Monday, November 23, 2009

high in the clean blue air

i've gotten used to the sound of geese approaching, although i always look up to see them pass overhead.
right now, i am hearing a ridiculous cacophony of geese, which sounds close but isn't getting any closer. i think a massive flock must have stopped at our pond! i want to go and find them, but the studious part of me is saying no, stay in your little room, drink your little cup of jasmine tea, and read these mary wollstonecraft essays. still, i'm craning my neck to look out the window, thinking i might get a glimpse of a wing. i know they're close, but all i see is still trees.

listening to: honk honking

today i set my sights on your heart

physical pain lingers after the dream is over. there is no fly fish prick fastened to my finger to test my ability for removal. now i'm typing, but the for first few minutes after i woke up, i was afraid to touch the spot. it still stings a little.
i dreamed that i went to school with brett. i dreamed that the stay-at-home girlfriends wept when the bus drove off. i dreamed of exploring in a field of nail-gun wheelbarrows and a rambling country road where we flew past huge dogs and oxen and a hundred other animals. then i dreamed of a pond, where we hijacked a boat and paddled around serenely until a couple of men threw some traps into the water, my hand was stuck, they said it was just a test and watched me wrestle with it, unable to concentrate because of the pain. i think it was the intensity of the sensation that finally caused me to wake up.
this is the typical tragic tale of monday. i don't want to get up when the alarm goes off, i don't feel like i need to get to work on time, i snooze a million times, and eventually tell myself that it's time to get up. but i don't.
today i woke up at 11:16 and my throat's still sore, so i decided to take the day off. i mean, i still have a ton of work to do for this huge paper that's due tomorrow, and i plan to spend my time doing that. maybe a little nap here and there... i already feel guilty because of an email from dr. bradshaw, asking me to make 21 key-hole-punched copies on light green paper (most likely the poetry class reading list) and to march them straight into his hands as he teaches class in the holden auditorium, all the way behind kitteridge. the past few weeks, he has had me doing this more and more, perhaps to test out how i operate as an English Research Assistant in front of peers. after all, i'll be in the Romanticism class next semester, and i won't be able to hide behind a TA like i do in grammar. which apparently is also part of my job next semester. dr. b had asked me to consider doing it, but jenn tells me that he has already informed her that i WANT to do it. well, i guess i knew i was gonna do it. he just figured it out first.
sorry for the work rant... i wonder if i should go down and eat eggplant sandwich and split pea soup at cowpie or that would just make me feel guilty. my dorm room options are... canned soup or zatarain's. i'm getting really hungry, i think i'll go anyway.

listening to: holly golightly - stain

Saturday, November 21, 2009

should i seek out someone i could keep?

i wish i had weapons.
i feel like smashing something, especially the thing that keeps BEEPBEEPBEEPing every couple of minutes. dorms essentially mean patterns, repetitive sounds, repeated behaviors, i want to smash it all. tonight is violent, not nice. maybe just me.
a dog barks like clock work, one time three times, maybe after cars go by.
i feel like scavenging, but i'm already feeling sick, and i know that will make it worse.
a pile of eleven fingernails collected next to my tea cup. i was doing so well, but i broke. my hands have reverted to their former selves and insist on doing meanness. do nailless pinches hurt worse? some say. say some: i want to know it all.
i came home intending to stay, knowing this was impossible. i think it's time to go.
all i wanted was a haircut.

listening to: the magnetic fields - i thought you were my boyfriend

Thursday, November 19, 2009


while writing a paper on cocteau's la belle et la bete and thinking about fairy tales, i pulled up my old friend, Last Semester's Deliriously-Written Half-Finished Victorian Fairy Tales Paper That Should Have Been The Best But Wasn't, and i came across this little gem:
Fantasy and fairy tales have the subversive potentiality of no other genre because of their ability to twist reality through its images and symbols in order to create a new reality of their author’s devise that makes his or her point either subtly or directly in comparison to reality as we know it.
translations, please??

