“Every poem should remind the reader that they are going to die.”
— Edgar Allan Poe
“Every poem should remind the reader that they are going to die.”
— Edgar Allan Poe
Unlike Just Kids where Smith presents a rather linear story about her life and relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe, M Train is much more stream of consciousness – a compilation of recollections of Smith’s life and travels as she recalls them from her favorite seat in her favorite coffee shop. The title of the book could almost be thought of as “Memory Train” as each section Smith takes you with her on a trip into her past.
Her memories in this memoir revolve around person’s, places and things. This is an aspect of this memoir that I found particularly fascinating. Many memoirs tend to focus on interactions with people, pets or places the author has been, however Smith recognizes that objects often hold with them the memories that we associate with them. In M Train one of those objects is a novel by Haruki Murakami that captures Smith’s imagination to the point that it influences her travels.
Admittedly I enjoyed the linear style of Just Kids more than the stream of conscious style found in M Train – the truth is, it feels like I got to know Smith much better in M Train despite this preference. M Train was far more introspective than Just Kids. Smith allows you into her life in M Train, allowing far more emotion than what was provided in her other memoir.
Perhaps the most important thing to know about M Train is the difference in style – especially if you are going into it with the expectation of reading something similar to Just Kids. The stories in M Train are connected, so you will not be entirely deprived, however, of a linear story.
M Train, just like Just Kids are two books that I plan on revisiting in the future. They were both too captivating for just a single read.
“Where does it all lead? What will become of us? These were our young questions, and young answers were revealed. It leads to each other. We become ourselves.”
― Patti Smith,
Through the forest in the moonlight,
Late I saw the elves a-passing.
Heard their hunting horns resounding
Heard their bells a-kling, a-ringing.
Ponies white and wearing golden
Branching antlers, fleet as wind.
Like wild swans through the glades a-gliding
Came the band upon the wing.
Smiled the Fairy queen upon me,
Smiled and nodded, passed on by.
Does it mean a new love coming?
Does it mean that I must die?
— Heinrich Heine, 1797 – 1856
(*Translated from the original German by Edwin Miles in the forward of Bernhard Hennens The Elven, of which he also translated.)
“Maybe it is a myth,
our mind overshadowing,
the truth hiding,
leads us in circles?
– Эпидемия – “Где Рождаются Рассветы”
“In your inquiry into the laws of nature always begin with the commonest and most conspicuous phenomena, and train your scholar not to accept these phenomena as causes but as facts. I take a stone and pretend to place it in the air; I open my hand, the stone falls. I see Emile watching my action and I say, “Why does this stone fall?”
– Emile, Jean-Jacques Rousseau
I’ve been watching the “stone” fall over and over again in regards to my best friend’s behaviour and I am beginning to see the cause.
I need to elaborate.
After helping my best friend out so much after he lost his job back in January – which ultimately ended in him getting a new job, I’ve been noticing that he is finding different ways to distance himself from me – in both literal and figurative ways.
Him and I haven’t hung out by ourselves – with out the presence of a ‘third’ since April. He makes sure that him and I are NEVER alone together – or if we happen to be, he maintains a physical and emotional distance. In fact, the moment the ‘third roommate’ moved out of my little apartment, he immediately found a way to move out himself – into the house that his girlfriend lives.
This is irritating because in roughly a month, him and I along with his girlfriend, daughter and ‘third roommate’ will be sharing a house together. His insistence to maintain a distance between us will result in problems.
Also I’m very worried that he is going to back out on this house deal and that has me incredibly worried. His body language tells me that he is not comfortable about something – and if he backs out, I won’t be able to afford the mortgage… this year anyway.
I don’t know what to do – a predicament that I am often finding myself in. For today however, I’ll continue to pack up my life and hopefully somethings will begin to resolve themselves. I might also create a craigslist ad looking for roommates for the Grand Ledge MI area come this August.
I’ve done a lot of cleaning while the roommates were gone. I just hope that when they return, they do there share. There is no reason for there to be such a large abundance of trash everywhere.
I’m not nervous about the move – I just want it to happen already. I think that I have my apartment – for the most part – at a point where moving will primarily consist of placing all my stuff in boxes. I’ve sorted so much stuff in the past 24 hours that I think a lot of useless junk has been discarded.
Right now I want to rest. I want to believe that not too long from now, I’ll get news that everything is in order for getting the house. I need to know that everything is going to be fine. My mind is a collision of worries. The closing date is just three short weeks away.
Things need to go smoothly. I want to be happy again. I want to be comfortable again. I want to have a place to call ‘home’. I feel so lost and alone right now. That is the problem. I don’t like that feeling.
Today my roommates are both gone so I can spend some important time cleaning out the bedroom and other areas of this apartment that need some TLC before I get to packing. I can say that I have reduced my mess quite substantially this morning and all I need to worry about is attaining boxes in which to place my large quantities of books.
I am enjoying myself, but I long for the days when I’ll be in the house spending time there instead of sitting uncomfortably here walking on eggshells in fear of bothering my neighbor in the other half of the duplex.
I can’t wait to get out of here.
I no longer consider this apartment ‘home’. ‘Home’ to me is a place that I can feel safe and secure. With an eviction hanging over my head like the sword of Damocles, I no longer feel “safe and secure” but, rather, extremely worried.
