July

In undergrad I wrote a series of poems for each month of the year and here is July.

There’s a chill as 3:00 slips into 5:00
and we wait for Radiohead to upstage themselves at 7:12
because they’re new every time.
Yorke pulls back,
he warms in the light of himself.
The crowd participates,
resonating toes with heated crescendo’s
movement
movement
movement
The mama’s and the papa’s,
relive (cause they can’t stop confronting)
seventies culturalismo
at midlife under frosty moonlight.
The moon is never so clear as when it burns on skin
and if we let it burn
we can see through it.
I track glances 90° westward for the loved one they seem to have (misplaced?)
Crinkled
canvassed
in thick love at 8:20,
the time they realize lonely might be the same as alone.
Wrapped in smiles
percussive undertones pushing us up.
It’s not hot like it should be.
For the middle of July.
Not arid.
but we are dry.
Breath upon breath could warm
but
The Gorge
can’t encapsulate with what it doesn’t have.
We swim under stars,
over the glow that echoes onto the stage and
off the Columbia.
It runs and turns behind the basalt rock sculptures
that form the basin.
Seamless arches of granite fall in below the watery magic mirror.
Images move more than their possessors in the mercury flow,
forth
and
back
it rocks us.
Tangled and torn
we stick
flesh on fresh cotton
freshly soiled
from elephant ears and
earthy tones.
mutable
we continue diving into the dust we create.
10:00 and they might have stopped pushing sound
but
they had to
go
go
go go on
because we all want to be under midnight
in their music.

A playground.
We dance and chant in whispers,
come upon midnight in our cars,
We listen and wait for the next chorus,
but instead we are hit with the thump-thump-thump
in his trunk-trunk-trunk
1:00am
the camp doesn’t sleep
controlled by pop pushers and trance choreographers.
spin spin
mr. mr. volubilité.
Energy rushes up against him and her
They rebound in xtasy
because it’s been building up since 4:43 when
in line
they first met.
Ticketmaster just became the next best personals.
4:00am,
died down
zipped away
shutting off the volume.
collapsed into amnesiacs
7:22
up
walking with smoky breath
find our skins warmer
darker
the chill
gone.

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I wonder what Izzie is doing today?

I’ve been watching unnecessary amounts of online T.V. programming for the past two weeks. At first it was an excuse to just “catch” up, because of course I have been behind on a few of my old regular programs, though my T.V. programming was never as regular as say, my colon’s schedule. Of course, ABC.com was my first stop because it has my first choice shows. Grey’s Anatomy, Ugly Betty, and for a while there, Pushing Daisies.
I caught myself up on the Meredith and Derek’s commitment turmoil (per usual), Callie’s forage into the lesbian sisterhood, little Grey earning her big girl points with Mc. Steamy (whom of course I will always find much better looking than Mc. Dreamy), and last of all Izzie’s well… likely demise on the show. I started watching all of these on a Friday night in the end of February. It was my first Friday at home in the span of about five months. I wanted to relax and be alone, as long as we all still agree that one can be alone while entering into a covert friendship with the characters one is viewing.
Four hours, five episodes, and a half a carton of chocolate Soy Dream frozen desert later, I was balling like a baby because my life, or should I say the character’s lives were in utter chaos. When I found out that Izzie’s hallucinations weren’t her usual charming quirkiness and really the cause of an underlying illness, I felt as if one of my best friends was going to die. But wait… did I say it had been almost ten months since I had seen this show? I mean really, what was going on? Could one really just leave all of her friends behind without a word and ten months later come back with arms open saying, “give me all you’ve got?”
Apparently so, because that’s exactly what I did. I hadn’t realized that I missed Meredith, Derek, Callie, George, Izzie, Dr. Bailey, and Christina – okay maybe not Christina – so much. I longed for their laughter, their disputes, the obligatory montage’s at the beginning and end of the show that sum up the “moral” purpose and pursuit of the episode, though most of all, I longed to cry. Grey’s is the one show that can turn me into a five year old with badly skinned knee, sobbing and needy.
There is a term for this, just like there is a term for almost anything one does, like the acts of sleeping and eating: Para-social Relationship. Yes, my need to know the day to day happenings of all of my favorite doctors and interns is really my innate need for relationships. Having lots of friendships outside of this alternate reality cannot keep one safe from developing these kinds of relationships. Just the act of coming back the next week to see what is/has “happened” to a character (this includes reality stars) means that a relationship is forming or formed. According to Donald Horton and R. Richard Rohl’s 1956 paper, Mass Communication and Para-Social Interaction:
One of the striking characteristics of the new mass media – radio, television, and the movies – is that they give the illusion of face-to-face relationship with the performer. The conditions of response to the performer are analogous to those in a primary group. The most remote and illustrious men are met as if they were in the circle of one’s peers; the same is true of a character in a story who comes to life in these media in an especially vivid and arresting way. We propose to call this seeming face-to-face relationship between spectator and performer a para-social relationship. (215)

The grim reality of the situation is that once I had caught up on Grey’s, I felt not only exhausted from the emotional barrage that had been lain upon me in only a matter of hours, but sad because I could not hang out with my “friends” for another week. I realized that I did not have their cell numbers and couldn’t ask how Mc. Steamy was doing after his dick had almost been snapped like a dry piece of spaghetti, or how Meredith was feeling after she watched someone executed. Logically I knew that these pseudo relationships were not real, but they had all the baggage of a four year friendship that’s seen its share of ups and downs.
That’s when it all began. I began blowing off real friends for my T.V. ones. I would say I was feeling too tired to do something after work just to have another few hours with my new T.V. friends because the next friend I had to catch-up with was Betty.