Saturday, July 22, 2006

Sidewalk Somersaults, Sexy Puppets, & Vampire Love

I woke up recently and immediately changed the station on the radio. I don't know what prompted it exactly, except that I felt an urge to do it immediately. It could've been that the song was too hard/metallic for me, but I rarely--if ever--change the station that quickly. But lo and behold, Everything But the Girl's "...Like the Deserts Miss the Rain" song came on, and I've been wanting to hear this song for months. I only caught the last third of it, and it was fuzzy, but it made me smile. Then I changed the station again (another rarity) and caught the start of Tim Cappello's "I Still Believe" from The Lost Boys Soundtrack. I don't think I've ever heard this song on the radio before, and it was either a different (semi-softer) mix of it or a cover, I wasn't sure. Totally made my day.

I think I've only posted a part of an email once before. I tend to keep the blog and my email separate, and I like to capture things in different ways for each medium. However, after I wrote the below I found myself chuckling. Plus, it gives you all a sense of my more raunchy sense of humor, for those of you who think I stray too closely to puppy dogs and rainbows and glitter-clouds a little too often. I've edited out part of one paragraph--it refers to Amsterdam, where my family now is after Scotland. I left the "legal" part of the paragraph here for your perusing enjoyment;)

"Hey you three ~ I miss you too. I sent out lots of kisses and hugs to you all, and I felt you all dancing at Kristin's wedding. Mom ~ I pictured you swirling in that sassy dress like the Stevie Nicks dominatrix that you are!

"Things have actually been wonderful here. The Oregon Country Fair last week was amazing, and this weekend kicked ass too. On Friday Karla and I went to this restaurant called Salvador Molly's that you'd all love. It's set up very cheesy, with Caribbean pinata pirate things all over the wall, and you can throw your peanut shells on the floor, and they have a gagillion rum drinks. My god. DELICIOUS. It reminds me of that place we went to with Jenny in Florida? Where we ate all the appetizers and they had a tarot card reader and everything? Then Karla and I went to a puppet show at a coffee house--it was about Bert and Ernie tryinig to get laid, and Ernie ditches Bert for Sparkles, this trampy pink glittered hair puppet. Ernie ends up pre-ejaculating and the puppeteer shot this neon glow in the dark jizz gel into the audience and it splattered all over this guy in the front. Tot rad. On Saturday, Tara and I went to Mississippi Street for a street fair and read at this coffee shop I've always wanted to try. That night, a group of us went to Kennedy School for beer and food and then to the Alibi for Karaoke. I sang Martika's 'Toy Soldiers' (with Brad as backup) and then 'Gypsy' with Tara.

"Yesterday rocked: I volunteered at Our House of Portland's grand reopening for their new, remodeled facility. It looks amazing. Beautiful rooms, and a garden, and lots of space, and way better living rooms, kitchen, etc. Fancy schmancy. This next Saturday Kevin is having an official house warming party because he's finished everything there. It should be a blast.

"Love you all and...Big kisses to Amsterdam for me, and eat some yummy pancake crepe things in my honor. Those were my favorite meals there.

"Ollie misses you all, and he's doing well. We've had a couple walking dramas, one of which involved me getting tangled and doing a somersault on the sidewalk and cutting my hand. Wow--I am so graceful!

"Love you, love you, love you. Oh? And I love you. Can't wait to see you all! Get all your butts out here and remember that I am SSSOOO blessed to have you three.


That being said, other little details of the past couple weeks stick with me. On my way back from Our House's grand reopening, I just had this hunch that K would be at the cemetery right off Belmont Street. I also hunched-it that she was on her way out of there, and I wanted to catch her. I quickly parked--passing T, one of my 2 crushes at the moment--and waved at him. Then, as I hurried toward the cemetery, T and I crossed paths and I promised him I wasn't stalking him. Not that I minded bumping into him, with his adorable gray streaks and face piercings and beautiful teeth and puppy dog eyes. No, not at all. He pointed out K to me, and I dashed toward her and her friend J. I hugged her, let her know that I was here for her while she thought about J (a different J), and losing him, and honoring his memory.

I also received a phone call from Yaksha last Sunday; I didn't think I was going to be hearing from him again. It was great to get his message. Funny thing is, I'd made a CD inspired by him--this was a couple months ago--and I dedicated it to him. I finally let go of the idea of him getting ahold of me. It wasn't with resentment that I felt this; in fact, I thought to myself, "He and I are so similar, our souls trip over each other on the Bliss-Elevators, maybe in this life there's not much need to hang out, because our souls have been hanging out for, like, ever." And I'd just decided to make a two-disc compilation, the one dedicated to him as Part 1. Part 2--which I made this week -- is dedicated to Sita, the other half of the yin-and-yang mythology. In any case, Yaksha rocks the Pike-House and I look forward to seeing him again. I talked to him today and we had a nice catch-up chat.

