oh the internet it is comforting. it is warm, in contrast to sewing, which is freezing cold. now, i like the cold. if i have sweaters, or people, held close.
my letter to jim straub:
jim jim jim
you can stop talking about rva because we burnt it to the ground a few days after you left. oh i'm sorry, i am. but we all know it had it coming. again.
maybe the next richmond they build will be made out of less flammable materials, and not the same shit they use for sleeping bags and...um...flashpaper.
its just that we were all so cold. and so destructive, so with matches and lighters; you know. but then, you don't---! you are flying into the sun! i mean, into summertime. kind of. its so far south, it might be cold i guess. that south pole. etc.
i'm not doing anything much; taking a class on how to lay in bed and stare at the ceiling and feel real real sad and mess it up and ruin all that i've worked for and be, entirely, wholy, the lyrics to the first nine inch nails album, but i think it is the prerequisite for the class on growing the fuck up, so we'll see. i guess. i'm having a shitty day because no one wants to go on walks down clay street at night holding hands and thats such a drag. and all morning muna read me articles about the ftaa protests in miami while i sewed (and i am my own sweatshop) and sewed and sewed and sometimes i looked at her and said, america! what a crock of shit! and then we would start talking about boys for a while and she'd say, should i keep reading. and i'd say, yes do. and then she would.
i saw allison in the 821 cafe and he said he got this same mass email from you (thats what made me check the internet today, now) and that you sounded sappy. and its not that i was lying about richmond burning to the ground. it did. they moved 821 cafe to richmond 2. thats where we all live, in trailers and box-houses, while they build richmond all over again. fixing over all the problems with better, bigger ones.
its not that i was lying, its that i burnt myself to the ground, and its hard, but i am glad you are in argentina; its good that someone is somewhere.
talk to you soon, x, anda.
p.s. hows your mono? mine is okay. i keep it real with lots of lost sleep.
yours, amanda L. at 5:17:00 PM [+]
its good today. my brain. doing alright. fresh air.
had an awful, awful dream last night about andrew getting killed in an elevator. so awful. it reminded me of the dreams i used to have in eleventh grade about my little sister dying. always in gruesome ways, right in front of me, mechanical accidents misfunctioning equipment style. and i would have them over and over, once or twice a week. there was one where she was trapped in this aquarium thing lying on the ground, and i was kneeling on top of the box looking at her and freaking out, wondering how i could smash the box open. it was heavy glass. another one was at the top of an escalator that was broken and had this gaping hole that you had to swing across and she swung but missed and fell into this terrible grinding mechanical insides of the escalator while i watched and my heart broken open.
in the dream last night, a few of us were in a tiny elevator and a few others were laughing and trying to squish in as the doors were closing. the doors closed on andrew but they didnt open back up the way they usually do, they just closed on him with him standing sideways and held him fast. everyone stared panicking and then the elevator started to go up and i just shut my eyes tight and everyone got quiet and sort of somber because it was inevitable and it was the worst ever. in the morning when i woke up i hated myself for forgetting about the red STOP button elevators have. i wish i had remembered.
i called andrew on his cell phone. he is in newyork and not dead. he is fine.
in a month i get to get SURGERY.
lets always have bonfire parties.
yours, amanda L. at 1:36:00 PM [+]
all day and all night
i've been sewing much of the week.
and when i am not sewing then i am teaching random things at schools. today it is government. when i teach government i sometimes bring a copy of a people's history of the united states but rarely get to share it because the absent teachers always leave so many stupid worksheets. some times i get bored and do the leftover worksheets myself. i have relearned the formula for how to find slope and what the word "transversal" means this way. behind me is a framed photo of a boy holding a rabbit. its a studio photo. i wonder how the rabbit felt about that. is it the kid's rabbit, or the photographer's stock rabbit?
mostly i just sew. and draw on things. and become an expert at Just Friends, biting my lip, sitting on my hands to keep them from reaching, taking deep breaths, chilling the fuck out. ive got heavy, heavy limbs, so heavy that i cannot move them; cannot reach reach reach for what i would reach for, you know how it is, maybe, but i don't know how it is, i am not an expert really. i am actually a faker; and oh its so important to keep sewing sewing sewing. because art is the antidote for misguided emotion.
how to go to the hospital
first get locked out of your house so that you cannot get inside in the early morning to wash the rock show out of your body. instead, walk to the next door diner to say hello and get some free coffee from noelle who always looks real fucking cute it must be difficult i would think, being cute all the time, i cant quite pull off cute, but i try for striking. maybe 40% of the time.