Friday, November 13, 2009

ready to explode

i slept all morning to, i guess, make up for the amount of sleep i haven't gotten over the last week. i wish i hadn't, though, because my service trip with my abroad class is tonight, and i'm afraid i'll be up all night, and then i won't want to wake up to garden.
speaking of my abroad class... i woke up to this email from my mom, who i had spoken with on the phone last night. she was planning to call somebody from international programs, but i suppose she couldn't find just one person and decided email was better. so she sends the following email addressed to the dean of students, the dean of work (one of my teachers), and two people in the international programs office... but she didn't use their individual emails and now i'm freaking out that a bunch of student workers are reading the following letter:

To all of you --- I wasn’t sure who to address and it has take longer than I like to find email addresses (does no one have individual e-mail?)

I have a number of concerns about my daughter’s upcoming study abroad class. I don’t want to pay for something that, frankly, seems poorly planned and lacking in academic rigor.
As of yesterday, there was no syllabus, and no full itinerary. The classes that are supposed to prepare the students for the trip are, in the opinion of my daughter, not helpful. I trust my daughter’s reasons for questioning why she should continue with a class this unpromising.

This brings me to my second concern. The plane tickets were bought the week of the first class. It was too late to withdraw when she discovered the class was not what she thought it would be. The class description was certainly enticing, and I’m sure Alanna imagined something more suited to her interests. But again, when the imagination became reality, it was too late. This is most unfair.

I really wanted my daughter to have a study abroad experience, even a very short one. I expected more from Warren Wilson programs because such a strong emphasis is placed on international studies. I really want her to have a good experience. Is there any way she could design an independent study to pursue in England for the time period? Perhaps Warren Wilson has a partner college somewhere that would provide housing. I do not want to lose the money we have paid, and I do not want Alanna to miss a trip to England that will be closer to the study we both believed was offered. I may be overly optimistic, but I believe we can find a way to make this a positive trip.

I usually try to let my daughters’ figure out the problems of college life on their own. However, this problem is too thorny to ignore. I will support Alanna in her decisions, but I wanted to make sure we covered every option.

I appreciate that you listen to our concerns, and I hope we can find a way through the thorns.

after this message, how can i go on the group trip now, even if i wanted to? what a mess. someone please tell me how to feel about this.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

everybody sees your smoking gun

this week is all dreams and undone work and headaches and wetness and mess, no time to write at all. and yet...
my big news: i heard back from diane cluck, and she will play on campus next semester! can i tell you i'm thrilled? i wanted a spring show, outside somewhere, but she may be doing a residency somewhere then, so it's looking like february. i need a way to make all the right people come.
oh obvious, the other big news: bell hooks will be on campus all day tomorrow!!!!! my women in u.s. history class gets to join a couple other classes for a special q&a with her at 9:30, she's having gladfelter lunch with students (although i'm too scared to go), and i'm skipping my film class to see her speak at 4pm. i got one of her books from the library, but i've had so much to do, i haven't had any time to read it. i feel guilty that i won't have done my homework for her visit, but i'm excited just the same. i really want to get this book, and also this one. i can't wait to learn! *dork*
have i mentioned the rain? NONSTOP for three days and no end in sight. mostly it's not so bad that i need an umbrella, but it's surely cold and slippery. the worst part is the worms. yesterday ilinca and i each rescued one from the sidewalk on the sunderland hill, but there were squished ones all around. i've been so careful, walking on tiptoes in my rotting boots, but i still come home with soaking wet socks.
after the worms, i talked to dale for over an hour. dale is one of the two career services staff, and his face is amazing. this was my second meeting with him, but it had been a while, so i had forgotten about his face. i asked my question; he asked me to be patient while he thought his answer through. this was no problem. as he thinks, he closes his eyes, knits his furry brows, and occasionally smacks his lips, the bottom one pulling down on the left side. he emerges from the trance slowly, smacking and talking, and finally opening his eyes SO WIDE that his forehead just grows and his glasses move slightly. that's what i can tell you about dale. that, and he loves what he does. we're meeting again soon because he wants to help me find a job and work on my resume. he makes all this stuff not seem so scary.
on my way back to jensen, i saved two more worms. they were shiny and translucent in the rain, white and pink soil monsters fighting pavement. i hope this damn rain stops.
later, i am washing my hands in the cowpie bathroom. three girls are talking, on their way to dinner, i suppose. two leave, one is left behind fixing her hair, just for a moment. she leaves and cuts the light. i am stranded in total darkness, blind. people are always cutting the light on me in that bathroom; at least this time i was out of the stall. sometimes i am really invisible.
over dinner, morgan tells me that i need valium. of course, there's none to be had. it's only uppers for wilsonites, or lately, echinacea and garlic pills.
i don't know how to write about the hell that is my study abroad class. it is juvenile, embarrassing, and boring. i would be mortified to type out what actually transpired in that miserable hour and a half last night. the point is that i went home and cried and then calmed down and wrote an email to the teacher. i found out today that i can only get a partial refund if i decide not to go. i had a horrible meeting with the two teachers that felt like a gang up of feel good nonsense. these two are a trip of their own, talk about cross-cultural experience. the class is trash, but maybe i should go to england just the same. if i go, will i even try to enjoy the group, or will i be a breathing, reading shadow?
advice on this subject would be just peachy. i'm all lost.

