FROM THE VAULT #3 Baby Seals & Fucking Trees

Baby Seals and Fucking Trees

By Vivian Martinez

RUNNER: woman late 20’s fit
READER: male late 20’s goofy but cute

Scene takes place outside of a Pete’s Coffee.

Lights up and we see RUNNER run by READER who notices her go by, as she passes she sees him and looks away. He looks up at her again and when she turns around to come back he gets nervous and hides behind his book.

RUNNER  Hey (He ignores her)

RUNNER  Hey (She stops and jogs in place near him) Listen man… (Pointing at him and the book) I know what’s up. I know what’s goin’ on here.

Reader still ignores her

RUNNER  HEY… (She stops running and grabs book)

READER  Wh- Excuse me? What are you doing? Are you crazy?

RUNNER  You gotta be kiddin me, I’m crazy… me? (Shakes the book)

READER  Yes, you. YOU are crazy, I don’t know you… you just, you came over here- take my book… what the hell!? Who are yo- no I don’t even want to know. This is ridiculous, I’m trying to read and just, you know, have some coffee and relax and you aren’t helping, now… gimmie my book back (Grabs for the book)

RUNNER  OooOOOOOooooh no you don’t… I’m not giving this back until you admit it.

READER  (Pauses a little flabbergasted) Y- wh- …it’s my book, give it to me!

RUNNER  No

READER  Give it to me! (Lunges for it again) seriously, I’m going to punch you in the face. (Laughs uncomfortably, thinking “is she joking?”) Give-me… my book (Reaches for it, she pulls it away). You are starting to annoy me missy. You’re wasti-

RUNNER  You’ve been annoying the shit outta ME for the past 2 months!

READER  Wh- two months… how did you? Have you- (Looks around himself paranoid) have you been watching me?

RUNNER  (Gives him a “are you fucking joking me?” look)

READER  Ok, this is getting fucked up… (Nervous now) Just keep the book (Fidgeting in his chair) I got it for free anyway. You’re scary, right now… you know that? (Lame attempt at humor, but it is sweet) I wouldn’t want to come across you in a dark alley with a book in your hand (Tries to laugh it off) A hard cover… haha… no? Tough crowd…

RUNNER  I bet you recycle too…

READER  Excuse me?

RUNNER  Yeah that’s what I said, re-cy-cle.

READER  Well of course I recy- don’t you? (Trying to make light of the situation) I mean we live in LA, we have to.

RUNNER  (Sits in chair opposite) Come on man… you’re not foolin’ anybody.

READER  Who? Who’s ‘anybody?’ What do you me- (Brings his voice down) Are you high? (Beat) Do I recycle? Am I on a game show… who are you?

RUNNER  You’re not really reading this book (shakes book at him)

READER  What?… wha- you mean- what are you talking about?

RUNNER  You are just pretending to read because you think it makes you look smart.

READER  (Long beat) You’re-

RUNNER  (Quickly, accusing but not bitter) Come on, you’re not foolin’ me. Are you trying to pick up women or some dumb shit like that?

READER  No!

RUNNER  (Sing-songy) Bullshit!

READER  How do you even know? (Stumbling over his words) We’ve, when I- I’ve  never seen you eh, here… before…

RUNNER  Well I see you. All the time. At this Pete’s coffee.

READER  They have good coff-

RUNNER  Oh cut the shit you just want to look smart because it’s what’s “cool now.”

READER  Can I have my book now?

RUNNER   No, I’m sick of you. I run down this block every Tuesday and Thursday and you are always here! Is it cause the yoga class is across the street? It is isn’t it? Ugh you make me sick. I can’t believe you, sitting here every day waiting for  them to come out and look like (notices the title) you’re reading, the lovely BONES!? Really? Jesus… hold on I’ll be right back.

READER  Wait, hey give me my bo- (He trails off as she gets up and goes inside with his book, he sits in an uncomfortable state… improvise some physical comedy involving awkwardness until she comes out, maybe he gets up at one point and sits down again… practices saying hello to her and asking her name)

RUNNER  Here (hands him a water) truce. (It’s not a question)

READER  Oh thanks,  that was fast.

RUNNER  Huh? Oh, yeah I know the guy, I mean… I live around here.

