Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Open Letter on The artful Love

I’ve never really made a visual work of art about love before. I didn’t feel like I’d ever want to, because any relationship that would be worth it anyhow should be lived through the experiences, with the resounding returns of patterns and signs that click off of the tongue after flickering across my retina, flipping the image backward against the surface of my brain. As an after thought, I often feel over-indulgent and rude to disclose my pain. It’s more elegant to suffer silently. Someone else will be moved by your pain and tell your story. I haven’t even made any art about my mother yet.

I have always been able to decide that if I couldn’t have or do something, then I didn’t want it. Some other project or object would do just fine, and I would learn to be happy with that too. I talked to you about that once. We used to eat the packaged saltines and dip them in the free Italian dressing the old café at our college used to offer for salads. Our dates were never much, poor kids that we were. If you could call it a date, all we would do is sit in a booth together between classes. You would have your French homework or poems to critique and I maybe read from some book, but often just talked or looked at you. So, one day we were eating crackers dipped in dressing and I told you that I could just decide I didn’t want something I couldn’t have, and as a result, I always got everything I wanted. I thought it was a genius perspective, and it was one of the things that made me invincible. We fought about that, we fought about a lot of things I said while eating crackers, like the fact that I don’t think that I’m going to live past 65 and that if you ever broke any woman’s heart, it was because she wasn’t listening to you.

I have to take it all with me into my next place I make as my home. Right? Our language was the only one I’ve been practicing since I was seventeen. I even had to drop Spanish. What can I leave out and forget now? That the sum of love is what you pay for it? I’m tired of suffering but I was only ever good at performing tragedy. “You are me”, you said to me. But you hate yourself right now, and I hate you a little too. I’ll never say I resent you, but I resent myself for not trusting you right away with my secrets. I expected everything of yours to be mine (because it all once was, I painted that Attic.), but I needed something new to belong to only me. And I did secretly love the men you were afraid of my loving when I got hit with new magic. I thought maybe it was a new language to learn, but really, it was just the first joke I would eventually get. I’m sorry I was not more honest about that. I didn’t know what I was feeling at the time. I barely knew where I was. It was my first taste as a new kind of agent of Neptune. One day, I found myself loving you madly again, and I resent the confusion and codependency I found for you when my father was locked away. It rang through my guts and the veins of my heart. I regret not telling you I was proud of you more often, for being brave every day, trying to learn and grow and change.
I don’t believe that you would never speak to me again for making art about you. Even if it was about our ugly, blank faces looking at one another, saying nothing good. I don’t know if you would discredit me because maybe you won’t agree. You were very careful, when I asked you to open up about home to not give in and say anything about me. I think now, you want to omit from the story that you moved in with my friends and moved to my town because of me. But I am going to use the videos I shot of us fighting, and I am going to record more of my experiences from now on. I can't just revisit them as a memory. I need them as a text.

It’s been some time since I knew we were saying anything truly productive to one another. I think we just started to when I confronted you four days ago. And then, a morning later, you said, “maybe, it has to end or change completely”. Heaven or hell is too much for a living human. Reaching hands across space and time is subjective to the amount of light we can see over the distance. I think you’re right, but neither of us came to a decision, and because we haven’t, the purgatory is eating me alive. It’s bloody and difficult because you’re my favorite person; the one who I show the artists whose work I want to rip off and the person I share my books first with. You collaborate best with my visions. I could have never eaten the void with out you-- Even if it did tear back open after everyone walked through it. My favorite song you've written is a ballad about Valerie Solanas, inspired after I got too drunk watching a movie about her and empathized with her need for a woman only society. You used to call me the biggest woman you knew. We are a terrible revolution and when we love mightily, we are producers of phenomena Signs, Staffs and Stars bang and blow and burn. With you, I thought I learned to be more of a real, living, free woman. But, then, why do I ache so badly from the worry that some day one of us is going to pull the ten swords out of our sides. I don't know how not to suffer.

You are a revolution all on your own, too. Please don’t think that I never listened to you. I always tried. I have truly been happiest by your side. I owe so much to our meeting. When I listen to Our Lady Peace, I think about you and I in puberty, listening to our cd's in secret at the same time and looking to the sky. When I listen to Broken Social Scene or Yo La Tengo, I always remember having sex in the dark after that first concert of ours, and you telling me for the first time you loved me. Paris was an experience that rattled my soul and the whole time, I felt your ghost embedded in the psychogeography. I found myself on your streets, and found that fool's journal I hope you fill with beautiful representations of our story. We have a beautiful story. I feel that I've grown in brilliant ways and gained a remarkable insight to the family I want and dream of making. Fuck, I know how to have a family because of you. Fuck, I was in a band because of you.

I have utter faith in you. No matter if I say and believe I need distance from you, I still miss you; wish you would call and tell me one thing you did that day that made you feel joy and comfort. One day you’re going to step back from the edge and look at the scenery and you will feel peace. If you never call me again, please at least call me when you find yourself there. I would love to tell you what my view looks like. I recently put back on my wall the photo of the words "Eventually" written behind you. I don't have it in me to take it back down. "Eventually" isn't for me; "eventually" is for you.

I still want, one day, for you to watch "Once."

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