Thursday, June 4, 2009

Morning / Evening Pages (May-early August, 2009)

Morning Pages
May-early June, 2009

First attempt at Julia Cameron’s “morning pages” and don’t know if I’ll be able to keep it up. Got to pee, as usual. Dreamt about A and J and staying with them out in Flo Ryda and rigid rules but I didn’t mind because they were clean and alive and the sun bright and though the shades were drawn (it was morning), you could still see colour bursting from outside. Hard to get my mind not to work so hard, thinking, always thinking, always somewhere in the past, always worried for the future, never here, now, in the moment. Never here, now, in the moment. Achey when I wake up, and stiff. Turn on computer, first thing I do, always first thing and therapist said throw it out the window which is funny cuz I’ve often thought the same thing except for that it’s my lifeline now and has been for some time, though I’ve not wanted it to be and have tried for something/someone else incessantly, perhaps since before K left. What now? Third page and I’m not sure if there’s a learning curve here, wonder if there was a certain size the notebook had to be. A and J still on mind. A and J and peeing. Miss my grandmother and am a terrible grandson as well as a terrible son and I remember when I would say this K would get very upset, later telling me it was because she felt similarly about herself and that makes sense. End of third page.

Turns out all I’ve ever wanted to do was good work. To be involved. Loved the idea of The Yard on Martha’s Vineyard – if I had dough I’d create another. Or three.
Got to pee, as usual.
Debra said I was a writer because every sentence I wrote painted a picture, even in IM. Doubt this will read that way. And I’m sure I’m cheating by using this small pad instead of a large notebook like H used to. I lack discipline – she had it. Two hours and a half a day for yoga. But she had a freedom I don’t.
Miss kissing, thought of putting an ad in Craigslist for someone to do it with. Then remembered the whole world is a lunatic.
Need to delete that email address. Need to forgive myself.
I can’t do three pages.
I can’t do three pages.
I can’t do three pages.

Here we go, another attempt at three pages and again feel it’s something I’ll never be able to keep up for too long. Back bad today even to the touch, which is rare. I don’t know what to write. I don’t know how to live. Should write more, as I was doing after K left except then I was writing for an audience and can I write for me? Suppose that’s what this is about. But in the back of my mind I’m thinking wondering if these might be readable. Good enough to disperse to the masses of two to five people read my shit, maybe less now that L and Bella are gone, latter for good, former temporarily (Text: I need time. I'm not gone. I just want time.).
L. What’s the story? Acting out, avoiding, probably. Looking in, dealing, hopefully. I miss her. Someone respects, understands the heartache, that quiet, intense frustration of feeling like I do despite being male – and it is real and palpable and major. Someone with my sense of humor.
Few funny, smart, (mostly) progressive, feminist-photographer-model-writer-native New Yorkers who love the beach and have my near-exact sensibilities out there.
Was thinking of writing story about a sperm doesn't make it - pontificating on the pointlessness of his existence, how he wasn't good enough and yet how blessed he is to be dying there.
I am scared. Scared of what I cannot do physically, or what they tell me I can’t do. Scared of being stuck here and scared that will get to me always and I will continually falter because of it and perhaps sink deeper each time. Here I am, on this day, this midafternoon, here I am, slept all morning because I’ve been up for two days, being poked and prodded and stretched and bent by doctors, city and psyche. Here I am and it’s sunny and I have to move. I have to move. Please God help me move.

“Morning pages” – ha! I should, I know, be doing this longhand, in a notebook, but, well…
Have to pee like one of Jimmy’s racehorses and it distracts me. Good therapy session yesterday. Dreamt of BP. Dreamt of BP drinking again - remember the bar being dark as night and it was daytime outside. And damn that was a big bar. Have to send emails – V, S, F, P. Emailed MK, weeks ago now, no response, but it has been five years and I was the one who left. Also no response from A, although it took me over a month to respond to hers – her first in eight years. Have to find venues for stories. Go through list, most of which I won’t be viable for or no longer exist. A task. Have to pee. Recovery hard without career, wife, gf, kids, friends, etc, etc – the things might keep me in line. Anywho…

Saturday, 210pm – some morning pages. But needed sleep after week of two twenty minute naps a day. Pain bad – three spots now. No good. No one can understand – need support/Twelve Step group shares these physical maladies.
Weather back to chilly, which is fine, as soon we’ll be sweating like Dinkins. Not sure I can get three pages here today, feeling…is “stilted” the word?
Miss L. For all I know back with J. Or R. Or other, newer letters. Or pregnant. For all I hope in therapy, learning about self and working past pain (bitterness, fear, that victim mentality). Into forgiveness. Talking, writing, shooting, modeling, singing. What I wish for her. Know what she’s going through, if that’s what she’s doing.

