Thursday, June 16, 2011

Love letters, batch #1: movies, Murakami, and nightmares

Thur, 20 May 2004

Dear Rob,
I tried calling you calling you calling you but you weren't there.  I woke up exactly 1 hour and thirty
minutes ago.   I dreamed of a girl--a rebel, my age, sometimes she was me, sometimes not.  But I saw her, and I saw her rebel.  She walked on top of things--cars, chairs, tables, climbed out of the window up high in the wall.  She had locked all the doors to the house and lit it on fire from inside, before she climbed out to the balcony and watched the flames flare up.  It wasn't regular fire.  It was
congealed air; plasmic; globs of clear plasma, thin enough to move like fire.

Then she was running.  And I was running with her.  And there was another girl. We were
running from something evil.  I was very scared, not scared for my life, I wasn't afraid to die, just afraid to be caught, because if I was caught, it would be by something greater than death.

We were trying to find a hiding place.  By this time, there were only two of us--the girl, and me (and sometimes, I would be her).  We ran into a club.  It was something like a dancing club, and there was a moving stairwell, like an escalator except instead of steps there were round metal rollers, and we were rolled up towards the upper floor.  At the top of this rolling escalator was a room; we were approaching it from the side--there was no door, just a whole side of the wall opened to us.  There was a body, bloody, dead.  A man dressed in white took a gigantic brush with red paint, stroked it once over the body curled on the floor, consecration of some sort.  He said something, but I don't remember now.   Then he took a hammer, a big hammer, and smashed the head of the dead body.  He scooped out the brain, dipped it in flour of some sort, like how the chefs in Chinese movies often do, then dropped the flour soaked brain into a bowl, for soup.  A woman dressed in black drank it, commented on its consistency, how the mental state of the brain matter when the body was alive immediately before death affected the consistency and taste of the brain.  The she showed it to me--a clear liquid with clear bubbles, like fish bubbles.  I remember an image of a girl--she was screaming, or something...  I woke up, and I was scared.  So scared. I also had a nightmare a few nights ago.  I remember waking up with my eyes shut tight, afraid to open them, afraid to look over to where the chair was else I might find some black shadow sitting there staring at me.  I went to sleep because I couldn't stand being awake and not thinking, not living in a way, but now I can't go to sleep, too scared to go back to sleep else I might go back to my nightmare.  It might catch me in there.  I might burn.  

So I woke up and began reading Murakami again, just to finish reading that book that started so horribly.   Dance dance dance--that's what it's called.  What do you know, another nightmare.  The book is about nightmares.  I woke up from one, then opened up someone else's.  From one to the next.  Everything's so dark.  My dream was dark; this book is dark; outside it's dark.  Better someone else's than my own. Wish I could go to you now.  



ps/ the john felstiner's biography on paul celan came today!  and yesterday i read an interview with murakami--i really really like him!  superstar.  wonder if i will cross path with him someday....when i'm 50 and visiting tokyo, and if he's still living there, perhaps i will?

Tuesday, 25 May 2004

Hope you are well and content and happy with family and mom's cooking.  I finally finished my paper in 2 hours yesterday (after a couple of days of not being able to write a word).  I wanted to write you yesterday and tell you about it, but the excitement fizzled out when I remembered that you're not here to go to the movies with me. 

Anyway,  it looks like I'll be moving my stuff to a storage after all.  I was just told about an hour

ago that I need to rent storage to put my stuff because my best friend who is moving into my old apartment is going to need the closet space.  I said I would move my stuff, of course. 

Moving and boxes and things--these are too big for me.  Usually I would have somebody else do it, that's what brothers and boyfriends are for.  Now I have a headache just thinking about it.  Of course, this means that I'll be sorting out all my stuff again, throwing out more books and more clothes.  I just may give them all away, leaving just the bare necessities--meaning 75% of my books and clothes for a month. 

This email must be very boring.  I am very boring.  I am also bored.  I think I'm going to walk up the hills and hide there somewhere until evening.  Then I"ll go to the movies.  I want to see
Shrek 2 and Spring Summer Fall Winter.

I miss you, did I tell you that already?  I know I don't have you--you have not ever really loved me, you were always busy loving too many people--but that's okay, doesn't change the fact that I miss you.

