Sometimes I look in the mirror and I feel like a different person from yesterday. I notice a new wrinkle or a new sunspot. My great grandmother had sunspots and my dad has lots of them. When I was little I had tons of freckles and some faded with age and then I just had a few barely perceptible ones and a few moles. But I didn’t think about the spots on my dad’s skin and how I would probably one day have them. And now I’m 30 and there are a few wrinkles and I look in the mirror and if I look hard there are these faint light brown spots, one is owning my cheek, and is only a few months old, and if I look harder there are more on my forehead and cropping up beside my cheekbones and my brows. I thought at first what the hell, make it stop! Then I realized it was a shock because it was as if I was a different person, and change is difficult. But it wasn’t bad. I don’t mind. I don’t need BB cream. I like freckles. And sunspots aren’t terrible. My face is just changing. I guess if I don’t get hit by a bus or get a disease and end up dead I could live to be quite old like the Chinese psychic in New York said, and if that’s the case I could be all spots and wrinkles before I’m cremated and thrown into the mountains. But I think I’d prefer that to the plastic Joan Rivers faces and Dolly Parton floating devices that are replacing graceful old women. I hope all my spots define and reflect who I’ve become and I never shame them.
Goodnight noises everywhere.
I felt annoyed because I thought I heard the landlord upstairs. I thought “shit, why does he annoy me so much?” But it was this ongoing noise, like papers being stacked, or some faint moan, and it made me think he was masturbating. Every morning I could hear him moan and I thought perhaps that is what it was, and it was probably just his tv, but he made me so unnervy just imagining this nondescript homebody, who’s age is anywhere from 40 to 60, jerking himself off and moaning into a napkin.
I thought seriously, I am becoming too keenly aware of every little sound, I’m going to have to move into a tree in the middle of the forest, with no other human contact. There is no other way. But then I thought perhaps the noise wasn’t from upstairs but actually from outside. It sounded papery, and a little like a sigh, yes, but it was definitely outside. Was he out there? Was he prowling?
I have had my share of prowlers. In undergrad the “campus masturbator” jizzed on my front window one night while my roommate and I were just sitting there studying. He came on the window and ran away. Another night someone pooped on our doormat. Another night, in another apartment, a boy I knew who played the accordion came to my window and played a romantic accordion song. I laughed, frowned, and told him to stop drinking and go away.
Anyway, prowlers everywhere, I couldn’t stand to have my new landlord as a prowler. So I went to the front door and cracked it a little. The sound was in the trees, a little like a whooshing, but mostly a rustling. I went outside. It was a deer. No, two deers. I smiled with relief and came back in but my dog was standing there.
She looked up at me, with this look of pure consternation and growled, and huffed and puffed, and barked. And then she barked furiously for five minutes. And then she followed me to my seat, and curled up in a ball, and spat and huffed and growled, just softly, barely audible, under her breath, like a disconcerted boarder. You know how dogs can get.
I guess she knew it wasn’t a human but rather one of the four-legged spindly giants from the forest, and she didn’t like the way I just smiled and ignored it, like it wasn’t a big thing. Oh, it was big! her eyes told me, burrowing into me like I needed to also spit, huff, growl and puff. She scoffed me with disapproving dog mutters, which probably meant whatever, damn and shit, and fuck. I had transferred my discontent on to her and was again peaceful in the silence and the hum of the fridge and the rustling of the leaves. And then I heard a moan.
Clou le Fou
In conjunction with my photography exploring negative space, I have also been writing in that silent time between midnight and 4am, and here I have gathered memories and words from that space between dreams and reality.