lets just shoot at anyone who tries to come inside.
i mean, that's how jay and justin would've done it!
we could tell the van guy to stab anyone who touches our house...
at the end of the day, i destroyed the dream bed. evan jumped on it with his foot and the wood made a loud crack. we hid the pieces in the dark vacant lot. tasha and i dragged the mattresses down the stairs. richmond virginia, i am never coming back to you.
wes: we flew too close to the sun on wings made of warehouse.
yours, amanda L. at 1:24:00 PM [+]
in the thrift store dressing room i carefully replaced the stapled-on green tags with white tags one by one. then sat on my knees to sift through the scarves and gloves: one, two, three, four, five, six pairs. i am methodical and barely top thirty dollars, which is good. i get a lot of crap. now i have to sell two skirts on saturday to make up for this. jumping around and clapping my hands and peeling off layers of concealed shirts in the car. lets go eat krispy kremes.
yours, amanda L. at 3:51:00 PM [+]
are you still up?
yes. i'm at the library doing Computer. i loved the movie i heart huckabees, which talked about things being connected, which i love. which included many sentences that i often babble away at.
1. the twins plus anna made a haunted house in their basement. evan my roommate helped. and it is outstanding. last night a few of us crawled inside of it, leaving our beers on the washingmachine at the top of the staircase.
2. and before, i looked at the boy sideways in the car and announced that sometimes i still have a crush on him. it is something to do with phrasing, or linguistics, or running into one another everywhere i decide. later we eat fake hamburgers and he talks about love in the way that always makes me think, no i do not have a crush on him, and in fact he is silly and dumb at the same time. and that reminds me of his ghostliness. and i sort of want to poke him in the eye. saying, your theories make me tired all over.
on how if there is one thing i love its telling stories to you
3. oh: listen up. i need all my senses, i mean, i need the description to be enthralling.
i need good combinations.
but oh website, you rescue me. because! i can sit there, in the night, with my head in my hands, thinking how boring this is, and then one day later, i mean now, sit and re-explain it to myself to the computer in a way that makes it bearable. because i am made of stories and little else, friends.
"we drank potato vodka, kept our sweaters on, ate pizza in the street and my house filled up with strangers; wes drew drawings on top of my drawings and i struggled to stay awake like a toddler, turning the records and yawning in every single person's faces, with everything growing increasingly dreamlike, and bicyles crawling straight up the walls."
when what really happened was: i went to my house after the haunted house because it was saturday and no-one seemed to know about any parties. there were a bunch of people i didn't know already there, already drunk. wes my roommate was really drunk. i had brought matthew along with me but i right away stopped wanting to talk to anyone and my brain had run dry. and i was unhappy but i just waited them out. i drank and waited and finally everyone left and i climbed into bed and read books and fell fast, fast asleep.
if i can turn it around in my brain to a beautiful explaination then i control my own beautiful history. oh i fucking love stories, yours and mine and the rest of them. and i fucking cannot stand day after day of "i got drunk and hung out" because oh my gosh its motherfucking dreary.
and i am not a liar, ever
drunken drawing session:
anda...turn thss CUBE into BOTH aaaa semi-truck ANA BOOMBOX...holdit holdit holdit you call thaa semi-truck? y'ev SEE asemi-truck before? gimme thaaa pen, I'LL SHOW YOU a semi-truck---
yours, amanda L. at 11:12:00 PM [+]
i want to sing this post as if it were a pop punk song. we we we we we. we swept the house and pushed the trash around; stephanie: hows your warehouse? anda: its good. we clean alot. the boys pick up piles of wood and say, lets move this wood to over there. but first lets move this stuff. where should we move it. to where the wood was before. and they shift piles around very fast, like busy bees. then they stop and fix bicycles awhile. (demonstrates with body and hands the universal symbol for "bending over a bicyle and messing around with the wheel or something like that") and then they go back to moving the wood around. oh, and sometimes they put on records and skateboard around the room. and then we walked as a family to the Rite-Aid. whereupon we bought toilet paper and a large plastic box to put out breads inside of, so that the rats cannot access it.
