3.30.2007

Confessions of an Audiophile

With my PDX/SEA trip behind me, and a brand-new two part mini series about it, I started vehemently cleaning and re-organizing my apartment in preparation for...
That's right,
VISITORS.

On the ninth, Lauren and Mark will visit lovely sunny San Francisco and marvel in the pleasures of my crappy Swedish pull-out.

Unfortunately, mid preparation, I got stomach flu.

So I curled up on my couch with some saltines and bottled water and decided to make a mix cd.

San Francisco Will Not Kill You
A mix for Lauren and Mark by: Milkshake Moure

Welcome to the south slope of Grace Cathedral Hill. I hope your train ride was good, and your alcohol tolerance is high, because San Francisco, given the opportunity, will kick your fucking ass this week. If you let it.
My motto? Don't. Don't let it. Trust.
Anyway, here's the challenge I confronted myself with mid gut wrenching nausea and intermittent puking--to make a playlist of songs that all somehow pertain to San Francisco, yet not invoke the oh so obvious dynamic musical duo: Sittin' On the Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding and Grace Cathedral Hill by The Decemberists. Damn. Not an easy challenge, I assure you.

Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy, and here's a brief primer to explain each track.

1. Thing-Thing, El Pus
Dude, just do your thing. That's what we do here. A couple weeks ago, my friend Pant and I were at Summer PLace with his friend who was visiting from London, and he was like: "Dude, everyone in San Francisco has at least three lives, and they exist almost completely autonomously from each other. Like I'm a Graphic Designer, Tech geek, Socialholic. What are you Miranda?" At first, I was thinking he was fucking crazy, and then I thought about it for a second, and replied: "Manager, Novelist, Audiophile." The three lives thing is totally true, by the way. Try it while you're here, ask people.what thier three lives are.

2. I Sucked a Lot of Cock to Get Where I Am, Regurgitator
Um...well, I did. Basically. I mean, SF is where I really stopped letting stories happen, and started making them happen. Now I have great ones. I mean, you do read my blog, right?

3. Social Life, Koufax
I had to round out this pop intro somehow, and this track seemed perfect. Here, we are oft drawn to things we shouldn't do.

4. Spanish Bombs, The Clash
Much like The Duck (although there, it is paired with Float On and Reinventing Axle Rose), this song comes on every single time I go to Molotov's. Every single time.

5. Blue Star, Los Halos
This song also made the cut for "This Will Not Kill Your Braincells" a year ago. A San Francisco mix just isn't complete without it, because what the world won't give you, you have to wrench from it's icy and unforgiving global-warmed hands. By any means neccesary.

6. Pledge of Alegiance, Louis XIV
Because this is how I got my nickname in SF. That's pretty much it. Oh, and also, I love to feel you sweat.

7. The Party's Over, Against Me!
Well, duh. This song started the whole CD, and earned it's rightful place smack dab in the middle, at # 7. I think I've already gonbe over why this track is here. I mean, you do read my blog, right?

8. Tetley Town, The Walkmen
I have no idea what city this song is actually about, but it might be DC, or Boston or New York. Whatever. I think it's aptly added to this mix, because...I mean, have you heard this fucking song? Dude, San Francisco just feels like this. True story.

9. Get Your Own, Buzzcocks
This song reminds me of Shaun and I, and our on-going and never officially decided war over who's apartment is better. I always say it's mine, and he agrees with me in public 'cause he doesn't mind people thinking it's mine when it's actually his.

10. Cannonball, The Breeders
This is self explanatory if you've heard this song, and everybody has. Also, I feel it a sacrelidge to put words into the Deal sister's mouths.

11. Sunny Afternoon, The Kinks
Firstly, I just thought this mix was begging for a Kinks track. Secondly, It is all we are sometimes left with here: A Sunny Afternoon.

12. Where Eagles Have Been, Wolfmother
Damn, I love Australia, if you couldn't already tell from the Regurgitator track. That being said, things are not always what they seem in the city of dreams.

13. Spread, Outkast
Um...I mean, you do read my blog, right?

14. Red Rabbits, The Shins
I was so scared to buy this album. I mean...it's the fucking Shins for chrissakes, and what if it sucks? Thankfully it does not suck, and I finally bought it after the bee fiasco to prove to myself that Milkshake Moure fears nothing. Except for bees. And Fish out of water. Nonetheless, thank god I did, because this song yields itself fantastically to this mix, because well, because as they say: "a neccesary balloon lies a corpse". Oh, and Mary, "you still owe me for the hole in the floor". True story. There's a hole in my floor.

15. Underground, Harvey Danger
I've always wanted to end a mix CD with this track, and coming in at a total of 52.3 minutes, I finally have. It's perfect. Really. You should hear it.

So listen and love, and I'll be home from work soon.
All my love,
--M

3.23.2007

The Hornet's Nest Part II: This Shit Rules

The party’s over, a CD skipping, it’s the same song repeating, grows more grating with each passing second…and the walls retain a resonation, laughter and conversation, it was fun while it lasted, but now we should be going. I hope everybody’s had a really good time, the hospitality’s partaken, my head is flying, my hearts racing to keep up. I hope I haven’t overdone it, I hope my body can take it, I hope I make the occasion, it’s only this fucked up I start realizing all this living is just dying and if these are my friends, if this is my home, if this is how I spend my nights, how I communicate and demonstarate a love of life. My eyes roll into the back of my head and if these are the last words I ever said; NO, I’m not ready to die just yet.
--AM!

