This summer season I moved to a brand new city all alone exactly where I know nobody. The Pacific Northwest is supposed to be cool and rainy but this summer time is hot and none of us are prepared, the air sinking down onto us like a heavy blanket. I do every thing I can think of to steer clear of it. I sleep beneath damp towels. I ritualistically place shallow bowls of cold water in front of the only fan in my room so that I can feel a cool breeze often. I leave my residence only to be touched in passing by strangers. I let myself get pushed into a corner on the train. I feel the sweat dripping down the back of my neck, generating the hair at the nape of my neck sticky. It seems silly to mention that I broke up with a girl final month simply because summer is always a time for empty spaces but I did. What this ending has provided me, mainly, is a desperate furious attention to the borders of my own physique, to the limits of my skin. Bodies are nothing when they are alone. The physique is only comprehensible as portion of a mass, pressed up desperately against the negative space between itself and an additional particular person. Summer in the city, I’m so lonely lonely lonely. I went to a protest just to rub up against strangers / I did really feel like coming but I also felt like crying. It didn’t seem so worth it correct now. Physique hunger. A fever that is desire but also some thing else finds itself in diverse guises in so many Regina songs. From “Dance Anthem of the 80s”: “it’s been a long time because before I’ve been touched / now I’m obtaining touched all the time /and it is only a matter of who and it’s only a matter of when.” An addiction to hands and feet. From “Consequence of Sound”: “they just stand there on a street corner / skin tucked in / and meat side out.” In the presence of other bodies your own physique hums. In the summer we turn our skin inside out and show our guts to the whole planet.
This, then, the energy of summer time: the reckoning with others. The reckoning with loss only by reckoning with other individuals. In “Summer in the City” an individual has left you but the psychosomatic response is to conjure a thousand other people in her spot, like producing white blood cells to heal a wound. I’ve been hallucinatin’ you babe in the backs of other females. Summer a hallucination in which familiarity with other women’s bodies is an immune response to absence. Every single exposed back the identical exposed back. I tap em on the shoulder and they turn about smiling but there’s no recognition in their eyes. Regina howls lonely lonely lonely and that, too, is more than one person’s loneliness. “Lonely” no longer a word but genuinely just a sound, genuinely just sob. Just a physique, lonely the very same curve as the back of the girl you miss. I feel so considerably about “her skin makes them sick in the evening / nauseous nauseous nauseous”, the last 3 words trailing off into a whisper. That, as well, is a what nausea feels like. Sitting on your bathroom floor pressed up against the cold tile and you are all alone and you really feel sick and your body curls up, your entire self trails away into a whisper.
Summer season in the city in no way ends. Summer in the city has an indescribable chronology. When you are extended gone from this city, I start off to miss you baby occasionally. When you are long gone, I begin sometimes. Even the syntax of this sentence is one of perpetuation. More than and more than once more, in this song and in this summer season: I start to miss you. Never a letting up, never a filling of space. You never genuinely quit missing anyone. Every missing layered up on top of one more. I miss your smile. I miss your hair. I miss the delicate curve of your neck behind your hair. I swear I saw your gap tooth on 4 other girls last week. Loss by addition. I have built a new physique out of missing you, new guts. A new self, pink and sunburned, scraped knees. I am strong from pushing back so difficult against the empty space about me. “Don’t get me wrong, dear, in general I think I’m carrying out quite fine.” The infinitesimal pause between “quite” and “fine” in which loss appears around, finds itself acceptable.
We shore ourselves up like fantastic containers to hold our longing but it’s alright. We survive this, also. Crying doesn’t seem so worth it proper now. Right here all alone in the space I develop for myself out of loneliness I buy a lot of popsicles, wear only sports bras. I unhinge my jaw to consume peaches in the dark over my sink, the juice splattering down onto the empty dishes. I read only trashy romance novels and books about the philosophy of architecture, I get popsicle stains on their inside covers. This morning I drank grapefruit juice out of an old wine glass and the deep maroon swirl of the wine dissolved off the bottom of the glass in the last swallow of my juice, a secret bitterness. I’m so lonely lonely lonely and her voice swoops beneath itself, swallows that loneliness also. Like a body, loss is at times just a point to reside inside of.