other all the way to 1st ave then 14th then finally 8th avenue. the guy next to me was listening to "Hol' Up" which luckily i could hear through his headphones and mediate on until he got off. last night i was watching a documentary on big cats and how they're the perfect predator (pulling and hauling shit down at dawn and dusk, built for use, built for purpose) and this morning in the belly of the big steel snake with all those vacant gazes and handbags tucked all tight i felt sorta out of place, just like, in the wrong song, or something. not like i'm jonesin' to take down a giraffe in heels or some shit in the early AMs but just like, liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiike - unease, and still unsettled. i am not sure what makes one toss the anchor over the boat. maybe it is meeting someone with an anchor-sized cut-out in their chest, maybe it is meeting someone who says they know you already and what you say is so predictable it makes you feel that, already already, already known, maybe it is meeting someone who talks slow and infrequently and so when they do speak you want to park yourself in their stories and hear more and make them rewind all the way back to the beginning and embed yourself in their chapters and help write the new ones, or maybe it has nothing to do with anyone else, as always, but rather just time, like, you've been out to sea doing the same shit that the next island you see, any island you see, looks better because it is exactly that, an island, and so are you. i don't know. i take photos of myself because i have never been able to see me. yet with distance i can always see, except that now it is me, my older self, seeing someone much younger, who should have been _____ . should have been whatever. i mean there is danger in that sentiment so now my days contain mantras and quick glances in windows along 57th street and the thoughts now are to not think that because remember how you saw yourself then? the only place i've ever really known i've rejected; which seems tragic but perhaps it's just hormones??? i open that up to the floor... ERB says nothing in the past informs the future. i chewed on that one for a long time because it felt as if that were EXACTLY what informed the future, and as if everything were written on my forehead, or in someones' book i would never read, like i was manifesting this sameness. of my difference i always think the same, and in my indifference i am anything but the same. i do believe that in me there are two fishes swimming in opposite directions, i do. everything is one or the other, rejection or unconditional, infatuation or gone, but maybe that is just uncalled for and rash? i'm not sure! i feel like mostly we are finding sane ways to cope. i feel like we are outlining our lives in colored crayon. i feel like we are just motioning, but not in motion. i do not know who is really living. i tell ERB that these mantras are positive and that's all she needs to know. in the morning when the 'heat pipes just clang,' or at night when my roommate's guitar is grating at the gates of the avant garde greats, i (eyes already closed) think about - mostly - the wonderful, and what defines wonderful, and if i fit there. in my mind i forgive and i forget, and i wish it the best things in whatever corner of the world. i wish it love, and i wish myself love, and i try to eject the reject button ERB says is always looking for real estate in my body. in the morning on the train i have no more daydreams because the lines i've given you in my head are just that. i do not know how long i will bench these daydreams, but it doesn't seem to matter. their weight is as heavy as this anchor i cannot toss overboard.
i haven't really spoken about "The Autists," as i call them - the group of young men i meet with every month to take photos. on this trip we rode on a boat around the island of manhattan. one of them is always sneaking photos of me which is fine in that i want them to take photos of people. he thinks he is being sly but a watcher is aware of being watched. clocked. these photos are those he snuck of me. the other young men gaze out over the boat above the freezing spray and see a whole lotta space. i say "what about the water? what does that look like through the camera?!" i say "hey, look at that person at the edge of the boat, isn't her coat fabulous!? what does that look like through the camera?" i say "royce! can you get over this rope? what does that look like in the camera?! can you flash it?!" but mostly each one lives his reality, instead, staring out at the world, thinking que sé yo, underneath a tiny, high moon in a digi-blue sky, preferring the violent wind in his eyes, to a viewfinder shoved hard against his face.