Scared of this being it for me. Scared of being a cripple. Scared of dying – terrified actually.
Dreamt of college again – whole experience I never had of moving into a dorm, socializing, CREATEing. College perhaps being the last time it’s about The Work. In life, society, it’s about status and dough. Celebrity. So often disheartened, offended by impostors. Always scared of responsibility. Of not being good enough. Yet I know, far as The Work, I am. Transcendent even.
Want to cry. Because I don’t want this to be it for me. Because I feel so young – too young – inside. Naïve, weak, energetic – burgeoning. And the latter will go nowhere.
I should have changed the world by now.

What Urologist and pretty nurse did was shove a microscope up my penis into my gall bladder (“You married?” I asked her afterward and she asked me three times why that question - I shrugged it off with a tired smile and laced my boots for the cold rain outside). And now it really does hurt to piss.

Waiting on LIRR platform and loopy, heavily made up elderly woman took disturbing liberties with me – apparently I am “one gorgeous man” and she couldn’t resist. Texted this to KE and her response was: Well, it’s true. Your beauty is so astounding that you are irresistible. But you’re more than an object to some.
Last person called me beautiful was Margaret, in 1997, and we’d been together two years.
I float on it all day, though it doesn’t keep me shielded from familial confrontations.

The Truth is I’m in physical pain all the time.
The Truth is I miss having friends – did I ever? Yes, yes I did.
The Truth is I miss being active creatively.
The Truth is I miss physical intimacy.
The Truth is I miss NOT BEING AFRAID.
The Truth is I miss not being in pain. All day, every day pain.

Monday, June 1st, 12pm. Feel like a bruise. Tired. Want to sleep. Also want to live. CAT scan tomorrow. Beautiful day outside. Going to check empty email box.

Howard Stern, c. ’89-’94 mp3s. Lenny Bruce. Bill Hicks. What I listen to all day. Make the unbearable slightly less so. The unbearable. Subways, buses, waiting rooms, loneliness, blood, machines.
In my mind, Kinison’s still alive and Pryor’s in his prime, SNL is cutting edge and Public Enemy's #1, cell phones are nil and film is actually film, New York is ours and I have a future.

Wednesday, 650am, June 3rd, 2009. Worry. Something is wrong. Radiology joint ended up doing CAT scans in places doctor never asked for (also choosing to do them with and without contrast, when referral specified only without), attempting in vain to get in touch with primary and specialists. Too, they seemed overly concerned and kind to me (whilst not being so to each other or other patients) – plus those questions about my liver whilst looking at x-rays from two months ago.

Since when do technicians go over the heads of doctors?
Something is wrong and this could all have been detected sooner.
Predator 2 last night – chaotic, excessive and dumb; multiculti cast of cool character actors blowing shit up good.
How will I make it to Tuesday? And how will I make it past that?
Letty arrives Monday, from Flo Ryda. Mother leaves Wednesday, for Flo Ryda.

Evening, June 5th, 2009.
A little kindness.
PT notices black golfball sized mound on inside of right arm from previous day’s contrast IV and it’s perhaps the reason he then asks offhandedly after normal session if I'd like to use the bike. I say yes and end up using all machines whilst chatting over weighty issues with his daughter Carrie, who works front desk and does all paperwork. Quiet day - many cancellations, apparently - and he saunters over with a few rubber Thera-Bands and schools me on use and meaning of various colors and thicknesses before showing me a few new stretches.
Feel physically good when I leave and want to cry.

Late night Saturday, June 6th. Texted L earlier:
Really miss you. She responded: Miss you, too. A lot. Four hour late night convo with KE about feminism. Watch Carl Reiner and Steve Martin’s The Man With Two Brains.
Tuesday looms.

Photobucket Photobucket
(IV aftermath - days five, six, eight)

Dream I had before waking and writing this, young doctor informed me results showed "a sharp protuberance jutting out of the brain that would become quite painful if it hasn't already". I got up from wheelchair I was in, about to throw a public fit - confused, yelling, crying, pleading What does that mean? and Why?
His response, almost equally pleading, "Please, I don't understand tears."

Day 17 (clickable).

Evening Pages
late June-early August, 2009

Sentences here and there, when I felt I could write.

