Monday, March 28


6. Jour de la revolution

i am reading about calender systems.

last night we listened to this french jazz band. they started with a kurt weill song and had an instrument where you blow into a tube that is attatched to a keybaord. like a melodica, but a long tube instead of just blowing into the end/mouthpiece of your keyboard.

somewhere i have a fat book of all the love letters weill and lotte lenya sent to each other.

very sad today. no reason. maybe all the nightbuses. when i think about my impending two and a half days of travel, i feel better. i will take buses, trains, metros, small airplanes, large airplanes and cars. i will start in girona, a city i've never been to, stop briefly in england to watch television in bed with rory and then fly across the fucking ocean, to new york city. i will see four airports. i will buy coffee from machines, and eat sandwiches that come from plastic triangle-shaped packages, and squint at departure screens, and try to conceal my enormous suitcase on metros where it is rude to take up all the space, and i will nervously approach the boy who will be waiting in new york, holding my hand over my mouth because it is a tic i have when i am nervous and smile uncontrollably, because i have an ugly smile. and then throw everything aside, embrace and be home.

i heart wikipedia all the time, and i forget, and then i unforget and find out they have long entries on the threepenny opera like this.

And the ship with black sails, and with 50 cannons, will beseige the city.

yours, amanda L. at 6:46:00 AM [+]

Saturday, March 26


one day, when looking at the human statues on the ramblas i noticed che and just as i said to myself, hmm, che, this lady's bag split open and two kilos of oranges spilled everywhere. we all bent to pick them up; che stepped off his pedestal. and at one point, as i dropped an orange into the lady's bag, i glanced up and he was right next to me, also placing an orange in the bag, and then we looked at each other and had a Moment.

three days later i put some coins in his jar and he threw his fist in the air and i laughed and he handed me a photograph. of him. and then i gave him a sticker. and then everyone laughed, all over the place. tonight i walked through alleyways, drank wine from the bottle, bought beers from the arabs. discussed politics, and leaned heavily against a wall in the Born, seasick, happy, well-read, nauseous. and now i am drunk in joeys lving room talking to owen from casiotone and everyone else is asleep and i do not know what iam fucking doing these days at all.

yours, amanda L. at 10:31:00 PM [+]

Friday, March 25


regroup, regroup, regroup. okay, okay, okay.

one month in richmond. but may first you're all coming back here with me. right?

yours, amanda L. at 11:47:00 AM [+]

Thursday, March 24


i love the tesco one. (tesco is the cheap generic grocery store in the UK and when i lived there i lived off tecso shit. all the packaging is exactly the same.)

yours, amanda L. at 8:14:00 AM [+]

Wednesday, March 23


spring time.
nineteen eighty seven and climbing into rainwater drain tunnels walking to the creek, damp new world, kristy and i slicing all our jeans into cutoffs, windows open and kitchen sounds, staring at the pavement and going for walks. nineteen ninety six and biking to the synagogue to hide from work in the choir loft all morning. or spend two hours passing from row to row in the sanctuary, flipping prayerbooks the right way around. slowly, slower, slower. conversations with walker, and then josephine would emerge from the sidedoors, and he'd have to clean the toilets, and i'd have to bake a cake.
last summer, particularly waking up on the couch in the studio. wore the same clothes for days at a time. again, waking up on the couch. waking up on the couch. throat always dry, clothes always on, back always sore, ALWAYS that feeling of its a new day lets get to it. the most alone in all of richmond, with a daunting pile of fabric, threads, buttons, iron-on letter, lace and unravelled thriftstore items, like a giant mound of hay waiting to be GOLD. and i am LATE.
i wake up hard like that. like this. now its today and i'm pushing the contact lenses around into my eyes and switching on the computer to write this stuff down. the archetype of wakes up thinking of some other era.

i feel fucking poetic, but only in my bones, not fully in my mouth. we stayed awake last night talking about all things, drinking all things, those times when you can't figure out how to stop exactly, so you keep needing things to drink and talk about, and you forget how to go to sleep, and i forget how it ends. spring time. this morning. this morning i woke up and i was ten years old, no nineteen years old, and twenty six all at once, and my springtimes lined up neatly in my head at 3.7037037037037037037037 percent opacity apiece.


skateboarders in the plaza

yours, amanda L. at 7:31:00 AM [+]

Monday, March 21


eder wrote me a little list of words while i doodled basque As allover my notebook. we drank at the cerveceria and played yatzee on the table. i carry dice everywhere i go. back at apartment edu was getting high with his friends and playing some pearl harbor video game that was astoundingly mesmerizing. if you are high. i stood in joeys room and announced i have to talk to my friend luke RIGHT NOW. i have to call him. when i am this out of my face, it makes me think of him. and then i called luke and he was driving in the pickup with his mom.
i floated away then. my dreams were heavy sandfilled sacks.
back to apartment hunting.

