You weren't responsible for that, and you will never recreate that, and I'm sorry that black stain exists in me now because it is definitely the immovable dark part. I purge these happy flitting emotions, the every changing crushes and angers, vanities and rejections, like blistering fireflies boiling up from my skin, and then they float away and I'm still here, the large dark purple squid floating in a black ocean, nameless with unknown intent, waiting. I breathe in a larger hope, living on it, and when I breathe out, anger and lust are the gaseous rejects of my body digesting love. Not your love, necessarily. Love. The thing larger than ourselves that breathes hot on the back of our necks and makes it hard to talk to you.
The point is, I don't know how you're supposed to talk to a squid either, so I forgive you and I'll just be floating over here when you realize you are bored.
Posted by Bridget Callahan at 1:05 PM
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
I'm going to try like heck to start posting on this blog at least twice a week. Because when I don't, I notice I start to measure my self worth by things like how shiny my hair is, or did anyone come over to talk to me at the party. This blog acts like a time stamp, a brand marking my true worth, and so when you see it lying dormant for a little while, the world has come between me and myself and that way lies madness. Lots of cigarettes and madness.
So here's what I got so far.
1) House of Cards is awesome. Question: Did I have a Southern accent fetish my whole life, and this is actually why I wanted to study writing down here, because I wanted to meet Kevin Spacey and let him mind fuck me into a vaguely euphoric kudzu infested sleep of submission? Answer: possibly. What I do know is that my predilection for grossly stereotypical Southern blowhards means I have to stop criticizing people with a Louisiana vampire fetish, cause basically they're the same thing.
Last night the Prince called me at 1am to tell me he thinks Kevin Spacey's character has directly influenced his life, because he was super productive and unfeeling yesterday.
2) My taillight on the car is out and I can't afford to fix it right now, so the next few days will be full of cop paranoia. Which is like money paranoia, except worse, cause I'm already full of car breaking down paranoia.
I vaguely miss not having a car, but once the financial hole I got myself into by taking that Cleveland trip is resolved, my natural ability to turn stress in a water soluble digestible fiber should take over.
3) The first day of my period this month was also, coincidentally, the first day of Passover. I don't know, possibly not a coincidence at all. Maybe my body was all like "Hey God, I don't actually own a doorway, but the vagina is a metaphorical doorway, so I'm going to just smear this blood on it and hope you metaphorically leave my firstborn alone." I love the story of Passover because it's all about communicating with a higher power directly through blood, as if God was a lurking sneaking stealthy beast who speaks no human language, and we can barely control it enough to sic it on our enemies, but it also might turn on us at any moment if we don't appease it with blood. Spring is a good season for Blood Holidays - Passover, Easter, International Workers Day. Spill the blood and take the blood and make the universe listen to you with it.
I also love that it's the one holiday where we're all like - hey, god could kill you whenever he wants, like, immediately, with no reason or circumstance, just by being like boom! gone! So don't eat any yeast.
This menstrual connection is really fleshing out here.
4) My voice has somehow gotten much better in the last year. I mean, not great, but for a while there I wasn't really able to sing at all, and now I feel like I can at least as well as I could in high school. This makes me incredibly happy, and I'm singing all the time now, whenever I can. That's a big difference between the bus and a car - you can't sing on the bus but you can sing the entire time you're driving. Everyone make me CDs okay. Not itunes playlists, I can't play those in the car.
5) If it weren't for the inconvenient messiness of it, I would actually enjoy my PMS week/ period a lot, because in these two weeks I can actually feel the waves of hormones and emotions, good and bad they become physical and real instead of just health book hypotheticals, and I can imagine the drugs my body naturally produces coursing into my brain and making all the little electric neurons go frantic, like a Lite Brite had sex with a Simon Says. When it's so real you can actually taste the pennies, it's makes it so much easier to know your own intentions. Like, tonight my intention is to go to sleep, forever. In twenty minutes, my intention is to stand in a hot shower for an hour. Later today I will become effusively happy, and then dead tired, and it will be entirely predictable and minutely controllable. When I'm not a churning bag of hormones, who knows what the fuck I want. Certainly not me, most of the time.
If you want a straight answer out of me, I try to give that all of time, but there's one week in particular where I can't do anything else, and that was last week. So...save them up for next month? I think I just like myself more when I'm bleeding. It feels so much more true, like whatever mask I'm trying to wear for your sakes doesn't even fit that week. And then the blood actually starts, and happiness returns to my cells, and life flows on again, having sated the blood god one more fertility season. Women are springtime incarnate once a month, that's a gift.
But also, I am the firstborn. That means something. Plagues and sacrificial desirability. Inheritances. Staring down the Beast, who isn't Kevin Spacey, but if Kevin Spacey were to play the Beast in a movie, none of us would blink at the image of him growling dark and incoherent around doorways, waiting to drag the eldest off for the sin of being born to his enemies. Someone make me a CD of Kevin Spacey coming for the Egyptians, and I'll learn to sing along to that.
