Monday, April 24, 2006

You Cannot Wrestle a Dove

I lost my wallet that day. Stressed out and irritated, I rode my bike from my friend Taya's house on one end of SE Portland to a party I'd been invited to on the other side of Southeast.
At the party, I saw Jon from far away noting two things: He was beautiful, and two, he looked like trouble. A boy so pretty that you knew immediately you could either never have him, or that if you had him, he would break your heart.
Tight pants, thick brown sweepy hair, and giant pink lips aching to be flicked with a pinky finger.
We were introduced, "This is Jon."
"I hate you."
"Why do you hate me?"
"I just do."

Dear God, he was flirting with me.

A concert later, a party later, we twisted warmly together. So sweet, tender, and naive. So much wanting to feel and experience love, I hurled myself into the possibility. I was smitten without hope.

After three weeks, I become high strung wondering what was happening. I tried to discuss the matter with him. I only wanted a little assurance as in "hey, I dig you too, and let's keep hanging out," but later that night, Jon said it,

"I love you."

I was lying on top of him when he said it, and he had whispered it in my ear. It was like someone cut a slit in his face where his mouth was, and this little bird flew out. It was caught in the room. Neither of us knew what to do with it as it flew back and forth, hitting the walls. I wanted it to be good, so I caught it, and decided to keep it. It was the first time I believed in it.

I don't know what he was trying to do then. I wanted those words LATER. I think he wanted to latch onto the idea of loving someone just as much as I did. Use those three words to solve all problems. He wanted to experiment with loving me, and being the innocent, naive girl that I was (and mostly still am), I went along for the ride, hoping it meant so much more than it ever did.

Obviously, the shiny luster faded, our youthful vigor faded towards one another. Chalked up to infatuation, desire, and lust. One could even say puppy love, but this experience still hurts me to remember. It was the first time I believed, and I ended being shown as nothing but a pure fool.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Re-Statement of Romance by Wallace Stevens

Re-Statement of Romance

The night knows nothing of the chants of the night
It is what it is as I am what I am
And in perceiving this I best perceive myself

And you. Only we two may interchange
Each in the other what each has to give.
Only we two are one, not you and night,

Nor night and I, but you and I, alone
So much alone, so deeply by ourselves,
So far beyond the casual solitudes

That night is only the background of our selves,
Supremely true each to its separate self
In the pale light that each upon the other throws.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Love Over Time, Love makes History, History makes Love

In the middle ages before the era of courtly love, love was conceived of as a relationship shared between man (or woman) and god, a strictly religious endeavor. This can be seen in the Shewings of Julian of Norvich, and the Book of Margory Kempe. Two texts that depict women in LOVE with God, seeing god as their husbands, going into ecstatic states akin to sexual orgasm over their feelings.

At this point sex between human men and women was often referred to "the debt of mariage." A chore to be performed with your spouse, but not something that would inspire emotion or affectation. I can see this a trickled down perspective from the greeks who found love between men as a sensitive, visceral experience, but love between men and women as generally more focused on procreation.

With the dawn of the Renaissance, the notion of courtly love evolved, thereby creating what we generally think of when the terms love and romance are tossed around. The term originating obviously from the idea of "courting," the wooing of young royal women that would occur in the courtyards of royal palaces, and exagerrated in the sonnets of Shakespeare. Courtly love, (exemplified in Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde) portrayed heterosexual mating as a vehicle to transcend our earthly experience, and bring our consciosnesses closer to God.

The courtly notion of romance, characterized by fay passive women, being wooed by charismatic and clever gentleman remained. In the 18th and 19th century, parlor culture arose in Western society. Groups of women and men would gather in the salon or parlor of homes, and socialize. Seen most vividly in the novels of Jane Austen. In these novels, women dominate the enclosed sphere of the home, and men enter into their space causing change. Women await the attentions and power of men as lynchpins toward action. Women are the static bodies, and men are the kinetic ones. Balance and happiness achieved through union of the two extremes.

I'm not making a point but trying to explore the movement. I'm sure that many of these points have already been documented especially in Foucault's "History of Sexuality."

The victorian era also saw an increased focused on emotional and sexual repression, valorizing stoicism and celibacy. I need to do some more reading as to discern the origin of this movement. Obvious influences are Christian puritanism, but it can't possibly be that simple.

I have to get back to work but I hope to write more on this later.

