Through the slats of the window blinds, the rain grates through the fog. It is May but the wet and cold persist, permeating everything. The fog clings to the hills and fills the spaces between the trees while the wet glosses the bright green Oregon landscape.
Raindrops hiss and snap against the electrical lines that run to and from the towering power generator stationed in the median between the house where I live and a sprawling complex of identical apartment buildings. This frightened me when I first moved here but now, I stick it in the “things I am indifferent about” pile along with our suburban life and the fact that my mother is dying.
It is a split decision. I pull on rain boots and a black hoodie and let myself outside. It’s wet but the sounds here, beyond my front door, are more comforting than the constant hum of the television. I inhale and the smell of damp earth clears my nostrils of the smell of death and sickness that clings to our home and every interaction we have now as a family.
Each step falls dull and muted against the concrete. I cram my hands in the pockets of my hoodie and make for the woods instead of the newly built walking path. It is wracking, unsympathetic guilt that plagues me when I am alone like this but I do not shy away from the feeling. I own up to the fact that I would rather be anywhere but here.
The hand that had grasped the flacon was fragrant with a faint scent, and when he put it to his nose and sniffed, he grew wistful and forgot to walk on and stood their smelling. No one knows how good this perfume really is, he thought. No one knows how well made it is. Other people are merely conquered by its effect, don’t even know that it’s a perfume that’s working on them, enslaving them.
The only one who has ever recognized it for its true beauty is me, because I created it myself. And at the same time, I’m the only one that it cannot enslave. I am the only person for whom it is meaningless.
Pauline Boty, The Only Blonde in the World in the World, 1963
"It is indeed as if the goal of the avant-garde was to collapse the distinction between reality and art by making an adjunct reality, with no more meaning than reality itself possesses, and the aesthetic qualities of which are analogous to those of sunset and surf, mountains and woods, actual flowers and beautiful bodies.
A work of art, to paraphrase the famous line, must not mean but be. In philosophical truth, this is an impossible theory, and its impossibility became manifest in the 1960s when artist produced objects so like real objects—I am thinking of the Brillo Box once again—that it became clear that the real philosophical question was how to prevent them from simply collapsing into reality.”
And there’s gold, Falling from the ceiling of this world, Falling from the heartbeat of this girl, Falling from the things we should have learned, Falling from the things we could have heard
Well it’s been days now, And you’ve changed your mind again All the cracks in the walls reminds you of things we said And i could tell you that i won’t hurt you this time But it’s just safer to keep you in this heart of mine
“"To look at his life, to take the stock he always imagined a man would at his end, was to witness a shifting mass, the tiles of a mosaic spinning, swirling, reportraying, always in recognizable swaths of colors, familiar elements, molecular units, intimate currents, but also independent now of his will, showing him a different self every time he tried to make an assessment." (Tinkers)”—
She woke to a sea of white. Crisp fabric against skin, the seams of a sheet pulled long and straight around her body and lapping over the edges of the bed. Eyes closed again, she relished this moment because it was their first. The initial, tentative reach of bare toes found a foot, crept up a muscular calf and vined a leg around his thigh. She felt him shift ever so slightly against her touch, a jerk reaction as she nudged him out of the subliminal. He smelled like man and his body heat warmed the space they shared under the blankets. Shadows shifted through closed eyelids and she lifted her face to his, felt the gentle drag of his finger against her cheek, his breath in her ear. “Hello, you.”