Pick mail up in Queens and some of it is K’s. Surprised mother didn’t chuck it, though more than likely it’s not been spotted.
Say offhandedly – and shouldn’t have – “I don’t think anyone would even bother to call me if God forbid she died.”
Her reply, “Why would you care?” I look at her with incredulity and say, “What?” then “You kidding me?”
My mother, who clings to the past more than I.
She feels guilty and doesn’t respond.
She wasn’t used to getting her heart broken by her, as I was. And though K was never able to accept love my mother bestowed, she did accept food, clothes, movie and theater tickets, jewelry, cash, and the rest (none of which we got from K’s family while we were together).
Relationship, from Go, was a continually humiliating one to me. To the end – mess she left behind, money, luggage, commitment never returned, despite promises I knew she’d never keep.
But I’ll defend her always. If those judge her knew her private suffering (masked by gorgeous smiles), they’d regret it and do what I did and love her. Maybe not, as conversely, there are those things no one knows (including behaviour the day she left) would make many folks run and block her from memory. But. Her struggle almost insurmountable and I loved her and hope I helped a little with it in the long run. The long run – friends in the know have said I saved her life and thankfully, we’ll never know.

Remembrance of her writing me in our second month that she wished she could "soothe all the chaos swimming around in [my] head, much of which [she] caused."
As if her eyes and smile and hands weren't enough, those words, that sentiment made me dedicated. Alas.

There’s blood in my semen.

Missed opportunity on the bus and if I weren’t Who I Am, we’d still be bumpin’ uglies. But I ain’t that kind of guy.
Ironic I should’ve felt guilty as I walked parallel from her on the opposite side of the street, thinking she probably felt rejected.

My mother says to me, “I don’t know how you’re doing all this. I’m so sorry.”

PT says, If there’s pain, there’s no gain and I try not to exercise in anger. To breathe more, let go more.
But I am furious with my body, or the hell inside it, and sometimes bitter epithets are spat out.
I’m also angry events of my childhood have informed every mistake I’ve ever made and the way(s) I feel about myself still (the hell in my mind).

L sends facespace invite. I don’t respond. Three weeks pass. Burn her copies of Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July and Slumdog Millionaire, mail them to Brooklyn.

MdP sends me a facespace line. Says I look “adorable”. Met her Fall of ’94, on A Gun For Jennifer. I was nineteen and PA. She, twenty-one or two and Make-Up. Petite Italian girl from Brooklyn, living in Astoria, wanted to be Big City Player. Long red coat, black fur trim. Funny in a way only New Yawk grrls can be.
First person to tell me to go blonde because of my “olive complexion”.
Followed her around with my Hi-8 cam cuz she was the cutest girl I’d seen to that point and she loved the attention. We absconded from set once or twice and walked and talked and bought her groceries. Always knowing I was too small-time for her ambitions.
Didn’t make it to the end of the shoot and don’t think she did, either.
She never returned my calls. Intro to showbiz.
Met again, Summer of same year, on Denise Calls Up (starring no less than Sylvia Miles and Liev Schreiber).
I was working with Fred’s Catherine as Assistant Set Decorator, she was Make-Up. Shooting in haunted mansion on Upper East Side, she saw me first and screamed – as she was in silhouette, I had no idea who it was. Hugs, kisses, smiles, “I missed you.”
We both made it to the end but I didn’t make wrap party, as Catherine and I were whisked to Chicago by Fred’s Hysteria (save for a different tale).
Thirteen years later, eating dinner with K and Gina, while watching King Of Queens and one actress – character: disaffected, gum-chewing stripper with a cast on her leg – looks familiar. Look it up on imdb and I’m right – still a babe, still funny.
Also married, in L.A., Second City, standup career, FameCast, Gilmore Girls, and an Emmy for So You Think You Can Dance under her belt.
“What are you up to these days?” she asks and I haven’t replied.

LW stops our happy correspondence because it makes her man jealous, despite fact he’s Indiana Jones, plus they live in Costa Rica and she and I haven’t seen each other in fourteen years.

Robert Cray’s I Didn’t Know. Almost like making love. So sweet and simple, smooth and soulful, I can’t help but go, “My God, that’s sooo good.”
Mr. Cray is no Bluesman – why, those self-righteous (white) critics! – but a Soul Man. His honey voice and that sound is Stax, baby. Otis Redding. And I’ve an idea he’d dig that wholly justified comparison.

Heavy sighs, expell day’s toxins.

Some days I feel like going out and being young in.
The feeling is often palpable – I don’t just remember, I FEEL.

“They really don’t listen to us, anyway, or care about what we want or need.”
– overheard straphanger, on MTA and newly raised fares.

Latina Radiology intake overtly flirtatious – and it would have to be overt for me to catch on (no female stranger has ever winked at me, then continued to stare and smile).

