Saturday, December 19, 2009

film school on film


once upon a time, being by the way, the 29th of November, she was sitting in this place and looking towards that one and writing about neither but thinking of both.
"The truth, thats the problem, i dont think the truth matters much really. i think the truth is a stationary thing." she thought, imagining him reading that line and knowing that it meant nothing and therefore that it was a lie- by the way- that last bit, the bit about the boy, thats the truth.
until she edited it. see the line there? the cross out? the correction? "i suppose" she thought, "that makes it a lie again."

i used to draw all the time. i used to draw my hand holding a pen drawing my hand, my fingers, i used to draw- both my socks are inside out- i used to draw my hand holding a pen and drawing my hand holding a pen because i saw my dad draw that once and i thought it was the height of surreal originality.

im not getting sick you know. i dont believe in sickness. i dont believe in the heavy eye lid feeling that i dont feel that doesnt mean anything about a fever!

Harriet The Spy is a cautionary tale for journaly people but also i think it creates narcissists because we think about what we write about and H the spy teaches us to never write about other people. i only ever write about other people in a general vague way and i write the word "i" over and and over.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Whales have always thought in very explicit ways. Random icicles try to eat nuts so often for arrogant rocks. Please open some tea, I need good sensations. Even terrifying tarantulas insist nephariously, "Green Sea looks awesome! Yay!" Oh, umbrella things make outstanding nests, especially tall items zooming expeditiously. Volcano is eager, wandering blondely. Lurch over garbage.

Nautical ethics will plan often, so that evil dragons illicit tongues.

This has been a Molly Pelavin original.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What About the Moonlight?

There is a full moon out tonight. I'm looking at it through a window. It’s the kind of moon that makes me want to leave my house and just stand in the moonlight. I feel obligated to enjoy the moonlight but I have no idea where to begin. Like a writing assignment with a few given guidelines but otherwise completely up to you;
“write about the moonlight.”
“what about the moonlight?”
“anything you want.”

“Lets go on an adventure.” Soli giggles.
She and Chloe, the French exchange student, are standing in my doorway, grinning.
They’re refusing to come in, they want me to come out.
Soli’s wearing a blue scarf around her head and her nose is bright red like it always gets when she’s cold. She’s sniffing.
I'm barefoot in the kitchen and the draft coming in from February outside is less inviting than the moonlight was so I pull on my boots quickly, without any socks, racing the clock in my head that has begun to count down. I only have so much time before my rational mind catches up with me. Soli and her adventures have this affect on me. Like a “do it before you think it all the way through” feeling.
We run across the street to the farm where soli has parked her car.
“why did you park here?” I ask her, shivering.
“your parents know I don’t have a license.”
“you don’t have a license?”
She pulls open the car door, cackling.
I've known soli for eleven years and still, when she cackles, I feel like I'm part of some sort of prank. I imagine her saying “lets go convince Katie to come out with us and then do something awful to her in the dark! Heh heh heh.”

At the top of the hill, where the road ends, we park the car and continue on foot.
In the woods above Mary Daily Field there are moon shadows.
In the woods between the field and Timmy’s house, where the trees are really small and thin and tall, the shadows are thin and long like the trees.
Everything is frosty grey and white and silver, nothing is black.
We can’t find the path.
I’ve lost all sense of direction. At night you’d think you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the leaf covered ground and the leaf covered path. You can. The path is like a deer path, the way the trees lean slightly towards each other, like a canopy, over a spot where the leaves dip a tiny bit down where the path is lower than the rest of the wood. We tell stories, panting cold air while we talk while we walk.
“Me and Elias…” soli says as she takes a little skipping step ahead of me then looks back “in the summer, we climbed a fence of this fancy schmancy house and swam naked in their pool.”
Elias is her friend from wilderness camp. I've never met him but I've seen the portrait she drew of him and whenever she mentions him, which is often, I see that sketchy face with small eyes and a goatee, in soft pencil lead. Swimming naked in a pool, he looks like wet paper.