Posted by Bridget Callahan at 11:57 AM
Friday, March 22, 2013
The temptation to let the entire month of March go by without acknowledging it is overwhelming. It's already the 22nd. I had Spring Break, and I had Midterms, and I had shows and taxes and got a car and got laid by some very nice people and one terrible person. But I knew he was a terrible person before it happened, so that was fine. I did my taxes and made sure my FAFSA was in and worried about school bills. I missed a lot of work, and then worked a lot to make up for it. My hair got super long and I started wearing very dark smudgy eyeliner again. Today for instance, I'm dressed in what I call my 1970s Italian summer outfit. This year I'm just going to try and channel Sophia Loren.
I used to go to this place called The Tower, which was an apartment above a storefront on Lorain Ave. In the storefront was a tax prep place, with only one sign to advertise that, and windows covered with butcher paper and dirt. Across the street was a convenient store, and when I walked over there to get cigarettes, the old Syrian guy who worked there would check my I.D. and exclaim "Oh! Brigitte Bardot!" Every. single. time. So I've got to just start with the first name and next learn French and Italian (not or, and. Let's be honest about this.) And I'm going to have to get kinda tan but not too tan, and wear nothing but black or white underwear, and never run out of mascara. Get it? Mascara? Run?
Fuck you March.
""In North Carolina, it's 60 and I'm cold. In Ohio it's 30 and you're angry." - Scott
There is a moment where you look at someone and you see them very clearly. Exactly what measure of asshole they are currently, and what kind of sweetheart they are, and the veil of whatever tolerance you were willing to give them lifts. Any excuses, any lust for power or affection, and forgiveness you gave them in the name of circumstance - it all disappears and you're left with the naked fact. How much exactly do you like this person, and how important are they in your life?
Most of the time, the answer is not very. Sometimes you realize you hate them, other times you know you love them. Sometimes you see that they used to be really important, but you shouldn't make decisions including them anymore, that period of your life is over.
And that's what happened with me and Cleveland during Spring Break.
Not Cleveland the people, the people were fine. I saw friends I missed a lot, and family, cats and dogs. I didn't get to talk to anyone as much as I would have liked, I wanted an entire day for each person and then I would have just had to move back home.
But Cleveland the city?
You know how that's not always a bad thing, to see and know a thing clearly for what it is? In fact, it's the best thing right? The Love that remains after the In Love is over.
I saw my old cat Eddy of 13, 14 years? for the first time in six months, and realized I was genuinely not a cat person, but that I was going to cry a lot when she died, because she was the last part of 20s me that remained, hanging on tenaciously, refusing to get older.
I saw The Prince and realized I was always going to be in love with him, and that we would make the worst couple ever, and that I'd be lost without him in my life and I was never going to stop talking to him again.
As soon as I articulated this to myself, I missed my Hitman like someone had just swung a cinderblock at my head. But once the worst of the pain was over, it was okay. That's how it works, just deal with the pain and then it will be over and you will hardly remember except every time you fall in love with anyone ever again.
The Prince took me to Cafe Miami, finally, after never successfully going there with me our entire whirlwind summer last year, because we never got up in time. That was crazy as shit. I can't even begin to explain it, because you aren't me or the Prince, and so therefore when you go, you'll appreciate it in your own way, but definitely not our way. He complained the whole time about how fucking cold it was, and it was horribly cold. There was this white stuff on the ground and all this frozen water, and it was practically unlivable. But he also, somehow, without planning to, took me to the library, and to walk on the breaker rocks, and to the coffeeshop I loved, and managed somehow to give me the best kind of Cleveland non-tourist experience. Which I don't usually need any help with, in my own city, but I was just SO COLD. And that's why he's so good with couchsurfers, I guess.
Everyone who saw me at shows asked me where the old confident Bridget had gone. I thought about how the only thing people in NC ever told me is how they wondered at how confident I was, and then I got very quiet.
I saw Jere, and discovered that moving away from him has made him infinitely more valuable to me and I want him to move here please and be my exploration partner again. I can't talk more about that here, but it's absolutely imperative he do this.
I had sex in an abandoned church made yoga studio, and realized I got off more on it being a yoga studio than a church even, as far as desecration sexiness goes, because I find yoga just as creepy as church, and sex in places that creep you out is a power grab. I think that's why I want to tell everyone about it, because I deal with yoga as a presence in my life every day at work, and I don't hate. I even respect it. But I am scared of it. It tries to tell me every day how ugly and unworthy I am, because I'm fat and not rich and drink and smoke. So having sex in it's own lair is kind of a coup for me.
All the shows went pretty well I think.
I made some money, I sold some books.
I saw Mom and Dad at the farm, the dogs came back covered in horse manure.
Then I drove back the 14 hours by myself in a car that I had been convinced would leave me to die in West Virginia somewhere, only it didn't, and instead I just drove through the mountains singing for an entire day and it was kinda easy and amazing. Turns out I like driving by myself a lot. I'm sure that's not a surprise to anyone who's ever had a veil lifting moment about me.
And then I came home, to North Carolina, and it was actually coming home. Which is disorienting, but a relief at least, that it turns out I made the right decision. The first trip back to the city of your birth is always a test.
Whenever I think about Austin renting a car and driving all the way down to North Carolina to come get me and take me home, I feel so incredibly loved. Austin, Scott, Jere, Lou, Don, Ramon, David, Sean, Peter, I know all the best boys.
Posted by Bridget Callahan at 1:16 PM