On One Hand

March 31, 2006

Fetus

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 2:41 pm

I just wrote a 5,500 word, 30-page short story, (in manuscript format; in book form I’m not sure if that would add up to more or fewer pages), about a guy who keeps finding dead babies in his stuff. It also contains some serious inner turmoil, quasi-supernatural connections, and a tragic romance. This is the fruit of my boring spring break.

Ah, I am tired.

I need a name for the story. I am shitty at picking titles, at least for my own writings; alas, I write in such a way that finding a single word to lead into the story, while also fitting the story’s tone, is not easy. I doubt anyone will ever want to publish this. But I do think it turned out to be an interesting, complex and well-woven story. Like a really fantastic episode of X-files.

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March 30, 2006

Patch

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 10:37 am

I just got some kind of weird rash on my chest. It looks like the early stages of chicken pox before they blister out, but they’ve stayed like this for several days, slowly worsening, without resulting in any kind of sickness.

I’m pretty sure it’s an allergic reaction to something and the spots are sort of like mini-hives. There are several things this could be resulting from.

First, I am on antibiotics for strep throat, and clarithromycin is very likely to cause an allergic reaction. Second, I started a liver-rejuvenating diet (because I’ll be turning 21 soon) recently in which I eat a raw egg every day (don’t give me shit about getting sick because the chance is 1 in 10,000 per egg) and a lot of olive oil and herbs, and a mega-dose of vitamin C. I could be allergic to the egg or the herbs. Thirdly, I might be having an allergic reaction to sunscreen, which I put on my chest and face, which would mean that my chest is more sensitive than my face, because my face has not broken out.

A fourth but more far-fetched possibility might be that the liver detox stuff is working and all the toxins being released are manifesting on my skin. I suppose a solution for that would be, drink lots of water?

Being one who can always get to the bottom of things, I devised an experiment to see what it could be. I dabbed a clarithromycin pill in water to make it slimy and smeared some of the slime on my forearm, then put a dab of the sunscreen (in very thick concentration) on my forearm as well. I don’t want to crack another egg right now so I didn’t use egg white, but I smeared some of the herbal supplement on my forearm in a different place.

If it happens to be the vitamin C I’m allergic to, which I doubt, a test would be useless because it would turn red from the high concentration of acid regardless of an allergic reaction.

I think the patch with the clarithromycin is a little itchy, but I don’t know yet. I want it to be the clarithromycin because I’m done taking that today so it means the rash will go away. In any case, I hope it’s something I’m allergic to and not some kind of disease, it looks pretty bad and I want to get a tan in this great weather before spring break is over.

March 28, 2006

On The Line

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 9:21 pm

I currently have an edtior application sent to the faculty advisor of the Campus Press. If they don’t pick me as editor I doubt I’ll stay as a reporter. I know I did a poor job on the application, which was in the form of a personal letter, but by the time I realized how much better I could have done the deadline had passed. Here’s to hoping I am selected as an editor anyway.

I also have an application sent to CU’s Creative Writing program, and if they pick me I’ll be double-majoring in creative writing now in addition to journalism and my religious studies minor. I told my Creative Nonfiction instructor I was nervous about my application, and she said “you’re a good writer, Matt, they’d be stupid not to pick you.” Here’s to hoping she was right. Update Friday, April 07: I got in

Thirdly, I have sent a manuscript to the Suspect Thoughts online journal. I changed the title, “Billy,” to “Portrait of a Lonely Stranger” to fit the next issue’s “still life” theme. If they select it, I will finally be published somewhere besides newspapers. Here’s to hoping they’ll publish the story.

I am about to apply to the Jack Kerouak School of Disembodied Poets, a summer writing program at Naropa University (Boulder’s Buddhist university) founded by the late poet Allen Ginsberg. The program is very elite and would look great on a resume, and would offer productive workshops to boost my writing skills. Here’s to hoping I find an application and turn it in on time.

Last semester I submitted several poems to the CU undergrad creative writing journal, and though they weren’t my best poems, someone might be interested anyway. They’ll soon announce which poems they took. It isn’t that important to me, but here’s to hoping they pick at least one of my poems.

