Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Of course, the middle of autumn, when everything's actively in the process of dying and aging and freezing and becoming miserable is no better, for me.
My new year is Easter. It just makes more sense to me. everything's living, young, waking up, renewing itself, bursting with hope and promise and, well, new-ness. Why does the world not march in my army, that's what I want to know...
Some folks get real serious about Samhain. That's cool. I get a little uneasy when people pick Oct. 31 as a sort of Witch Memorial Day, though. I wonder how many of those women and men who were killed in the Burning Times actually thought of themselves as witches, in the same way as some of us in the 21st century might have a self-perception of being Wiccan/Pagan. It seems wrong to me to remember them on a big Witch holiday when some of them, themselves, might not have self-defined as anything but nominally good Christians just trying to live their lives.
However, today is as good a day as any to remember the likes of Giles Corey, whose last words were "more weight".
In other news, I'm going dark for about 30 days, more or less. Most likely more than less. it's GCW time.
For one thing, tomorrow is Nov. 1, the first day of National Novel Writing Month, also the first day of National Record a Solo Album Month, also National Kitchen Cleaning Month, National Paying More Attention To My Job Month, National Bad Decision Regretting Month, National Bedroom Excavating Month, and National Three-Year-Old-Bitter-Obsession-About-Getting-Rejected-from-Smith-College Indulging Month. So, as you can see I got a full plate.
For another thing, I'm running out of civil things I can say. And I'm all about civil. Since I can't say anything nice, maybe it's time I just shut the fuck up. Seriously - I can't think of a single thing that I can offer in any productive manner to any conversation of importance. So, yeah, I surrender, at least for the time being.
One dumbass down, only god-knows-how-many-more to go. Keep up the good work!
I'm not going away mad - I'm not even going away. Consider it the inauguration of National Internet Nonsense Avoiding Month.
Comments, as usual, are wide open and moderated only just barely - for that natural look! y'all know the drill on that.
You heard her. go forth and do your thing.
I can't speak for the indigenous women of Mexico, but I bet they don't give a shit if you're wearing lipstick or not when you're actively HELPING.
Monday, October 30, 2006
The goal of this blog is to collect 315 copies of Orwell’s 1984 and send them to every member of Congress who voted for the Military Commissions Act of 2006.
more from the site:
The Ministry of Love announces its fourth-quarter plan to gather 315 separate copies of George Orwell’s landmark novel 1984, from proles and party comrades alike, all across our brave homeland.
Once collected, all 315 copies will be mailed separately to each Member of Congress who voted YEA on the Military Commissions Act (a.k.a. The Torture Bill) on September 28th and 29th, in the sixth year of our glorious leader’s regime. These shipments will occur with great fanfare, and hopefully, a television news crew on hand to capture the momentous occasion for inclusion in the Ministry of Truth’s ever-growing archives.
In case you’ve forgotten, our glorious leader’s regime has gifted us with the following remarkably Orwellian achievements:
* spying on ordinary citizens without their knowledge
* paid propaganda masquerading as news reports
* removal by Thought Police of ungoodthinkers (protesters) from all Party rallies and celebrations featuring our glorious leader
* community members encouraged to report “suspicious activities” of neighbors and co-workers
* the promise of an endless war
(for a more comprehensive list, go to studentsfororwell.org)
Now, through the farsightedness of these distinguished 315 Inner Party Members, House and Senate, we can add sanctioned torture and indefinite detainment of suspects to that noteworthy list.
To recognize those who have brought us one step closer to the utopian world envisioned by Orwell, Miniluv will enclose a handwritten note with each copy of 1984, thanking each 315 Inner Party Member individually for their achievement.
Send new and used copies of 1984 to the following address:
Ministry of Love
Guilford, CT 06437
If buying books online, have them shipped directly to Miniluv.
If you would like your donation earmarked for a particular Inner Party Member, please note that with your shipment.
y'all know what to do.
go to wherever you get your book fix and shake 'em down for as many copies of 1984 as you can afford, and send them along to the address above. You'll be glad you did.
credit where it's due - I first read about this at The Den of the Biting Beaver this morning. Yeah, I go there. Sometimes I even post there. and yeah, my friends don't give me any shit about it either. freedom of association and all... ;)
Thursday, October 26, 2006
I'm fairly hijab-positive, for a couple reasons.
1) I'm so not getting involved in another individual's relationship with God.
Every time I notice the whole hijab debate, I remember my advisor from a summer program I did at a fancyschmancy women's college a few years ago. She was a revert. I've known a fair number of reverts and natural born muslimahs and although most of the natural born muslimahs have not covered their hair in public, all of the reverts I know do. When I asked my advisor why she covered her hair, she said God told her to. Not her husband or father or government - GOD.
