Friday, July 04, 2014

The back burner


Cooking tip: if you can’t find the chopping knife, it might be in the sink. Cooking tip: always do the dishes before you decide you don’t have enough energy to do the dishes. Cooking tip: rotten vegetables are only good if you don’t eat them. Cooking tip: when something’s boiling over, it might help to turn the heat down.

Oh, good—the update on the best worst song you may never have heard of before. Traci Lords, Okey Dokey, off her highly acclaimed 1995 dance album 1000 Fires. The lyrics: “okey dokey doggie daddy, yummy yummy sugar mummy, okey dokey doggie daddy, yummy yummy sugar mummy”—you do see how Traci Lords was switching it up? Wait, did I mention that Traci Lords WINS AN OSCAR in that song? Worth listening for that moment alone. “I rarely transgress in a dream; I dream of the guilt that follows transgression.” Elisa Gabbert, The Self Unstable. “If information has replaced the story, what will replace information?” Speaking of information, when Gabbert chooses “the data” instead of experience, I do feel unstable.

If you’re going to tell me something, we should plan this together. Cooking tip: it’s true that rotten food is better when cooked, but whenever possible it’s better not to cook with rotten food. Somewhere between maybe and no way is a hard place to make a decision, I mean other than the obvious. So I’ve never figured out how to eat without thinking about something else. I try to focus on chewing and taste and texture but that only lasts for a few seconds and then I’m somewhere else. I know this is trauma, and I don’t know how to unlearn it.

“What is the use of a violent kind of delightfulness if there is no pleasure in not getting tired of it.” Gertrude Stein, Tender Buttons

This headline is clearly too good for words: “White House Issues New Guidelines on Sexual Assault.” Today’s cooking tip: always use high-quality sturdy pots—that way, if you leave something on for an extra 12 hours, you will burn your food, but not the house. “He wasn’t an android, he was my dad. But I thought he was a fucking android.” That’s the song I’m listening to now, David Holmes.

This guy in the elevator at the medical building says I like the way you let your cuffs hang long—I would be dressed nice too, but I just had a vasectomy. Oh, wait—was I supposed to be doing something today? This survey tells me I can make a difference. If I fill out this survey twice, will I make more of a difference? What is the difference between making a difference, and faking a difference? Faking inference is the new making, which is called making so often that making may now mean faking.

Meanwhile, I just lost all my energy. If that was energy. Periodic reminder that the only way to end sexual violence in the military is to end the military. As they start building the fifth story of the building across the street, I’m thinking about the woman who told me it would be four stories, because of the picture at the construction site. I think she bought a condo across the street on the fifth floor, she was worried about her view and there it goes, say goodbye if you’re in there. I might as well admit that I met her in the elevator of that building, I wanted to see what it looks like. It looks pretty good. I wouldn’t mind her view.

What rhymes with indifference? Oh, advertising. I was going to go on a walk to be out in the sun, but now it’s not sunny so I think I’ll make a doctor’s appointment. Now that the construction across the street stopped for a moment, I can hear this wonderful hold music.

Okay, I did that—now I will try to do something else on my list. Wait, now the construction is too loud to talk on the phone, what’s next? Oh, no—the author I was just going to read posted scary gay marriage propaganda, now I better choose a different book. “It is so rudimentary to be analyzed and see a fine substance strangely.” Gertrude Stein, Tender Buttons

I will always have an appreciation for graffiti on the window of some posh restaurant that reads SMASH THIS. I find it fascinating that, in conversations about a $15 minimum wage in Seattle, there is debate about whether a “small” business is one with less than 500 or less than 250 employees. Meanwhile, where is that picture of someone’s elbow and a huge camera with the headline Cleaning Up After.

When someone asks about my headache, I wonder: which one? I can’t decide whether it’s a good thing when I fall asleep on the stretching mat. Wait, am I awake now? It’s hard to tell. There’s a nice breeze outside.

I guess if I succeed at turning the computer off, that means I’m awake. Whoever created that phrase about leaving something on the back burner must not have been using the stove. But what is the difference between desire and helplessness? Trying to decide between helplessness and hopelessness. Trying to decide between desire and hopelessness. And why do they make fake plants that look half-dead? I have so many ups and downs on the internet every day, it’s almost like real life. You know you must be a child of the ‘80s when you’re trying to remember the brand name of the electric toothbrush and you think it might be Soloflex.

2 comments:

Willard Lake said...

a little abstract,but for surely a Seattle experience...in Amsterdam looking for a new love on line...

Wil Lake

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Lovely to hear from you, my dear — and, speaking of abstract, I don't know it's love will ever be found online, although certainly others would disagree. Good luck, in any case!

Love —
mattilda