yours, amanda L. at 8:37:00 AM [+]

Sunday, March 20


in barcelona. i underestimated, again, how fucking motherfucking rad it is here. last night joey and nick and eder and ali and me played piggyback, and i learned curse words and number words. i lost roundly, and would slap the table with my hand whenever it happened, and ali taught me the word joder so i could yell it and then eder frowned, saying no no no, useful words, useful words, and taught me the word mesa so i could yell that. and so i took turns hollering fucking whore! and table! whenever my hand came down. laughing. saying the spanish for everyones scores like a pleased-as-punch kindergardener.

abi and eder are two of joey's roommates. nick is this british kid who, when i mentioned i was from richmond, said immediately oh yeah have you heard of the band stop it!? and is constantly muttering about how sweet everything around us would be to grind on and why did he leave his skateboard in england. i am looking for an apartment. we've decided to start a street band, a bike gang, an art collective, and several businesses. dear everyone, please move here fast. and bring art supplies. because we are going to take over spain this summer hard. and then make it home for best friends day, of course.

yours, amanda L. at 9:10:00 AM [+]

Monday, March 14


i rented a bicycle and that is all. i fucking rule all of paris. drew a blue two-headed rabbit on the wall above where princess Di got killed, which is covered in writing but mostly weird shit. nathan lives next to it, i forgot to tell you.

i miss biketown, SINCE YER READING, OFFICER.

yours, amanda L. at 4:18:00 PM [+]

Sunday, March 13


i use the free mcdonalds wifi, and sit in mcdonalds. this does not offend my sensibilities, because there is nothing i can eat here.

1. renting a bicycle with a basket.
2. the center pompidou's gift shop. where i stared at postcards, they have a billion. i pick up each one and imagine what my room would have to look like with it tacked onto the wall. then i pick a few more to go with it. the room takes shape, color, demension.
living spaces take up the majority of my daydream life.
i looked at graphic design books, they have the nicest covers. no, graffiti books have the nicest covers. i find a book about this, and covet it.
3. i leave the center pompidou's gift shop with a single postcard carefully concealed in my sketching notebook and walk across the indoor pavillion area, mind swimming with ideas. a sit down next to a lady in a bright orange sweater who is slightly bending forward. she croaks excuse me with a dutch accent and immediately starts to throw up all over the floor in front of us.
i pull my feet in.
then i get up and tell the people at the information desk that a lady is puking over there. she is sick. i say this in english because i have no idea what the verb to puke is in french. elle est...elle est...est très malade....? and pointing. the people at the information desk nod their heads and say okay. this confuses me because i don't know if theyve understood me fully. no one is doing anything, except the dutch lady who i can see bent completely in half, puking her stomach out. everyone is nodding. its crazy so i leave.
4. in the phone booth i wake up bizhan and gush out two weeks of bottlenecked idea club mania; we'll do this! this! this! and maybe this! and he says plus this and that and this! and tells me about being out drinking with luke I FUCKING MISS LUKE and riding bikes and that my, no dennis's, car has been towed away before they can push it somewhere to turn it into the make-out car. while we are talking a police lady strides across the intersection and stands in the middle of it, blowing a whistle and staring right at me. then a large yellow protest begins trickling, then wells up strongly, loud and yellow down the street and towards my phone booth. i try to make out the signs and it is something about people getting kicked out from their homes in a high-number arrondissement. a big blue truck is playing music and entirely filled with people's kids that are too little to march.
that looks like the best job; the person who is the musical truck manifestation babysitter.
5. anna karenina! anna karenina! ah, i am going to walk home along the river and hum, after coaxing the one grocery store still open in saint-michel to sell me a bottle of wine.

yours, amanda L. at 4:25:00 PM [+]

Wednesday, March 9


"virgos cannot do it to other virgos. because thats just not okay."

feeling better. we've had internet in the house all day. i played on myspace, adding people, like you're supposed to. nathan and i drink wine. alot of it. i try to figure out how to get to barcelona without breaking the bank. i am frustrated and i'm only now realizing its because i do not to wait for outcomes. i want to either have a place in barcelona and everything decided or want to be sewing away, humming to myself, in front of the izek, bizhan burning screens and doing something functional, and then we fall asleep fulfilled and content etc etc.

Q: how do i convince everyone i love to join my fuckup gyspy troupe----?

. . .

