i become angry when it's chill and rainy a week before summer officially begins, because i hate to feel like my glory season is being stolen away from me. new england is either very beautiful or very lackluster, and i'd relegate connecticut to the latter category.
this weekend i read a journal from 1993, which a woman had put on the
household's bookshelf for public consumption. the whole thing broke my heart. she had dozens upon dozens of self-portraits within, gorgeous charcoal drawings of a woman with big breasts and hips moving sensually, dancing, posing, staring straight ahead. i would look at these pictures and think about how tactile they were, how they came to life for me, how beautiful i found them, and then i'd feel disturbed because they were interspersed with bits of writing about how much she hated her body, how much she wanted to lose weight.
"a size 32 waist would be nice," she'd written. "i just want to lose
fifty pounds." i thought about me and my size 32 waist and my all-too-similar hatred of my own body. i thought about the times i'd put my life on hold, not gone skinny-dipping, assumed that someone wouldn't
want to kiss me because i don't look like christy turlington's younger
sister. i'd never read diary entries so intimate before, and doing so
both killed me and opened up my heart so wide i could scarcely bear it. beyond all else, though--beyond all else there was this little
drawing where the bound book met its center and the crease formed.
there was a tiny woman drawn, suspended in mid-air from a balloon.
the drawing couldn't have been more than two inches high, and the
woman looked perplexed and saddened and scared and hopeful all at once. below it, the author had written "what if i become perfect and
i don't find anybody to love me?" i wanted to rewrite the sentence,
add a word..."what if i become perfect and i still don't find anybody
to love me?" i'm not sure why that hit so hard. maybe it was because
she'd gotten the nail right on its head. i've gone through my life
believing that i can't seem to make relationships work because i have
some grave flaw, when the reality of it is my flaw is this constant
nagging and unfounded suspicion. of course i'm imperfect. we all are.
is it really fair, though, to attribute my loneliness to the fact
that i have a small belly and ever-so-slightly buck teeth when i'm
photographed at the wrong angle? i've fallen for people who were flawed, for sure, people with receding hairlines and crooked teeth and cottage-cheese thighs. i've fallen for imperfect people, and i've
always thought them fucking beautiful. i thought about that woman's
journal all day, i asked everyone her name. no one was quite sure, no one knew what she was doing these days. i wanted to find her, whoever she was, give her a great big hug and tell her that on a day like that it was enough to find some relief, feel some solidarity in the fact that there are a lot of people in this world who don't know how
to reach out & touch other human beings at their core, i'm not alone.
i saw a cob house being built in western massachusetts. "cob" is a building material made of straw, mud/dirt, and sand, and mashed together with water to form bricks. one fellow had made a one-room
finished structure. it cost him $250 in its entirety, plaster and
glass windows and all, and took only three weeks of his life to build.
this amazes me. i want to build my own house. tree or cob or wooden,
i want a home that i've been part of creating, i want to have some
genuine relationship with my place of residence-but first i need land!
june nineteenth. my arms are sore but the lack of sleeves makes them better. i have handled too many crates and bags today, and hugged
too many people artificially. i am visiting my childhood home for the first time since january. there is a feeling of being overwhelmed, this
is always a suffocating thing. five days to get my affairs in order, to
streamline my life before leaving for another year, half-year at the least. i don't have enough time. my mother always thinks of the most random things--she has gifted me with plastic sandals that are supposed to massage one's feet. she knows that they are not even
attractive enough to warrant leaving in the house in for me, who is
the least vain person she knows. they are navy blue and have a fake "weave" pattern. fucking horrible. i think about the money she
spent on these sandals and all the stamps i could buy with it. it seems
like a waste, but if believing that i truly do need "slippers to walk around the house in" will make her feel better, than so be it. a few days ago i wrote a letter in which i stated that all of the output was killing me, that i needed input. now there seems to be too much. the
letters that came in a few short weeks have filled me with images and words that will take awhile to make sense of. it shakes me up a bit
when people who haven't written in years suddenly do so, and even
more so when people i never thought would entertain the notion of
corresponding with me have penned long missives. i feel as if i must
be someone worth knowing. it's a wonderful feeling. something that
has been bothering me lately--my obsession with things lost. i tend to
lose control. when alanna carted all the belongings i'd amassed during my five months in columbus to philadelphia in her big blue van, i had to spend half-an hour throwing the entire contents of her van
around to make sure i didn't leave some secondhand t-shirt or other
behind. when i came into the house i paid less attention to my long-
missed dog than i did to the fact that my mom had spoken of a postcard received which she couldn't find--the idea of a lost piece
of mail fills me with irrational rage, and the fact that she's read the
postcard to me over the phone and i know what it says makes the
whole situation even more ridiculous. i've been like this since i was
born. wasted many hours looking for a pen, needle, or scrap of paper
(an unnecessary one, at that) not because it was essential to my life but because i hated the idea of having lost something. i hate the idea of feeling even the slightest loss of control, and yet i pride myself on
being free. it all seems so contradictory, really. i do a horrible job of
moderating things. i do a horrible job of regulating my behaviors. if i
don't vow to abstain from all refined sugar then i'll allow myself to eat
chocolate chips a third of a bag at a time. i can't have the occasional lemonade or goldenburg's peanut chews package or water ice. this
bothers me, and yet i've been eating plenty of sugar lately, and feeling like crap. yesterday i stuck my head in the connecticut seawater after sliding seaweed all over my face. my scalp is littered with sticky bits
of sand that prefer to hang out there, and my hair is in a post-brine
condition of loveliness, all thick with curls and resplendant with the
ocean. i need to live near the sea, this is all i can think about as of
late, this is the only absolute for me right now, it is all-consuming. i
need to be near water, far from inland, i must have seaweed accessible to me at all times.
it's usually a pretty horrible idea for me to look at my box full of old letters and photos...a few of them make me smile, but more often they
cause me to dwell on negative events in the past and friends who have forgotten about me. it's why i revise my address book every three or four months and remove the information of people who haven't written or called in as long...it's always so hard for me to come to grips with the fact that, unlike me, most people don't keep in touch.
i've been trying not to have crushes lately, seeing as how they usually only serve to destroy my life. project eunuch is coming along very poorly. i've been lying up for hours before falling asleep to daydream of cuddling with certain people when i ought to be starting a damn revolution (ha!) or doing something otherwise tangible. it saddens me.
i realize how thin i spread myself, how i waste seventy-five percent of my writing energy jotting notes to people who will obviously come and go from my life pretty quickly, people who aren't, by any stretch of the imagination, friends of mine. i've got a hard time defining the word "friend"...i know i take it more seriously than most. i'd be able to fit all the people that i'm certain fall into this category on one hand. it doesn't mean that i don't like all the others, or even that i don't want to be friends with them...it just means that i take the word seriously.