July 2 – “nm”

Twitter would be so much quicker, but this has to stay private. I’m neurotic. Nate found me, and I think everything’s going to be ok. I need to find Eve. She’s here.

Signed,

Thee Arte

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July 2nd- The Familiar Unfamiliar PART 1

Dear Journal,
Greetings from my phone soon to be email soon to be posted in your pages. I’m not going home tonight… I was stupid. I was really really stupid… Just checked my phone, it’s 1am, I have no where else to go… I’m scared and I think I deserve it.

After Jack had showed up and explained Henrietta’s wedding I have to say my entire vote of self-confidence was starting to crumble. Think about it, a year and soon to be half wasted to keep a girls fantasy mixed with her reality. Henrietta was going to have her cake and east it at my expense, and I would be left to wash the dishes: figuratively speaking. Next thing you know it I was having breakfast with Jack on the rooftop of the recording studio he rents every now and then, and scurrying about Aardvarks finding a dress and a tie to match it for Henrietta’s grand fairytale.

It was like I cut the time of my life and stitched it back together. The routine was working as it always had, or was it? I couldn’t smile, my mouth just drew this straight line like a kid asking permission to do the wrong thing. I was beautiful, I reminded him of songs from The Cure, he would spin me around and swish me past the smell of old and clothes and cracked leather. Yet through all of this my eyes were heavy and my hands were numb. I even fell into the curtains and stumbled, welcoming the giant curtain as a mask to the world. As he reached his hand out to me I sunk deeper into the curtains, dusty and thick I didn’t want to leave them; I cried. …Shopping was over… The stitches bounding the gap of time were a scar that not even the sincerest kindest heart could ignore, and this heart was still broken no matter how tight it was bound back together.

Out of guilt, to myself and for putting Jack in such a horrible place I agreed to come back to his place for a bit… You know those feelings you get when you know the day is going to end bad, where it takes the strongest of courage to just pull the covers up from where you are and place your tense achy feet on the ground? I had just that feeling the minute I rose from that curtain. He kindly purchased the dress and tie for me. I couldn’t stop starring at the accessories behind the counter, dreaming of wearing a wig or giant sunglasses to the wedding. I just wanted to be anything but the Eve that I am now, even if it’s a ridiculous one…

Getting into Jack’s Teal Sidekick made me feel worse and worse, I could actually feel my fingertips straining to the touch of things. I listened to Jack fumble through his i-pod and The Cure started to play through his speakers, but it was different this time. The speakers were on low.

“I’m a monster to do this.” He apologized, it was sincere I could tell.

“I’m a mess…” I admitted. “You must think I’m stupid.”

“No, you’re brave. You always were, why else would I come back? You’re the only person that actually did any right out of what happened.” He waited and the track slowly faded to the next.

The sun was now setting and the ride was getting bumpier; we hit the Valley. The moment was broken as he brought the convertible up in the back, he slowed down to keep the dirt from the street from wafting up at our faces. Suddenly we were encased with the silence, the playlist had even ended. Traffic was picking up on the streets, and older model dirty cars started to becoming more commonly mingled with trucks and Asian sports cars. I thought I would never see this culture so soon. More than anything, the sight of the Valley sealed my dread in a sort of droning way. Just when I thought I couldn’t take it, I broke my inner poise.

“I hate this gloomy place.” I said in a way that sounded like spitting…

“You get used to it, quite peaceful in the mornings…” He was smiling, I was something other than sad at least.

“We always come here at night, I wouldn’t know.” I layed my head on the back of my chair feeling the air return to my breath, finally I was being something that I was willing to admit: Uncomfortable.

“You could of said no, saved yourself the grief.” He argued. We were in stop and go traffic trying for a turn that were were four cars away from.

“I couldn’t stay scared forever. I couldn’t let you have that.” Every He fidgeted to play more music, I pushed his i-pod away. Something came over me, I decided then that all this suffering had to come some good. All of a sudden my heart took words, my subconscious refused to be sealed away.

