I awaken at 7am and immediately go into overthink, that place where I so often find myself, spinning out the issues of the day, of the week, of the moment. Those crazy making stories that are my life. And I picture your face, sideways on a pillow with a pale blue cover, eyes lightly closed to the encroaching light of today. And you look so peaceful, angelic actually with your softly smiling mouth, that I was so hungry for last night and I wonder if you’re dreaming of me.
There were no expectations on outcomes as I bounced up Huron St. last night listening to a Tech House (1) set I had downloaded the night before. The music wasn’t really working for me, which seemed a bit odd but I just wrote that off to my not wanting to be late to meet you, while realizing that each bass beat was reminding me how much I wanted to dance, needed to dance. I found myself rushing through the still hot August evening, sweat building on my forehead as I carried a thin rust coloured vintage jacket, I scored in the Market (2) last spring, knowing that the late summer night would cool down substantially, once the sun returned to it’s hiding place. I found you on the upper deck patio of the vast and labyrinthine fake Irish pub at three minutes past eight, which I know isn’t late despite the fact I am usually early. You were looking down at something you had written on a piece of paper and already had a beer nearby, which as we sat through the evening kept striking me oddly as it appeared that you were actually drinking Sprite not Carlsburg Light, out of the tall slim green bottle.
You look up and see me approaching. We both smile, you stand, we kiss and hug but something hangs palpably in the air, which I assume to be an awkward heaviness that I thrust into the conversation by the overly earnest and revealing e-mail I had sent you earlier in the week. I had found myself at odds, treading water in an unfamiliar ocean of excitement. I do not recall ever meeting someone and feeling so connected, so quickly. So much in common overlaying what I perceived to be both a chemical and animal attraction wrapped up in intellectual and creative curiosity. I was blown away, and still am as I type out these words, though much more soberly after the natural high that I feel I must put on pause for a period of time.
What is time really? It is so much more than the slow ticking of our biological march towards some unknown end date, we are born to die but the life that fills out and defines us in between those two connected yet disparate moments can and will only make sense from the other side. The DMT (3) that is released from our pineal glands in both of those experiences allows us to come and go tripping into great and exciting change, just as the smoked synthesized DMT that I have ingested on several occasions thrust me into worlds that allowed me to see beyond the three dimensional confines of the reality most people accept as the all, subsequently allowing for a philosophical shift in direct relation to both spirit and reality. More on time at a later date.
Despite or maybe because of the lingering unspokeness that was hanging in the air, our conversation slipped easily into where each of us was at in regards to our individually changing and the uncertainties with regards to our work lives. Two people in flux, uncertain yet seemingly optimistic about the future, while both secretly desiring to chuck it all and hightail it to Asia for months at a time for growth, adventure and creativity, not simply to run or hide from the uncertainty of either career or continuing education decisions but because there is a pull and an unreasoned love for a continent that is not our home of birth but somehow feels much more at ease with itself than the one we have grown up in. And you spoke of things unresolved and confusing about your current situation that had been given a new twist of discomfort in the past week, as you gear up to an extremely busy time. We then rapidly shifted over to the more abstract and personal. I listened, heard and absorbed every word that came out of you, I stared into eyes so green I wanted to plant myself on their comforting and open edges, knowing that I somehow already have. I held myself in the green plastic patio chair and lit a cigarette instead of reaching across the table, rising while cupping your face and kissing you over the gap. You spoke of abyss’s that you felt upon the edge of, and believe me when I say I have stared into many of those in my time. Have I ever really jumped though? That I cannot say, for my time on this plain of existence, while it has been one of constant change, all too often it has seemed that circumstance has thrust me headlong grasping at the intangible clouds while plunging into an unknown and unsettled abyss of other peoples actions. (See self-portrait with mirror writing, “So ready to fly, So afraid to fall”). Maybe I have been looking for that person who truly believes in me to hold hands with and jump together, or maybe I have just been too afraid of the unknown, seeking small yet unsatisfactory comforts in routine and the status quo. I am nothing, I am everything, I am contradiction.
The more you spoke, the more apparent it was becoming that things were not going to follow any fantasized trajectory that I was unconsciously subscribing to. And while my heart skipped a beat or three, I still heard what you were saying, I kept the years of disappointments from colouring what I was hearing. While our imprints do define where we have been, there does come a time after putting in so much personal work that we can recognize that we do not need to bring all that baggage to the table. I acknowledge all that this has dredged up but I also believe the sincerity with which you spoke. The challenge here for me is to live the philosophy that I so vehemently profess, which embraces Love, Trust and Faith juxtaposed against the unholy trinity of Fear, Guilt and Shame.
The night seemed to end suddenly as we walked west towards our separate ways, I tried half-heartedly to convince you to throw caution to the wind and join me in a more intimate setting but I did not pull out the hard sell. I felt like a seventeen-year-old who couldn’t take a girl back home because we both lived with our respective parents. My heart thumped against your chest as our mouths met and I held fast to your petite frame as I didn’t want that to end but I understand and respect your positionality, despite it clashing with my own.
As you walked north up Spadina, I stood transfixed, insecure in the moment as you slowly disappeared out of view under the railroad underpass. Lighting a cigarette and leaning against a pole to catch the last glimpse of your departure I really didn’t know what to think as I was washed over by so many different emotions. Pulling out my iPod as I crossed Dupont at the lights heading south to my place, I choose, Amplified Heart by Everything But the Girl (4), which seemed to be the ideal soundtrack to both the situation and my state of mind.
1.Tech house, like progressive house, represents a fusion of house and techno. However, whereas progressive house tends to incorporate atmospheric, ethereal, almost ambient sounds and is often mixed to varying degrees with trance and progressive trance, tech-house tends to have more in common with soulful deep-house, traditional Detroit-Style techno, and contemporary minimal techno, with which it is often mixed in practice.
2. Kensington Market, a unique enclave in downtown Toronto, originally set up by Jewish Immigrants as an open air market. Later on while continuing in this vein other immigrants joined in opening small independent shops out of back garages. In 2006 it was designated an Historical Site. Now it is home to a wonderfully diverse mix of people including artists, punks, and various other odd fuckers such as myself.
3. DMT, Dimethyltryptamine a naturally occurring tryptamine psychedelic found in many plants, animals and in the human pineal gland. While generally accepted scientific literature does not come to any conclusions regarding it’s purpose, see Dr. Rick Strassman’s, DMT: the Spirit Molecule, for the most “rational” hypothesis found.
4. Everything But the Girl, indie duo formed by Tracy Thorne and Ben Watt, in the earlier 80’s, but through electronic adaptation in the early 90’s managed to reinvent themselves to become hugely successful. One of my favourite groups whose output from 1994 – 2002 blows my mind.