It is snowing heavily again. I have been watching it for a long time the way a blind man looks at the world on the back of his eyelids. Something I wanted in my hands is not there, and I hear the soft cry of the flakes approaching. Trapped among branches, it sounds as if I have lost someone and have reached up to find that same whiteness on my mouth, plunging into itself without me.
You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on. Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers. Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again. Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting— over and over announcing your place in the family of things.
“We attach our feelings to the moment when we were hurt, endowing it with immortality. And we let it assault us every time it comes to mind. It travels with us, sleeps with us, hovers over us while we make love, and broods over us while we die. Our hate does not even have the decency to die when those we hate die — for it is a parasite sucking OUR blood, not theirs. There is only one remedy for it: forgiveness.”— Lewis B. Smedes
“You created this white monster … and it seems harmless and puff and cute — but given the right circumstances, everything can be turned back and become evil.” - Dan Akroyd
If you really want to think about it every chick you meet is someone’s ex-girlfriend. However new, bright and shiny the immediate moment, in the form of a smiling barista, a Marina-ite on the morning bus, or even that fleshy, neckless grey-haired woman from the bursar’s office who stinks of cigarettes, it always has a past, in the form of an ex-boyfriend, and that son of a b*tch is smirking. He’s a lanky dude with an arm tattoo and yeah, he tapped that. It’s like some f*cked up sociological analogue to Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle: no matter what skirt you’re chasing, you’ll always be at least ten minutes too late. Some other guy will always get there first. And here’s what really stings: you’ll never measure up to that guy. He’s her Great White Buffalo.
No one knows how many GWBs exist out there. Every woman running around seems to have one - this singular, totally amazing guy who passed through her life for a fleeting but impassioned moment, a man who is part Russell Brand, Byronesque Baroque charm and part narrow-eyed, broad-shouldered Gerard Butleresque confidence, the kind of man she wishes her current man could smell like, a man who for all his absence remains at the center of her consciousness, making you the side-show schlub. She also hates this man and is committed to believing he’s EVIL despite not really believing this at all, since she feels in her heart of tear-filled hearts he is WONDERFUL, even though, objectively, from the perspective of a sane person, the GWB is not a real person at all, but rather a messy and well-worn bundle of ideas and memories that have over time become far more significant and invigorating than the realities that were their provenance.
What no one can dispute, however, is that the GWB real enough as far as we are concerned. If he ever comes back in flesh, goateed and unemployed and five foot nothing, we’ll still be sent packing; and if he doesn’t, well, that’s small consolation, since we’ll just go on being a vague disappointment, like a used Camry after the Beemer got totaled.
It doesn’t make any rational sense, not really, since statistics and probabilities tend to suggest we’re GWBs ourselves, just in the imagination of some girl whose name we barely remember and who we aren’t hitting on now. Hence the paradox: we can’t compete with the GWB even though, theoretically speaking, we ARE that guy.
The probable reason for this is that life sucks and people are morons. Another contributing factor is that sometimes in some situations, like say the city of San Francisco right now, there is a vacuum that exists in the place properly reserved for romantic drama. In San Francisco, dating “problems” are more conceptual than tangible. They aren’t about infidelity, or horrible set-ups, or horrible break-ups, as much as the idea of dating. It’s like discussing the relative merits of heaven and hell, everyone has an opinion but the question is always open for debate because no one has actually been there. SFers sit on buses and say putatively motivational things like, “The best way to meet someone is through friends, not at a bar or [fill in here a typical venue that exists for the purposes of meeting new people],” and her friend agrees as if this is the most supportable statement in the world, and then silence ensues as they realize that they already know all their friends and know their friends’ friends, so that might not be the most brilliant strategy on the planet.FN1
Life generally gets a little precarious when there are no distractions. Too much thinking happens, too much blogging. If you’re romantically uninvolved you fully start to lose your mind. You cyber-stalk on Facebook and sink inward and reconstruct the sorry set of events that made you add Alanis Morrisette’s “That I would be Good” to your iPod. Long untended emotions rise up with the vim of a viper strike. You obsess and keep score and obsess some more and all the while, the legend of the GWB grows.
