Desire is what brings you closer.
The object is a means to a satisfaction.
It is nothing without desire.
I am nothing without desire.
thursday october 1 2009 james robert smith
Gran O'lopry HOTEL
WOMEN WITH CHILD AT GOODWILL SUPERTHRIFT - m4w - 25 (Goodwill Superthrift VB Blvd)
Virginia Beach Boulevard.
Rummaging through the second hand madness.
I brush by you with your child.
I confirm it’s not.
Ooo. A wall clock for $3.25.
Still attached to it’s box and new.
You’re in my peripheral vision.
Check out this boom box, circa 1984.
Your face is haunting me.
There’s a small bookshelf for $20.
Where did you go?
I dread the thought that you might’ve left.
Look at this massive VHS selection!
Three for a dollar.
Oh. There you are.
Sifting through a shirt rack.
Your beautiful backside is in sight.
And here: the CDs!
An Ace of Base album is expected.
You’re so close to me now.
On my knees exploring the shelf below.
From the waist down,
Your perfectly shaped structure grips my imagination.
It’s time to make my purchase.
I lost you again.
The clerk needs to see my ID.
Thank God! You’re still on perimeter by the door.
Hurry! Finish the transaction.
This is my only chance.
I walk a difficult route to the door.
My blood cells are quivering.
I devise a plan to approach you.
Just do it! Say it!
Those patio chairs are still there for only $6 each.
My legs feel limp.
What is happening to me?
Is it really necessary?
I attempt another time.
Walking up to you.
Your child catches my eye.
Oh what a find! Cranium for $5.
My heart is pounding a furious jungle beat.
What is wrong with me?
This is not necessary.
Okay. Now or never.
I walk up to you and just say it.
Your eyes are fixed on me.
My nervousness has to be obvious.
Your hair falls on your face like a frozen waterfall.
My words: “excuse me?”
You give me complete attention.
“I…uh…hope you don’t find this creepy…”
My ability to breath is leaving.
“I just wanted to say that…”
Your kid shows a detective-like curiosity.
“I think you’re beautiful.”
It’s out. I said it.
Your reply: “thank you…I don’t find that creepy.”
Where do we go from here?
I spout out a friendly “have a nice day”
And walk away from your content angel face.
Your ego and confidence are high.
My body’s reactions are too much for me to extinguish.
I confessed everything to you.
In my car now.
Legs are numb.
Blood cells regenerating.
Heart is pulsing a mellow waltz.
This is similar to an orgasmic aftermath.
It’s over now.
- Location: Goodwill Superthrift VB Blvd
- it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
We haven’t even landed
and I can already feel the spirit of the East
with it’s delicate charm.
I see it in the flight attendant’s sweet and pure face.
I taste it in the steaming hot green tea that is served to me.
I hear it in the high tone of the Asian voices around me.
The beauty of these people holds a timeless wonder
that will never seize to attract me.
I’ve got the aisle seat in the midsection of the plane.
Every now and then, the lady sitting next to me
slightly brushes up against my arm.
For some this would be considered annoying or distracting.
But I find it comforting for some reason.
It relaxes me.
Because of the tight proximity, it’s inevitable anyway.
I can’t help but forfeit my territory in response
and just accept the physical connection.
After a long two day trip,
we finally land in Jakarta, Indonesia
right in the middle of the day
when the sun is at it’s hottest.
I am ready for this new foreign world.
As soon as we get through customs
we are greeted by our crew and bodyguards
that will be escorting us throughout our stay.
We are the center of attention.
A camera crew from a television station
greets us with flower lays.
A small interview is given.
Outside the airport a paparazzi crowds around us
as we wait for our ride.
We have to take a three hour van ride to Bandung.
The countryside is beautiful.
Lined along the freeway are small rickety homes and villages.
They almost look like slum villages in India.
I am told by one of the crew that this is the “suburbs”.
We make our first stop.
Ironically, it’s a Starbucks.
We travel halfway across the world
and our first stop in a foreign country
is an American brand food chain.
I walk in the bathroom
and the floor is drenched with water.
