Sunday, January 25, 2009

That random poster you see and you don’t know what it means but your eyes get bright all the sudden

One of my rules is that when I wake up in the middle of the night, and by middle of the night we’re talking anytime before 1 or 2 PM, when I wake up in the middle of the night I shouldn’t look at the clock but wait shouldn’t doesn’t sound like a rule okay I won’t look at the clock. But then here I am, looking at the clock and it’s just after 11 AM the danger zone when I think maybe I slept something like eight hours and normal people sleep for eight hours and I know I’m not normal I mean I need more rest but maybe that was rest maybe I’m wired because I actually feel good not because my brain is in overdrive and as soon as I stand up I’ll fall apart. Or maybe not as soon, but soon, after I start to get ready or start to eat or start to go outside or start to think maybe I should go outside or maybe even go outside but probably before, before will be when I’m falling apart or worse actually, breaking apart, torn to shreds just because I’m trying to do something more than breathe or even just breathe.

Okay breathe, breathe, breathe, I still can’t tell. Yes, when I pull the eye mask down it’s already headache territory how can I function but am I going to sleep anyway if I stay in bed, now is the time when I actually have my art project about Derek all figured out, the project that will help me to engage and not feel so shut down. Here’s how it goes: it’s a lost missing project, a series of posters that are kind of like missing posters but they’re lost missing posters, and each one is a collage of some sort with this story about Derek or our relationship or how I’m feeling about our relationship or how I’m feeling about him, and then when I’m done with them I make tons of copies and I put them up everywhere. Neither of us will be named, necessarily, but I’m sure he’ll see them somewhere although that’s not the point -- the point is that I want to express myself and how I felt about our relationship and how I feel about his betrayal, to express myself in public space in a way that feels personal and also more meaningful like I can connect to other people and other lost missing stories. A public expression of grief and loss and coming together to hold beauty that random poster you see and you don’t know what it means but your eyes get bright all the sudden. So then I’ll make tons of copies of the posters, and give them to people to put them up their own towns and kitchens and workplaces and on the street and in letters and wherever, especially people who I’m close to now or people who I relate to and who don’t feel lost or missing to me, but also everyone really -- I want to make this expression of sadness and anger into something collective, and I want people to add their own lost missing stories to the posters if they want to, and then I want people to send revised posters or photos of posters wheatpasted or tacked up or taped in public or private spaces, and then I’ll post it all on my blog and maybe make a zine and throughout this time I’ll send them to Derek too, even though he probably won’t read them I’ll send them to him anyway.

Okay, so I told you the project, now I can go back to bed, and when I get up I’m better than I have been I mean I don’t feel totally shut down but I also don’t have nearly enough energy to do this project yet, except to write about it which is also part of the project and that makes me feel more present. I still don’t know how I’ll react when I see Derek, I mean eventually I’ll run into him somewhere and probably he’ll either try to ignore me or he’ll say hi and try to keep walking, and usually in a situation like that I would just act friendly and feel horrible, but in this situation I feel like I have to express my anger in some way, to show him that it’s not okay for him to shut me out like that like he’s in a cult and I’m not playing by their rules or something, 16 years of a relationship that always felt like the relationship that would always be there and now this. 16 years and he shuts me out like I’m the other side of a door he’s ready to close I’m just getting in the way and maybe the saddest part or there are lots of saddest parts but one of the saddest parts is that I know our relationship has meant as much to him as it has to me. I know that.

When I get grand and performance-arty, which is at least at some point every day or every day when I have some kind of burst of energy which I guess isn’t every day but most days, most days I think of something like this or not quite like this because this is the one I thought of today or over the last few days it’s developed into a bottle that I find, a liquor bottle, a small one with maybe a bright pink liquid inside -- I thought of red paint for permanence but blood seems too overdone, but the important part is that the bottle, recognizably a liquor bottle, would say ACCOUNTABILITY. And then, when I see Derek, I can run over and hand him a bottle of ACCOUNTABILITY. Or, even more dramatic, I could say: Derek, you forgot something! And then I pull it out of a paper bag, hold it in front of his face so he can read the letters, and then drop it to the ground so that it stains both of our clothes, or I guess it wouldn’t stain his clothes unless it really was paint, since most of his pants are black, maybe just staining my clothes and I don’t like to get stains in my clothes so then today I thought wait, actually I could send it to him in the mail but the problem with that is that I don’t get to see his expression. I still don’t know how he’s feeling, and I hate that almost as much as anything else.

8 comments:

stephen said...

i adore your time line!!

i keep my clock blinking 12:00 24/7 and never ever ever care what time it actually is... is that why i am late to everything or forget to show up????

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Darling, your time line is my time line is your time line, I love that clock blinking I mean when that clock is blinking and it blinks you over here...

Love --
mattilda

Hilary Goldberg said...

i love the Lost poster idea for lost friends/relationships. i was also thinking about the bottle, and then messages in a bottle from someone stranded somewhere reaching out, or lost at sea but in a public art project there'd be the risk of the bottles getting recycled before the messages were read. looking forward to this taking shape for you. is accountability a recessive gene? -- why doesn't dominant society seem to possess it?

xhil

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Ooh messages in a bottle I love that -- I don't think it matters whether the messages get read, really -- and, sadly, I don't think accountability is in the genes, or if it is then it gets pummeled into mush by all those dominant cultures, dammit!

So glad you like the project!

Love --
mattilda

davka said...

This project sounds awesome. Let's all wheat paste our lost stories on the Great Wall so you can see them from outer space and that's how much wall we would all need.

what a mindfuck to be within walking distance or telephoning distance of "we will run into each other sooner or later" distance but to feel totally unable to reach out and be there with this person you were there with completely just a little bit ago. makes me feel sick, like trying to wrap my mind around death. it is a form of death.

read this somewhere- can't remember where, "he went out at high noon with a lantern saying, 'I'm trying to find an honest person.'"

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Davka, that's exactly it -- "to feel totally unable to reach out and be there with this person you were there with completely just a little bit ago. makes me feel sick, like trying to wrap my mind around death. it is a form of death" -- thanks so much for the understanding and support!

And yes yes, millions of great walls -- all wheatpasted!

Love --
mattilda

man-of-snows said...

Send some posters up my way. I will post them all over town and send you pics of your posters fleeing toward the Canadian border on the wind...let's make it an international trend...

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Yay, an international trend!!!!

Okay, now I have to make those posters...

Love --
mattilda