Summer of 2007 I took out an ad in the weekend edition of the Toronto Star for $299.75.
Before Twitter I was much more verbose. This is the mockup they sent with a fake number.
Summer of 2007 I took out an ad in the weekend edition of the Toronto Star for $299.75.
Receiving the unsuccessful doctoral SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council) letter in the mail yesterday felt like the first professional 200m race I ran after I just joined the track club. The memory came up instantly. I had been a sprinter for years and had placed top 3, if not 1st in almost every race up to that point. I was the star sprinter, and was “discovered” by a coach in grade 9 who insisted I train with him. I wish I could remember whether the excitement was to be distracted from the angst of teenage-hood or if I really cared about being on the track. Maybe both? I spent most of my days either training in Nike cleats or slitting my wrists in my bedroom listening to Hole and ripping my black pantyhose arm sleeves. Ugh. I had a couple of training sessions with the group before my once-lauded hubris quickly disappeared. The runners were straight-faced and had been trained privately for years. I was the new girl that didn’t fit into their sprinter mold. Although this was probably all in my head because I was just used to being the best without much thought. Running came so naturally to me. I didn’t have to fight my body to get ahead and now my body and its movements didn’t make sense anymore. The first race came upon us really quickly, and I ran my distance – the 200m. This was not a high school track meet, this was a real track meet, with runners and their coaches pouring water into their mouths just like they do on TV. I don’t think I even ran in cleats yet, I was probably one of the few that still ran in running shoes. How embarrassing. Of course, what happened? I came in last. I mean, dead last. Imagine 200 meters is not a lot of distance, and it was noticeable how dead last I stumbled past the finish line. So there I was – a loser. The girl who took her inept relay teams to regional school championships died. Although I did run the 100m and didn’t do too poorly, it didn’t even matter, my distance was the 200m. My coach was ecstatic that my time was so bad, because to him, this meant he had a clean slate to teach me how to be a champion – and as typical as stories go, he did manage quite well. I was ready to learn everything. I think that’s when I started understanding what running was about and what it was doing to me. It’s funny how few people know this about me (…other than those who point out my legs. I’m not trying to to be cocky, but legs get sculpted with sport, especially sprinting). It came up in my therapy session two weeks ago and my therapist was pleasantly surprised because she would have never guessed it knowing me. I don’t really know what that’s supposed to mean, considering I was also a lifeguard and swimming instructor for six years until I bleached my hair and had to give up.
I guess what I wanted to say is that the score I received on my appraisal, which I can’t even mention here or to anyone in hopes of forgetting it, felt like that race. I am a strong student but I was unprepared at that point to take on the race. Even if many say luck has a lot to do with it, because even within the categories you are never really sure how they’re tabulated, there’s still the past you have to learn how to negotiate for the present. It also doesn’t help that I frequent this obsessive-compulsive graduate student forum in which a disproportionate amount of posters got the SSHRC Grant that, by the way, is either $85,000 or $105,000 over a course of 3/4 years. My supervisor’s terse answer was, “You’ve been lucky enough this year,” which is perhaps akin to the answer my old running coach had. I did at least get passed onto the national competition, whereas some others I know didn’t even pass the university-wide competition to get carried forward to SSHRC. I also got accepted to the school of my choice with a fellowship even though I applied after the deadline and a guaranteed researcher position on an incredible mobile cinema project.
I want to go to there.
I want to explore what it means to be me (how cliché is that?), what it means to be allowed to experience everything. Sitting in front of my laptop playing Solitaire isn’t getting me anywhere, but it’s what I do. I’m stressed out. Solitaire. Finished a part of an application. Solitaire. Being told what to do at work while someone else makes the decisions isn’t working me out. It’s wearing me out. Being in the same city since I was a preteen isn’t conducive to risk. But I’ve never been a risk taker, so what do I do? I have these projects lining up in front of me, but I cower. I take them on, on, on but not with all of me. Never with all of me. Where is the exploration in a desk? I don’t want to be no armchair archeologist. I think I’m starting to grow old because I think about my mortality in a different way. In a way that things are changing, moving so fast that all I have time to do is go through the motions. Sometimes I feel because J is such a dreamer, I have to be the one to induce practicality in our lives. He is the one living out his dreams as an artist. I can’t let myself.
MP3: Neon Heights, 16 Again, A View from the Heights
This song is from my favorite downtempo house album of all time, A View from the Heights. My ex introduced me to them. I don’t even recall how and when. I wish I remember the story of how he came across them. I found a copy of the album in some small shop on a corner in downtown Paris. I also bought Cassius’ 1999 and Feeling for You for 5 euros each. This was 2002 and the euro was just taking over, all the prices were still in franks too. This lovely blonde woman worked there. She kept talking to me and I pretended to know more French than I truly did. She found it pleasant that such a young girl was backpacking and still had the will to buy vinyl to carry around so she gave me some French house record. I felt so cool. I didn’t feel so cool when I was sweating buckets in June carrying heaps of records from the different cities I visited, but at that age, the struggle feels less. Always.