walk to mcv and fill out their paperwork. move to a meta-waiting-room and stay put for an hour, getting real nervous about possible methods and outcomes. release tensions by playing a game with another waiting-room waiter where you adopt traditional roles as commiserating strangers and complain together about the waiting, saying things like if they wanted me to sit here until ten, they could have scheduled me for ten with her saying an appointment time means an appointment time. what else are appointments for anyway and i go you are exactly right about that. mmm hmm. thats exactly right.
go into smaller and smaller rooms. now a room that is like a closet or a little sauna with one little bench. a stack of unbearably stupid magazines like family circle and people and us. who? who the fuck? us? i will throw up.
what i like to do is put on the gown and then kick the door open and stare openly at the RNs or whatever as they fuss around the room opening plastic-sealed sterile things and marking marks on charts.
when you finally get into the examination room after one and one half hour, look wide-eyed at the nurse as she starts applying the blood pressure arm wrap and burst into tears and cry uncontrollably for about twenty seconds. get all snotty and burble that you suspect the hospital does not have its shit togther because they make you wait so long but always seem to be in too much of a hurry to look you at you when they speak. the nurse, at that point, will put both hands on your shoulders, hold her face 12 inches from your face and squeeze your arms as she speaks to you, until you get your shit together, since it is obvious to both you and the nurse that it is certainly you, and not the hospital, that has lost the thread completely.
lay down and let her surround your upper body with extremely sterile objects that you must not touch. because you will corrupt their sterility. talk at length about medicine and medical things because medicine is interesting. and then allow the doctor to arrive and proceed through a long, long "study" that hurts and is long. use telepathy and telekenesis to make the needle-tube find its mark so they quit jabbing you. have a needle inside you and feel it and be afraid to move. press your body against the machine and let all your muscles tighten and begin to faint and try not to faint and tell them you are fainting you cant stop you are so sorry but you can't stop you are going to and let them break ammonia capsules under your nose. attempt to breathe, to stay breathing.
do this two more times. the pressing, the xraying, this time with no fainting scare. relax. inform the doctor that you will not discuss the xrays until after he removes the neede-tube. ask everyone if they will give you the xrays, copies of the xrays. because we all like xrays, don't we, reader? everyone likes xrays.
so experiences are my favorite. it doesn't matter if they are awful. even better. i had this happen. it happened to me, the experience of needles and xrays and desperately trying not to faint. i am changed into a girl that has experienced this thing. its overwhelming. being alive all the time.
i love you when you follow directions
my shirt says i heart x-rays.
i sewed at the space the rest of the day. no. sometimes i slept on the couch there. assembled a clothes rack. bought a bunch of real shitty records, the sort i owned on tape at age 7. i love the space. you should come and visit it. call me and i will take you there.
yours, amanda L. at 9:08:00 AM [+]
well. i don't know what you're going to get up to tonight, richmond, because you did all there was to do and some change last night at knitcore house. seriously, children, i don't know how we all goin to face one another this bright bright friday today. is it over? has everyone officially kissed everyone else??? fucking madness....shame on you for destroying so many of my illusions and idealizations at once!! who on earth is fucking left in this city to have a fucking crush on?
yours, amanda L. at 2:53:00 PM [+]
we bought a six-pack of tab because the cans were pink and white and neat-looking. "lets be tab drinkers" it tasted awful and pouring out part of the tab and replacing it with rum was only marginally better; the polkadot gallery space and coordinating with the other clothesmakers to sew and fuss togther this saturday (richmond! want to play with my IZEK??? saturday 1pm my house. bring your fabric your crafts and a bottle); narcolepsy and/or mono and lots of falling alseep on couches, floors and in public generally.
i practice ignoring and discover a game: if you succeed at ignoring your unhealthy fixation, if you steadfastly walk in the opposite direction with no plan except to put some distance between, you get rewards, like a random invitation to eat burritos at luke's house and a car ride from medical student paul. its like unlocking a level or something.
i then decide to replace my bad habits with an addiction to this televsion show they all watch.
i decide also to step out of the frying pan and into the fire
yours, amanda L. at 1:10:00 PM [+]
sometimes people tell me they read this and i sound sad. like my mom, she says she won't read it because i sound too sad in it. but i'm not sad! only a little.
a list for today
2. knitting in theory, but not in practice
5. a map of richmond
6. "le bag"
7. shaky hands
8. the movie nobody loves me
10. aglaya ivanovna
11. my period
last night andrew and i started reading our book out loud. we agreed we would start it when it got cold, and take turns reading it before falling asleep each night. we began the book, the rings of saturn and its completely intense and we were so amped from reading aloud that we continued reading aloud passages from other books from our respective bookshelves until exhaustion.
