Addresses

I used to know them. Possibly all of them. Sometime after moving to HelLA, when Google Earth was still a new product, I made a flythrough of all the places I’d lived. A few were approximate, and I’m sure I started only notionally in HelLA before the litany of addresses in the Bay and UK – Unit 1, women’s co-op, Dwight, funny summer sublet that the dead guy from Sublime had rented, Piedmont/Oakland, MLK couch, the Mission, Ward, Warehouse, Fyfield, Iffley, North Oxford, (redacted), Goldhawk Rd, West Ken, LES, UWS, West Village, East Village, Brooklyn, aaaand back to WeHo. And then the list continued – midcity, Silverlake, Echo Park. And now, my ultimate fear, back to the suburbs. As if all the in between places didn’t happen. (Apparently, I do in fact know them all still. But that’s not my point.)

Which of course isn’t true. This isn’t the leaving of Ox, or even the leaving London despair of present and future purpose (though return still looks slim). This is a move cross-town to save time, lots and lots of time, for people large and (more importantly) small.

The tangible scars of my past can live again. Not the burns or pierces or tattoos – the BOOKS. No longer in boxes in the basement, the selves that rose and fall, lived and died, and folded tens of thousands of pages over to varying depths. Who failed to read, and failed to fold, chastened, even humbled, by the staggering expanse of unread pages. On bookshelves, freshly ordered for delivery in 10 days.

A walk up in the wet from a bar I’m fond of, but never lived at. A last hike tomorrow, I think, more meaningful, a thousand loops later. Likely without the 35 pounds, though. Toddlers don’t experience nostalgia, I don’t think, in the ways I do.

Though, I think we’ll come back to look at the mustard flowers.



Food hall, street food
Monday September 11th 2017, 1:11 pm
Filed under: libraries,myjobfuckingrocks,something new Tags:

“Copenhagen Street Food,” it said on the map. Clearly a ridiculous place, I thought, and well worth avoiding. But the guide on the first-ever-tourist-boat-I’ve-ever-fucking-taken-don’t-judge-me-you-try-traveling-with-a-two-year-old suggested it had a good vibe, and the bodies were packed (on the admittedly unusual sunny day we managed for said boat). Cue happiness, in the form of duck-and-fries and a fine dark ale. Go there. Eat well. Be warm and festive.

The “treasures” exhibit was empty. I hadn’t really thought through it – Marina Abramović’s “Treasures” at the Royal Library. I’ve worked my manuscript mojo there, and done the doing that needed doing to make this trip the done thing. After handing my watch and my phone (“Marina wants you to be outside of time”), and taking the key, and then using the second key for a cubby hole for my boots (“Marina wants you to be comfortable”), I went in…..and it was empty. Me, headphones, voices in my ears, and the treasures of the Danish Royal Library. Saxo Grammatico, the Inca conquest book, Maimonides and Gregory of Tours, Soren K. and Ghandi, Tycho Brahe and Linnaeus, Mozart and Audubon, some sagas and some other shit. Apparently a timer rings after 80 minutes, but I was keenly aware that I had to get back to YCT and small. As luxurious as it was to just listen. But it made it clear how much of a premium time is. All those thoughts, all those journals, all those years traveling and hunting authentic local spots for a beer, and a book, and a corner to write in my black journals – an abundance, a hyper-abundance, an embarrassment of time (a murder of crows). I listened. I sat on the chairs, climbed on the elevated bunkbeds, farted loudly and scratched my feet through the holes in my socks. And eyed the 7th century Gregory, the 12th century bible, the 13th century Jewish philosopher, the 19th century large printed books, the intimate letters from Soren K. to whomever (5 degrees from the Nippel somethingorrather bridge (which I’ve crossed daily since arriving) through a spyglass) and H.C. Andersen (his ardent but restrained passions undone slightly by this weekend’s Guardian article featuring letters in which Dickens declared him a bore). Dunno. YCT, small, totally new city. Time together, time lived in the present without the extra time to meta-present, to reflect. A few more days, remarkably, followed by another country/city, even more remarkably.

More art. More gray. More time.



Thusly

And so the last weekend of a decade passes thusly. Errands, work, walk, drinks. Eat, narrative, more narrative. Walk, errands, play, narrative, eat, drink. Bustling, walk, music, drinks, eat, narrative, drink.

Much reflecting of late, as the decade ticks around again, but he looks up at me. Not much by way of conclusion, nor thoughts that add up to anything in particular. I’ll take it, I guess.



Small
Thursday January 01st 2015, 2:08 am
Filed under: himself,something new Tags:

But loud. Simple, but rather complicated. Also, the words have gone with the sleep. So a small thought for yet another new year for me, and the new year (albeit after a rather short old year) for him.



tempura tempora
Wednesday September 10th 2014, 9:50 pm
Filed under: Boozy,himself,seasonal,something new,tired,transitions Tags:

Deep fried time. A few more local deadlines – a final exam tomorrow, papers to grade and finals to grade. And then a few weeks to sort myself, solo, to get some work done. And then, TIME. Time ticking down to the arrival, of course, that’s one of the only clocks really pressing on me. A strange lull, this evening, as YCT meets with her writing group, her own work nearing a pivotal series of moments that will, in’sh’alla, lead from private to public. A strange lull, this, with a few weeks of the archive on the horizon, and then a YEAR of time (well, 9 months, but subtract and then re-add 6 weeks at the end, and there’s some uncertainty about the status of the 10 weeks after that, which could go either way). But, a YEAR (loosely defined) of time to work, to write, to think, to be properly miserable and DO something with the misery other than shut it down to get the devoirs done. To find new rhythms and new habits and new ways to indulge, no, to engage in existing hobbies. It all goes out the door, of course, in some ways, but so what? Burn the shit? I have time. I’m where I want to be, if not quite who I want to be, and certainly doing what I always said I would, and I’m not that fussed whether or not I feel I haven’t won at all. As half of ABBA would write. “Coming up for air” sings The Acid on KCRW, and I think, yes. That. Exactly fucking that.



