inadequately expressed

on the day that you wake up wondering where she is and she's coming into the bedroom from where she was sleeping on the couch because you were snoring because you have a cold and you can't breathe when you're lying down and she's not even a little annoyed with you. on the day that you wake up and look at her and tell her you had a dream about someone else, someone from the past, and she says 'it's okay, i've got you, let it go' and then later while her tshirt is still wet with your tears and your snot she's in the kitchen, baking you scones for breakfast. on the day that you never leave her house, you just read in her bed and play videogames on her couch and you nap while she goes to get food for dinner. on the day that you utterly dissolve and she lets you, and she loves you, and she looks after you. on that day you might start to believe in the feelings you've been feeling, believe in healed and unalone.

and you might want to say 'thank you' but two words aren't very many, and you might have no idea how to properly thank someone for something of this magnitude.


a cautionary tale

why you should not engage in multiple IM conversations when you are groggy and trying to talk to your girlfriend.

a play in one act.


R: hard
me: ciao dude
R: that's how people will say bye in the future
  just wait
me: <3
  wrong window


news from the southern front

i was shushed in class today by a fellow student, who happens to also be a fairly distinguished faculty member from oxford. for some reason i am pleased by this.

i'm starting to regain my grip on the fact that i actually do have to work, and can't walk around in a dopey new relationthing (i got weirded out one day saying the word 'relationship' and so i changed it midstream, but i think i like 'relationthing'. i think i'll keep it) haze all the time. the haze is there, don't get me wrong, but i'm remembering to turn it down and sink myself into framework architecture, metrical scansion, game theory, and multidimensional semantics. can't let the ol' brainy brain get dulled by satiety, you know.

yeah, this is a good month.

it feels like quite a long time since i've been somebody's girlfriend.
i think i am a little rusty.


an excursus on melancholy

The older you get, the lonelier you become, and the deeper the love you need. Which means that this hero that you're trying to maintain as the central figure in the drama of your life--this hero is not enjoying the life of a hero. You're exerting a tremendous maintenance to keep this heroic stance available to you, and the hero is suffering defeat after defeat. And they're not heroic defeats, they're ignoble defeats. Finally, one day you say "Let him die--I can't invest anymore in this heroic position." From there, you just live your life as if it's real--as if you have to make decisions even though you have absolutely no guarantee of any of the consequences of your decisions.

--leonard cohen

she says i take comfort in melancholy. i say i have an interesting relationship with sadness.

lorca wrote about duende, a word that is impossible to translate into english. it evokes a marriage of passion and sorrow, the transformation of devastation into something creative, something powerful. think flamenco, think spanish poetry, think the beating howl of your heart when it loves, when it hurts, when it seeks to be understood. think about the fact that 'beautiful' is not synonymous with 'pretty', and when is the truly beautiful ever not a little terrifying?

cohen understands duende, just listen to any song he has ever sung. here he seeks refuge from sorrow in resignation but can you see? his action isn't hopeless at all. it is the opposite of hopeless. it is relief: warm, fluid, and embracing. it is the death of the projected self that allows one to embark on a less defended way of engaging with the world.

hal hartley tells us that "every intimacy engenders expectation, and every expectation, some unknown disappointment." i used to agree, but now i am exploring the reverse hypothesis that it is the very death of expectation that engenders deep intimacy.

and anyway, there isn't much room for sorrow these days.
stanford, san francisco, berkeley: sunshine everywhere.

she says i take comfort in melancholy. i say that anyone who's walked the edge never forgets the sound and feel of the void.

but hope exists, and redemption.


the institute

i can't remember if it was h who made the observation that stanford is like a university crossed with a theme park, or if it was someone else, or if i made it up on my own. but it's true. it's manicured and lovely, dotted with fountains and tasteful statues, and all the buildings are a similar color and style. this is nothing like berkeley; berkeley is rough around the edges, a mismatched jumble scattered over a scruffier kind of natural beauty and that is much more to my taste. but still, stanford is imposing (or impressive, if you prefer the connotations of that word) in a way that berkeley is not.

the presession started yesterday and runs through tomorrow. my first class starts at 9.30a and my last class ends at 9p. it's a little grueling, plus they keep switching the classrooms on us so it's always a panicky last minute dash up some hill in beating hot sun to try not to be late. i have had a headache all day. the classes are of high quality, though, so it seems worth it.

the fourth is a holiday, and the regular session starts on thursday. i ride my bike here and it only takes five minutes! there are so many berkeley people here that i have friends in every class and i eat lunch with a big group every day. which is great...and it means that i haven't met anyone new yet. i suppose i should work on that, but on the other hand, so little in my life is familiar right now that the comfort of people that i've known for at least a year is welcome.

yeah, that's pretty much what it's like so far.