blog off

Thursday, September 21, 2006

curb your insanity

apple store
Originally uploaded by kristalynn.
i had to move out of my apartment on the day that my cat died. so as soon as i got my computer set up in my new digs, i booked a ticket to new york, so that i could abscond.

i decided to take my old friend, let's call him cimabue, up on an offer to stay at his place. it's very central, convenient, and i could come and go as i please. i stayed there before, on his couch, with great success. i've known cimabue for about 12 years. we got along great, despite the age difference.

i arrived at his place at 11am.

"krista. i'm glad i was here. i thought you meant 11pm. i'm headed out. do you want to nap?"

"i didn't sleep at all last night..."

"take a nap! i just got a new duvet cover. it's flannel. you can sleep in my bed while i'm gone."

i took a nap while he was out. and then met a friend for drinks after work. i got back to cimabue's around 10pm. he brought me some sheets for the couch.

"krista," he cooed as we put the sheets on the couch, "you know you can sleep with me."

i looked at him.

"i won't touch you, i promise," he continued.

"i think i'd be more comfortable on the couch..."

"sleep in my bed."

"um, cimabue, i'd really be more comfortable sleeping on the couch."


"i tend to toss and turn."

"won't bother me. you'll love the new flannel duvet cover."

"i know, but cimabue, i'd really be more comfortable if i had my own space - a bit of privacy."

"oh yes. i understand." and with that he walked away.

only to return three minutes later. this time he had pouty, sad-man face.

"kristaaa... why won't you sleep with me?"

i sighed. not my idea of a vacation.

the next morning i got the silent treatment. AND it seemed i did everything wrong. i steamed up the bathroom too much, i fed the fish too much, i used too much time on the internet, and asked to use the phone when i clearly shouldn't have.

i returned that evening to him letting me in and him going straight to bed. the silent treatment deluxe.

the next morning, however, he was in fine form. so was i as i packed up. i was staying with a girlfriend that night.

"krista, look at my new shirt."

"krista, do you want to feed the fish?"

"krista, look at this letter from my lawyer."

"krista, don't stay at a hotel. that costs you money. you can come back here after tonight."

to which i replied, "nice", "sure", "look at the grammatical error", and "no thanks."

"well, how about working for me at the shoot on saturday? take some stills. i'll buy you dinner."

"i don't know, cimabue. i'm checking into the hotel on saturday and i really just kinda want to chill. you know, relax."

"you don't want to work for me because you're at a hotel."

"i'll let you know. how's that? i'll call you tomorrow."

the pouty face reared again. "so it's not a 'no'?"

"that's right. it's a 'maybe'."

"you're NOT working for him tomorrow," said my girlfriend after i recounted the story.

"no, i'm not." and we went back to watching dave chapelle.

the next morning i received an email with the subject field "my computer screen" from cimabue. this is what it read:


I have to tell you I am very angry. After you left, I went to my computer and noticed what appears to be a deep fingernail indentation in my new flat screen display. This was NOT there the evening before your arrival.

I did notice you point to the screen a number of times in my presence [ed. note: when i pointed out his ass of a lawyer's grammatical error] but I was not looking over your shoulder every second that you used my computer for your emails.

The curve of the arc of he indentation is clearly that of a nail. Please do not ask to stay with me in the future.

[name withheld]."

"are you fucking kidding me!?" asked my friend. "how LONG did he search his apartment for something to blame you for?"

"he's mad that i didn't want to work for him..."

"he's mad that you didn't want to SLEEP with him."

because i'm prone to the second guessing of myself, which is weird considering i didn't even touch his monitor, the next time i was at the apple store, i scratched my nail along the bottom corner of the new 24" imac.


nothing on the monitor. nothing left of the friendship.

Monday, September 11, 2006

it was christmas eve a couple of years ago and i was checking my messages from my boyfriend's place.

"oh no..." i exclaimed. i looked at my boyfriend as tears welled in my eyes.

"what? what is it?"

"oh no..." i repeated. i hung up the phone and placed my face in my hands.

"who died?"

i looked at my boyfriend. "ch... ch... "i was stuttering and stammering. "i can't even say it..."

"who died?" he repeated.

i realized i was worrying him. "charlie," i replied.

"charlie..." he repeated.

charlie was a mutual friend's wire-haired daschund. he had a little human's soul in him though. he was partially responsible for the assembling of me and my boyfriend: our first date was comprised of us walking him.

6 weeks ago my 17-year old kitten got fussy about her food. 5 weeks after that the vet discovered 2 tumors in her belly and intestine. this past tuesday, the vet put my paxis to sleep. she died in my arms, i heard her last tiny breath. it was not peaceful. not like everyone says. it was not violent or aggressive, but it was just not peaceful.

the vet gave her a month max. she made it to a week. paxis used to weigh close to 15 pounds - i used to do bicep curls with her. when she was dying, she was only 5 lbs. and about 2 of those pounds were tumors.

she was a birthday present. from my first boyfriend, my first love. he left me, and he left her behind.

she had nicknames ("misses kisses") and she had slogans ("paxis, complete with paws!"), her favorite group was basement jaxx, she could balance on my head, i could vacuum her, and she often joined me in the shower. she understood "up!", "lie down", and "do you want a treat?"

