great american artists

it’s here

I’m sitting on Jenn’s bed in her apartment in Toronto. Everybody is at work. I have lunch plans with Andrew in one hour. The two names I just mentioned were the main characters in my life for a few years. 
Now it is like I am making a cameo appearance in another season of a show that I left.. or something. I don’t watch television. 
Amazing things are happening all the time though. Like I can wake up at 6.30 in the morning and think of you and roll over on my side and pick up my phone and say hello using my fingers. And we can have a conversation and you can be travelling across another country. And I can be lying in somebody else’s bed.
And when that person wakes up and walks across the room and says, ‘Are you going to start drinking coffee today?’ I can tell you this, and you can say, ‘Aw.’ 
And I can look out of the window at the end of the sunrise and I can remember what it felt like to be alone in this city two or three years ago. And it can feel a little bit like being alone in this city right now, only I could never feel as alone in this city as I did two or three years ago, because now I understand something more about the relative size of the whole world.
And I can ride buses between major North American cities in the night times and I can arrive on some street somewhere in the morning and make my way to somebody else’s apartment and tell them a story which will make them laugh, while I drink a glass of water. 
And we can drive for two hours to get to a flooded quarry that we went to at the end of last summer. And I can turn around in the car, with somebody else’s ipod in my hand, and I can ask, ‘Does anybody have a problem if I just play Anthemic Songs From Any Genre?’ And I can laugh as I scroll through a list of forgotten artist names. And I can have one of the best feelings of my life, curating the perfect summer road trip.
Anyway, I want to tell you about something because it seemed important or something.
When we got to the flooded quarry, I was sitting on the rocks in my bright yellow swim suit, and I had told my friends that I was cool to sit and look after their stuff for a while, while they went swimming. I said that I needed to be alone for a few minutes, so that I could have some sad time to myself.
And there was a ledge kind of close to where I was sitting, where people would sometimes come along and jump into the water. It wasn’t particularly high, maybe 6 or 7 feet. There was a much bigger one a little further away, which the kind of people who like to jump off tall things were using to jump from.
And a girl of about ten walked over with her dad and she stood on the side of the smaller ledge and her dad stood a few steps behind her. She turned and looked at me, nervously, and I grinned. She didn’t grin. She just turned around again and I noticed that her legs were shaking. 
Her Dad said, ‘C’mon. All the other kids are doing it. You’re not scared, are you?’ 
And she didn’t move. 
Her Dad said, ‘You don’t want your brothers to make fun of you, do you?’ 
And she jumped in. She didn’t scream but she made a big splash. Her Dad nodded to nobody in particular, and I grinned. I felt good.
I know how good it feels to be falling towards the water.
Then a few minutes passed and I was sitting by myself, still working myself into a little misery hole. I was thinking about The Future or whatever and I was thinking about how difficult it can be to mix your life with other people’s. How it’s hard to be honest about what you want. How it’s hard to know what you want. How it’s hard to actually even want things a lot of the time.
And a little boy came running over. He was maybe a year or so younger than the girl. Or he just seemed scrawnier, I don’t know. But the kid came running over and he went straight to the side of the ledge and I thought something like, ‘I’m the same as that kid’. 
Then his Dad came up behind him, and said ‘No!’ in a very serious tone.
And the kid said, ‘Please!’ 
And the Dad said, ‘No. It’s not safe.’
And the kid looked at me with a sad face and I looked at the kid and felt sad. Then the kid walked towards the edge of the rock, lower down, where you could just climb into the water. And the Dad followed him there, and they both lowered themselves into the water close to where my friends were. 
I considered what kind of effect this type of thing would have on a child, and how much effect it would have on those kids when they became adults. I thought about people I know and if they would want to jump. And I thought there were probably a lot of people who wouldn’t even want to swim. I thought about how I would have jumped in before my Dad even had the chance to suggest it to me. How I would have thought that would make him proud. How that was the way we communicate. 
And I laid down on my back and felt the sun working its way into my body. I looked at the sky and thought, ‘We can all see the same sky’ without really understanding what that meant or if it was true. I just felt grateful to be able to see that blue color and feel the warmth. 
Then eventually my friends came back and I said that I wanted to jump from the higher ledge and so one of them came with me, so I wouldn’t have to stand in the group of random guys by myself in my bathing suit. And she took a picture of me as I was falling towards the water, having the feeling we had driven all that way for.
How it feels to not be touching anything.
For nothing to be touching you. 
To hit the water and continue to fall. 
Anyway, Andrew just got here early so I am going to go eat lunch. I don’t know if this makes much sense. I’ve been finding it harder to write things in the last couple of weeks. I have done too much moving around.
I just wanted to remember this. 

matisse & me
"As there is no time for another depression, you must learn to control yourself systematically using a diet of energy drinks and uplifting party music."