listening to: josephine foster & the supposed - who will feel bitter at the day's end?

Monday, November 09, 2009

too long nap

a bus and a plane. brett cancels his flight, where he would have run into my dad, to ride the bus with me. travelling at night, no sleep. a loaf of bread, nutella.
people take pictures of each other -- lover's revenge?

all the lies in a scholar's brain

i made an executive decision to skip banjo class today. to make up for it, i decided to do something productive. class is almost half over and all i've done is... this. i think i'll get into bed and do some history reading. then i'll go to yoga, dinner, and the film festival meeting, but i'll probably skip the radical mental health collective tonight because i think it's art night again blahhh. i have sooooo much work hanging over me, it's not even funny. i hate it when everything happens all at once, but isn't that just the way it goes?
this morning i signed up for my classes for spring: statistics, lit of the restorian period, filming appalachia, and romanticism (i'm the only person in that class so far, but ilinca and morgan are gonna take it with me!) i'm debating adding a 2 credit class like dance, culture, and identity. is 18 hours too much? right now i think i want to go ahead and graduate next semester, rather than stretching it out for another year. why not? i signed up for all my required classes, but i could still change my mind between now and january 22 or so... we'll see.
yesterday i finished lighthousekeeping, and i immediately went to deliver it to morgan's room, where i was sure one of the sick young ladies would like to read it in her little germy bed. however, in trying to sell it to them, i ended up reading them the first chapter. renee and morgan fell asleep, but eva stayed awake, and all of them said they liked what they heard. i hope someone reads it. but also i sorta want to steal it back and flip through it and type up some of the great parts. that's pretty dorky, isn't it. i should be working. yes. productivity is key. i'll do that.

listening to: larkin grimm - link in your chain

Sunday, November 08, 2009

school dream

i’m in a class with my old history professor from loyola, but her hair is longer and maybe black. she’s teaching dance instead of world civ, and she doesn’t like me at all because i’m quiet. when we get evaluated, she says that i can’t finish movements, i’m stiff, and a number of other things. maybe this would be okay, but everyone else got showered with praise. i try to talk to her about it, but she’s really mean. somehow i end up storming out of class and throwing a ceramic teacup at the wall.

i don’t know what i’m gonna do. how can i explain this to dr. b and carol? i try to avoid them, but it doesn’t work. they find me eventually. they’re too kind. dr. b doesn’t really understand, he thinks i didn’t really mean it, but i did. carol is overly gentle in my class with her. she and another guy are team teaching and they do some whole elaborate exercise where we all have to hold hands and weave around the big desk they stand behind.
also there’s a girl in the class doing a project or playing a joke or..? she appears to strip topless, standing next to the male teacher, but i see that she has on some sort of flesh-colored thing that’s also binding her breasts -- she’s trying to look like a little girl.
i think this is part of some sort of school-wide event that’s going on... there’s another thing.... lumber?