I find out that this is because
of a hose attached to the wall near the toilet.
This is a common device found in all Indonesian restrooms.
You use this to clean yourself after you finish your business.
It is only inevitable that this would make the floor so wet.
I did not find the need to use this feature.
We arrive in downtown Bandung.
The streets are flooded with people, cars, motorcycles,
vendors, shops, and cafes.
Motorcycles and scooters make up over half
of the vehicle of choice.
They weave through traffic like a group of ants
rushing and gathering.
Americans stick out like sore thumbs here.
The natives glared at us with curiosity.
Every stare had one question written on their face:
“Why are you here?”
I didn’t see any other tourists around.
The bombings in Jakarta that happened a week before
I’m sure put a damper on tourism.
Even with that slight fear in my mind
I never once felt unsafe or unwelcome,
only the normal uncertainties one would feel
in a foreign land.
The next day we were taken around the city.
It was an adventure.
Watching the chaos
and how the city moves,
it baffles me what keeps this culture and people surviving.
The attitude here is one of pride.
The island keeps them exclusive
like a hidden jewel that the whole world knows about
but never discovers.
Small. Compact. Efficient. The Spirit of Asia.
The Spirit of the East.
We're in L.A.
Our hotel is in the business district of downtown.
It's about 1pm and everyone wants to get sushi.
I had just woken up from a long van ride
and I really desired breakfast.
There was an IHOP about 5 blocks away.
I had the perfect breakfast there:
~ two eggs scrambled with american cheese
~ hash browns
~ a strawberry crepe with cream cheese icing
~ orange juice
~ and two partially cooked strips of bacon
(I spared the bacon)
Swine Flu talk was still in the air.
Even though I knew you couldn't catch it from eating pork,
I still chose to not eat it.
Besides I rarely eat pig and its a dirty meat anyway.
I finished my meal
and after reading the LA Weekly decided to leave.
I noticed when I left that I was the only customer there.
I walk down the street.
It's a casually busy sidewalk.
A few men with suits.
A few female joggers with their dogs.
An older man with glasses reading a book outside a cafe.
All of a sudden I felt something shift in the air.
I noticed a few guys looking intently down the street further to where I was heading.
Something was happening but I didn't pay any mind to it.
I continued walking.
Then I saw what they were staring at...
Right in the middle of the road,
in the middle of busy lunchtime traffic,
was a fairly young asian woman
(Japanese or Korean, it was hard to tell)
probably in her late 20's or early 30's.
She was wearing plain white sneakers, a short jean skirt,
and a light brown shirt
that had "DIG 4 LIFE" written in orange letters.
In defiance of everyone,
she was waltzing around in front of stopped cars,
rolling and crawling on the ground,
She would open her mouth
and whine like something horrible had just happened to her.
She also started raising her middle fingers at everyone
as if it was our fault for her state of mind.
It was obvious she had no underwear on
because when she sat on the ground
you could see nothing was covering her private area.
At one point she decided to lift up her skirt and shirt up to her neck
displaying her naked body.
I wasn't sure if I should feel repulsed and look away.
I just kept observing.
All of a sudden she ran into a nearby hotel entrance.
The cops and paramedics finally showed up
and I didn't see her again.
I went on my way back to the hotel.
Yeah, someone just walked up to my passenger side window,
smashed it in,
and swiped my bookbag.
There were a lot of valuable things to me inside that jansport:
digital voice recorder,
a copy of Life of Pi (which I was thoroughly enjoying at the time),
a copy of The Piano (which I was surely going to enjoy eventually),
and a personal journal I had been writing in for a few years.
It's a hard blow I'm sure you can understand.
Memories. Moments. Monumental occasions.
Everything was written in that book.
I've since come to terms with losing my documented life.
No one can steal what's in my head.
It's still all there for me to remember.
I watched American Beauty last night.
I haven't seen that movie in a long time.
The message from that story hit me so hard:
"I guess I could be pretty pissed off about what happened to me... but it's hard to stay mad, when there's so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst... And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can't feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life... You have no idea what I'm talking about, I'm sure. But don't worry... you will someday."