the wall

DOWN TO GET UP

Toronto, Toronto, wherefore art thou, Toronto?
What all do you have to do to prove it to me?

Break my heart apart, so that you can bury little sparkling treasures for me in between the tissues? Yes. Toronto. Go there. Right now, Toronto is the little diarama replica of my entire life. Of how it all works. Driving up to the Canadian border from Ohio I just started to go for it, I just started to feel as shitty as I felt like feeling. C-R-A-P-P-I-E. It’s weird. My band mate Jona Bechtolt would probably say that I am always saying that I feel shitty, that I’m always complaining about having a bad feeling. Let’s ask him:
“Jona, do you think I say that I don’t feel very good very often?” (I just said).
“Yes.” (He answered in this weird kind of Eastern accent. We are in a laundromat in Montreal, and he has his head wrapped up in a scarf.)

I know that Jona thinks that I complain a lot, and I probably do. But let’s be honest– complaining that something feels bad is not actually the same as feeling bad. I think complaining is kind of like putting a black censored bar over the dirty parts in a porno. It says “BAD FEELING”, and lets you skip the gnarly part where you actually feel it. If I think about my bad feelings as being a porno, will it make me more or less likely to want to explore them? How about we designate them as soft porn?

bananas

Ooh, yeah, let’s have them be that really smart, soft porn that we always wished existed. Layered, and subtle, and totally engaging on the emotional and aesthetic level, but then every now and then an awesome GET DOWN scene snakes its intriguing little head up, and you’re like, “yesss! this is what I have been waiting for!”, and we all get involved. You know, we get engaged on the molecular level. Our bodies are like, “finally, somebody is speaking our language!”.

That’s what sex is,  isn’t it? Just the simplicity of all of your molecules working together for once, getting to merge with another person’s molecules? But that kind of a merger, well it’s certainly never simple. And, uh, I’m sure it’s more of just a fantasy that it can really work like that, so clean and awesome, more than any real experience I’ve ever had of it. Luckily we’re only using it as a metaphor, as a foxy lure to get me to delve into my own unpleasant feelings with myself. Definitely, that is no place to be dragging anybody else along with me, good thing we’re all clear about that! (You, the audience, are mere spectators, watching the video tour from the safety of your own molecular fortresses, and you can click out of here at any time).

So, the soft porn of Toronto. Well, yeah, we headed towards the border and I just quietly went for it: my body got heavy, and my chest felt filled with a thick sad liquid. I drove the car in the dark and pressed my anger and frustration down onto the gas pedal (a fantastic companion into the zones of emotion). And the car went fast, and we had cleaned the car perfectly to get through the border without being searched for merchandise, and for some reason the border patrolman didn’t even want to look at our passports. He just said, “have a great time guys!”

oasis

Well, I don’t know where the feeling changed, but at some point it became official. I did have a great time. Where did it change? Who cares? All the elements were there, but whatever about the elements. It was like my chute got cleaned out. Like, there’s me, Khaela, a paper towel roll tube of love, and all I ever really want is to feel the flow going through me— finally in Toronto I really got to feel it. The force, like an electrical current coursing through– up from the ground, and then out through the top of me into the sky. You know, lightning bolts, garden sprinklers. picture something like that. I feel it a little bit here and there everyday, but somehow in Toronto I got it for a solid 24 hours, at least. And with my feet really on the ground, and the force charging through so strong, and so fast. There were contours to the sensation of the force, too, like feeling a symphony running through your body. And aw aw aw, it’s all I ever want.

So it felt so good in Toronto, with the audience at the show writhing in a wild mess of dancing, and the best cup of coffee I have ever had, and funny acquaintances circling around on bicycles, that when our car was robbed and some of my valuables got taken, I didn’t even really care that much. It felt kind of like just what had to happen in order to make space for the new things. Oh, the only copy of my movie? Well, whatever. Did you taste this ginger beer?! I mean, they only took things that I hadn’t been using. It was like somebody had taken a pole and jammed out all of this clogged matter that had gotten stuck in my pipes. PLOW! That shit was out of there, and we were flushing cleaner than we had been in months.

I guess that’s one of the keys- being ready to give up whatever might flow out and leave when I open up to the pouring force going through me. Things just leave, and when I’m open like that I don’t even care, because I have the feeling of how awesome it is to lean out balancing into the wind. Of course, you risk losing everything. So, you have to be cool with just nothing. Oooh, nothing!

nothin

The porn. The intrigue to keep stringing me back into paying attention to how I feel. It would certainly be a new kind of porn, it wouldn’t give the spectacular pay off right away- maybe it wouldn’t ever give it. Like, a normal girl smelling the smell of pine needles in the sun, has to stop to touch the bark of the tree, and has to just keep circling really slowly around the tree trunk, trailing her finger on the bark and going and going on around, singing very loud in her head,

“MORE THAN A FEELING,
MORE THAN A FEELING,
DUM DUM DUM DA DA DUH DA DUM, MORE THAN A FEELING”

Somehow it isn’t just about looking at bad feelings. It’s about looking at all the feelings. It seems like it’s going to be so much work. And I don’t mean just FEELINGS. I mean what it feels like to be here, or there, or anything. I mean feeling. Just what I am always feeling like. For some reason it is so intimidating, that I somehow usually choose to tune it all out instead. And I guess what I am afraid of is the bad feelings. But serious, lay it out, dude, it all really is my own private soft porn. The small of my back leaning against the stove in the kitchen while I watch you chop an onion and shuffle your feet on the linoleum. Boomp boomp boomp. A bird just dropped past the window and this cloud is slowly giving itself up out there. Aaaaannh. You don’t want to come to my party? Oh, it’s kind of like having vapo rub on my forehead, on my teeth. What is the point of a porno? To UNH UNH get something? I’m getting something.
photo annotation:
1. Ongoing series of Val Kilmer pasteups in Toronto.
2. Grand Rapids breakfast cafe
3. Artpiece left on the table at the house where we stayed in Madison, WI. I unfortunately didn’t get the gir’s name who made it.
4. Paste up in Toronto, I think it’s part of the Val Kilmer series.

November 14, 2004

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