Trans-Pecos is the area to the west of the Pecos River in Texas, known as far West Texas. It’s mostly desert. did I know Trans-Pecos was mostly a desert? I guess I might’ve – and now am re-remembering /or learning the first time.
i had this outfit on today, with nowhere to go, and I really thought to myself, I look like someone who’s about to head to Trans-Pecos. There’s a style. Someone who stands to the side of the stage at a Trans-Pecos concert. I’d often enough gone to those and asked myself, who are all these people standing around at this place where they play Toro Y Moi, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and Tame Impala on speaker while the band sets up? And the chilling answer is, bitch that’s me. She’s her.
It just feels like the “always has been” astronaut meme but worse, like I’m both astronauts. And instead of space it’s fucking Brookyn, New York. The gall to even try being oblivious.
I guess the point is that I’m turning over in my mind what I’m trying to say to myself and others with what I consider “stylish” or… “cool” – odd memory, but in middle school we had these micro-courses early in the morning that ran for half a semester and were focused on niche subjects. I took one on merchandising about advertising, mall-stuff, stuff about being “cool” – a slippery ideal that morphs once it’s “caught” – I guess that’s how the course put it. Once “cool” is known, it’s no longer cool. I guess I’m identifying a little with this old memory in the way finding a definition for my style feels the same as ruining said style.
The fireworks are me admitting I look like a hipster and the animal noises and Jan Sport are me and my sense of self imploding.
Ok so, I had a bit more going on than the people in this photo. That’s not the point. The point’s somewhere between my anxiety over belonging to a vague cluster of aesthetic certainties, a devotion, a need to cling onto ambiguity that substantiates my own un-self-awareness and in the moment kind of living. I don’t want it to make sense. I feel like a stiff ball of dough resisting my own attempts to flatten myself out to a more transparent film.
I had a conversation with a college friend on the rooftop this Saturday where I wrongly described Daoism as involving nondualism – I think I was thinking of Zen Buddhism, koans, and such. Daoism has more to do with going with the flow right?
Anyways, I’m reading an interview with Garth Greenwell which reminded me of the mistake in the conversation, and a quote from Bertolt Brecht that my Modern Architecture professor Joseph Masheck brought up a couple times in class. that was….ok maybe it was actually from F. Scott Fitzgerald instead oops…but y’know the one – about keeping two ideas in your head. I swear Brecht had one though that Masheck used in a disparaging way when thinking about a historical American mindset surrounding moral truths. How we couldn’t hold more than one in mind –
Forget about all that, Brecht has so many other sexy quotes:
“The worst illiterate is the political illiterate, he doesn’t hear, doesn’t speak, nor participates in the political events. He doesn’t know the cost of life, the price of the bean, of the fish, of the flour, of the rent, of the shoes and of the medicine, all depends on political decisions. The political illiterate is so stupid that he is proud and swells his chest saying that he hates politics. The imbecile doesn’t know that, from his political ignorance is born the prostitute, the abandoned child, and the worst thieves of all, the bad politician, corrupted and flunky of the national and multinational companies.”
“No one can be good for long if goodness is not in demand.”
Dipping everywhere, back to Greenwell talking about logistics and the seriousness of imagining a world in all its details. Communicating the physicality of how bodies move during sex scenes. And paying serious attention to logistics in all art. 🖼 I’m a mess, I over-abstract, pare things down to be opaque, I don’t know how to do details. I reference as a substitute. I’m bad about details!
Alexander Chee had some advice. Or god, I hope it was him. Anyways: Write one sentence that you feel is absolutely true. And then write another.
I think there’s some writer or serious person I’ve read who really disdains the word “anyways” – um. Anyways, I –
“We falsify the world in order to try to make it accommodate the simplicity of our moral tools” – Greenwell talking about writing I think. Writing to figure things out. he puts all this a lot better.
I used to think Garth Greenwell was like an old writer, part of the canon, or whatever – but I think I was thinking of Graham Green lol who was mentioned in Donnie Darko. My mind is a terrible office.
hell yes this was the album ^^^ so long and so good. i injected those vibes straight into my bloodstream 24/7 during 11th grade. always too loud for my lossy earphones.
music from my phone that I was listening to earlier, before the cry fest:
i re-downloaded the youtube music app which i used a lot freshman year of college. Listened to lots of SALES on there. and Spoon probably. just that one song Inside Out though. Also was listening earlier to Slowdive’s Blue Skied an’ Clear from Pygmalion which is so relaxing. i did the full on earphone while laying on my carpeted bedroom floor for the full effect in high school too.
Before that I was listening to Jessica Lea Mayfield and Seth Avett’s KEXP covers of Elliot Smith songs. Those are amazing. Their vocal tones just blend so beautifully, and it’s a great way to listen to the lyrics with smooth harmonies that really bring you into the layered richness of the songs easily and pleasurably. Still prefer these to the originals – probably b/c I heard Smith’s vocals after these covers. Smith’s voice is so distinctive, scratchy, sparse, vulnerable… so different from Mayfield and Avett’s folk country intonations. makes me appreciate both more by contrast.
