Sleepy mornings and all. Fettered by lethargy and languor I've been wading through viscid syrup trying to catch my own tail. I need to move. To ride buses and subways in the rain. It's cool now. Cool enough because some hurricanes decide to rip up the southern parts of southern South Korea again. Here I am wearing khakis and a bland white tshirt in the middle of orange tshirts and earth-brown cargo pants and tight-knit hats and frizzly permed hair and abangarduh Bob Marlies and silkscreened Che Guevaras and cool tshirts and all. Somehow comfortably I don't feel the need to explain. There's this album. Never listened to it but only heard its name. What can I say? Feeling strangely fine. That's the only thing you can do, hold on and latch on with determined stubbornness, I suppose. Gotta make sure that you don't get swept away in lukewarm uncertanity standing awkwardly against the wall watching other people dance their hearts out. Stop or start.
We sit in a cafe somewhere along 2nd Avenue and I ask him about the city and what the 'lower east side' means. He gives me an explanation and talks about college and financial problems but what I also hear underneath is excitement and running through streets at night editing movies twenty-four hours straight with a twenty-four pack of mountain dew. He wants to want and he lives to live; he's early, worrying about this so early on, so early in. So early.
I live in Central Square for three weeks buying food and making pasta and bulgogi. We work with pvc out of school and on life; I learn that the Charles River is kinda long on a bike with a flat tire, you can see the skyline of downtown Boston from the top of the Tufts campus, Beacon Hill has old vertical brownstone elementary schools, and that the T at midnight is full of life. Coming back from loud music and clove smoke and faint old connections I stand on a stop, seventeen years old, lost in Boston.
I am seventeen years old turning eighteen (or eighteen turning nineteen) and I write about things as if the experiences are unique and solely mine. I pretend that I know what I'm doing, that this apparent control is apparently exclusively mine and that the appearance of running around everywhere gives me the feel that somehow because I am busy that means that somehow I am living life. Looking outside a car window and seeing a blur and reducing things saying, "Ah, this is life". Somewhere a forty-year old laughs at a twenty-five-year old laughing at a seventeen old writing for himself.
I am in Boston dipping through Harvard Square because this is my refuge and now is my moment of transit. I am caught in the yellow light of the square, the amount of people milling around listening to the man in front of Hidden Sweets, the man playing his stringed Chinese instrument, people singing laughing yelling walking. I wonder what I am doing here. I wonder how much longer it will take me to be able to learn to play so I can play guitar in the square just to play guitar in Harvard Square. I think. I am seventeen years old turning eighteen speaking two languages straddling two cultures trying to choose between twenty colleges and two countries; I have half-finished essays on my computer and half-finished thoughts tumbling in my head like a maytag dryer set on permanent press.
Somewhere up in the night in the middle of a foreign country I am up by the glow of a faint computer screen, half-reading on Craigslist the saturated melodramatic pleas of a city's worth of twenty-thirty-year olds. m4w, w4w, they say and they lament this and that, that night, you looked at me, and seek to find what they had started but thought they hadn't. I'm falling in and jumping out alarmingly. Thinking but not. I remember T rides looking riding into the tunnel and falling in sideways. Growing flat under a wide purple californian sky stretched across a setting sea. Breathing in the smell of cut grass mixed with rain.
I'm thinking that people create war for the same reason that people wage art.