(pause to scream and wave my arms around at nathan in a revalation)
i need a fucking GYSPY TROUPE! thats what i fucking need! a fucking TROUPE! of GYPSIES! like ME! thats how i get everyone i love to travel around and leave richmond but still get to be around them, making things and taking over. A MOTHERFUCKING TROUPE OF GYPSIES!!!!

nathan: should we just show up to the movie shamfully drunk?
me: (snort) yes!!!

yours, amanda L. at 2:09:00 PM [+]

Tuesday, March 8


in the international method
we decided it must be springtime outside, then it occured to us that we felt this way only because allof our clothes were clean, and everyone was pulling on their favorite shirts that had been bottom-hampered for days and days with the used socks.

in the morning its miso soup, yerba mate and scrutinizing the people on the street below to determine the temperature. hand to glass. and then finally pushing the window out, its hard to tell: we keep it like a sauna in the room. the warm air spills out frantically, i can't feel the difference even with my head stuck outside and one arm waving around meaninglessly. we keep it like florida. as if we are alligators.

today i noticed at bastille that you can rent bikes for the same price par semaine as a metro ticket par semaine. thats brilliant. ah, next week. here's why i was at bastille: because i went to st. denis for the pakistani place but then i wasn't hungry on account of the yerba mate. so i searched for a sac for the laptop in the cheap stores and found a sturdy one with an enormous golden sequined peace sign on it, which made me crack up laughing and think about the boy for the zillionth time that day, for 3€ and so walked on, swinging it around like a girl on her way to kindergarden. aimlessly. this crowd of highschool kids comes bellowing out from the metro holding handmade signs and with faces covered in little facedpainted peace signs. i look at my bag. how weird memes are.

they are obviously heading for something good so i trail them happily until we all run headlong into the gigantic fucking french highschooler manifestation. now: there are a billion million french highschoolers and they are extremely pumped about something awesome which i can not quite determine. something to do with school. something to do with being young. something to do with either equal or free. its completely wonderful plus awful because all the meanfaced kids from the ugly parts of town are taking advantage of the chaos in this bright bright way, loping around in gangs, attacking their enemies and stealing wallets from girls holding signs and getting in brutal fights with the adult manifestation securite. and its HUGE. and entirely kids. a team of three girls goes from bus stop to bus stop; one deftly pulls from her coat a key for the advertisement cases and with a hidden motion the plexi is suddenly pulled open, the posters ripped out, case shut tight as a second girl steps up with a red paint marker to message across it. then they run off. all the glass windows to moped stores are cracked in two or three places. shopkeepers are yanking down metal walls but the cafes are still open and old ladies fill up the tables, unfazed and sipping cafes. i walk with everything all the way to bastille (all protests in paris always end up at bastille), occasionally flattening myself against a walk as a rush of thirty-forty baggycoated whooping boys tears past, starting a mini riot. at one point a security officer grabs one (this is not the police, the police are at the edges with their usual, their shields and wands) and flings him to the ground and kicks him a few times right at my knees. i flatten myself further against the wall and just look.

my babytalk french sticks in my throat and i croak arrêtez real soft.
everyones eyes are ultra alert.
i feel sad in my belly, missing a lover.

yours, amanda L. at 11:08:00 AM [+]

Monday, March 7


i drank a bottle of red wine and constructed/sewed postcards for bizhan and tasha and my mother while listening to french mtv with one ear and paging through this eye-widening british weekly called zoo that i found in the bathroom next to the toilet. concluded that tits come in a zillion different shapes and sizes. got extremely caught up in everyone's bodies and hipbones and curves. i feel a little bad that i respond to the traditional porn stances. maybe i'm not such a feminist. but i so like the bent-over look.
whenever a ciara or alicia keyes song came on i got up and danced in front of the mirror. top40 hip-hop videos plus sortaporn equals i heart my body at 155lbs. then i think of home and the boy and have to collapse backwards on the bed and wonder what my gyspy-ass problem is, on the sixth floor of the apartment, trying for the third time to make *#!$*!iranian rice correctly WHICH I CANNOT DO AND I BLAME THE RICE; i could be having orgasms right now, i think.


a bright blue POSCA paint marker. into my bag. kelly comes upstairs with laundry: success at everything we do. the rice sucks but its it's own fault. must try this pita bread thing. today we ate lebanese food and i cheated with lebni. ohhhhhhh lebni. at muna's house i used to slather it onto everything because lebni can make anything into food. lebni and zaatar. at one point we were going to move into an apartment in beirut together; i wish that were still an option.

everything so overly insane. i drew little blue paper airplanes on the floor of the metro car. i jumped over the turnstile. freedom in every direction as far as the eye can see. already to part two of anna karenina. its stupid to be in france, i'm never going to learn the language and i only hang out with englishspeakers and anyways when luke s. text messages me with sentences about how he's going to take over i get excited about richmond again and i hope that it gives me one more chance. I HAVE NINE LIVES!

yours, amanda L. at 5:25:00 PM [+]