READER  Yeah I know I see you run by all the time. (Takes his time) I mean, I see you too (clears his throat) you know.

RUNNER Oh fuck off.

READER  What!?
RUNNER  Stop hitting on me! You think I’m gonna fall in love with you cause you fucking READ? That’s such bullshit. All you people make me sick… I see it everyday you know? When I run by these shops with all their “save the planet” shirts or the, “I EFFIN love trees” handbag made out of baby seal… it’s so pretentious and you, you jerk, are the last straw.. I mea… pretending to read? Come on man.
READER  How do you know I’m pretending?
RUNNER  (Sighs) you’ve been reading the same shit for 2 months now. It took me like 3 weeks to read Lovely Bones, back in 1992, or whenever that book came out. (Thinks) 2004, yeah 2004.
READER   Well I just got it…eh, I’m a slow reader.
RUNNER  You’re fucking joking me… I’m not dumb! If you enjoy reading SOO much then you wouldn’t wait to drive all the way to the nearest Pete’s coffee that happens to have a lot of foot traffic due to a yoga studio being across the street… (Raises an eyebrow at him) right?
READER  Ok ok ok
RUNNER  HA I knew it!!
READER  I’m not reading it. Not really anyway, some parts are ok. But usually I just watch the people that go by. I’m shy! Gimmie a fuckin break!

RUNNER  I was right, ha! I knew I was right… you fuckin people and your fake fakey-ness. This is just perfect in our world, of course you are just being fake in this fake-ass world- People pretending to have devotions to the newest band wagon trend. Fucking green shit, Occupy the whatever the fuck. Oh I care… UGH. No one actually does anything about anything anymore. Apathy is like our new flu virus.

READER  I’m not apathetic! I recycle!

RUNNER  (Laughs) way to go man… Way. To. Go. (She stands to leave)

READER  Well wait a second. What about you? Miss “I jog in a high pedestrian area in little clothes to stay in shape” yeah right! You just wanna show off your ass, I see you run by here every Tuesday and Thursday, and sometimes on Friday if you don’t go on Thursday.

RUNNER  Fuck you! (Starts to walk off but stops)

READER  Oh good one! Did you read that one in the paper today? Which you must read front to back everyday because you are so high and mighty, what do you ride your bike to work- your little Nalgene bottle with the “vegans do it better” sticker on it, tucked into your little eco friendly basket woven by fuckin’ ex-homeless people who lived under the 101 but now have their own internet start-up Downtown? (Beat) You know what, fuck you! (Begins to walk away backwards slowly) YOU are the pretentious one, you’re the one who parades around this, no- MY Pete’s coffee in… trampy clothes!

RUNNER  (She is a little speechless, she find this a little funny but doesn’t want him to know, she calls out to him) Oh yeah! Well The Lovely Bones is for fags! (Throws book at him)

READER  Hey! You crazy bitch! You’re fat!

RUNNER  (She walks up to him) If I’m so fat then why are you constantly staring at my BIG fat ass?!

READER  Cause I’m such a FAG (stereotypical gay voice) I can’t wait ‘til they have those shorts in my size!

RUNNER  What? Couldn’t find them at “douche bags-R-US?” Did you miss the sale cause you were too busy watching “Hollywood’s Wettest Boobs” marathon on Spike TV? (They are shouting in each others faces)

READER  Listen “compost heap in mah backyard,” don’t judge me. (Beat) I’m sorry I called you trampy.

RUNNER  I’m sorry I called you a fag.

READER  That’s ok, you’re kinda right. I mean I’m not… I like girls… but, you know what I mean.

RUNNER  (Laughs) Internet start-up… that was a good one, touché.

READER  (Laughs too) Sorry I was caught up in the moment, I mean… you gave me a lotta grief there… I had to rep my shit yo (Throws up some lame gang sign)

RUNNER  (Can’t help laughing) You’re so lame. But oddly sharp with you’re humor, you’re funny.

READER  Well I hope so, I’m a comedian. Well I mean, I’m trying to be… you know, a comedian.

RUNNER  Really? Shy huh? Liar… (Laughs it off, and it starts to get a bit awkwardly cute)

READER  Around attractive girls, yeah.

RUNNER  What, you only play to all ugly crowds? Is there a sign outside (Indicates imaginary sign) “Ugly Woman Only”

READER  Yeah, I think your sister was there last night.

