And I Do Not Know Spring


2012 LU & TEO

I would like to be disembodied. I would be so much more productive if I didn’t have a body. I would go to the cooperative just to conduct market research on sustainable food models and the tenets of appetizing packaging design. I would like to go to the thrift store to study how clothes are put together: saddle stitch techniques and fabric choices. Maybe I would even buy their expensive lingerie to hang in my dwelling—wherever that may be—as a bespoke sculpture. Shine shop lamp bulbs through them, reporting on the intimate shadows with tri-X film stock as if to signal that I knew the beautiful horrors of having a body in the first place. I would consume unfathomable pieces of knowledge from the void which intersect any notion of my remains.


I want to be naked in New York. On a bridge. Any bridge, really. On the ferry, too: in its emotive geysers of wind. I feel safest in a mediocre and half-lit asian restaurant with no white people in it. I feel most held by myself and by my brothers. It is late spring—the year is 2022. I am wearing shorts that are too short and walking around manhattan like everybody else: on a mission. I am on a mission unlike everybody else: I am going to freeze my legacy material in a high rise off Columbus circle. It’s probably the furthest off the ground I’ve been in this city. I photograph the “encouraging material” because it is funny and because I feel the odd impulse compelling me to preserve and interpret the strange and mundane porn. I would like to be disembodied.

I have spent the past eight and a half years spending my money on expensive cosmetics and clothes I don’t like very much chasing the euphoria I imagine they will grant me. I feel good in my body for a few hours, then I once again would like to be disembodied. 

One day I will be able to start a paragraph--or sentence, even--in words other than the personal pronoun. By that time, the car in the Goodwin pond (pictured above) next to my our south-side plant-nursery-home will have become to most accurate representation of a previously-embodied, black-haired human child named Lu and the passing-by kids with more personal style and flare than I will ever reclaim will once again become oddly familiar to me. More familiar than felt even in the body I share with the taller. 

Through these black-haired children, or their judgment rather: I will feel it as a sort of awe-filled respect rather than a fatal sentence of drunk ineptitude. My component parts will slowly rust as I spent my time sinking in the muck, a make-shift bathing forest nymph in the suburbs of what was once the insurance capital of the world, now boasting only the saccharine flavors of Dunkin’ Donuts Stadium as well as I-84/91 interchange havoc wreaked upon the New York- and Boston-bound. Serving as the sole gateway to my home (not to mention, known to me as a previously-unbound car myself), the interstate artery and I have tread together intimately. I will think of him as a father figure. I will praise his confusing knots of sudden exits, unclear lane-markings, expectation of dangerous speeds, and singular and niche notoriety as Radiohead’s OK Computer album cover. 

The prose I invent will finally shed its somber serious tone and the songs which emerge from a body bent over a guitar will not resemble a recently-uncovered Elliott Smith performance.  Disembodied, my digital presence becomes a vivid shadow cast by an absent object, dream of a body, or fable of a life well lived. My creative work marches towards an aesthetic system unencumbered by fears of inadequacy or insecurity leading to hegemonic compromise. 

Without a body, I will never know the pain of clothes unflattering, food that upsets your stomach, bad hair days, the impulse to cut all your hair off in the first place. Photographs where you look like a disproportionate drawing. 

Morning sickness, urinary tract infection, bloating, shock, heartache, dry-heaving. I will never know in a creeping sense something is wrong. Any score kept by the body will vanish. I will not know love, or the scent of expensive perfumes, waking up late for school 12 consecutive years. 

I surely may never know pregnancy or Yearning’s poem at all. Caught in a chance rain storm, complimented by your crush. Scovilled-intensity that makes you cry. Dinners that aren’t awkward.

Disembodied, I am sure. I am already the hollow resident of Kazuyo Sejima’s House in a Plum Grove.

And I do not know spring.