i sit in a car with my cousin amelia on a street somewhere. we are talking and we see some possums in a tree. there’s a whole family. i scramble to get my camera ready to film them.

that’s all i have left. i can’t believe i slept till 1pm.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

guilty dream

brett and i go to a little diner at a stop on our roadtrip, although all they serve is meat and fish... i order blowfish, which comes out looking like a miniature yellow blowfish, staring up at me. i don’t remember actually eating it, but i think i did, and of course felt really guilty about it later. brett reassures me in a truckstop bathroom.

i’m at some sort of bar and an older man offers to buy me a beer. i’m wondering what they have here, when he sorta suggets “Bud?” sorta pleadingly, so i get a PBR. he smiles and says, “that’s my kinda girl.”
there’s some bizarre scene with isaac hayes playing guitar on stage and saying something about, if he likes what he’s playing, of course we’ll like it. i think it’s kinda cool, but it’s not really my kind of music, so i don’t see how he is so confident.

i discover and befriend belan a young man who sleeps on a couch in a large alley/courtyard between some buildings. from head on, it looks like walls on three sides, but once you’re inside there are some crevices that lead to other places. i don’t remember much about my intial relationship with the boy except that i loved hin, cared about him.
i got my whole family to come out and meet him and in solidarity, we each slept on a couch in his alley. each member of my family represented a different color in the conversation we had -- like it was somehow in text even though we were speaking. they wanted to help. i switched couches with belan because he wasn’t comfortable and we talk secretly while my family sleeps.
later, still at night, my mom and sister come with me to a nearby alley, skinner, with a fence on one side. there’s a little dog caught in the fence and we help it free, but mom says, “it’s lost an ear.” then we see there are several other little dogs, and maybe a pig, that are missing ears and sometimes legs. i am devestated. i want to bring these animals to a shelter, but mom says no, it’s too late, especially for the one missing two ears and a leg. suddenly one of these little dogs gets swiped towards the fence and its second ear goes missing. there appears a giant cat, at least three times the size of these tiny dogs. it is matted and ferocious and calm, slowly stalking towards the street and away from us. i hate this beast, despite feeling connected to it. something calls us away, and we never come back.
belan gets us in to a party at an apartment in a nearby building. the apartment is nice enough, but it’s sorta faking being better than it is. it’s sorta twisty and the kitchen where i’m standing is very cramped. some people come in talking about haircuts, they look like people i have seen at school. i say, “i need a haircut” to the one i think is mikaliah with fancy hair, but she sort of scoffs and doesn’t see anything. i keep looking at her face trying to figure out who she is, but it’s sort of shifting, and her friend points out that they should leave because i am staring. i’m embarrassed and i leave, realizing that these people are higher status than me and i don’t know them.
someone makes fun of me for my UK trip, saying it’s a waste of money for so little.
the party is a weird mixture of fancy types and drug lords. it’s sorta classy but sorta not. at one point i heard a grizzly pony tail man say, “you should see what i left on the stairs,” so throughout the rest of the dream, i stop to check out every staircase i see, but i just find scraps, paper with nonsense words, a yellow ball.
i realize brandon is there, and my friend xi chen is his girlfriend, which i feel very weird about and i can’t place the feeling... maybe it’s just jealousy. at one point they disappear into the back. it seems like i follow them immediately, but when i get there i feel like they’ve been gone a while. i’m sure they’re having sex, and indeed, they are rearranging their clothes. i’m really upset, i don’t remember what i’m talking about. i want to tell xi she can do better. i see brandon’s bookshelf against the wall and start going through it, finding lots of my stuff, including drawings by me, tom, and our (fictional) friend nathan. i am livid, “i asked you to return my things and you said you didn’t have any!” at which brandon sort of balks, i guess he had hoped that i wouldn’t find out, or he hadn’t realized that this stuff was even mine. i’m especially upset about nathan, and i tell them that he had also been living on a couch in belan’s alley, but he died. brandon is totally out of hte loop and had no idea that nathan died and he feels pretty bad. but he reminds me that nathan was trans and used female pronouns and goes on this tangent about how queer issues are so important to him, especially since, “i mean i do have a girlfriend” but he didn’t identify completely with men. even though this pisses me off, i feel completely awful about not remembering about nathan’s gender, and all i can say is that i just plain didn’t remember... there’s a lot that’s fuzzy about that time.
by now, belan has transformed into a woman, not in a trans way, but in a dream way. i just know that we have to get her out of that alley, i have a new sense of purpose. i am collecting donations from the people at the party and i know she’ll make it.

