Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Lostmissing #7

Lostmissing is a public art project -- I’d love it if you’d participate.

And here's what lostmissing #7 says:

There was a time when rage felt so powerful and intimate, right after I escaped those first 18 years, maybe. Rage at the world but I didn’t necessarily have control over it maybe we shared that rage it was something that connected us. When you’re really young, no one notices, they just stare down at you and say enjoy your childhood, enjoy it while you can! Finally I could make people notice. But that didn’t last, a few years and my anger shifted to sadness and exhaustion it’s so ironic that you stopped talking to me because I said: I feel totally confident about the longevity of our relationship and our trust and intimacy, but I never feel secure. I even said: you’re the most important person in my life. Even if I didn’t want a most important person in my life I was trying to say what I felt anyway. I thought you’d offer something simple like thanks, I want you to feel more secure. Thanks, I want you to feel more secure. Thanks, I want you to feel more secure. It sounds simple, right?

Instead you said you were a different person, a different person reacting the same way you did when you were a disastrous alcoholic, a different person I guess I was losing in those moments maybe already losing with your different allegiances I’ve always had friends in so many different ways but I think you wanted to get rid of me in order not to feel guilty about changing.

Maybe it’s ironic that I’m talking about your anger and how you expressed it in ways that scared me, even while I’m talking about my inability to express anger. Sixteen years is a long time, a long time to lose just like that. I want to treasure everything you gave me, even as it turns to grief, does that mean I want to treasure grief? Of course there’s much to say about the gems tears create, even when they stay inside your eyes there’s that soft sheen.

Wait -- I did spit in someone’s face once, in that angry way. It was a cop.

Back then I used to say that cops weren’t human but of course they are and that’s part of the problem. But where were you during that protest? Maybe you’d moved to Philadelphia. But actually I don’t remember you from any of those protests back then when protests were the most important thing to me, didn’t matter I wanted to make sure that I didn’t think protests should be the center of everyone’s lives. Or at least I was trying.

Ten years later we were at one of the antiwar protests and something happened you got angry, you said you’d been marching all day and I’d just gotten there and I couldn’t believe it, all of those years when I tried so diligently not to make you feel guilty about not attending the protests I worked so hard to create, all of those years and here you were giving me attitude and I remember I got upset and it was a rare moment of friction between us I mean a moment when I expressed it. But what did I say? I left you there and walked home, walked home with my bag that before you were carrying but then I decided not to go home and we ended up at the same place which was that squat on Market Street and maybe you apologized I think you apologized but I’m not sure if you knew why.

But the way memory works, then we’re walking up Hyde Street after something in the East Bay, maybe you’re walking me home but you want to go to this party this party where you say you’re not going to drink you’re not going to drink because you’ve had enough you just want sex and I know why I’m remembering this walk home with the aftermath of that protest, not just because it’s the same walk a different night but because it’s another time when I got angry, I mean I got angry and showed it. I said I know you’re lying to me it’s not like I’m fucking clairvoyant just tell me the fucking truth and you tried to defend yourself because we were there with someone else and I didn’t even need to hear the stories of you tumbling to the ground in liquor delirium macho get-some blackout grab-for-it I always hated you that way. It’s funny how, maybe a year or two ago we were chatting and I was trying to remember why, even back when we met and we both went out drinking, we didn’t go out drinking together, and you said it was because I couldn’t deal with your aggression. You said even back then, 16 or 15, 14 13 12 years ago, when we would run into each other at bars I would say hi and then stay away. Maybe by reminding me of that you were trying to be accountable, accountable from the distance of a decade and more, maybe that’s what you were trying to do without naming it, tell me the truth but shelter your feelings. A shelter I helped to create, even though it was everything I didn’t believe in.

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