Saturday, March 21, 2009

If We Could Collect All The Missing Hours

Today I looked out my window. I live on the 5th floor in Chinatown. I held an espresso in my hand. The sun lit up the tops of two trees. On the street I saw people in coats still wearing hoods. Second day of Spring. I can not decipher the weather. The air is not filled in bird song. I sip my drink and begin to think about an email. From a girl I knew back in highschool. We exchanged Frank O'hara-ish emails, "I do this, I did that, I went here, I am here." A condensing of over a decade. Cool. Then she asks if I'm happy. Something in my mouth didn't taste right. I twirled my tongue. I ignored the question. Today in the shower I noticed my thighs are getting bigger. That I need to shave. That I need to address the idea of happiness.

I was raised in a religious household. It had its "cultish tendencies." There was a lot of talk about Jesus. Ultimate teacher, etc. My father and his boys were always hawking on the point where J.C. is asked a question and replies with a question. I do love me a good rhetorical strategy, but for the most part this seemed more like avoidance than intelligence. It has always felt to me a perfect politician move. But then again I tend to think of deities and politicians of the same vein (vain?) but I am aware a majority disagrees with me. So here we are splitting the hair of a strand which already is a split end. Nonetheless. The day is still without song bird sounds. And there's this question of happiness. But before we get to that another digression. Yesterday while having dinner with a friend I was informed that no one would describe me as "happy-go-lucky." I winced. I faltered. The ego that wants all was disappointed. But she was right. And I should have been happy. We have a friend who we both would describe as h-g-l. He is not she; he is not I. We like him as him because he is he.

Here's the thing. This would be perfect with a accompaniment of birds. Perfect with grapefruit juice and clean light. Language lies. On the surface it can seduce. For a moment I was seduced. Last night I became seduced with h-g-l, today in the shower. Not so seduced. An act of cleansing. A rinsing of the ego. Soap. Lather. Rinse. Sing. Soap. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. How's your brain. A bit soggy. Let me ring it dry. Words are the recollection. The after. The putting into language what can not be expressed. The document after the moment has moved on. Or is still moving. And you are typing and translating its trail. Happy. Yes. Sad. Yes. Dialogue of the dialectical. To know happiness is something that can not be summarized in words. Language is made up of lies, the after, the need for preservation. The quest of, yet happiness is the is. This can only be seen. Felt. To know a known thing is to have experienced the knowing. I can not give you the answer you want because I will not enlist words to do the work they are incapable of doing. I will not use the J.C. method and ask you if you are happy or to define happiness. No thanks. I'll leave that for someone who is seeking an unreliable narrator. What I can say is that it is Saturday. There are no birds in the sky but a plenitude of sun which shines on branches which contain buds. The buds will be leaves. These leaves will be green. Music will come. Music will go. And somewhere at some point in time I will be eating grapefruit. I like to share.

6 comments:

Molly Gaudry said...

Love this post.

steven karl said...

Hi Molly!

Thanks for the kind comment. It means a lot. Today I blogged about oranges- too funny. I think I read your blog then went out and bought a bunch of oranges-haha!

arlene said...

hey steven. i stumbled upon your post on captain s' blog. i really loved this. hope you're well. my friend just moved to chinatown. we should do brunch. i love that little place, brown or orange cafe? i think that's what they're called. but i'm always on the lookout for good coffee. :)

arlene

arlene said...

hi steven. i stumbled upon your post on captain s' blog. i loved this. it captures my in-between day moments when i cannot phrase them as they are often out-of-place. it is very beautifully and thoughtfully written.

a friend of mine just moved to chinatown. we should do brunch. i love that little place, brown or orange cafe, i think that's what it is called. but i'm always in a search for good coffee too. :)

hope you are well.

arlene

steven karl said...

Hey arelene- long time no see! Happy to here from you:) I live on the same street as Brown so brunch is definitely in order & I'm completely addicted to Gimmie Coffee which has the best coffee in the city- 'though I stil gots lots of love for 9th Street Espresso too!

arlene said...

hey steven. i thought the first post i posted didn't post so i posted another one. does that make sense?

awesome about brunch. i don't think i have your number. you can email it to me: arlene.t001@gmail.com

i love gimme coffee. i think i saw one pop up in soho now. i use to go when i lived in williamsburg. i keep hearing about 9th st. espresso. but i don't think i've had it. i like mud coffee and the little coffee shop (don't know the name) on st. marks. tiny tiny but GOOD coffee.