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Un momentito en el Ciudad de México

Zigzagging an empty room. Tracing low ceilings with fingertips, confirming ease of reach. The man before me palmed a lightbulb as we glided through. “Tu pasaporte.” Stamp. “Gracias.” Arrived. Her surprise. Hugs and cries. Then out. That same burnt smell. Quiet arteries of a city, meeting at congested joints. The whites of his eyes stared at me, paced, as I ordered my morning coffee. Three aproned women stood up to shoo him away. “He said you’re beautiful because of your blue eyes and I am not.” A foreigner again. Hidden sugar. Expanding bodies. “He asked me if I was gay… Apparently being over 30 and skinny in Mexico means you’re either gay, or… not living, not married…” Inhalations that choke. Blue toilet water. Fabuloso and Glade plugins. Hives across my neck. He accidentally ran over her foot outside the Casa Azul. Quite a lot of stuff for a communist. Heavy Suburban doors. ¿Bulletproof, por que? I never close it tight enough. A smiling man with long hair in a VW van—full of dogs. Coyoacán. “I went to school there for a year, then they kicked me out.” Down the street from Cortes’s mansion, and La Malinche’s. They must have been fucking. Shivers at the oldest church in Mexico. I touched its wall. I don’t know why. Mezcal. 80s MTV, a cantina where grown men sleep. Huitlacoche, escamoles, caldo de res, elotes, tacos. Up a 1930s elevator, through a hall of agave and aloe, onto a rooftop terrace, an orange sky + mountain view. Some beers, some cocaine. Good people, good conversation. She’s escaping European lockdown. Lived in Berlin her whole life, but still, says they can sniff out her difference. Her high cheekbones, the in-tact femininity. A further East scent. “All the women in my family; PhDs in leather mini skirts.” Then into the tiny penthouse. Full of herbs and handmade clothes and trinkets, two busts, from a friend who passed, towers of books, an AR-15 in the bathroom, or was it an M16?, toothbrushes in an I <3 BERLIN mug, frames collected from all over the place, without intention, recklessly/beautifully. In a small circle, calm. Everything we need for now. I shared a leather chair with her as she trimmed her herbs. We spoke about lineage, sexuality, past knowledge, pain, the chaos of the modern world. What led to this. “Eventually, a future generation is just going to go absolutely bonkers again, orgies and everything.” “The kids today aren’t even fucking—-maybe their kids then.” “It’s going to be a fiasco.” I’ll be back in a few weeks.

vanity and void

The story of my life doesn’t exist. Does not exist. There’s never any center to it. No path, no line. There are great spaces where you pretend there used to be someone, but it’s not true, there was no one. The story of one small part of my youth I’ve already written, more or less—I mean, enough to give a glimpse of it… Nowadays it often seems writing is nothing at all. Sometimes I realize that if writing isn’t, all things, all contraries confounded, a quest for vanity and void, it’s nothing. That if it’s not, each time, all things confounded into one through some inexpressible essence, then writing is nothing but advertisement. But usually I have no opinion, I can see that all options are open now, that there seem to be no more barriers, that writing seems at a loss for somewhere to hide, to be written, to be read. That its basic unseemliness is no longer accepted. But at that point I stop thinking about it.”

-Marguerite Duras
The Lover

blue + grey

On my walk with the camera I had lost my cable release. The golden cemetery island in the air went unphotographed. At first, I was distressed not by my loss of cable per se, but of the cable as witness to one day two years ago in winter—the grey, mild, mistletoe-winter, a winter without abnormalities—when we wandered through the streets, thinking about ‘next year’ and ‘in two years’ and the ‘future’ in general and I bought it at a shop with used camera accessories, to replace a lost one. We both ran our fingers through the slack knot of cable releases, which lay in a basket, twisted into one another like half-hibernating, languid, fearless snakelets, and M. eventually pulled out this especially robust, light-grey coated one, which I took and used and now had lost. My distress over the cable falls under one of the potential curses of bereavement that I gradually became familiar with: weighting objects qua testimony. The attribution of participation in a moment past. A small piece of back-then, which should act as if it could moor the past tense onto the broken-off banks of the present. Idle lists of a forlornness that knows not what to do with itself.”

