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peanuts
Posted on 2006.01.23 at 20:25
Mood: listlesslistless
Music: clap your hands say yeah-tidal wave
I cannot bring myself to do homework. Each day senioritis sinks in a little bit more and nibbles away at my motivation. Nineteen more school days until I don't have to care anymore. (I really don't talk about anything else in this journal).

Let's see, other than that, I have nothing to say. I still have these hives/rash/whatever it is and I am not pleased. I'm super busy with rehearsal/work/school/debate/everything. I'm not swimming, but I've been going to the gym every day to avoid going completely insane. Somehow, I have found myself in the position of organizing and promoting a Blood Drive at Bentley (despite the fact that, unless I gain at least fifteen pound between today and February 9th, I'll be too little to donate). We'll see how that works out. Not suprisingly, no one seems to be jumping for joy at the idea of giving blood, but hopefully there will be an okay turn out. If you go to Bentley, and are reading this, you should donate please!! (Which reminds me, if you read this and I don't know that you do, or you comment anonymously, please let me know! Thankya.)

Oh yeah, and I'll be eighteen and legal a day from tomorrow! Crazy, I know. Besides getting a tattoo with my sister (I'm a bad-ass, I know!), what should I do for my birthday? Any ideas?



Here's something I wrote for AP Lit that people have suggested I share. I'm pretty proud of it, I guess. It's supposed to be inspired by Faulkner's style of writing, especially in As I Lay Dying. (That explains the weird similes, random references to nature, italicized parts, stream of conciousness run on sentences and repetition, the fact that when I read it I imagine the narrator with a twangy accent, and modernist theme of the limitations of language). It's not really based on any personal experience (I mean, come on, I would never be caught dead doing something as sappy as cuddling while watching the sunset over the bay...although that does sound nice). If you've read the novel, you'll probably see some parallels to Addie's chapter, although it's definitely a bit more optimistic.

********


In the afternoon, when school let out after too many tick tick ticks of the clock, I would hurry through the muddy field and muss up the ends of my pants while I waited for him to come. I sat on the curb and pulled up patches of rotting grass from their roots. I’d run my fingernails along the thin, green fibers of the blades; they came apart easily as though waiting for someone to trace their seams with just enough care to rip them apart while keeping the delicate surface intact. Later on, I would forget and nervously dig my front teeth into my nails with each forward lurch of his car and he’d look at me with eyes that made my hands shake.

My sister always said that we’ve only got so many thoughts with meaning, and that love was all about wasting it on one person. And when I rested my head on his shoulder and breathed in the smell of me and him and the scents we wore for each other, I wanted to give him all of my meaning, because the rest of the world didn’t deserve to know me and I didn’t deserve their knowing. When I squeezed his hand and the sun fell orange and pink over the dimpled bay, the water stretching out for as far as I could see, I felt like maybe he let some of his meaning swim in the darkness of my grass-stained palm and maybe it wasn’t a waste; and then he’d look at me with eyes that made my hands shake.

It was worst when I lay alone in the dark. Sometimes I wanted to let my phone ring forever when he called because the hum reminded me of him but his voice formed a face and I could see his eyes that made my hands shake. I couldn’t wait to run through the muddy field and muss up the ends of my pants to see him, so it didn’t seem right letting the phone go on like that. So when he mumbled his hellos that came faint and static through the telephone lines, I would tell him that I loved him and sometimes he’d say it back and I could see his eyes. Somehow it didn’t seem true or real and my words never made it through the wires to a place where he could reach them. They splattered like rain drops when they left my mouth, soaking my clothes so that I couldn’t move and beating the floor with noise that drowned the whispers of what those four letters were supposed to hold. If I had his eyes, I could see those symbols float up in the air and watch them turn to liquid, losing their structure until they fell lifeless onto the floor and into the darkness where I lay alone.

But when it felt true and real the words wouldn’t come. I rested my head on his shoulder and squeezed his hand, but I couldn’t say anything because each time I put the letters together they got stuck in my mouth and it seemed like there was more meaning between our heads and our hands than in what I was trying to say. We would lie there and the sounds would dance on my tongue, but they tasted rotten and recycled and I hated the first person who said “I love you” because they stole it from the rest of us so that every time we said it we became liars. They made four letters hold a million nameless feelings that were only mine and that would never cross the gap created by the first person who said “I love you”, so there seemed to be more sense in just resting my head and squeezing his hand than watching my feelings, crippled by words and shapes, fumble across that gap like a bird with captive wings.

Then all I could do was dream. Because when I said it I couldn’t feel and when I felt it I couldn’t speak, I closed my eyes and imagined myself resting my head on his shoulder and squeezing his hand as the sun fell orange and pink over the placid bay. I asked:

“How much do you love me?”

“I love you this much,” he said. I smiled up at him and his eyes didn’t make my hands shake. They were hollow and clear like water and I could see deep down into his thoughts and I understood just what this much and love meant. They were mine and his and ours and there was no gap and no crippled words and it was bright and I wasn’t alone. I looked into his eyes and I knew him and all of his meaning; his eyes didn’t make my hands shake.

When I woke up, the meaning was gone. That was when I learned that my sister’s lesson was no good because my meaning could never be wasted; it couldn’t even be shared and it couldn’t run out. Because my words were crippled and my hands shook when I could not understand the thoughts and unknowable meanings that floated above our wordless gap. Love was nothing but shapes and sounds that had been used and recycled since forever and he and I could only guess if something existed between our bodies and our thoughts; our resting heads and entwined hands and our muffled conversations in the dark.

Comments:


o_invertedworld at 2006-01-24 05:37 (UTC) (Link)
That was pretty nice, Jessie. Good emulation of his style.
ex_mirages347 at 2006-01-24 05:42 (UTC) (Link)
youre such a good writer! <3 i havent seen you in ages!
(Anonymous) at 2006-01-24 07:50 (UTC) (Link)
hahah, it seems that way, doesn't it? i left school early today because of my hives, but i shall be there tomorrow! we must go get dc soon!
jess
jess_is_here at 2006-01-25 01:48 (UTC) (Link)
woops, that was me. now i'm the anonymous one!
cassofrass at 2006-01-24 05:58 (UTC) (Link)
no matter how many times i read that it still gets to me, i can't even describe it. bravo, little sis, bravo!
jess
jess_is_here at 2006-01-24 07:50 (UTC) (Link)
thanks, big sis.
Elizabeth
chocolate_horse at 2006-01-25 01:21 (UTC) (Link)
1. i'm donating blood and i think christina is, too. so that's 2 people who are donating blood.

2. are you really getting a tatoo? haha, you're such a rebel! if you want to do something other than that to celebrate being 18, i'll tell you what i've suggested to everyone else... buy porn!

3. that story is great! do you want to take ms. lott's writing mini semester?
jess
jess_is_here at 2006-01-25 01:42 (UTC) (Link)
OH BOY! Everyone who is reading this, please take note that Elizabeth Hopper just suggested that I buy porn! I feel violated!!

Hehe, thanks for donating blood. I can always count on you and Christina to be do-gooders in the Bentley community. :)

...and yes, Ms. Lott's Mini-mester was first on my list! Followed by Ali's class on Love (haha, it sounded fun) and Sorger's course about the Middle East. I wish I could take all three! Grr.
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