I am in my hometown driving a gas guzzling Chevy Impala, and I’m kicking myself for leaving my coat in San Francisco. March in The City is a beautiful time when the sun starts to peek through the fog and San Franciscans don a multitude of oversized tortise shell sunglasses to shield them from spring. It is balmy and breezy, and in the day I can be seen in a mini skirt and flip flops dragging my laundry across the street, running into my neighbors and remarking on our great fortune—“Dude, it is fucking GORGEOUS today.” It is this time of year, despite our rent, our wages and cellphone bills that we take to the streets with our skin parched from winter to wage war on our hermit lifestyle and empty refrigerators. We sit on our rooftops and admire the view. We take every day as our own and languish in daylight beers on some patio at some bar well into the evening. Everyday seems like the first day of the rest of our lives.
In Seattle, it hailed this morning. Hailed.
Despite the weather, I have finally come out of the dregs of my hangover, managed to get some caffeine in my system, bought a new hoodie, and hightailed it up north just outside of city limits. Even in the hoodie, I’m fucking freezing. I can’t wait to get home.
I left early from Georgetown fearing the gridlock I-5 can turn into even in the early afternoon and that, as I always seem to, I would get lost. I was given very specific directions the night previous, but I’m still afraid they’ve fallen on deaf ears.

“Okay. So just…you know that one road off the freeway?”
“Two-hundred-and-fifth?”
“Whatever. Yeah. So then you go left on that street by the McDonalds, and a take a right before the Mexican Restaurant.” She’s gesticulating grandly as she explains, turning her hands this way and that, eyes rolled to the top as if she’s imagining how to get there.
“ Cool. 2-Oh-fifth to Ballinger Way to nineteenth-north-east. Gotcha.”
“Yeah, Whatever. Anyway, it’s all curvy and stuff, but you take that past the Safeway, and go left like…six blocks down.”
“Six exactly?” I’m getting worried.
“No, like…there’s the Safeway, and then there’s like…just houses? OH! That’s where the turn lane starts. Take the first left after that.”
“Okay…”
“Yeah, and then you go for a while and it’s curvy, but it comes back around, and you go right where you see the Middle School.”
“What Middle School?”
“My old one.”
“Kellogg?”
“Yeah.”
“On twenty-fifth?”
“Yeah, whatever. So just go past it, and then when you see it, park in the second parking lot. The Second Parking lot. I’ll see you and come over.”
“Cool. Will your boyfriend be there?” I’m smirking as I say this.
“Omigod. Whatever.”


I didn’t drive up here alone. In fact we started out in San Francisco as three on a warm sunny day, and after dropping Mary off in Portland, it was just Benny and I taking the three hour commute to Seattle that I had driven so many times in college.
“So how do you want to split up the driving?” Benny’s driven but a three hour leg so far, and feels bad about not contributing more.
“Nah, it’s cool, homes. I got it.”
“You sure?” He’s shocked.
“Dude, I used to do this drive up to three times a week. There and back. No big—in fact, I’m kind of looking forward to it again.”
“It’s fucking pouring balls out here. Can you even drive in this shit?” He was pointing out the inclement weather. It was raining fucking sideways. True story.
“Have you seen my fucking arm dude? I can drive in this shit. Proper.” I am of course pointing to the display of hometown pride tattooed around my left bicep; it’s the Seattle skyline.
“Good point.”

It is one-hundred-sixty-eight-miles from the Columbia river to the southern most limits of the city of Seattle, and I spent the three hours explaining to Benny how locals get around.
“Okay, so the city’s shaped like an hourglass, twelve miles long, and two miles wide in the middle with I-5 and 99 running north to south.”
“Uh, huh, and Ballard? Where my friend Megan lives?” He’s making ties between neighborhoods with nothing to bear any of it on. I’m trying to do my best.
“Yeah, that’s where I grew up. On north-west-sixty-fifth and eleventh-north-west.”
“Okay, so it’s in the Northwest part of the city?” He’s getting it.
“Yeah. North of the canal.”
“Okay, so Megan says she lives on fifty-eighth-street-north-west. Is that far from where you’re going tonight?”
“No, not at all. I’ll drop you off there and I’ll be right over the hill on Aurora and Winona, right off north-sixty-eighth. But Megan…she doesn’t live on fifty-eighth-street-north-west.” Now I’ve confused him.
“What? I mean, that’s just what she told me.”
“No I mean, she lives on north-west-fifty eighth. The directional modifier comes first so you know it’s a street. Streets all run east/west, avenues north/south; but we never say ‘street’ or ‘avenue’. You just know which one it is by where you put the north or south or southwest or whatever.”
“So that means?”
“That means that Megan lives on north-west-fifty-eighth and seventeenth-north-west.”
“Yeah. Okay, whatever. So the whole city is divided up into sections like that?”
“Well, yeah. Except for Downtown. There it’s just ‘fifth’ or ‘Pine’ or whatever.”
“So if you were Downtown, you would just be like…‘I’m on fifth-street’?” I laugh at this.
“Oh, hell no. First of all, you’d be on fifth-avenue, but you’d never say that. You’d just be like, ‘I’m on fifth and Pine’.”
Dude. Whatever.” He’s completely over my local’s jargon.
“And Benny?”
“Yeah?”
“You always say the street or the numbered road first. Always. Even if the address is on the avenue or the named road. You don’t want to sound like a tourist or something.”
“But I am a tourist.”
“Yeah, but you’re with me.
When Benny and I finally made it inside city limits, when Tukwilla and Boeing are behind us, when the freeway turns and reveals the rain laden outline of Downtown and even my own breath catches in my throat, he is beside me dumbfounded.
“Wow. This is beautiful.”

