Thursday, May 21, 2009

Baby's Romance

The first time I'd ever heard about Chris Garneau, I asked my friend to describe his music. My friend replied, "doves. He sounds like doves." And although I wasn't sure quite what to make of that, I looked him up, and listened, and realized that he was right. Doves.



And, tonight. Maybe it's the location, the small wood barge/boat with its constant gentle bobbing and rocking on the East River, with the Manhattan skyline and its thousands of golden lights a backdrop outside the window of the stage, and the Brooklyn Bridge flanking the side window.

Maybe it's Chris Garneau himself, soft spoken with an unassuming charm, a smile so sweet it jump starts the heart, his voice cooing lyrics that edge the sentimental, with with, and the broken stretches of each word and line laced with emotion and meaning.

Doves. In close knit nests huddled together, white breasts fluff with soft feathers and so much heart, a quivering delicate and so warm, so loving caress. Heads peaked like his piano, the cello and instrument, the quiet boat lacking with the drunken obnoxious, only with ears striving to catch every hint of desperate, romanticized loneliness in his words.

Maybe it's the woman in front of me, and her full long blond hair bellowing behind her with each breath of the wind, each beat of the song. Maybe it's the couple, wrapped in each other's skin and arms and heads nestled together. Maybe it's the music making the boat waver, and Chris's so adorable off hand comments, "is the boat moving?" Yes.

Maybe it's the most beautiful public crowd rendition of the happy birthday song I"d ever heard. Sang to Chris mom's almost birthday with the piano and those grand strings the perfect accompaniment. And his voice.

Maybe it's strictly that sensation, sudden awareness that I was alone, all alone, and as he sings of loss and love and pirates and words and girls and boys and the city and it doesn't matter because I'm watching the sky darken behind in the window, as the waves move us back and forth, as I step outside and there the city before me, straight out of a postcard, and around me, cigarette smoke, foreign tongues, camera snapping away, I'm smiling and I'd trade nothing else for just, this.

Doves.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

ghosts

sleep for days, originally uploaded by claire sloan.

One minute, you’re fine. You’re thinking about the coloring of the last photo you took. You’re thinking of a minute little task you have to finish tomorrow. You’re thinking about the weather, and what you’ll wear. You’re thinking of nothing in particular, then it hits you. Suddenly and without mercy, it hits you.

Then you can’t think of anything else. You can only think of him. And the emptiness hits you like a hurricane. Then the longing stretches his arms around you and squeezes, tight, so tight, wrapped around your heart, your chest, until you can’t take a breath without his breath. You’re thinking of the exact shade of his eyes. You’re thinking of his smile, the slight upturn of his lips, the shape imprinted upon yours, an invisible stamp cloned on, you’re thinking of the slightest raise of his eyebrow, a skilled puppeteer manuvering it just the smallest angle upward, expressing so much.

And oh how it hits you, and you nearly cry out. You would trade anything in the world right now for his touch. His skin pressed upon yours, your head nestled against his shoulder, his hair entwined in your fingers, your tongues dancing. Anything.

But instead: the memory pressed upon you like a ghost, whispering silky moments, conversations, fingers tracing shapes against your curves and crevices, voices in your head. Just that. An image, a dream, a figment of your imagination. A memory. And instead in your hands there is time, there are conflicts that need resolving, lists to be crossed off, alarms to be set and conquered and forgotten.

In the meantime, a slip of not careful fingers, pain, real and physical, spice sprinkled into your flesh and you look down, and there in the shape of three neat bloody cuts, his kiss upon your skin.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Nobody writes them like they used to, so it may as well be me.

Hello, my name is Laura.

And where I’m now, I’m sitting on the steps in front of a currently closed boutique on Bleecker (it’s called Roni and it’s got rather incredible unaffordable frocks…but that’s not what’s important). I walked down my favorite street (West 10th, with its brownstones and thick flanks of trees and charming apartments) and watched the perfect full moon behind a thick hazy layer of fog or clouds. It’s hard to tell.

I’m struggling. And terrified of a future, an empty job hunt, internships floated out of my finger tips.

I’m a silly girl. I have a lot of big aspirations and ambitions. And so far, I’ve had pretty good luck achieving most of them, especially the big ones. I’ve got a lot of stupid, superficial ambitions too. (So superficial, in fact, that revealing them will probably reveal me to be a lesser person.)

But, I have one passion above others, not a hobby by choice but driven by need.

My over active anlaytic mind, my endless daydreams. Beneath those irrational, glamorous seeking exterior fantasies I’m driven only by my absolute need to write.

Discover stories, live them, and tell them.

And that’s what, in large part, NYC is about. It’s the friend unlike anyone I’ve known before, the array of endless places to go, sights to see. Yes, of course. It’s the streets and the skyline, the four seasons, the history, the culture.

But mostly because New York is alive and throbbing with the pulse of thousands each with a story, a moment. Beauty, trembling, hopeless beauty. When I’m here, I feel like my fingers can graze the surface of that. When I’m here, I can create it, vivid and exaggerated with a few lines (or pages and pages.)

It’s marveous, and thrilling, and terribly dangerous.

Because, oh, how easy it is, to be lost in the city (literally and metaphorically.)

There are tons of voices, and talent, artists lurking at every unknown theater, coffee shop, Brooklyn party. Millions of people with the same aspiration. Some of the best, unnoticed, undiscovered, working unsatsifying jobs trying to survive.

This city is hard—it never holds your hand. It’s that impossibly beautiful boy you see strutting down t street, with eyes sharp as razors, who’ll meet your glance, give the slightest flicker of the lips in a half smile. And dare you to stop him.

It’s a brimming opportunity, but it begs for a furiosity and determination. If you want him, and you want him badly enough, you have to chase him down. Tie his hands, choke his lips with words until you’re breathing the same stories, beating the same heartbeat.

But in the meanwhile, you’re empty, lost. Without signs that you’re roaming the right neighborhood, that he might glance your way.

And oh, oh. What wouldn’t I give for a single moment of validation, of someone, an agent, editor, publisher, admired writer to look me in the eyes and tell me: you have talent. You are meant to do this. You will do this. And you will do this right.

What wouldn’t I give for one letter, one sign that I’m getting it right. Even a little. But maybe a sign isn’t even enough.

I want that impossibly perfect boy with his wrists, bruised, rubbed red and raw from chains, chain of my stories, ideas, bolted down, wet lips slightly open and gasping for more. I want him begging for what I can offer—and not just a stray glance on the street.

I want him to cut out every single part of me and wring it, blood seeping from every pore, eyes empty sockets, skin broken and bones pieces. I want him to destroy me so that I can have him, and these words to be something more than that. Just words.

So, I’m reconsidering. I’m calming down. I have time. I have potential (that I need to exploit until there is nothing left but a brittle shell I’ll break with a stomp of a stiletto heel). Worst case scenario, I’ll spend summer writing and submitting. Home. It wouldn’t be so bad. I’ll have my camera, my bus pass, the rolling oceans, the comfort of my room…and most importantly, my pen and notebook.

It’s not New York. But maybe time away is exactly what I need. Maybe my boy needs some space. And maybe I’ll be okay.

In the meantime, I’ll keep hoping. For an interview, a response, a sign.

And writing.

And writing.