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TALES OF AN ORANGEPEELER

an archive of pleasures, wounds, sublimations
& other curiosities :: elsewhere :: profile


6.28.00

Recently I haven't been able to imagine tenderness. I wish I could.
Maybe that's why I haven't been writing extensively, intensely, with poetry in my head and my hips. There is little to enjoy. Instead of reading or writing or taking Lomo photographs, I find myself daydreaming--about what, I can't remember.

I miss friends, those primary sources of tenderness, my loved ones scattered across this earth, in different cities, pursuing adventures or consigning themselves to a temporary hell, the click-click humdrum desk life.

Is there anyone left to love?

Is that why people collect hobbies? To fill in gaps shaped like people we once knew or haven't met yet? Maybe that's why I choose to quake with rage. That's my hobby: rage, at trespasses mundane and great. I must feel, fully, somehow.

If I didn't feel rage, I might, instead, feel hopelessness, the hopelessness of a failed romantic, a failure, maybe, at friendships, loves, academics, writing, art, the artful facade. I'm failing because I am losing faith, faith in myself, in my friends, in my humanity and the humanity of others.

You see, I'm grappling with loss, with what novelist Jeanette Winterson positions as the measure of love. I love/d people, innocence, childhood, houses, cities-but they disappear/ed. I will leave. Everything dissipates, into memory.

Are love and desire delusions? Like carnival cotton candy, melting on a child's tongue until only the memory lingers, tenderly? These days. memories seem the only moments of tenderness I've got left.

Today, I found out that Barbara Christian died recently, from cancer. An African-American Studies professor at U.C. Berkeley, she taught a class I took a year ago, on Writings on/by African American women. She was a marvelous woman, a woman I never really got to know. A friend tells me that the women of that department are its backbone; they deal with so much bullshit, internal and external.

Bullshit. We deal with so much bullshit; we hurt, love, endeavor, suffer, die.

Where are the first three years I spent in this little city? I was a child, then, 18 and pigtailed, my only possessions a suitcase of old woman's clothes and a cardboard box containing my library and a typewriter. Curious, more willing to be emotionally spontaneous, I was thrilled with living in a city I could claim as mine, far from the eyes of my parents. Although I was very naive, but I was honest and earnest in my passions. That's why disillusion is so painful now, because the Fall seems so long, so violent, so thorough at the completion of its task, devastation.






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