June 24, 2007

A song about a super hero named 'Tony'

At this minute I am sad.

My very good friend is moving away and I greatly underestimated just how hard it would be. (He's never seen this blog in his life so I can freely gush without embarrassing him.) I'm happy he got the job he wanted, and that he'll be in the vicinity of L.A., his hometown, but...but...

He told me I need to stop thinking of it as losing a friend; instead, I was gaining a city.

Tony told me he knew we could be friends the first time I told him to "Suck it." I actually can't remember the particular context of that incident, but I know that I've told him the same thing many, many times since then. He's one of the most cantankerous people I've ever met! Two prime examples that just occurred this past Friday:

[Background: San Francisco is just finishing up Gay Pride Week/Weekend. Don't get me wrong, I love it. But by the end of it I feel like, 'If I have to see one more goddamned rainbow or pink triangle..."]

1. Friday was a glorious day, and we elected to take a longer lunch in order to walk to the Ferry Building to sit by the water while we ate. (Plus, I can get mango gelato. It's so good it makes me want to do terrible things.) Tony was complaining about how sick he was of everyone saying to him (and he imitated them in a whiny voice), "'Oh! What are you doing for Pride Week? Are you going to this? Are you going to that? What are you doing to celebrate?' I just want to tell them to go fuck themselves." I couldn't help it; I threw my head back and laughed and laughed at this.

2. We returned from our lovely lunch and went back to our respective cubes. Tony's cube is located on the other side of the wall from mine. Being in such close proximity, you can't help but overhear absolutely everything. There was a Pride Awards Ceremony getting ready to start where awards were being given out to people we work with. I heard someone come to Tony's cube and say, "Tony, you're coming to the Pride Awards Ceremony, aren't you?" He responded in a resigned and flat, deadpan voice, "Yeah, give me a minute to get my gay on." I cracked up over in my cube.

Okay, so perhaps I haven't really given a description to do him justice. But let me say that I've grown very attached to him in the last couple of years, and have particularly valued his friendship, sarcasm, and humor in the last several months--particularly from November through February, which I've come to think of as my "Blue Period." We've had lunches and dinners and desserts and drinks and karaoke; we've taken walks in the rain and in the sun; we've given professional and personal advice; we've seen movies and concerts; we saw the "Spook-a-Motive"; we've sat through endless meetings and exchanged looks of boredom, disbelief, and frustration; we've made tentative travel plans; we've worked side-by-side in coffee shops on our laptops; he's pulled up in front of my house hundreds of times to pick me up; he gave me a 45 minute lesson on driving a standard (I failed to learn in that amount of time. Big shocker.); we took a nap in his car in a parking garage with our feet on the dashboard because we were too tired to do anything else.

This evening I packed up his kitchen. I came home with one of his shirts, a book on Japan, a blanket, and all the food in his freezer that didn't involve chicken. I gave him a CD spanning all the music that represented our adventures together. I wanted to smack him over the head with something to knock him unconscious and make him stay. Instead, I think I'll just tell him I'll miss him. And I'll be down to L.A. in a few weeks.

June 19, 2007

Revised to-do list

Awhile back I was sifting through some old letters I'd written to my friend Cindy while she was in the Peace Corps during 2000 and 2001. During that time those letters were really the only type of journal I kept. I started out sending hand-written letters that were 18-20 pages long. I'd carry them around with me throughout my day and pull them out periodically to add to them: during a boring class, while killing time between meetings, or while dinner was cooking. Then I got lazy and started typing them on the computer and printing them up. She never complained, but I imagine something was lost in this process.

Sometimes I would be upset or lonely in the middle of the night--those nights when it feels like you're the only one in the world awake--and in a flurry of keystrokes I'd pound out a type of journal entry of my most private thoughts bury it in some password-protected file deep in my computer. Then it would occur to me that I wanted to tell her these things anyway, so I'd just cut and paste it into her letter. (This is how the line between the letters and my journal became so blurred.)

