Archive for July, 2009
Don’t say “Hey, stranger!” It’s the creepiest way to start a conversation.
You’re supposed to stand when they sing Ee Vereen Yerusaghem. I thought that if I stood, everyone else besides those four other people would eventually stand. My mom, brother, and even father sat due to peer pressure. This is my song. It’s morose and sad and sings and about the dead. Eventually they stood.
I hate calling it a song. It’s a melody. It’s real and pretty and harsh and strips us down to what we really are. People, armenians, whatever. I knew the words but didn’t sing – just kept my eyes closed. Tears just came and dripped down my neck onto my collar bone – it’s a melody of bones and dirt. And if this were in English, it would sound stupid and I’d probably laugh in its face.
It reminded me about how alone I am in all of “this.” That’s fine ’cause I also hate it. I should’ve been crying for the person who died. For the person whose memorial service it was. I didn’t. I realized that I hate equally in Armenian as I do in English. The air conditioning made the room so chilly and you can all…… (But I know the words.)
And the old ones just look like really really (old) exaggerated Jetsons characters who all still believe in one god. One god who’s DEFINITELY a man and DEFINITELY Armenian.
Selflish tears. My mom saw me pink and sad and put her big, warm hand on top of my mine and I cringed and pulled away. My eyes were closed the whole time and as far as I was concerned, I wasn’t really there. I opened them, Sorry. SORRY! but not really. This kind of cold doesn’t get better with a hug – I hate hugs. Or I hate MOST kinds of hugs. And I was NOTTT in the mood to have a ‘moment.’ A mom-daughter “Ain’t this double-life hard?” kinda moment. Or even the usual We miss our Deads moment. I don’t miss my deads. I don’t miss my childhood either. Grow the hell up. (Also, I’m mean cause you have to be. Get your big, warm genuine hand the hell off mine ’cause its just gonna make me recede.) And I felt guilty for the next half-hour. Then they said The Lord’s Prayer in English and it sounded scary.
Armenian *is* that dark room. It *is* depression. And, fine. I can do that. I’ll do it by myself. But if we’re all gonna have to hug afterwards, then forget it. I felt the same way when I went to Armenia when the group I went with visited the genocide memorial. (WOO!) The walking Armenian genocide memorials visiting the REAL one! (That’s almost ha-ha funny but not really.) Don’t get me wrong, Person Who Built/Erected the Memorial. I mean, I don’t even know your name. I’m bad with names – I’m better with genocides. So all of them stood in a circle and crossed themselves and began saying Hayr Mer. I walked away. While they were doing THAT, I stood and looked at Ararat for a while. (And it was great. And I didn’t care that I was looking at now-Turkey.)
If “Armenian” were an actor, I would NOT be his agent. Goes for the same role over and over and over and “Hey! How’s THAT been workin’ out for ya?” And I’ve noticed that most are not funny. They just laugh when they have the same, weird things in common. Shish kebab isn’t funny – or Armenian, even. Gets old.
At the register.
I noticed an intricate tattoo on the wrist of a strikingly attractive woman standing across from me. I asked if it hurt – the tattoo. She said, “No.” And before I could say anything, she said, “But i’m a freak and like pain.” Oh wow. I enjoyed hearing that too much.
I’m noticing tattoos more. At around noon today the crowd was mostly construction worker-ish and I saw a lot of amazing forearms. Some had depth. Like squiggly wormy things with shadows sweeping across ssssskin. Beautiful. I remember once I was at some amusement park when I was much younger, like 10 or so, and saw a forearm covered entirely with spiderweb and thought Oh wow. It must’ve hurt. That’s always the first thing you think – I wonder if this amazing and perfect art hurt or damaged your imperfect skin. And if it did, did ya kinda like it?
I have a friend who has striking features – her skin’s a little darker than mine, her hair is jet black and pin-straight – she’s boxom too. Right below her neck, on her back is an Armenian “Eh.” Oh wait, this makes no sense to anyone. It’s a letter that looks like a “5” kinda. A letter that, also, on its own means, “Is.” She told her parents (6 years ago that it was temporary. They bought it, and probably didn’t care that much since it was errrr GORGEOUS (and Armenian.) I could tell she was connected to it, too. It wasn’t just like YEAH some COOL thing to permanently don on her skin forever. It was warmer than that. I saw a small butterfly on a woman’s back at the register today. (I wasn’t crazy about that one. it seemed a little predictable. What could a butterly have to offer than any flower or happy face couldn’t?