The next day I pick Benny up on east-twelfth and Columbia so we can get drinks at a restaurant my old friend Kyle manages now. I pull up, we hop in the Impala, head through China Town and Pioneer Square to arrive at that tricky spot between Downtown and Belltown. I park in the lot on First and Stewart.
“So this is Pike Place Market?” I laugh at this as well.
“Yeah, but we just call it ‘The Market’, kiddo.”
We walked in and the place is beautiful. Kyle greeted us in a suit and tie, eager to wrap his arms around me in the brotherly way he always has. I’m riddled with glee as I do the introductions.
“Kyle, this is my friend Benny from Lower Haight. Benny, this is Kyle. He dated my ex-girlfriend and then we worked together at the Circus.”
Kyle and I laugh at this. We have a solid but spotty history, if that makes any sense at all.
“Wow, Miranda,” Kyle steps back and pauses as he says this, “You look beautiful. Benny my man, you are lucky to have her down in San Francisco. You have no idea how much we miss this girl up here.”
I am speechless, but Benny takes the lead on this one.
“You have no idea how often I tell myself that exact sentiment.”
I can naught but smile at them both.
“You ever think about moving back home?” This is the same question Kyle always asks me.
“…”
“Allright, I won’t push it. Benny, where are you staying? At Lauren’s with Miranda?”
“No, at my friend Megan’s house on north-west-fifty-eighth and seventeenth-north-west.”
I am suddenly very proud.

That evening saw me down on Airport Way with my ex Woody, all curled up in a booth like no time had passed at all. This is the part where we pretend that I don’t live far away and that I love him very much. We are drinking local lager and shooting the shit as exes might, but more accurately like a couple might.
“How’s San Fran treating you?”
“It’s hard, like always. Not like here where there is so much time and ease and comfort. The City is kinetic and fast—I don’t get a lot of time like this, like…without my phone ringing and it’s work and there’s some problem with payroll, or like…you know, just hanging out with a couple of people. One person.”
“So you’re not seeing anyone?”
I decide not to tell him that there was a musician in my bed recently; that he left me for his ex-girlfriend that was visiting shortly. I don’t tell him because I am realizing that I am now that girl. Damnit, I hate that girl.
“No.”
“Damn. San Francisco. I don’t think I could live there. Too expensive, you know? Too crazy for me.”
“Yeah, I hear you.”
“Well, that’s my girl, not scared of anything. Living in Downtown fucking Frisco, flying all over the country all the time. Damn girl, I don’t know how you do it sometimes.”
“I’m scared of some things.”
“Oh yeah? Like what?”
“Like bees.”
“That’s retarded.”
“Well, it’s true, kiddo.”
He shakes his head, and I can tell that he doesn’t believe me.
“You ever think about moving back home? We sure miss you here.” This is the same question Woody always asks me, and I am trying to imagine what it would be like; to be wrapped I his arms every night, to walk in the same bar every Friday hand in hand, to have him there to kill the bees that fly into our apartment. I can’t stand the idea of moving back here, but the notion of being adored is more tempting than most.


