Fireworks

Aug. 28th, 2012 01:37 pm
parasitegirl: (Default)

I fix myself coffee. It’s not as strong as it should be because I am at work. I prepare it with a paper filter but I didn’t grind the beans finely enough. My morning body still takes cues from deeper established routines that I've recently changed. When I grind coffee, my hands still time the action to the coarser grind needed for a press pot, despite the fact that I now wait until I am at work for my first cup. The press pot is too messy for work. My morning brew delay is to prevent coffee from actively interfering with my breakfast iron absorption. The coarser grind doesn’t produce the surface area needed for a perfect drip-coffee, but the result still surpasses the pre-packaged drip-coffee packets my co-workers sip.

This is not my first coffee of the day. It is my second. I haven’t brewed it to get my fix, it serves a different purpose; I start with coffee so that I won't lead with the writer's cliché of the blinking cursor and the white page.

I need to write. I want to write. Needs are pushy things, they line-jump the quietly queued up wants. I’ve written about my first night in Istanbul and I’d like to continue to that narrative. I need to write about fireworks, strung lanterns, and memories.

Istanbul will be there when I finish what I need to do, although it runs the risk of fraying at the edges.

Saturday night, as I was coming back from a gig at the Russian/Egyptian restaurant in Matsudo, I heard the explosions. I was already back to my train station, walking the six minutes it takes on the single road I take from the station to dirty peach-colored flat I live in.

I knew that if I turned back to the station, I could stand on the bridge that crosses the tracks and see the fireworks. I didn’t turn back. I saw the view in my head. I’d once clicked photos of those fireworks and of the pink and white festival lanterns that line the road near festival time. Click. Send. This is where I live. Click. This is what is happening around me tonight. Click. This is my face as shot from below taking it all in. Send. Send. This is my world right now…enjoy. Sigh. I am a world away. Smile. Take joy in the things that make me smile.

This is where I am now, but in two weeks I will be far away…with you.

I continued walking through the humid night, in August 2012, as I felt August 2010 settle into my skin and dampen my clothing.

It’s how we communicated…photos, typed chat sessions, texts.

August, 2010, I was excited. I’d be visiting America soon. I’d see friends in Seattle, study dance in Las Vegas, and visit San Francisco. In SF I’d seeing friends and stay with someone I cared about but never would define my relationship clearly to (and weeks later I’d permanently damage my relationship to). In Vegas, I would meet D again. D, we’d reconnected on Facebook, having only known each other briefly 10 years before, and had quickly typed ourselves into a frenzy of expectation, excitement… love?

It was to him I sent the snapshots, the moments of my life. August, 2010, was engorged with possibility. To have that feeling return to me, as I walked home, was not unwelcome. Had August 2011 revisited me, prickling me with anxiety, D’s upcoming visit, and my deepest depression I would have wanted to shake off the memory. 2010, however, was before the earthquake, the uncertainty, my returned to life, the soon next-stepping of my relationship with D. The déjà vu of hope was not unwanted.

I don’t write much about D. I never have. I wrote of the good, when I wrote at all, mostly I was silent. I wrote of him just enough to damage my undefined relationship beyond repair. I wrote enough about what caring about him might mean for my life to excite others.

The words he wrote me, when we ended, cauterized something in me. For once there was no lingering. No continued friendship trickily navigated. Our boundaries were never redefined through clumsy moments. No reaching and retraction.

I don’t hate him. I don’t regret that I fell in love with him. I just never want to see him again.

My reflection on those days with D has happened…but most of it is undocumented. I haven’t wanted to loudly recollect and organize that which I only shared with others in shards.

Still, I had to write this, before I continued with my adventures in Istanbul. I needed to share that the familiarity of a night warm with potential comforted me. Excited me.

If D and I did one thing right for each other, it was to release the most glorious, terrifying, Kraken of dreams surpassed: It made us both believe, again, that we could be loved and love others.

And with that the need to write calms itself. It stands aside and signals to want that it can soon step up to the window.

My coffee is cold. I finish it to bring my writing to a close.

parasitegirl: (Default)

“Returning to a familiar bed, country and schedule has a way of temporarily negating all you have done and felt and leaves you feeling like there is something very important you have forgotten.”

It was 7AM, January 4th, 2011, when I thought this in preparation of the occurrence of it. I thought this in a small Car2go, the zipcar/smartcar brand in Austin. I thought it before the sun rose. I composed it as D drove me to the airport, holding my left hand in his right hand.

We said nothing.

What could be said then? We’d said the important things when we could. Even if we had had the coffee needed to say things before the sun rose it would have only served to shatter us. I have boarded enough airplanes in tears. I am not a big fan of sniffling through security…and airport security has grown increasingly less sympathetic about emotional outbursts since I first started crying in transit.

Although, if I am to be honest, in the past I was frequently leaving people…or being pushed to do so…or being put on a plane…or leaving without knowing the full story. D is different. I’ll go back for him. He’ll visit. We’re figuring out what it will take and how to transition to a different life. I suspect, deep down, that he will be as there for me and as strong as me as I can be for him…and I can barely remember the last time I thought that of someone I was with.

It’s not that he is intrinsically better than what I have left before…or what has not been there for me…I deeply love some of those I am no longer with and will not play ranking games that disrespect them. It is not that that I am better than the ghosts of his past. It is just that we’ve both had the sorts of formative experiences that have changed us enough to hope for something different this time and to be rather in awe of the fact that we still have such strong hopes. We are better prepared as people for it to perhaps happen.

