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PRACTICE WRITING.
LEARN HOW TO FIX AND BUILD THINGS.
EXERCISE.
SOCIALIZE.
BE PRACTICAL.
IMPROVISE.
LOVE.
ACT.
DON'T ACT.
BE SERIOUS.
BE AN ENTERTAINER.
BE A SAINT.
CRY.
GO TO THE MOVIES.
GO TO CHURCH.
MAKE MISTAKES.
PROCEED WITH A SENSE OF JUSTICE.
LISTEN TO MUSIC.
MAKE MUSIC.
BROWSE.
UNDERSTAND HISTORY.
MEDITATE.
MASTURBATE.
CHOOSE YOUR FRIENDS.
TOUCH YOUR LOVERS.
INVEST IN SELF LESS ACTS.
BE A TEMPLE.
BE A RADICAL.
BE COLD.
PAUSE.
RADIATE.

Elegy (To Victoria Sélavy)




When I met Victoria there was a pause of mutual recognition. I checked out her brown boots, her colorful socks, her shirt that didn’t match the rest of the outfit. I liked her immediately. That afternoon we worked together, a long 8 hour shift from 1 to 9, and I knew we would become good friends. We built a quick bond over our love for Literature, first, followed by the always present second topic, the babes.

Literature was everywhere and everything for us. There was poetry in our hair, in our hands stained by too many hours of tamping espresso, in the occasional curse words that escaped our mouths whenever routine got to us. She would take out the trash without a word of complain, and I would deal with chatty customers when she was out of patience for small talk.

One afternoon, in 2012, she was going to meet a friend at a bakery in Clarendon. She looked nervous. I fixed her dress and told her to be brave. I saw myself in her, somewhere in between hiding and shining like a rough diamond. I'd like to think I helped, but it’s not me that I'm writing about today. Victoria showed me the way back to words with a fierceness and conviction that was beyond audacity. She was a free spirit, a delightful mixture of improvisation, absurdity, cutting edge phrases and careless punch lines, like an upside down table with a flower vase placed on top.

The news about her departure hit me like a thunderbolt. I grieved and yelled and was at a loss, in denial, waiting for a turn of events that would undo the e-mail I read saying she was gone. 

I'd like this elegy to be a prolongation of one of the last moments we shared together, a happy night under a tree, playing on a tire swing, gossiping about our latest band-and-boy crushes.

This is a farewell, but it's also a message: 

Don't put away your notebooks. Don't hide your guitars in the closet. Always leave a t-shirt with tiny cigarette holes in the pile of clean clothes. Honor life. Honor Art. Talk to strangers: That's where Victoria will always live, between hand written poems and three chord songs, in that part of us that will never cease to be young and pure and capable of love.



While On The Metro (A Victoria Sélavy)

El tren choca y, en medio de la colisión, el pasamanos de metal se clava en mi pecho como un faro de luz. El topacio en el anillo de la pasajera frente de mí se incrusta en mi frente, y puedo leer el futuro.

Pense en ser tratada como una mujer. Quise vomitar.

Un cementerio en el que, acostada sobre el pasto húmedo, la luz de la luna me quema por completo, como si mi cuerpo estuviese hecho de plata y fuese yo una película fotográfica.

Tú y yo ya no hablamos, pero nos comunicamos idealmente mediante los momentos que pasamos en soledad en nuestros cuartos, escuchando música en internet. 
 

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