i say, i'm the expert on rats. rats like to eat food that they can access. this means: plastic wrapped breads, and flour bags. they will eat anything they can access, i mean chew into and open, and this is the rule of them.
we bought chocolates and orange juice. luke piloted the new sidecar bike, with dennis as the passenger. evan slowly pedalled the bike he fixed for our friend garren, stopping intermittenly to balance back and forth. thats what those sorts of bikes do to one as far as i can tell, make you freeze in place and balance like a crazy fool. and then you make the bike spin around backwards in a circle. and then you jump off the front. evan jumps off the front and grabs the bike in both hands and stares at it. i think i'll get myself one of these things.
chance and i walk. we're in the alleyway between marshall and broad. he makes fun of us. i push fancy chocolate into their mouths, and pull boards from behind dumpsters and when i get home i forget, and put the boards next to the door. the Wood Area is in a different place and someone yells at me.
where does the wood go?? does it go by the door??
for we have just all moved it together to Inside The Elevator Shaft.
no, i say, drinking orange juice from the carton, placing fancy chocolate pieces on tongues.
dennis gives me a lift to the show on the sidecar bike. the sidecar of it is only a milk crate held onto it with cords. there is a third wheel connected to the bike with...with some part that doesn't have a name. i decide. dennis welds together impossible contraptions.
and takes me down the fucking hill. which is scary; i first try facing front and then face back. when i face front i cross my legs and hold them in front of me in the air and grip the bike with my hands and think about what method my legs will bend and break when we crash. when i face backwards i wrap one around around dennis's waist and press my face into his jacket and peek over my shoulder and say, ohhhhhh we're going to die. and he says, we're not even going fast at ALL. and then when we are at the bottom and slow and safe i relax and cannot help fronting and say, i'm the bravest girl in richmond aren't i?
yes, yes, you're the bravest girl in richmond. in philly, jane wouldn't even ride on my HANDLEBARS---
and then i feel good allover because i'm braver than jane. and we travel through the bottom, past the shimmery straightheaded girls and a seris of perfumes that hang in the air, and ride straight up to the club like crazy maniacs.
and inside the club, everyone is also crazy maniacs. and we all grab ahold of each others waists and leap around and someone hits my mouth with their elbow and i get supermodel face. chad starts vcr with a pumpkin head, and when he takes it off and throws it, it is gravely heavy and i see stars for a moment. oh thrown back into the thick of things. i'm injured, but really, i was asking for it.
matthew park is there, representing the opposite side of things. he's my emblem of quietude and coincidence and meaning. he's also a ghost. he stands and has beers and i introduce him to a number of sorts and feel strange. its as if i am introducing them to my imaginary friend. dear richmond, allow me to introduce the unreal and dreamlike part of my life. now, friends, lets beat the crap out of each other on the dancefloor. pay attention!
and now i'm in the school a few blocks from my house. last night i couldn't sleep and listened to my roommates come home one by one after me and carefully traced above my head an unfamiliar voice and the noises of alarmclocksetting. and then glanced at luke to see if he were awake, so i could make a face that spelled, my heart is breaking. do you hear that upstairs? what has occurred? but he was asleep, which is good, because he would have either disapproved or not disapproved and neither was what i wanted. instead i just listened to the ceiling and tried to not listen the ceiling. now: i'm the family life teacher, and reading books about teen pregnancy. it is friday. my sweater is soft. i'm going to eat fruit for dinner and ease my way into the cold weather and next week, friends, i'll not work an inch, because laying in bed all day is the new fashion around here, i suspect
yours, amanda L. at 10:35:00 AM [+]
unseasonable weather where you make my heart curl. for a half hour i watched them dig a hole in the ground with machines. i stopped to look and couldn't tear my eyes away. its warm and wet outside, cars were crashing into one another at belevidere and broad street. a wheel fell off. and then nathan calls and says lets go to the fabric store. last night i drank bright orange drink and then sewed a fucking quilt, until the wee hours. downstairs they were tracing letters with montana paints, eating chips, and old rap music. its my first quilt. and it is made from the black european grindcore band teeshirts jay left behind in our warehouse. black teeshirts, and squares of creepy fabric from the thrift stores. sew, sew, sew. cut, cut, cut. i'm wandering around like a stroke victim. i look at everything and think, what? and stare tranfixed at the...what are they called. they dig up the ground and spin around and back up up and reach down, again and agian
i was secretly waiting up, but not really waiting up. and i have fluff in my eyes from wearing expensive sweaters. + + + + ++ + oh does anyone want to trade phone numbers so i can drunkenly call you in the middle of the night?