neither of us are great out-loud readers. but we think we will improve with practice.
yours, amanda L. at 8:01:00 PM [+]
boys destroy brainzhfasdhkbvfhallllllllllllllllllllllgjbklac ndlih rugei47537ft4837tr379bf94bt73v96n8nnnnn572896v539tyn938wyt
a story about driving cars
breakdowncore. i am at my parents house eating chinese food from staunton's hong kong buffet. i borrowed-without-asking andrew's wire cd and played it for my dad in the car and he was way into it.
watching television ?what do you do when you travel away from home and visit someone else's home you watch television thats what you do.
last night. i went to sleep hard after all the good screaming and woke up to the phone's Unknown, struggled to make my voice sound awake, and secondly to form sentences; all of the blood in my body slowly slow-motion stop and stay still and not flow; i always answer the phone, though; and nicholas saying that he is leaving and going somewhere where no one will ever find him again. i say sleepily, well, i'm driving to my mom's house tomorrow and i think, that would be awful if you did that, and where would that be? at the bottom of the sea? is the first thing i think of. our traditionals from our old life. submarines and antarctica every day. but i do not say it because i am the carefulest. and am i doing the right thing, still? was the theme of my drive this morning. are my decisions correct? what terrible mess have i made of my future---?
1. wanting to roam around the city, climbing into abandoned structures, drawing on surfaces.
2. wanting to scream into microphones and keep recordings of screaming and find other excuses for screaming upon screaming upon screaming
3. wanting to swim outside in hot hot water surrounded by freezing cold air like in iceland.
4. halloween every day.
5. wanting someone to look at me with the same urgency that i look at them. someone who is searching me as hard as i search them. and the explosivity of these connections.
i am so weary of ignorers. ignorers, let me alone. ignorers, stop plaguing me; stop finding me. stop allowing yourselves to be unearthed. go back, back, back underground.
mom and dad set this enormous pile of tree branches on fire in the backyard. the resulting bonfire was tall and took a long time to burn away. my hair smells like girl scouts.
we live in the countryside. it is better to drive here than to drive to centreville. sort of.
----------------- - - - - - but then i always liked those creepy roads that you find in northern virginia where they have build the road but not the businesses and townhouses and stripmalls yet, but you can easily tell they are coming, the air is kinda tense/mouth shut tight; !you know, the business park roads that seem so remote ?and they wind and curve very sleepily and you say to yourself, where the fuck am i? next to the airport? is this reston? is reston for real? and the scenery is all flat dirt lots with trees in the far distance and airplanes flying up out of them.
i suck at ignoring
yours, amanda L. at 10:32:00 PM [+]
last night /up late doing things. like screaming words from a list and recording it for a video. screaming things from a list is fucking hilariously fun. BAG OF GUTS! HORSE HEAD! KILL ME!
yours, amanda L. at 4:24:00 PM [+]
running around talking trash, ridiculous high-heel boots, scotch alleyway, my friend outside of godfreys who slips her brass knuckles into her bra so they won't get taken away from her, i'm murdering girls with my mind for clutching onto the boys that i want, i cut open my hand reaching behind the speaker for my purse where i hid it but find a broken bottle instead and then walk around and can't stop looking at it, there is blood all over, kids saying anda! are you alright? and i say yeah i'm fine i cut my hand ona bottle but i cant stop staring at it bleeding everywhere. leave the club at that point with some vague notion of getting more sleep than everyone else so i can wake up early and get all things in order, apparently a billion kids came back to my building after godfreys but before 1708 but i slept straight through it all. who washed my hand? me? who applied the red crayon shaped band aid? the sticky part and not the gauzy part is on the wound and it hurts.
when i wake up in our apartment there are windows entirely surrounding me and the sky is always more blue than the day before. the blue is always breaking the record for most blue, every day. i have a terrible headache and can't understand why at first. i move around loudly among the blankets and hear andrew wake up and move around too. one of us waking up always wake the other up and we immediately commence putting last night back together like a jigsaw.
hey: on the radio today the song grey cell green by ned's atomic dustbin!!!!! rules so hard. where is that tape now anyway
at some point last night traci calls me and puts jared who is not in new orleans on the telephone. i write down his cellnumber on an envelope and then drunkenly doodle all the numbers that make up his number in various combinations and styles all over the paper, along with some nice sketches of pyramids. this morning i took it out to call him and was like, oh. it took a few trys to get the right one. this morning i took myself out for coffee and eggs and toast at kuba kuba. handfuls of vitamins. Bs and E and tylenol which sometimes counts as a vitamin because it makes you feel better. today i'm going to read books and bicycle and draw drawings and pull the crappy band-aid off my hand. and need to do some screaming. there is surplus tension in me and any day now its going to climb out of my throat the way that deer climbed out of that guy's throat and ran off and became his nemesis, my tension is going to take some crazy form and climb right out like a fucking fairy tale
yours, amanda L. at 12:41:00 PM [+]
sitting. down. for. hours.