I-5 is fairly clear, but I’m still pushing my 2:30 deadline to follow the shady directions I was given and arrive at my destination; no turn-by-turns, just landmarks derived from the memory of someone who has never driven a car. She’s only fifteen, my niece that is. Her name is Alexis.
I get off at Highway 104, also known as two-oh-fifth, switch lanes. Right on Ballinger. Got it. Right on nineteenth-north-east, before the Mexican restauraunt. Done. It curves around, and by the time I reach the Safeway, I’m actually on fifteenth. Cool. There’s the turn lane and…oh, right. Left on north-east-one-sixty-eighth, that’s what it’s called. I follow this a ways as the arterial switches back, take a right, the Middle School looming on my right. Some houses and trees…and goddamnit, it’s 2:35 as I’m passing the first parking lot, and as I’m pulling into the second parking lot, the second parking lot, I’m realizing that I could have gotten here at least fifteen minutes earlier, three exits on the freeway sooner, two turns and I would have been early.
I park the car, turn off the blaring punk rock and remove the key from the ignition. One Chuck Taylor and then two hit the pavement, and I am crossing the asphalt locking the car with the electronic key lock over my shoulder. The Impala beeps twice and a group of young hipsters are eyeing me with jaws dropped to the ground, glancing first at my tattoos to my car and back, and when I finally spot Alexis coming down the stairs with her backpack and long legs and gait and stature exactly like mine I realize why they stare. They think I am one of them. A student here at Shorecrest High. I am suddenly adored, and yet I realize that the sacrifice of being cool is that to be so, people must assume I’m ten years younger than I am. Huh.
“Hey! Auntie Ran!” This is what my nieces and nephews call me, and she is yelling to me from across the way.
“What’s up, kiddo. Where’s your boyfriend?”
Kiddo?” She’s totally disgusted at this.
“Hey, I call everyone kiddo.”
“No you don’t.”
“True story. Swear to god.”
“Kay. Whatever. What the hell were you listening to when you pulled in here? I could hear you at the front of the school.”
“It’s a song called This Shit Rules. Sorry, I was doing a little bit of what I like to call Rocking Out.
She’s laughing at me, but I have something else on my mind, and dare to ask the question.
“Where is he?” I have heard a lot about her boyfriend.
“Over there in the red sweatshirt. Come on, let’s leave.”
“Dude, What? I would let you meet my boyfriend if it were me.”
“Fine, you’re lucky I like you.”
Near the front door there is a bevy of pubescent boys huddled and making plans and high-fiving each other. The boy in the red sweatshirt is among them, laughing and carousing like a boy his age might. He turns and sees us approaching, and he has these big blue eyes that turn electric when he sees Alexis return. I am reminded of the way Woody looks at me.
“Lexi, I thought you left.” He’s looking at me sideways.
“Hey Nick, this is my Aunt Miranda.”
“This is your Aunt?”
“Sup. I’m Miranda. Good to meet you.” I feel terrible for this kid as I say this, as he’s shifting in his tennis, clearly worried to be overly affectionate to my little Niece for fear of my dissaproval. Poor thing. You should see him though; he’s adorable in his discontent.
We go to a little coffee shop just off campus, and when we get there, Nick is already there with a bunch of their friends.
“Oh, Nicks here.” I spot his red sweatshirt and blue eyes from the rest of the crowd.
“Yeah, whatever. It’s cool.”
“Aren’t you gonna say hi?”
“Dude, whatever. I’ll say hi later.”
An Americano and some sugary caramel monstrosity later, were sitting at a little table by the wall, and we are conversing as I do with all of my girlfriends, except we are only using the word ‘fuck’ in the expletive form. C’mon, she’s fifteen.
“So, This one time?” She is explaining to me about the time her and Nick broke up. “I get to school this one time and Nick walks right past me. And then my friend Amanda is all like ‘omigod, is Nick not talking to you?’ and I was thinking like, omigod, what the hell is going on.
“Yeah, and then what? Wait…what the hell?”
The story slowly unfolds past first period, second period, past text messages shooting between several hundred teenage cellphones under desks in classrooms all over campus. Finally, her friend Forrest had to pick her up, throw her over his shoulder and set her down in front of Nick during lunch.
“So then Nick was like, ‘talk to me’ and I was like…’No’.”
“What? Why wouldn’t you talk to him?” Even though this whole event is far in the past, I can see my own determination in her furrowed brow that looks just like my own and her fathers.
Because I had nothing to fucking say to him.
And there it is. All of my own isolationist bullshit wrapped into one little sentence from the mouths of babes. I wish I could tell her everything that I have done and witnessed and experienced from the same mentality, and yet from the way she brags about it, I know it would only further her cause, add more fuel to the fire for marginalizing people that care about her.
“So he finally called you?” The story had convulsed through another fifteen minutes, and we are at the part where it’s after school.
“Yeah, and he was like ‘omigod, I’m so in love with you and you can’t leave me’ and all of this stuff like that.”
Omigod.
“What?” She honestly doesn’t know.
“He’s in love with you?”
“Yeah.”
“And do you love him?” She pauses for a long moment before answering.
“I don’t know.”

The night before, Woody walked me to my car after our public display of couple-dom, after our domestic lagers and catching up, and after I unlocked the car and the Impala beeped twice, I turned and threw my arms around him.
“So, you gonna go meet the boys at the Duck?”
“Yup. I’m sorry, I have to.”
“But you’ll be over later?”
“Of course I will. I’ll call at bar time. Answer your phone.
He promises me he will, and I am off, and twenty minutes later I’m at my favorite bar on Aurora and Winona, and I am surrounded by people that love and miss me, and I am adored. I love being adored.

I am telling this story to Alexis.
“Yeah, so then one beer turns to two, and bar time turns to after hours, and I finally call Woody right before three.”
In the morning?” She’s wide eyed at the prospect of this.
“Yeah in the morning. And guess what? He doesn’t answer his phone.
“No fucking way. But he promised, right?”
“Right. But whatever I mean, he loves me but…”
Omigod.
“What?” I honestly don’t know what.
“He’s in love with you?”
“Yeah.”
“And do you love him?” I pause for a minute before answering.
“I don’t know.”
“Hey, Auntie Ran? Do you ever think about moving back here?”
“No.” This time, I’m quick to answer.
“But why?” Wow, no one ever asks me this.

I realize what I’ve missed. I see her face so much like mine and her hips that swing like mine when I’m hopping off a curb, and the offhandedness with which she treats her boyfriend who is still across the room from us. I realize that my nomad lifestyle and selfish search for god-knows-what has left me unable to watch her grow up, and I’ll never get that back. I know it. I can’t even try to regain it as my siblings have tried with me for I see in her the same will and drive that I myself have, and in it I see no room for apologies. No room for making anything up to her.
And then there’s San Francisco, where the freneticism is tangible, where every first of every month is a trial, where fear and fearlessness go hand in hand, where triumph comes only with struggle, where the hills dip into the valleys and back up and on to the Pacific ocean and where nobody fucking loves you and yet a day spent not living is a day you’re just ready to die.

“Auntie Ran?”
“Yeah?”
“Why won’t you move home?”
“I guess because I’m not ready to die just yet.”

A couple hours later I’m at Sea-Tac, and then I am on a plane, and then I am on a little bus that takes me to the BART station. I call Benny.

