27 May 2007

I'm Sprung

Here's just no other way to say it.

I am really into erika. we spent the past 24 hours together, and it was absolutely amazing. i'll be french and ask a rhetorical question and then answer it myself:

Could our date possibly have been any better? no, according to my recent calcluations, which included:

Our first kiss, which was in my new apartment, in the hallway, on the hardwood floor, between the glass cupboard and the kitchen counter.

An incredible dinner at this peruvian restaurant on armitage where we ate:

Arroz con mariscos--absolutely delicious

Pesti de gallina--pesto spaghetti with breaded steak and potatoes. . . i even sampled the steak--not impresed--but the spaghetti was so damn good

Una inka cola--tasted just like boston creme soda. super yum.

Tea at filter, lavender and jasmine. and it's here at this cafe where it hit both of us: there was no one in that cafe except us. of course there were tons of cafe hoppers, maclovers, wiry hipsters, muted rage poets--typical wp--but we didn't notice them, i mean, how could we? we were a foreground of 2 bold strokes, a two-person act, an awkward couplet of battered silence and splintered words, almond-shaped eyes and fingers criss-crossing like a cat's cradle, we were lost, completely removed from everything, not flaunting our relationship as a way of completing it, but entranced by the brutal clarity of that opened sky, that naked moment without cliches, fear, pain, memory, ego, defense mechanism, psychohistory, role playing, self-mirroring. it was everything i haven't been since i was a teenager, and it wasn't pushed by awkwardness or insecurity, but by magenetism and joy. i was just there, with erika, i was completely there, like krishnamurthi talks about in his book of life, i was there, and i could hear everything around me, i was completely aware of everything, but i only saw her. if eyes can be meditation, then surely relationships can be ashrams. . .

Afterwards we came back to my place and we:

Ate cannolis + chocolate mousse cakes that should have been called "the spice" for you dune fans out there

And then, we made out for hours and hours and hours. the kisses were like a complete meal in and of themselves. they were passionate, soft, tender, sweet, and i was calm and turned on like a sleeping g4.

This morning, we kissed and kissed and kissed until our bodies were ravaged with hunger for the things that can't consume us, and so in the afternoon, we made a nice salad with smoked salmon, avocado, sweet sesame sticks, spinach, carrots, goddess dressing, olive oil, fresh pepper, and then we went back to my bedroom and made out some more. if lips can be addiction, then i'm in some serious shit man. i can hear amy wineburg singing "rehab" and i kinda like it.

But here's the straight dope:

After all of that, we talked on my bed, sometimes in spanish, sometimes in english, and eventually, we became so open to each other, after our first kiss, our first night together, our 3rd date in 7 months, after seeing erika at my front door, dressed in a cute black dress with a little attached belt, her matching red earrings, headband and shoes, she was so beautiful then, standing there, glowing like a piece of carved star, this morning, on my bed, dressed in my notre dame t-shirt, she was so radiant and kind and raw and affectionate, and something broke inside both of us after i told her how beatiful she was to me, after she told me that i saw her for who she was, how she used to think she was crazy, but now she doesn't, and we just cried, it was so bizarre and ridiculous and amazing, we just started crying because we loved each other in that moment, we were nothing more and nothing less than we were when we were together then.

And i am completely lost in these memories, whether or not i come back.

25 May 2007

Ah, Chicago

How i love you. okay, after packing until 5:30 in the morning last night, and moving all of this stuff to the second floor of my kickass apartment, i am absolutely wiped out. a few nice things about today:

My apartment is amazing

My roomate is fucking rad

23 May 2007

Goodbye SoBe, Welcome Back Cotter

So tonight is my LAST night in sobe, and if i wasn't so damn tired from all the packing, i know i'd be waxing nostalgic about the 2 years i spent in this apartment, BECOMING the writer i always wanted to be.

I gave my neighbors a box of food, it's such a waste to throw away perfectly good food, i hate that, and then i carried 3 bags of clothes to the salvation army last night, and i've thrown away more things than i've packed. i have more thoughts about packing, thoughtful interesting meditations about packing, but i'm too tired to write them now. so here's an * until i can give you the real dope.

I went to the computer cluster and tried to take advantage of my print balance since it's just gonna disappear anyway, so i printed something like 700 pages: a linear copy of my novel and a bunch of my fiction. it makes sense. then i went to the creative writing office and said goodbye to Coleen, Kim, and Karmen. they were all so sweet. i hugged them, coleen gave me a kiss on the cheek. i walked to the library circle, watched a duck swimming in the preternaturally blue pond, i got one last good look at the golden dome, and then i hopped on the bus and came home.

