nina.

February 22, 2012

Today is/was Nina Simone’s birthday.

Lately I’ve been thinking about making a list of the ten best songs ever written. So far, they’re all 60’s soul tunes. (Midnight Train to Georgia, Ain’t No Sunshine, It’s a Man’s World) songs that you can’t really dislike because they’re so powerful. Then I remember things like L’Adoration de la Terre and Prokofiev and the Gymnopedies and Dave Brubeck…
Nina slays me. She’s so good. I sat down on my bed, (my sister’s old bed) (I don’t really have a bed right now) all I could think of was singing “I Love You Porgy” and is that racist because I’m white, and then I found a video of Christina Aguilera singing it, and it was still bad– but not because she’s white, just because her voice isn’t suited for it I think. She sort of ruined modern music. Ladies now oversaturate their voices with runs and it gets old. Do I think it worked for Xtina? Sure. Do I think it’s a fad that needs to die? Yes.
I don’t know if I’ve ever told you about Miles Davis Sundays. I’ve been having them a lot lately. (No complaints.) It’s when the weather is really shitty, and you sit in a coffee shop trying to get dry and watch people walking by in the rain. Today, I sat by a guy in Powell’s who couldn’t figure out where the power outlets were for his laptop and proceeded to write a paper on Magritte’s “Leci n’est pas une pipe.” It was nice. I sat and made a list of things I wanted. (An apartment with shelving was sandwiched between living near my friends, and having a decent amount of self worth.) $2 was enough to get a little extra steamed milk, but not enough to keep my sleeves from sticking to my elbows. I sat anyway, caffeinating as content as I could force myself to be, and tried to remember my favorite line from Wild Geese.
You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.


One time, I met a guy who said that he always had to listen to Sinnerman all the way through no matter what he was doing. He said it was the one song that he would literally stop his life for. He clapped in the middle, during the part where she does a piano riff sans singing. I like the part in the end before the drums end, and she says POWEEERRRR LORD about twenty times. Today is her birthday. 

In one of the scripts I wrote, there’s a part where two characters are in an apartment, in the midst of s tryst, and The Other Woman comes up on shuffle. 

/ the other woman / takes time to manicure her nails / the other woman / is perfect where her rival fails / 

They decide against the passionate make out sesh they were about to have, and decide it’s for the best if they go back to their respective romantic partners. 

You know what’s weird? Waking up in a bed that’s not your bed. Or waking up on a couch. Or waking up and not having any valid reason for getting out of the comfortable (albeit overdue for a wash) overnight nest you’ve created for yourself. If people didn’t feel safe, why would they sleep at all? Is it a suspension of disbelief that crazy shit will happen to you while you’re essentially unconscious for seven or so hours? Maybe that’s why people don’t like getting up. They’re so thankful that they’ve managed to wake up at all that their bed becomes a fortress of safety. Maybe some people only sleep because their body is too tired to function otherwise. 

I have two shirts that the sleeves don’t roll up well with. I wore them both today on accident. 
My dad’s house doesn’t have heat during the day. 
The shirts were warm. 
I wiped sweat off of my face after putting my scarf on. 
Drank yesterday’s coffee. 
Used the extra milk from my cheerios as cream. 
The stale hairbender got the cardboard kick it needed. 
Life was alright. 

It’s strange when you realize you don’t feel well. Not sick unwell, just off kilter. I miss being able to brush my worries under the rug. I miss being able to really make the little things equal a best day ever. Now things weigh on me like they didn’t used to, and I can’t decide if autonomy is worth it. I have brushed bad memories under the rug. 

I hate not being able to get over things. Yes I want you. Yes you’re gone. Yes you don’t want me. That should be ok, but it isn’t. 

I think about singing “Black is the Color of My True Love’s Hair” but even if that’s what brought me the most joy on this great planet, some one, somewhere, often in a different room, in the same house, as my overnight (albeit overdue for a wash) nest, will tell me it’s ridiculous. My pursuits are ridiculous. I do nothing. That’s ridiculous. 

Do I have no work ethic? 
Have I not bitten the bullet and gotten on board with real life? 
Am I appropriating the entirety of black culture because I like to sing along with Nina? 
Or because all the songs on my “Ten Best” list are performed by black people?
Is it bad that my dad’s girlfriend thinks I think she’s funny because though I was laughing when she
told jokes tonight, it was just because I’d remembered my brother texted me once after peeing on her car? 
Should I know what I’m supposed to do with myself by now? 
Have I been wasting a lot of time trying to figure this out in the first place? 
Am I going to end up being -that- person who can’t get my (supposedly) normal anxiety together and who ends up writing emails to people who have their own perfectly logical and way more important problems to deal with? 

Before I started speaking with G, you got all these emails. 
You got emails on the daily. 
About my dumb shit problems, 
and my parent’s being awful, 
and you never once told me to shutthefuckup. 

For that, I thank you. 

&Happy yester-birthday to Queen Nina…. 
We miss you. 
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