We talked today. Somehow today he appeared on my MSN list. Somehow today I thought I saw him on the subway platform.
I made him laugh when he didn’t want to. Then we tried to out-verbose each other with our observations on the Obama inauguration, rabble.ca, transparency, the spelling of ‘sentence’, how i love beards pon the face, how it’s all gone tits up for him and how typical in my contradictions I am when I recalled that I hated Berlin when I went to visit and my favorite part was dancing (on the Marx & Engels statue) with my homeboys and almost falling over. It’s been over two years since we spoke. I think. Since early summer 2006 I think. Our repartee withholds time because he like me will never change.
I want to go on my birthright trip before it is too late. I think it’s already too late.
I’m running a festival, all by myself and I’m anxious that the participants aren’t rolling in like the previous years. I’m anxious that the early-called election is taking full view.
I’m desperate for sharp conversation, but when it’s right there I in all my social awkwardness take over and mumble about something or other. Food politics! Down with Harper! Cocaine! Wobble basslines! The city’s arts scene! Everyone is dancing the same!
I wait days and then you have to take it away prematurely. But isn’t any time before forever premature?
I don’t write anymore. There’s no fiction in my words, there’s just running around selling my ideas, helping on projects, reaching out to everyone and anyone for grad school, for community politics, for my documentary. Everything is external of me. I enjoy the way it masks my depth by pronouncing my knowledge of current events. That seems like a contradiction but really it makes sense to me. By involving myself with everything around me and facilitating ideas that involve many, I don’t have to think about the hurricane that is subsiding at the slowest rate possible inside me. By being involved I can seperate myself from my grief, from the memories, from the reminders. But they are there, they were there when I ate the Dr. Oateker pizza yesterday, or when I think about getting my driver’s licence. Smell is supposed to be the most intense sense in memory recollection, but intensity of experience scraps smell and instead lingers on every sense.
The writing class I wanted to take was full by the time I was ready to register. I didn’t have to loaf, but instead I was too intimidated to let myself inside my own writing. It’s so easy to feel anxiety and cry about not being able to do what you want to, it’s way fucking easier than giving in and doing it. So instead of using the grief to write and write, I’m just letting it go away, even if it doesn’t seem to want to.
She pulled at the seaweed covered branch stuck between the rocks, trying to lift it up just enough to throw it over the stone’s edge.
“Come here!” She yelled after him, as he disappeared into the dark.
“Leave it alone.”
She managed to slide the long thick branch over the stones, just near enough to touch him with it at the other end, “You’re it.”
“You’re it,” he jumped over it and pummelled her onto the stones, catching the back of her head with his hands.
“You’re it,” he grinned looking at her so close, he could no longer focus.
“Always catch me. Ok?”
Today is the first day of autumn. A while back I thought this autumn would be full of sentimentality and miserable nostalgia, but instead this weekend proved its future otherwise.
We went to the beach, for possibly the last time this year, and here I am.
We tried to make love in the woods and ended up getting bitten by mosquitoes. The day before we ended up at a house birthday party. J was DJ’ing. I was sorting out the vibes. But instead, I ended up getting kicked out by the woman-hating prima donna, John Farah for no good reason at all, other than not letting some asshole get up in my face about something that was none of his business. It’s always on me to make a scene. In the city.
Erica Jong is releasing a new book of poetry in January. I have already started by Jong countdown calendar. I countdown to new episodes of Mad Men, to when I will get to simmer in cum, to new dubstep in Dropbox, to RINSE.FM, a week without yelling, loud amens, grad school, next summer, being woken up by my cats, the Farmer’s Market, Bang Face Weekender, living in Europe, to you wanting me with all of you.
Counting down to is better than counting backwards.
Owning AFX – Hangable Auto Bulb EP2 is even better. Maybe one day I can. Maybe.
Where is the summer? When is it coming?
Riding around late nights with the heat on my back. Racing down streets, tipsy and stoned, laughing, pretending to be falling all over the place. Falling all over myself. All this year has given me is rain and cool weather. How can I go meet my friends at 1 in the morning when it’s so cold and dark. I have memories of waking up in the morning after being out til 5am and taking tokes from my pipe to start the day. Riding down the hill to work only to finish by the afternoon to do it all again. The sunshine made it all possible, made the energy appear in places you’d least expect it. We’d search for empty courts and play basketball and pass out with our sweat sticking to the grass. There was no worries, there was just proof of youth.
I’ll be waiting inside listening to Ohbijou.