she was the most stable thing in my life, myself included. she moved with me to all my different apartments (12 times), she's seen every single one of my boyfriends come and go. she told me who sucked and who didn't. she was the one who went to bed with me every night, and greeted me when i stirred in the morning.

she liked soft-spoken people; had a great distaste for insufferable people. she had a proclivity for girls. and gay men. the gayer the better, in fact. during my housewarming party she sought refuge in a closet. towards the end of the night when i didn't find her there, i looked around the rest of the apartment. who did i see rolling around on the bed with a transvestite friend who showed up in drag? little miss thing.

for three days after she died, i walked around willing to do anything to bring her back. i now understand how people can make deals with the devil.

she collapsed on the floor the day she was to die. i lay on my side looking into her eyes. i watched one of them dialate completely, while the other remained a cat-eye slit. i knew this meant she was pretty much gone - the vet later informed me it was because her brain was hemorrhaging - but she still able to move her tail when i said her name.

she was an angel. in a furry disguise.

Monday, September 04, 2006


Originally uploaded by kristalynn.
i have my favorite bookstores that i visit when i travel - the strand in new york, the book warehouse in vancouver, powells in portland... i can spend hours browsing the surplus bins, amassing books that i promise i'll read.

i just finished reading the better of mcsweeney's, which i picked up in vancouver. one of the short stories blew all the others out of the water. so i did what i do with everything i become obsessed with (john wayne gacy jr. anyone?) - i googled the author for 3 days straight.

i learned that amada davis had written two books before dying an untimely death at the age of 32.

i wondered if it was suicide. but the little that i knew of her from her short story didn't really speak to me of suicide. but i could be surprised; i've been surprised before.

it had to be cancer, i surmised.

wrong. her and her parents were killed in a plane crash. the three of them were flying a small cessna to all of the locations on her book tour. i was oddly affected. i searched for her books on ebay and and made a mental note to ship the books to my friend's the next time i visited new york.

on a spontaneous trip to new york this past weekend, i found myself at strand books. it was at this juncture that i realized that had i forgotten to order and ship the books. in addition to that unimpressiveness, i was also realizing that i was not remembering her name - thereby hindering me from purchasing the books then and there.

i asked the strand people if they had the mcsweeny’s book she was compiled in.

"our literature is at the end of this aisle. it's not organized in any particular order," replied the unfriendly, unhelpful sales person.

"what would this book be filed under?" i had very little desire to sift through 18 miles of books.

"our literature is at the end of this aisle. it's not organized in any particular order." repeated the unfriendly, unhelpful sales person.

i was mouthing the words, “wha?” when a slightly more friendly salesperson informed me that i had to walk beyond the poetry section to find the literature.

i walked past poetry and found nothing. and then the store announced that it was closing in 15 minutes.

i found my boyfriend. he asked me what was wrong after he saw my mopey face.

"i'm mad at myself for forgetting her name. i asked that asshole back there, but he was no help."

"yeah, that guy's an asshole."

"why are people such asses? i hate that guy."

"me too. ask her. she looks nice." he pointed to a girl at a computer.

i explained my situation to the nice-seeming girl.

"she wrote for mcsweenys and she died a tragic death in a plane. can you find her?"

"what should i google?" she asked me.

"um, mcsweenys, plane, crash?" i suggested.

she googled.

"nope. nothing. we're closing."

"fuck. how frustrating…" i said as i got onto the street. i moped for at least 20 blocks. this woman had written such a beautiful short story, crashed into a mountain with her parents, and left two siblings behind and i didn't even have the wherewithal to purchase her books.

we delayed our etd the next day, forfeited a trip to a gallery to see avedon, and returned to the strand.

"i'm looking for an author by the name of amada davis” (i had been on a recognizance mission), i said to the woman who had replaced the woman from the night before.

her eyes widened and she actually hopped in excitement. "yeah... she has book called i wonder when you'll miss me." she said not missing a beat.

my heart sped up. "yes! she also has..."

"oh my gawd! she also has a collection of short stories. i didn't know she had another..."

"you read her novel?" i asked, thrown at what a difference a day makes.

"yes, it's amazing - amazing."

her eyes returned to the monitor. "they're both in stock."

she excitedly pointed me in the right direction. "there should be three copies of each. go!"

i took off like a shot.

the "davis"es were on the bottom shelf. i was on my hands and knees when i found her two books. there was one copy of each.

one of them quoted jane siberry: "Pour me a drink now. Let's have a toast to who we really are."

i loved this woman. she and i were meant to be together.

"you found them?" asked my boyfriend as i approached, one book in each hand.

"they were the last two copies..."

suddenly it all became too much. i thought of the poor dead woman and of the two amazing - and finite - pieces of work that i held. i thought of all the bad news i had received over the past month. i burst into tears, in the middle of the strand. i wanted more for and from her.

from what i've learned during my 3-day stalking bender, she seemed like an amazing person - a teacher - who is greatly missed. she was funny, self-effacing, essential, and vital.

the quote in the second book, which she dedicated to her parents, reads: "And I was yet aware that this was only a moment, that the world waited outside, as hungry as a tiger, and that trouble stretched above us, longer than the sky." - James Baldwin

you can read fat ladies floated in the sky like balloons here.