Well that's impressive. Indeed it was. Indeed things have been, in a way. I can feel these tidal mood changes. I can feel the wavering presence of my doubt. This fucking doubt, that eats me like a block of Black & White cheese. I swear that's not even real cheese.
Well it was impressive. They impressed me so. In a way or two: in several. They have a taste and a manner. They have bluey-bluey eyes that are reserved only for those of some sort of noble family. It's a blue blood, of sorts; it's a lineage. There's only so much one person can do; a lineage, on the other hand, is different. A following, a gathering of poise, taste, and rosy cheeks: a lineage can sweep a large space. A space perhaps larger than my living room (which I rarely use, being solely occupied by a blanket and some soft drink cups that were long left there, forgotten).
Well that is bloody impressive, in more ways than one. It is to me, at least: the wanderer. Look, I'm not really, I'm not really. I'm not; I have a center: it's my bedroom. But I go about and I do ludricous things at ludricous times. I'll wake up in a strange barn with old vehicles. That's not who I am, it's just what I do. And so I suppose, they have swept away large impressive areas, and belongings that could have been mine, borrowed or used. And I just stood there smiling, glad and stupid. Had it been any other occasion I would have adored them. But there's always something wrong when I pull needles out and it barely hurts, in a sense, an excusably mild poetic sense, if I may say so. It would really make my day if I could be poetic, just for once. Anyway, what I'm trying to say, but it won't come out, is that there's something wrong when I pick up that stringy 6-chord apparatus, that verse-and-chorus music maker. There's something wrong when you're not wailing a senseless sonic beat to them guitar things, but rather holding it like a dear friend, patiently blasé, waiting for it to reveal the answers to all your afflictions. Afflictions we make so huge, in our heads, when they are in reality so minor. I mean, really. Who am I to judge? I'm just a block of cheese.
Indeed. The impressionists hit the spot. I just wish, and have the fondest hope that everything is quite alright, and that it's not too cold outside, in the pouring rain.
“Nope. My name is Harry.”
“Your name is Lewis.”
“Not it’s not. My name is Harry.”
“Lewis, stop fucking around.”
“Who the fuck is Lewis?”
“Your name is Lewis Belsar.”
“My name is Harry Belsar. Are you on drugs?”
“Ha, ha, ha. Hilarious, Lewis.”
“Lucy, I don’t know what’s gotten into you, but I’m Harry. Harry Belsar. My brother’s name is Michael, and I am Harry-”
“I know your brother’s name is Michael.”
“I’m not trying to upset you, you know.”
“I know. But. I am really confused right now.”
“I’m really sorry.”
“I’ve known you for, six months-"
“Well I’m not upset.”
“My name is Harry.”
“LEWIS! Stop it! Why are you doing this to me?”
“Lucy. Lucy. Are you alright? I’m really sorry, but... I was never called Lewis. You’ve known me for a while, now.”
“Holy fuck, I feel so confused.”
“I’m sorry. I feel confused too. Who...? Why do you think my name is Lewis?”
“Lewis, everyone calls you Lewis. I’m not biting into this shit anymore.”
“You’ve really ruined my night.”
“I’m sorry. But. Uh, Lucy. Everyone calls me... Harry.”
Lucy starts crying.
“I’m so sorry. Did you take anything tonight?”
“Don’t touch me, you creep! Fuck off!”
“What the fuck...”
“You’re not Lewis! I don’t know you! I don’t know anyone called Harry! I mean I know someone called Harry, but I haven’t seen him in so long it doesn’t really-"
“AHHHHHHHH! I should be saying that! I should be saying that! Fucking AHHHHHHHH!”
“This is so fucking frustrating.”
“It is, Harry.”
“There you go!”
“You have a sick, sick, twisted mind.”
“I don’t think you understand me very well tonight.”
“Yes I do. You... You sound very convincing but. You’re not. Really. Telling the truth.”
“Oh my God.”
“I’m sorry, Lewis.”
“I’m growing increasingly frustrated. And a little bit hurt.”
“I mean, Harry.”
“If you really mean that.”
“I’m sorry. Can we just drop this?”
“Yes. What’s my name though?”
“Can I just call you Larry?”
“It’s mainly Harry if you think about it, but starting with an L.”
“But my name is Harry.”
“I refuse to call you Harry.”
“Okay, well, I’ll start calling you Joana then.”
“See, I wouldn’t mind that so much.”
“For the entire six months we have known each other, you thought my name was Lewis.”