I'm tired but really happy about my life. i'm grateful to notre dame, and even south bend, for giving me the time/space to develop my talent and remember why i'm here. i'm leaving this city with some incredible memories, a tome of writing, and some important friendships. mashallah.

Okay, now it's time to finish packing, and maybe clean a little bit.

Oh, my rick ross blurb is finally up.

Tomorrow, CHICAGO, my home!

20 May 2007

Why I'm Not a Hippy

I just finished a conversation with beth that was SO hilarious, and she tried to tell me i'm a hippy, which is funny and absurd. here's my response to that:


Why i could be a hippy

1. I recycle
2. I use some tom's and alba products
3. I once lived in a co-op for a semester at oberlin
4. I used to love smoking pot 10 years ago
5. I think people should compost, recycle, buy local and or organic when they can
6. I care about the environment alot
7. I don't litter
8. I'm happy

Why i could never be a hippy

1. Hippies smell, and if i smell at all, it's either façonnable or be delicious, motherfucker!
2. Hippies have no sense of style, and i do
3. Hippes are the opposite of urban, and i'm superurban
4. Everyone on the west coast recycles, most of whom are not hippies
5. Tank, the co-op i lived in at Oberlin, had so FEW hippies, that we actually called the hippies, "the hippies," and everyone knew who you were talking about
6. Gangsta like smoking weed, and they're not hippies
7. Again, this describes most of the west coast and much or urban america
8. Again, this is west coast, and many republicans care about the environment too, even if they don't act like it
9. No one should litter, it's pathetically lazy
10. Buddhists, gay people, children, mexican picnics, born agains--they're all strangely happy, and not, might i add, the slightest bit hippy
11. I don't sew my clothes or ask for change so I can buy wheatgrass shots
12. I don't wear a nose hoop
13. I don't follow Phish around
14. I have a home, motherfuckers!
15. I'm monogamous
16. I definitely don't think it's all good, Just many things

--But you have buddha tattoos jackson, beth said.
--I'm a fucking buddhist! i said.
--Lots of hippies are buddhists.
--No they're not. That's not true at all, I said, and besides, most hippies would be BAD buddhists, even if they were.

I do agree with bee, though, that i'm slightly new-agey in an urban way. that's true, and again, that's very west coast i think. i have read deepak chopra and found some of his advice marvelous, and i've read a few other books that are new age classics + I'm not ashamed of that at all. But i believe the true definition of new agey requires you to have at least FIVE new age books in your collection, and i only have one book, PERFECT HEALTH, which i lent to my friend m2. I will admit, however, that i've read some of the big classics, and i DO love the dalai lama, and i am happy whenever i walk into a new age bookstore. it feels like home. but the question i have now is, does being spiritual mean being new agey? i mean, humans have been spiritual well before this multi-billion dollar movement of self-surgery began.

I think Bee needs to spend more time in the west coast. . . .

18 May 2007

Get out of My Fucking Dreams!

I had this intense dream about devon--the last real love of mine--and she just showed up out the blue in this bookstore where i was browsing through lit journals, and as she tried talking to me, i'd get really pissed off and and shout something and then, in this soft voice she'd say, that's not what i was trying to say at all, and i'd apologize, and realize i'd overreacted and that i still had so many triggers, and that i was still so vulnerable with her. the dream ended like this:

I knew she and i didn't know how to be together, but i couldn't let her go either, i didn't want her to leave. in my dream, i still had hope even though that place of shared space emotionally speaking, was so cluttered, heavy and awkward. . . in my dream she'd disappeared to wander through south america--which is totally true, by the way--but just appeared out of the blue in this bookstore (read: borgesian epistemological symbol) that morphed into a bedroom, the place where she and i connected the most, through cuddling, love-making, our kitties, falling asleep on our bed in our house on cable street, the way i'd have to carry them to the couch each and every night like children, the walls she and i painted blue (specifically, "capri grotto"), the fusion between public space and mental space (private space), between knowledge and intimacy, between the personal search of truth--which was pressuposed in this dream as predating the dream as a metaphor of travel--and the search of union, yo, this dream was fraught with so many little details.

I have to wonder if devon has been thinking about me recently, we have this strange tendency to invade each other's dreams during moments when we're on each other's minds.

16 May 2007

Beautiful Day in South Bend

Today has been just a fantastic day, even though i stayed in my apartment for most of it. here are some highlights:

1. I'm on the last chapter of my novel and it's coming along beautifully. right now i'm at on page 386, and i think it's gonna be around 400 pages, but that's cool. i'm hoping to finish this draft of my book by the end of this week, or the weekend, giving me enough time to revise 2 stories and 1 memoir this weekend so i can print them out with my surplus printing balance at the library next week.