“You couldn’t even handle my heart, because we were never in love Jack. This whole wedding proves that more than anything; infact I couldn’t think of a better example. I can’t wait to march up to Henrietta and tell her everything that my literary tongue can fit on the cardboard romance that was left for photo shoots and fluffy words. I feel so SORRY for the both of us! Because we put ourselves to hell and back for the sake of people’s crappy self esteem and egos.” I was screaming at this point, I enjoyed it.

“Ho-ho Bright Eyes, you were a Siren when we met up on campus. Cold as hell, you were ready to make me suffer. Don’t go saying you felt sorry for US! If that were true I wouldn’t be in the dog house blocked from every form of modern contact.” He laughed at me. To make things worse he stared at himself in the mirror, grooming that wave part of his.

“When you became one of those idyllic bastards I couldn’t help but leave you. I wanted nothing to do with the old gang and the narrow-minded attitude. Disappearing was the greatest rebellion.” A smile swept my face. It felt so good, I STARTED LAUGHING.

We made that turn. I even pressed play on his i-pod and blasted the volume. Jack didn’t mind. In the world of eccentric creative minds we made amends. I even agreed to get a box wine with him and talk the rest of the night. He compared our relationship to VHS vs DVD; we were the same story but different because it was in better quality and detail. We salvaged a friendship that was always there and compromised because of other people hopes and expectations. If this all sounds too perfect, it was only for a few decent minutes.

We went to the liquor shop and

—EMAIL TRUNCATED DUE TO SPACE—

June 24 – Noon…ish @ Nate’s

I had to see a friendly face. Nate’s always been there for me, when I needed a good boost. He lives only by the next city, and his apartment looks exactly like mine, but with his stuff…and lots of alcohol. I’m not a drinker, never was – WAS, until I met Nate. He’d always pass me these mixes he learned back at New York, and he’d make them hard. My whiskey was always neat, Vodka had to be pure, and Beer had to at least be Amber. He never held back.

Today, I expected to get drunk. This was Nate – a good friend, and a good Bartender. I told him my story, Miss 626, and the poem… The whole thing was a long howl for me. Edgar Allan Poe would have raised from the dead just to laugh at my misery, I swear. I murmured, grumbled, mumbled, fumbled, and cried on his table. I asked questions: rhetorical questions, obvious questions, tangible, intangible, hypothetical, and theoretical conundrums. I could have gone on, talking like some bad American Jane Eyre movie remake, but Nate had to refill my cup for the fourth time. The effects were amazing, I was swirling between each blink, my vision blurred and circulated like a kaleidoscope, strumming my voice like an old cord — sending my confession without a conscience. I had to ask what was in it.

“Water”, he said.

What-the-fudge??? I couldn’t believe it. The rule of thumb when coming to his place is you always leave Irish. Today was not one of those days. I felt ashamed at the tolerance level I had for this faucet water he served. The liquid had a nasty taste to it. But just like that, I knocked out.

Four hours later, he explained that I was dehydrated, and suffered from insomnia. I would have argued, but he reminded me that I’ve been staying up for three days already, preparing for that Grant, obsessively. He knew my situation better than anyone, and because of it, he had no patience for my whining. He told me frequently that I was always demanding for attention, as an Artist. He says that I needed an outlet beyond my Artwork. We’d go for drinks, but I think that’s when I started the habit of returning this his place every week. The alcohol put me to sleep easily. And it’s been three days since, and I’m still sober.

Nate only had one clock in his apartment, and that was my cell phone. He usually relied on his gut to tell him everything, and for some weird phenomenon, his gut was always right. This time, it told him he was late, and according to my phone, it was right. With a cracked iPhone, and a dead computer, he was removed from society…since last Tuesday. I was his only friend…outside of Facebook.

