Tuesday, April 11, 2006

busy late night nothings, now with extra random poetry

Ah, Love, you smell of petroleum
and overwork
with grease on your fingernails,
paint in your hair
there is a pained look in your eye
from no appreciation
you speak to me of the lilacs
and appleblossoms we ought to have
the banquets we should be serving
afterwards rubbing each other for hours
with tenderness and genuine
olive oil
someday. Meanwhile here is your cracked plate
with spaghetti. Wash your hands &
touch me, praise
my cooking. I shall praise your calluses,
we shall dance in the kitchen of our imagination.

Right, i should totally be in bed instead of up posting Judy Grahn poems on Val's laptop. After months of paying through the nose for the rationed privilege of checking my email while surrounded by 50 14 year old boys playing some sort of computer version of Operation Iraqi Freedom ("Merde! Ah, putain!!'), a renegade cloud of illegal but free wifi has drifted into our flat. So I'm taking advantage of it. I should be in bed, I gotta get up early tomorrow because I agreed to go to some random villiage nearby at 7 in the morning.
Yeah, anyway, I'm almost done here in Verdun. On April 22 I plan to be on a train to Paris. So things are in that totally wierd state when you're about to make a major change but it hasn't happened yet and everything's continuing as per usual, like just before you graduate. Limbo. Tension. Liminal space. I hate periods like this. Everything becomes heightened, given extra significance it wouldn't have otherwise. The last movie I see at the cinema. Actually paying attention to my surroundings on my morning jogs by the river, trying to fix them in my memory. Saying hello to an acquainence, Tony the barman/local pot dealer, the boulanger who sells me my bread, someone who's always been in the background of your day. There's like a wierd poignancy to it that annoys me to no end. Because, yes, there are things I will miss about Verdun, like how the bus drivers always nod hello to the garbage collectors as they drive by, or the ever-changing sky that makes me think of Vermeer's View of Delft. But let's not make it worse or more melodramatic than it has to be, okay? Let's just get it over with. I'm ready to go. I've got some teacher version of Senioritis, I just can't be bothered; I'm not a teacher, I realized that my first week on the job, but it's been a good experience, and now it's time to move on. How can I do lesson planning when I've got my Grand Tour in front of me? Paris, then London, England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Berlin. And my last night in Europe will of course be in Paris. I'm not sure I'm gonna make it, my brain can't handle that much, you know, happiness and shit. 'Bizarre Death of American Backpacker! Coroner Reports Abnormally High Levels of Endorphins in the Bloodstream! Too Much of a Good Thing? See page A3' I mean, the last time I was in London I was 17 and "straight", on a whirlwind 9 day trip with nuns. Not that it wasn't fun (notable especially for my first sight of drag queens, walking past the Tower of London in the middle of the day). But. Just you wait this time, London. You won't know what hit you. I'm going to be so broke when I get home.
Home. That's the thing. I want to go home and I don't want to go home. I miss family, friends, electrical sockets that aren't round, pick up trucks, my own car, my books, milk that comes in gallons, barbeques and corny classic rock, cutoff jeans and farmer's tans, Mexican beer. I can't wait to get my life started back home, make dyke friends, date, learn Aikido, get a pet iguana, join Code Pink and cause some trouble, get my hands dirty again. But I'm afraid, too, of getting stuck in Missouri, getting stuck in some shitty job in some shitty town wishing I'd gotten that PhD in Lit like everyone told me to, realizing that this time here was the best time of my life and it's all downhill from now on. Because it has been the best time of my life, and I'm a different person than when I left, more confident, more assertive, more secure. More adventurous. I'm more like the person I always wanted to be. And what if it doesn't last? What if I come home with all 7 of Nina Bouraoui's novels and lose my ability to read French? What if I regress? I'm afraid, too, of sticking out even more than I did when I left. Cause here I often feel like an ignorant hick (middle-class midwest and middle-class East coast and middle-class Western Europe can be very, very different things), but back home I'm going to be Too Intellectual, Too Educated, Too, believe it or not, Sophisticated.
What if, part of me wonders, finding a place to be, of my own, means having to sacrifice some part of myself? Because back home I'm too bookish and too gay, and here I'm too provincial.
Life would be alot simpler if I liked boys and makeup; but I seem to insist on being someone who goes fishing (mm, deep fried catfish) and reads Colette in the original.
Okay, I really need to get some sleep. God I'm going to hate myself in the morning.

8 Comments:

At 4:04 PM, Blogger JaneFan said...

"I'm a different person than when I left, more confident, more assertive, more secure. More adventurous. I'm more like the person I always wanted to be."

I think you just summed up the magic of travel. You can be more yourself, even more like your ideal self, because you're not bogged down by all the expectations of everyone around you thinking they know who you are, or telling you (subtly or not) who you're supposed to be...

Anyway, you'll bring that person back home with you. There's nothing bad about having a piece of you that can transcend podunk monotony every now and then. I think your perspective and insights from your travels abroad will only enhance and enrich your life in the future. Besides, there must be other people in your town or state that feel similarly deprived of culture, etc. Maybe now you will be more receptive to finding them!

 
At 11:37 AM, Blogger Hush said...

I'm so happy for you :-) I hope you enjoy your travels after you leave Verdun. If you need a list of the dyke hangouts in London, let me know :-) I'm sure these travels have changed you for the better and like janefan says, it will only make your life that much better.

 
At 4:05 AM, Blogger Andygrrl said...

Janefan: Yes! Exactly. Travel is so incredibly freeing on so many levels. I guess you're right; but sometimes I can be a worrywart.

Hush: I'll definitely send you an email.

 
At 4:29 PM, Anonymous Kevin said...

Anne, you seem so happy and coming into your own right now. I can't wait to see you when you get back.

"...but I seem to insist on being someone who goes fishing (mm, deep fried catfish) and reads Colette in the original."

In other words, you're your own person, and won't be put in the convenient cubbyholes of someone who reads Colette and gets her latte's at Bread Co. every morning. Individuals are usually more interesting than carbon copies, anyway.

 
At 12:59 AM, Blogger Andygrrl said...

:-) Well said, my friend. god, Kevin, I haven't seen you in like TWO YEARS! Us Tokens gotta stick together!

 
At 9:32 AM, Blogger reasonably prudent poet said...

maybe "home" in the states doesn't have to be missouri? maybe you can find a home in the states the holds your new sophistication and also holds your dirty-handed-farmer-tan fishing? i think you should move to portland. oregon. or maine, that would probably work too. but oregon is my favorite.

 
At 10:34 AM, Blogger Andygrrl said...

Well the contingency plan, at the moment, is get a job, temping I guess, get a room of my own (I was going to move in with a friend, but Mr. Wonderful just proposed and I kinda think they want their privacy!), find a job in Chicago. Move to Chicago is my main goal in life right now. But I am definitely open to elsewhere, like Oregon. It's thrilling and nervewracking at once, having my life so completely empty and open before me.
Also, nice blog!

 
At 6:57 PM, Blogger reasonably prudent poet said...

thanks. :-) your blog is great as well. keep reading, i need all the regulars i can get. :-) keeps me feeling happy.

 

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