There is no doubt I am expelling more energy by attempting endeavors such as Yoga and Transcendental Meditation without proper instruction and guidance I cannot monetarily afford.
The very effin things might save my life.

Oh, tell me how I’m a refugee in the place where I’m from
– The Undiscovered Country
, by The Family Stand

We were children of .45 / Loaded like pistols and taught how to die
– Too Long a Soldier
, by Pat Benatar

July 4th was the day K chose for us to celebrate our anniversary – we’d been working together and hand-holding before then, but that night was our first all-night/all-morning date. Fireworks on Aaron’s LES penthouse rooftop, view of the whole city.
July 9th was my script party. July 13th, she was drugged and beaten (best I can put it) by her male friend.
July 18th, first time we had sex.
August 2nd, L’s birthday – most important day of her year, besides Christmas.
August 9th, last time K and I made love.
August 9th, K left last year.
September 4th, my birthday.
September 11th, September 11th.

L correspondence, but I’m not in the mood. More of the same – her fear and confusion.
“I miss my best friend”. Her text.
So do something.

Film collective meeting. 72nd and 5th. Saunter up from 32nd and 8th – much as I deplore crowds, I deplore them in subways more.
Along the way, show up in two dozen tourist shots. Traversing this stretch I also slip by myriad memories, the kind of which make me wish I lived elsewhere. The kind of which make me feel alienated and old.
(a different city, a rhino in a tutu and my grandfather’s big, veiny hand)
Sitting on a bench at Central Park entrance, The Young Rascals’s It’s a Beautiful Morning (from my jTunes mix) on iPod headphones and I know I’m living in the wrong decade.
I am expecting babes – energetic, productive babes from Ohio, white, Anglo artists with rich parents pay for pricey New York City apartments and film equipment.
Call me crotchety and cantankerous.
Call me afraid.
I look good, though, betraying none of my malicious maladies. Yet.
T.I. and Rihanna’s Live Your Life now and it’s about that time.

Not babes, but babe. London born and bred, smart, pretty (check those Spring-green eyes), digs Eastwood and Slumdog, not CGI or Tarantino. Ok.
Just she and I and talk. And talk. And talk. I felt old, but stable and maybe even attractive.
She may be homeless in a few days, but still works for free (sound familiar?). Walked her to train, then Self back down to 32nd and up to 8th to pee and write this. Not at the same time.

My iPod is my co-pilot, and sometimes we switch places.

Do not reward self with self-destructive behaviour.

Occurred to me today I look at myself in the mirror same way I don’t look at strangers on the streets of New York.

There is barely urine in the blood I piss.

Slid into coffin, earplugs not muffling clicks, clangs, Space Invader buzzes. It’s July again, must mean more MRIs. Same time last year, same procedure, different joint and approach. No one waiting outside this time.
Carry home films in rain.

L’s birthday next week.

Attempts to rally NYFC masses prove pointless – no one as desperate as I to move.

The totality of early and incessant abuse I thought I’d worked through slammed into me whilst ‘acting out’ in the most extreme ways I ever have.
The most extreme and obvious ways I ever have.

Inadvertently made therapist cry today with story from my childhood. Strong storytelling abilities aside, not sure that’s a good thing.

Mother gets a call from a girl I knew in high school, now a woman in San Diego. Numerous calls since. Wrong time.
Finally cold call one Friday night and can’t remember last time a woman was so happy to hear from me.
She remembers a kiss I’d forgotten I gave her, expressed disappointment at there not having been another.
She also remembers me as the most pessimistic person she’d ever met and elaborates.
I have to ask. “So, why would you try so hard to get in touch with someone so negative?”
“J, we were friends.”
“And you were kind to me. You listened to what I had to say. Like, really listened. In a way no one has. I felt like you really cared.”
“I did.”
“I know. You were so genune. There was just something about you that was real.”
“And you gave me the time of day.”
“That’s why you reached out? Cuz I gave you the time of day?”
“You were brilliant.”
“How could you tell?”
“You could just tell. While the rest of us were busy with our little high school lives, you were so aware of the world. And you cared a lot about what happened in it.”
“And J…”
“It was a really good kiss.”

Whereas others seem to want no part of me, she does, every day.
We speak with affection, often flirtatiously. I talk to her three girls – A, the boy of whom I’ve baby pictures (from before he had a neck), is never in the mix. They call me Uncle J. It sort of blows my mind.

Georges Delerue’s Rich and Famous suite is more than lovely – reminds me of what I’ve always aspired to, deep down, but have never once achieved.

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