and karen, when is a good time to visit? i'm available at all times these days, with a small spending allowance.
ohh, i was waiting up.
yours, amanda L. at 2:43:00 PM [+]
i put a claim upon my days and nights
on the twisty bike and its colder outside each day. the bike's got snakes for grips and it bends in the middle and is like a wild horse that no-one can ride but me and chance and luke and a few others. i offer it to everyone i see to try out. i bend it in the middle to park it and leave it in the front of the library. oh happy morning
today i sat in court until eleven. Trespasing on the Church Steps at Night Time. they said i ought to be good for six months, and then come back, and they'll throw it all away. me and the city of richmond will pretend the whole thing never happened. the vcu cop who gave me the summons looked embarrassed over the whole mess and told the judge i was very polite that night. his eyelashes were unnaturally long and girly and i couldn't stop from staring. and i wanted to laugh and didn't, because i had a secret from them and the secret was that i was wearing a wig. matthew and i bought wigs yesterday. three shiny black wigs. wigs wigs wigs. yes yes! and i blinked my own lashes at the judge and used my throatiest urbanschoolteacher voice and did not get shrill, like the lady who was prosecuting her supervisor for slapping her on the hand and snatching some papers away.
when as she spoke we all collectively examined our knuckles and inwardly winced. and it just went on and on. and her lawyer had to prompt her to not act so crazy.
no, no. when i was up there i did not say, the police in the city are all mad. and i did not cry or try to explain how infuritating it all was.
i spoke calm matter-of-fact teacherstyle.
i was sitting on the church steps.
i didn't know it was trespassing.
i was scratching lottery tickets.
and thats all.
now: reading over this post and i sound insane. but i've been reading graham greene stories all week and that may be why. and also: i don't give a fuck. wigs are awesome. my house has skateboard ramps. and i don't give a fuck!
on the way home i stopped in some new store and talked with the lady about fashions. at the warehouse luke was waiting around. to ride bikes to twin oaks with some kid. and he says, did they throw it out and i say i have to be good for six months and then go back and he says that sucks. want to do the crossword? and i say yes and he says want to drink some coffee? and i say YOU are my favorite roommate ever. and think over how yesterday while chopping a billion sweet potatoes for food not bombs we decided to get a pet monkey and train it to steal for us and also fix bikes. later that afternoon i shockingly ran into matthew p at the thrift store, and he announced i'm not dead or something like that, and then we caught up and bought wigs and had beers.
he's a ghost, though.
yours, amanda L. at 2:17:00 PM [+]
old things. i checked my search strings today and instead of the usual:
1 -beyonce oily in baby boy
1 -black label new york
1 -calories in 7-11 slurpie drink
1 -devining stick picture
1 -everyones aim screennames in district 66
1 -heat is not a noun
i find, at the top:
10 -nicholas liivak
and go GYAGH! to myself, then out loud, then hurry over to the archives to see what it was exactly someone was finding, when they was looking. and oh boy! i used to write kinda good sometimes. now i don't write so good. ah well. but oh! i was led also to muna's-old-website-that-she-gave-up-on- like-a-quitter- who-quits-people-and-things-that-love-her and she also would write some excellent things and you ought to go read and remember.
yours, amanda L. at 1:37:00 PM [+]
what day is it.
our house has wet air and loud music on the recordplayers. evan builds furniture and various boys drop by to spraypaint the walls and we all help out with dinner. little sputtering patterns, i allowed myself to be roused from the couch at nine in the morning for pancakes and coffee. because its nice to wake up and have breakfasts with one another. and coffees. and to get the paper and read it.
