It was the newly renovated Quad Cinema, and I’d scored a ticket because I was presenting the Emily Dickinson film, “A Quiet Passion,” to a cinema club later in the week. Normally I would not be spending such a beautiful afternoon indoors, but I’d had a terrible writing morning—the sort that robs one of all confidence and joy—and I was keen to get out of my house, neighborhood, and head, in that order.
The new Quad seemed a lot like the old Quad, down to ticketing confusion and the long, skinny screening rooms with tiny screens, but the seats were more comfortable and the film, a stately swoon. I settled into the story that had begun 20 minutes before my arrival, and tried to block everything out.
Dickinson was bright and glaring in her strong tempers, with the knit brow and bitten lip of a nineteenth-century woman heeding too many wrong lessons. She and her kin bickered against the austere backdrop of their Amherst estate, and I sat back against red cushions and exhaled in pleasure. This was not the New England of so many films-forbidding and confined to a palette of greys and more greys. This was the New England I long for 25 years after emigrating to New York: amused and amusing, with bursts of colors so extravagant that there’s no point in competing with your own person. Continue Reading →
I wake with longing. This is not new for me; this is not new for most people. Desire is the human condition. To be alive, to be embodied, is to need things in one form or another—food, water, shelter, sleep, air. Every minute of every day, our bodies drive us: They have to eat; they have to breathe; they have to shit and piss and cum; they are restless; they are tired; they are cold; they are hot. They crave contact.
I have been a lone wolf, an alley cat, for most of my life. I did not cathect to my tribe though I tried. I have never cathected to any tribe since. I was too psychic to bear dishonesty, too much of a Capricorn to bear laziness, too much of an aesthete to bear bad taste, too sensitive to bear spitefulness. I preferred people who tried their best, who prized truth and compassion over comfort and status.
Thus I have spent most of my life alone. I have learned to love in a vacuum.
When I was young I was guilty of the worst sort of manipulations. I saw people as stools and steps rather than stars unto themselves. I sang for my supper. I fucked for security. I preened for admiration. Continue Reading →