Clay is in Mexico for spring break, where he will “see if he misses me,” and, as he explained to me, decide whether our problems can be overcome and if we can continue working out a meaninful relationship. I have never loved anyone as much as I love him right now. I don’t know if that’s a lot, but it feels like a lot. I haven’t been able to sleep a full night without Clay with me. Here’s to hoping Clay can’t sleep a full night either without me there. Update Friday, Apr 07: Things with Clay and me are very good

March 27, 2006

Big Mamma’s House

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 11:28 pm
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To catch up with an old friend from high school I went back to Westminster and visited the movie theater outside the mall. The Westminster Mall was the area’s center of commerce when I was a kid; it was everyone’s first destination for Christmas shopping. It went downhill when newer shopping centers were built in surrounding cities. The new and the old stand in stark contrast – a big AMC 24 theater, the busiest AMC in the world, occupies a field behind my parents’ house where I once played baseball with my friends. The theater charges $9.50 for tickets. The AMC movie theater at the Westmisnter Mall, trashy and desolate, carpets peeled open and seats chipped, charges $1.50 for a movie and $1.00 on Tuesdays. That means it’s cheaper to see the movie in the Westminster Mall theater than it is to rent it from a video store. Yet two buildings are about a mile and a half apart. A recent study found that the reason the Westminster Mall is so unsuccessful is that it has become a magnet for people of color, who repell the upper-class white shoppers that the mall would need to compete. I prefer the Westminster Mall, though, with its great deals and unique oriental shops selling 10-cent incense sticks and a strong sense of authenticity.

To fit the trashiness of our setting we watched the trashiest movie being shown, a sequel to Big Mamma’s House, which I agreed to see for the sake of my friend. The most amusing aspect of that movie is that in two of every three scenes a microphone is visble hanging over the actors’ heads. I am not kidding – we didn’t know what the long black cylinders were at first, but a half an hour through the movie we figured it out. Sometimes two microphones are visible at once, one over each speaking actor. If you happen to watch Big Mamma’s House, look toward the upper portion of the screen, and chances are a microphone or two will be hanging accidentally in the shot, or drooping in slowly before someone realizes it’s too close and suddenly jerks it upward. The mishaps were prevalent enough that I have now learned that sleek black microphones are used for indoor shots while big white puffy microphones are used from outdoor shots (I’m assuming the fuzzy covering blocks wind). It’s a great way to learn about filmmaking when the methods are disguised so poorly that they show up in the final product.

No Gay Marriage

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 12:50 pm
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March 24, 2006

Cabaret

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 4:06 pm
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I am so proud of my boyfriend right now! He just starred in a CU student-produced version of the musical Cabaret, and his performance made me tingle in ways I never have outside his bedroom. The show was awesome, Clay’s voice was awesome, Clay’s acting was awesome, and it’s been the talk of the campus (at least the portion of campus that I interact with) for the last few days. The show opened on Tuesday and the seats were only half filled, but by Thursday word-of-mouth acclaim boosted the performance so that tickets sold out just as the show opened, and on Friday, the last performance, tickets sold out around 2 pm. That Friday is the Friday that spring break starts, so on a campus where the majority of students are flooding out for ski trips and week-long escapes to the Bahamas the show has managed to be enough of a draw that person after person is being turned down for lack of space.

Unfortunately the Campus Press, the paper I write for, didn’t publish an article about the show until the fourth day, when tickets were already sold out anyway. I begged my editors to assign a story to someone, saying it was good news because the student-produced (and highly controversial) show was unique, but no reporters volunteered to take the story. I couldn’t take the article myself because of the conflict of interest, seeing as how my boyfriend is the lead actor and I know the director and producer, Ira Spector, and many of the actors through Clay. So finally, since I would not let it go, and also because, as I would argue, the article was very worthwhile to begin with, my paper’s editor-in-chief wrote a review of the show when he saw it Thursday night.

