I wrote a few words to a beautiful photograph by Jiao Chen, and my brother, Rictor Craig, sang it.
A few weeks ago, I was in Mexico to see the Madame CJ Walker exhibit in Tijuana. While coming back into the US, I was waiting in line, in my car, taking photos of the vendors and situations. I took a photo of this man, walking by, carrying scarves, a basket, and rugs.
The photo developed, and everything was there except his head, hands, and body. Only what we was wearing, and carrying.
With no explanation. And we never saw him again. TRUE.
[photography by Jiao Chen]
You are where the ink got wasted
The blood was tasted and the wines were sweet
The countrysides were sometimes splendid
And the rain tired on your feet
My hands are bastardized, tarred and sullied
My veins are bitter and so sweet
These hills of Virginia are graceless muddied
And the rain tires on my feet
We will watch from behind an aperture
We will see the roofs we will see the fleet
We will watch for falling rocks and rubble
And rain tiring on our feet
In the shower, while the Head and Shoulders for Men is running down my face and I’m afraid to open my eyes, I think about things that matter, and poems, and songs I wish I’d written, and songs that remind me of friends that’ve died, and loves I lost, and food I ate in Santa Fe.
I showered earlier today right before running errands, and even though California’s in a drought, I showered again because I ran out of toilet paper and didn’t realize it until after shitting, and I needed to be 100% clean in case the night takes me on a journey. In this second shower I decided to let a friend go because I think I’m heart broken.
I want to grow old with my friends. I was on instagram today, going through Big Dave’s (Davia) photos, and laughed because I can’t wait to see the old woman she turns into. I can’t wait until Heron turns 50 and the bash we’ll throw.
Back to it. A friend decided the loving friendship I offered was no match against the insecurities of a man she likes, and removed me from anything he could see. So in the shower I coped with no more random piercings at 3am, no more tattoos in west bumfuck, and no more awesome experimentations in the kitchen between awful movies. She pops up sporadically to check on me from a distance. I’m an in-your-face friend. So I put the chalk to the pavement, washed the Head and Shoulders away and made it to the living room in time to hear Bastille’s Pompeii.
I believe in mermaids, and everything I’ve seen while hallucinating. I love that about myself. I don’t argue to prove they exist, and I love that, too. I lost a friend recently who I truly admired; not to death. I’m a year behind a schedule I set for myself when I was sitting at a desk right out of undergrad, but years ahead of the schedule I set for myself while walking by a canal in Amsterdam. And I love all of this.
I’v been in love a few times, some more potent than others, but none I want to forget. I talk about friendship more than I talk about anything because it’s important to me. I’m proud of my ability to form lasting relationships with amazing people. I want them around forever. I’m still the outsider of all my groups. I bring cliques together, but never join. Except the one from college.
I’m not anti drug, and I’m starting to come around to wine when paired with something. Saying “paired” lets me know I’m getting older. I want to start seeing a therapist regularly just to have someone to talk to who isn’t emotionally invested in me. Maybe I’ll hire someone off craigslist to come and sit on my couch to watch House of Cards with me and just listen to little tidbits I drop.
I still look good on paper when it’s necessary to write me down, and I’m starting to love California. I know how necessary it is to sometimes cut people out of your life, but I haven’t mastered that yet, and I accept meetups I shouldn’t. Jill says I tend to put on dirty drawls, and I should stop.
I look forward to old age because it means I can see my kid and future kids and friends’ kids grow and carry torches or ignite flames. I get to see what they’ll do with that I left. I made sugar cookies out of whatever I found in the cabinet last week when snowed in in DC.
But that’s me. And I like me now. I’ve always liked me, and that makes me lucky and happy.
I love you because
Five floor walk up
1 to the 2 to the E
I’m sitting in the airport again. In the last three weeks and two days I’ve been in eight airports, on two trains, one ship, one bus, and two rental cars. All that to get around two countries but only three new locations. The others were old stomping grounds where I left pieces of myself. Where I left old friends, half a bottle of Honey Jack, and a sad look on a few faces. They were all still there.
I’m not with everyone I started with, but I am with those who are most important right now, and meeting more and more people who are actually happy. Have you ever surrounded yourself with happy people? I mean genuinely happy people? Those who love their life enough to put it above everything else. Some who were raised to do so, and some who do so in spite of everything else, and have to consciously maintain it, but they do it without flaw.
Feelin’ It is still heavily played on my iTunes and as long as I have enough crutches to get me through expected injuries and the few I over-budget for, all will be well.
What happens next will not be unbelievable, but it will be amazing. I’ve positioned myself on the chess board. I’m inspired by the pawns who’ve moved on; some became greater, some are gone and aren’t returning. “I’ll be here,” I tell them.
What and who I’ve inspired is inspiring. What and who inspires me constantly changes, but I have pictures of most of those places, and some of those people. I love architecture now, and I want to see where I fit with that. I want to make film every week, and I want to piss people off as much as possible. I want an Opus. I want to actively support the dreams and goals of all my friends, even if it costs money. I want a birthday this year that is different and amazing.
So, even if it ain’t sunny, I ain’t complaining. I’ll be in the rain, putting myself in a position most of these folks aren’t in. Inspiring and being inspired.