Everything smells and tastes like polyurethane.
There are certain people who prefer a work in progress. My mother is one of those people. In fact, she has been a work in progress for the past fifty years.
Personally, I prefer product. Product to productivity, at least. Procrastination to either of those, of course.
So she’s ‘finishing’ a bookcase. And I find it ironic that anyone would refer to a three month process as ‘finishing.’ Where is the beginning? And I certainly see no end.
So I’m suffocating, and it’s nothing new. I fear death by land no less than I fear death by water.
And people are probably more toxic than polyurethane. And optimism is the new arsenic, obviously!
* * *
So I turn on the television tonight and watch five minutes of Picnic (which I’ve already seen, at the request of my father, who has never finished a movie but adores Fellini)—with Kim Novak and William Holden, Hal and Madge, respectively. So Hal comes into town for a day and goes mad for Madge. He’s about to leave and trying to convince Madge to go with him. And there’s no time left and the train is going to depart.
And he’s pushing her up against this barn and he says—
You make me so—
Do you have to be patient when it comes to love? Because I feel impossibly far from patient. And I realize that I procrastinate with nothing more than I do with relationships. And unfortunately, I feel like procrastination probably doesn’t constitute patience. Without weighing impending possibilities, can you really can’t tell how you’ll feel or how you’ll want to handle things?
Get a handle. Get a grip.
Josh says that because he’s hypercritical, he finds mixed signals in even the simplest things. We get along, though we argue most of the time because he’s ridiculous and I’m ridiculous. I asked him why it seems that I always wear boys out in a short period of time. He replied that perhaps after they get to know me a bit, boys realize I’m boring. Then, after an uncomfortable silence, he revised his previous statement (maybe he had been joshing) and said that maybe it’s because I grow bored with boys and project. I think that there is room for both dissatisfaction and improvement to be allowed.
Would crazy people be better off involved with the sane? Would people who tend to overcomplicate flourish in a relationship with others who can’t do anything but simplify? A Romantic with a Pragmatic?
All I know is that I love rationalizing.
And that a woman’s faith is like the Phoenix—everyone talks about it, but it doesn’t exist.
* * *
[Rehash—not corned beef, sadly]
I feel an overwhelming urge to run away. I want to cram all my unfinished product into my worn-out baggage and sling my violin case over my shoulder and head on out. Out into the open. Where nothing tastes of polyurethane and my accompanist doesn’t complain about her ex-boyfriend for half of my rehearsal time. It’s time for her to find a new boyfriend, if only because current boyfriends typically merit the most kvetching.
But I’m compelled, situationally and personally and ambiguously and polytonally, to impatiently wait things out. Biting my nails and pacing down my hallways. Practically pulling my hair out? No, but by all means ready to hibernate.
Or at least gnaw off my hand if I wake up and find that I’m still ensnared. Thanks, Eddy Albee.
Albee writes about one’s “preoccupation with history.” And I must admit that I tend to look in my relationship rear-view mirror just a bit too much. Fortunately, Albee, too, enjoys illusory history far more than fact.
And, having tried to keep my eye on the road recently, it took me nearly a year to realize that I’m practically a nihilist. I’m a pragmatic nihilist, that is.
Nihilism-Lite, but Cynicism and Carbohydrate-Rich.
My hard drive is full and I weigh 210 lbs. and I need to start deleting things. So why am I saving all this nonsense without which life would be infinitely easier?
* * *
I feel as if I’m hardening.
Sometimes I admire the way Jeff beats me to a pulp if only for the sole purpose of softening me a little bit. And I appreciate it, in a soft, sick way.
But these days—I don’t know. I feel like a bruised apple. I feel like a beetle. Kafka-esque? Freudian? Brahmsian?
If I could claw my way up the walls I’d spend my days on my ceiling, but for now I’m waiting things out under my bed. A bug, no matter. A Pest, at best?
Is it a coincidence that Jeff and I sent each other the same Christmas card? That we bought it in the same store? That the package I sent him has been lost by the Wallingford post office? That I forgot the send him a shirt that he left at my house over Thanksgiving? That he hasn’t asked for it back? He’ll get it back in a few weeks—don’t worry.
Is this synchronicity? Can insignificant coincidences ever sum up to synchronicity? Can you ever detach all the strings that you so carefully fasten to something and hope that holes will heal themselves?
So Jeff says that I need intensify my degree of self-loathing.
I put up with far less than I deserve and [try to] pretend I’m happy—and while that should probably suffice as a substantial enough form of self-inflicted punishment, perhaps what Jeff was insinuating was rather that I strive for self-improvement. Thanks, Jeff. I’ll just take your words as a sign of caring.
I never said I wasn’t passive-aggressive.
* * *
And I think a considerable amount of this urge to curl up and shut up and mainly just sleep is related to the extreme lack of musical stimulation. I can spend as many hours practicing as I’d like (far too few, obviously), but I’ve never been as convenient a fan of [musical] masturbation as I ought [to]. Though I do love excessively awkward syntax!
Do we want someone to listen or do we want someone to understand? And I hate how frustrating it is when intentions, no matter how good, fall short.
I feel as if I’m running races in circles, and I have no idea whether I’m ahead or behind. I’m fairly confident that I’m behind in every musical race, at this point. At least I’m confident in something.
* * *
I’m having performance anxiety because I’m lacking performance opportunity.
Potential versus performance. And I’m tired of the project and I want to start putting together some products.
At this point, however, it’s growing increasingly apparently that I need to sell myself coconuts and send myself letters. Since no one seems to respond anymore—that passé concept of reciprocation having totally degenerated. You’re dismissed.
Is it true that all of the arts strive to be like music?
Isn’t the purpose of a performing art to perform for an audience? But what defines a performance, anyway? The fact that someone is listening? The fact that someone is present?
It seems as if everyone is an exhibitionist. Everyone needs an audience—everyone needs everyone else to know everything—and more than know everything, everyone needs to say everything. Everyone has the right to whine, and everyone seems to be developing that need. We are infants. We need attention.
We are obviously not satisfying ourselves.
But then—just any audience isn’t enough. We can’t simply complain—we need specialists. We need therapists. We need audiences who will fully appreciate our trials and tribulation and sympathize. We need a docent to walk the rest of the world through our fascinating lives. At this point, privacy has lost its meaning, and any sort of isolation—even an isolation of personal thoughts—makes too many people feel incomplete.
In terms of music—however the audience denies its seeming apathy, ignorance is overwhelming.
And at this point, I would probably pay to have someone listen to me play. Though psychoanalysis might be a better investment.
Everywhere I go there are audiences. Ignorant audiences. Apathetic audiences. Silent audiences. And I think more than anything, I would like learn what it takes to solicit a meaningful response.
Ultimately, I think that it may just be far easier to swallow someone else who is down on you than to be down on yourself. It’s more impersonal. It’s more escapable.
And when I wrote that sentence, I had absolutely no sexual intention. I promise.
Good morning, Doctor Freud.
* * *
I practice in the mirror, but would much rather practice in the dark.
Whether or not my eyes are open, and whether or not I want to, I really need to start listening to myself.
But can you truly be your own audience member? If you write a letter and don’t send it to the intended recipient, has that letter lived up to its potential? Have you officially written yourself a letter? I just can’t prepare a piece for myself—
I miss the dialogue. I miss my musical immersion—swimming in that sea. (In that C?) Do I always prefer excess? Be it good or bad? I’m starting to worry.
Auditioning will be an adventure.