RUNNER  (Laughs) I’m only laughing cause Syl would find that funny too, not because she’s ugly.

READER  Sill? Like window?

RUNNER  Like Sylvia… dumb ass.

READER  Oh ha, right. I like that name it’s classy sounding. So, your parents follow through with your name?

RUNNER  It’s Nora.

READER  Oh that’s nice too.

(Odd silence)

READER  Is that with an A or an AH?

RUNNER  With an A… why?

READER  I dunno, I only thought that far.

RUNNER  What?

READER  Well, I didn’t think of anything else to say to you after I asked you your name… I mean, I imagined you ask me what mine was and we went from there but you didn’t ask me, you selfish bitch (He is joking)

RUNNER  Sigh… and now you’re getting all smoothy smooth romantic comedy on me?

READER  Oh come on! Please don’t be all domineering “I am woman here me roar.” I’m just a guy trying to ask a girl on a date. I don’t sit out here pretending to read to get yoga girls’ attentions… I sit out here and pretend to read The Lovely whatever because I see YOU run by here all the time. I live close too ya know and I just moved here so please don’t give me a hard time; please. You girls all think it’s so hard to meet a nice guy (Mimicks a girls voice in an annoying way) “All men are dicks! Woman are smarter! Weh!” But it’s really not. You just scare the shit out of us! I mean, I was just sitting here reading, putting out my “please talk to me vibe” and what did it get me? Two months of wasted time, you calling me a fag, and throwing a book at my head. I mean I’m all for equal rights and shit, but sometimes you gotta let a guy appreciate your hot ass- and by ass I mean “personality” and by hot I mean “I respect you.” (Beat) No you know what, fuck it. I meant hot ass… you have, a hot, sexy ass. There I said it. (Quickly) My name is Roger, and I think you have a hot sexy ass.

RUNNER  (Doesn’t know what to say, sort of half smiling, READER looks scared to death, waiting for her to say something, but she says nothing and goes inside again)

READER  Wha- (Shakes his head) “Hot sexy ass?” She probably thinks I’m a moron. (Gets up and picks up his book, looks back for her but she doesn’t come out, starts to walk inside then stops) No no, just go man. (He turns and walks quickly away)

RUNNER  Hey, wait! Roger! (He is delighted that she says his name, he turns) I went and got a pen. (Smiles)

READER  So I can-

RUNNER  Yup

READER  So we can-

RUNNER  Yyyup.

READER  And maybe after the second date we can-

RUNNER  (Laughs)

READER  Oh fuck yeah. (Tosses book and briskly walks to her)

DUM DUM ZIssue Release party!

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I produced this show via Summer Fun Time Society!

Issue 3 Exhibit. Bands. Beer. Readings. Community.Readings from the 3rd Issue by Dummies: D.S. Chun, Liska Jacobs, Taleen Kalenderian, Jessica Garrison, and Michael Stock.R O A M I N G R E A D I N G SLIVE PUNK SETS FROM:
Michael Stock (Part Time Punks), Mahssa (Dublab)
D.M. Collins & Daniel Clodfelter (L.A. Record)

BANDS: Ladyheat, Withers, Luna is Honey, LA Font, Spaceships, & a special performance by DUM DUM’s resident band: TULIPS

More details to follow!

https://www.facebook.com/events/475258865844566/

So excited for the show! You can read my article on the website here

Are You There “God”*/Me/#? It’s me Vivian

“God”*

*for lack of a better word

or

Are You There “God”*/Me/#? It’s me Vivian

“I don’t disagree with [the idea that] the almighty is also in search of Someone, and that Someone of Someone above him (or Someone simply indispensable and equal), and so on to the End (or rather, Endlessness) of Time, or perhaps cyclically.” – Borges

When “God” “found” me… I sobbed. The last time I cried like that was the first time I got the “it’s not you it’s you” speech in my studio in downtown Los Angeles.

I felt a wind brush through me that was either imagined or mystical (unless those are the same.) The sky was yellow and I felt “God” for the first time in my life.

