I sat alone on Sunday afternoon and tried to work the words “cieno,” (mud/mire) “guadaña,” (scythe) and “amago” (feint or tricky gesture or can someone please come up with a better translation?) into a “poem.” My greatest regret in life is having thrown out the tiny camo notebook I used to hide under my pillow in grade school. In its pages I wrote poems dramatically lacking in depth and technique–in other words, not much has changed. I’m writing in Spanish lately not because I am trying to improve, but because I find comfort in my ignorance: I sense that the writing is trash but I don’t know that I’ll ever be entirely sure why.
The park in the photo above is in Suanzes. I suppose it’s the sort of neighborhood you move to after having children but, as with most things, I actually have no idea. Incidentally, it is a great place to go when you feel that you cannot physically endure one more gulp of city exhaust. I presume that much has been written about the price of metropolitan life and that many a human within Madrid’s gates has begged for some gaddamn peace and quiet. I never thought that I would count myself among their number, but lo and behold…
It’s that time of the year again. The time when “Make a LinkedIn” ends up on my to-do list twelve times a month.
“Hey Seo, your cards are fucked up.”
Tarot cards, when not in use, are to be wrapped in silk (outside energy contaminates them). Sam gifted me a deck on Halloween to complement my “costume:” purple hair, dress, and nose-ring. I have not once wrapped these cards and countless are the times I have re-dealt them until their message pleased me. This story, for example, is always acceptable:
“In the past, you spent a lot of time alone; this time was very beneficial for you and forms the foundation of your current happiness. Now you are going to get involved in a lot of projects and create a bunch of stuff. If you can own your emotions and your desires, you will be really successful.”
Any mention of disappointment or deception is promptly dismissed. I believe in divination the way I believe in socializing on Sundays: cuando conviene.
If you’re looking for answers, though, allow me to read your leaves.
Sometime during the next eight to twelve months:
You will look back and be surprised by the person you have been at some point during the last decade.
You will feel embarrassed by at least one of the choices you’ve made, artistic or otherwise.
You will feel desperate between one and three times and one of those times may feel like the first and worst time it has ever happened to anyone.
You will feel that you are not up-to-task at a new job and then later discover that you are and it’s fine and you should really just calm the eff down.
You will stub a toe.
You will eat a quesadilla.
You will throw a dirty look at a stranger on the subway and won’t feel bad about it.
You will evaluate and re-evaluate your plans between one and one million times.
You will have an upsetting interaction with a medical professional.
You will learn something about yourself at precisely the moment when you are comfortable enough to believe that there are no surprises left.
That being said… if you remain open to the absurdity of your existence, there will also be nights and entire weeks when you will feel like shouting love-songs at your own exquisite web of mistakes.
A few days into the New Year, my computer quite unexpectedly imploded and I spent over a month with no keyboard and no place to binge-watch Courtney Love interviews. Did I learn a lot during this time? I don’t know. Buy a hard-disk and back your shit up still occupies a spot on my to-do list. At the moment, however, I’m back in action! New laptop, empty bank account, same old me pretending my irresponsibility is a blessing, a modern-day tabula rasa.
Since autumn, I’ve been working 12 to 14 hours a day. For the most part I had embraced, at times even loved, this psychotic lifestyle. Just three days into Christmas break, however, it became clear that I’d been playing myself. Why have I been living this way? nudged its rebellion into my lazy days of flâneuse-ery and wine. Instead of running from job to job in a blaze of uncomfortable sweat, I spent hours in museums and at exhibits. I walked home in the sunset, with nowhere to run and nobody to call. I laughed my ass off in the middle of the street until four and five o’clock in the morning. And you know what?
IT WAS FRIGGIN’ GLORIOUS.
Work called, though, and she wanted me back. So let’s cut the caca and talk hopes and dreams. My New Year’s resolutions have remained pretty consistent since 2012:
Become self-employed and
Do a split
I have yet to accomplish either, but I like to imagine that when I do finally ease into that split, a successful business and the paperwork to sustain it will burst forth from my thighs. Fitness tip #1: find a way to stay motivated! All I’m saying, internet, is that I am reasonably flexible and have no problem working long hours.
The past thirty days have been all intersecting worlds, spacing out, losing my center, loving it, living for it, trying to “do it all” and inevitably failing (/succeeding?) when my personality morphs into its most confusing form: drunk old man with a terrible habit of pacing.
On Wednesday, I caught up on sleep: thirteen hours of dream-filled bullshit, my empty apartment littered with wine glasses drunk by people from my pueblo, my clothes on the floor, hanging from door-handles, sleeves dipped into half-drunk jars of water.
In the morning, I got a message from my roommate.
“How do you feel? Better?”
“I feel like Lana del Rey.”
I’m always behind on pop culture. If you see some girl on the subway looking equal parts wasted and overly-empowered, it’s me listening to Lust for Life for the first time.
What do you do when your lust for life brings you dangerously close to psychosis, Lana?
When my mother says “encounters” she is referring, of course, to sex. When she says “dresses” she is likely thinking about that Selena Gomez song that wouldn’t stop playing some two or three summers ago.
“People have always sung about that, though…”
“Yeah but today it’s stupid: ‘he’s so tall and handsome as hell,’” she gestures at the radio, “what the hell is that shit?”
She’s complaining about Taylor Swift now, whose song “Wildest Dreams” is playing in the car.
Whether I think Taylor’s art is revolutionary or enriching is irrelevant because creating music that underwhelms me—creating anything, really—is still way more than most people do. I’m not proud to admit it but I once sobbed in a Bed Bath & Beyond parking lot when the song “You Belong with Me” came on the radio. Then, dry heaves and all, I leaned on my steering wheel and started laughing (because first “heartbreaks” are fucking hilarious). It was a time when listening to anything other than pop trash probably would have made me roll off my roof.
Even so, you won’t find me arguing for the lyrical ingenuity or emotional depth of lines like “I can feel my heart, it’s beating in my chest.”
I skip the explanation and agree with my mother: “RIGHT? Like, what happened to Etta James? Let’s talk about ‘Damn Your Eyes.’ I mean, DAAAAAMMMMMNN!”
Now there’s an angry, lusty love that I can understand.