drove out to the west end for bookstealing. in the apple store we turned all the ipods to play felix da housecat and i looked at my uncle's website from the wide, wide computers there and went to the ice cream store where a lady with a desperate look on her mouth handed us generous spoonfuls of expensive ice creams. it is lonely at this mall. it rains indoors. we leave the carlights on twice and need a jump when we go. late nights and fabulous dreams, you see.
yours, amanda L. at 5:04:00 PM [+]
in the warehouse we put the stickers allover everything naming their spanish name.
i'm drinking a diet coke. it is raining.
if i were better, etc. i'd this or that.
yours, amanda L. at 1:22:00 PM [+]
this seasonal change. i wish i were somewhere confusing. hearing foreign sounds, deciphering the grocery store. instead i keep getting spellbound for mythological creatures. the story of the girl who let a wolf grow from her mind and then fell in love with all impossible things. the story of the song that looked like a person. the story of the city that could not warm itself--- lets go out into the cold air, no, lets curl into the bed and be warm, no, lets go out into the night, no, lets wake up, no, lets stay awake; we've all got secrets and i try not to watch them too hard. feeling real real scary inside these days.
neva dinova songs. amy's got a baby in her stomach/she took my hand and i felt it kick/she's crying and glowing/she's three months and showing/seeing her now makes me want to live
and i want to curl into a tiny, tiny ball
i've got hate on my tongue. black black hatred.
yours, amanda L. at 6:01:00 PM [+]
first i scooped the sewing machine up and carried it happily down the street. and up to the third floor.
then i scooped up the boxes labelled beautiful scraps, large teeshirts that can be destroyed NEED WASHING, scarves and bits, pants to make into skirts, blank skirts CLEAN, nice clothes that can be altered and worn and on and on and on. i slipped a roll of duct tape into my bag at lowe's. extension cords. rasputina on the headphones; i want to remember that i am my town's dame darcy all the time and never forget. i filled the shelves, i made the new sewing space. top floor where wes and evan have homesteaded with mattresses and chain link fence and footlockers and monitors.
i checked the mailbox: you have to ride your bike down the hill halfway which is good and fast. to seventh street. the mailbox is EXCITING. you open it with a key and there is mail inside of it.
yesterday we were pointed out our actual mailbox. it turned out to exist. through the backyard that is really the front yard, jungley weeds up to the sky and crossing over, bugs in your mouth: there's a little gate and then behind the church's oil tank is a black mailbox. INCOMING MAIL ONLY in white. evan eyes the oil tank, its half full--
evan! we can't steal oil from the church!
we set up the skateboard ramps and the stereos.
the boys love to skateboard up ramps.
the lower floor is like a giant garage. the second floor is like a giant dark closet. the third floor is like a giant barn loft.
he's agreed to take me to the ice hotel--
i think i dreamt up matthew 1995 as a dream. the picture of him i carry in my mind is hard to pin down. oh--its only been a little while. a few days. but now i can't remember a thing except his smile. no. his smile, and his manner of speaking.
don't be sad.
dear richmond virginia,
coincidences don't mean a thing to me.
hide me from the mirrors/ protect me from the vultures.
amanda gail lewis
late it gets late and i put on a fancy enough skirt for everyone else to get into the fancy party. i'm fancy enough for four. curtis tends his bar and the cats are put away in a room, kids dance in the dark to last year's radio rap, we have big red cups of this or that, ride bikes with brohan on their thin, bright bikes. i rattle heavily and make a rubbing noise and have my skirt in one hand and the red cup in the other.
which leaves no hands. i keep up, and gasp large gasps at the ends.
at the club chance holds headphones against his ear with one hand, stands in a sideways way that made me fuss and adjust his shirt two afternoons ago. is your sleeve longer on this side....?you just stand funny, i think. you're almost sideways.
wes says to someone, my roommates the DJ and we agree this is a pround feeling; later sitting in the church pews that encircle the zines, listening to bessie smith, talking until one of us says can we go to sleep after this please? some kid on clay street had handed us a half full bottle of white wine which we drink slow and with some disinterest.
in the mornings we can wake up and believe we're somewhere else. the new city of hearts, the freshest start in the world. my voice was broken and raspy. over at curtis's the cats walked around checking everything to see if it all still smelled the same. it didn't, and they corrected this with their chins.