Anyway, in one letter I found I had been composing a sort of life to-do list. It wasn't necessarily a complete list of things I ever wanted to do, but it definitely hit some highlights. Since I feel a bit like I'm in suspended animation at the moment--waiting to find out what my next move will be--I find myself thinking about and reorganizing that list a lot lately.

I've decided to update it. Some things are old; some are new. Some are random; some are life-long wishes. I'll probably keep thinking of more and adding on.

1. Go hang-gliding. Actually, I'm working on this one. I found the company I want to go with, and a tandem flight is going to cost about $300. The flight is from Mt. Tam to Stinson Beach, which sounds absolutely beautiful. The only problem is this: it's something that you should SHARE. It just doesn't sound like as much fun going alone. (Granted, I'd rather go alone than not at all, but still.) I had my friend Tony talked into it, but ultimately the expense ended up being too much for him since he is moving in two weeks AND won't get another paycheck until September. *sigh* So I've put this temporarily on hold.

2. Swim in the Blue Grotto. I'm not sure if this is realistic--at least not without ending up in an Italian jail. But it would be worth it. I wanted to jump out of the little boat so bad. I will jump out of the boat. I want to know what it's like to swim in light.

3. Learn to ice skate. Nothing fancy; just basics.

4. Go somewhere naked under a trench coat. I think I've wanted to do this since I was 13 or 14.

5. Take piano lessons. I at least want to get far enough where I can play a complete song with both hands. "Heart and Soul"--with alternations between the top portion and the bottom portion--doesn't count.

6. Grow blackberries, peonies, lilacs, and heirloom tomatoes. Peaches, too, if possible. I love these things passionately.

7. See a fjord--specifically in Norway.

8. Pick one week and take the cheapest last-minute flight I can find to somewhere. Anywhere.

9. Learn to drive a stick shift. (Preferably from a patient teacher. Who doesn't mind me periodically freaking out or taking breaks to laugh my ass off for awhile.)

10. See parrots in the wild. It doesn't really matter what kind of parrots or what kind of 'wild' (Australia, Africa, South America...I'd take any). I just want to see them.

11. Take a Chinese brush-painting class. I never get tired of looking at these paintings. And I want my own little stamper.

12. Attend a national or international gymnastics competition. There's gonna be one in San Jose in August. It's crazy expensive. I want to go.

13. Become fluent in Spanish. I used to be not so bad at it. I mean, I still had a LONG way to go and I've probably forgotten a great deal of what I did know, but I really enjoyed it. I would like to be able to dream in Spanish and understand everything that was said.

14. Buy a punching bag on which to take out my aggressions.

June 15, 2007

Us ones in between.

You are a waterfall
Waiting inside a well
You are a wrecking ball
Before the building fell
And every lightning rod
Has got to watch the storm cloud come.

And I’ve heard of pious men
And I’ve heard of dirty fiends
But you don’t often hear
Of us ones in between
And I’ve heard of creatures
Who eat their babies;
And I wonder if they stop
To think about the taste.

I saw the sun go down
Outside of Arkansas;
And I saw the sun come up
Somewhere in Illinois.
And in the darkness
I taught myself to hate.
But where were you, oh where were you?
And where the fuck did the sun go?

And I am a creature.
And I am survivin’.
And I want to be alone
But I want your body.
So when you eat me,
Mother and baby,
Oh baby, mother me,
Before you eat me.

And you should always pass
When you get the inside lane.
Don’t pull your hair out;
I won’t pull my hair out.
For I have never seen the sun
That did not bury his fears in the side of the world.
And the day is done.

You are a waterfall
Waiting inside a well
You are a wrecking ball
Before the building fell
And I will mutter like a lover
Who speaks in tongues, oh he speaks in tongues.
Oh I speak in tongues.

June 2, 2007



If only.

If only it were enough.