But let me stop here for a minute to make one huge correction in this essay to be. By “God” I don’t mean “God”…

The magnitude of “God” lies within and without it’s word… but we must remember that the word is in itself a symbol. Just as words represent our language and language represents our thoughts, the word “God” describes and replaces a concept which is always out of reach. Like the word “infinity” replaces the endless vast future of things we are unable to bear all at once- like how love can never be set concrete.  And that, brings us back to much rawer and older tears.

I was “a sick kid,” I had a rough time with a bad case of eczema. Picture me, 11 years old, blowing out the candles on my birthday cake and wishing for new skin. Not a bike or toys, but skin; an interesting fact but more interesting to me now is the question- who exactly was I wishing to? “God”? Cake deities? My parents? I’m sure it was cake deities, or I imagined a pleasant scene in my head of me waking up on the bottom bunk, not stuck to the sheets. Either way, I’m sure it was a form other than the “God” I never believed in. There were two reasons I never believed fully:

One – I prayed every night for new skin. Obviously that shit didn’t happen…

Two – My mother is Jewish and my father is Catholic, we were raised Unitarian, “to keep spirituality in our lives” as my abuela puts it politely. When they were divorced, as is the fashion now, they returned to their original religions. This provided tons of theologic information, in a large rainbow of topics, to me at a very early age.

So I grew up thinking that I could control the waves in the Pacific Ocean, watching for my dolls to come alive and praying for a completely infeasible thing. I kept praying and my skin kept getting worse as I grew up hiding behind long layers and hats and developing a OCD which I am still battling against today. When I wished, it was not to ”God;” when I prayed, it was not to “God”. It was to anyone. Anyone who would listen, anyone who would care, anyone who could help me inside of my mind and out.

Let’s stop again. I am using the term “God” a lot, and I want to try and define my sense of the word for you. I honestly can’t think of the word god without seeing in my head a rotary of stock images of “God” from television, movies and art. That Simpsons episode where Homer talks to “God” (Harry Shearer iplays the voice of “God” by the way), Michelangelo’s Birth of Man, Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey, a swan or Zeus, Morgan Fucking Freeman, I mean come on… my own imago of “God” never had a chance to form in this sea of pop icons.

Our images of “God” or what we perceive to be, “the answer to the question ‘so whatta you believe in?” is very important in the lives we live; whether we choose to believe in Harry Shearer or not. The beliefs of our culture and the subcultures around us map the path our spirituality will go in. As William James said in an address to the Philosophical Clubs of Yale and Brown, “-if I ask you to believe in Mahdi, the notion makes no electric connection with your nature… as a hypothesis it is completely dead. To an Arab, however, the hypothesis is among the mind’s possibilities: it is alive… the deadness and liveness in a hypothesis are not intrinsic properties, but relations to the individual thinker.” (James: New World, June, 1896)

Boom, yeah. Interesting right? I suppose the Arab analogy is a bit outdated but you get it. Since I never had a live sense of the “God” hypothesis, I started my own spiritual journey. I pulled out crayons, assigned them names, genders and husbands, and drew my own path as I walked. Atheistic hypothesis was a living breathing possibility for me to make in my world of wonder. I remember the day it all started, or rather- the night.

I caught my mother putting money under my little sister’s pillow one night as a kid. I was awake (on the top bunk back then) scratching, or thinking, and in came my mom. I kept very still and silent as my mother crept in and put a dollar under my little sister Yvonne’s pillow and took the little letter she had written. I saw all of this perfectly outlined in our closet mirror doors, my mothers glasses sparked in the light from the hallway, flashing like a warning or alert to something coming. Finally I broke the silence and squeaked, “mom?”

“yes sweetie”

(“dammit” is probably what she wanted to say…)

I stumbled over my words, hardly believing what I was seeing, I managed to sleepily say, “are you taking Yvonne’s tooth?”

“Yes, go back to sleep honey it’s late.”

“Mom… (there was a pause as the universe collected and poured a very important, but light, thought into my head) Are you the tooth fairy?”

She stood up, cornered and said, “yes honey, we’ll talk more tomorrow.”

We didn’t talk about it, but next week at my father’s house I had a major realization. I was standing in front of the mirrored closet doors in my room while my father gingerly helped to brushed my hair. (Both our rooms in each of their houses had mirrored closet doors, a fact I never thought about until right now… none of this would have happened if there was just normal closet doors…) I told my papá about what had happened and as I explained my new-found skepticism about this tooth fairy conspiracy, I watched his face. I’ve always been able to read people… especially my father. The more I talked the bigger his strange grin became, and I soon realized that my father was in on it. The thought poured itself into the very fibers of my mind and it suddenly became clear, my mind rebooted with this update and I asked my dad-

“There’s no tooth fairy, is there Papá?”