“Hey, Benny. I made it home. You still in Seattle, or have you made it to Vancouver yet?”
“Nope, I’m in Seattle at a bar on north-west-sixty-fifth and sixth-north-west.”
I am so proud.
“The Tin Hat? Omigod, I love that place.”
“Yeah, but they just call it ‘The Hat’.”
Touche.
“Nice. Have fun tonight.”
“Hey Miranda?”
“Yeah Benny?”
You glad to be home?” I don’t pause at all. Not even for an instant.
“I’m so glad to be home.”
“Really?”
“Benny, I love it here.

Of this, I am sure.

[On a side note, Woody’s name is actually Alexis, because he’s half Russian. Woody is his middle name. As fitting as this may be, I have not yet found the appropriate way to enter this fact into this story. I only see it fitting if I cut Kyle completely, as I wouldn’t want to push this more than fifteen hundred words more, a thousand of which I've already conceived but need to sleep on. It's almost five, dude. The Hornet’s Nest: Part I did get re-written, although I won’t post it. No need. The story is basically the same, just better now. I know I never post pieces this long anymore, but I feel it important for the afore mentioned to be able to read this, specifically in this way that it initially came out of my head. Especially Alexis. Myricks, not Lopez. –M]

3.13.2007

Ding, Dong...

I am home on my lunchbreak, and guess what?

The bee is finally dead.

Don't get me wrong--I still can't bear to move it for fear of this not being true, but I'm nearly 100% sure.
--M

The Hornet's Nest

[First, I must intro with the idea that this was not the four-thousand-some word essay that I've been working on all day. This is the beautiful/poignant/brief one that was in my head when I left Shaun's house this evening. Right now, it is 12:34 am. I will note the time when I'm done for the night. Also, there is beer and smokes adorning my desk like little-punk-rock-christmas-in-march ornaments. On a side note, that sentance was not near as cool as I want this piece to be.]

In my apartment, there are these huge bay windows that never close; especially in the warm months when I but imagine that this huge port town affords me salt hung breezes that never really breach my window ledges. When I call people in other states however, I tell them that this happens. I say that it is like my hometown but better--that when it is warm that the rest of the world remains locked in the dregs of winter, and that I am privy to balmy tropical winds that still smell of the sea a couple of miles in.
This never happens, by the way.
But on the outskirts of downtown where the ambulance and fire sirens are thick in thier decibels and where the sounds of women cumming from the partners they've likely garnered from the bar across the street echo in the courtyard is where my little home is, and a home I've so made it. There is me, and there is my cat, and after years of struggling to keep and build a family, this is what is left. Unfortunately, I love it. It's just too easy to be left alone; too easy to deal with both your glories and times of solace when there's no one there to see it.
This is where we begin to revisit the idea of beauty, and not with the offhandedness with which most women treat it, but rather with a verocity that makes it nearly clinical; it comes down to lists and plans and calendars. It comes down to little battery operated machines that treat my nails with the efficiency of a salon, flat irons and hair dryers and various silicone based product that tame my unruly mane into some hipster white girl's wet dream.
At work, once again, I am expected to be beautiful. Much like my time at the circus, I am paid well to groom myself effectively, to reinvent myself into some vauge and multiplyable ideal of what a tattooed freak can become. I have oh-so-carefully ditched the idea of an "outfit" for a look--and this look must be carefully nurtured and monitered; it must be revisited every morning in my attempt to brace myself for a job--a job that keeps me in a lifestyle I have become so quickly accustomed to. A lifestyle? Fuck that--I wish it was only so quantifiable--but it merely boils down to a cell phone bill, a rent check, and more recently the multitude of both drugstore and designer beauty that ranges in price from product to product from 'newly reasonable' to 'even still exorbitant'. Exorbitant but neccesary. It even makes me laugh; me who is the one buying these products, me who still thinks that for seven to seventy dollars an ounce I can gain some kind of control. It's less effective than it is mostly effectively ridiculous. Yeah, I know.

I am naked, and I am in my old neighborhood, and it is so late that it is early; and the sun is a few hours off from streaming in the windows to light my upturned hip draped in an old sleeping bag that I am only pretending is okay with me. I am having the same problem I always have with boys' bedrooms since living alone--the utility of them is exhausting; I just can't see how one human being can be so accustomed to what I deem uncomfortable.
"I'm pretty vain. Especially with my hair, you know? It's my thing, I s'pose." You would think this would be me speaking, but rather is the naked boy next to me in the chill of his open windows so much like mine.
"Vanity? Boys appreciate vanity?" I am litterally abashed in considering how this can possibly be true, especially considering the condition of his bedroom. All of thier bedrooms.
"Yeah, I mean, I'm sure you understand, you're pretty vain, at least, that's what I would assume from all the mirrors in your apartment."

Ah, my apartment. My apartment that I covet to the point of uncomfortability. Much like how the zipper of a sleeping bag might feel on your naked thigh at seven in the morning in a breezy bedroom that is a constant fifty degrees is redeemed by the beauty of a boy next to you, my apartment is lonely and expansive, but perfect. When there is no music playing it is deafeningly still and silent, and it is on one of these so silent and heavy afternoons that my bare legs are propped out of the big window, and there is a heavy curl of smoke about my outstretched hand, and then a goddamn hornet flys through my window. Goddamnit.
I have been lucky in my life in but two respects--I have never broken a bone, and I have never been stung by a bee. Never. That being said, I am catatonically scared of both of these things, specifically bees. I fear the sting of my throat closing and my hands closing around my throat and my vain attempts to dial 911 through the throws of antiflactic shock. My entire biological family is alergic to bees, and I assume I am not unlike them even in my naievety. And now there's a bee in my goddamned apartment, goddamnit.
This is terrible because I was just taking a break to smoke by my window, I had been previously enjoying one of the many simple pleasures of living alone, but this one is my favorite. Cleaning. I love cleaning when there is no one there to ruin it. Love to leave home and return to it in the exact same seemingly immaculate yet true disaster that I left it. I love the idea that people covet thier own homes so much that they will see mine and for a moment believe that I have somehow figured it all out. You should see it--my aparment, I mean. Really, it's beautiful, and there is a table in the kitchen where I drink my coffee and a wall that is covered in posters in mismatched frames that both retains and idealizes my illustrious audiophile past complete with every last singer and drummer and guitarist that has graced my own immaculate bedroom.