Monday, April 17, 2006

First Humiliation

It was the first time I stayed the night at his house. I was 17. He was 19. He lived with his mother.
We had been fooling around in his bed, and it was late. We settled in for bed. He got up to go to the bathroom. He went for the door to the hallway naked. "Wait," I said, "Aren't your going to put some clothes on? Your mother might come out into the hall?"
"I'll be fine," he insisted, and he exited the room. I heard him go into the bathroom, and sure enough as he left the bathroom, I heard his mother come out of her room. "Andy, The noise from your room, it sounds like static. I can't sleep. Can you try to be more quiet. What?! Put some clothes on!"
I wanted to die. I clutched the covers and curled into the fetal position. I was mortified. The noise was obviously the bed, and his mother just saw him standing buck naked in her hallway with a girl in his room.
Andy returned to the bedroom, and got into bed. I could barely look at him. I was so embarrased. He tried to be affectionate with me, and I refused, not budging from my curled position. My refusal upset him very much, and he started to cry. He was like "What's the big deal?" My humiliation made me insensitive and resentful towards him. I wouldn't be touched, and his weeping did little to soften my feeling toward him. I wish I could have disappeared in that moment.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


"I love David Lynch." That was the first thing we allowed each other to say. We didn't want to throw the phrase around. We agreed to resist saying the simple three word phrase of infamy. We talked on the phone everyday, for hours. I was 15, and had been messaged by Matt after he read my poems and stories in an "ezine" that I had uploaded into a "zine forum" on AOL SPIN online. My zine was called either "Oddball" or "Peculiar." I can't remember which.
Matt introduced me to Jack Kerouac. We read the poems that we wrote back and forth to each other; his poems were abstract, symbolic, and laden with pop culture figures, and possessed a rhythm I envied, and my poems were always more sincere and heartfelt. 2 hours at a time talking about the cure, and sex. We were always discussing our sexual habits although neither of us had ever seen one another, being burgeoning horny adolescents. We were dependable voices on the other end of the line.
"I love David Lynch" transformed into "Goo"(a la Sonic Youth, no connection to any form of baby talk. We were mixing our love of pop culture with the affection we felt in conversation). The phrase was shortened for ease, and "Goo" had a better punch to the tongue. Our previous phrase of affection was too cumbersome, and ridiculous to say. I don't remember when it happened, but one day it hit and there was no more need for code words anymore. It was the first time I heard the phrase "I love you" from a boy. I think I've heard it from 5 boys, and I can only count 2 circumstances where I felt it has mattered in retrospect. My long telephone conversations with Matt are definitely one of the two.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Gum Traders

I followed him around at lunch time. He wore a bright puffy winter coat, and we would sit outside the cafeteria, eating tater tots from a paper cup, and pizza wrapped in a plastic bag, steam condensing on the inside. I liked to hear him talk and stare into his black curly hair, note his smooth skin and wide features. Of course, in 7th grade, I didn't think about it that way at all.
I'd call him on the phone. He'd tell me about science fiction stories late at night. I'd lie on the floor with ear glued to phone in the dark in my parent's or sister's room on school nights. We talked about Nirvana, and our favorite books, our ideal mates.
We were "rockers." With such a title interests included: our collection of band t-shirts, our cassette tape collections, our distaste for that which was not rock, and a new found identity in being outside and different than everyone else in our jr. high, digging the latest hip hop jams on the radio. Our friends wrote "Rap is Crap" on their backpacks in white out.
The rockers found their lunchtime home in the middle of the athletic field. We stood in a circle talking non-sense. We believed that we didn't care what people thought of us. We were rockers. People thought he was crazy, and that I was a lesbian, because of my short hair.
We wanted to show everyone how much we didn't care. One day, we decided to trade gum to show our disregard for germs. We started by spitting it into one another's mouth, aiming from afar. Within minutes, the gap between us closed, and with our friends chanting, egging him on, "Do it! Kiss her!" our lips met, my first french kiss. We pushed the gum back and forth in one another's mouth with our tongues. His mouth and tongue were broad, and I remember the motion seemed to happen so naturally.


The month of April will be a month of firsts on my blog, a series of posts about first experiences. For all of us who feel that we are at the beginning.

So what is the first first? Do I start with physical contact, the first time a hand was slid underneath clothing, or infatuation, the first time that dominos fell in the mind to trigger those marquis flashing lights that "Yes! I am attracted to this person," or most traditionally kissing, the first time two lips met to feel the heat of the other person's lips and the strange wetness of another's mouth, like slugs groping in the dark?

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

encouraging accquiesence and discouraging struggle

For me there is always a huge dark line between that which I know is real, and how I feel towards the veritable elements of my life.

Knowing and feeling on a most base level, and their split. I want to accquiess to the boundaries of what is real, in lieu of struggling with the way that I feel. My wants and desires are not logical, not in tune with reality.

I want to take care of everyone. I know that I can't.

The spaces between reality, and desire, are where emotions originate.
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