as usual, there are many details i've forgotten by now already... this is really only the second part of the dream. there was a whole section about me and brett on a roadtrip, and all i can remember is that sad little blowfish looking at me. i would like to say maybe more will come back to me, but since it typically doesn't, i don't really think it will. although i wish it would.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Sunday, November 01, 2009

let's go out into the blackest night time

1. on thursday morning, i left dorland in a hurry, with only 3 minutes to get to history class. still, i paused to hold the door open for the person coming out of the basement, who turned out to be thomas. i had met him a few weeks ago when jayme insisted we invade his room at 3am. we touched tummies and he was nice, but it ended awkwardly with me getting all quiet and self-conscious. i don't think we had talked since that night. so, i was nervous to see him but took a chance and said hello. he was calm, easy; asked about my fall break. we talked for a moment about the funeral and death, and it was a little intense, but thomas didn't shy away from the subject or say anything fakey. at the end of the bridge, our conversation was interrupted when his curly-haired friend attacked him... something about latex gloves clogging the toilet. i walk away without saying goodbye.
2. on friday afternoon, i was slaving over a cutting board with five giant boxes of apples at my feet, rushing to keep all the plates full for the massive number of wilsonites storming the pavilion, hungry for apples. it was so insane, i couldnt even look up to see who was patronizing my table. suddenly a voice: i look up to see that the bubbly voice belongs to a curly-haired, very cheerful girl. she's asking about the figurine from the Red Rose tea boxes, and what does dr. bradshaw tend to do with them. i tell her there's millions floating around the office and yes, she can have the turkey. a little bit later, charlotte and thomas are suddenly asking if i need help slicing; clearly they are in dr. b's epic-heroic class and have gotten the lecture about helping out the poor ERAs to keep us from slicing off our fingers (too late). thomas is so eager and so adorable, i can't turn him down, but his apple-slicing skills are mediocre, and he gives up quickly.
3. later that night, around midnight, i end up in the room across the hall for a halloween party. among other oddballs in the crowd, thomas and curly-head, whose name was discovered to be gina, were there. my group had stumbled in during a compliment circle, where everyone had to give everyone else a compliment. thomas said he had enjoyed our conversations and that one time at the english offices, he thought my feet were dr. bradshaw's until he saw the pink socks. gina said she liked my hair and that hers was green once too.
4. later that night, maybe around 1:30, i went outside to cry in the tent behind dorland. two people come outside: of course, thomas and gina. i'm a bit intoxicated from the party's gin, so i'm brave and say hello. they don't notice i'm crying, thank the stars, and invite me on a walk. it's raining a little, but we walk down to the garden and all around. somehow we stay up till 4am.
5. last night, after my usual crowd has disappeared or gone to bed, i crept down to the dorland basement to see if my new friends were still awake. i piddled outside the door for a minute before getting up the courage to knock. no one heard it. i tried a few more times, pacing back and forth in between, before they finally heard me. i'm invited outside with thomas, gina, charlotte, and paul to share a splif in the tent in the rain. everyone is drunk but me, so i start to catch up with the whisky in my pocket. charlotte and paul disappear and suddenly, somehow, we are throwing pieces of ceiling tile at each other in a battle that moves slowly down the angles of the dorland basement hallway. somehow i see thomas's ass and i get to watch gina wrestle three cookies and a bag of pirate's booty out of the vending machine with a coat hanger.
6. i wonder if we will see each other this week and whether we will get to talk. these sorts of relationships are so very odd.

listening to: the blow - that boy