“Your name is Lewis.”
“My name is Harry. I was born and my mother looked at me and said, ‘Hello, Harry. Welcome to planet Earth.’”
“But then she turned around to your father and he said, ‘Harry is such a plain name. Let’s call him Lewis, like my great-grandfather.’”
“My great-grandfather is not called Lewis.”
“As if you’d even know.”
“I have gone over my family tree a few times in my short lifespan. None of my great-grandfathers are called Lewis.”
“What are they called then?”
“I think one of them is called Frank, and on my mother’s side there’s this real character, and he’s called Pasquale... how is Harry a plain name?”
“The whole world is called Harry, Lewis.”
“Not it isn’t.”
“You just replied to me calling you Lewis! I knew it! I knew it!”
“Some good drugs you’re on, Lucy.”
“That’s it. I’m leaving.”
“Jesus Christ. This is insane.”
“Are you calling me mad? Are you saying I’ve gone mad? I’m not on drugs! I’ve had two drinks! Two drinks! I think I know what your name is, still!”
“And what is my name?”
“I refuse to answer to your nonsense. You’re the one that’s on drugs. You are. You are.”
“But I’m always on drugs. You know that.”
“You think I’d know the most basic information about myself in case I went in some sort of drug-induced coma in the middle of the street...”
“I mean, because I take such heavy drugs after all...”
“Don’t even start trying to shame me.”
“Shame you? You don’t know my first name and you think I’m trying to guilt you about telling me I do too many drugs?”
“Oh my fucking God. Shut up.”
“My first name! Harry. Harry, not Harrison - just plain fucking Harry. Harry Belsar. Harry fucking Belsar.”
“Nice to meet you, Harry fucking Belsar.”
“I think I’m done with this.”
“Good. So am I.”
“See you around, Lucy.”
“Where are you going?”
“I’m going home. Weren’t we going home?”
“Yes. Until this.”
“Until I found out you’re some other person.”
“I’m not some other person. My name is Harry, that’s all.”
“Suppose I can believe that.”
“As you should.”
“As you want me to believe. Suppose I call you Harry. But then suppose we get home and happen to find Michael awake in the lounge room.”
“Michael won’t be awake.”
“I’ll wake him up. I’ll make him say your name.”
“You’ll wake my eight-year old brother up so he can tell you what my name is.”
“Oh, shut up. You know he’ll call you Lewis, that’s why.”
“I feel like none of us is willing to give this up.”
“I feel the same way.”
“We seem equally as strong in our opinions of what my name should be.”
“But seeing as you are under the influence, I am the winning lot.”
“The insane are always saner.”
“Whatever. Shall we go?”
“Wait! Do you have any I.D. on you?”
“Liar. Where is your wallet?”
“I left it home. I only brought my drugs. That’s all I carry with me, you know.”
“Hilarious, Harry. Shall we go?”
“Yes. This way, miss.”
Fuck! What a waste of time it has been.
or walk in leaps and bounds.
You can't shine by showing off
or get ahead by pushing.
Self-satisfied people do no good,
self-promoters never grow up.
Such stuff is to the Tao
as garbage is to food
or a tumor to the body,
The follower of the Way
Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching: a book about the Way and the power of the Way, Ursula K. Le Guin
Ten True Things, Miranda July
And we do take our freedom for granted, and we toss with it playfully and mindlessly, knowing it to be so firm. But it is because we forget what history did for us, and we forget that this modernity is also the next step, and that in order to pace forward we have to have the initiative of some kind of revolution. And if the revolution is in the creative minds and in the simple change of pace and time, changing frenzied schedules into organic wholesome lifestyles, then so be it. That's still worth a try. To lead by example, maybe.
And if I can't conform to this life, I won't go. I won't go but I'll be gone for a while. Because to me the danger looms really in this static breath; in these pigeon suits and neverending anxiety I see left, and squarely center. The danger looms in the eternal loneliness of mind. Why do we deny to get to know ourselves?
What's so wrong in listening to music anyway? I can barely breathe sometimes. Last night it was so cold in the train line, and it rained heavily, and the gutters were draining, turning water, and I stood shivering. But as I reached for my music container, the iPhone savior as they say it, as I reached for it indeed I knew exactly what would make me warm, and which voice and energy would hold me for the hour, and take the kind of care for me like the boyfriend I've never had. And it was Conor Oberst, of course, speaking to me clearly but also speaking of him: about freedom and all the things he used to feel so strongly about, and I guess I just love him because he has a heart, and because his affection is so transparent, and nothing more.