He is a musician, and I am a writer, and I am naked in his bed, and here is where I know that he will have fame that I never could. I smile rather than telling him I hate this, rather than telling him that my long slender fingers once felt the grace of an instrument, that it was my own choice rather than my level of skill that left me to my pencils then paintbrushes and finally to my notebooks and laptop. I always wish to tell them that at the age of ten, I was better than them. I was, seriously.
"You're so beautiful. I don't see how you can't be vain." I suppose that it is clear now that this is him speaking.
"Vain. Hmm." I am honestly considereing whether I am or not. "Vain, no, I don't think I am. My mirrors? I mean, girls have mirrors, specifically when they are gifts like mine were. I love to feel pretty, but be beautiful? That's different. I love to groom myself; in fact, I have discovered it again, I can perform menial hygenic tasks on myself for hours on end. But to be and also to think myself beautiful? I'm just not there. Not yet. Let's say I aspire to vanity. Does that make sense?"
He is shaking his head and holding back laughter.
"No. No Miranda, that does not make sense."
Hmm. His name doesn't so much matter anymore, and by that I mean that there are mutitudes of him yet to be met, and that there have been so many of him already. I just mean that in a years time, I will remember him as but as one more John on my list among many.

It doesn't make sense, of course it doesn't. It doesn't make sense that I'm comfortable crisscrossing the country and the world, with playing heartstrings like a competitive sport, with all of my independant bullshit morays and not with the simple act of getting a bee out of my apartment. I am litterally scared, and I am shaking, and there is this goddamned bee darting about my home with an abandon that yeilds me to think: "Oh my god. He's fucking staring at me."

They are all fucking staring at me, and I am several days off of all of the lights on and nakedness and the way he fucking touches me like he's clearly touching someone else, and though I have related this to my girlfriends several times they never seem to have the grace or remorse for this act as I wish that they would. They are never apologetic to this at all, as if this is supposed to be something that's normal; as if our collective lot as women is to reinvent ourselves into all of these other women, these girls that are perfect and driven and garner such adoration with thier highlighted hipster hair and vintage t-shirts draped from thier slender shoulders, thier perfect even cadence that demands love from these boys. These girls deserve to be held like he held me, these girls want the same things all of these boys do, are comforted when his fingers intertwine with thiers above thier head and his eyes are inside thier own--yet when this is me, I can only hold dear my cat and my too expansive apartment that is cleaned by the simple fear that everyone will someday realize that I'm not as put together as my home may seem.

It has been an hour, and the bee is on my curtain rod and I have retreated to the bathroom, shut the door and turned the lock. I gather all of my supplies around me, and begin again to harness some mixed up semblance of what all of those girls that I admire call vanity.
There are so many products and tweezers and wax and creams, lotions and body powders. Then, just when the flat iron comes out, there are tears that I hate not for my weakness, but rather because the humidity is making all of the fine hair framing my face frizzy. This might have been what snapped me out of all of it.
I am in my kitchen, and I can see it cleaning its wings on my curtain, and I am armed with a can of Lysol and a collins glass. I'll be damned if I let this bee tell me what I'm capable of. I carefully remove my flip-flops and stow them in the closet where they belong. I am scared, and I perch myself on my couch cushion, can and glass raised. I am there for several moments, wondering what might happen if something goes wrong, if this goddamned bee somehow gets mad and free like I might; might retaliate in the only way it knows how, how I might be left convulsing alone in my beautiful apartment knowing my cellphone is not within arms reach and I might very well die alone at the hands of something as small as one of my perfectly manicured thumbnails. I look away for just a moment seeking my phone, but return to my nemesis's gaze with the harsh and cold reality that even given the opportunity, I have no one to call. I could die without anyone knowing.
Fuck it. I'd rather die than know I can't even do this, and so there is conviction and thrust, and then there is a hornet trapped beneath a glass in my grasp, and there is a quick and heady plan of an envelope within arms reach slid beneath the opening, and then I am shaking, arms outstretched, seeking the will to lean out the window as I often do but this time it is to release this monster from a prison I have concocted: This is all my fault. All of this is my fault.
Then my phone rings.

