I have this small [large] obsession with elephants for a few reasons. One: they have life long friends. They can meet a fellow elephant as a child and become separated for decades and if the universe lets them meet again, they recognize each other immediately and pick up exactly where they left off. Fierce loyalty. Nothing is lost. Two: they can cry and do so when the time calls for it. Three: they hold funerals. Mourning the loss, they stand vigil for days. Four: there’s this physiological need they have to move. To migrate. To roam the earth long distances. This is the reason why those domesticated elephants sway back and forth because their body is calling for them to move. To go. And they can’t stop obeying the command. I find myself regularly mimicking this sway as I wait on subway platforms.
Nan died this afternoon. [This is not a dramatic sentence, I just have nothing to say about it other than recording the documentation.]
If there’s anything I’m good at it’s pretending, conning and escapism. They’re all basically the same skill. I once worked at a desk that sat behind this large picture window that faced the street front and an open parking lot. This meant I spent all day reading and rereading every magazine that came in. Once I was reading an article out of National Geographic. It was on elephants. I was so lost in the article, completely fixed on the world I was reading about, that for a brief second I looked up at the parking lot as an open-backed truck was pulling in. Out loud and with pure, sophomoric delight, I exclaimed: “Elephants!” It was a truck filled with tires. It happened so quickly and as the words were coming out, I was recognizing their roots in absolute insanity and trying to suck them back into my mouth. For that brief slice of a second I truly thought I saw a truck carrying elephants to my workplace.
Recently I reread Krakauer’s Into The Wild. It’s about this kid who graduates college and decides to disappear one day. Roam the earth for a few years. I was weary to read it, the same way I’m weary to read books on love (because it reminds me of what I want and don’t have) or art (because it reminds me of what I want and don’t have). I have to do the same thing with film and television because I fear watching the thing that might bring my reality to my attention, invite the darkness in and I’ll get stuck. This leaves me watching horrible things like Here Comes the Boom and The Other Guys. You haven’t heard of these because they’re terrible and no one has seen them.
I knew it was risky to read a book about getting up and going because the only type of loose plan I have for my life is that very thing. I constantly fantasize about walking out the front door with nothing and just walking. For years. For as long as I want. Leave everything and just walk.
I’m still in love with the Greek in the blazer. My friends have lost the very small amount of patience they had for the situation (there was a pretty small amount to begin with). Which is a real nice feeling of isolation and a lack of understanding. I mean what else do we ever want? Just to be seen. To be heard. For fuck sake. Throw me a goddamn empathetic bone. Clearly it’s not the time for the Greek and I to be together – life, willingness, circumstance. I just know we should be. I know how good it would be. I just believe myself so stubbornly. And left between the choices of: a. stay where you are. or b. sleep next to her. I always go with b. And in the moment, when I’m there, nothing else exists. It’s just lovely. Like a truck full of elephants.