Sunday, February 14, 2010
I used to ask myself, back in Nineteen Ninety-oneville, why I was the way I was, and how could that be changed? I used to wonder why I was living this life, and not one I wanted to be living. I think that is what being young is all about. The whys. Why why why. Why am I miserable? Why don't I have a boyfriend? Why did it feel like I was sliding off a cliff, about to be dashed on the rocks in a raging sea, grasping for anything to hold onto, while no one seemed to notice?
Why can't I be living in a charming little garden condo, with some golden brown curls bouncing playfully as I greeted guests at my front door, flinging it open with a big smile and welcoming laugh, while my boyfriend shakes his head and smirks at my exuberant ways, as he walks up behind me and puts his arm around my waist? Why can't I have that?
No, it seemed I'd rather steam up the car windows of random strangers, dragging myself home in the predawn light, only to crawl out of bed, head pounding, in the late afternoon to fling money at the Canton Express delivery guy. It seems I'd rather do that.
If I knew the whys, then it ought to reason I would be able to get what I wanted, or, if I knew why I didn't have what I wanted, maybe I could figure a way to get it.
The new season of Lost is reminding me I used to, in my mind, like the Wicked Witch of the West, peer into my crystal ball and observe my life if all the past injustices, imagined or real, had not been thrown at me. As if 'the plane had never crashed' as it were. I liked what I saw. I spent a lot of time looking at it. The little paragraph above is just a small sampling of the life I felt I should have, but didn't, 'because of other people'. Not very original, I know.
I also wondered why the things I used to do for fun felt like a chore and made me miserable. Mainly drinking and going out. I don't know how to have fun any more? When did this happen? And why was I surrounded by people who upset me, and who's presence I dreaded? What happened to the friends I loved?
Thank God for Rene. She was the one constant in my life at this time who kept me afloat. Although, according to some of the Berlin gang, I should have moved our relationship to the next level. Whenever someone brought it up, my first thought was "but I'm nuts! I can just barely make it to work these days, and I find joy in nothing, existence is horrid." I would shrug my shoulders and say 'hmm'. I must also say thank God for Mark, too. He called me everyday, whether I wanted him to or not, even though we had broken up, and were now 'just friends'.
Rene helped me move into a transient hotel on Diversey and Pinegrove that spring of 1991. Cath and Chris and I went our separate ways from our Sheridan Road apartment, and living in a hotel seemed to be the right decision at the time.
When I think of 91, it feels like a bad dream. That year felt like one of those dreams where you can't move your body the way you want to, or with the speed you want, like the forces of gravity had some how tripled. I could see faint shapes and fleeting glimpses of people around me, but as much as I tried to, I couldn't be heard. I felt like I was lost in the woods in the dark, on trapped in an old haunted house. And my new apartment wasn't helping. The walls were paper thin, and most of my neighbors were starving octogenarians, forgotten by their families, or drug addicts, or the borderline destitute. The gloom was sometimes interspersed by the occasional international traveler on a budget, and their high spirits and enthusiasm were a welcome change. I was recently reminded of my hotel days while staying at the Jane in New York last year; seeing the characters floating around that place gave me pause, and a lot to be grateful for.
Rene was less than thrilled moving me there, but I wouldn't listen to reason. I had shipped most of my things back home, and subsisted on very little in way of possessions.
I did all these things, moving where I did, and getting rid of my stuff, because I knew I wouldn't be living much longer. I just knew. I felt it way deep down. Believe it or not, I was still jogging most every night. I was drinking every night, too, and started thinking long and hard about vodka with breakfast.
I went back to check on the Sheridan Road apartment, because I moved out before Cath and Chris, and because Scot reminded me our names were still on the lease, and found Cathy left a lot of her posters on the walls. I gasped in shock when I saw she left Bowie's Glamour to be tossed out and didn't give it to me; I thought she knew how much I coveted it! (It's hanging in my bedroom as we speak.) Seeing the poster and taking it off the wall of the vacated but not empty apartment made me feel a bit like a tomb robber; that's how much I valued it. (To this day, I search in vain for a compilation book of Edward Bell's art work, still not sure if one actually exists.)
I wonder, was that act of taking the art off the wall and bringing it home a test of some sort? A test that I passed? Was that all my soul needed, my subconscious, as way of proof that I could eventually find some sort of happiness in my life, that I wasn't a hopeless case? Sometimes it seems like these small events have huge consequences.
As you may or may not know, I'm obsessed with Bronzino. To the extent I made this a year ago. I almost started to cry when I read that the Met in New York was doing a show of all his known drawings; I never thought I would see that day, his work is so fragile, and I definitely cried when I saw his name emblazoned on the front of the Met, as I walked up the stairs.
At the end of the show, there was an x-ray study of one of his paintings the Met owns, Portrait of a Young Man, giving incite into his creative process. For centuries, no one but Bronzino knew how many times it was rearranged and repainted, or how he created it. The researchers were surprised to discover the number attempts he took with paint, as opposed to preliminary shetch work, and how the light grasp he held in his mind of the image he was creating- he was open to change whenever it needed to happen.
Night after night in that hotel on Diversey, eating cold meals (no kitchen) on the edge of my bed, listening to the meager sounds of the slowly dying (no TV) slipping into my room, wasn't too fun. But what the final straw was, what had made me move out after three months, was the day I witnessed the day I would have died...
The Bronzino show will be at the Met until April.
At the Met, 2008
We Have A Technical
Why I love MJ
Posted by BC at 10:19 PM