The online review of Cabaret was glowing, which is not only good for the people who struggled to put Cabaret together, but also gives me AWESOME BOYFRIEND POINTS for getting my paper to do the review. Clay will be leaving me for Mexico tomorrow, but now goes on a high note and I’ll hope it carries until he gets back.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Cabaret, it’s about a risque strip-club/brothel in Berlin in the early 1930’s, when Nazi politics were gathering power in Germany before World War II. As the characters take their seemingly unpolitical roles, a frightening political energy slowly begins to build and is eventually looming over every personal relationship. Frequenters of the nightclub form a tight-knit community, sort of like a pornographic and historical musical version of the sitcom Cheers. The main character, Cliff (who Clay played) is an American writer who travels to Berlin to write a novel, gets tangled in some pretty deviant sexual relatoinships, and eventually has to choose between staying with the girl he falls in love with and fleeing Germany as the Nazis gather strength. He is also forced to choose to stay with or disown friends when they announce affiliation with the Nazi party. Everyone is slutty as hell, engaging in twosomes, threesomes, prostitution, abortions, same-sex love, heterosexual love and an especially poignant relationship between a German Jewish man and an older German woman who, as antisemitism becomes a serious movement in Berlin, has to choose between facing ostracisation by marrying a Jew and dumping her fiance. The show is funny, cute, sexy, lascivious and poignant in today’s world where people are saying, just as they did in 1930s Germany, “yeah, shit’s happening but it will never go that far, it can’t, this is Germany.” Cabaret is an extremly powerful play and Ira Spector (the producer and director) did not spare any controversy, re-adding some of the originally-intended homosexual energy that was omitted in the Hollywood version from the 70s and arranging the play’s title poster collage into an ominous swastika.

I am standing in awe of Clay and falling for him more every day, hoping and praying that it works out between us. We’ve been having a lot of problems that tend to sit on his side of the situation and there is little I can do to help him overcome his turmoil. But we’ve had a wonderful last few days: we fought a lot but it turned out good because we got some things out in the open where they could be more easily worked out. (That always happens when we fight.) We took a shower together this morning and Clay turned off the light and lit some candles. I hummed Cabaret songs to myself while he washed my hair. We’ve had a few awkward moments. I had to watch Clay kiss four people on stage, and I went to see the show twice so it happened twice, and on Tuesday night our date that I asked for got canceled. There were problems with condoms being too small, problems with me crying and not being able to stop, and finally, a problem with us getting walked-in on by Clay’s roommate. But if we work out it will be worth it. I am nervous but happy.

March 19, 2006

In the Turning

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 7:07 pm
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In the turning
the soft rain
in first-light hymns of ruffled sheets
in open curtains lapping the scent of mowed lawns
breeze over highways whizzing
past parked trucks
noisy apartments flat beer and
tequila screwdrivers hard and acidic…

I wonder if we will make it to summer
where we were last year I remember
you sharper, hair cut short, us
lying in the thick grass of the park downtown
sun beating round the shadows of skyscrapers…

Seasons ago
your eyes are once again blue
nose rounder, your little dog
sneering jealously at me holding your hand
and the bald man across the street
always with the hose, watering blue irises.
Pretends we can’t see him watching
when your mother is out of town
(I snuck through the back).

Before then you are older, dark brows
met under the bridge
you and I, your worn jacket
matched mine and I bought your lunch,
white boxes carried over salted streets.

In the first autumn snow
cereal and love songs
in tree pollen dusting our clothes
and your half-shot eyes
brown. green. blue.
That is when
the many of you are one.

Spring Break

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 1:03 pm
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These days I cut my paths diagonal
through brown grass tipped with
beginnings of green
clear skies arching to embrace
cigarette smoke
under trees in their longing to touch.

I take off my shirt in the sun to tan since
you once laughed at the paleness of my skin –

and I am soon red. But not before the
white light peels my body
like a fresh orange and
clouds bow to meet me halfway –
I am angry, fair they say, hey –
you can’t condemn these spots.

snow’s here but
You are off to Mexico
you will find anthems and
warm sun rolling off your tongue while I here
make lonely scrambled huevos con frozen spinach.

Your leathered skin turns to polished brass
in the poured white, glowing
while I smolder.

March 17, 2006

On Vegetarianism

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 1:29 pm
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Quote of the Day: “If God didn’t want us to eat animals, he wouldn’t have made them out of meat.”

Clay: “She asked them if she could name the pig ‘Wilbur,’ like in the book, and they were shocked and said ‘you guys name your animals? What!?’ But they let us name him Wilbur.”

Me: “And then you ate him.”

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