Boxes
Tuesday August 05th 2014, 2:31 pm
Filed under: change,himself,memory,something new,summer Tags:

Packing, again. But not to move, not this time. To move things around. To make space. To echo the space himself is growing into. Books, of course. Not that there are so very many books in the little house, particularly mine. I have an office. Hell, come October I’ll have two. As I sweat and wrestle packing tape and dusty boxes, I’m reminded that books are a necessity, but space to live alongside them is a luxury. And each book or cluster, of course, an impossible series of memories. Too many memories, even in a few boxes, of too many mes over many many years. A boarding pass, casually sticking out of a volume of Proust, for a flight from San Francisco to New York, as I exited, stage left, to go back to England and try again, rather less casually.



Allowed
Thursday July 10th 2014, 10:18 pm
Filed under: Berkeley,damn,family,HelLA,something new Tags:

How crazy is it that just fucking anybody is allowed to do this? That there’s no age limit, beyond 14 or so, no you must be this tall to ride this ride, no sobriety check, no banned substances check, no interviews of your friends or neighbors or your high school English teacher. No moment for everyone to say “he was quiet, kept to himself, mostly” before you go on the biological rampage that changes everyone’s fucking opinion of you.

My ?second cousin and her girlfriend in town, choosing to visit. A Bay Area duo if there ever was one, though natives, which is fairly unusual, particularly these days. If the Bay is artificially authentic, and HelLA authentically artifical, they’re just a drag king and a nice nurse (cue nominative determinism of the most remarkable variety, however), living their thoughtful, political, community believing lives. And they’re both awesome with the smalls – my two over-one, down-ones were beside themselves wiht trust and love and enthusiasm after maybe 30 minutes. The under 6 crowd can be surprisingly tough, but they were all in.

And articulating to them, in a brief interlude, the bigger, more awkward questions. On how to do this different. On how to do this so it matters (and not, a la Ms Plath, so it feels real, so it feels like hell. I worshipped that line at 16. How to do it so he doesn’t?) How to believe in interacting with others, as well as consuming narrative? Or does it not matter so much. We all turned out interesting enough, and I can’t think that any of the people in the world who mean the most to me had a particularly straightforward time of it.

So, perhaps, like cereal, there’s not so much you can do to fuck it up, or make it better.



furniture
Wednesday July 09th 2014, 9:47 pm
Filed under: can't make that shit up,damn,nextish,nostalgia,something new,summer Tags:

Shit’s getting real in the Whole Foods parking lot. Or, really, in our parking lot. The first paraphernalia is in the house. Or, rather, under the house. And in the garage. In pieces. Ragazzi! Posh, Italian, beautiful hard wood, and apparently banned by the federal government. Living on the wild side, really, or the drop side. My reverie shattered by the car not starting after leaving the lights on for five minutes while I unloaded the pieces into the garage and the basement. A “for fuck’s sake” and “you’ve gotta be kidding me” thankfully the only cursing, as I managed to roll start in reverse on the first attempt. Let’s hear it for manual transmissions, folks. But the infinite shift in stuff has begun – the soft and the pretty and the tender the more likely show in town. Of the donors, one ready to be rid of it and its rude occupying of space, the other rather more nostalgic for a lot of years of life lived across two smalls, but very much past. And so it goes, not quite generations, but hand me alongs. Ragazzi! (Which, a little googling suggests ain’t as posh as it used to be. The donors suggested it was a little company that has gone out of business. Possibly, but if so, the name is now on sale at a major mark down good old fashioned retail outlet.)



strip, prep, prime, paint
Friday June 20th 2014, 10:36 pm
Filed under: Miscellaneous, Truly,something new Tags:

It’s on. 2 articles, a conference talk, and a seminar for an international selection of grad students. Followed by a proper two weeks off, 6 weeks of summer teaching, and then a whole year to get it done. Oh, yeah, and some nesting to do. Here for now, maybe (in’sh’allah) SaMo in a year. The million things one wants but not quite needs but kind of maybe sort of requires are appearing from many fronts. And everyone seems so damned pleased. As if this is a good idea, a good plan. Huh. Don’t really matter. It’s on.



In spite of me
Thursday May 15th 2014, 10:00 pm
Filed under: can't make that shit up,HelLA,Miscellaneous, Truly,something new,whatsnext Tags:

No smoke drifting in the heat of the house after a wretchedly hot day, the indelible association of this song with cigarettes smoked and strangers not talked to, of friends who are and are not still friends. The buzz of the fans about as loud as the mandolin strumming, the volume down as she sleeps. And the wondrous possibility, hedged by the usual early stage uncertainties, that this may have worked. That all of this over these last 5 months wasn’t just an exercise, a way to expiate guilt or uncertainty. That it may have worked, in spite of me. 113 bpm. Who knew?