What - I'm gonna prevail against GOD? Even if I'm right, how successful am I likely to be? Standing strong and proud and feminist against my advisor's headscarf would, for me, feel disrespectful of the relationship between her and her Creator, disrespectful of her spiritual journey. So, no. Her right to do what she needs to do for her soul trumps my need to be smugly enlightened.
2) Insofar as there's nothing wrong with revealing the human body, neither is there anything wrong with covering it up. And as strongly as I will support anyone's decision to stroll through town wearing nothing but a red ribbon and a smile, I'll just as strongly support a decision to stroll through town wearing everything but the living room drapes. Exposure is okay. Covering up is okay. There are more reasons to reveal or conceal than can be comprehended in my tiny brain, some simply practical, some deeply complicated and personal and political.
but, see, then some asshole has to shoot his mouth off so he looks big in front of his pals.
"I had only intended to protect women's honor, something lost in The Australian presentation of my talk," he said.
Al-Hilali made the comments in a Ramadan sermon to 500 worshippers last month in which he criticized women who "sway suggestively," wear make-up and no hijab or Islamic headscarf, The Australian newspaper reported.
"If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it ... whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat?" he asked.
"The uncovered meat is the problem. If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred."
ahem. pardon me while I scrub the bloody shreds of my brain off the walls...
truly, I have no idea how I would feel if I were a cover-er. Insulted? appalled? disappointed?
Maybe it would have no effect on me. Maybe I'd be so into my relationship with God that the sound of mere mortals is as the bleating of sheep. I don't know.
Monday, October 23, 2006
Says Amanda: I’ve been sitting on this article for a couple days now, trying to figure out how to write about its glorious pathos, how to really convey why it’s just depressing to me not just that a woman wrote an article about how desperate she is and how mean her female friends are when they try to set her on the path to dignity, but that someone paid her for it. It’s called “Is It So Wrong To Want a Man?” and it’s by Christina Bryza.
Although I respect Amanda and her work, I gotta say I empathize with Bryza. Here is a long winding rumination by way of explanation.
When I first escaped Virginia, I stayed with my dad and stepmother for about three months, maybe four. My family was nice enough to let me use my sister's bedroom while she was at school.
It was probably the most humiliating period in my entire life, coming home like I did. But most of the time my parents were fairly gentle with me and didn't rub it in, often. Most of my family was happy to see me, and to the last individual, everyone expressed sentiments to the effect of:
"boy, it must be great to be single again! you should really enjoy this time alone - you can do what you want, be what you want, decide things for yourself, really figure yourself out, become comfortable with yourself - because, you know, if you're not comfortable with yourself, no one will really respect you..."
During that time, just to try to keep my head together and stay sane, I ran about 4 miles a day, usually in the lovely wee-morning hours when all was dark and quiet. It was nice. Healthy. I felt good about it, like I was doing something positive amidst all the craziness.
That year I signed up to run the half in the Greater Hartford Marathon - that's 13 miles and a bit. Not quite as prestigious and thrilling as the full 26-point-someting miles, but pretty decent, nonetheless. My parents were astonished - let's just say I was not particularly athletic growing up...well, okay - I was a sloth. But that was then, I thought, and this is now, and I'm-a run this race and it's gonna be GREAT and I'm gonna be STRONG and I'm gonna be INVINCIBLE and it's not going to matter that my personal life hangs in pathetic rags around me and maybe I'll never fully come back from that and maybe I'll never figure out how to get out of my parents' house and maybe I'll die alone and nobody will notice I'm even gone for weeks and weeks and - well - it's just going to be the MOST AWESOME THING I'VE EVER DONE! Really!
The day of the race it's cold and rainy. really craptacular weather. But I've never seen so many people in shorts on a 40 degree day ever in my life. And here I am too, already soaked and freezing.
Runners are pretty nice people, overall, and the vibe, despite the rain and cold, was cheerful and optimistic. There's lots of lively chatter and friendly banter as we're all mobbed up at the starting line and - huh, what? - oh! right! running! off we go!
up the hills, down the hills, through lovely old treelined neighborhoods and godforsaken abandoned factories, a light greyish haze silvering the landscape. Thirteen miles - it's pretty far. I see places I never knew existed, even living here in this area most of my life. Lots of people are camped out along the route, holding signs saying "Go MOM!" "Keep Going Arthur!" "We love you, Aunt Agnes!" and they erupt in wild cheering when their runner goes by.
And after an eternity, the finish line wobbles into view, like a movie mirage. it's up a hill. god damn it. whose bright idea was this? a woman catches my eye as we trudge up towards the finish line. she gives me this look, like, if she were in a car, she'd be stepping on the gas and going "vroom! vroom!" - the international signal for "wanna race?" We give it all we've got, not wanting to disappoint each other, with our very last reserves of strength depeleted and running on - on what? - Somehow my foot falls on the finish line a micro-milli-nano-picosecond before hers. I win. Heh.
