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DIARY OF A CALIFORNICATOR XIII

"The point here is not to capture arbitrary randomness or the brilliantine beauty in ugliness but to embrace the fact that the very particles of dirt and dust motes string together within our lives to create a picture of solidity, to mesh with the wondrous, to create a whole that is halfway between the saint and the sinner. And that careful balance that extends out from our dualities is the very meat of life. The maintenance becomes the life."

by Kimberly Nichols

COPYRIGHT © 2002, 3 A.M. MAGAZINE. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Early in the Summer I begin my search for true integrity determined to turn off the intellect and instead, get in touch with the core of my feelings. Instead of abusing thy self I look for the patternical behind my behaviors, the seeds that spark self-deprecation. I enter a rather long black hole of self-doubt, raw nudity, and goosebumps of vulnerability.

My lover and I drive to Los Angeles to view an exhibit at the SCI-ARC, a school of architecture smack dab in the middle of an industrial ghetto lined with dime store toy manufacturing plants and warehouses full of cheap Prada knock-off silk garments, skid row bums and nuevo artists' lofts stuck like gems in between old brick alleyways. Driving through the narrow blocks I notice row after row of dusty forgotten windows revealing innards stacked with boxes, cardboard residents in a production zone lost to the everyday L.A. of plastic polished people and shining Melrose Avenue denizens. No, this area is not new. It hides the soggy remains of the ACE Beverage Co. and dim rooftop pockets where limping hookers could, and still can, take their Johns for ten-second blowjobs.

The sun is particularly bright and we enter the SCI-ARC building, set in the middle of nowhere, a long thin rectangle like a freight train compartment cut loose and abandoned. The exhibit is a hanging construction of rope strung into intricate knots that extends out from the ceiling and wall like a beautiful giant butterfly net or mega-spider web. I feel like I am standing beneath the catchall of existence.

The SCI-ARC mission statement reads like an instruction book for living:

  • has no permanent friends or enemies in poetry, form or space
  • is constantly repointed at a transitory target: building, buildings and building cities
  • is not derivative of consumer culture
  • is not delimited by the reign of software
  • will be a creative voice for evolving paradigms of culture and building

As we leave and travel further away from the slums, I spot a phrase on more than one wall: a perfect piece of glorified graffiti, an artist's statement amid the mud.

Glitter is good.

The point here is not to capture arbitrary randomness or the brilliantine beauty in ugliness but to embrace the fact that the very particles of dirt and dust motes string together within our lives to create a picture of solidity, to mesh with the wondrous, to create a whole that is halfway between the saint and the sinner. And that careful balance that extends out from our dualities is the very meat of life. The maintenance becomes the life.

We experience the longest day of the year when the Solstice arrives. I spend the night in San Diego dancing my ass off with a multitude of friends on a plush, white carpet. A girl I don't know calls me an amoeba when she watches me dance. A boy I don't know thanks me for dancing the way that I do. A couple I don't know throw approving glances at me as the strobe lights flicker and the male half of the duo sends me an astral hand on my head that delivers volts of hot electricity down from my crown to my toes and I feel fueled up for one more year among this humanity.

I emerge from a long dark tunnel.

It happens after a week of sitting with the Buddhists when I realize that the power of our ego is strong as an iron fist, clad in steel wool, and manipulative spices that smell as sweet as cinnamon when disguising grief. Grief being the main factor in everything hardcore inside of us. I sit for five days in silence. I talk to no one. I make no eye contact. I turn off my brain. I feel my limbs fall asleep in lotus position. And suddenly I am faced with myself in the most intimate setting. I find myself alone with nothing. And I know this is how it is supposed to be. When entering the world and when leaving. Simple and with silence. I feel free.

I walk out into a Santa Monica Saturday and each piece of noise hits me like a Monarch alighting on my nose in the middle of a forest. Pan sits on the street corner hawking potted pipes. Jezebel is on the corner in nine-inch silver platform heels. Fairies dance downtown slurping jamba juice smoothies. I roam among the minions in a long black dress, hair down to my ass. Every time I stop at a street corner to wait for a green light, I close my eyes and mentally whisper a long and sweet HELLLLOOOO to everyone within a ten-mile radius of my own individual existence.

Everything I do turns into a long lost plea for forgiveness.







ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kimberly Nichols is a freelance writer/artist/burgundy spaghetti strapped Raggedy Anne in fishnets, living in the California desert. She attributes lust, hedonism, the electromagnetic field and white light as pure motivation in her drive towards omniscience. When she isn't glued to her computer screen she can be found dancing barefoot at drum circles, skinny dipping in the ocean, scouring the desert for cactus skeletons to pose people upon or gathering a good blistering drunk with fine friends and sangria. Her psychological non-fiction appears frequently in the alternative rag Desert Post Weekly. She has been published in Alternative Arts and Literature, Small Spiral Notebook and Feminista and is currently at work on a collage series called Girls of the hundred Proof Bordello Define Desire. Let her write on your back with thorns, wine or iodine and she'll paste you on a rusty nail in one of her paintings.








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