I liked the I Love Pain lady. She was cool. And huh honest.
Drawing hearts was one of my favorite distractions. A teacher of mine saw my notebook and asked me if I had a heart fetish. <- Whawwwt a funny guy! He was real proud of himself for using the word, Fetish, too.
Anyway, here are some hearts I’ve put together recently. Sorry if it gets weird.
Thhhhhanks for dropping by.
As a kid, when you get along better with adults, you learn at a young age that the world is bigger than you probably think. (Thank God.) Also, you learn that (most) people your age are idiots. When you’re a kid, I mean. When you’re a kid.
And NOW I’ll tell you about how I learned about suicide.
I was in kindergarten and all I wanted to do was meet Marilyn Monroe. Only to tell her how great I thought she was and that I knew all her songs by heart and that no one in school understood me. Aren’t school kids so dumb, Ms. Monroe? She’d wear that see-through sparkly dress from Some Like It Hot and we’d hang out, one day. I’d never mention my favorite movies with kids at school just ‘cause I couldn’t afford to be any weirder. Even the Armenian kids in weird-Armenian day school thought I was weird and that didn’t help the old self-image. Marilyn Monroe would understand.
I learned a lot of things on the bus. I saw a person naked; homework got thrown out the window; and was called ‘potato’ a lot in Turkish. It wasn’t cute. The guy who called me that was big and scary and I’d get scared of buses until he got suspended (for something else.) Then there was her. She was just MEAN. She’d boss everyone around and say things like, “Well, OBVIOUSLY, Anoush!” And that made me feel weird. Then there was him. He’d talk about Married With Children episodes he’d (be allowed to) watch and say things like “Do sex” a lot instead of “have sex” and I wanted to tell him that that was linguistically incorrect, but I was a polite kid. Tangent: My favorite getting-back moment on the bus was when she said the new girl was a lesbo. I was the only one who didn’t laugh and they said “Do you know what a lesbo is, Anoush?” “It’s a woman who likes having sex with women more than men. Do YOU know what a lesbo is?” I felt like I was surrounded by people who assumed they knew more than everyone else. Who had no concept that there are things out there much bigger than them. And if they DID have any idea, they didn’t even know to maybe…errr I don’t know, NOT LAUGH about it.
I was the last one to get dropped off and D was the stop before me. We lived in the same town, got along really well; and had a good fifteen minutes of peace together at the end of the busride. The subject of movies came up and I felt like the setting was safe enough to talk Some Like it Hot, and if she thought I was weird, she was quiet and wouldn’t tell anyone. I told her the whole plot. Quickly, of course but was detailed about it. She laughed a lot. She actually seemed interested. I never thought Some Like it Hot, D, and I could ever be in the same room together. Til I said, “Wouldn’t it be great to meet her?”
But you can’t meet her. – Why not. – Cause she’s dead. – No, she’s not. – Yeah she is. Ask my Dad. – When did she die, then? – Before we were born.
(I was sad but embarrassed more because this seemed like common knowledge I just wasn’t aware of. Earth is flat; Armenians think it’s funny to namecall in Turkish; and Marilyn Monroe’s dead.
How, then? Did someone kill her? – She killed herself. She also did bad stuff. (Huh?)
The bus stopped and D stepped out and waved g’bye from her front lawn. I kinda waved sorta.
First my grandfather, now Marilyn Monroe. My face was paralyzed. My Dad opened the front door and I had a million questions for him.
My dad never pronounced her name correctly. It was always Marlon MAHN-ro. I found out Marlon MAHN-ro was never happy and Marlon MAHN-ro wasn’t always smiling like she did in movies. “You know how WE are sad?” (Yes.) “Marlon MAHN-ro was a lot sadder.” Then he said, “And no one helped her.”
I should’ve invited her over and cheered her up, I thought. Ah, right, I wasn’t born yet. It was ALWAYS me not-being-born-yet. It happened a lot with stuff.
Years later, in second grade we had a dress-as-someone-you-admire-and-do-a-report assignment, and the librarian asked my mom if she was SURE she’d want her daughter doing a report on Marilyn Monroe. Ahh, the old patronize. Ehhh, depression-hopelessness-death whatev-SEXISBAD!) What an idiot. She would’ve gotten along real well with the schoolbus kids.