Me Big. You Little.

Desiree Burch is bigger and badder than you. Except when she's smaller and better (with more parentheticals than you can handle).

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Sleeping on the fold-out bed. A trip to the Met.

Sleeping on a fold out bed always makes you feel foreign. For me its associations are circa 1984, 5, 6 sleeping over at grandpapa’s house in a part of L.A. I will never be able to find again. Magical in its rough, abrasive, dry, heat miasma, liquor-store flowing into the streets beneath the tires of bicycles, strollers, treading flips flops broken glass, old, raw magic.

He had a salmon apartment. His windows had bars, and Afro-Tiffany lampshades colored life visors dealing bids, cards, cash. My brother and I would sleep on the fold out mattress in the living room, kicking windmills around the gigantic metal bed. He in his Forrest Gump leg braces, wild legs kicking. Myself having once again turned into a slowly dying fish in my sleep.

When I was 17, my father, brother and I took our first “family” trip to Hawaii. It was gorgeous and tragic. My body bled sweat to sounds of “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems” and Blondie’s “The Tide is High,” the only two songs played on the island of Oahu, perhaps ever. We stayed in a cheap hotel right near the flashy area of town, or at least the Planet Hollywood. It was a nice thing for my dad to try to plan, right before I went away to college, so I wouldn’t forget about the fact that I had never had the privilege of spending that much time with him in my life. It was cool meeting the woman he was trying to sleep with. Perhaps he had. You could never quite tell with any of them. He would bring lesbians back from Spokane, WA. You wouldn’t know if they were having sex in swings or if he was trying to learn how to play hockey. But they sure liked to smoke together.

There was a single queen-sized bed behind slatted accordion pantry doors, which he stayed on. In the living room, there was a fold out couch. There is a picture of him in one of my photo albums as he sits on the corner of this bed while his ass falls through the frame. My brother and I both connect in another evil dimension when the same thought rejoices “first let’s take the picture. And then let’s leave him there. Let him waddle around until his back goes out. Let him reach for a cigarette and his Pepsi.” But we don’t know how to get off an island. He is yelling at us for help. We let him grunt a little first, while we laugh, so he thinks he is being included.

We slept on that bed all week. Well, I think I did. My brother, having the soul of a beat poet, started sleeping on the floor with the cushions.

I started yesterday on a fold out bed. I had claimed it pre-maturely for the night, and midway though, had it eventually invaded by the one who had fallen asleep drunk halfway on the couch in front of the television. The comfortable cigarette butts and beer stained pillows that once welcomed them in the wee hours, suffocating them with putrefaction by twilight.

It was a hangover day. We are all 26, and find out that our bodies are somehow getting drunker faster than we are, and taking up more of the weekend feeling guilty. I wanted to go to the Met to see the Diane Arbus exhibit. Everyone else sort of had tentative plans to do nothing all afternoon. We all showered, and put on parts of the same outfits we were wearing the night before (In my case, my pink and black party dress, which I had been wearing for three days). We got to the museum by 4ish.

It was me and my blonde posse, TOA and BMS. We take a lovely dew-drenched ride over the Queensboro Bridge up to the museum, while BMS, after having invited everyone on her Missed Calls list to the museum, decided to meet her new boyfriend who was “down the street” from the museum for a few hours. TOA managed to borrow a membership pass from an old family friend and we checked out Arbus and Ernst.

On the way up the steps I was stopped for a photo op. One of those greyed Upper-West Side guys who you can’t figure out how they can afford their apartment, but then notice that all they wear is the same urban safari outfit hoping someone will mistake them for the BBC. I felt like I was taking a moment on the red carpet there as the Nikon ninja instructed me to show him my flower—the one on the side of my hat, that with the rainbow and glitter striped socks probably made him so disappointed when he saw my face and learned that I was not a transvestite.

After an annoyingly loud conversation on her cell phone, TOA and I found the Arbus exhibit, which, for all who saw it, was fantastic. I always feel like such a foreigner tourist learning about artists in museums. That is what they are for, in fact. And playing by the rules and doing anything like I am supposed to always gives me an innocent, haunting, tickling sensation all through my middle. Something that makes me feel like a sexy six-year old. I loved the way they decided to slice open her world. The little secluded rooms for her letters, notes, things collected from under her desk. I wonder at how that kind of elucidation of a person violates and deifies them. Printing a postcard scrawled in their text. The noted equations they did not figure out in their head. An email or a doodle. All of this made the art so tangible. And the photos themselves, like a wedding album full of poses. The “ceremonies” she talked about. The camera’s natural haunting ability to capture moments when we let ourselves be looked at, in hopes that others at present and ourselves in the future will be arrested in the presence of us, who are ourselves arrested in this present moment.

