Because I use “hallmark holidays” such as this to do artsy-fartsy projects.XD And to ward off feelings of INAL-ity and make up for two weeks of zero blog posts, this V-day I came up with three such projects!
2. Something LITERARY (and sappy)
Author’s note: this fictional “letter” is made entirely of lines I’ve tweeted from February 2010 to February 2011 (all hyperlinked), many of which are quotes by someone else (see footnotes). Some tenses have been changed and transitional words/phrases added for coherence.
UPDATE (March 2011): I realized that since I deleted my Twitter account, the links here to specific tweets are all broken. FAIL.
I WROTE THIS FOR YOU
The bus glides through a ghost town seen through a foggy glass. As I face the road distracted by the varicolored glare of headlights, memory asserts its musicality again, reminds one that it is at heart heart’s artificer.[i]
On rainy days or in freezing A/C buses I remember the view of your throat your pulse the heat of your hand as it first held mine in a dream. Do you know, dear, I used to meditate upon your hands, contemplate the lines encircling your fingers, traversing your palms held by my eyes from a distance no touch can breach? I mean a kind of awe attending the spaces between us—not a roof but a field of stars.[ii]
As I touch your photographs, they stare back at me with the dazzling, impenetrable, glitter of mere life.[iii] Here, you are, eyes closed, playing Chopin on the piano with one hand, lightly tapping your smirking lips with the other. At that moment I thought of two moths dancing in the darkness, twirling aflame—the “Nocturne in C# minor” is such a tortured piece, like there are strings tying the notes down and however much they try to fly around there’s something restraining them.
I told myself, this is but a harmless obsession, this intermittent intrusion of your silhouette upon my thought. But my hunger knew no satiety, only the many faces of want. In the surge of sly desire, how could I have held on to my soul, so that it would not touch yours?[iv]
Remember that night? Rain pattering, street puddles, outdoor lights on shrubs through mist, cold railings by a curb where we slumped, smoke clinging to your shirt. You walked me to my door and declared, HERE AM I FOR WHOM YOU HAVE BEEN WAITING.[v] Suddenly I felt too tired to even wash the smoke out of my hair. And I thought, why not? I should maximize the capabilities of this 20-year-old, unbroken heart.
The annoying thing about happiness is that it carves out a chamber in your chest, fills it with helium. And when it expires, all that lightness turns to lead, and you feel like you have to walk on and on and on to get rid of it. But there’s no end to the walking. The pain came in waves—just ride the crest, I told myself, just ride the crest, tense, ride the crest, and sink back in the trough.
For a while I set my heart to rot away on the windowsill.[vi] But the mind’s confusion crests and falls, and what remains is a wistful clarity. There is a happy freedom in the complete trust of oneself to another—but lacking that, at least there is power to be had in the ability to say, I do not need you. I gave you your chance. I listened to you, I believed in you. I will not let you have me again.[vii]
There’s a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out. He’s singing a little in there, I haven’t quite let him die.[viii] But nothing is so important that one can’t leave it behind.[ix] So allow me nothing but distance, your silence and inattention. You cannot fill my dreams if I never see you—
[i] Allen Edwin Butt
[ii] Jane Cooper
[iii] Frank Bidart
[iv] Rainer Maria Rilke
[v] Elizabeth Bishop
[vi] A Ma Soeur
[vii] Louise Gluck
[viii] Charles Bukowski
[x] Edwin Thumboo