I was actually going to listen to Valley Queen’s Tiny Desk afterwards I think – but didn’t get to it! totally worth checking out that Tiny Desk. I had that downloaded on the youtube music app in freshman year too. listened to it to calm me down as I long-boarded across the dorm commons to class
okay before that I was listening from Spotify on my phone in the shower: Just Like My by Homeshake, Negro Swan by Blood Orange, Hunnybee by Unknown Mortal Orchestra… all on the Just Like My radio. I overplayed Hunnybee so much on road trips a couple summers ago when I had my car on Long Island.
After the shower, I got to dance to lots of Little Dragon, they’re my all-time favs. Then I hopped into bed to read Laing’s book and listen to Kelsey Lu’s version of I’m Not In Love from her album Blood. I listened to that entire album next, and then I jumped over to This Time Around by Jessica Pratt – that song is amazing. so simple, so lush. Finally, still on Spotify, I jumped into Different This Time by Cornelia Murr for a second, but it was surprisingly not the vibe. Maybe it was too much going on after listening to This Time Around, but I remember kind of finding and loving these songs on Spotify around the same time…I remember sharing Murr’s song with a shot of the blue skies outside a parking garage when I was either just starting to work or..something. It’s a good song, it has a lot to keep itself in your head and rolling like a sonic vestige leftover from a deep dream.
Oh wait, finally finally, I was listening to How Deep Is Your Love by The Bee Gees.. for sure soothing. Hahah
I also had tabs open for Pinegrove, and listened to a whole EP of a band the lead singer recommended in a Reddit AMA, but I don’t feel like including those links/descriptions here. They’re in a column by themselves.
Other songs running around my mind: Aurora’s cover of Half the World Away at the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize Concert and versions of Pie Jesus which first came back into my head from a video of the Norwegian comedic duo Ylvis’ performance of the song that I had saved to my favorites playlist on YouTube. I’m obsessed!
I’m still reading random sections of Before Night Falls by Reinaldo Arenas. They have a heading like
and entries that vary from a paragraph to a couple pages. He tells stories of visits and encounters, the characters in his life, and the men he’s slept with. He recounts arduous travels as “odysseys” and makes moments of life into passages of literature.
So far I’ve heard of his enormous capacity to swim long distances, his many sexual encounters across several stages and places throughout his life, and the persecution he faced as a writer and homosexual.
Absolutely stunned at the amount of clothes I got yesterday. A mix of work wear, falls moods, and an abundance of jackets and coats. First off, I have hanging in front of me a gray coverall from Dickies! It is slightly small but would look with black boots. The curves ? at the arm remind me of Kiko designs.
I also got
a gray oversized blazer with shoulder pads and a slightly brown and white threading throughout that makes the gray have a bit more dimension. The sleeves reach my hands.
a white button up with a cuff that’s extra long, similar to a style I saw on H&M for $50. It’s pristine, but very wrinkly and I’m afraid to stain it. It looks great under the two workwear coats I got.
a thick canvas workwear jacket – it feels very heavy and tightly woven and is beige.
an oversized denim workwear jacket – a similar shape and form to the canvas jacket but heavier and is dark blue that’s satisfyingly rich.
a Tommy Hilfiger leather jacket with lapels and two front pockets. the inside has a green plaid insert where the label is and the jacket’s weight is incredible. It is wrinkled, but getting better I think.
a silk black jumpsuit from the label SHEIN, which I’ve seen on Youtube as a casual clothing brand. It has skinny fit legs that I plan to cut into single slits.
a puffer vest with an alternating chevron pattern that’s small and interesting to look at. I’m the last person who would wear a puffer vest but it was such an interesting pattern in black and white that it almost feels like it could go with anything.
a woven lace sweater – hand woven apparently – made with thick yarn in olive, nude, and white. It’s a to-die-for layering piece and has the resemblance of flowers protruding across it in bunches of yarn.
a velvet forest green blazer that’s slightly 70s and is a whole vibe.
an enormous leather trench jacket that’s near my ankles – the silhouette is dramatic. It’s puffy with layers and a slit in the middle of the back that closes when you’re still but opens when you walk. Its layers don’t make it stuffy, and it has got a good amount of movement while keeping its form.
another massive coat – this one a black trench with utility belts at the cuffs and around the coat. It seems to have an impossible number of pockets.
a lighter coat with lots of zippers! Actually my first and favorite find in this haul. Also near floor length.
another leather jacket! Last one. It is not floor length. It’s long and thin. The form hugs the body and serves sleek Matrix vibes. The back of the collar is slightly scrunched.
another huge black coat! A very puffy puffer jacket that’s super shiny and has a hood and bomber jacket elastics at the collar and cuffs.
fear is the greatest human emotion, perhaps the only one. even love is a sub-feeling, a by-product of fear. we love out of fear. no matter what fear, it doesn’t matter. fear of loneliness, mostly. fear of death. wanting to last in people’s memories.