Monday, October 27, 2008

Another side



Even though everyone has written about it, there's still something potentially liberating about the process of travel, pulling into this new city and we have an hour, the conductor promises me an hour so I walk outside onto the 1 am streets that aren't nearly as deserted as I expected. I've seen the grand old robber-baron buildings lining the downtown from the train but I didn't expect people at this time, bars with okay music I mean there are more people in this downtown than most, vacant lots between buildings and drunk hobo-types hanging out on corners asking for change plus this one guy who says he's doing marijuana research, even a few punk kids wandering around looking homeless. Sure the bars are filled with frat types and women unsure of sluttiness but I didn't expect Spokane to be so bustling. No one even threatens me really, except one guy who says what is that, I mean sure people stare but I don't feel unsafe even on empty blocks. Almost makes me want to stay and explore I mean there must be a bathhouse or a gay bar around here somewhere except the air is thick with some kind of soot maybe agriculture and I have to catch the train.

Of course there's also something liberating about 1 am and it's similar to travel, the way you're alone and suddenly there's a spark and no it won't last long but it wouldn't happen without this space of time or landscape and you want to hold onto it like anything is worth it even the loneliness that surrounds you on either side seems special when the music in your headphones lets you explore the empty hallways with different feelings, testing out expressions. Then in the bathroom you’re studying your face in the mirror looking close like someone might stare if he were kissing you, suddenly you're fond of the eyes and lips and even the little red cut on chin a dot it’s centered. The new hairstyle is working, especially the curls in front and your cheeks seem full tonight maybe the light in here is good although that seems surprising. Maybe you'll rub your chest, looking at hair in mirror down to dick in hand maybe sit down on closed toilet seat with traveling shorts, pastel plaid, and boxers, gray and white paisley, to the floor you're exploring hairs on chest to the sweetness of armpits yes a little smack on the cheek or dick into hand, louder and redder until something feels like closure not that explosion just home in body this is before the walk.

Sure, before the exploration and before the walk I was feeling trapped, trapped in my body of pain just eight hours in I've got about another 40 and how will I function if I've already reached that place of ache all over soon it'll be ache over ache over ache, but then I discover an empty room one of the larger rooms and I lie on the ground doing feldenkrais movements, that helps me get to the music especially when the pelvic circle brings chin down the release on floor yes movement. I'm already in the music but then the bathroom of course I've been to the bathroom many many times already but this one is different a visit to myself and then the walk through not-so-deserted streets where I'm almost tempted to go into a bar for a moment, this one bar where the music is almost what I want from music the dance floor is in the back and the smoking around the corner maybe it doesn't get inside except not the crowd and I left my ID on the train anyway.

I wonder when sex became so utilitarian, the beginning of giving up there must be other options. Instead I want to spit hearts in the wind between our lips my tongue a musician of press and pull but mostly our eyes and we can dance there. Clarity, I think that's what these moments mean and then I want more, the satisfaction of moving through space into different towns different moments through the emptiness of exhaustion the hopelessness of pain and into a calm kind of like mania sure it is mania until it's flat and that's a fatigue I can maybe deal with because at least I felt another side.


7 comments:

gina said...

dearest mattilda,
i love that you're back
and i love that hot paragraph of you instead of i
and i love a visit to myself
and i love you dearly.
love
gina

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Gina, yay for you instead of I a visit to myself and you, I love you you you dearly...

Love --
mattilda

Jory Mickelson said...

There are several gay or gay friendly bars in Spokane. Dempsey's Brass Rail for one. I don't think they have a bath house though...perhaps the steam room at the Y.

You can also cruise at Riverfront Park, but you are more likely to be mugged there instead.

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Jory, I'll check with you before my next Spokane rendezvous, and get all the info... Is there still a gay/queer bookstore there?

Love --
mattilda

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Oh, forgot to respond to the idea of running into the Y at 1 am to use the steamroom for 15 minutes while my train is stopped in Spokane -- I love that idea!!!! I mean, that would be great for soothing my sore body/sinuses if nothing else, and they must take appointments, right?

Love --
mattilda

Oli said...

"I wonder when sex became so utilitarian, the beginning of giving up there must be other options."

*Yes-- this is really wonderfully put. It does not have to be the beginning of giving up, different kinds of withdrawal/dissociation.

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Thanks, Oli -- and yes yes, I'm always looking for the windows, I mean the windows into something sustaining and revelatory...

Love --
mattilda