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Refuge for the rational.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

By Request 

I saw your sister again. She was walking down the street arm in arm with a girl who was laughing intently at her clever quips. I couldn’t help starting at her as I drove by, and smiling, probably in an absurd way, but she didn’t see me so I guess it doesn’t matter. It seems like every time I see her she is with another woman—it reminded me of Gabriella. You remember her, I assume?

We were wearing the same shirt. And she had her hair cut in the same way except that hers was blonde and mine black. Of course I knew—you didn’t have to sneak around in such an insulting manner and send Dan over to hint to Mary that she should keep quiet about it. I was rather proud of myself; I didn’t feel threatened at all. She was just another one—we had never agreed it should be otherwise, even when we were involved—and she looked like a bad cover version of myself: she had no giant breasts to compete with, certainly no university education, and she wasn’t nearly as put together as she would have liked to believe; deep-down, she knew this too. She only had that name. People would tell her that it was beautiful, but I still think it’s ostentatious. I wasn’t angry or bitter or sad, I knew that the others existed, I had only never seen them.

You hadn’t seen mine either. That’s how you always blew things out of proportion, by suggesting that I should be upset. I rarely was, it was only that you wanted so badly for me to be that way.

I assumed that we could at least be friends. I assumed we would have disdain for you in common. It’s difficult to be fascinated by you without realising that you’re a truly horrible person. So, I tried to introduce myself. I stuck out my hand, which wasn’t taken, and made a comment about owning her shirt, to which she informed me that a lot of other people did too and walked away. It was only at this point that I decided I hated her—it had nothing to do with you.

Then, I got lucky. I had a horrible experience. I realised I was in a really shitty venue and that it was a Thursday night and that your band probably sucked. Then, you started playing, and all of my worst fears were confirmed. You were terrible. So terrible, I was embarrassed and wanted to sink into the floor upon which I was standing. My palms began to sweat as I lit another cigarette to distract from what I was seeing and feeling. You were writhing. That’s simply the only word for it. Mick Jagger dances around like a child when he performs, you writhe. On the floor. On your knees. And you and your friends like to think that it’s a result of depth. You were enraptured by yourself and completely unaware that your prostrations were akin to a rock-god or perhaps karaoke-god on the verge of giant finale. I remembered asking you once what it was like to be on stage in front of everyone and you had replied that you had no idea what happened up there. You lost yourself in the music…man. How deep.

The concept is over-used in high school and college English essays: Disillusionment. It’s so uncomfortable in real life. I stood frozen to the spot I was standing for the entire time you were on stage. You were so terrible.

I hated myself for buying into you, for believing that your “art” really was just misunderstood and under-rated. I had believed everything, and now I was watching you suck the life out of even the concept of art, in the same room as a childish girl in my shirt with whom you’d tried to replace me, and I couldn’t move. And I realised that you were a really awful kind of person. You had nothing to offer anyone except to control them. Your friend, James, had been so sweet to me once. He had kissed me on the cheek and tried to pretend that it was only friendly. But it wasn’t. We’d been talking for two hours while everyone else was inside and I couldn’t believe I’d found someone so gentle in your company. But that was the end. He started to avoid me after that and I knew it was because you’d told him he wasn’t allowed. I knew this because of that time I was over at your neighbour’s apartment with Mary, and Dan had come over and been surprised to see us and remarked, with what he pretended was sarcasm, that you were going to be really mad. We were never invited back there either.

When I realised what was happening, I started to laugh. I laughed as everyone began to disband from the stage. Someone asked me what was so funny and I laughed at them too. I laughed at them all because they were all so stupid and fooled. And I hated you. You had me believe that I loved you and you were nothing but a fraud, a complete idiot. I wanted to cause you pain.

I became distant. Everyone asked me what was the matter and I would only laugh at them, drink some more and light a cigarette. That wasn’t cool, was it? I was supposed to maintain that cool and collected posture all night, wasn’t I? No matter what, you aren’t supposed to feel things. This is what you’d taught us. And we lived by example.

I got really drunk. Not just slightly tipsy or accidentally beyond myself, but deliberately and intentionally smashed. Everyone crowded into your apartment and then came the speech. I was standing on the couch for well over a minute before I had the nerve to start speaking. I think Gabriella looked at me with a curious haughtiness and I’d taken a deep breath as I’d silently cursed her and looked up at the ceiling and began speaking over everyone’s noise. I was laughing so hard I could barely stand up. I’ll have to paraphrase it for you, though I’m sure you remember it quite clearly:

“Dear People. Could you turn this shitty music off? It’s bad—I like Pulp. I think James looks like Jarvis, but no one else does. I really wanted to have sex with James, but he (you) won’t let me. You aren’t fooling anyone! I’m sick of this stupid shit—you are all fake. All of you, except (I pointed at Gabriella), you’re just a fucking cunt. And you all do whatever he says, and that is sooooooo completely….and…(I remember this part quite distinctly) UTTERLY PATHETIC! (laughter—maniacal) BYE!” And then I threw the Heineken bottle I was holding against the wall. There can be such satisfaction in the sound of breaking glass.

