Thursday, January 21, 2010

starry nights and rainy days

in walking home from swati's this morning it was raining. i was plodding along with my large black umbrella staring at the ground most of the time. my senses seemed heightened. i could hear the berries and seeds cracking beneath my feet. i began counting the many cigarette butts....the weird spikey brown balls from the trees that threaten to get caught under my bike tires and make me skid more often than not. i wondered if anyone in the entire expanse of history had ever written a poem about taking a walk while staring at the ground the entire time. i figured that surely it must've already been done, and many times over. i recalled yesterday, watching a girl at sac city college kneeling to rescue an earthworm from the sidewalk of death.

eventually i realized that much of my energy was concentrated on the big toe of my right foot, i could slowly feel water seeping in through my shoe, making that toe cold and clammy inside of the damned wet sock. i took note that my left foot was perfectly dry...and i also recalled that these were the shoes i wore while in berlin, in the rain, in the blustery chill, and my feet both stayed quite dry there. the sense of aging, of something becoming worn and less able to stand up to the elements made me consider if the entire thing was an analogy of life itself. i quickly shook off the notion, laughing scornfully to myself at my sense of finality, of dramatism.

my black umbrella rested upon my shoulder, my arm not wanting to hold it up properly. when i was a child i had always wanted vincent van gough's 'starry night' umbrella. i felt it would make me appear studied and cultured. i wanted to dress like a beatnik and write up a storm. i wanted to be frida. (maybe i just wanted to have sex with frida) high school i was permitted by my parents to paint my room; and the colors i chose were similar to the starry night piece. purples, and blues, blacks...i painted grass growing upside down from the up most four corners of the room, and i felt very mature indeed. it wasn't until years later that i came to stare upon 'the starry night' again, and realized that i didn't like it all any longer. and today i still don't like it. something about the piece is super trite...maybe it is merely the fact that it is such a famous piece and can be seen everywhere, not just in museums, but in gift shops on post cards, on bad garden flags hanging from people's driveways in suburbia, on pot holders, on coffee mugs....but what do i know? jack shit i figure; i'm certainly not a keeper of the arts.

so, just now with the rain letting up, i have arrived at the weatherstone cafe. in sitting down to study (i started school yesterday, the first time back in 5 years)...i looked up to see a young man i know, with his new girl friend.

there they went, out the door, he holding it open for her, he kissing her on the forehead, there they went, she looking happily at him, she holding a vincent van gough 'starry night' umbrella.

something about it makes me feel like perhaps the two of them are not meant to be.