Or you know, some junk like that.

Some of the ones that jump out in my memory are, Widow in her bedroom, Bishop near the ocean (or something like that), Dominatrix holding her client (for my obvious personal sensual sentimentality), the one with the family in the grass all in white… or at least mostly in white. The way it hung in the room, it almost shone… The two ladies at the Automat… Sharon…. The naked Jewish girl with the curls on her head. Yeah, I know she has a last name, and call me racist for forgetting it, but whatever. The black couple dancing (who were probably Negro in the title), and of course, the blind couple in their bedroom, which moved me to tears. Because they’re freakin’ blind. God. Grow some feelings people. But really, for the sparseness of their exterior lives. It was mildly transcendental.

Though I have already blown my wad on Arbus, I saw the Ernst exhibit too, which was like a Mecca Jr. for me, after having trekked out to Philadelphia (the city of brotherly joggers) for the first time to see the Dali exhibit. Both of these men could put me in a surrealist sandwich and I would be a happy blob of sand and hair undulating through a forest of eyes and midnight eclipses on stilts for the resurrection of a phallus on a cross. It would be fantastic. They both have that tall, thin, I’m a genius thing going on that I live for. I thought of Ernst, weathered and grey, and his flopping hairy balls validating my self-absorbed bohemian life under a shower of dove feathers. Surrealists always make me horny. Although, at this point, BMS showed up with her man-flower and I was not in the mood sniff and enjoy him, as she had spent the better part of 24 hours of conversation talking about him, and the hair all over their bodies and the struggles with shaving it off, and I was done with her abstract becoming my reality because it wasn’t placed and juxtaposed thoughtfully enough. And museums always make me air and water… Submerged, misty, frozen. Things like Ernst’s spirit in the fire are all I am drawn too. The red hills, and the comfort and symbolism of space like his World of the Naïve. Tranquility like in his Immortality, or inside the call of the SeaGull… I hum like an O, like suns and moons over his forests, yellow, red and green like funky dawns. I appreciate the wryness of character that shines through the one viewing all of this, whether it is the artist themselves, or the audience, who will find the echoes of voice in all that they do.

For future reference, there is an appropriate place for everything. Text messaging was made for meeting people in museums, I have discovered. If you require homing devices to kept tabs on people in your life, it is best when they can convey the most information with the least wasted energy dealing with bullshit. Talking on one’s cell phone in a museum can only consist of bullshit. There is no way for at least one, if not both members of the conversation to be present. It is also not the place to introduce someone to someone else after talking their ear off about them. To me, it is a place of lone roaming ghosts, and all “Boos” must be silenced so that the wind can be heard. It is also not the appropriate place to eat. Sandwiches are 8 dollars here, and no one who works inside really knows how to make one. We got the hell out of there, and cut over in the pouring rain to an overpriced diner of delicious delights. We retired home, to regain any sort of sensual sobriety. We indulged ourselves in wine and medical dramas. We cleaned ourselves out from the eventfulness of the day. We fell asleep too early. Hours soaked up. And of course, clocks melted.


Apparently, spiders in dreams are good luck. In real life, they aren't too bad either. They kill other bugs, which makes them superhero badasses. They are like fishers of the sky and the corner of my bedroom. And they also tweek out just as much as other humans.

There was a red and black one in my dream last night. I had already woken up once or twice, so this was the vivid, fucked up part of the dream. The spider was chasing me. It was jumping and hopping fast, like at ATV over my shag carpeting. I was stumbling around my room, trying to get dressed for work, which was like trying to get dressed for school, which was like being onstage and not knowing my lines, because I was already an hour late for life, it was still dark out, and I was unprepared. And this spider was tumbling toward me. I found someone's old sneakers in my room. I took the right one and softly bludgeoned the spider hiding out in my shag. Dude, good luck was chasing me, and I killed it. Of course. At least I tried. It was still kicking a little when I woke up. Mortally-wounded luck. Wait for me.


Apparently, spiders in dreams are good luck. In real life, they aren't too bad either. They kill other bugs, which makes them superhero badasses. They are like fishers of the sky and the corner of my bedroom. And they also tweek out just as much as other humans.

