November 11, 2008

November 11, 2008

November 11, 2008

I just want to get this project done, despite how well I think it has gone so far.  Things seem like a much better idea when you’re planning than when it actually comes to living–and I can safely say that thirty days is enough to consider something lived.  Last night I stayed with Manny, who is going to hand me off to another coworker / band kid and I am looking forward to it because it should be someone that I know and can relax around.  I’m fairly certain that it’s not going to get back to Alex, but he did get his wish of getting me way high last night and (as I predicted) it was a not a good time.  I was really paranoid, to the point of being convinced that I couldn’t trust Manny or Amanda–which made for a pretty stressful situation once we got back to Manny’s place and kind of just a terrible night.  I’ve known Manny for a couple years, do really trust him, and would have had a much more authentic experience if weed wasn’t involved… in fact, my brain was working so slowly that I couldn’t even actually talk or connect with anyone anyways.  I don’t really remember being worried about anything concrete, just that they both really disliked me or something (probably going hand-in-hand with the vague social anxiety that accompanies invading other people’s space everyday.)  I’ve since decided to not smoke anymore, as I was kind of curiously interested and have had enough experience now to safely say that it’s just unpleasant.  Even when it’s not as bad as last night, I’m still just less mentally proficient and much quieter than I really am.  I am glad that this isn’t a choice I made before doing this project, however, as I think smoking is somewhat related to college life and was tied to some of the experiences I had.

Manny and I had some toast, during which I was completely silent, and then I went to sleep… to be woken up about a half-hour later to meet his roommates.  I actually had to get up and walk over to meet them because Manny really wanted me to, which they responded to with confusion and told Manny that I didn’t have to get up.  It was weird and Manny obviously wasn’t himself either; he apologized numerous times already.  In the morning I woke up to him and his roommate starting homework in the living room and was offered to stay for breakfast, which is surprisingly the first time I have actually stayed for food in the morning.  Between the two of us we cooked chicken potstickers, leftover vegetables, a few eggs, and brewed some coffee.  It was a nice way to get things started and we kind of just reflected on how ridiculous and unpleasant the night before had been, after which I had to run to work on a video at Broad.  I was forthcoming with how worried he had made me the night before, which is kind a weird thing to share with someone who let you sleep over and is now making you breakfast; I think he understood, however, that it isn’t actually how I feel about him.

While editing I got a call from my dad, who had been called by my stepmom Calie, who had caught up on the blog and thus read the recent entry about potentially getting “fucked up.”  They were really worried about my ability to exercise healthy judgement at this point and my dad wanted to make sure that I seemed in control of my life, in case he needed to come over and make me realize how ridiculous I was being.  I understand their concern, but wasn’t really ready for the conversation and found it profoundly upsetting because I think that (despite some evidence to the contrary) I make very good choices.  I am neither a druggie nor an alcoholic, nor am I overly out of control / incapable of making healthy decisions–as were some of their concerns.  Well in all fairness they had different concerns, but the multiple conversations we’ve had in the last few hours are kind of just blurring together and I am actually finding myself unable to recall specifics.  I am close with my parents and found it really upsetting, as I respect their opinion of me and I felt like they had a view that is not really that accurate.  Despite everything, I am in control of myself and my choices–I’m not going to get caught up in anything or do anything that I am not okay with.  I understand their fears and should probably have brought it up with them myself, but figured they know me well enough to not worry (which was a flawed assumption.)  For anyone reading who might have gotten what I think is the wrong impression: I have never been belligerently drunk, I don’t drink daily or have any desire to drink daily, I have never blacked out, I don’t buy weed, I have only smoked a handful of times, I have no intention of smoking again or trying anything harder.  I can see how the blog might make some of those seem false, but the reason they are mentioned is because they are an important part of this experience.

At one point Calie told me that I had become a cliche, largely relating to the way I have been talking about social connections / feelings / other sixties stereotypes.  I know they don’t really understand this type of art-making and so I want to take a second and clarify a bit for anyone interested.  We live in a time where images have lost much of their power and it is arguably impossible for blatantly political work to actually create any meaningful change–just look at the issues associated with documentary photography, everyone sees the images and then immediately goes back to their lives.  The question of how to make anything powerful / meaningful / profound / thought-provoking in such a culture is important and I think leads to the realm of performance and social interaction.  Obviously she is entitled to her opinion, but I think that talking about my work in relationship to an era of free love is just kind of a misreading.  I don’t think that’s what I’m saying and I’m not trying to imply we should all hold hands and be friends, as that is a ridiculous and unproductive idea.  I’m also not trying to reach some higher-plane of experience.  However, I am trying to examine the way we relate to one another and (at least in this case) the physicality of a shared experience.  Both my parents also expressed a concern about the need for drugs to make art, which I feel is absolutely not relevant to me and is actually something that I find kind of pathetic.  I have approached smoking with a host the same way I would approach drinking tea with a host; neither is integral to my project, but both were a part of the experience that I tried to share via the blog.

I am currently skipping work, which I feel bad about, but I was pretty much crying when I got there and had to ask Nicole if she minded working alone.  I have no capacity to ignore problems and would not have been able to make it through a six hour shift, so I used the time to talk to my parents and write this.

Mostly I just want to be able to retreat back into hermitism.  This excessive socialness isn’t who I am and I want to be able to center myself and be completely in control of my situation, as there is a continuous feeling of unnaturalness.  This project has been much more about my limits than I would have ever guessed and it’s getting wearying to keep pushing myself.  Paradoxically this experience has instilled me with a vague desire to be around people all the time that I am having to keep in check and that is the most terrifying part of everything… how long is it going to take for that to go away?  Yesterday at dinner was a good example, when I really wanted to invite people over just for the sake of having people around.  I’m not worried about any of the issues of “finding myself” that have been raised lately… I think I’m pretty much through the post-breakup trauma and am quite comfortable and certain about who I am–it’s more worrisome that I have this desire for company that is not at all normal for me.

Lastly I want to mention (because this often seems confusing since it’s largely omitted from the blog) that I do still see my core group of friends and they have been vital in keeping me grounded throughout this project.  I also go back to my house during the day to get some level of recovery, but have been working so hard with three studios that I have very little down time.  Four nights left and I don’t want to ever blog again.

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One Response to “November 11, 2008”

  1. Alan Says:

    Talking with you last night made me realize you’re the same love of my life as you were two summers ago. I never got the impression you were experimenting for the sake of art, nor letting go of yourself in the process.

    By the way, I was in heaven at the concert, but now have a 5-page paper I haven’t even started and a 2-page write up on white blues. Bollocks today, no? (excepting the heaven part)


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