Thing says it's been twenty-five weeks since I've written here. That's like half a year, correct? Not sure what that includes. Did I go over the spring semester fuck-up? The days in the hospital, new blurry tattoos down my left arm and my second system flush? The time living alone where I isolated myself so hard I couldn't keep a job and had to give up and head back South? Well, that's where I am now, back in Charleston, where winter doesn't happen and my sweaters remain packed in a suitcase. I was smoking about six cigarettes a day by the time I decided I wasn't mature enough to live on my own, not heavy addiction but a noticeable amount for me. I've since given it up and now go to the gym daily to abuse my body in a more productive way. But I always am craving a smoke. See someone in a movie take a drag, hear the word, find myself walking or driving alone and I feel that pull for one. Watching Good Luck and Good Night was painful. But I'm done. Until Valentine's Day. I'm burning through my requisite six at least alongside a few shots that awful holiday. But I'm currently working, or will be starting very soon. Good pay, better than I've received to date. Mindless work. But I'll be saving up to convert the shed outside my mom's house into a sort of sculpture studio. Basically buying supplies and some big plastic tanks where I can empty the sludge of the plaster. Mostly the reason I thought of posting on this thing has to due with me knowing no one in this area. I need someone. Hype Machine is a good companion, but I'm looking for a friend. Also, In Treatment is a good show but man, why does character development always have to center around tragedy. The show is kind of like all those shrink-talks-to-patient plays we read/wrote in school, but not so fucking fascinated with the abnormal. I know the psychiatric visit has become a pretty steady foil in TV shows and maybe some movies, but it's nice to see one limited to sessions. We don't get the story beyond what happens in the office, so we, the viewer, are limited to the information that fits within the very confined space of Paul's interaction with three patients and a couple, as well as his friend/therapist/mentor on Fridays. Enough advertisement. Someone come fight boredom with me.
so I've stopped taking shit so seriously maybe. but I've really needed someone to talk to I guess. is this what people do? just like ignore shit that starts to bother you until it doesn't even register anymore? because that's smart and it seems to be working. this summer I've lost twenty pounds and can wear medium shirts okay now. I still have an unimpressive stomach but it's all right. I'm getting a job in northampton and I'll be living there for a year or two and trying to find a way to put together a portfolio of sculpture and prints before I start doing the grad school thing. for I think the first time in a while I've felt it is okay to think women are beautiful and interesting but not feel the need to be in a relationship with one. I'm just not smart enough or experienced enough yet to attempt to cross the gap between the sexes. (sexes is a palindrommme) but I would like someone to talk to probably. I haven't been able to really be selfish and just go on about the vapid crap dancing in my head in a while and I get to busy trying to present some sort of image of myself on this thing or to shrinks that I don't think I get out whatever's actually on my head.
so I finally put my prints and shit up on my wall. I'm realizing that even though I feel I'm still in a very early exploratory phase, I do like the direction of my work. at least some of it. after Will put up examples of his shit on facebook I got pretty disappointed in my own junk for a couple days. it's been about four days since I've done any sketching. but he's been in school for art for six years now. I just started making images and sculpture two years ago. all of my understanding of visual language was second-hand up until my junior year (besides a drawing course and running around taking snapshots of crap). I compartmentalize things, break every kind of representation into a seperate field and work with them as individual entities that don't interact. which could be seen as juvenille or simplifying, but I'm growing more and more to like. I don't know. I've been exercising in my bedroom all night and watching this futurama first season I just bought. best purchase I've ever made.
I really hate to talk at all about rap, mostly for fear of affirming any stereotypes about black people (which is a constant fight I have with the way I present myself, the things I talk about, the way I behave, etc.) since there's all kinds of confirmation bias to work against and yadda yadda. don't care to go into race shit, but the point is, I've been listening to this J Dilla album "Donuts" and I keep getting grinny and impressed. the man was a genius of his craft, seriously. never have I heard someone have the ability to bring sampling to such a high artform. he is clever with tempos, with repetition, with expectation. it's on par with philip glass in it's manipulative minimalism. no one will see that though, because it's a hip hop producer, not a composer. but he's able to take songs I've heard and mix them into totally new experiences - not simple layering, remixing, a different beat under a different tempo to the same old stuff, but create a wholly original construction. deconstructivism, that's the term I was thinking of while I listened to it. musical architecture, that kind of high art. and like postmodernists, he's funny. like the song "Two Can Win," which keeps the listener waiting for that line, but just says "Only one can win at loving you" from some old song. he stretches vocals, he repeats phrases and drum beats to the point of them fading out of the listener's consciousness. habituates his audience. I haven't been this impressed with hip hop music since the stuff Dan the Automator did for Deltron 3030. (sorry about the race stuff, just gets frustrating)