An when I share this with you I expect that you find me truthful, and plain in my expectations. You are either a dear friend or otherwise necessity. Either way, I have seen in you the possibility of a door, and a hallway, and possibly even a lounge room at the end of it, in which we can seat in plush leather seats and smoke cigars. So don't untangle, but rather absorb, and apply to you what needs applying. And remember only the parts that remind you of yourself.
It's not so much any part of sadness, but it's just a rapid thought that sometimes repeats itself. And it's that sometimes I take such high plunges and I hit the pool to find no such wonderful splashes, but rather a bit of concrete and a bit of mould growing at the top edges of this concave creature, and I guess my head hurts a little from dry diving, but hey, no one ever said I wasn't the adventurous type. I guess the circus is free to run however it pleases, and I sometimes buy popcorn and sit on the sidelines to watch the loud presentations. I mainly, however, enjoy my time inside the cage, with the glowing fire rings and the lions. Or dragons.
I wanted to have the oxygen capacity to reply to a familiar lie; I want to have the unbrashed capacity to feel fresh and honest with a friend, and with someone that used to be so Jane, but is now suddenly so Mary Poppins. And sometimes when I lay my realities slowly, feeling the territory before the fire brigade, I get the hunches it isn't right, and that I am wrong to be trying to be so real in this fleshy, fleshy body. And then I pretend to dance around a sentence, and I turn my head around and face the wind for a moment. And when my company turns back at me in a moment of intense intrigue, I realise I have outdone myself again and smile brightly back at them - because I can't help being the driving force behind all the nice things that are happening around me. And so I should stand firmly in my small boots and find some comfort in this common ground; and remember that in the end, we need no one but our own Cyclopean eye.
"All I know is I'm losing my mind," Franny said. "I'm just sick of ego, ego, ego. My own and everybody else's. I'm sick of everybody that wants to get somewhere, do something distinguished and all, be somebody interesting. It's digusting - it is, it is. I don't care what anybody says."
Lane raised his eyebrows at that, and sat back, the better to make his point. "You sure you're just not afraid of competing?" he asked with studied quietness.
"I'm not afraid to compete. It's just the opposite. Don't you see that? I'm afraid I will compete - that's what scares me. That's why I quit the Theatre Department. Just because I'm so horribly conditioned to accept everybody else's values, and just because I like applause and people to rave about me, doesn't make it right. I'm ashamed of it. I'm sick of it. I'm sick of not having the courage to be an absolute nobody. I'm sick of myself and everybody else that wants to make some kind of a splash."
Franny and Zooey, J.D. Salinger
Basically the idea behind it is to take a really crappy poem, or a porn novel, or a boring intro, and make with it a new word combination from the words written on any given page. Anything goes, as long as it's funny, gross, and/or deep. Below are some of my favourites. I've been making some of my own too, they're underneath this post. Feels almost like a literary scrabble.
I had been going politely insane. So many standard drinks still left to drain out of my head. The party was a huge cabaret performance. A disaster, really. All the semblance of normality in this irrational binge-drinking, pot-smoking weekend fest was disappearing beneath my bare feet. In fact, I don't know why I left the house without shoes. I think I'm going crazy. My toes were numb, but I can't really tell. I can't tell it apart anymore, I don't think.
Pat looked at me sadly the entire evening. I was and always will be surrounded by my brothers in guard, until the day I bark at them to fuck off; never the other way around. Still she stared at me with stone stoner blue eyes, uncapable of telling me off for irrepairable behavior. She told me off in her quiet manner; the one of always: never approaching me, not even once for the formalities of a hello, but plainly and openly observing me from the back of the house, her head leaning against the fence gates.
I don't really know what I'm doing. All of this is starting to become redundant. Look, I have this fear. It's not unfounded either: I know too much. Everything bores me. I have stopped, or stalled, or fallen down; missed something important along the way. All I can tell is that there are no more challenges. I don't know where to go. I don't know where to go.
I can see through everyone. The phenomenal but annoying thing is that I always will too, until the day I die. I have made such a fantastical advance from years of living surrounded by other people that live the present tense, that I just ran myself out of the race while everyone else is still in the first lap. I have all this get-to, make-do know-how but it feels like I cheated, like I won some rare console in a raffle, but it came with no games. There will never be games either. I have seen men rise and decay in the dirt of their putrid egos; I have seen more than your eyes could ever fester on. I have heard things that would shock your ears. I feel like I've seen too much, too soon. I'm overloaded.