Sex. I've been having sex dreams like they're going out of style. Ex-sex, sex with strangers, sex with people I've never met--they're younger, older, everything in-between--and I live these whole dreamscape-relationships with them. It's been interesting. There's been everything from post-apocalyptic video stores to bedrooms morphing into TV studios morphing into oversized closets--and I'm getting it on with these men in all these places. I also have been dreaming about owls and Tori. I'm glad I had the owl dream last weekend because the previous one I'd had scared me a little: It involved me trying to stuff a young owl into a too-small backpack, like I was trying to cut off its oxygen supply or something. I think I was forcing my soul to follow these too-structured/strategic patterns, and my Totem was striking out in my sleep. But this next dream.....I was in a patch of woods right off a quiet road, and so many kinds of owls called to me and came to greet me, young and old, all different colors and shapes and sizes.....They just sidled up and grooved with me and we were all filled with peace. In my Tori dreams, I usually hug Tori. It's been a given over the years. But in this one, during a break in her set, she sat cross-legged next to me and we just nodded at each other in respect and admiration.

Tidbits: Loving Gilmore Girls. Sunlight shifting into beautiful, cool patterns all over Carly as she sat in a living room chair. Beers with Kate, and the purple sunset last night, and inner-Writing Nathan-peace. Minh giving me rides back to Chloe after our Write Around Portland sessions, and our wonderful chats, and how she played Sarah McLachlan's "I Love You" for me (and how much I just friggin' adore everyone at Write Around Portland and miss them already after our training). Tara and I both close to crying as she told me about her favorite Iron & Wine songs and I played Paula Cole's "Postcards from East Oceanside" for her (which is the song of the moment, in my opinion). Hearing that Tori has a five-disc box set coming out in September--Little Earthquakes retouched, remastered, re-ordered, with "Flying Dutchman," "Upside Down," "Take to the Sky," and "Sweet Dreams" on it! Plus, the world at large can now hear "Merman," which brings me back to London and John and creepy-beautiful apple orchards. Daughter Darling's album--and their song "Mermaid"--and how the mermaid-sea noises remind both Jordan and me of the unicorns' cries in Legend. Finally, can I just say how excited I am to see M. Night Shyamalan's Lady in the Water tonight? Can someone say Essence Movie, please?

Back to Everything But the Girl. Rain's been on my mind a lot these days. The lack of it, the scorched grass. I've been learning to embrace my emotional rain, you know? There's a song by The Weepies that talks about rain, and it's one of my current faves (thank you, Karin!). And of course there's CharMar's "Every Time It Rains" and Kate Bush's "Cloudbusting" and Patty's "Rain," and many, many others (Madonna....Eurythmmics....). I was jogging down this alley with Ollie the other day, and I had my hoodie on, and everything felt great....At the end of the alley, before the sidewalk begins, I was filled up with a sense of Rightness about everything (yeah, yeah, I'm back to glitter clouds and rainbows and literal puppy dogs cuz Ollie was there) and at that moment my feet met the sidewalk and rain started pouring down on my head. The literal kind. I smiled wide into it. I can't remember if I took off my hood or not, but I like to think I did, so my hair got messy and unpredictable and wonderful--just like most everything on this crazy planet.

I'm at Kevin's now. Time to go back down to the party. He did a wonderful job preparing for this shin-dig, and I'm about to snag a second plateful of cheese and crackers, salsa and chips, sweets and salty things. Here's to Saturday sprinkles, double-disc CDs, and Yaksha/Sita vampire love!

Sunday, July 09, 2006


About a month ago I had an amazing experience with a blue swallow. I was walking through a park, feeling a tad sorry for myself and wondering what Life had in store for me, when this beautiful little bird decided to come play with me. It circled and circled me over fifty times--I'm not kidding. It just dove and wove around me, in circle after circle; even when I stopped for a while and closed my eyes and bowed my head up toward the sky (during which the bird flew off) it shortly returned when I started walking again. This was a direct message from the Universe, God, whatever you want to call Her. At that moment, I felt so in touch and so in tune, and I knew exactly what the message was: "Everything's okay, Nathan, Life is converging the way it's supposed to. Good things are on their way." What I didn't realize was that some bad things were going to happen over this past month, too; not that I thought I'd be skipping jump rope and singing "Kumbaya" for 30 days in a row or anything, but I wasn't prepared for some of the shockers that were in store for me. It's been quite a draining month. Quite an exhilirating one, too. I feel I've been reincarnated about a dozen times. Or maybe this incarnation just has had twelve layers of skin to pierce through.