Last week was great--greatest week as far as I can remember being happy.  But let's be honest--you
probably can't give me more than a week's worth of your time out of a year--the rest is divided between your work, your self, and your other loves.  Somethings I should never ask.

Sorry, I guess I'm tired, uninspired, unconvinced, and feeling so damn if i've been fucking abandoned....feel like packing up and going home.  You don't want to live with a person like this, do you?  You may have seen the side of me that gives a lot, but you haven't seen the side of me that needs a lot, and it seems that a lot of the things that I need others for are the same things that you need others to do for you.  The practical stuff.  The big stuff.

I'm off to the hills.  I send you love. 


Sunday, 30 May 2004

Dear Rob,
I accidentally erased the message you left on my voicemail, and now I'm mourning! :(
But, I look forward to getting a letter from you!  Yay!  It's been four or five years since I last received a letter from someone.  So I guess visiting you in Ohio is out of the question huh?  In any case, it'll be good to be back home.  Can't wait to take my brother driving all over the place.  I'm sure my dad will be going along too; he'll want to.  I want to drive for a do nothing but drive and sing along to love songs, for a week.

I miss you.  I try not to form expectations as far as you are concerned, because that will (as it did) put
pressures on both you and me.  That, of course, means "no LOW expectations!" 

I like writing emails, can't you tell?  Helps me feel like I'm actually in communication with you (duh!).
When you called today I was out in Thoa's little garden, weeding.  Weeding can be a lot of fun.  I did
hear the phone ring once, but it was somebody with the wrong number.  I had thought it was you; what a bummer it was when it wasn't you!!

I go now.  I've bored you enough, yeah?  Oh, forgot to tell you: last night I dreamed about you.
There were two of you--one was real, one was a double.  When I finally figured out which one of you was the real you, you told me that you were married--and with a mistress!!  What do you think that means??  Rhetorical question.  Its cause and significance are already very obvious.

Good night, sweet.


Thur, 3 June 2004

Dear Rob,
I received your letter on coffee filter paper, recycled and too thin, ink running and smearing your
thoughts.  I want to write you a reply, but my thoughts ran out and smeared as well.  I read your
letter while walking to the elevator, by the way, while stepping down the Dwinelle front steps and while sitting on the benches next to nobody.  So no, I wasn't drinking.  Neither was I smoking.  What I did do afterwards is drive to the bookstore.  A grand partnership, you and I. 

I also realized that when you asked me about writing, you meant my thesis.  Well, as far as that goes, it's not going--I haven't written a word or given it anymore thought since I last talked with you about it.  However, earlier today, I did stop by the library and got the call numbers to a bunch of books
from the Cornell stacks.

From margaritas and barbecued fish, I got myself two ibubrofens and sporadic minglings of sleep and dreams. That was last night.

Today, I know that you don't really care for this email, this kind of babbling uncontrol-ability, so
I'll stop. 


Friday, 4 June 2004

Dear Rob,
I went to the Serendipity bookstore on University Ave this afternoon.  The place is a great mystery.  I
spent about an hour in there, still couldn't figure out what their shelving order is or how much they
charge for their books.  It was overwhelming, the amount of books and journals and leaflets they have in there.  Next time I go back to that place, I would like to go with you; I think you will figure that
place out quicker than me.

I also went to the Signal bookstore on Euclid.  Bought a book of poetry by Paul Celan (it's great! AND it has the german version next to the translation), the first volume of Robert Musil's "The Man Without Qualities," and Murakami's "South of the border; west of the sun."  Didn't you say you like this one of Murakami's? 

I've also been on a movie marathon, one movie per night.  Saw Dirty Pretty Things, but don't like it so
much.  It was great at first, but by the second half of the movie, the hero's clean-cut righteousness and
the filmic cliches about love and justice really went to overkill.  Have you seen Russian Ark?  I like it--es ist sehr schon!  (there, i can now claim my knowledge of the german language!)

"Under My Skin" is morbid (to the max!), but highly captivating and ruthlessly haunting.  I recommend it!

I miss you, Robert.  This is unnerving; you are becoming metonymic of a safe space.  I have to be
Wish you more luck finding a place for the summer.  If worse comes to worst, you can always cook your heart out in the fall.  Revenge of the chef, part I.


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