The glass I set on my veneer coffee table complete with envelope at it's rim. As I answer the phone and I can still see this goddamned hornet from the corner of my eye deserately trying to free itself from a prison I created from a glass that I own many copies of for the expressed purpose of entertaing to keep true the idea that I'm okay. It's fucked up.
"Hello?" It's funny how even now that we know who's calling, we answer our phones the same way we did before this specific technology.
"Hey. What's goin' on." It's the boy I've been naked with as of late.
"Well, funny you should ask, there's a bee in my apartment."
"A bee?"
"Yeah, and it's in a glass, and I'm suddenly faced with the fact that I can't deal with it, and I have no one who will do it for me. My cat is no help in this resect, unfortunately." I set a book on top of the glass. I am afraid the envelope wont hold.
"Well, hey. You know. Just put it outside."
"It's not that easy for me."
"There are things that aren't that easy for you?"
And there it is. Right there. That all of them would assume that this whole world unfolds in my palm because they think that of me and that all of this we see is in my head quantifiable, because in my head there is always the proverbial hornet--this thing that would be so much easier should I have a partner to handle it for me, yet I can't seem to reliquish all of my single ideals to warrant it.
This is what psychologists and civilians both call a vicious cycle, and it is one I have acclimated myself to all to quicky. I am ready to die for my laptop and my cat and my bee for some idea of self reliance when the truth is I can't even bring my self to stick a glass out a window. Bullocks.
"Alot of things aren't easy for me." I am surprised at my honesty when my girlfriends have warned me against that.
"Yeah, well, me too, and I think we shouldn't be sleeping with each other anymore."
The bee is still staring at me, and yet my chest is rising and falling with an ease that it has not in weeks, because I finally want it to.
"Yeah. Okay."
"I mean, there's this girl, you know?"

This is the worst part, because I've already felt her, felt how she likes it, how she wants to be held and looked at, touched and coddled and fucked with the lights on because none of that was ever me. I wanted it to be me because it seemed like something people should want, but in the end, I'm left with just the question, "Will I die alone while he fucks her?"

He fucks her beautifully. Really, there is so much care and love and want and I know this because he's fucked me like I was her, and I'm the one who deemed this okay. I think it's allright for men to touch me as a confection they've already tasted, and I bitch about framing myself to be thier princess and yet I never demean this act to thier faces. I am more than ready to reinvent myself while simultaneously hating this act; I adore being fucked like I am not me.

Five hours in, the bee is still staring at me. I am silent watching it for some time, repeating the same actions that are never going to grant it's freedom--up the glass, down the glass, up, down, up, down, around.

I am reminded of all of my rituals, all of my products and hardware that make me pretty that never make me beautiful, never make me actually into that girl that gets the privelege of being touched like her own fucked up self. Up down, around and all over town, there are all these pretty couples, and in all of these girls I see the same bobby pins that I place in my hair and leave on thier nightstands, but never through the perfection do I see thier bees trapped on thier coffee tables from fear of them flying back through thier huge open windows.

I wish my fears were just left at bees.

[it's 5:41 am, and I am over a boy in just over five hours flat. That's a new record. Unfortunately, I fear what I always do--that I'm constantly seeking stories rather than life. That is a pervasive and damaging fear in and of itself.]
--M

[morning of 3.13 edit: A few things. 1. I've read this again, and love it as a distraction. I'll probably rewrite this once, make little booklets with Good on Paper like I once did with my little Poetry Zine, Everything Remains the Same. These will be given to my girlfriends, starting with Mary, Mindy and Mellissa. 2. Favorite lines? Oh yes. "I adore being fucked like I am not me." That's so fucked up it makes me teary. Oh, and "I will remember him as but as one more John on my list among many". I meant this litterally, and yet now realize the connotation of "John" as someone who frequents prostitutes. Oh, yeah. Damn that is sweet. The rest of it sucks, but is great as something cute to give my girlfriends. I will laregely scrap this, but I do miss writing some piece in order, from beginning to end in one sitting. I used to do that all the time. 3. The goddamn bee is still alive. Oh, you didn't realize that this was real? It's oh so real, and that fucker just wont die. Hopefully it'll be dead by the time I get home from work. --M]

3.12.2007

Bitch, be cool.

Mindy has been schooling me hard lately on the bassist thing.

Oh, yeah--but guess what? She was wrong. Wrong.

What do I mean by that? Well, many things. Maybe that my own intuition was better than hers. Kind of.
There's also the possibility that I'm more scared than I will let on to her brilliance: meaning I wont admit that she was right just because circumstances support me. The point of it all? As I explained in the superball story earlier: FUCK IT.

Miranda, thanks for using Ticketmaster. Your order number is 12-47132/NCA
Qty Event/Item Venue: Delivery
1 MASTODON - AGAINST ME! - CURSIVE
Wed, May 2, 2007 07:00 PM
The Warfield
San Francisco, CA Standard Mail *
Total Charge: US $38.70 View and print full order details

* Standard Mail - Your tickets will be mailed to your billing address and delivered no later than 48 hours before the event in a plain unmarked white envelope.

Sweet.
--M

3.09.2007

The Rules

Oh how we modern twenty-somthing independant type women covet The Rules. It's true, sometimes we need them. Especially in these no-strings-I-want-nothing-because-I-need-nothing type of redezvous's and casual meetings because with these, the rules are what keep these both safe and sacred.

But just then, mid all of your headcase/bullshit/independefemme glory, Enter...

Oh, whoa. Enter That Guy.

Don't get me wrong; this is neither purely autobiographical nor hypothetical because there will always be That Guy. And That Guy will either make all of that crap melt off of you like parrafin psychoses or at least make you want so badly for it to. We all have met that guy.

And hey, That Guy may even be That Girl, and That Girl may will things from you you thought previously impossible, and next thing you know standing alone on Powell and Market with a single fuschia gerber daisy, a smile on your face, and a pocket newly emptied as the proceeds went to the man at the flower shop. The smile? Because you actually want to gift this; this is a thig you want to do.

