Learning To Love You More




Assignment #14
Write your life story in less than a day.

Los Angeles, California USA



... hey you....
things aren't what they seem
....makes no sense at all
...things aren't what they seem
that's from a song, 'burger queen,' by placebo; so this is where my 'life' 'story' 'starts.' i was born never asked by c section on the twelfth day of august 1979, around 8 at night. my mom tells me my dad fainted and i arrived not breathing. my dad says that too. i rely on their stories.
apparently i was used as an example of how to give a newborn a bath. then the nurses put a star above the crib i was in.
my consciousness of the whole thing relies completely upon stories and snippets thereof. anyway, there i was, after a nurse sucked my lungs clear.
my parents divorced when i was two. they say i was upset then, but i don't remember much. i do know that i was upset about them not being together, and that this feeling has been with me since my nonlinguistic days; but i've gotten over it pretty well.
my favorite age so far in life has been age seven. seven was good. i was a tomboy and i played with legos. i used to secretly cry when grandparents and other cheery adults gave me items they call 'gifts' of or related to 'barbie.' i think mostly i resented the idea i pictured them having in their heads of just what i would do with a doll. or doll-related things. in general, if a toy was/is marketed to little girls or teen girls, i immediately lose interest and feel a little sick. or a lot sick. but i shake the disease as best i can.
particularly in college, i met other people who shared my general malaise regarding barbie culture, shopping mall women and their shopping antics, and rich people. makes sense, though: i came from a family with some money. scratch that. my dad had money. my mom is broke. my dad came from southern california. my mom came from queens, nyc. she is a pure russian jew. he is an italian. she teaches french in a public high school. he became a republican politician after years in family business. both got degrees relating in some way or another to international relations and foreign language/literature.
to this day i love to speak different languages with my parents. it is the most adult part of our relationship, because foreign languages add a bit of theatre to things; A reminder for me of what one can't remember or worry about, turning in hard cold thoughts for fly-by-night this is life being-in-the-world authenticity. speaking in foreign languages also draws attention to the musicality of language in general, something which i feel tends to get lost in all the day to day humdrum. i am more apt to laugh when my head is in a musical space, and i love to laugh. [because laughs are always right, no matter what]. i love to be wrong too. what a perfect thing to laugh about.
enter stage left vinyl record [x]. here i am, flying over the keys, pushing buttons. i like to push buttons: buttons which do nothing at all and go nowhere, and wired goal-specific buttons alike. i love electronics. televisions, radios, anything that can make or record music, pictures, or sound. hence the legos. i used to ride my bike all around with my best friend sarah. i chase that seven year old feeling more and more with each passing moment. i chase sounds and pictures, too. all of this in order to stay beyond good and evil, or to at least cast my glance there. i have two interesting nicknames, one, 'the pilot,' and two, 'the bat.' i am shy and i hide but in my head i fly and someday perhaps i will resolutely aim the nose of some stunning little shiny cessna citation out into the air and on and on.... with friends in the cabin ....actual in flight entertainment among many sets of turntables, mini-disc decks, video recorders, projection screens, etc. the process and the destination: together we navigate like the blind via echolocation. probably not, but there is nothing to do in life but imagine. and i do have the reliable eyes of a pilot.
and i am wrong. and i am right.
i fell in love at first sight with the woman who was later to be my 8th grade english teacher. i was twelve and walked into her study hall. i hated my new private school. and then she looked up from what she was doing, and at me. i have never recovered. a long story goes here: [ ]. but it isn't all that interesting. i knew she would be mine. i cried and cried. it made no sense. everything makes sense. after making a fool of myself as a nerdy bookworm who only got along with 'adults,' unable to hide my crush, she and i had a bizarre falling out. i was fourteen. she was mean, unnecessarily. for the next four years i would run into her in the halls, on the road, with her kids, with her husband....sometimes she would say hi, but usually we just passed one another by. sometimes she would just look at me. there was nothing like those flickers of eye contact. never knew when they might come, never out of the blue, nonetheless all of a sudden and with no warning. my heart fluttered. my heart fell off. i cried myself to sleep many nights, heartbroken over a cruel letter she had sent me. but i knew she would be mine.
i did well and went to a good college, far away from home. i forgot about the teacher. there was snow. there was new york. i worked too hard. i worked too little. i went insane. i watched the twin towers fall, live. then i went to a seminar called "the limits of thought.' three weeks later, driving in the middle of the night on a forest highway, i cried.
i painted and made videos in my spare time. actually, my spare time became the space for my academic assignments, and my art projects arrived like tiny explosions i could not control. turpentine on the floor. wires upon wires at every hour of the night. writing papers on the fly. went to shows in new york and upstate. those were some kind of days. people around me made me burst into bouts of cackling laughter. i had boyfriends. i had girlfriends. still i learned to sleep holding my pillow. my friends and i did ridiculous things.
then i wrote a lovely little thesis paper called 'wittgenstein's prescription: on certainty and contradiction.' i thought i might fail, or do not so well, and was afraid of this as i took years to finish. the paper was too long and unfinished, on purpose, and not on purpose. never before had i been so obsessed. i had to write the paper that erased itself, if there were to be such a thing as 'itself' at all. i had to break all the rules and be politely rude. i did well. this means simply that i got the nod from a few professors whose friendship and mentoring held me up to my own standards [ so i could figure out what they were ].
i arrived back, a rabbit in headlights, with boxes of books and records, and books. plus some books and papers. i began an affair with that very teacher, the one with whom i had fallen in love with at first sight twelve years earlier. she was 41 then. i was 23. it wasn't real. i named a star after her when i was 13. i gave her the maps showing where her official star could be found in the night sky...in what galaxy, and such. there is this thing called 'the international star registry.' i was with her, at last. i was high. i cried. all of my tears, all of my tears, all of my tears. she is married still with high school age children. 17 years of life she's got on me, so it must be [x] equivalent amount of wisdom. i just want to read with her and talk about grammar. but i found even in talking to her, or writing, or desperately missing her, thinking of her in bed with mr. husband, i didn't know how to ask her. love exists. LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT. makes no sense. fills the air. fills the filling. leaves no room. silent music. forever.
as i had during my later years in nyc, now i obsessively cut apart and rearrange fragments of the newspaper or books or magazines. what started on the floor of my nyc apartment/batcave/post-it shrine has followed me as i reach ever closer to 30. the mini dv tapes and vhs tapes and archival-taped newspaper assemblages and record bins and canvases make up the images of my life; what i see inside, all the time: the projectionist.
i worked as a projectionist, which was grand. i don't like to serve popcorn for more than an hour at a time, though. up there in the projection booth, it's just me and all the celluloid, all the ghosts. the sound and flicker fills the room. i am at home there.
but that type of job doesn't pay the bills.
and i am a curious mix of something and nothing.
i read artforum. it is my coca cola. usually, though, i am too impatient and snotty to retain diligently the information therein. i have a grammar addiction. i am a fiction writer who specializes in non-fiction which is just: rearrangement. i know i will never be cured. grammar is like music; the sounds flow in and out in the rhythm of conversation, whether you are reading or thinking this.
this is all there is.
even in los angeles.
even when you're seven years old, or 26.
[shot on location at this location]
[made possible with a grant by [x] foundation]
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