In this state of affairs, when we approach a woman, we are Bill Murray and the GWB is the Stay Puft Marshmallow. Ghost or not he’s way more powerful than we. Guys have something analogous - “The One That Got Away”, but the effect of TOTGA is different. TOTGA doesn’t render any new girl we meet inadequate. We like the new girl too, just not as much. The GWB by contradistinction exists solely too preempt and destroy us. He is Shiva. He is the atomic bomb.
No one knows all the reasons why the GWB is so devastating but one of them is probably this: the allure of the GWB is not the guy he represents, or even the idealization of that guy. The GWB is instead like a magical mirror that reflects a younger, more earnest, passionate and hopeful version of the girl looking in. The GWB is all the things life was during the era she dated him, before she was disenchanted and weary and had given up in the small incremental ways everyone does as adulthood disappoints one dream after another. Girls aren’t in love with the GWB - they’re in love with the person they once were. That’s why we can never beat the GWB, not because he has bigger arms but because we didn’t know her then and he did.
This is all very touching as analyses go but it’s hardly conclusive. Just for instance there also has to be something to the theory that San Francisco has its share of perennially single people and single people when privately indulging in some good old fashioned self-pity rummage through the sh*theap of their past and hand-pick someone who was the most out of their league and decide retrospectively that it should have worked out with them (even though that person doesn’t for a second ever think about them retrospectively) and then proceeds to hold all prospective significant others to that absurd (and essentially false) standard. Too much perspective can be crippling.
Whatever. Everyone can go to hell. There’s too much thinking in this town, and too much blogging. Why won’t SF ladies try smiling and lightening up a bit? Why do they so delight in labeling every guy who hits on them a “douche”? Great White Buffalo. Great White Buffalo. Great White Buffalo. He’s kicking our a**.
FN1: Something deep and primordial makes women dislike men at bars.FN1fn1 Women like men at weddings. Weddings, as Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson demonstrated cinematically, are the best place in the world to get laid. However, guess where the guys who go to weddings go on weekends when there’s no wedding? Bars. It’s the same guys, ladies. Tip of the week for SF women: this Thursday, when you’re at Mamacitas, visualize one big friendly wedding party and pretend everybody knows everybody else. Because there’s no goddam difference.
FN1fn1: The limbic portion of the brain, which governs feeling, considerably predates the cortex, which is the seat of reason. Therapy can help.
“Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it’s all over.”— Octavia Butler.
I want my heart to feel safe with those I give it to. I want to go on adventures. I want to see beautiful things. I want my heart to beat fast. I want to feel supported by those I love. I want to meet interesting people. I want to travel. I want to learn about everything. I want to make things, beautiful and strange. I want to feel free. I want to feel alive. I want to smile as much as possible. I want to write and write and write.
1. Body smells are erotic and sexual. Capitalists don’t like that because they are impotent and opposed to all manifestations of sensuality and sexuality. Sexually awakened people are potentially dangerous to capitalists and their rigid, asexual system.
2. Body smells remind us that we are animals. Capitalists don’t want us to be reminded of that. Animals are dirty. They eat things off the ground, not out of plastic wrappers. They are openly sexual. They don’t wear suits or ties, and they don’t get their hair done. They don’t show up to work on time.
3. Body smells are unique. Everyone has her own body smell. Capitalists don’t like individuality. There are millions of body smells but only a few deodorant smells. Capitalists like that.
4. Some deodorants are harmful. Capitalists like that because they are always looking for new illnesses to cure. Capitalists love to invent new medicines. Medicines make money for them and win them prizes; they also cause new illnesses so capitalists can invent even more new medicines.
5. Deodorants cost you money. Capitalists are especially pleased about that.
6. Deodorants hide the damage that capitalist products cause your body. Eating meat and other chemical-filled foods sold by capitalists makes you smell bad. Wearing pantyhose makes you smell bad. Capitalists don’t want you to stop wearing pantyhose or eating meat.
7. Deodorant-users are insecure. Capitalists like insecure people. Insecure people don’t start trouble. Insecure people also buy room fresheners, hair conditioners, makeup, and magazines with articles about dieting.