I was stumbling out of the pathway and into every bush and patch of grass. This was a no man's neighbourhood. Dark suburbia and families of blonde children, roast dinner nights and the smell of money perfuming the air at seven. This was not my place, but I belonged somehow. I ravaged those streets every dawn like they were mine. The alcoholic warewolf. The stoned fucker. The king of vomits. Me.
I ran into a dent in the concrete right in front of the Bowls Club and with a sidestep I was palms first onto a slab of wet grass. "Good one mate," I rasped, half laughing, half lurching my head forward, feeling the involuntary needs creep up my throat. This was unsatisfactory. Noteworthy but starting to scare the shit out of me. So fucking wasted. Anyway, I held my breath and took a gulp to clear this upcoming mess-up. It seemed to work, so I moved slowly into a crawling stance. Tiger stance. I was a motherfucking praying mantis, even: I was whatever the hell I wanted to be. There hasn't been anyone to tell me how I should be and what I should do for a long long time now. I'm my own goddamn influence. I tell myself what to do. Literally: I actually don't hear a word other people say. They call me rude; I call myself smart. But oh well indeed; I guess this is why I have almost like a cult-following behind me, an anorexic state of minds staring up at the puppet stringer. The king, the sixties clad fool, the idiot that puts in his mouth everything that he finds amusing. It amuses them. They have never known things differently. They could never begin to imagine what it would be like if I wasn't around. Dude, I'm not even painting this in colours when in reality it should be black and white. They follow and I follow others too, although lightly. We all fucking follow each other. We're friends. We're all brothers and shit. We couldn't bear to break the waving tide of our colaborative.
But the truth is tonight I snapped, and that I said shit and acted out of character more than the usual biggotry I pull. Party host Alex Patterson more or less kicked me out. I let him. I could have stayed and charmed my way out of it. And the worst part is that he would have accepted it. But instead here I am, isolating myself for a definite, leaving behind all the monsters I created.
I don't really know myself. I mean, I know the fucker that I am by miles of points, I lead courses in the night, I am heard, I make myself center student. I'm not naive enough to think I do this out of pure charismatic joy, pure positivity; no, I will manipulate if given time and space. And I reap the benefits selfishly in my quiet corner, like licking the bowl all by yourself. Yeah, whatever, it may be said out loud, I have a gigantic ego, a bubble monster that froths the night away, chasing sidewalks to smoulder with cigarettes and glory. But the point being and the point taken: I have created this trend and these kids. I have created us all.
I snapped. I don't want to mention what I did. I'm not embarrassed; I was just too sickly drunk. The concrete sent the unpleasantries of cold stone down my hands. I ought to stand up. I should really stand up. So I did, tumbling to the side, my shoulders swaying, my muntled head barely erect.
I tried carrying on. Not too far now. Just up the road, and to the left... I could manage it. I just had to keep blinking to clear out this nausea. So cold. So fucking cold. It was clear to me, then: I ought to listen to classical music. The most pure art form known to my ears; Chopin, telling me of my mediocrity. Any day now. I ought to pick Lewis' dad vinyl collection, because he's practically dead really, and the music just what I need to stay alive. If I die... If I was ever to die, in future and shit, then I would have wanted a classical soundtrack at my funeral. The real deal, the tragedies, the tormentous pieces: a real Mozart symphony, none of this acoustic twang sobriety of these dawn days.
Tonight would have been perfect for that kind of sound: crescendos at the sight of my lighter. I set up a beautiful invention. I had doused the used-up paper towels with that foreign grog Pat's friend had brought for us. I made myself boy scout. Creating flames for the meek. Starting a wondrous thing, obsessively centered suddenly; looking for foil paper in the trashed house, absorbed in my culture. From thin air then, there was fire: the flames of interruption. People running around. A fucking beginning to this end. A very merry end to all my heart's desires. I have desires, you know. I used to have them, by the bunches, I could barely contain my enthusiasm: this lust for life you have when you're 16, always. Before I became consumed in this asfixiating thought; this pleasant mind of pleasantries and control. Domination and all that shit.
I started a fire in Alex's kitchen floor. All I remember was laughing manically, and Pat looking at me, terrified.
I took a swig of my bottle and stared right back at her.
