Tuesday, October 27, 2009

a car and music are all you need to feel free

At 6:30 a.m. every morning, when the black sky still cast its shadow on the tired houses in the quiet neighbourhood, I would slip out of my house and start walking down the street to the bus station about a mile away. The wind would play around me, glad that something would creep out of its shelter to face it. It did not consider the bikers and runners that also littered the leaf-strewn paths. It wanted something with a bit more patience, with a bit more calmness. I was not one to hurry because I knew I wouldn't miss the bus. I was the kind of person that left long before the appropriate time for irrational fear of being late.

Walking across the neighbourhood, I would sing songs out loud that I wouldn't let myself sing in any other circumstance. I cherished my loneliness and the emptiness of the streets. The houses on their freshly mowed lawns looked like insomniacs sleeping; troubled dreams rolling and bubbling over each other, soon to give in to wakefulness and sleepy-eyed tiredness. The cars that would rush past me, their headlights carving the darkness sharply, blinding me with artificial light, were always in a hurry. They always had something to catch: a stop light, a train crossing, or even the rare dazed squirrel that had decided to cross the street at the wrong time.

There was that spot where the lamp on the right side of the street and the lamp on the left side were in a relationship. Right would reach out its arm of light to feel the distance in between, to see if Left was awake yet or still in love. Left would immediately respond with a similar arm of light and the two would merge in a ray of warmth in the middle of the pavement. This is where I would start listening to the sound of the cars coming my direction. This is where she usually would come speeding past me, glance towards the right side of the street, see a shadow of a walking human, and screech to a stop while calling out 'Hey, wanna ride?' Her car made a very distinct sound of arrival; it was the sound of rust, beat up metal, and burnt rubber. Every single morning as I passed that particular section of the road, I would strain my ears at every mechanical sound, searching for her Honda without turning my head. When she'd see me and stop, I would nonchalantly swerve my head in her direction and yell out 'Sure!' as though I had been happy with walking but because she had offered me a ride, I had accepted it out of politeness. The truth was that I would wait for this moment with anticipation, eager to rest my legs for the rest of the journey and get to school faster than to walk until the end of the street, wait for the bus, pay $1.50 for a five minute ride, and be enveloped by the hard-hitting yellow lights of the inside of the bus.

I wanted a car just like hers. It was beat up and cheap but it had a cosy, bohemian, individual feel to it as though you could just hop into it whenever you felt the world was getting to be too much and drive endlessly until the feeling of helplessness ebbed away. The windows would always be down no matter how cold it was outside(she complained she was hot) and her ipod would be blasting at full volume. You could practically see the Modest Mouse tumbling out of the windows, left behind the car as it would stream past stop signs and school buses. With the music that loud and the sun that low in the sky, there was not much to say except 'Did you know Janis Joplin overdosed when she was 20?' 'Yeah. But she was fucking awesome anyway.' 'Yeah.' But that was enough. It was enough to just sit in the front seat and watch her lips move and her head sway from side to side to the song. We'd get out of the dark alleys of the well-to-do neighbourhood and enter the wider streets with the McDonalds and Boston Markets competing against each other and tearing each other apart from across the sea of traffic. Here, the lights of the gas station would shock our eyes into vision so we could see with this ultra-sight that was unnatural for that early in the morning. Everything would become painfully clear and suddenly, we'd realize that we hadn't actually slept the night before. Or really, the night before that. By then, the song would have changed and Emily Haines would come on and we'd slip into a reverie where notes would wash over us and we could drown ourselves in soft sound. We'd be at the school and she'd try to park. Sometimes, she could do it right if there wasn't a car that got a spot in front of her before we arrived, but that wasn't often. It was now 6:40 and parking was becoming scarce. Students paroled the streets for empty spaces. 'Fucker! Fuck, I have to fucking back up now.' Ten minutes later, one wheel was on the sidewalk and The Kills would begin their haunting.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Importance of Speech as a Form of Communication in a Relationship

"I love you." Those three words obviously mean something. It can be said that for each person, they have different meanings. Some say those words trivially and some believe that that phrase should only be said in certain circumstances. Nevertheless, throughout the years, these words have become what is now called "cliche". This phrase has been repeated so many times that to some people, it means close to nothing.