going to go home now to
yours, amanda L. at 5:49:00 PM [+]
fox in the snow is my theme song this season
i started to paint the walls in a color that looked like glow-in-the-dark but was not. this was not what i meant to do; i stared at it for several long minutes before giving up. stephen and i went to tan-a, i cooked green curry for my household which was delicious but no-one showed up except for chance and so chance and i sat at the table with nice plates and cups of water to cool our burning mouths. then we smoked cigarettes in his room underneath the stilled elevator mechanisms and drank the last two beers and talked about the house.
when any of us are around one another all we can talk about is the house.
the house goes like this: on the second floor is chance and luke and me. on the third floor is wes and evan and dennis. we are using only one sixth or so of the available space. we have a whole lot of space, you all. we have a kitchen on the first floor, a shower, a billion bicyles and a rotation of bi-weekly dinnermeetings.
we have record players and boomboxes everywhere.
i get so lovely inside over the whole place.
"want a stable, solid home. feeling like some orphan kid archetype from early eighties disney historical-drama movies, with seventies hair and dirty elbows and i just want all my friends to gather together at the edges of the city to make a home. without television and petty melodrama and shitty makeout sessions but a kitchen and dinners and projects and care for one another"
on how last summer luke and i laid on opposite couches and daydreamt a warehouse, sat drinking slurpies on a stoop in philadelphia and pointed across the street at a building saying like that one over there, drew up lists and charts, and awoke in new york and wandered through cavernous spaces thinking in unison that it just must happen.
oh we have a track record of not following through as much as we hope to.
but the warehouse exists!
isn't that the very first step!
the dream bed as experiement
i have a bed that is up off the floor that i technically share but i've kind of hogged it this week. a bed up off the floor! accompishing my little goals.
and then i grow sneaky, having drinks and slipping onto the grass outside of the club and try to lure a boy to the shared bed that is up off the floor; fall fast asleep before he gets there. dreams dreams dreams. imperfection is compelling these days and i like buying clothes in the next larger size, heavy bodied for winter times. in the morning i feel wretched; think over the night before a little and am glad for sleep as a safety catch.
i'm so guilty. i'd get frowned at if i used the shared bed for those sorts of things, i suspect. the bed, i think to myself, ought to stay clean, like a science experiment.
can it happen that way? you could say to me what crazy universe are you living in? to think that the both of you are not the sort that require beds to lure people home to? are you not the easily fallen and well known for it? and i would look at the floor. its dumb. its true. we'll need privacy at some point.
we'll need walls and a system of heating them.
its so much to do.
when your legs are black and blue its time to take a break
its been suggested that we all share the bed, and lay head to feet like the grandparents in charlie and the chocolate factory. eventually it will be so cold here
yours, amanda L. at 1:45:00 PM [+]
i'm doing so well. and when our hearts were light and gay. we're listening to television. matthew is sweeping the floor and i follow him from room to room, where every single object--external or internal--triggers a story. compulsion and tale-telling, which falls from my body in big gulps. he sits on the bed and i try to make a room from out of the past, from estonia and three years ago made with my arms and voice. and i get there bit by bit.
the warehouse is a gift. we push the dust around and put our foreheads to the window glass on the third floor and yelp delightedly and skateboard over top of furniture. evan and luke and i sat on the couch and pushed it over backwards with our feet when we felt it was unfair to not be facing the majesty of the enormous room. i feel as if we ought to turn this couch around but we just pushed it over and laid there with legs in the air and with the blood rushing to our brains and wondering what it would be to walk upside down on the ceiling.
our house is not on the street, our house is not a whole number, our house is three stories tall, our house has a little yard and an empty elevator shaft.
i have a great many plans.
lets make little films together, reader. and process them in the bathtub, hang the strips around the ceiling so the dust clings to the frames and makes a record of itself. and i want to climb into a car with you and drive to some new state i haven't seen, and stare down from mountains and consider newness. the season shift is an activator. the living calender idea was all wrong; its a struggle but the winter is when all our plans will be thickest and frentic.
yours, amanda L. at 2:52:00 PM [+]
anda gail lewis 2005. stop crying every day.