Brattle to Broadway

Live from Au Bon Pain, Harvard Square

It’s barely seven in the morning on this perfect Saturday, cool enough for shivers but not enough to make me wish my hair was dry. I woke up at 5:07 with the sun on my face and decided to take a cue from nature and get moving early.

I was going to preface this entry with a warning that it will be a jumpy and directionless with no central theme except once again engaging in the process of writing outloud after a week of fearfully hiding behind other people’s words. But it has been brought to my attention that perhaps I should stop prefacing everything, and apologizing, and I know I need to stop taking things back, and being empathetic that one should have to endure my existence, and I’m learning as I go and not regretting any of this experience — this hesitant shoving of creation out into the world, for better or worse. I’m growing immensely and trying to move forward each day, no matter how stumblingly. Thanks for joining me.

You will get no apologies and no prefaces from me today. (Wait. Wasn’t that a preface?)

Oxford to Mossland to Elm to Willow to Kidder to College to Broadway. I’ve been walking a lot lately. Last summer at this time I was ready to slit my throat with pain from my broken leg, and trying to get out of the damn cast, and being told that I’d never run again (ha! you should have seen me yesterday on mile three) so I am grateful to most of the time be able to move about as I please.

I’ve been walking home from Harvard Square most days of the week. I’ve been loving the walk, and though it takes me much longer than one might expect, it is not about the commute to me. It’s about feeling present in my body, and using all of it, and not severing its connection with my mind. It’s about realizing that red roses and white roses smell differently, and that yellow roses smell sweeter, and that all three smell the best when soaked with rain.

It’s about finding this giant chair this morning, carved into a treetrunk on the sidewalk of Oxford St. I stopped and looked at the treechair for a minute, slimy green on the outside and covered with moss, and it completely cracked me up. Immediately, as I always do, I began plotting photograph scenarios — who I could put in the chair for the perfect picture and what they’d be doing. For some reason it reminded me of the photograph I took of Eisuke on my parent’s front lawn in Connecticut — discarded bits and pieces lined up for trash day — and he was sitting on a toilet on the side of the road with his legs crossed and his pink hair sticking up, smoking a cigarette. Of course, Eisuke created photographs every where he went. All I had to do was show up. I’ll have to come up with something good for that tree trunk. I have plenty of time — it’s probably not going anywhere.

This morning I walked without music, which is a rarity for me, Minidisc player permantently imbedded in my skull like some character from a Gibson novel. I walked along without music because it was quiet, and because there was rhythm to my footfalls, because Davis Square at 6:00 AM suddenly looked to me like it did on New Year’s Day 1999 when I went out at sunrise to get orange juice and found the place completely deserted, and it was such a strange and surreal sight, like a stage before the play begins.

Walking through Porter I passed by Acadia Street, and realized that there was a sign hanging there that said “Acadia Street — No Outlet” and I looked at myself, where I am, physically and mentally, emotionally and spiritually, and I said, “Oh yes — there is. ” I survived a torrid summer on Acadia Street, sweating and hurting and dreaming and hating. And while it could have held me captive for lack of an Outlet, I had made my own.

I walked by that street and smiled to myself, seeing the sagging front porch at the end of the cul de sac. I have survived many things in the past three years, and survived them all through the work of my own hands.

Here is a phenomenon I’d like to explore further: people whose dogs beg (unforgivable to begin with) and they get pissed and yell at the dog and then give it a piece of food from the table and angrily say, “Now go away!” People need pet psychology. Maybe I’ll hold a seminar at CCAE.

Hey I meant that kind of jokingly, but maybe that’s a good idea. People around here are a little bit psycho about their dogs anyway. They’d pay for that. Joyful Canine College.

Yesterday was Friday and I took the day off from work. I took a vacation day because I felt I needed it. Things been wearing me thin at the ol’ dot com. Most days I love it. But some days the thought of typing one more word makes me want to vomit on the keyboard. So I took a day off to still the nausea.

I had a hot date with myself (not in the Polyester Chicken sense) and I bought a particularly juicy swordfish steak, and grilled it just for me, and sat at my perfect kitchen table listening to the radio and reading the Village Voice.

It was one of the best dates I’ve had in a while and I’m glad that I can sit in a room alone and feel like I’m in good company, and take care of myself in this fashion, and treat myself to asparagus cooked exactly how I like it because I’m the only one eating it and there’s no one complaining that their pee is going to smell funny.

Benjamin and I are getting a snake. I spent Thursday night lusting after newborn Colombian Red Tail Boas online. I want an albino one so bad it hurts, but they start at $1,000. Yeah. As my mother says, “If you spent that much money on an animal, you’d be down there giving it mouth to mouth if it died.”

We are setting up a slick terrarium where the television used to be, which is part of the reason I cancelled the cable. I will be sure to post plenty of gorgeous pictures of her when she arrives in the mail via UPS. She will be very tiny and will grow very quickly. I will bring her to shows, like my last snake Izzi, who loved rock and roll. See, snakes don’t have ears, so they can’t actually hear, but they have tympanic membranes that allow them to feel the vibrations. Izzi loved ska. And the cool thing was, Izzi helped a woman overcome her irrational fear of snakes by letting her curl carefully around her arm. She was a sugary sweet snake.

The sun climbs now. It’s getting warm. The back of my neck is burning. I’m digging this morning. Thanks for sharing it with me.

This may be all for now. Going to walk a bunch more today. It helps me slow down. It helps me remain present. Be. Feel the rhythm of footfalls on moist brick, the gentle pulse of traffic, being able to see all the flowers on Mossland, on Kidder, the huskies on College, the smell of the laundromat on Mass Ave.

Walking by my old apartment on Elm Street, next to the bike shop, yellow stucco and bars on the window, the summer the Interstate Archive was born, bringing back memories of heat in that bare and dusty room, loving the freedom of not living in the dorm for the first time in my life, standing on the sidewalk on the corner of Elm and Willow in my pajamas throwing bottles at the streetlight, trying in vain to shatter it just once so I could sleep without the relentless phosphorescence glaring through my eyelids all night.

With that I go. In case you’re not sure what to listen to on this perfect clean and sparkling Idaho day, I recommend Josh Ritter‘s “Golden Age of Radio.” If you like it, you can go see him play at Lilli’s tonight.