Tomorrow however, my best friend and I are going to have a talk with the third roommate about his inability to clean up after himself. He seems to think that my purpose is to be his maid. He leaves dirty food containers all over, allows trash to pile up around his air mattress and leaves dirty dishes in the kitchen sink for me to clean.
This type of stuff needs to come to an end. I’ve already warned him that if he doesn’t clean up after himself, he is literally begging for an ant infestation. I’m hoping that for once I won’t have one this year, but that isn’t looking likely as I see all his trash lying around all over. Why he thinks this is permissible is beyond me.
Today I spent a little time reading about Michigan’s White Pine days back in the mid and late 1800’s. I found a book discussing it at the antique mall and I’ve finally had time to read a large portion of it. Those types of “local histories” interest me quite a bit. The logging industry is easily the most nation-altering industry in our history. For lack of a better term, logging ‘paved’ the way for other industries by clearing out land. It also transformed the landscape of this country from Maine to the Mississippi River.
I’ve been so busy dealing with the house stuff I’ve allowed very little leisure time for myself. As it can be seem from how scarce the blog entries have become – my ‘free time’ has been limited.
But soon that will change.
It needs to change.
My life has become a whirlwind of busy-ness.
Yesterday, with my help, my best friend was able to get the Jeep that he always wanted and get rid of his BMW that was nickel and diming him. His Jeep Liberty is beautiful and I’m happy that he is happy. The payments however are kind of high. We’ll figure it out though.
However the buying process took almost 4 hours keeping all three of us up well past our bed times making for an exhausting day today.
Monday also went by quite fast with us all being very busy. I cannot recall what that day even consisted of aside from being exhausted.
In regards to the house, we are even further along in the process which is exciting. I’m doing all the work as soon as I’m notified about it. The next big thing on the agenda in regards to that is the appraisal which I hope takes place mid June because none of us would be able to come up with the money for it this month.
I’m currently exhausted and think heading to bed is my best option at the moment.
I promised my best friend an Italian themed dinner and hopefully I’ll be able to give him one in a few days with things slow down for a bit.
you fit into me
like a hook into an eye
a fish hook
an open eye
– Margaret Atwood
My best friend asked me if it would be alright if the mother of his daughter could move into the house if they were to get back together. Considering how she has been using the pregnancy and his daughter as a bargaining chip to manipulate him has me greatly concerned and I will not be able to tolerate it if she were to treat him like that on a daily basis.
I had a little discussion with him about that. Just two days ago he was telling me how he was going to go through the court system in regards to gaining full custody of his daughter and that he wanted nothing to do with her. Earlier last week she lectured him about how terrible of a person he is – even making a post about him on Facebook. She then texted him about how she thought the three of them would be a happy little family – that it was his fault that they weren’t, meanwhile admitting that she had pushed him away.
I told him that he needs to stay in his daughters life – but that does not necessarily mean that he must have a relationship with her. She is being manipulative and possessive. My best friend does not need that. She is using his daughter as a tool to get what she wants.
Whether “his daughter” is biologically his daughter is also debatable. He should have requested a DNA test upon birth knowing full well how the baby has been used the entire time. Instead he signed the birth certificate, which will help with custody issues – or hurt him when she tries to destroy his life via child support.
Yesterday was, without a doubt, exhausting.
I got out of work at 7am after working from 11pm and wouldn’t make it to bed again until almost midnight. All in all, I was up for almost 28 hours.
My morning began by running to Biggby and grabbing myself a free coffee. I then learned that my roommates were unable to cash their checks at Walmart in Lansing and had to go to a different Walmart. But before doing that we had to rendezvous at the apartment because I had to print up insurance cards for my car.
That took a bit longer than I had hoped, it was almost 9am at this point and we still had several stops to make before getting to the house inspection that would start at 10am.
With the printed insurance cards done, we left for Ionia to get the paychecks cashed. I grabbed a few ingredients, made a quick stop at the bank then left once again, this time for the house in order to meet up with the inspection guy.
This was a great time. When we arrived the inspector was already there. We gave him his fee then went inside the house and explored. What was exciting is that we found MORE stuff that this house had to offer. For starters, the basement concealed a ‘secret room’ that I want to use for a pantry. Then to our surprise we found ANOTHER room we were unaware of behind the garage. This house has nothing but storage space all over.
The inspection went very well, the inspector was quite impressed with the place. While we were there, my best friends uncle also stopped by to look at the house. He was quite impressed. After a few hours we had a talk about the condition of the house then we all left and got something to eat.
Following that the next item on the agenda was to open a joint account for the three of us in order to make our house and insurance payments. This process took quite some time. We were at the credit union for at least 2 hours setting all of that stuff up. Following that we all went on a top secret mission that consisted of buying weed.
OK, so it wasn’t that ‘top secret’ but enjoyable none-the-less.
The sun was beginning to go down by the time we FINALLY started heading back home in which case we decided to go for a quick ‘roadie’ before ordering a pizza for the evening. The entire day went by so fast. I’ve probably forgotten parts of it in fact.
It’s just very enjoyable to be around my best friend so much though.