In a relationship, this is usually the most common and most frequently used form of showing one's love towards another. It has become so common and so frequently used that in some relationships, this phrase is a necessity for that connection to work (and to continue to work). For example, if your partner ceases to say "I love you" or doesn't say it as much, you might feel as though your partner does not "love" you. Some expect that the whole bundle of romantic sentiments towards themselves should be contained in those three words.

Of course, there are other forms of expressing one's feelings towards another. Words are only one type of communication. Another kind can be physical intimacy. And yet another can be complete silence. Personally, I do not feel it is necessary to say anything (although sometimes I can't help it) when one can enjoy utter peace with one's partner when both are silent. Silence does not necessarily mean awkwardness or a lack of 'things to say'. As Uma Thurman pointed out in Pulp Fiction, "Why do we feel it's necessary to yak about bullshit in order to be comfortable?...That's when you know you've found somebody special. When you can just shut the fuck up for a minute and comfortably enjoy the silence."
Also, after physical intimacy (whatever that may consist of), is it really necessary to add "I love you" to the action? The action itself should be enough to prove not only to your partner but also to yourself that both of you are comfortable and happy with each other.

Personally, those words seem to be a test of the circumstances of the relationship. Early on, one says them to assure himself that his partner actually is happy in the situation. After the first time, it becomes not only easier to say but also one finds that it comes more frequently. Perhaps that is the cause of NRE*, the giddiness and ecstasy one feels after beginning a new relationship. Before other forms of communication can be used due to comfortability, words are the basis of the expression of sentiments. And perhaps after those other forms are discovered, words become less important as a kind of communication.
Nevertheless, there is a reason why we as humans communicate by speaking and less by writing or physical contact and even less, by silence. But there could be a progression of the types of communication based on the intimacy of the relationship of the humans. For example, speech can be a first jump. Physical contact can be a second jump and so on. Do these jumps reach a goal? Yes, they perhaps go to the goal of being completely comfortable with the other person and mastering all of the kinds of communication.

*NRE: new relationship energy

Saturday, October 10, 2009

you can either be my fishy or my lovely

You can either be my lovely or my fishy.
If you are my lovely, I will crown you with painted glass and sunlight and you shall shine like the virgin. I will lick you in place to the high palisade wall and you will become the sentinel of the church. Your arms will be fixed, nailed to the stone so that you can better accept my love. You eyes will be gouged out with thorns so you can sharpen your other senses to anticipate when a hidden army is creeping up to destroy me. Your feet will be bare and embedded with the shrapnel and the dirt that seeps out of the soul's corners in plumes. And you shall be my oracle. Yes, the barbarians are coming. No, he does not love you. Yes, you're pregnant. You will be my protector, each of your bruises signifying each attack that you have successfully deflected. And at the end of the day, when I take you down and you bend your fingers and move your cramped legs and arms, I will show you how clean I still am. The barbarian's spear will not have touched me, the chamomile petal will not have poisoned me, and the blood on the operating table will reek of knives and death, not of cameras and life. You will see that I have lived yet another day. And you still will survive, the wounds collecting on your body. Don't worry, my lovely. You will have the night to heal; the moon, the stars, and the biting wind as your balms and bandages. And when black turns to grey, I will come out and carry you to your place on the wall again.
If you are my fishy, you must breathe water and algae. You must learn to forget air and legs. You will see earth and sky through a glass surface; touch it and it will tremble but not break. You must learn to remember to take bigger mouthfuls and to keep the water from running from your ears and nose. Your skin will turn to smooth green, the pruney fingertips wearing down to fins, the nails peeling off. You will forget words, your memory will fail, and your eyes will lose their shine. You will forget how to love. You will forget that you were once human.