There was a red and black one in my dream last night. I had already woken up once or twice, so this was the vivid, fucked up part of the dream. The spider was chasing me. It was jumping and hopping fast, like at ATV over my shag carpeting. I was stumbling around my room, trying to get dressed for work, which was like trying to get dressed for school, which was like being onstage and not knowing my lines, because I was already an hour late for life, it was still dark out, and I was unprepared. And this spider was tumbling toward me. I found someone's old sneakers in my room. I took the right one and softly bludgeoned the spider hiding out in my shag. Dude, good luck was chasing me, and I killed it. Of course. At least I tried. It was still kicking a little when I woke up. Mortally wounded luck. Wait for me.

Monday, May 09, 2005

I Like Freud

This sexy, fucked-up, bearded, cigar-smoking man is often misrepresented, maligned, or just straight-out dissed by yes-man intellectuals like myself in contemporary social/psychological discourse. His theories are apparently grossly generalizing and archaic in our fragmented world.

But I like the guy. I like the allegory of his theories. I think, that despite the holes that can be punched all over them, that they work. Yes, they are grossly generalizing. People are grossly general. And generic. And the reason that stereotypes/generalizations are so hurtful is that they are generally true on some level, and no man likes to be reduced to the lowest common denominator of his flesh... that thing that is fear, laziness, and the sad bits of humanity all bundled together in his guts. But some things work. People act out in different ways because of their problems with their father, mother... and people are intrinsically sexual from the moment they arrive on the planet. Sex is talking, breathing, being on this earth with others. Intrinsically it plays into every interaction we have, I think. It is up to us to expand our definitions of "sexuality" and what that word means, besides the taboo elements that have titilated us for thousands of years.

This is of course coming from someone who has read like one of Frued's books, and basically little to nothing else in the field of psychology.

But even Camille Paglia (gotta love her too) would stand up for our freaky Austrian friend. She says that Freud is interesting and vital less for his ideas specifically than for the way he formulates them. I could be wrong (but let's just say here that I am not afraid to be), but it seems that for non sequitur nature of his stuff, his is a very practical, rudimentary psychology. I found reading Civilization and Its Discontents that his theories were rather applicable. They made sense to me. Perhaps because I find that I think in a similar way. Often working from both ends of the equation to make sense of something that I know to be true.

It's like prayer to me. I personally have a mysticism that is an amalgam of Christianity, Buddhism, Physics, Zen and some other crap all juiced to form a turbo-blast concentrate. I of course, am often harangued when I mention that I was raised as a Christian, and would still call myself one to anyone to whom I had no time to explain the intricacies of the above. Yeah, I freaken love Jesus. God! And I don't think that gays and lesbians are going to hell, and I have never repented for the women I have slept with or any episodes of fornication, drug abuse or swearing, cause I think that both the G-man and son (I just pictured them as Sanford and Son. Wouldn't that be great? If you got to heaven, and Redd Foxx was there, waddling around...?) could give two shits about that stuff. But all of that is a digression to say that what will always keep me near these roots is prayer. I can't not believe in all of these things. I can't let go of that Biblical foundation. Because prayer works. It works for me, and continues to do so. And so, I have to fill in the parts of the equation on this side of the equals sign, because I know that the end result of prayer is that it works.

Just like huge chunks of Freud do in explaining the world to me. When you meet someone who is anal retentive, or has an oral fixation, you can't help but know that that is exactly what it is. Sure, you could get more intricate, but really, all you need to know is, "Anal retentive."

And I got on that topic of discussion only because I was just in the bathroom, and had that thing again, where, since I was baking the post-lunch loaf, while at work, I wanted to do the courtesy flush. But I was commanded to wrench my head down between my legs to have a look at my poo before letting it go free. Why is that? I mean, how often do you flush your poo/pee away without looking at it? Not very. If I were to lose my sight, I would be OBSESSED with this. I have to check out my logs before I let them float down the river. Perhaps this is not Freud, but more of a physiological thing that helps to keep people alive. You can tell a lot about your health by looking at your shit, and when you see that it's looking weird (it's green, grey, mis-formed, bloody) you know shit is not right inside of you. Of course, sometimes it just comes out in the shape of a heart, or 14 inches long, or spells out the word "CAT" in your toilet bowl, like a big bowl of Alaphabets cereal. And then it's just funny.

