Tuesday, August 4, 2009

a million little pieces

I’ve been up for almost 30 hours save for the 20 minute cat nap I managed to squeeze in before my itunes skipped over my library of ryan adams and started blaring a santogold remix right as I drifted off. oh well. It wasn’t until I got home from a really darling miniature thai food dinner party that things got hairy and I embarked upon a less than fantastic voyage of sleeplessness. at a thrift store yesterday I happened across a book called “written on the body”, and though the cheesy erotic clip art on the cover originally deterred me, I knew I’d heard of it somewhere before. reading the flap, I realized that jorge had recommend that I read it many years ago. all I’d known of the plot was that it was a love story written from the point of view of a protagonist of unspecific gender. that sounded intriguing… worth a buck, at least, so I picked it up along with an e.e. cummings anthology and made for the register.

It was exciting in a way to have snatched back a little fleeting memory of us that was for all intensive purposes lost; it was a second chance at taking his advice, which was always top notch, that I’ll never be on the receiving end of again. maybe it wasn’t a sign, but perhaps just a small something that could be comforting, make it easier to pretend that he’s floating on foam pool noodles in the tropics instead of six feet under in florida. I deemed it my bedtime reading material and curled up in bed with rufus and started in on it, to discover that it bore more eerie similarities to Jorge and I’s doomed relationship than I was comfortable with, and stirred up some really unpleasant emotions that I have bottled up and shoved in the recesses of my psyche to save for when I can afford therapy for a REASON. It was like a brilliantly written british literary gumbo of true love, infidelity, cancer, death, terrible timing and abandonment. and I couldn’t put it down. so I read it cover to cover, and then laid staring at the wall until dawn with a tornado of hurt and confusion in my head, went to get coffee at 7:30 and spent the afternoon walking around manhattan in a daze. I couldn’t have just picked up “goodnight moon” or “authentic ethiopian cooking”? I had to pick the footlong dildo of mindfuck reading material and go to browntown with no lube?

here is an excerpt:

“’You’ll get over it…’ It’s the clichés that cause the trouble. To lose someone you love is to alter your life for ever. You don’t get over it because ‘it’ is the person you loved. The pain stops, there are new people, but the gap never closes. How could it? The particularness of someone who mattered enough to grieve over is not made anodyne by death. This hole in my heart is in the shape of you and no-one else can fit it. Why would I want them to?

I’ve thought a lot about death recently, the finality of it, the argument ending mid-air. One of us hadn’t finished, why did the other one go? And why without warning? Even death after long illness is without warning. The moment you had prepared for so carefully took you by storm. The troops broke through the window, snatched the body and the body is gone. The day before the Wednesday last, this time a year ago, you were here, and now you’re not. Why not? Death reduces us to the baffled logic of a small child. If yesterday than why not today? And where are you?

Fragile creatures of a small blue planet, surrounded by light years of silent space. Do the dead find peace beyond the rattle of the world? What peace is there for us whose best love cannot return them even for a day? I raise my head to the door and think I will see you in the frame. I know it is your voice in the corridor but when I run outside the corridor is empty. There is nothing I can do that will make any difference. The last word was yours.

The fluttering in my stomach goes away and the dull waking pain. Sometimes I think of you and feel giddy. Memory makes me lightheaded, drunk on champagne. All the things we did. And if anyone had said that this was the price I would have agreed to pay it. That surprises me; that with the hurt and the mess comes a shaft of recognition. It was worth it. Love is worth it.”

-Jeanette Winterson

I don’t have much more to offer on this right now (largely due to being braindead until I get some rest), other than I highly recommend that you pick up a copy of the book. it probably will not give you a nervous breakdown-lite, and there is some really unique prose between its covers. every time I think that I’m “over it”, there’s always something there to remind me otherwise. hope you’re resting peacefully, Jorge. thanks for the free membership to the book club beyond the grave. I’d like to see oprah top that shit.


“Written on the body is a secret code only visible in certain lights; the accumulations of a lifetime gather there. In places the palimpsest is so heavily worked that the letters feel like Braille. I like to keep my body rolled up away from prying eyes. Never unfold too much, tell the whole story. I didn’t know that Louise would have reading hands. She has translated me into her own book.”

1 comment:

holly said...

dude, i dunno all your backstory here, but i love this post and i LOVE jeanette winterson. read The Passion next. serious. number one all-time favorite book.