I woke up extra early on Tuesday morning. Spent an inordinate amount of time washing my face, with two different exfoliators, shaving, putting on the assorted creams, lotions, balms. Tricks, etc. I had a breakfast of black coffee and just barely not yet ripe bananas. It felt really poor. Sitting on the yoga ball I use as a desk chair, eating the banana over a wastebasket, I remembered in Eileen Myles' brilliant Inferno, she describes a group of dancers getting ready for a performance, and notes how all of the dancers eat the same pre-show dinner, black coffee and a banana, from a deli. Reading that book, I thought how intuitively genius that kind of dinner is. Gawd, dancers think of everything. And Eileen Myles for being both grossed out and impressed by that meal. Her birthday was this week, Myles', so here is a video of when she was younger, reading a really amazing poem:
I don't care for poetry as such, but this video, this text makes me want to try to be a poet, because she's so smart and so seductive. She says so much in these few minutes. I don't know. I had read this poem before but only saw the video last week, on her birthday.
So I ate my poor dancer breakfast and hopped on the train. On Tuesday I was part of a nominally glamorous photoshoot project. The contract I signed in order to do it does preclude me from officially blogging, tweeting, or otherwise mentioning or disseminating information about it, but it was less interesting than one would think so we don't need to get specific. I'll post the results when they come out, if I'm in them. Tuesday's project involved a lot of waiting around. Which normally I wouldn't mind, but we wore our own clothes. There were free snacks, though, which is always nice. I suppose I could have been more social. But you know, I could have also had more fun, gotten to wear cooler shit, and been paid more. Life could be a lot different. It was kind of a "seeing-how-the-sausage-gets-made" experience. And not just for being in the background. Even on the rare occasion when I've been more or less the focus (such as during the ill-fated and mercifully disappeared European denim campaign I did a few years ago), even when I was the one being fussed over, it's still not so much fun. Not as much fun as it looks. How bizarre to be, that we all are, seduced by the appearance of fun. It's not fun, but it looks fun. You have to be able to deduce, though, that it's not fun. It's the appearance. Why can't we see through it? OK here's an example: for a group shot, they wanted people to look sweaty, so they sprayed all of our exposed skin with this weird clear sticky sunblock, to give the appearance of sweat. Illusions! Anyway it was a nice experience overall, we got paid and got to go home early. I felt defeated; depleted.
I high-tailed it back to my apartment, then sneaked out to the gym. I normally want to exercise for a full hour: 30 minutes on the elliptical, and then a 30-minute run. But I didn't have time on Tuesday so I just did the run. I wonder sometimes if that's too much cardio. Sometimes my knee hurts. Am I overdoing it out of habit? This seems more than possible. I listened to the music I'm going to use for my New Year's Eve performance, which will be a really exciting PJ Harvey number. I'll be wearing a pretty dress. It'll be so great. Please Come See Me On New Year's Eve.
So after my too-short workout, I ran home to shower and get ready for this new meditation class, taught by my longtime internet pen-pal Caroline. In addition to being a meditation teacher, Caroline is a stand-up comedienne and fantastic writer. She's read at a previous iteration of FAG CITY, and totally killed it. I try to go see her perform whenever I can (and you should too). Her new meditation class at the Spectrum is great, in no small part because of her warmth and sense of humor. It's also really accessible; I'm obviously not the best-versed on Buddhist scriptures, so I really like getting to talk to someone I can relate to about the concept of meditation. And Tuesdays are really hard for me, so I like that this class happens on Tuesdays. And it's at the Spectrum, which is right near my house. This week Erin + Thee Irish Horse came. It was a good class, and exactly what I needed after a long day of mind-burning.
Afterward I bought a falafel sandwich. I went home and listened to Dee Dee Bridgewater's Afro Blue, which I'm totally obsessed with these days.
I burnt some Cedarwood incense and painted my nails grey. I read Toni Morrison's Jazz, which is maybe my favorite book of all time. I never re-read books but I re-read Jazz every few years. It made me fall in love with New York City. It's like having a fever, and it's like going to a performance. Is this the book that made me want to be a writer? Maybe. I'm not so sure I ever wanted to be a writer.
Why does everything have to be about wanting to be something, somebody?
Morrison's Jazz was the first book that made me really excited by the power of writing to do something new. To make new demands of the reader. I had never encountered a book before that reads you as much as you read it. It's kind of insane. For example, the first word of Jazz is the sound of the narrator sucking her teeth. "STH". Dreamy. Reading, listening to music, I tried that new Trainwreck and I fell into sleep, hard.