No one moved. I can’t believe you all stood there and let me finish! I can’t believe it took Mary so long to drag me out of there! I had no shoes, I carried them because she was afraid everyone would attack me if I paused to put them on. This made me laugh. I still laugh about it sometimes—and that’s why I laugh whenever I see your sister.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Just More Proof I Shouldn't Live Here 

I'm writing an essay for my Film Theory class on the history of madness in film. I would love it if people could leave names of films they know of that deal directly with and comment on madness, especially if they do it in innovative and interesting ways. I'm having a terrible time finding half the films I wanted to write about, namely from the silent era, which is making me think I should probably have moved to Montreal or NY before even attempting to learn about a cultural medium.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Confessions of the Paranoid 

I can’t decide when it started because I can’t even decide if it’s wrong. Maybe it’s completely justified. What if everyone is bad and I’m just a sitting duck shot in high-contrast and at high-angle? You can see it, I’m sure—at the train station, in the grocery store, at school. Maybe you have seen me, and that should scare me further into delusion—I’m spurred on by the fact that every time I turn around there are menacing glares and perverse imaginings behind illiterate blood-shot eyes, unfamiliar with the sense of reason and endowed with such crude economy, cleanliness, knowledge and culture that all that could possibly remain is violence and madness.

My own madness is perpetuated by its very possibility. I watch the news and I read books that tell me that monsters exist and that the things I fear aren’t irrational, they could happen. Exposition—where probability and possibility is established in a narrative—that’s where we are right now. I check the locks on my door several times a day. It’s why I look over my shoulder more than usual lately and why every time I do there is a greasy white trash degenerate with sex in his eyes and cigarettes on his breath.

I’ve been going out less and less. I don’t enjoy it anymore because I can’t seem to relate. I encounter the oddest people, and the one’s I don’t fear I can’t speak to—they’re distracting me; they all want things from me. One by one they invade my space as though they hadn’t heard that I need it and ask me questions. I was waiting in a department store for an interview the other day and a man walked past and stopped. He turned around and he tried to act casually, but I knew that he wanted something. And he invaded my space and began with gruelling small talk and various mental molestations. My palms began to sweat and I wanted to scream, so I left. The interviewer wasn’t much better—she kept asking me what my priorities were as though she expected me to change them for her. I left her too. On my way out a stoned teenager asked me for a cigarette while I was on the phone and paced around after I'd said no.

Today it happened again. My class took a break and I just wanted peace and sunshine, but was instead accosted by a peer who stood far too close to me so I could smell the generous application of cologne which will forever remain the smell of desperation, grandiose effort and scripted pleas for validation. I was given a brief education on his presumably impressive feats, hopes and dreams, at which point I rudely paused and made a suggestive phone call. My efforts were not fully appreciated and I was given a brief speech on signs and fate, which concluded with a recitation of everything I’d ever spoken aloud in class. Verbatim. So now I’m quite certain that his intentions are malicious and I should never find myself alone with him.

I believe in signs too. I, for instance, could not take the job offer at the department store because of the creepy guy and the bitchy interviewer. I know I would be miserable. I also can’t go back to that mall without a guardian because there is an abnormally high percentage of sketchy people roaming about. They gave me a terrible feeling and I’m certain they will hurt me if I let them. I was also able to discern long before my confrontation, that my classmate had some degree of interest in me due to his unabashed staring. So, my question then becomes, why aren’t people picking up my signs?

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

I'm currently enjoying some bad childhood memories courtesy of the virtually and thankfully nearly extinct Canadian band Moist. It was not my choice to begin this brutal exploration of my early teen years, but my neighbour's, whose love of bad radio is unparalleled by the citizens of modern democratic nations. I expect that somewhere between Krushchev and Gorbachev, there were some comrades whose enthusiasm for bad North American radio was bigger, but that could only have been because of extreme scarcity.

I would now like to address my neighbour directly:

Dear Obnoxious and Hopelessly Tasteless Jerk Off,

What exactly could be the purpose of playing your radio outside on your patio? Do you not realise that your extreme bad taste in music and radio stations has forced the rest of us to remain inside our apartments with the windows closed? Are you just a fucking asshole, or are you just that stupid? Do you realise that this means war and I'm going to throw things at your window tonight while you sleep? Do you not own any real albums or are you just so aware of your tasteless suckiness that you're too afraid to play them?

I'm coming for you, so don't even try to hide.

Yours truly and sincerely,

If you've ever had to endure the selfish noise of a neighbour, I implore you, today is the day we strike. Just say no to selfish noise makers--do whatever it takes. People who think their lives are more important and therefore require more freedom of sound need to be stopped. I can't even express how much this asinine attitude irks me. I'm forming a coalition. We will create banners for display in the public areas of apartment buildings and consequences for those who disobey our requests. Now, we just need a name...

One last note of interest--while searching for "Moist", I found this.

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