But in my head, I thought. Thank God for Freud. Otherwise I would have thought my need to check out my scat was weird.

And now, to the outdoors, to satisfy my oral fixation
(and for anyone that has a problem with me smoking, send me some dick and maybe I'll quit)

Friday, May 06, 2005

Pulling a "Full House"

I am actually not quite sure if this really happened on an episode of Full House, but I have confirmation that it happened on Home Improvement, and first-hand knowledge that it happened on a number of sit-coms from my youth, which I all conflate with Full House, as these episodes in particular were always on that same level of banal, trivial non-content.

So I had to do some emergency pet sitting this week. I mentioned before, a death in my friend's family... Two cats. One fish. A fish which I had bought her just a week ago, to fill an empty tank with happiness.

Now let me just say beforehand, I am a very good sitter. I like sitting. I am very fat because of it. I can sit for animals, for children, for the elderly. Whatever. I am good about not sitting on them either.

But of course, in this particular time of need, I accidentally failed.

Don't worry. The kitties are okay. No animals were harmed in the making of this blog entry. Except for one betta fish.

Fighting Bert, who fights no more, died sometime in the afternoon on Monday, May 2. He died of boiling. He's resting somewhere, in that big jacuzzi in the sky, for his next big battle. Although, he didn't fare so well against the heater in the fish tank.

Basically what happened is that I went over to her place Monday morning to feed the cats and the fish. I fed the fish, and tried to turn the light on for his tank... which I thought was this round knob (like one of those adjusting lights you always had in your den growing up). In fact, this knob was the heater. It took me a couple of 360 spins to realize this thing was not going to light up. And unfortunately, it is one of those dials with no markings on it, so I had cranked it so many times, and I had tried to crank it down the same amount of times, but it just kept spinning loosely. So I turned it down (actually just spinning the knob and nothing else) twice as much as I had turned it up, and just hoped for the best. Bettas are resilient fish. They are also happiest at room temperature. I know. I own one. He lives in a fish bowl. No heat. No filter. Just room-temperature happiness. Why I didn't think to just unplug the whole damn operation, I don't know. I guess I was just going to go to work and hope for the best. Death is always that annoying reminder that hoping for the best doesn't always work.

Needless to say, I boiled the damn fish. I came back in the evening to her place to say "Hi." and he was floating at an uncomfortable angle against the rocks. His little fishy fins still.

He was a gorgeous betta fish. All rosy beige in the body, which fanned out to a lovely sapphire blue in his fins. It made him so much harder to try to replace.

But I pulled a Full House. Or at least tried to pull. I spoke to my friend on the phone the next day at work, bursting into tears with her when she recounted having to go through the viewing and looking at her dad, who looked just like he always did, full of life (as though he would jump up and laugh... he loved a practical joke or two), and touching his hand and feeling the absence of life there. Not just cold, but absent.

And then of course, she asks "How are the kitties?"

"The kitties are good. They miss their mommy though..."

"And how is the fishie?"

"...Good. Everybody's good."


I just couldn't tell her that her fish had just died too.

Now let me get my ass back over to Petco and see what they got. You know I gotta get a new damn fish for her that looks just like her old one. Thus pulling a "full house" or whatever horrible show you want to call it. And of course, it's never going to look exactly the same, and of course she's going to know it's a different fish anyway, even though she had it for 4 minutes, and I am going to feel like an asshole for lying.

Every time I watched one of those shows, I would think, just tell her you accidentally put the hamster in the washing machine with the rest of the laundry or whatever freak accident caused this half-hour travesty to occur.

And in any normal circumstance, that's what I would have done. That's what she would want me to do. Unlike most people who say they do, she actually does appreciate the truth. But I mean, I just couldn't be the harbinger of death this time. So I did the polite thing, and lied. Quickly followed by running to the pet store.

An hour of looking at beautiful fish, and not a single one as unique as the one I had already chosen for her because it was so unique. DAMN!

So I just got too tired and lazy and decided to tell her the truth. That is of course, after buying a sequel fish. He is officially called "Fighting Bert Part Deux: The Wrath of Bert," and he is black, blue, and irridescent green, with a flash of red. He's the anti-Bert. And I already think he rocks. Let's just hope he's not dead already. I am going to her house now to check. wish me luck.

Feeling like burnt Pop Tarts

It has been a rough-ass week by anyone's standards. I hope you agree, because I can't stand it when people disagree with me. It makes me feel less powerful. Like I want to kill.