it's summer and I can't sleep at night again, so I guess I'm starting this thing back up. I haven't graduated because I'm a fuckup and I have to take 8 more credits over the summer. I took a bunch of sleeping pills and tylenol again because I couldn't deal with whatever and spent like five days in the psych ward after being forced to drink charcoal and having a catheter pull piss straight from my dick, which had shriveled up like a prune, like it was scared. those are the things I remember from the emergency room, that and the cough medicine in the nyqil I took causing hallucinations I can't shake from my memory (the small/large phone, the nurse's running nose, the hidden throats and ears in the moving bed). basically I managed to have a breakdown at what turned out to be an oppurtune time. I didn't have to tell my relatives I wasn't graduating, just that I was hospitalized and couldn't walk in the ceremony. so only my mom, sister, and roommates know really. and catherine. that's another story, but I've got time. she, after four years of everyone just crushing on her while she stayed hidden and dating long-distance, came out of her shell to throw another bit of confusion in my thoughts. I'd been drunk for most of finals week and senior week on the Cape with her and three of my roommates. I don't know, I'll get into it later, maybe. I just need to get self-confident and unaffected I think. anyway, I get like reverse butterflies when I think about the things we did, she said. queasy, embarassed, angry. I needed too hard I guess, scared boy with his own death on his mind for weeks. but I'm over it, catherine, the depression, the feeling of failure and emptiness. I'm getting in shape (perpetually), I'm growing disinterested in girls little by little, or telling myself I am for confidence. redifining myself as a bohemian (so I won't be phased by my future homelessness), disorderly, creative/constructive, more physically and less mentally destructive. I want to get laid and I want a cigarette. also, I don't know. everyone's getting gay for some reason. two of my ex girlfriends are gay now, my sister has dipped her toes in that warm stream, my roommate mike is dating a bi girl who stayed up watching ggw ads when we were all drunk and bored. I wanted mike to sleep with me when I was feeling desperate after I'd bought all the medicine but I couldn't ask him. catherine had turned me down though we'd slept (sleeping) together even nude before and sent me a long (wrong) email. but that was mostly fear of being alone I think. maybe, I don't care. right now I'm just doing this "worthwhile on my own" thing and hoping at least some of it sticks. I've been drawing self-portraits, been trying to make music, been thinking of road trips either alone or with like mike or my sister. I'm trying to want to wake up next to someone less, I guess. cigarettes help, joy division helps, sean lennon helps, jerking off helps, drawing, running, thinking about myself in tighter pants and shirts, new tattoo ideas help. and prozac helps. fuck zoloft.
I feel that this last year was a pretty good one. I started off fat and ended up less fat. I dated a beautiful girl and had a good, complete relationship full of stresses and schedule conflicts, dirty talk and scratching, pregnancy scares and amazing artwork. I decided what I want to do with the rest of my life, as frightening as it is. I gave up a video game that was eating me alive. I fell in love with my teacher and made a family of printmakers. I cut off my hair after eight years of living under it. I stopped feeling ashamed for liking poppy music and rap, for liking cartoons and corny jokes. I lost my fear of feet, or distaste.
For this year, all I want to do is stop spending so much money. And if I have a relationship, which I hope to, to treat her better. To love myself more, more confidence, less worry about the opinions of friends and girlfriends. To be less cautious with my prints. To celebrate the people I appreciate. Less masturbation, more exercise, less smoking, more studio time. Feel sexy.
Well, the first semester of my senior year is over, along with my relationship with Julianne, who's going to London for the next six months. Not officially over, in the sense that we had a clear-cut breakup, but in the realistic sense that I'll be graduating before we're in the same country again. Unless I visit her, which I'm going to try to do. Mostly, I'm pushing myself to pessimism, to an over-critical state, to boredom and forceful loneliness. I've been reading Kenzaburo Oe, I think his latest novel, Somersault, and it is so bad it hurts. I'm hoping it's the translation, but everything is explained too far, all sides and thoughts given. It's like reading Henry James but focused on false messiahs and mid-life homosexuality. This great Postwar author, who wrote "The Catch," one of the top five short stories I've read, is presenting clunky end-time philosophy. It feels like he's just grown old, thinking six times for each action. Still, it has made me want to write. A story of sex, a dislocated boy, nine-tenths memoir, one-tenth lyricism. And poetry, even. Here is something I wrote to Julianne. It is bad, but it got me writing.
There were days in the small white car, but there were mostly nights
where they drove through quiet landscapes, the heat too high and the headlights
mute as watercolors, when she would smoke and look not only forward
and out into the pale dark, but found his eyes for blind moments in hush and still and coast.
I'm kind of pissed that I still can't think of a better word than coast, which has too many water connotations. Also, why am I so damn sad all the time? I got up at four am last night and went jogging around five. The cold stung everywhere. That is about all that's happened since I've been home. Someone give me a call and let's get drunk.
I've decided, in my final papers, to be bold, to make huge declarations about art and writings that have been around for a long time. I'm disagreeing with all the critics, all the historians, all the scholars, and there's plenty of evidence to support my disagreements if you only look at part of the information presented. I'm telling my Henry James professor that James was an anti-male bigot, that his women are the only ones with any power to cause action, that his men are passive little twits at the mercy of the female characters. I'm telling my Dante professor that The Divine Comedy was written purely out of senses of obligation and egocentric self-preservation, that Dante formed Heaven and Hell in his own image merely to banish his enemies and reward his friends. I'm telling my Japanese Print professor that there is a clear division between the ideas of passive stillness and active motion in Japanese works, from woodblock prints to contemporary photography.
Actually, I have no idea what the critics etc. say, because I don't read stuff from critics etc. I'm just doing this finals period like it's mine to play with.
thinks are going well. I'm sort of on a diet I guess because my gf is damn hot and I'm feeling like a fatass moreso than usual. exercising at six am every morning, eat less meat, doing less fats, no soda, only milk, oj, and water to drink. I'm smoking more cigarettes but oh well. not sleeping much but spending a lot of time in bed. by the end of this week I have to send in a proposal for my special studio topic. I'm doing a thing combining sculpture and printmaking. all I have right now is ideas and a pretty girl who looks like Velma Dinkley. if I keep seeing sunrises over these mist-covered mountains, I'm probably going to explode.