One thing I used to hate in grade school was the inevitable write about your summer first day directed writings. Writing with a pen used to feel impracticed and strangely new and fun and temporarily, even carefully legible. What do summer stories look like? Wanting it to be all brownstones and pounding sun and melting ice-cream, dripping sweat à la Do the right thing? Wanting mad stories mining the same enticing microcosm captured in polaroids long bike rides and making vegan brownies and learning and living and loving more than you can take it? All the hippies and the punks and the skinheads and the skaters? I don’t know, or even understand it, that, or maybe still this, nostalgia for a lifestyle that isn’t mine but seems so imbued with everything I would want it to be. Scuffed lino floors and the fuzzy green felt in my head but cold marble and concrete and prickly Astroturf underfoot instead? Maybe it will be different in Tempe where I know not a proverbial soul but there’s still the elastic expectation of summer, no, Summer exclamation mark instead.
Here, Dubai, I really don’t know. Injustice flows at shin level but I’m cocooned away from it. I lived here, grew up here for sixteen years and still feel like I know no-one, or maybe never knew them at all. What is this city made of, and for? To consume, and yeah there’s a beehive of families and lives and aspirations and everything else that walls your average glitz capitalistic cesspool to boot. Maybe I should go to the beach. The mixed penetrative ogling and disapproval of both skin and less than toned near-anorexic displays. Take Back The Night a few months ago was both empowering and incredibly frightening when I thought about it, the discomfort you can’t place but dismiss with platter-served race and class disgust. That’s almost akin to abuse? We used to call it culture.
What do two weeks in Dubai look like? Watching Italian soap operas in the morning and Al-Jazeera in the afternoon and only understanding every few words, or sometimes none at all. Reading on a swing when the sun – and flies – retire and shisha and sometimes rooftops at night.Wondering how shisha in NYC can make me incredibly nostalgic for a place that makes me feel like a stranger as soon as I land. The air’s different too, the feeling of a perpetual sunny holiday atmosphere. Maybe it’s the slapping humidity, or just the ocean spray. The way the city is built, development creeps linearly along the coasts. There’s no free beach left anymore, just plush dollar-entry beach parks or de-facto (maybe even self) – segregated posh health clubs. (Nb on paper money is the only criteria. But sometimes money can’t buy you white or Emirati privilege). First hotels then roads then houses (hardly ever homes), you’re never ever too far from the sea.
I want to go further inland, though. Along the roads past the camel farms and racetrack and luxury stables, speeding away from satellite gated communities interspersed with polo clubs and golf courses. All the way to where the roads are still lit with the bruised bluish-white streetlights and not the yellow lamp glare. Or out to sea. My father went to sea sea sea, to see what he could see see see clap clap. My mother’s friend had a party on her yacht and the emptiness was achingly beautiful. I don’t know how to earn that cliché. One woman quickly became soused and emotional, crying out for the baot to go farther, faster, freer. But the high seas would have made the plates and stemmed glasses sway and slide too much. I wish I could say that greedy seabirds squawked or that the water roared its disapproval but the sky was empty and the sea didn’t care.
an obvious HOH rip. I feel like this fits my mood (sorely lacking in radicredentials) a bit better. bits of scraps and fabric glue, this took surprisingly longer than I thought. and I’m reminded of the hold steady lyric:
“i know what my weaknesses are / probably better than you do / revolutionary chinese propaganda / the color of blue / i thought i knew what / my weaknesses were anyway / then the orange tree blossomed last saturday / there was nothing in it but pain for me
I’m a little excited about against me! at the beginning of sept. do you remember ’36?
castration anxiety too? we are all social obscenities. not to read too much into this, but I love the way it perfectly synthesises the mad objectification of women/ meat market
Filed under: dubai, future gutter status | Tags: dubai, future gutter status, juice, summer, time out
Two weeks at Time Out. Excellent. Working out the time difference to LA wrong and missing a Liars interview? Not so much. I got one of their wives instead and she was sweet, trying to find Angus’ number, but couldn’t in the end. Gutted. A handful of gigs and another of pumpkin seeds, several favourite new juices (4 plums a pear, a handful of fresh mint fro the garden) and summer’s over already. “where did it go”?
I found sometihng I wrote for the zine that will never happen at the beginning of summer. when everything’s ripe and dewy and pregnant with promise. At least in my head, since any produce here is ultrafertilised in 3 drip increments and harvest doesn’t really happen. and now I’m just kind of hanging on waiting to get to phx and finally new york. oh look I’m losing my capitalisation again. in so many different ways.