He was almost out the door, when I awoke, running late to work, and demanding that I try the new Duchess De Bourgogne lying on his counter. He’d offer a Jameson, but he says I needed to eat before I try anything hard again. To eat, really? As if Beer can feed a starving heart. I took a swig of that bottle, and for once I actually got to enjoy something different. Is this what wine tastes like? I thought to myself.

The door closed behind Nate about ten minutes before I took my sip, but he returned to conclude my visit early. He wanted to say a few words before he took the bus to work, and realized that staying over his place would compromise his new collection of Beer, thanks to my new ailing self. He didn’t trust me.

We didn’t really say much waiting at the bus stop, but right when the 90 arrived and opened it’s sliding door, he threw my Duchess in the trash, slapped my cheek, and told me “Call her already.”

He handed me my phone back (ironic that I didn’t even notice he had it at all), and left me alone, next to a dirty old bum, wearing the same gray shirt as me. He said his name was Arthur, and he had been waiting for the bus for six years. He started laughing, crying, and fell asleep, exactly where he was – snoring life away. Poor Arthur… I looked at his shirt, found the same logo on mine, and prayed he wasn’t some future-me, sent by Doc Brown. A Flux Capacitor couldn’t be far behind, right?

I checked my fingers, and her number was gone – ALL GONE! It had to be Nate. It had to. My tempered flared, and I was almost ready to slap him back for screwing with my digits. Call her back? With what number, Fathead!? I looked at future-me, and calmed myself down. I thought about walking back home, and not wait for the bus; but right when I turned away the snoring homeless guy, my pocket vibrated. I checked my phone, and I noticed I had one missed call. It was Eve.

 

Sign,

Thee Arte

June 24 – 3AM

I’ve been up all night, reading and rereading this poem she wrote. The piece brought me up, and I’m left to only imagine what happened back at Borders. The question isn’t if she likes me anymore, and why I should stop thinking about her, but that we should be together, because it’s right. Right?

I’ve dealt with friends talking about getting with girls, and either crying over each one, or going gay. The latter didn’t seem as bad of a choice, until they started crying over each boy they came in contact with. Man-whore would be a good title for guys that sleep around, and think that it’s okay to mess around without commitment. Some of them deemed themselves as Players and Pimps, others just bash women altogether, out of anger and disrespect, but these folks aren’t my crowd. My friends know better, in fact, they care about the girls they get with, or break up with, or stay friends with…so as long as they can keep their videogames.

I could call her, but what would I say? I could call my friends, but what would they say? I’m finding a hard time getting in the mind of Eve, the girl who I met at Huntington Library, the girl who I saw earlier today walk out of Borders with another man. And in a way, I don’t want to know. I wouldn’t want to take Eve as some simple girl I could put in a box, her poetry shows that she’s educated and a romantic. Thank god! The time I’ve spent just sitting in my apartment, thinking of what happened earlier, I could’ve dialed already. But the idea keeps me hesitant as to how she’s fairing now that another guy’s made a move on her. I mean, this isn’t just some project for her, is it? The poem, the writing, the mention of my name — it’s not all just some assignment she wrote, right?

No no. The paper’s taped on to a frame, the writing is printed, and she obviously wanted to be recognized for the piece…she wanted to be recognized for the piece… I’m worried if this poem was for something else.

I’m becoming obsessed. I have her phone number stained on my finger tips, with ink that I rewrite daily on my skin – something I find meditative and personal. At least this way I know I won’t ever lose her number. I really want to meet her again. She was delightful, and I think it was the best move I’ve ever made on a girl.

I think I should just call my friends before I make a fool out of myself. I don’t want to chase a woman out of obsession. I kinda think that if a girl’s going to meet me for a date, I shouldn’t spout out that stalked her, found her with a man, and now have the key to research everything about her on Facebook…or twitter…or Google…or the Huntington Library Directory… Man…I am creepy.