as an art teacher at jones elementary, the classes and i watched a movie about poisonous animals. you may remember that poisonous animals often have bright-colored bodies to discourage other animals from eating them. the colors symbolize danger.
reader, lets not eat the bright-colored things anymore. to avoid getting poisoned. lets live our lives more carefully. lets stretch in the mornings and breathe more deeply. and for real lets go fucking dancing at secrets tomorrow where there will be a go-go band from northeast dc.
oh today. i am so irrationally angry at most things most of the times, today. i woke up in a rage. i yelled at the raining and the lateness and the going-to-work and then i yelled at you, reader, for disappointing me so exhaustively. why don't you stop it? being always disappointing.
no, no, no, no, no. i don't mean it. i like you alot, i can't stay mad. lets take a shower. lets rent movies. lets go for a walk. lets be friends.
when i had a room on laurel street, on the corner, i would sit sideways in the orange chair drinking red wine with cats asleep on my shoulders and write endlessly on the laptop, which i adored. michelle would sit across the hall reading mishima and dyeing her hair black over and over, or sometimes get drunk in her room with one of the boys from the membrane. freddy would walk through my room carrying a towel and a portable radio and disappear into the bathroom for three hours, grooming himself and listening to peaches. and ed would fight loudly with his girlfriend in the room beneath us.
tonight i drove around looking for a place to park in the rain and this mix cd i made on stephen's computer at the house on park, the one with joost visser and songs:ohia and smog, its fucking sad, incredibly sad, and it made me start to cry, because i am crazy, and i drove around like, i cant park this car, because then i will have to get out and go somewhere and do something, and i don't want to, i just want to cry really hard and listen to this cd
(who reads this? muna? muna, shouldn't we wear bright-colored skin? what are we going to do? destroy everything??? will it even work????)
and then, just now on the phone with clayton and i completely love clayton. clayton and i ran away from home when we were sixteen/seventeen years old. we went wherever we wanted and did whatever we liked for two entire weeks and it ruled. you should try it. (is that the answer?)
yours, amanda L. at 7:30:00 PM [+]
1. The Grave Mound, The Turnip, The Heavenly Wedding, The Gold Children and The Maiden Without Hands have a beach party at their beach house.
last last night: i draw on things.
last night. what you shouldn't do: is drink coffees and get wound up with conversation when you know you are going to attempt sleep before work; and i'm collapsing into bed, kicking the blankets, heart too fast; as a whole: mind/body sort of flattened against the earth by a heavy mania. like falling from the sky. and my bicycle is fucking fixed.
and you get no sleep or you do but the dreams are all backwards. wake up, take allergy medication that makes shit even crazier and drive down brook road forever (brook road is incredible. lets explore it, reader. umm, tonight. yes!) get your self togther loud from the radio and a third grade classroom at the edge of the city. what are verbs. well, reader, verbs are the main part of the predicate. they describe what the subject is doing. they agree with the subject. read the first one for me, zenobia. good. what is the subject of that sentence? right. so what is the verb? on and on and on and on. and my skin is all prickly, and my mind and the contents of this world cannot be torn apart, and at 1 the sky is so blue. what am i doing. in the. library. cant figure out where to put my hands. all this goddamn mystery!!!
yours, amanda L. at 2:02:00 PM [+]
yesterday i went to the doctor and got x-rayed. i have a plastic bracelet as a token of it, i am the sort of girl who keeps the hospital bracelet on as long as i can, the x-ray machine kinda sqeezed me and it hurt a little, i have to go again in a month because my x-ray is so normal and plain and nothing-to-worry-about-here and we, me and the hospital, have to look harder for the disturbance in my body.
yesterday i dressed as a fucking awesome costume and everyone guessed right. club boss and the entire world out in force. muna swallowed up inside a bumblebee. i keep catching myself following C. around and think crossly anda, for god's sake. quit it. do something else. something. fucking. else. muna and i flee to her house which is lousy with exboyfriends and so we make it to laurel street and stand around in the night with everything circling back around again and more fucking following that doesn't ever get anywhere because its all circles. at home, andrew was ripped apart and i sat in my enormous skirt in a messy heap and listened to his story, which is a theme, and then i talked a little about my theme, and i make poor choices sometimes, and i want so badly to just utterly annihilate myself into other people. and every now and then i get so unbelievably angry, temper tantrum angry, because it doesnt happen. i mean, not enough.