“Well, I mean-”

“I knew it! You know what this means? There might not be a Santa Cla-” My father’s grin grew into one of pride at his little girl’s mind working so quickly on this make-believe children’s riddle. When he looked me in the eye I exclaimed, “So there’s no Santa either! Which means there’s no Easter Bunny and no “God”!” It was the biggest ‘a-ha’ moment of my life. Once I knew the tooth fairy was a fake, the conclusion that none of the other make believe characters I believed in were real either became sadly real, it was a live hypothesis.

“Well Vivian… you’re right.” my dad explained. He could never really lie to us, “there is no Santa, or tooth fairy or Easter bunny… but we’ll talk more about “God” later.”

After that, my dolls no longer came to life when I left the room, there were no more monsters in closets and I stopped talking to the waves.

****

[the following excerpts are taken from the journal entries I made while traveling in South America in February and March 2011. The words in italics are what I wrote in cursive, the [brackets] are what I’ve added, the rest is unedited…]

2/6/11  My first brush with a sense of spirituality

I headed [to get food], but something stopped me.

A long forgotten string attached to my heart suddenly became taut and jerked me towards the closest collective primal expression of life. I could only describe it as soul. Which made me think, perhaps none of us have a soul… but there is one large soul that we are all connected to. Be it karma or soul or ideas or rhythm or ether… it connects us all together. You borrow from it and give back to it throughout your life and when you die, your energy feeds back into that large group in order to shoulder the burden of those who need to take when they cannot give. It’s the space between the space, the feeling that someone is looking at you and the reason you laugh. When you hear music like I heard… you can’t help but feel the need be part of the bigger collection. I was pulled to the sound out of some unconscious thirst… or maybe I’m just a curious Latina. Either way, with only the map of my heart, I found a street plugged with people dancing in praise of our collective soul. I couldn’t have left the sound even if I had wanted to. We danced, baby, abuelo, chica, wretch and tourist- there was no color age or nation, only the need to be.

2/11/11 8am  A few words on belief versus reality, I’m talking about finishing Heinlen’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress on the morning that Mubarak stepped down in Egypt

…It’s these moments in life that make me happy to be sentient. I think not being able to agree, even with myself, about how I feel is one of the most beautiful mysteries in life. Why is it so sad and yet so wonderful? The characters I have come to know so intimately will live on forever in the printed word… And again I am happy, because only our species can feel such passion for something that has never tangibly existed. Yes the ideas and even efforts of Libertarian revolutions have coded, slipped down from balconies and through back rooms; and yes, real humans have expressed feelings and died for more than the words on the pages of my recently departed friend [the book]… but to be able to feel for something that exists in only the metaphorical sense of the word is something that I feel truly blessed (blessed in an unreligious sense) to be able to experience.

When was the last time you felt like that? When was the last time you mourned so loudly that your heart grew larger? Or you touched something so cold that your flesh burned?

Thanks Heinlein, (I grok you) for filling my spirit to the brim by using your words as a tool to carve the most beautiful images into “realities.” I will go out today, head filled with visions of star freedom, blood secured and eyes shut forever with such resonance that the Earth will echo cold when it is dimmed.

2/17/11 7am  Waking up on a bus headed to Posadas to see the ruins of the Jesuit Missions.

I am humbled by the modesty and simple grace of the ‘frontier.’ To the left I see a short forest of trees in, what seem to be, defiant straight lines. The sun rose fast and orange over a small town with ruins of ruins, sketches of sketchiness and untamed wilderness strewn with shacks of goods. I saw a sign for Budweiser and found myself wondering about the similarities in all our lives. I feel rich, But who is truly richer? I have never felt so detached from the gray metropolis or the blue seasides that I can familiarize with a concept of home. It reminds me of when [my sister] and I were driving through South Dakota and Colorado. The sense of awe at just how big our world is. And the feeling in your belly button when you realize that it isn’t even it. Once there is more, there is more… and then more and more until your mind stretches out so far that your womb aches and snaps you back. We truly weren’t meant to understand ‘all this.’ We think we are humans but we are really just cattle, no… grass. Once our blip exits the screen, there will be no one to interpret our primitive scratchings. We will only finally refuel the universe in a smaller amount than we took once our foolish graves dissolve and feeds back.