-Esther Kinsky
Grove

possessed

I speak a lot, I mean, a lot of words, and I rush, and it always comes out wrong. And why is it that I speak a lot of words and it comes out wrong? Because I don’t know how to speak. Those who know how to speak well, speak briefly. So, there you have my giftlessness—isn’t it true? But since this gift of giftlessness is natural to me, why shouldn’t I use it artificially? And so I do. True, as I was preparing to come here, I first had the thought of being silent; but to be silent is a great talent, and is therefore not fitting for me, and, second, it’s dangerous to be silent, after all; well, so I finally decided that it would be best to talk, but precisely in a giftless way, I mean, a lot, a lot, a lot, to be in a great rush to prove something, and towards the end to get tangled up in one’s own proofs, so that the listener throws up his hands, or, best of all, just spits and walks away without any end.”

-Fyodor Dostoevsky
Demons

spectral fixations

Fucked dreams lately. “She’ll commit suicide!” I saw her. Almost childish. “I have all this time, but I mean nothing to you unless I make money!” Naive, I know. I shouted. So much. Too much to process, so it comes at night. Mother. Also spectral. Like us. An amplified degree, apart from society. We never spoke about it though. Only just recently, I brought it up. After watching ‘Love on the Spectrum’ on Netflix, and seeing reflections of all of us. Irritation. Patterns. Routines. Addictions. Nuances. Little things. Looks. Eye contact at times too intense. Certain noises. Smells. Artificial fragrances. Construction dust. Not construction dust! Roll the window up! Poor AQI. Mask up. Before we were lonely together, already apart. What else? Habits and rituals. If broken, potential disaster. Easily irritable, given conditions. Hard to socialize. Anxious. Self-harming. Alcohol. Substance intake overload. In, in, in. Stuff it down. Numb it out. Sensory explosion. What else? So much else. Colors, patterns. Music helps. Piecing together a puzzle, across the ocean, my grandmother and me in the same motion. No communication. Better to shut it all out than to be overwhelmed. How can we help it? All this emotion. I get too into it. Insanely intricate homes on SIMS as a kid. And LEGO buildings. Hours and hours. Should have been an architect, a designer. Can I change now? Maybe. Move from words to images. Words fail me. So do images. Nothing will do, but I have to do the best I can. Do I? Hm. What else? Overanalyzing. Rationalizing as a form of self-soothing. Self, self, self. It consumes me. I do. So much going on inside, lost in thought, I spiral around until I fall over and into myself. Endless limits. I know which roads to take, always. Map of a mind. I know which streets have the most jasmine planted. I follow scents, certain windows, glass I like. Preferences cemented in. But recently, with psychedelics, more self-aware (is it possible? yes, I was so blind to all of this before, just in it, now I can see it and experience it too, from/within some outer awareness) and open to change. Going with the flow, sometimes. But that’s all there is. So why resist and get mad if it doesn’t feel perfect? That’s another thing. Perfection. The smallest pore. You see nothing until it all comes out. And it does. At my own expense. Energy, energy, energy. Picking at myself. Impossible to sit still. Well, not impossible. In groups, in rooms with people, I can. With peer pressure. Peer pressure! Easily disguised as shyness. As a kid, a teenager, hopeless, running in circles trying to fit in, what a piece of shit. I hated it, that, her, the result. Sometimes still. But I also see the spark underlying all of it. And her, it, I love. Learning to focus on that. What else? So much else. Tasting details. Drawing parallels. I will find a way to live with this, even if I don’t, I will live with this. And it will be beautiful. It will be my art, to find a way, to be okay. I will no matter what. It all will.