So many beautiful things, moments, wrapped up with the stark-dark-oddly beautiful-in-their-sadness ones, too: Watching the hot air balloons light up against the night sky in Bend, the balloons filling up and rippling as dusk settled in. Receiving amazing postcards and letters from Karin, and enjoying my talks with her about Veronica Mars. My mom getting here (HERE!) and being home to greet her in the wee hours of a Friday morning, to hug her and Jordan and Ollie, to walk to the top of Multnomah Falls with Mom and Jordan and look down over the waterfall to the tiny people below. My mom and I have had SSSOOO much fun settling in together, despite some evident exhaustion on both our parts. We've lugged around furniture, unpacked boxes, run errands.....Kevin did an amazing job painting the rooms in the house, and it just feels splashy and vibrant. But, yes, there's been the sad parts too....I had a falling out & misunderstanding with a couple acquaintances, and this has wounded me (and them too, I'm sure). And there was a brief moment where Mom almost didn't solidify the deal on the house, and we were going to be back to Square #1 (felt like Square #Infinity). Like all things, good and bad, that moment passed. Lots of my yucky dark stuff has been internal Nathan dilemmas: questions and doubts about my writing (some major ones this time), doubts about my purpose here as Nathan Do-Gooder, and those insecure parts where I keep thinking, "Mom's here, but it's not going to last, something's going to go wrong." One other thing I must mention: I talked to my cousin Molly on Friday, and I found out that a (young) relative of ours had passed away a couple months ago, and that it could be drug-related. It was so strange to talk to Molly and hear about "John." When I relayed the message to my mother, this wave of sadness crept over us; I could feel it wafting around us on our back patio that night. We've lost touch with many of our relatives due to the fallout between Mom and C, and we realized that back when my mom saw C at the funeral, he didn't even bother to mention that this had happened, so that we could express our sympathies, send a card, anything. Molly had lots of positive news to relay too, about marriages and pregnancies and adoptions.....even these were a bit strange to hear about, but only because I feel disconnected from so many of my aunts and uncles and cousins. Another cousin whom I adore, Lisa, sent me some photographs of Becky's "wedding weekend" and I couldn't believe how much kids had grown up, how much my aunts and uncles had aged. C looked so old and different--it was hard to recognize him in some of the photographs. Strange feeling, indeed.

It feels like the last month has really started to come full circle (kind of like the swallow's circles). Feeling much better about my writings. I've decided to let go of some of the pain of failed relationships. I'm embracing the air in my house, with Mom's furniture and magical touch there, just catching glimpses of her and Ollie walking and playing and breathing and living. God and I have chilled on some Nirvana-Davenport and she's taken my hand lately and said, "Look, honey, either shit or get off the pot. Trust in Me or don't. Quit pulling this wishy-washy razz-ma-tazz." So I'm learning to trust, to meet Her halfway. And I still manage to get mischievous twinkles in my eyes and pinch her hand and say back, "Listen, Sister, I'll agree to try harder--but you need to stop all these Diva tendencies from time to time, put on a pot of coffee, start explaining yourself, and then start showing me a few more traces that you've been cleaning Soul-House."

It was hard to say goodbye to Mom on Friday when she flew off to Scotland for Kristin's wedding. But I realized I'd trained myself that saying goodbye at airports meant for the long haul, for long chunks of time, and now--in this new phase of my family's Life--she's only going to be gone for a couple weeks, and then she'll return Home. To me. Good ol' Mom. Earth Mother.

Jennifer and I had a magical day yesterday at the Oregon Country Fair. I was dropped inside a fairie tale book, but with more nudity and blunts. The woods whispered around us as we ate, danced to tribal music, walked through the Free Bookstore, watched Faeries and Demons on stilts and Fawns and Cleopatra and every other Elven creature you could think of. It was so freeing for me to see so many women topless, and heck, I sure loved all the men without their shirts on! I think I spent a third of the day just staring at chest hair and nipples and abdomens. Yum. Jennifer and I took a break under this woven-branch structure, and ended up talking with this woman, Kat, who was helping her brother work the water supplies at the fair. The three of us got into an intense talk about spirituality, meeting kindred souls, and letting go of old molds & skins. When we stood up to leave, she hugged us, stood back and said, "Now you both aren't faerie spirits, are you? I feel something about you two. Am I going to walk down the row, turn around, and you'll both have vanished?" Jennifer and I smiled, then Kat said: "But maybe I'm the spirit, and you'll turn around and I'll have vanished." I made sure not to look back as we walked away; I wanted to keep the mystery of it all.

A final note, my friends: Jennifer and I started the day with Rob Brezny's inspirational speech. Mr. Brezny writes a syndicated horoscope, and whenever I read them in the Willamette Weekly I feel like he's reached inside me (inside all Capricorns) and really touched on what our experience is/was/will be. Some people would have laughed or joked about Mr. Brezny's approach to his speech--it was, after all, very New-Age-y, and he led chants, and phrased things in some "cheesy" (but highly accurate) ways. I like that he was just being himself, without walls, without barriers to hide all the pure things he wants and needs to say. He had everyone write on purple index cards what one of our biggest fears is. He then collected them and said that next Monday he was going to have a huge fire in a cauldron and burn all our fears and send us the best possible love and energy and bliss to send our fears scurrying. I liked when he had us blow "world kisses," and when he talked about Pronoia (the idea of "positive news" and focusing on good energy to make us all whole), and--finally--when he had us say a prayer together, but instead of clasping our hands we held them wide, like we were cupping the sky. He said that people used to pray with clasped hands because, as slaves, they'd been shackled and forced to pray that way. (I never knew this fact.) He said we were welcome to pray any way we wanted, but most of us held our arms wide. It felt silly, and wonderful, and heavy, and freeing.

I returned home after dropping off Jennifer to the peace of my house, and to Ollie, and to a renewed sense of faith and hope. I love you, Mom, and can't wait for further adventures. I went to bed with Calm.