3/14/11 While flying home from São Paulo, hours after ‘God” found me-

Holy Shit journal. My world has been shattered. I actually might have had an experience with “God”. or maybe I should write G-d. It all started w/my conversation with Eduardo about “God” jesus etc. He said that he asked to see jesus and jesus performed a miracle to save him. [Eduardo specifically said, “I ask Jesus to reveal himself to me, and when he did I believed… and I still do.”] All I needed to do was ask jesus to reveal himself to me and he would in time. So I decided, why not. I asked jesus. That night (Thursday 10th) [I was staying with Eduardo and his family in São Paulo] I prayed for the first time in years. Not since I asked for new skin over and OVER again as a child, not since abuelita asked us [to pray] as kids. I prayed for Japan… major earthquake and tsunami… so sad. I prayed for my family and for Eduardo’s family for being so amazing to me. [Pause for a sec, I was writing really fast so I skipped this part cause I knew I’d remember it later. Here is my actual prayer, “Dear jesus or “God” or, universe- whatever you are, please (blah blah Japan and my families) Anyway, I wanted to ask you if you could reveal yourself to me. I don’t know if you’re there or not and I never thought to ask even though this feels silly to me. I don’t believe in you specifically but I believe in the power of belief and possibility and energy… so if you’re there- could you reveal yourself to me? I mean, I don’t know why I’m doing this. I can’t look forever, plus- how will I know if it’s real? I mean, I could see a sign and think its a sign just because I’m looking for one, you know? Like when you see your own car everywhere. Like how people at séances see things because they want to see. Ok, well… g’night who ever you are.”] Anyway, today at the park we were walking, hanging out. I love hanging with Eduardo, I fall in love so easily, sigh. As we were leaving a man stopped us, I thought he was going to ask us for money, Eduardo talked to him and I wandered away, avoiding ants. Then they called me over and Eduardo began to translate. The man asked to speak to me specifically [Eduardo later told me that they talked about his mission for a bit but then the man said, “Ok I need to talk to her now. Will you translate for me?”] because as he was about to leave, “God” told him in his heart to “reveal” himself to me through the missionary. [I understood the word ‘reveal’ (revelar with an ‘heh’ noise instead of a R sound) when the man said it in portuguese and my jaw dropped before Eduardo even translated that part]  I was so shocked, I began to shake and then the missionary gave me a bracelet w/6 beads on it. [The missionary was wearing the bracelet and took it off to tie around my left wrist. In my journal I drew a picture of the bracelet and the colors and order of the beads and what they meant.]

black- consciousness (uh I dunno but something about me not being w/”God”)

red- blood of christ

clear – blood of christ washing me clean

green – new hope

blue – [Eduardo’s translating was less than perfect plus he’s really absent minded. He explained what the blue bead meant but later forgot. I didn’t remember either and now we don’t know]

yellow – the heaven that awaits me

holy shit right?  I mean… I was shaking and then I told Eduardo what I had prayed for and he ran to tell the missionary. The missionary stopped [his car] (Eduardo had goosebumps even before I told him what I had prayed for) he got out of his car, listened to Eduardo then embraced me and asked “God” to accept me or love me or something, deff praying. I completely broke down. I felt.. uncomfortable, confused but also embraced in such a pure comforting way. I was crying and when I looked at Eduardo he was crying too, Then I said I had to sit down [I really thought I was going to faint, especially because I felt a strange wind blow through us as we embraced and I NEVER cry] Eduardo said it was ok and touched my head. The whole car ride I couldn’t stop crying. I mean, I didn’t know what to think and I still don’t. Can I really ignore this? was it because I simply wanted to believe? We stopped on a quiet street to talk for a bit then returned home. [section removed] I’m going to be honest and do what I want from now on. If people can’t handle it, who needs em. I’m going to try and be more open, honest and loving. But also loving of myself. And maybe even love “God” while I’m at it. Maybe he likes me back, maybe not but either way I love myself and the universe, or “God” for lack of a better word, loves me too. [here I drew an arrow down from the statement “I love myself”] I never say that! I’m so proud of myself. Maybe I’m finally starting to understand myself as I understand the rest of the world. I mean, that sculpture exhibit really spoke to me “to know something you must know it’s opposite.” so true. [Here is the actual quote from the pamphlet I got after seeing Obsessões da Forma or Obsessions With Form at the Museum of Art in São Paulo “To know one thing, it is important to understand its opposite.” (Henry Moore)] Something that I’ve always believed.

