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Thursday, April 30, 2009

About Blues

What the hell is Blues of a Waxwing all about?

I am Blues.

I am 32 years old, which mildly freaks my shit out.

I am American, from the Southwest; the land where on one long strip of monotonously straight road you can find strip malls hodge podged one after another as pastiche Swiss villages, Tuscan estates, Navajo adobe constructs, etc. which house identical corporations repeated again and again throughout the city ad barfeum. If cityscapes are somehow expressions of the people who originate there, my hometown screams "there is nothing original or real about us, we just like to parody what we romantically think are more authentic cultures". This ridiculous notion ingrained itself into my thick ass skull and must have somehow compelled me to move to Europe, in favor of finding authenticity.

Horse shit.

I thought that this fact of me leaving made me somehow beyond my patria, when in fact, I am a total and complete exaggeration of it, just like those strip malls are.

Here in Spain, I find a culture that is much more rigid than I can handle and I genuinely miss the place where we chuck up mind-numbingly unoriginal buildings with the same speed that we tear them down. I get sick of the old world, cobblestone, been-here-forever, we-are-better-cause-our-culture-is-like-a-million-years older-than-yours-and-you-Americans-are-so-uncultured crap. I guess this building right next to me is a thousand years old or something. Big deal, I want some jalapeño poppers. With a side of ranch. Any civilization can build really cool shit and let it get old as fuck. That's so overdone. It takes highly complex ingenuity and admirable self-deprecation for a culture to build entire cities that are parodies to prior civilizations.

I miss flexibility of culture. Does what I miss describe who I am?

It's times like this when I am required to describe myself that I truly discover the difficulty in it, having lived abroad now for over a third of my life. I don't have any overarching talent or profession that colonizes my sense of self. So I guess that leaves my identification up to "culture"... and this task of self-description just got daunting as fuck.

"I was the shadow of the waxwing slain
By the false azure in the windowpane;
I was the smudge of ashen fluff - and I
Lived on, flew on, in the reflected sky..."

The single most salient element of my identity appears to be a contradiction of two sometimes opposing cultures that I wander in and out of in half-wittery. Sometimes I can fly freely, linearly as it were, between the two cultures while grazing along the way taking bits and pieces of what I want and this feels like a privilege. I fly there for a bit and say, "this is who I am today" and I AM that. Then I fly back here for a bit and that other person fades into the background, until she can't shut the hell up anymore.

"...And from the inside, too, I'd duplicate
Myself, my lamp, an apple on a plate:
Uncurtaining the night, I'd let dark glass
Hang all the furniture above the grass
And how delightful when a fall of snow
Covered my glimpse of lawn and reached up so
As to make chair and bed exactly stand
Upon that snow, out in that crystal land!"
But sometimes...sometimes I am the "waxwing slain" who thought that what was over there was an extension of what was over here, when in reality, it's a different world, separated by nuanced cultural incompatibilities and a separation that hurts all the more because I forget it's there and suddenly SMACK - I'm at a party and I'm all cool and spreading my charm around like an airborne disease when suddenly my face hits the surprise glass of the arcadia door and then I go "Oh, this bullshit is a sliding glass door?" And everyone at the party now knows I'm a tool.

I moved here as a study abroad student, met Luisito, fell in love, did everything I could to stay here. It's the only thing that has ever happened to me. He was and is worth it. I've lived here off and on for a third of my life. I do not like to answer or think about questions like "will you ever move back?" or "are you settled there permanently?"

Some of you already knew this about me and you might be wondering when I'm gonna get to the crazy-ass shit I couldn't tell my real life readers from my old blog? The truth is, the shit under my fingernails doesn't come from digging graves in the backyard (as it turns out, it comes from plain old lack of personal hygiene). You won't find anal sex descriptions here or secrets I've never told anyone. What you will find is Blues, unstifled by an imaginary audience of people I didn't want to share things with from real life anymore. Maybe now you can see all of the characters of my dramaturgy.

I was taking things too seriously as my former self, and feel I had pigeonholed my writing, which had me asphyxiated like you would not believe. There's a big part of me that's too nihilistic to constantly feign self-discovery. Sometimes there just isn't much to me, and sometimes there are no morals to my stories. So, I'm sloughing off thinking in terms of what is "post worthy", mainly because if I constantly wait for the deep, well-crafted, well thought-out shit, it won't come that often and when it finally makes its appearance it will likely be darker than what is truly representative of me.

Really, I can be light-winged.

"I was the shadow of the waxwing slain
By feigned remoteness in the windowpane,
I had a brain, five senses (one unique)
But otherwise I was a cloutish freak."*

So welcome to Blues of a Waxwing (sometimes slain, and sometimes not blue). There are two of me in here. We aren't both usually right side up at the same time.