We walk to Rochelle’s house. The lights are on inside.
“They’re so clean.” Soli says, looking into the living room. It sounds like an accusation.
The little red eye of a security system shoos us away from the front door and we creep around back and throw rocks at Rochelle’s bedroom window. She doesn’t come out.
We sneak up on Tim’s house the back way, through the trees between his house and Rochelle’s road, where you come out on the far side of the lake on his property.
We knock on his window. We can hear a television inside
“are you watching lost?” I ask when he comes out
“yeah I don’t think it’s a re-run.”
He lets us in and we stand in his kitchen and are rudely abused by his dogs while we wait for him to decide to come out with us or not. After a minute we leave him there and walk back around the pond, back into the woods, silently past Rochelle’s, across Mary Daily field where the ground feels strange, frozen... But frozen after being wet. I can’t see the grass in the dark I’m not wearing socks in my boots.
We crunch and slip across the field and slip up the hill where the roots of the trees are like stairs, pausing at the top of that twisty hill by the old sheep pen when Chloe turns and looks up at the moon through the black bare branches and declares:
"je veut fair un film!"

Back in Soli's car we speed, she’s flooring the pedal over the unpaved farm road blaring Eleanor Rigby, like a lullaby in stark contrast to the breakneck speed and the bouncy chaos of the car and I didn't realize until just now
when I sat down to try to write poetically about my moonlit night,
how often I stopped to take deep breaths, in the woods,
breathing the cold air like a fish finding oxygen in water…
or a human finding oxygen in water, its probably harder for one of us to find it than it is for a fish…
The point is I was sucking it out, like drinking through a straw… like eating. And in school today I felt like I wasn’t taking deep enough breaths. I've felt like my body is shrinking. Like my organs are limiting their intake down to the bare necessities of survival.

Friday, December 4, 2009

my college campus

I've designed a COLLEGE CAMPUS its like a miniature vertical city.
"i hate those" says molly "we stayed in one in italy and the only way to get to our hotel was up this really long staircase."
"my college campus has elevators." i tell her "through the middle of the hill... and a trolly that winds continually up and down the whole things, all day long."

THE DORMS are like apartments. they are above the academic buildings and the student center and the cafeteria and other food places... like a city with everyone living on top of the business'.
THE STREETS are winding and narrow, there are no cars.
there are parks and town squares and other things that belong in cities because it will be like miniature city.
there is a PARKING LOT at the bottom of the city but anyone wanting to enter has to park their car and take the trolly up or walk...
there are staircases and streets that lead through buildings, under archways, around corners,
there are ROOFWAYS, mirroring the walkways below.

there are steps that lead up from the street to the roof and, like THE HIGH LINE in nyc, there are things up there- vendors and grass and whatever else springs up to temp and make money off the students...
there are storefronts that are available to the students the way dorms are.
Just like, here at purchase, you have to write an essay or have a certain GPA to be eligiable to live in a campus apartment, in my vertical city college you will write an essay or apply for a storefront.
youll write a proposal to the staff and describe your idea:
"id like to have a thrift store that is free," you'll write. "when you walk in youll bring in items to donate and somoene will give you a ticket that says how much you've donated, it will be worth a certain amount of store dollars and then you can buy things that are worth that much. if you dont donate anything you have to pay."
if they like your ideayou get that storefront for the year and if your business flourishes you can reaply the next year or pass on the idea to another student when you graduate.

there will be lots and lots of these student stores and that will be a huge attraction of outsiders coming to the college.
it will be like a city...
A city that closes its gates to the outside world at 1am.
and then only the students remain, wandering the streets, doing thier homework by the fountains in the parks.
workstudy will unclude all positions that a city requires to stay afloat.
randomly, selected by raffle, the students will work in the cafeteria or in the administration office or as a street sweeper or janitor.
if you dont do your job you dont get your work study so every task gets done.

there will also be a crew of students in charge of the general beautification of the city.
they will decide which spontanious graffiti stays and which is altered or covered.
the beautification crew will be in charge of holiday decorations and everyday decorations.
there are many spontanious holidays at the school. holidays that spring up because one day in may the beautification crew decided to fill a thousand water balloons with water color paint (Which washed away) and hurl them all over the city and drop them from the roofs and throw them at eachother and when the rest of the school saw what was going on the beautification crew was ready with wagon loads of loaded balloons which they quickly supplied the rest of the students with and then for a few weeks- until it rained- they city was multicolored... (i beielive theres a holiday in india with a similar intention?)

the beautification crew are architecture, art and philosophy majors and they bring beauty and "meaning" to all their activities.

there are outdoor movie showing the parks, huge projectors.

there are parties in the streets under white lights strung over the narrow allys from building to building.
every building is individual.
none of them match.

some of the faculty live on campus with thier families... theres a daycare on campus where the students work...
theres a movie theater showing only the most carefully selected movies (Selected by the film students)
there are bookstores and cafes and... clothing stores all student run. some selling original products..
and the whole campus is overlooking the ocean which is at the bottom of the city's cliff... and the trolly stops at the beach.