We first met in college and know, without doubt, that had we ever acted on these impulses back then it would have been an intense tragedy.

We have no surprise scars. We have been tossing our past issues at each other with reckless abandon since we started chatting back and forth in the summer. We’ve inflated our foilbles the like grotesque balloons in the Macy’s Parade of Shit That Scares Saner People Off from day one of re-introduction…and then we’ve watched the other laugh in fond recognition.

What I am saying is that our scars, and we have many, are understood. He doesn’t document his scars the same public way I do, and that is probably for the best, but he is not unexamined.I have no scar I won’t discuss…you know that. Yet now I can say that I have no scar I feel so defined by that I will allow it to interfere with my potential happiness. Being able to say this has meant saying goodbye to much of what I have been falsely identifying myself by, like that bit about being the girl who is always going away.

That wasn’t easy. Redefinition never is. 

Part of not letting myself be defines by my scars or to proudly identify myself by them has meant realizing that web of intimacy with certain limits that I have been living off of for so long has not made me as happy as I can be…although it has made me happy enough to continue for a very long time and I do not regret it…but there is more out there for me than what I have been enjoying up until D. 

Saying nothing, but remembering everything, I sat in the passenger seat and thought of words to describe this all…as I knew I would eventually need to. 

Our goodbye at the airport would not pass scrutiny. It was nothing. A false event. A placeholder. We’d gone through the words and the tears a little earlier in the timeline when other people were asleep. 

Leaving D, I knew my next morning would be infinitely easier than his. I would wake up in Japan, in a small bed where he had never been, to no familiar scent but my own. I would enter a kitchen he had never stood in, passing by no forgotten socks or underwear. I would shower with only my own salves and soaps. After making a pot of coffee and eating natto and rice, I would go to work.

D would awake in a large bed that still smelled aggressively of us. He would see spaces I had stood in various states of clothing and moods. He would shower alongside the shampoo I bought at CVS…enter the kitchen and see the foods we had not finished…and those things alone would be more work than my job.

This morning I woke at 4:30 AM from unsettling dreams, the hallmark of travel/jetlag/sleeping pills. Much like Gregor Samsa I awoke and found myself changed…but unlike Gregor mine was not a clear metamorphosis. I used the bathroom. I figured out the feeling of displacement was due to flying back to Japan. I had been elsewhere. I smelled nothing that was not my own sweat. I returned to my bed. I slept until 6:15.

At 8AM I was at work.

Returning to one’s familiar life is never a seamless journey but I think we as adults have learned to downplay it. We’ve had enough childhood, college, life adventures to know that the place we return to has usually continued, unfettered by our absence. We learn that very few people will know how we have been changed by where we have gone and what we have done…and that even fewer really want to know. We learn that blathering on too long about what we did without them/ our formative adventure/ our changes is often unenjoyed by others. Our personal adventures are more interesting than our unsettling dreams but you still have to be really good at telling a story for people to give a shit about either of them.

At age 35 I don’t feel the same desire to shout “How can I feel so different while nothing seems to be out of place here?” upon returning home that I did, say, when I came home from summer camp as a teen…but the feeling hasn’t 100% evaporated.

The transition isn’t seamless. The fabric of your time away folds in on itself and gets stitched closed. The invisible zipper. The hidden pocket. The closure that isn’t. It is there and you can feel it, if not clearly see it. 

My own stitches are coming undone or I am slipping into the pocket….a more rested me wouldn’t mix metaphors but a more rested me might not be able to capture the feeling as well in flawed words.  

My current reality has not fully set. I walked back to my desk, returning from lunch, and as I looked up the stairs I felt my head tilt backward, backward onto the pillows. City hall under my feet, my back against an over-sized bed, my breathing ragged. I breathed deeply. It was gone. I climbed the stairs, stepping carefully over the uninvited but not unwelcome memory.

 I am back in Japan….and thinking of moving to America in the spring of 2012.

parasitegirl: (Default)

(crossposted to my Costumes page although it is in no-way shape or form costume related)

I need to unzip the last few weeks. Returning to a familiar bed, country and schedule has a way of temporarily negating all you have done and felt and leaves you feeling like there is something very important you have forgotten.
 

But, I also know the full unzippening will unleash so much that it is best to start with the most accessible memory, the one already retold in tandem so often the pathways are well tramped down. 

So, yes, we will start with Santa. 

It is important to mention that Santa was drunk. Everyone was drunk.

 No, that is a lie. The paramedics were sober, bless them. 

The Spirit moves folks in amusing ways. )

 

 

parasitegirl: (Default)

4:30 AM and the pain was insistent.

It had started the day before. While dining at an Indian restaurant boasting of the world’s best rice pudding and serving the most disappointing garlic naan we’d ever tasted, it grew worse. The pain in my right eye was sharp, digging. I sniffled from the constant flow of diverted tears dripping from my bad eye. First, I tried to rinse my eye in the bathroom. Then, as D-boy waited for the check and called our cab, I stumbled out into the strip mall in search of eye drops. I bought eye drops at a nearby drug store, but they provided no respite from the pain.

D held me in the cab. We were headed to the Clark County Library in Vegas, which is a historical building that also has a stage and theater area, for the second headliner show of the Las Vegas Belly dance Intensive, D’s first exposure to the dance. “Want me to lick it?” D offered, if only to make me smile. My own flow of conversation was muffled by the pain. We arrived. I smiled. D pulled out his iPhone and checked into Facebook’s Four Square application…confounding his friends as to why the hell a boy in Vegas would go to a library.

 

No trip to America of mine will be without medical care! )


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