****

So what do I think now?

I was raised by a family of engineers and I believe that in order to explain something you need to dissect it and understand it’s parts. “God” is not omnipresent because there is no such things as omnipresence because there is nothing watching us, there is only us. There are no parts or units to “God”, you can’t break “God” into units that make sense… and you can’t do it to our existence because there is only one unit which we are still trying to understand. We are all that “one” unit, a collective soul, the literal emptiness that binds us together on a physical and irrational realm that lives inside our perceptions of reality. As time goes on, in whichever fashion or direction you please, we’ll learn more about ourselves and eventually find a complete sense of knowing. Kurzweil calls it singularity, some call it Quantum Mysticism.

I call it, Vivianism. The religion of “we’ll get there.” And on the way I’m going to do my hardest not to judge people on subways drinking Dunkin Donuts coffee, because I should understand and digest rather than dismiss and scorn. This way we can all reach the end of our spiritual journey, only to turn around and see everyone else right along with us, holding crayons and grinning.

That’s what  I think of, when I think of “God”.

But to leave you with something else, this is what my father told me about “God”:

“Imagine a little snail, crawling through the grass. If you picked it up and placed it somewhere else, would it even know?”

5am nightmare

It began with dinner with ****, I never see his face only the grafitti on the wall next to our table on my right, it is a bunch of small geometric shaped faces. In the background is the diner out of Nighthawks by Edward Hopper, **** is standing at the window.

A flash and I see all reds greens yellows blues and purples.

Then my bike is broken, a pink bike broken clean in half. My sister tells me that I am the one who broke it. I have a cut on my head, this is the first time I blacked out from drinking. She tells me the story in our poor apartment with gritty drug den walls and a mattress n the floor.

I am sleeping in the park outside, pillow under my head and the blanket from my childhood covering me. It was my favorite one, until I left it outside under my plum tree one day. It had the alphabet on it with mickey mouse and his friends.

A dark man walks up and takes my blanket, I let him have it and don’t put up a fight hoping he will go away. But he doesn’t and I can’t fight him (this happens in dreams a lot, I am literally unable to punch or kick people) Suddenly, after some light slaps I manage to hit him in the groin

I run

I hide under table, I ask a woman with red dyed hair to be quiet as I hide. There is lots of jewelry hanging under the flimsy gray cardtable.

The next day I look for the other half of my bike. A man with a gray hat, like in film noir, gives me a number saying he knows where it is, he also gives me one gold coin to make the phone call with.

Suddenly, someone takes me away.

tattered clothes

raped in car?

I am in a den of girls, 18 – 30 years old, all with battered faces and smeared doll makeup. All sitting on the floor. They assure me everything will be ok. The walls are gray, the carpet is old and gray. I am dirty, dirty, dirty and scared.

The man with the hat comes in, the girls crawl towards him, hands out to receive colored scarves. Most are gray, some are gold… only one is red. One girl gasps, “I’m gold today!?” she seems excited and thankful. Like when a dog is thankful when it’s master stops beating it.

I get the red scarf, it has sequins.

messy

torn

The girls fix me as I am broken tired dirty, one paints my toenails with a paintbrush, purple gray.

They go to the other rooms, as designated by their scarf colors, for rounds of god knows what.

There are many men, lost boys… newsies hats cheap suits, film noir.

I am the leader’s, no one knows which one he is.

I escape in the building, he dies near the elevator.

I run into an apt for help, I am in a kitchen with a family. I am wearing my torn black pajama pants and a sad thin grayish purple cloth hangs torn around my waist.

flashes

Some of the girls float away down a river inside a cave, there is a large jump over a waterfall. I am too scared to go (“It’s the only way!” they shout) but the girls who try, holding hands, die along with many others.

