Viewing entries tagged
Writing

PARTING GIFTS

PARTING GIFTS

One taught me how to grill vegetables inside a tent made out of aluminum foil. Just some zesty salad dressing for a marinade, he told me. If you can chop and turn on a grill, you can cook.

THE ROLLER COASTER & THE OCEAN

THE ROLLER COASTER & THE OCEAN

I sat on my terrace the other night with a gigantic mug of Sleepytime herbal tea and tried in vain to ignore the incessant chirping of crickets who I’m convinced were somehow given microphones by Mother Nature before any of us got to vote on such a matter. Pressing my phone tightly to my ear, I pretended I didn’t hear the workings of the vocal cords of bugs and chatted instead with a friend of mine. 

“Here’s what I’ve decided I find interesting about your writing,” she said.  Her voice was steady just then, careful almost – as though she was still thinking through what she was about to say.  “I love how you can write about something that could be construed as depressing, like the passage of time or hiding emotions from other people or from yourself or something like that, but the way you craft your words makes the whole thing come off as thoughtful and introspective but never full-on sad.  I really respect that quality.”

“That’s probably the best thing I could hear,” I told her.  “Because I do write about exploring conflicted emotions and about trudging through days where it always feels like the world is pitch-fucking-black, but it doesn’t mean that any of it just makes me sad.  Sadness is obviously be a component, but it’s never the only component, and I’m really happy to hear that you’re responding the way I guess I hoped people would.”

AN ENDING

AN ENDING

It feels almost cool outside.  I’m in cropped sweatpants and a grey Grateful Dead tee that I somehow inherited.  I have no memory of who it was that the shirt belonged to initially anymore, but it’s soft and faded and the perfect shade of charcoal; it’s mine now.  I can no longer sense the scent of the hint of smoking fireworks in the air and the trees are still green and lush and I guess all any of this means is that it doesn’t feel like July anymore but it also doesn’t feel like the September that it’s about to be.

My summer officially ends tomorrow morning and, as a result, I am in mourning.  I am also in denial.  I can see it all happening in my head like a colorful fantasy that’s scored by Disney songs played backwards, but I can’t seem to comprehend for real that tomorrow morning I will be walking my dog in the darkness and making coffee out of need instead of out of want.  The dress I’m wearing tomorrow is hanging up on the back of my door and I’ve even picked out my bra, but the thought of slipping it over my head before six o’clock in the morning is making the dress appear terrifying to me.  I guess everything is really a matter of perception and I’d take a moment to be very excited that I have finally mastered this line of thinking, but I’m just way too stressed to be excited by perception-inspiring knowledge right now.

 

A NEW NELL KALTER DOT COM

A NEW NELL KALTER DOT COM

When I started this blog over a year ago, I kind of pressed a bunch of buttons on a keyboard, closed my eyes, and hoped for (okay, chanted for) the best.  Shockingly, it all somehow ended up working and a site was born – though the fury that crept up inside of me each time I tried to upload and resize a picture was the kind of fury that turned my skin a terrible shade of beet red as I experienced the previously unknown misery of technology-inspired apoplectic rage.  And as for figuring out how to create links to amazon.com to check out my books?  Yeah, I was never able to master that kind of build-a-blog knowledge.

WORDS

WORDS

For a very long time, I knew the first and the last lines of the book Less Than Zero by heart. I think that if I sat down to think about it for more than twelve seconds – my maximum attention span of late – I bet I could still recite those words that once felt branded on my soul and in my mind in the ways a suburban girl from the east coast who has never gone through a real drug phase shouldn't actually be able to remember. There was something about being afraid to merge on freeways in the beginning and the last line of the book included the words "after I left." I might not remember the cheekbones of a guy I kissed three months ago, but words?  Those tend to stay with me.

ARTISTIC INTEGRITY

ARTISTIC INTEGRITY

I’m just going to come right out and say that I totally used to believe that Mad Men’s Megan Draper was somehow going to turn out like the tragic Sharon Tate and that I believed that simply because in one scene she wore the same tee shirt that Tate was once photographed in for a magazine spread.  It didn’t fully matter to me that the show’s creator all but went on the record to say that the theories abounding about Megan’s fate were all wrong – I believed anyway.

But now that Mad Men is wrapping up forever tonight (that’s right:  for the most part, only the tremendously important shows come back eventually, like the upcoming reboot of Full House that has made me contemplate the collective intelligence of the universe at large), I finally believe Matt Weiner.  Seems the show’s creator was telling the truth about the whole Megan thing and I know this to be true because the show currently takes place in the very early seventies and the Manson murders took place in late 1969 and Megan is still alive, but I’m obviously curious about how the show and its characters will conclude and I have read some pretty interesting theories that guess at what could happen.

ANNIVERSARY

ANNIVERSARY

Today is my blog’s birthday.  It is one year old – and it would like jewelry or a high-end juicer as a gift.

I have been putting off even thinking about this particular entry because I knew it would be difficult to go reminiscing down Far-Too-Vivid Memory Lane.  Still, like anything that’s birthed, I suppose a blog should be recognized, and – as it hasn’t left me with stretch marks – I have decided to celebrate it.

I wasn’t always a writer, but I was always a writer.  Does that make sense?  It only makes sense for me now.  It’s taken a year for a lot of things to begin to make sense.

A NEW KIND OF BLISS

A NEW KIND OF BLISS

I've been thinking lately about the alternate title of Birdman, which is The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance.  And I've also been pondering how much easier life would be if only ignorance could be my most defining characteristic. 

During the years in which I prayed faithfully for cooperative hair, I should have been chanting instead for rampant unawareness and the ability to embrace the art of not knowing.  I should have cultivated the kind of mindset that never once entertained consequences or that focused itself on having consideration for others.

I should have never learned to care about the act of decency.

I should have never wasted the time I could have spent getting tan by trying to analyze my own actions in order to understand where I became complicit in my own pain.  I should have willfully ignored the motivations of the people around me.

THE PROCESS

THE PROCESS

I’m pretty sure that The Process was a religion based on the ideas of Satanic thought back in the late sixties – and maybe it's still a religion today – that Charles Manson allegedly dabbled in before he became a brown-rice-eating-helter-skelter-spouting-plotting-murder-and-fleeing-to-the-desert guru.  

But I could be wrong.

My process that I’m currently examining does not involve the devil, but it does kind of involve an emotional exorcism.  Had I been able to achieve that release through a Ouija board, trust me:  I would have jumped at the chance.  It might have all been spookier, but it would have been a hell of a lot easier than writing over five hundred pages of a book.

DEAR DIARY...

DEAR DIARY...

Dear Diary,

There is so much about this world I fear I will never be able to fully understand.  And I believe that my rampant inability to sleep soundly through the darkness of night is potentially rooted in the unstoppable whirl of everything that I just don’t know for sure that goes spinning through my head on repeat like a bad song by ABBA.

It is good to question things, Diary – at least that’s what I’ve always been told.  Because if I question, I will continue to learn. I will continue to grow and I will be far more knowledgeable than the person who simply accepts things at face value – or at least I will be tied with anybody who has the Wikipedia app on his or her phone.