cowgrrrl blues

rants, tall tales, and meanderings from a wander-lust, activist, cowgrrrl extrordinaire

Monday, March 27, 2006

for susie b.

i woke up this weekend thinking of you. found this old journal entry. like i said, come home so that your sisters can take care of you.

...when i moved to brooklyn i wanted a new new york. there was much in the streets to remind me of the old times, but i chose rooftop parties and late nights in my warehouse apartment. i met several boys, charmed a number of them, and habitually watched the sunrise with whomever i kissed that evening. i neglected my soulmates, hid from them. but kristina found me and said she would take the train north to penn station. she arrived looking more healthy than ever, but when she wrote poetry on my walls i couldn't help but remember the farm days. in the lavender field she confessed, "i wish i had been raped. it would make my nightmares more legitimate."

i was in no mood to discuss gender politics or violence. i was in the midst of hosting a party. everyone i encountered that summer needed to participate--the merry-go-round of wild antics. kristina needed to dance on tabletops. i persuaded her to allow me to cut her hair in a hipster style, paint her face with black eyeliner and sparkle pink lipstick. i had no female friends in new york but was itching to go to a lesbian bar in the west village with a funny no male policy.

we entered henrietta hudson's with the kind of energy particular to half-drunk girls on a saturday night. kristina drives like an elderly person and sings miserably; somehow i connected these qualities to mean that she also lack any rhythm, but kristina dances quite well. we twirled around the dance floor moving our hands seductively and pretending we were lovers. two other girls braided around us. one of the girls, the blonde one, asked kristina i she and i were 'together.' when kristina nodded 'no' both girls squealed in victory.

as people packed into the bar, the floor became suffocating. kristina and i stepped outside. a thirty-something woman insisted on chatting with us. she told us about her job at j crew and how she lived in san diego. she bored me, but i couldn't interrupt her long enough to excuse kristina and myself. when we finally returned to the dance floor the two girls could not be found. the obviously thought that we left them.

disappointed, we ventured out. by that time, the streets echoed with laughter that spilled out of the bars. three boys wandered into our path and asked for directions to houston. we were walking that way, so they joined us. the first boy was nigerian, so i quickly passed him off to kristina. from the other two, i learned that all three recently graduated from harvard. they were impressed that i could remember their names, that i attended law school, and, most of all, that kristina earned the marshall. they gawked on and on about how fabulous all of that was. they didn't bore me like the woman from san diego, but they kept complaining about walking. when one boy complained for the fifth time that he was tired, i decided these boys were way too useless for us. i pointed out their subway, grabbed kristina's hand, and sprinted across a busy intersection.

i told kristina that the bartender at the next place was an irishman named ross whose goodlooks and accent compensated fro the seven dollar price of a beer. my last time at the bar he asked me home, but i skid away in a cab to will's. i knew that will would prepare a midnight breakfast and not ask for so much as a smile until the morning. when kristina and i entered the bar ross smiled blankly. "you don't remember me," i mocked. "how's your exboyfriend?" he countered then grinned.

kristina and i chose a few songs from the jukebox, but it took far too long for our songs to play. so, we danced to whatever happened to be on. we were the only dancers. i glanced at kristina with a fiery-eyed expression. we blew kisses and giggled. again, ross insisted that visit his apartment. i explained that kristina, my dearest friend, planned to stay with me and i refused to desert her. with that, we caught a cab and phoned will to inform him we planned to arrive in 10 minutes. he was a great sport about our self-invited entrance. he cooked first-rate omlettes. i ate five forkfulls, then fell asleep without so much as a goodnight.

in the morning, kristina and i stumbled to the subway. once in brooklyn, the air snapped at me with a kind of beauty particular to autumn in new york. williamsburg sounded quiet, despite the rattle of trash that the wind swept across the asphalt. as kristina and i strolled along the sidewalk, i admired the graffiti. that morning we did not giggle. we did not exchange silly, knowing glances. instead of proposing an adventure for the day, i whispered to kristina that my heart was broken. i thought about all the boys i kissed that summer, how i never intended to love a single one, how all i ever wanted was a distraction from my nightmares. i never wanted to sleep alone.

so many tears streamed down my face that i could no longer see where we were walking. i plopped down on the sidewalk unconcerned by the gravel and broken glass. sitting on that curb sobbing with kristina--honestly--that was the best i'd felt in weeks. all the bars and boys in brooklyn couldn't make me forget what kept me awake at night; pretending otherwise exhausted me. i cried because the dirt on north 4th street made me so happy that morning and that, much more than the fiasco i created, made life worth living. i was near giving up on living until kristina and i stumbled through that broken-down alley. i almost hated that street for seeming so beautiful, because it would have been easier to skip from one rooftop party to another until i skipped off the rooftop altogether.

i thought about this quote by picasso to matisse. picasso said something to effect that the two must communicate as much as possible because once one of the pair died, the other one would never be able to have that level off dialogue again...that brilliance of understanding would cease to exist. precisely.


  • At 12:32 AM, Anonymous askud said…

    3 things come to mind as I read your post.

    1, I miss you so much!
    2, It's nice to "hear" your voice. it's easy to almost forget what a beautiful writer you are, and how you have a voice to your words that is so one hundred percent distinctly YOU
    3, you DID have at least ONE good girlfriend in NYC at that point. how else could you possibly know about the hot irish bartender? ;)


  • At 2:48 PM, Blogger veranyc said…

    Aw, this entry hit home for me. You definitely captured what it feels like for so many of us women in the city. Sadly, mass media stereotypical groups us as Carries, Mirandas, Charlottes, and Samathas. xoxo


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