I wake up in the back of a movie theater where there are cartoons playing, felix the cat. I try to turn the show off so no one realizes my dream is actually the next cartoon.

I steal candy, can’t decide between gummy bears or chocolate.

My parents are at the theater, they want to get sushi and I don’t tell them what happened to me. I am ashamed.

It’s ****’s movie, and I might love him. The movie is Housesitter with Goldie Hawn and Steve Martin. I am inside the movie and talk with Steve Martin. It becomes dangerously windy outside the house in the movie. AN old man warns that if we don’t leave the house then we’ll die. We all leave to go to a shelter.

The movie turns grainy, then a crappy godzilla like clay creature catches a human in his mouth and flies away.

An animated woman cathces her baby off of a swing, the sun comes out and they are smiling without any faces.

I am watching the movie again.

dust and dreams or how I breached national security

Wednesday was good. I woke up and headed to the city museum. A cute old museum with few but important things. Not historically, but they displayed the life that the citizens once had in a way that was new and exciting to me. I saw patterns, toys, pictures… very cool. But I’ll just show you all I saw that day. On the way I managed to get some snaps along the way. This city is one big museum, there’s no entrance or exit, you just have to be looking instead of just seeing.

And now, How Vivian Breached National Security. A short play in 3 Acts.

Act One.

So I was walking around Casa Rosada and I saw el Banco de la Nacion Argentina. The light reflecting on the tarnished copper of the front doors was very inviting, so I walked up the steps to take some pictures and look at my map. I tried to go inside but there was a sign saying something about it being closed for security reasons and to use the door on a different street. So I walked around to find the other entrance.

Act. Two.

I found the other door.

Act Three.

So I go inside, walking by a security guard with my camera out (my camera is gigantic…) and find myself in a very old long hallway with people bustling about. There were business men smoking and walking around harumphing about this and that and people exchanging money. But I was more interested in how to get to the large domed area I had seen through the front door. I found a beautiful staircase and went down. Nothing down there but a weird old trophy case so I went back up then up one more while stopping to take pictures.

 

Beautiful staircase right? It reminded me of a vanilla cone at McDonald’s. Finally, success! I take the last step up the ice cream steps and find myself in the large domed area I saw before. There were more security guards up here and I saw no photography signs, so I clicked off my camera and slung it over my shoulder. I walked through the giant room and found a small gallery of art by the entrance. I love that this city squeezes art into every open space available. The artist’s name is Edgardo Manry and I can’t really seem to find him anywhere online. His bright art spoke using themes of floklore, and the mystic creation of life. They were very happy, beautiful pieces and each one made me smile. here’s what it said in the program, “Manry selecciona elementos tomados de la naturaleza y los elabora con el propósito de crear una fantasía casí de cuentos de hadas. Manry selects items from nature and produces with the aim of creating a fantasy about fairy tales.” It sounds so beautiful en Español. As I walked by the last photo two security guards who were sitting and chatting finally decided to notice me and yelled, “A donde sos?” I didn’t quite understand so I said, “California, los Estados Unidos.” They looked at each other and laughed then he asked me, “No, where did you come in here? How are you here? The bank closes at 3pm and no tourists allowed.” I apologized and told them how I came inside and showed them that my camera was off, “I haven’t taken any pictures in here,” I pointed to the big dome so I wasn’t totally lying ’cause the staircase wasn’t a part of the larger room. One was wearing a security uniform with bright gold buttons, the other had on a faded grey janitor kind of outfit with large abuelo glasses. The walkie talkie squaked on the belt of the younger one and he said something very fast (most likely, “Sin ella es sólo un turista tonto, no hay problemas aquí. Ella no es un terroristay no ha violado ninguna forma de seguridad nacional … pero mantener un ojoen ella. No she is just some dumb tourist, no problems here. She is not a terrorist and has not breached any form of nation security… but keep an eye on her.”) and then began to walk me out of the room, “You cannot be here. I don know how you get in but go now and no photo. The cameras everywhere see you.” He pointed up and around at the ceiling. For a split second I wondered whether I should tell him about the staircase photos I took but then he said, “Take this door, go down las escaleras. Stairs, entiendes?” I nodded and walked quickly back the way I had come in.

Haha, whoops.

Here is the full set of photos.