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I Am Changed.

June 24, 2006


How do you start a post when you haven’t posted in weeks? And, during those very weeks, your life has changed fundamentally. You blog, as a new and different person, a self related to the self that wrote here before, but not one and the same. I stand in an ironic relationship with my past self.

Current self: 20 years old. sipping “Monk’s Wake-up Tea” (a coconut oil and tea concoction, caffeine free, delicious) to combat my jet-lagged sleep cycle of a 90 year-old. (I awoke unassisted at 6:30 this morning. and i was chipper. this is serious.)

Home alone, I just watched Lost In Translation. Can’t say I am in the least disappointed. I am moved. I miss China. To my relief, my senses are not dulled by the medication I am now taking. Welcome, to the narration of my life. My current self is “sick” according to the psychologists and psychiatrists, a spinal analysis witch doctor, and my chiropractor. My body (aside from my spine…which is like saying “my railroad, aside from the tracks”) is in good working condition. My mind is circling itself, tricking itself, outsmarting itself (?), as usual, conjuring a reality that may or may not match up with The Reality. But isn’t everyones?

I have rings of Buddhist prayer beads–oiled, wooden, carved, blessed–and a row of yellow jadeite flowers circling my wrists. Also, there is a patch of hairlessness on my right forearm: circular, with a square of normal hairy skin in the center, from the EKG monitor sticker from a Shanghai hospital. These elements = proof that I was in China this time last week. The patch of hairlessness intrigues me. It is the shape of (ancient) Chinese coins: the larger circle symbolizes the heavens, male, and yang. The smaller square represents earth, female, yin. It is like a semipermanent tattoo, traceable to the finger; the bleached hairs trick the eye into not seeing it.

My twentieth birthday (in chronological order):
pure fun,
sleep,
sobering up,
awe,
wonder,
peace,
unease,
fear,
acceleration,
terror,
sickness,
rushing,
kindness,
steadiness,
happiness,
laughter,
joy,
euphoria,
peace,
caution,
fun,
dance,
kiss,
reprimand,
sleep.

We went out the night before. I had a stage, Chinese techno, boys (and girls) to dance with. Got drunk. Slept. Woken up, showered, handed coffee. Maintained drunken academia. Sobered up. Many people sang “Happy Birthday” to me. Lunch. Overwhelmed by the extravagant beauty of the Jade Buddha Temple in Shanghai. Tea Ceremony. Panic Attack. A lot of touching: massage, essential oils, breathing into a bag. Heart, Pain, Numbness, Fear. Certainty of Death. Doctor. Ambulance. Breathing again. View only of heads and faces and colorless sky. Elevator. Bed. Kind old woman doctor. Laughter, Joking. And he; he wiped away my tears, looked me close in the eye, played with the control for my bed, held my hand, formed my fingers into Chinese numbers, touched. She made me laugh, stroked my hairline. Felt childlike. Left hospital. Taxi. Shower. Black dress, red necklace, high heels. He smiled to see me. Dinner. Dancing. Close dance, getting him in trouble. Twinkling eye, kiss on the cheek. Maybe in another time and place, starry eyes.

I know this makes no sense, poor reader. I am only beginning to tell this story, and it is tremendous. The feelings first, the words will come later, filling in some blanks, leaving other margins to you. It was a frighteningly alive, and happy birthday. And the days since are changed. When I close my eyes, I am standing on a point, flanked by a dragon and a phoenix, off-balance, and tipping…also….visionary…paradoxical…

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