*Poem by fictional poet John Shade in Vladimir Nabokov's Pale Fire.
Noegipi by Pensiero from Flickr.
Untitled photo of me taken by Luisito in Prague on our Honeymoon, 2003
Bird by sp3ccylad from Flickr.
The Best Opportunity by Wildphotons from Flickr.

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People in the Sun May 1, 2009 at 5:28 PM  

Congratulations on the new blog. Glad I could help. I'm proud to be the first commenter. Commenter? Is that a word?

Blues May 1, 2009 at 5:32 PM  

I think it´s commentator, but that sounds too official and kind of intimidates me. I´d rather you be a commenter.

hereinfranklin May 1, 2009 at 5:38 PM  

Oh my goodness that was so great. And I'm so glad you're back. I loved opening my email today and seeing one, two, three comments from Blues. I love this too:

I guess this building right next to me is a thousand years old or something. Big deal, I want some jalapeño poppers.

That's exactly how I feel after a week or two in Europe...but for me it's always a large diet coke with lime from Sonic.

hereinfranklin May 1, 2009 at 5:39 PM  

P.S. Totally forgot to tell you how much I like the template/theme/entire waxwing thing.

Blues May 1, 2009 at 5:44 PM  

Hereinfranklin, Oooh, you just reminded me of cherry limeaid from Sonic. Okay, between the cherry limeaide and your post on BBQ´s, I might go nuts over here. I can handle all the food here, I´m just not crazy about anything, you know? I guess if I lived in the states I weigh like three hundred pounds.

ghost of keywork May 1, 2009 at 10:08 PM  

This shit is beautiful. Really, Blues, so much perfecter. That's a word now.

Blues May 2, 2009 at 11:18 AM  

thanks Key. :)

~Mountain Lover~ May 2, 2009 at 11:58 AM  

You're back! You're back! woohooo! wooohooo!

Thank god!

~Mountain Lover~ May 2, 2009 at 12:04 PM  

Beautiful. I'm so glad you're back!!!

Mongoliangirl May 2, 2009 at 12:39 PM  

I love that header. I love that red writing. I love this post. I love your blog. I love you my blogger friend.
Excellent. Beautiful. Wonderful.
I will be back.

Blues May 2, 2009 at 1:25 PM  

mntnlover - i tried to email you but your email was returned to me. Glad you found my new place.

Mongoliangirl - you´re too kind. oh and you´d better be back or Ima have to bitchslap your washing machine.

Mongoliangirl May 3, 2009 at 8:30 AM washing machine loves some slappin' from the Blues!

Mister Crowley May 3, 2009 at 9:43 AM  

Ah, welcome back, querida :)

~Mountain Lover~ May 3, 2009 at 5:21 PM  

*gasp* it was? Hmmmm. I'll have to send you my regular email account if it doesn't work again.

Rassles May 3, 2009 at 8:12 PM  

Yes. Yes, you are full of shit.

Xbox4NappyRash May 4, 2009 at 9:31 AM  

Good to see this up and running, the design is really excellent.

I'm jealous.

Blues May 4, 2009 at 1:11 PM  

@Señor Crowley- Thanks :)

@Mountain Lover - I sent it to, oops.

@Rassles - I had a hunch I was.

@Xbox - yeah, well, after studying your labels for hours I finally figured it out, ummm, I mean, gave up and asked my husband for help.

Gwen May 5, 2009 at 3:20 PM  

Your new blog is beautiful! And your About me post? Equally so.

neil wykes May 6, 2009 at 9:08 AM  

Beautiful design, feels like you've found "your" or "a" voice that is your own as well as a definite break from "Before Blues of a Waxwing"

Blues May 6, 2009 at 1:40 PM  

@Gwen - thank you

@Neil - it's the same ole me, just with a different outfit on, and maybe more "ganas de escribir"

Gypsy May 7, 2009 at 11:10 AM  

Praise Jebus, she has returned! And so far, this anonymous shit suits you. That was a brilliant post.

I'm a little giddy now.

Blues May 7, 2009 at 11:14 AM  

Gypsym, I honestly don't know how anonymous I really am. I'm even posting pictures of us for crying out loud. Anyone who knew of any of the places I hang on the interwebs can find my ass easily. I don't care though. I can't be constantly worried about who is reading. I just feel like my audience is more flexible this way. I feel like I can look internally to write now.

That and I kinda feel like I'm wearing a new cute outfit.

Not Afraid to Use It May 7, 2009 at 9:10 PM  

Fucking beautiful, man. I had a hard time being an expat for all the reasons touched on. Except being back? Isn't all it's cracked up to be either. Remind me to tell you sometime about my jalapeno popper story.

Blues May 13, 2009 at 4:55 AM  

NATUI - Thank you very much. jalapeno popper story? you've piqued my interest.

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Am I full of shit or what?

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