2. I checked my grades today and i got another 4.0 leaving my cumulative gpa at 3.96. what this really means is, i'm gonna graduate, and that's so fucking sick.

3. I went out with setsuko (formerly known as shiga sensei) and our friend emi. we met a japanese guy and a thai guy (who spoke almost perfect japanese) at the mishiwaka brewery, and we talked for hours in japanese. sometimes my brain hurt, so i switched to english to talk with emi and setsuoko about traveling, skype, banana yoshimoto and murakami haruki, american elections, notre dame's miserly pay scale for adjuncts, cross-cultural dating, stuff like that. cool convos really. i think the thai and the japanese dude thought i was a thug for half the night, but eventually we did talk about some interesting stuff, though it's really hard explaining what a MFA is in japanese when creative writing doesn't exist either as a concept nor as an academic specialization in japanese.

4. The bulls won again, and fuck, now, it's a goddamn series. even if they lose to the pistons this week, 4-2 is respectable, and if the bulls win in chicago, shit, then it's 3-3 and it's a one game series and i totally believe in my chicago bulls. i just love that they proved the haters wrong and went out there and played with enormous heart and intensity. that's how it should be played.

5. Setsuko told me that i had one of the two highest grades on the japanese final. --it was almost perfect, she said, you must have studied alot. and you know, she's right, i did study quite a bit for that.

6. I checked my balance and i FINALLY have money. my last MFA grad student stipend disbursement. sigh. but this is a good thing cuz i only had like a 100 bucks in my account so now i breathe easily.

7. Erika sent me the sweetest email and now we've decided that we have a date a week from this friday, and we're gonna eat yummy thai or japanese or eithiopian food and eat canolis and that's like a dream to me. i even told her, between you and the canolis, i'm one of the happiest men on earth. and there was no room for hyperbole in that rich, sweet, cream filled declaration of mine cuz it's obviously true.

12 May 2007

Gagging on the Influx

Tonight i ate drunken noodles that were so spicy i was practically gagging. and i thought i was hardcore.

Today, i walked around campus and counted cars of parents coming to pick up their kidz from another year of god country notre dame. in the span of 5 seconds i noticed license plates from:

Illinois
Vermont
Texas
Wisconsin
Connecticut
Azerbaijan.

Okay, i made up the last one. there was no azerbaijani license plate. i haven't seen one of those guyz since i was in baku.

Though i'm sticking to my pledge of remaining single for the next month, at the same time, i'm really gonna love the next relationship i'm in if for no other reason than because i'm sick of porn and porn only makes sense to me when you're single. i never even glance at it when i'm dating someone. porn: the ultimate cheap date.

I need to start packing soon, but secretly, i'm afraid to. my 2 years overall, have been so good, and packing means migrating, and migrating is temporary, and my apartment in sobe, however imperfect, represent the opposite of the temporary.

06 May 2007

4 Days of Epiphanies, Music + Emotions

Well, this has been one of the most exciting weekends in quite awhile.

First off, erika came to visit me. and it was awesome. i really didn't know what to expect to be honest cuz the first time was really nice, but i couldn't tell whether there was chemistry or not since our first date was so unusual since:

1. I was wearing a suit for my JET program, which made me feel like i was interviewing her for the position of girlfriend.
2. I had an absolute time limit since my JET interview was in 2 hours so i couldn't be laid back like i'm normall am
3. It was fucking freezing outside so the walk to big bowl was a trial by ice
4. Ginza, the kick-ass sushi restaurant i had planned for out first date, was closed, hence the trial by ice
5. We were both kinda nervous
6. Erika threw up on the table, and her projectile (a piece of tofu) hit me right in the face. i'm just kidding, that didn't happen.

But it was like a perfect first--well,technically second, but first normal--date. we:

Ate thai dinner at the thai trailer

Walked around the lake and then i showed her around nd's campus

Visited the grotto, lit votives together (i tried hard not to think of that modern english song)

Went back to my place, drank tea, nibbled on chocolate

I layed some electronic music for her i'd written years ago

Talked for hours and hours about everything and i was totally into it

We hugged a little bit, i kissed her on the cheeks, smelled her hair

She stayed over until 4ish, and i ALMOST convinced her to stay over. . . no, i wasn't trying to Sleep with her, i just thought it woulda been nice to drive back to chicago together.

