I was walking down Broadway with Shavon this afternoon, in between the bank and the yarn store, and a guy was singing on the corner as we approached it. He was across the street from Everyday Music, and he had on man-wristies that didn't match. That's the first thing I said about the whole scene, was that the guy needed new wristies. And then Shavon said that I was in her phone like that, that I was Victoria with the wristies. And then I realized he was singing Damien Rice. He wasn't very good, but I doubled back and gave him a dollar, because he deserved a love dollar. It takes a lot of balls to be not so good at singing, and to be singing Damien Rice.
So here I am. It's been the end of an exhaustive, delicious, multi-day resting period. There's been much Grey's Anatomy, late; there's a new messenger bag, and candlesticks. And a paper lantern that defeated me. I've simultaneously cleaned and trashed my pretty little space, I've eaten and slept, and passed on a sold-out show so that I could rejuvenate. And several things have been kicking at me: good, bad, indifferent, all of it. I keep looking at the Death Cab for Cutie website, unable to believe my photographs are still there. Directly related to, and also having nothing to do with, my heart has swelled to the point of bursting being happy -- to be here, to have Kristin in my life. The simultaneous realization that I'm parentless, the process of my mother dying and wanting to write a book about it, a cameraphone picture my sister sent me of the dog with a holiday bandana around her neck (the dog, not my sister), the noise in my hallway, the silence of a one-person apartment. The glee of nesting on a little couch underneath my loft bed, purring cat holding me hostage, realizing that I've done it, that I've gotten somewhere. Or at least I've started to know what that means.
And the fear is starting to subside.
(what I really need / is what makes me bleed / like a new disease / she's still too young)
I've gone to get afraid of things, situations, moments, opportunities -- and stopped to wonder if I'm really afraid, or if it's just some old reaction. And the funny thing is, most of the time, I'm not scared. It is an old reaction, like a pair of pants. A choice, not a prison cell. I might be a little bit normal size fearful-slash-anxious, but then if I don't give it energy, it doesn't get bigger. And most of the time, stuff's not actually scary... it's actually that most things are totally and completely rad. Maybe I've just got extra anxiety, or adrenaline, or some weird gut response to things that goes back to childhood or some ancient installation of stagefright, or whatever. I don't care. The point is, it's shifting. And it's shifting in the good way, shifting from getting your skin ripped off before it's ready to the afterburn from that to the healing over and the newness.
There's newness. Dark and twisty, but bright and shiny still. Less bleeding. More hope. Having a bunch of shows coming up is good. Having pictures up on a Grammy-nominated band's website is good. Opportunities are good. Challenges at work are good. Everything was so debilitating, and every day is less so... A week before the WaMu show, I had literally made myself sick. And now... well, fuck. We're starting to approach something resembling full-blown joy. Happiness, and not in the creepy movie way. Real, tangible, proof-worthy events and moments; coupled with things like moving into Andrew and Jessica's building without knowing it, and getting copied on emails to John Roderick, and making good friends with people that I can be myself and geek out with. Everything, from the apartment to the people, is like I'm getting a do-over on all the regrets I've ever had. Only better.
I don't quite know what I did to deserve all this, up to and including the baby-pink Barsuk sticker Liz had set aside for me in the stack of music she handed me today. It feels like I just live here, you know? Like I'm here, and I busk, and I'm enthusiastic about -- well, everything, and gardens upon gardens are being planted and cultivated and preparing for bloom as a result. Oh, and on the gardening -- the other thing I've started doing is stopped waiting, that is, I've had a lack of shelving anxiety. I've taken down all of my old posts for Googling's sake, but if anyone remembers, there was a point in my past relationship where the need for these shelves became a focus of my existence, like they'd fix everything. I had to get these shelves. I was always looking for the shelves. And Kristin would tell me maybe I just needed less.
(we all need help / to mend that shelf / of too many books)
And I'd wrap my head around it, around her saying that, or, I'd try to. And then I'd go back to looking for the shelves. And as I started to come out of my haze in this apartment last weekend, putting it together, trying to figure out what I needed -- it struck me, that this might be it. That there may not be shelving, or a different dresser, or some other thing to make anything feel different than it already is or did or does. And it just... happened. Like the want for the other stuff just got lifted out of me, and all this real estate cleared up in my head, and then it was quiet. Lifted out -- really. It felt / feels just like that.
I've cut my fingernails too short, and so they hurt a little, and I've got to go to bed. I'm so excited to get up to write tomorrow, to blog for TIG, and to journal, and to look at some letters I'm thinking about writing back. Letters I need to write back to, and be honest with, and spend some time handling. I have like, functioning to-do lists now. And I still don't quite get how it all happened.
This is, in fact, the new year. A few things are the same, but so much feels so very different. And in two weeks, it will be happy six months in Seattle to me. Indeed.