Sunday, March 6


friday night, we drank bottles of wine all over the whole place, and found the largest old fanciest grocery store in all of france. we bought fancy picnic items; green olive tapenade, hummus with pine nuts, chevre, seedy bread. more red wine, and then the four of us crowded into a tiny space to make a bundle and picnicked then and there in the doorway of Someplace. a view of the intersection, shining with night-lights, and the park i didn't want to climb into, and crumbs falling onto our coats, and everyone pulling off pieces of bread and hands crisscrossing across one another; we are almost in each other's laps. it is cold.
we grow increasingly drunk and merry. get lost and don't. head over to shakespeare and add two to our party, or lose one, i can't remember, but we are shrilly arguing about politics in the alleyways all the way to chez george. john has a long black coat and inflexible leftist views which i squint at like a wolf eyeing a pig and announce, you have rich parents! and we roundly lose interest in him. he keeps at it feebly and somewhat deflated. i'm a one woman angry class war, and i wish for jim straub, and even more once we're squished into the basement dancing to klezmer music with the other drunk french kids. i frown and scoot into a corner and pour myself a glass of wine from the bottle the couple next to me have turned away from. and say inside, politics is so idiotic because no matter what we say and say and say and do and do and do and do, poor people like us just want to fucking get drunk and dance on a friday night and by god we will find some way to do this no matter what government is in power. i then i get happier. because it is universal! and i miss jim and his accordian and hatred of students.
i am too greedy in stealing a second glass of wine and the couple sees me; the girl grabs my hand and yelps and i pull back and make a sheepish shrug. she yells a little more. the boy next to me pulls out a ten euro note and starts waving it at her meanly and she retreats, pushing his hand away. i feel really cold brained. nathan is saying something about a beef with someone's girl. all the men in our corner of the club are creeping and pressing and everything feels like a fight is brewing.
i might have ESP or i might just be a hothead. while reaching for my coat some guy squeezes my breasts and i instantly reel back and clock him. he stares at me holding his cheek and then slaps my face, at which point i understandably go apeshit, and the two of us erupt, cursing at one another in opposing languages, and i am hollering i'll fucking kill you you motherfucker, i'll fucking slit your throat you fucking fuck and make a lunge for him at which point someone pulls me away and says iss cool iss cool iss cool okay? okay? iss cool?
no. i'll fucking kill him
i murmur, making my eyes like the girl holding a chair above her head in the special ed class. our group staggers for the exit. nathan has lost his dinosaur teeshirt and wants it, we send kelly back in, and sit in the second doorway of the evening discussing the strategic points of the evening. we conclude that we are badasses. i love paris.

p.s. (to lil dave) the moral of this story is I AM A FEMINIST.

yours, amanda L. at 1:47:00 PM [+]

Thursday, March 3


1. reading alas, babylon for the first time since eighth grade (that link spoils the plot if you read the summary be careful) and it makes me think of luke. he likes stories about humans turning savage lord-of-the-flies-style. and good vs evil stories, that sort of thing. luke's doing a medical study in new jersey, and sending me text messages now and then that say things like, no internet here, will probably shoot self. tell me about cool shit. p.s. all floridaphobes will really enjoy reading about the major cities getting annihilated one by one
2. eating very little, and often not so vegan. its difficile.
3. nathan showed me the chinatown. it is at the tobiac metro stop on the seven line. we at first couldnt find it and got a little lost. i suggested we buy beers and drink them to help us in our journey. we got tallboys in a corner store, a kronenbourg for me and a 1664 for him. it was two and schools were letting out and there were little kids everywhere and i almost felt sheepish over my open beer but then i drank it and we found chinatown so it was ok. lugging home a sack of rice. the ingredients for green curry and miso soup. successful at everything we attempt!
4. nathans one-room L-shaped apartment holds three to four comfortably. four has to sleep in bed with nathan but thats what his canadian girlfriend is for. the wall slants into a triangle and has a big window that opens outwards. i fix mate in the mornings instead of coffees, we steal mattresses from the hallway and push them under the bed. it snows everyday, right into your face. i found a two-zippered coat and a scarf as big as a blanket; the elevator needs a key before it will go to the sixth floor and i never have it. i do however have a metro card AND an internet card so i am in business. the business of wandering around and staying up late.
5. i am deadly jealous of every single person in richmond who gets to have conversations face to face with bizhan khodabandeh. from this distance, i find it impossible to imagine anyone having the willpower to, when confronted with his presence, to not collect him in their arms and press their face against his cheek. so thus everyone must be doing this. so thus i bite my nails and seethe upon richmond like a crazy person. its hard not to say drop that phone park that car sleep on the floor dream about me, you know.
6. i wonder when i will stop having fun every day

yours, amanda L. at 11:31:00 AM [+]

anda gail lewis 2005. stop crying every day.

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