My husband and I have been doing a small side project for two years now where we record daily our observations of each other for the whole month of June. At the end of the month, we’re allowed to read each other’s writings, which does not seem to hinder our ability to be honest. Annoyance, anger, doubt, and boredom come across as clear as happiness, admiration, love, lust, and tenderness.
I thought of this project last year when I found myself wondering about his specific impressions of me, and thinking in general about how you can live with someone and know them yet feel strangely hyper aware of your respective “otherness”. I can expect certain things from him and him from me with a fair amount of confidence, but as the journals have already shown, we are never entirely correct in our presumptions. (I use the word ‘correct’ loosely here.)
Aside from that, there’s also just a lot of mundane details your partner is capable of observing, which he or she may never talk to you about, yet nonetheless shape their perception of you. The way that R. does not read signage very well is a small detail I have been around him enough to know. (He has gotten better about it after being burned a few times.) Everyone has these minor, unimportant details, yet they are privileged information. Not too many people get to know about it because they don’t see it. Unless a lot of people live with you, in which case everyone might know that you don’t let anyone wash your silverware at home for fear they won’t do it well enough. But I bet no one really pays attention to the fact that you only clip your toenails outside. Or thinks about why you do it.
No plans for what to do with the material 5, 10, 15 years down the road. At the moment, I like it better that way. Then it can be about the experience. Then it can exist for our benefit. When it feels right, I’ll pull out the archives.
Yesterday was the first time I’ve had a seizure in quite a few months. As if some spiteful child-god decided to make matters worse, the episode occurred while we were in Target, during a particularly busy time for them. According to my husband, Target employees surrounded us almost immediately. One of them insisted on calling EMS while another fetched some cold water and a non-employee brought us a wheel chair. We rolled on out of there in case the EMS were actually called.
I read Sandman comic books in bed and ate Pomegranate Chip coconut “ice cream” most of the day while I nursed an awful headache. It was hot all day and all through the night. It made sleeping difficult. So did my traitor imagination that wouldn’t let innocent noises of an old house settling remain innocent. I could almost feel clammy, cold hands grabbing my ankles at the end of the bed. I watched ivy climb the walls with large spiders and lizards following behind. Like they were following the yellow brick road. Except it was ivy, dark and shiny green, with every leaf hiding someone’s whispered secret, someone’s last words. You can almost hear them, but the spiders and lizards are distracting.
It was a cemetary half sunk in marshes that smelled like sweet rot.
Robert slept well on account of the melatonin he took, yet still rolled and sighed in his sleep while the heat made our bodies sticky.
It is cooler today and I am trying to make some more progress with our new apartment. After days of non-productivity (unless you count modeling for reference photos at the Nolichucky River with lovely ladies, which was too fun to really feel like work for me), I am slowly reminding myself the benefits of having Things In Order. I’d rather go back to the river with a picnic basket, but I suppose anyone would.
I’ve been reading I’ll Be Your Mirror: The Selected Andy Warhol Interviews and there are numerous interesting sections that I could post, but I’ll leave you with this:
“He who wants to dedicate himself to painting should start by cutting out his tongue.”
– Henri Matisse