Sunday, July 20, 2014

The structure of a new building


I can’t believe there’s really an organization called the Family Equality Council. And, Cynthia Nixon wants me to support it! Now, if Richard Nixon asked me to support the Family Equality Council, that would be something to think about. Meanwhile, I just realized that fecal rhymes with equal. Wait: someone invented the word shampoo. What were they thinking? Every time there’s another stunning report on climate change, I’m stunned that people still need these reports. Oh, no—an entire fabric softener factory just blew into my apartment—I can’t believe people still use that shit. Sorry, when I said hip retro diner, I meant gross gentrification atrocity. I’m wondering if the United Colors of Benetton are still united, after all these years. Suddenly I’m thinking about the kid who always ate glue during sixth grade art class. I wonder what happened to her. Funny how you can go to a school where 40% of the kids are Jewish, and the worst insult can still be to call someone a JAP. Somehow I grew up not thinking JAP as an insult had anything to do with being Jewish, even though I knew it meant Jewish American Princess. Is this a novel? One day you will read it, and ask the same question. These days, of course, we call our novels essays.        

There must be a word for the word everyone is trying not to use.

Sometimes we wait so long that we’re no longer waiting, and sometimes we wait so long that we’re dead. The difference between satire and what’s going on in the world is that the goal of satire is to illuminate hypocrisy.

I like to pretend that when people are staring directly at me from outside, they can’t see me at all. I’m pretty sure that’s true, right? Sometimes I’m suddenly shocked by hierarchies of language, for example: Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

Chancellor of Vice. Chancellor of Mice. Chancellor of Lice. Lice Chancellor. Watch out, world—I’m having an old-school outfit moment, and cutting the sleeves off this sweater I bought for two dollars at a garage sale and it fit so well, but it wasn’t the sort of thing I would wear. Except now, I’m looking for stripes, contrasting with stripes, contrasting with stripes, contrasting with stripes, so this will be perfect. Earlier I saw someone working gray on gray on gray for the first time, I mean for the first time when it actually worked. I wanted to stop him to say something, but of course he did the usual stare at me and then turn away.

          It used to be that whenever I saw someone wearing sunglasses in the rain, I thought: what’s up with that diva? Now I’m that diva. Migraine realness—oh, the glamour of it all. It’s not a good moment when I’m thinking about all the things I’ve had to turn down because of how awful I feel, so let’s skip that moment. I must admit that I get a bit confused whenever I hear that a political process is getting “too political.” I love it when a child taking medical cannabis oil for seizures, when asked what it tastes like, replies: Charlotte’s Web. Oh, this must be the part of the construction process where they pave the road after digging it up after paving it after digging it up. I hope they do this a few more times—I really like the sound of that machine grinding into the asphalt. Once, I met someone who wanted to be on jury duty. Remember: the best way to do everything on your to-do list is not to make a to-do list. Well, that was quick: here’s the new construction vehicle already, lifting something kind of wood with black mold that matches the black mold on the frame of this new building. This new thing is going to the fifth floor I guess. Don’t worry, I always check the bus schedule when I’m running late.

          It’s probably significant that my only reference point for these suddenly more embodied states after various healthcare practitioners is to say that it feels like I’m high. Also, there’s the crash, of course, but it’s not as bad. I mean, I come out of it faster. Or, maybe I’m living in the crash—there’s that too.       But where in my head is that essay I was writing while I was sleeping—it felt so eloquent and present then, but now I don’t even know what it was about. Still can’t help studying the black mold on the frame of the building across the street—that is black mold, right? I mean it’s black streaks on exposed wood, and then on the second floor it spreads out into bigger areas a few feet across. I guess at some point they will cover that with something, so before then I will take photos, in case anyone ever needs them.

          Oh, there goes my energy. And I haven’t even gone on my morning walk yet. Maybe there’s a song about the uncovered wood at a construction site that sits out in the rain and rots, and then they use it to make a building. Of course, I’m not an expert on black mold—maybe that’s just called seasoning. Maybe black mold is good for the structure of a new building, helps it to grow, organically. I wonder if this black mold is Leed-certified.

Oh, good—they’re spraying toxic chemicals on the carpet in the hallway again, so they can call it clean. Maybe I will have a picnic in the hallway, once there are enough toxic chemicals in the carpet. Oh, I get it—whenever the carpet outgasses chemicals, they have to spray more in to keep it fresh. There’s a new Goodwill in my neighborhood, and half of the customers are drunk. The other half are smashed. I’m just sitting on this chair because I can’t get up. One problem with having two computers is that when I turn one off the other’s still on.

          I don’t know why there are so many joggers in Seattle. I’ve never lived anywhere before with so many joggers. I love parsley. That’s it, right now. Maybe I’m thinking about all the ways not to get back in bed. Oh, that breath of fresh air, it really is a breath—maybe I should take off my sweatshirt, I’m sweating. If the point of a sweatshirt is to sweat, maybe that explains why I only wear sweatshirts in the house. I don’t know why I refuse to call anything a hoodie. Cooking tip: if something is rotten, it might taste better when you cook it, but it will probably still be rotten. If I still made mix tapes, I would make a mix for what to listen to with the construction noise in the morning. It’s a good thing I’m not a night person anymore, otherwise my life would be ruined. An update from the windows of the yoga boutique: a match-clashing pink-and-white bikini top with a henna pattern pink-and-white miniskirt. This one’s on sale. Get it while you can. Otherwise you’ll have to settle for the shiny black capris with a soft gray crotch of sweatshirt material, $128. Something’s burning in my kitchen. One problem with cooking is there’s always more. Maybe it’s time for the news. One problem with thinking about somewhere you could never live again is when you’re not so sure you can live where you’re living. People who talk about being on the wrong side of history like that’s a bad thing must not have read a lot of history I’m trying to remember if there’s something I’m trying to remember.

2 comments:

mazzey said...

Brilliant stream of consciousness! It really makes me want to look out my window and write. My sister just recently gave me "Why are Faggots so Afraid of Faggots," and I look forward to reading more of your stuff

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Thank you, Mazzey--hope you enjoy the reading!

Love--
mattilda