8. Deodorants are unnecessary. Capitalists are very proud of that and they win marketing awards for it.
“You have to get away from them. You have to get as far away as you can otherwise they’ll kill you with their lives. They don’t know what they do. They are careless with themselves and they take too much for granted. They make their shortcomings your problem. The only way to keep your head above it and heal your wounds is to crawl away.”—Black Coffee Blues by Henry Rollins (via thechocolatebrigade)
“You have a right to experiment with your life. You will make mistakes. And they are right too. No, I think there was too rigid a pattern. You came out of an education and are supposed to know your vocation. Your vocation is fixed, and maybe ten years later you find you are not a teacher anymore or you’re not a painter anymore. It may happen. It has happened. I mean Gauguin decided at a certain point he wasn’t a banker anymore; he was a painter. And so he walked away from banking. I think we have a right to change course. But society is the one that keeps demanding that we fit in and not disturb things. They would like you to fit in right away so that things work now.”—Anaïs Nin (via thechocolatebrigade)
Yes, you are my best friend — you are also my partner. That is dangerous, perhaps, but I’ve never trusted anyone with that duality as wholly as I trust you. I trust you so much that I believe the dissolution of our latter relationship would not necessarily mean the ruination of the former, the arguably more important: our friendship.
Why are you my best friend? The aforementioned trust is certainly a large factor. You make me laugh and I make you laugh. We can be silly together, serious together, anything in between together. You encourage me to be my best — according to my own definitions, not yours or anyone else’s. You enjoy my quirks and weaknesses as much as my strengths and intelligence. When I cry, you hold me. When I am offended, you apologize. When I want something, you give it to me. And I don’t mean to say that you spoil me — though it’s quite possible that you do — it’s just that if you don’t have a strong preference, you are more than happy to allow me to make the decision. Even more miraculously, you seem to be equally pleased with the outcome as I am, though you didn’t make the choice.
In short, you love me better and more fully than I’ve ever had the pleasure to be loved before. We have grown together over the past two years… and I believe that trend will continue. I’m so grateful for you, for our similar goals, for your never-ending support, and for the promise that we’ve always possessed.
Oh bud, I love you. You are a good man and I am lucky to have you.
This is just… miserable.
I don’t even know what to say.
At least she/he died while she/he was asleep. The last kitten died over the span of 30min, gasping for air every 60 seconds, then every minute and a half, then every 4 minutes… and I’m not even sure how that’s possible.
They had all the…
My friends had a cat living on their porch for almost a year. A few days ago, Big Cat wasn’t moving around too well. He was the sweetest cat — such a lover. But his back legs had obviously been injured by something, a car or another animal, and so we reluctantly called animal control. Once they picked him up, I called them and called them and called them to check on him. At first, he wasn’t in the system. Then he was in the system, and I had them put a note on his account. I stressed, over and over, please don’t put this cat down unless he is in a lot of pain and cannot be helped. If he is just injured, but could be fixed by a vet, please call me, I will come get him…
They euthanized him in between the time that note was taken and the next time I called. Less than four hours. Even with the note. They didn’t care and no one would help me when I called back, upset. So yeah, I guess I can relate.
Someone explain to me why I should donate money via Tumblr to Save Our Gulf.
After all, this isn’t a natural disaster. It’s a man-made disaster with a short and unambiguous list of responsible parties. And it is not an accident — it is a disaster caused by malfeasance, greed and corruption.
So because this tragedy was avoidable and man-made, we shouldn’t even attempt to rectify the situation? How does that make sense? Wouldn’t ignoring what we can do make us in league with the directly responsible parties?
In theory, my opinions aren’t far from yours — I believe that those responsible should bear the greatest burden for making this better (if they even can make this better). But the laws in this country, in our world, don’t make it possible to liquidate a company due to their mistakes, as you’ve suggested. I’m not saying it’s right, but it’s the fact. And because that’s the fact, we shouldn’t donate to Save Our Gulf, a third party organization that is attempting to help? Why is boycotting BP and its subsidiaries the only thing that is “right” to do in this case? To my mind, that is closed-minded and stubborn — two things people absolutely cannot afford to be in a crisis.
And, for what it’s worth, I did donate $5 through Tumblr to Save Our Gulf. I also boycott BP — and all gasoline companies. I don’t drive. Stop spouting off at the mouth out of well-understood frustration. Do everything you can, even if it’s only $5 or riding your bike to work (or walking or carpooling) once a week. Once a week is better than nothing; $5 (which is then matched by Tumblr to $10) is better than nothing.