Of a quiet night sometimes I think of the Metropolitan Opera, Yankee Stadium, Central Park, Indian food, people of color, Film Forums I and II, our many city friends, my old haunts in SoHo and the Village, and I want to scream. And deep winter nights Juliet thinks of hip galleries, the Santa Monica promenade, outdoor swimming pools, funky clothing stores, yoga classes, movie stars, and admits she wants to kill me, burn down the house, and drive nonstop to Los Angeles, where her lucky sister lives. -Bill Roorbach, Temple Stream
The readings were packed, not because people loved either poetry or me, but because they’d already seen that week’s movie. -Margaret Atwood, Negotiating With the Dead
While i’m actually doing it, i would so much rather speak publicly to 200 strangers than to 10 people i know, though having done it, it’s much more fulfilling having spoken to the 10. Or, unexpectedly, 45-ish, in an unremarkable room lit with Christmas lights and old brown carpet on the walls. “I’m really surprised so many people are here,” i said to one friend, before we started reading, and she responded, “What, you’re surprised people want something to do on a 40 below night in January?” Which is what it is, and that’s as good a reason as any. It’s the same reason i play bunko, or started giving a shit about whose dogs run fastest, or, though it’s hard to admit now, this far in to it, the reason i started spending a good portion of my meager income on yarn. Something to do. c and i still joke that that’s why i’m living in this house (it was, at first). We all need something, and though, in my constant love/hate with social/cultural isolation and the goddam Parks Highway and all, i really do appreciate–revel in, even–the fact that listening to 3 people croak our way through some obscure stories about animals and road signs is really the big thing for a Saturday night. And then, that people are still talking about it weeks later. Pretty great, really. Makes me want to go out and buy bean bag chairs.
I’m often struck by how easy it is to feel so damn important here, like democracy and community fitness and creative discourse will all collapse if i don’t check my email for a weekend–convincing myself of this importance is one of my cyclical pastimes, something i do every couple months out of boredom, like the shipping pallet projects. But that feeling dissipates just as easily 10 minutes out the door, and i look around and wonder how i ever got so full of it, occupying myself with all these little civic and social duties when really, it’s all spruce trees and snow for miles and miles and miles, and everything else fades into them.
I’ve got to get back into blogging, for myself if not for my readers. Comments/encouragement appreciated. Thank you.