Funny how that happens, no?

And, then what happens when you try and fail? What happens when you don't know whether or not you have?

The Rules would state there are numbers of days before phones can be dialed. The Rules tell us that it's his own fucking fault, and The Rules scream at us that I'll be damned if I change myself for some goddamn man and if it's that important to him then he can just...

Right. We know those. But what if there are feelings already hurt, and there are powers still to be willed and some sort of hope and fight left before flight? What are we left when there is no granted proprietal course of action concerning the next day phone call to ask:

"Are you okay?"
--M

3.06.2007

Further proof that what's in my bed should stay in my bed.

From: tONE
Date: 05 Mar 2007, 16:42


Howdy. Good show coming up.
Friday 3/9
Form and Fate (headline)
the Aimless Never Miss
Silian Rail (open)
$5 21+
9pm
that is all


05 Mar 2007, 23:24
Subject: RE: Form and Fate @ House of Shields
Body: Regrettably, I will not be able to attend. It seems my band, Milkshake and the Unruly Trainwrecks will be playing an impromtu show at the Daly City Bowling Alley THAT SAME NIGHT! It seems we got alot of media attention as of late mostly due to our lead guitarist Mindizzle Blackheart (also known as your girlfriend) and her innovations in shredding guitar with her brastrap. Also it seems our live show is quite marketably titilating due to our lead singer, Lolita Queenstown's engaging upsidown-pole tricks during the hook of our new hit single, "I'm On iTunes, Bitch!!". Me? Well, I'm just the bassist which we all know doesn't count.
--M

If I've said it before, I've said it a grillion times: the bassist doesn't count.
Total bassists to date? Hmmm...let me get my list real quick.

1. Austin. But he was also more of a singer songwriter [read: he did the guitar thing, too.] Haha, he ws the first guy I ever slept with with tourettes. If you ever get the chance, ask me that story. It's a great one involving twelve egg ommelettes, Vitamin Water, hangovers of epic proportions, my ex-boyfriend John, his bandmate Johnathan, and my weed dealer from highschool. Kyle Eberle makes an appearance in this story, as well as Gavin and some guy named "Jay" who I don't even really know, but somehow makes it into a lot of Seattle stories.

2. Duncan. Okay, now before I say anything, I'll use the same defense I used the following morning: it was my birthday. Also, I got in a fight with my singer/songwriter ex Matthew that night, and I was a little...well, quite frankly I was wasted. I guess I just couldn't help sleeping with my girlfriend's dad's best friend and bandmate after seeing him on stage that night. I am however sorry that he was married.

3. Theodore. Now, I actually don't know for a fact that he played the bass, but I think he did; meaning, that's how I remember it. Maybe I just don't want that one to count considering I picked him up at a bar across town from the bar I had made out with him initially two weeks previously but unfortunately had blocked out initial make-out-session due to...what else? Drunkenness. The tattoo's finally gave me away, specifically the Soul Coughing one. On a side note: Theodore was the first person I slept with after recovering from scabies that were so graciously given to me by the lead singer of Rooster Boy and the Riders of the Apocalypse. That too is a fantastic story.

So...four Bassists out of how many total musicians? Okay, I know it's not my office day, but let's run some numbers.

Coming in at 21, the number of musicians I've slept with is just under 26% of the total. Of those, only 4 were bassists and so comprising only 19% of the musicians, and a mere 5% of the total. Comparitively, even lead singers when excluding singer/songwriters (I'm talkin' in a band) garner higher numbers, at 5 for 24% and 6% respectively. Of the remaining 12 people on this list, six were drummers and 5 played guitar, but were either not lead singers, or played solo. There was only ever one who was up to the task of merely singing lead vocals--and in a very Ramone's-esque turn of events, he lost me to his lead gutarist.

Go figure.

What I'm saying is that the bassist totally does not count.

Except for that guy from Fall Out Boy.

--M

3.03.2007

Long Time, No Post. Haha.

Why? Well, because as of late (two weeks), I have been unsuccesfully able to access my Google account which super sucks because my blog-o-verssary was on the 23rd (post pending).
On a side note, please e-mail me at M@MMoure.com for the time being. Actually, from now on.

Side note to what you ask? Hmm.

Kay.

Well, when I left Seattle almost two years ago, what was my only rule? No musicians. That's right, none at all. Did it work? Yeah, for the most part--save an on-again-off-again inconsequential stint with Sean Olmstead, yeah. Oh, and one bartender from Kimo's but seriously, THAT'S IT. In two years. Now, you have to understand that comparitively, I was, in Seattle, up to what was at times four a week. In my defense, it was usually just one or two. And usually not the lead singer.

So can one little Bassist really be that bad? I mean--he barely even counts. He has a job, and a place to live. He doesn't wear glasses. His name however is a bit disturbing.

How many are there going to be? I mean, that's now two Johnathans (one goes by Jake, and the other by his middle name, Michael), one John, one Jon, and now...

Well, I suppose that's semi-debatable. What happened last time I met a boy and then promptly got on a plane?
Do I have to have the window's discussion again?

But my kitchen is remarkably clean.
--M
(p.s.--I don't doubt that you, through the magic of the internet and my
clever-assed best girlfriend, will see this. So thanks for cleaning my
kitchen, Johnny.)

(p.p.s.--ARIZONA SUCKS. On that note, San Francisco rules hard.)