I really think she might deserve the old guy instead. I wouldn’t wanna date a stalker, if I were her. Sorry Eve, but our date might not be happening…

Sign,

Thee Arte

June 23 – Frozen in the Sun

Yesterday, I spent the whole day at Glendale. I needed the change of pace, going to Pasadena made me rethink about the meeting at Huntington Library. It’s not that I want to forget about her, but it was getting creepy that I was becoming such a stalker. I mean, Facebook was created just for that, right? What am I doing calling Huntington Library for her name anyways? This isn’t 1985. So, I tried to gloss over the memory for a day and roam on foot for a change.

It’s interesting how the years have changed. Being a man is way off of what I remember it to be. Now, you can’t even talk to a guy without hearing any videogame references. As visually stunning some of these games have become – looking like movies half the time – I’m still not into the deal of punching buttons all day to kill an entire RPG or MMO within a month or so. It just doesn’t jive with my java, you know what I mean?

I passed by the Mac store in the Mall, looking for new equipment for my next video shoot. Everything’s so bright now, I feel like wearing sun glasses when I want to buy a USB plug. The Lego store was pretty bad before. They’re walls were painted in highlighter yellow, and the pieces that I would have even considered buying was at the end of the store. Mon Deiu…

After a few hours in the mall, I headed out towards Broadway Blvd., hoping to find something Armenian to eat. I thought of walking far, towards LA, you know where the Hipsters chill with the Theatres and brights shops. It kinda looked like NoHo, but clean and a little gay. A perfect place to voyeur my hours away, inspecting people’s delusions, and awkward hype over nothing; like National Geographic, but with…well, Hipsters.

I had the whole activity planned, but once I stepped out in the open from Nordstrom, I realized that it was too hot for comfort…at five fifteen in the afternoon! Instead I walked across the block for Borders. Half the store is made of glass, so it’s “outdoors” enough. I like their tea service, and if you’re lucky, you’d get a good seat in their cafe. Seattle’s Best is what they called it. Anyways, I didn’t find a seat, and my tea was hot, so sweating made it feel like I was with the pedestrians, feeling the heat, and enduring the sun. Call me stupid, but imagining the experience through voyeurism is my kind of entertainment.

I went to the second floor and found some of my favorites: Akira Kurosawa, Guy Richie, and Jon Woo – you know, the greats! On the nonfiction aisle. I had the idea of just taking snap shots with my phone of the movies I found, and thought I’d just watch them online tonight. Ironically, I they were all chick flicks. The idea of books made me think about her, and had me thinking what it was like to date a girl at my age. It can’t be the same as high school, I’m sure. I mean, people aren’t as boring as to hype up sex, like they used to, right? It might be a little more sophisticated, like a discussion about culture, or wine tasting, or some kind of holiday to the museum with all the mature smart people, with their suits and cravats.

I’m sure we’d enjoy the Egyptian Theater sometime, and go watch some Indies on the weekend. I’d try to get free tickets in, I’m bound to know someone in the Staff every now and then. That is, if I could get past saving up for a Gallery. I’m almost there, and I’m sure after enough footage, I can get that Grant to showcase my installation work at a real venue, instead of my little studio apartment…

I returned downstairs for a refill, and lo and behold, I found something better than the next visual experience for my next hour of fun: her. The girl whose name I can’t remember was there, right in front of me. Well, almost in front of me. More like across the room with a guy…an old guy. An old guy that looked good, and smart, and funny, and…he was talking to her. Bridget Jones fell first from my hand, then Emma, followed by Cinderella and Tootsie. I swear, I didn’t know what I was thinking when I picked those up, but I soon forgot about them, when I saw Miss 626.

My body froze at the sight of her, leaving with another guy. I thought, damn, he’s old. But soon felt worse when I couldn’t brush off the fact that she was on a date with another guy…at a book store??? I didn’t think that was possible! But it did – they did – and just like that, she was gone. I stepped over the DVDs and attempted to follow her out. But just when I was about to open the glass door, I stepped on a piece of paper.

It was hers. It had her name, and something else…