muna. read muna. muna muna muna.
yours, amanda L. at 3:25:00 PM [+]
when i was little, around 7 years old, or whatever age it is where you have a Bedtime but it is always much earlier than the time you are actually sleepy and so you end up laying awake for hours staring at things in the dark and thinking hard, i started this game of trying to remember Everything that had ever happened to me. i would start with my earliest memory, which was laying on the sofa as an infant in our house in norfolk while my mom and aunt gail's voices came from somewhere else in the room to my left side, and my earliest memory of dreaming, which was waking up tangled up in a blanket, in a crib, looking at the mobile above my head, and something in my thoughts involving vampires or some similiar concept--- creatures that took things away, that pulled life from you. and a feeling of moving from one world to another, but with a (new) sense that both somehow were contained in my own mind and not the world itself.
so then i would slowly cycle through every memory i could, and carefully put them in cronological order, and go back and remember them in order, and catagorize them by age; aside from those two first memories i decided i could only remember things "for real" beginning at age three, and discarded earlier memories as unreliable and maybe too distorted by my current 7yearold consciousness, and i wanted to remember everything Exactly Right, with no made-up parts just so i could say i remembered more or better. i wanted it precise and for real. scientific.
for a long time i would put myself to sleep every night remembering all things. adding new memories when i remembered them and reciting the established ones in order.
and it was cool that time moved in this one direction that everyone knew was the direction that time moved in. and that i had a history of memories and could remember them whenever i liked. it was cool to have control over my thoughts, no, the concept of consciousness; that i had a mind and it recorded memories.
people were building new neighborhoods in my town, and when a new neighborhood was built my schoolbus would start stopping inside of it to pick up new kids. when a new neighborhood was built, they gave it a name and a sign at the front of it like Rocky Run and Sully Station and Cables Mill (if you can guess what town i lived in from those then i want to talk to you.) on the way to school each morning i would go over in my mind the order that the town was developed and constructed and it was unbearably fascinating to think about; proof that time exists. this neighborhood was not here, and i can remember it not here, and now it is here; its existance and entry into space and time is right here in my memories, and my memories exist, etc
you know. later everyone grows older and we all understand things differently and renounce everything, saying that time moving in one direction is not necessarily the best way to think about time, that its impossible not to distort memory, that nothing is recorded and played back but....plus existance and its thorniness...other things, you know this already. me too. but what i am thinking about today is that sense of...of having access to all thoughts and all memories, or at least considering it a possibility, and there being a such managable amount that it was possible to hold them all in the front of my consciousness at the same time and rearrange them in an order. i'm walking around today and feeling so crushed by experience. there is no way to remember everything that happens.
we talk sometimes together about the present moment. how it is the only real thing. but then i feel like if it was, then i could hold an infinite amount of thoughts (i mean, everything that is contained in the world, i mean, everything that can be concieved, i mean, all universes and all memories---) in my head all at once, in the present, in the front of my consciousness. i am not saying that is what would be the best thing (because you know, everyone is always looking for the best thing, in all the books and teachings and theories) i am just saying thats what i want. sometimes. the times that i want it.
but then i feel like obviously i do hold any infinite number of things in my mind at once, or rather, i am part of the world and the world is made of an infinite number of things, but its the mechanisms of consciousness that keep me from it all at once. and then i start thinking about physics. and i need to talk to someone about this. its funny because i think suddenly of casey vcr, and i decide to call him on the telephone, and for a split second i'm saying oh, i don't know casey's phone number but then immediately the number appears in my mind and i realize he's told it to muna and i last night at the club. and it seems really funny to me, making perfect perfect sense. he isn't home when i call.
last night was halloween and richmond virginia, i have to say, you were so on point. you did halloween just right this year.
one other thing. does it ever seem to you that the time we are operating within is ridiculously slow, even stopped? do this: think about live cycles of plants and shit. then think about even bigger cycles, population cycles, orbits, everything. and patterns that look chaotic but viewed from far enough away create a certain order. huge, huge patterns. then imagine all time set out linearly like you are downloading a file of it or scrolling down a page, the little square on the scroll bar marking your place. then look around and the cars and people walking, i mean, look around at the moment you are in the middle of. its queer, objects are moving, but in way they arent, and do you feel all syrupy and strange? and not real? and, and---oh. i need whoever reads this today to call me and talk to me while i listen. we need to go for a walk. anyone. 502-9124.
yours, amanda L. at 2:32:00 PM [+]
anda gail lewis 2005. stop crying every day.