So to start off, my superwoman image is dwindling to shit. I cannot get by on idea(l)s. I need to learn to take care of myself. It is paramount! No one else is going to do it, and as well all convalesce into older (and older (and older)) people, we must remember that we need caretakers.

And I need more than 4 hours of sleep a night to be a human being--much less presentable.

My best friend's father died this week. Suddenly. Tragically. One of those healthy sporty middle aged men who couldn't wake up and walk around unless they were biting life by the balls at all times. It is an antiquated and distinguished version of virility that I miss here in Metrosexopolis. But I digress... I just don't know what to do with this information. Being only an addendum to this truly wonderful family (that has always treated me like I was one of them--moreso than my own family at times) it seems so difficult for my mourning to be legitimate. I'm just a friend who finds it terribly sad, in the end. I can take no part in the family's mourning. All I can do is feel nauseated for a few days and picture his face every five (or so) minutes. Like a PowerPoint montage of memories I have of his life, who he was... to these people, to me, to the world--and then try to imagine that some how that no longer exists. And try to figure out what that means.

I haven't experienced a lot of death in my life. At least not at a lacerating proximity. A grandfather when I was eight. A college friend who was close enough to leave memories on everything I know she touched, but not enough to truly eviscerate. A couple of dogs throughout the years. That one weird new girl that I was kind of friends with for two weeks for the six months she spent in our 4th grade class. That is about it. I'm really lucky. Or actually, knowing the tendencies of my life, just a late bloomer. I know I am coming to that age where life is really happening to me and people I know. People are starting to get married, having children and diseases, dying and getting promotions, fame and debt. I know that I am getting to the place where I have bad knees, bunions, eczema on my right foot, sporadic liver inflammation, raised blood pressure, and seemingly ever more errant hairs growing out of my chest, my right shoulder, the middle of my neck. Not to mention repeated acute tonsillitis. Does anyone know a doctor? I could use a deal. And a date.

So I don't really know what to do when it occurs. My heart never connects with my head in those instances. I don't know if anyone's does. The most excruciating parts of these events leave me feeling utterly removed from my body; the world. And the smallest details tear a heart string. It's like 8th grade, and loosing my bloody mind one morning after burning the last two strawberry Pop Tarts (those little buggers are good. Don't get between me and a Pop Tart). Those are the moments of true emotion in my life.

So I don't know how to respond to all of this, how to mourn or deal with this. As my friend Dave B. says, "There is no protocol." It's a good thing to remember for life in general, for those like me, who grew up with the weight of believing that there was a certain way that everything was supposed to be done, and life supposed to be lived. For those of you who know your old maxims, we can equate supposing with assuming. Try to do that all your life and it will make an ass out of you. Or a "sup." Since I hadn't seen this man in months, he is still just as good as alive to me. In fact, he's one of the most "alive" people I know, by classic standards. But he's not. I know this. I have learned this. I have not seen or experienced this though. So all I can do is to begin to stamp all of my memories of him with "deceased." With some kind of tinted frame, or the yellow of old newspaper, and as time goes on, await his absence.

But let me not get too sentimental with all this. I was thinking that one of the worst parts about having someone in your family die, or at least, one of the many bad parts, is then having to console all of the people who come to console you. Having to get hugs and convoluted condolences from people you have not seen in years, on purpose, who are snotting on your shoulders, telling you that they want to be there for you, when really you just don't want anyone to touch you, much less someone you spend no time talking to anyway. I mean, yes, we all mean well, but sometimes to do well, just shut the fuck up and back the fuck off. There are few things worse than a barrage of unwanted hugs, particularly from women who probably spend the rest of their time listing your faults.

And though I love my friend, and she loves me, I am going to focus my helpful energy on being around when she needs me to be, and making myself scares when she needs to be alone. It is rarely difficult or demeaning to make yourself a thing for someone else when you love them. You know there is no loss of respect for yourself. It's not a power issue. You are not being taken for granted. In sex, and other forms of aggressive interpersonal interaction, there is generally an awareness of the power status, a Who Owes Who table being kept. But love is a big joint bank account that's always best when you're just breaking even. Oh God, embroider that on a pillow why don't you?

Dude, who invented this blogging thing where I can write on and on to no one... just rambling until the Lord comes. It's so dangerous. All these little shards of truth coming out mingling with my embarrassments.