I don't know what's worse, my mounding hate for the innocent simplicities of everything that surrounds me, or my own blind eye. I feel sick. I feel sick, I thought without much concern, and once more I found myself falling, staring at the ground, defying it almost. It couldn't go any worse from here.
A positive thought. If I just stayed put, I wouldn't fall again. My legs wouldn't hurt. I could brace myself a bit too, hold my own warmth. Touch my feet. No, no. It hurt too much. Leave them be frostbitten, I could still savage the rest. If I just rested here, behind this car for a little while, I could muster some energy. My lip quivering like some malcontent young child pretending sadness. But I was cold. I think. My smoggy breath hovering in the darkness that now lay on me, slowly. Squashing me in silence. I am always surrounded by... and these thoughts are fading quickly. I feel quick and faded, I thought very slowly. I thought, I like to think I know a few things... I wish I knew more but deep in the mist I know so little... It feels so little, in here. It's cold.
I wish I could think clearly, I wish I had been different, I wish I had had the guts to love her. I wish I had let it go. I wish to stay right here, where it feels warm and my head is still full of liquid, a fishtank: my eyes two gold fishes, swimming.
I turned on the sidewalk and stared at the sky. There are things on my brain but they're just words. I feel something in my stomach and it's like, this dum... dum... dum... this beat. I can hear my heart. It's so warm where my heart beats. Dum... dum... dum... it's so warm in my heart in my stomach. I can feel it and everything around it is feeling a bit colder, but no: I feel warm. Fuel to burn off. Fire and... cold concrete. Pat is a nice girl... if the neighbours find me here I hope... the sky looks really pretty tonight. Life. Living is pleasant. I swear, I swear. Life is a dazzling creature. I wish I could... that lust for life I used to have, I...
The true thing is that you came and that you established a game and made me thank; made me polite and modern and all that wank. I held a prey to make you stay around, and I guess you did. At first round.
And eventually we became victims of the circumstance and we stood paired like two birdies ready to romance. Bromance, I'm such a clueless tool that one wouldn't have given it a second glance. And we had a thing or two and it was coil and quiet and demure. You made me moan and linger my mouth open. Apathy can only last for so long. So I executed this fling like a quick bird would kiss a flower; I didn't linger.
And yet you stung me with the past and brought a companion to my face. The least of respect would have been enough. I mean, come on, I rubbed his presence once to you and you had a fit; remember this glitch. Spitting it out makes it no less different than keeping my tiger eyes out, big spheres that ball up in your tricks and small courtesies; worlds colliding like bricks and stones and bones that crack easily. You thought I was breezy at first but now there's a complication to even talk.
Irony is a favoured undertone to everything that's passes by. It makes us take life more lightly; it's a quiet joke to a brain with no encore comedy hoax, recorded audiences, whatever. And so with irony we must satisfy ourselves; I satisfy myself in seeing you cluster with composure: where should you be at if there's two of us and none the wiser? You know nothing about the wiser. There are no wisemen.
They don't live around these hills. I'm happy to bemuse. Happy to find your face confused. It's funny and ironic, because you shouldn't give a fuck. Since the deed is portrayed. I slayer and I will slay in even, automatic pan; I'll slay and slay and slay again. I'm tired of this instance; a no-mance.
In my stance I linger and watch the rain drip. I made a stitch out of pure nylon twits and some awesome trousers with the wowzers that invaded the spot we step today. My point is I stood and will always stand alone - like a Jimmy Hawthorne. I wish I ever had his going.
The fish that drinks your pond dry is overrated and surrogated to your bank of memories of such a wild time ago, you might as well let go of farse. Don't hold onto the past. But I'm not here to talk about your choices, I'm the kind of friend with friendships and loyalty. I'm here to embrace your niche. Don't be so defensive.
I'm still trying to repeat this heavy beat because it's beyond me how the dogging came by. I wasn't here to say either hello or goodbye. I wasn't here to try and persuade your native tongue; I was here to enjoy the theatre and the art and the paintings in the wall. The little puppet stall. I was here to contemplate walls. I was here for myself and for a second, try to forget your shoes. This record we choose to repeat.
So don't mock me away and hold her fist and drag her up the stairs with the least of real courtesy or formal knowledge and integrity, and bark at me with a whistle rather than a roar; because if you were a man you would have known the timbre that it takes to shake this heavy wake.
I'm eloping with a friend, leaving behind a cute imagery of us two. He's kind and true and sits plainly in my room. A warrior of his own confidence; much like you. Because I'm no victim of my past, and victimism never meant to last.