Friday, September 20, 2002
wasting my time, wasting your time:
this is funny. take this quizzie and see how well you know me*. leave me comments and tell me how annoying that was.
in other news, it's friday and i'm off to rhode island for a relaxing weekend. unless i have to amputate my left leg because of the combined pain of shin splints and open blisters. damn you, fashionable shoes, damn you.
*warning: some of these questions, only erin and raychul will be able to correctly answer. sorry.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Thursday, September 19, 2002
i have a dream .. and it involves a hasselblad.
i know i've got this great job, and blah ditty blah. but i'll tell you a secret. it's a secret fantasy of mine. one of those middle-of-the-work-day, what-else-could-i-be-doing-with-my-life fantasies. one day, maybe i'll open a portrait studio in my parents' basement, in rhode island.
sound like a stupid fantasy? i'll tell you why it's not. well, first, because it's my fantasy, not yours. so, nyah nyah nyah. secondly, well, goddamn but i do take some rockin' good portraits of people. thirdly, because providence [at least where my parents live, the chi-chi east side] is a pretty wealthy town, with a lot of banking young new england families with blond children and volvos, and they love having those classy, black-and-white portraits of them, all laughing in some cheery park, littered around the house.
think about it. my parents have an enormous basement - it spans the whole bottom of the house. i could easily have a black-and-white darkroom down there as well as a portrait studio and a small gallery. with a digital SLR, the new epson color printer [which is ahhhmazing, by the way] a good computer, i could put out some beautiful color photographs. and with a medium format and a black-and-white darkroom, i could make some amazing b&w portraits.
and i'd have my own business, and run my own life, and my own hours, and still have time to raise a family and be that soccer mom you all know i'm going to become.
and you know the scary thing? as much as i love my life, and i'm excited about my career path, there's that moment in the middle of the day, when i think about how many years of clawing my way through the corporate world it'll take for me to be the journalist i know myself to be capable of becoming, and i think....
what's wrong with a thriving little portrait studio in my beautiful house, being around photography equiptment all day, and having time to write, read, take pictures, and love my friends and family?
all i need now is about twenty thousand dollars, a husband, and some patience.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Wednesday, September 18, 2002
that certain someone...
i met him in french class, my senior year of high school. i had just returned to houston after two and a half years in kenya. i didn't like being back, with all these white-washed kids, in this white-washed public high school. i had changed.
so there he was, in my first class of the day. we both spoke far better french than the teacher. i thought he was amusing, if strange. his black hair was all over the place, curly and untamed with fading blond streaks. he wore tee shirts from punk bands i'd never even heard of, and skater shoes. all my "normal" girl friends, some of whom were in the class, thought he was strange. so, at first, did i.
he started bringing me an extra kudos bar in the morning. he sat behind me, and i could always feel his presence there, leaning over his notebook to doodle something [later, i learned, he always chews on the edge of his tongue when he's concentrating]. i realized that i had more fun talking to him than anyone else in the class. he was funny, with this heaving laugh [probably from too many cigarettes and late nights]. there was something contradictory about him - so sweet and yet so nonconformist. i thought he was different. i liked different.
the notes started later - we'd identified each other's cars in the school parking lot, and one day he left me a note, with a simple 3D cube drawn on it, and his messy signature. how cute, i thought. so i left a note on his beat-up old volvo [may she rest in peace]. the back of the volvo was covered in black-and-white punk stickers. how cute, i thought.
i think the turning point was when he actually, honest to goodness, came into the gap where i worked. there he was, looking completely out of place. he bought socks. he told me that he was "hanging out" at the starbucks around the corner, and that i should drop by. several hours later, when i got off work, he was still there.
the story is common. we dated. we broke up. later, we dated again and broke up again, and so forth and so on. so it goes.
the point isn't that he's my ex boyfriend [although he proudly holds the title for the only ex-boyfriend that i still talk to...]. the point is, he's still around. he's changed, i've changed. somehow, over the course of four years of college, we've never lost touch. there was a late night my freshman year, an all nighter, when he drew me a picture of some flowers and emailed them to me, since he was still up. there was a winter when he made sure to send me baby-blue connected-with-a-string mittens for the first day of snow. there was the time he said, 'you'll be recieving a letter from me', and instead, i got the most beautiful painting of two llamas, that now hangs in my living room. there were nights, when we hung out in houston, where we just sat around all night, smoking cigarettes and watching bad television, that were some of the happiest nights of my life. there's the knowledge that no matter how much water is under the bridge with us [and there's plenty], we'll always be friends.
because after all those memories, matt's still around. he's funny, he's honest, he's kind as hell, he's smart and talented and still humble, he's wonderful at just listening, and then he'll just dispel my bad moods just by laughing. this is my little birthday gift to him - because i don't think he really understands just how important he is to me. if you'd told me, four years ago, that he would still be one of my best friends ... well, i wouldn't have believed you. i was going away to new york, how the hell would we stay friends? i underestimated him. i don't do that anymore - i think the world of him. he's one of the few people i trust completely, because after all we've been through, i know he'd never do anything [else] to hurt me.
so, happiest twenty-second** birthday, matthieu. i love you.
[and get to the goddamned post office and mail my painting, you lazy prat. or i'll call you and wake your ass up.]
** duh. i'm an idiot. it's his twenty third, as he so kindly called to remind me. and he's mailing the painting. good boy!
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Monday, September 16, 2002
how to never get over anyone.
it's pretty common to say, 'yes, i'm over so-and-so', or 'no, i'm not over so-and-so.' i have several friends going through the various stages of break-up. and during a conversation with flood, i realized something about the heart.
there are some people you'll never get over. in your heart [that tricky and profound organ] there's a little piece of each person you've loved. you don't even think about it, but it remains there, like a secessionist island, that has a little flag pinned to it, and it obstinately refuses to give up it's share of your emotional commonwealth.
it's the thing that still, after months or years, that still beats faster when the name is mentioned, while the rest of your heart feigns emotional nonchalance. it's the part of you that remembers what their pillow smelled like, how their collarbone arched a certain way, their favorite song, the sweater you wore that drove them crazy. love is a funny thing.
so, every boy i've loved, in any capacity, will always have a little sympathetic underground revolution, a little stubborn cuba, hanging on to the edge of my fully recovered heart. at last count, there were about five. there will be more. eventually, their causes will become more and more muted. and then one day, when the rest of my heart is triumphantly unanimous for one person, those little islands will sigh, take down their battered little war-flags with fading names on them, and recede slowly into the recesses of emotional nostalgia.
but for now, they are powerful hell-raisers, capable of throwing my whole day off with one little whiff of hermes cologne, or white button downs, or when my sheets smell like soap and cigarette smoke, or the sight of a battered volvo, or rainy nights, or the memory of kenyan red dirt on the soles of his feet, or when i see moss-green eyes smiling, or nat king cole.
which gives me pause to wonder - should any of these pieces of history decide to reclaim their territories, would my heart be strong enough to stand its ground?
* * * * * * * * * * * *