We were totally giddy. . . i couldn't even look at her sometimes cuz i was grinning like an idiot
anyway, it was really surprising. . . i kinda started feeling something that hasn't gone away since.

Friday, i took the train to chicago, went to H & M, and bought a cool button down (tight-fitting, deliberately wrinkled), before going to borders and looking up the atlantic college fiction winners. then i met my future roomie at argo tea--she's def cool. i really like her and got along well and we're both really excited about our new place. it's gonna be sick man.

Then i met em at her dad's place in the gold coast, right near the latin school, stunning apartment on the 26th floor overlooking the lake and most of LP.

The AIR concert at riviera was fucking fantastic. they played almost every song of theirs i loved, except the ones with guest cameos, of course, and i was standing 8 rows back from the stage--or whatever you call human bodies standing in a broken line. special standouts incluced "la femme d'argent," "high school lover," "radian," "people in the city" and "don' be light." "cherry blossom girl" was kinda disappointing since darkel's voice sounds kinda flimsy without some studio reinforcement. still, it was so amazing seeing one of my fave groups of all time live. there's nothing quite like it.



Afterwards, em and i went to this 24-hour diner, but left once we realized it was a fucking cowfest--nothing but meat.

At her dad's sweet place, we ended up kissing--it was inevitable--passionately, tenderly, but then emily stopped me and basically wanted some clarification on what it meant. i really couldnt' say. i was mostly going with the flow, and also, i realized we were kissing for 2 different reasons:

I was kissing to see how it felt. i mean, i wanted to since we never have before, but that being said, i also wanted to see how it felt emotionally, whether i'd like it alot, whether it provoked stronger feelings of affection, desire, lust, emotion in me.

She kissed me cuz, well, she likes me, and i think cuz she wants to be my boo. okay, i know she does cuz she's made some "jokes" to her friends how i'm her future husband and all. . .

Neither desire/expectation is wrong, but the point is, they don't converge.

In bed, we ended up making out some more--with a bit more sexual flourish this time--and then i morphed in to the stereotypical male somehow afterwards. i was kinda hugging her as i fell asleep, but she kept talking and talking and talking, and then i was pleading with em in my head to sleep for the love of god, which eventually she did, or maybe she didn't, i don't know, but i did. i can't explain to you how exhausted i was from everything--the concert, studying for my japanese oral exam, writing, the date with erika that lasted until almost 5 once i went to bed, everything. the next morning, we kissed some more, but something had def changed inside me. i still have TONS of affection and appreciation and respect for emily, but i know now, so clearly, that even though i might adore em, it's not in the way that she wants me to, not in the way i wish i did, or used to, last year, i mean. and that's no one's fault. at some point, when the time is right, i'll have to sit down and have a talk with her about that if i think she hasn't figured it out. . .it's the only compassionate thing to do in the situation.

The other thing i realized today is (in part as a result of kissing Em), i'm starting to have some feelings for erika, like some strong feelings i didn't expect--maybe that's part of the reason i'm allowing myself to have them, i dunno. There was a time when I was so crazy into Em, but for whatever reason, the timing was never right. And now, as much as I adore her, respect her + am attracted to her spirit, it doesn't feel right to me anymore. And as strange as this sound, only kissing her helped me understand how my feelings have changed.

I still don't know whether my recent feelings for Erika will lead to anything or not yet and i'm not allowing myself to get into a relationship once i move back to chicago for at least the first month because i don't think i should rush into anything right now. i think it makes sense to just take it slow, and see what develops organically over time without settling for something, or doing something out of a sense of obligation or sexual urgency. so i don't have to have the answers right now, but certain things are starting to make sense, and others clearly don't feel right.

::

I walked to my fave vegetarian restaurant in lakeview--the chicago diner--and ordered a veggie philly steak sandwich and banana choclate smoothi. so good in fact, i decided to omit a silent e. whoah man. it was amazing, as usual.

Afterwards, i walked around, went to intelligentsia, drank some really smooth and clear green tea, wrote a lousy poem on a napkin. eventually, my brother showed up, we talked about relationships, sara, his ex, erika, em, mum and dad, my move back to chicago, wick's upcoming projects, and then we walked to the LP and ate sandwiches at the bourgeois pig. the barista was sweet and cute, and gave me great advice on a sandwich with hummus and pesto that shouldn't have worked, but really did. and then i took the train back here, knowing the whole time that this was the last time i was RETURNING to sobe instead of visiting.

And then erika and i talked for 3 hours on the phone.

So yes, these past 3-4 days have been really quite amazing. now, i'm gonna sleeeeeeeeep for like 10 hours. i can't wait.