I'm dimly aware of the silver blanket someone's throwing over my shoulders. I'm dimly aware of the nausea rising in my throat and the burning in my feet. Around me all I see are people, thousands of people, all celebrating - families, fellow runners, husbands embracing wet and trembling wives, children bouncing enthusiastically all over a father too tired to protest, weeping, laughing, all this joy, all this crazy happiness and togetherness and sharing and connection to the human condition and -
I was alone.
And this was supposed to be the big "I AM WOMAN" moment, the big Declaration of Independence, the dawn of a new era of self sufficiency and personal progress and my announcement to the universe of my new, improved, single-n-lovin-it, fish-throw-away-your-bicycle state. Instead I was just lonely. Crushingly lonely. Desperately lonely. As the adrenalin slowly receded, loneliness flooded my veins in its place.
The half-marathon experience was cool, don't get me wrong. Actually I had a pretty decent time for a sloth. I never once stopped to walk, and I accomplished what I had intended. So, go me. Go anyone who has ever run a long-distance race.
But the experience was more important for what it taught me, which is, well, I like being partnered.
I'm not okay alone.
I don't like being single.
I've thought about it, considered the implications, run it through all manner of feminist filters and theoretical constructs and in the end, I'm left with this.
For me, I feel more connected with the human race when I have someone to come home to, cook with, laugh with, cry with, fight with. It doesn't have to be a boy. it doesn't have to be a girl. It has to be someone who "gets" me, who speaks my language. That's all I ask of the universe - some means of alleviating the existential loneliness and fear of dying alone.
If I was ever going to get over that, I would have done so well before now.
Of course, I could never say any of this to my parents, or co-workers, or anyone. They made their opinions on my private life abundantly clear. "For you, missy, stay away from men. You always were boy crazy, distractable, flighty...oh, and don't even talk to me about...that other thing...the girls thing..."
As I said above, I respect Amanda and the work she does. And I can see where some might feel that Christine Bryza is some kind of MRA running dog...sort of. But what kind of world is it where the drive to connect with the human race is seen as undignified and desperate, or worse - totally fraudulent?
Sunday, October 22, 2006
American Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Anthony D. Romero said, "The president can now, with the approval of Congress:
**indefinitely hold people without charge,
**take away protections against horrific abuse,
**put people on trial based on hearsay evidence,
**authorize trials that can sentence people to death based on testimony literally beaten out of witnesses,
**and slam shut the courthouse door for habeas petitions."
I don't know about y'all, but when I see the word "people", I sort of automatically substitute the word "me". The collective noun "people" comprises individuals, ordinary American citizens, people like me. People like you. People like us.
Substitute "me", "you", "us" in the place of "people". See what it does for you.
Maybe I just have an overactive imagination, but I don't like where this is going. Maybe I should never have read It Can't Happen Here. god knows it's not what anyone would call a heartbreaking work of staggering genius. Maybe it somehow poisoned me and made me paranoid.
If there's anyone out there who can tell me how this is a good idea, please feel free to comment.
Friday, October 20, 2006
My name is Heidi H. FUCKING Parsons. I'm 38 years old. My birthday is coming up. If anyone would like to send me awesome presents or subpoenas, you can email me at
laurel FUCKING resources at Yahoo Dot FUCKING com
and I'll give my address to anyone who asks.
(note: on the advice of my attorney, I've modified this post slightly. because I wasn't really thinking clearly when I posted this - call it criminally negligent stupidity with intent to embarrass myself...also this is very scary.)
but you can't call me because my phone's busted and I'm too yellowdog lazy and busted-ass broke to get a new one. but if I did have a phone number, I'd give it to you so y'all could call me and tell me whatever's on your mind.
I work at a financial planning firm.
I'm a size 18 and about five feet tall/190 lbs.
My blood type is O+, which may be important information for you to have if you ever need a kidney or something.
I make this information public so that when a certain extremely influential and important highly-visible prestigious lady law blogger needs to sue my ass she won't have to drive herself crazy trying to find me.
I know, I give and I give and I give...
'cuz I think she'll be pissed when I tell the whole blogosphere that Ann Bartow supports the war, wears fur, force-feeds geese, watches porn, reads Ayn Rand, drives an SUV, eats babies and votes Republican.
at least I hope so. (I mean - I hope she'll be mad. I hope she doesn't read Ayn Rand, for goodness sake.)
dude - I'm so sensitive I run away from my keyboard in tears and fling myself on the bed to sob myself to sleep every time some other blogger calls me a man, or a dumbass, or whatever. but I'm not gonna sue Pony just because she gets under my skin from time to time. (and I mean, it wouldn't really be libel or slander if someone calls me a dumbass, because I wouldn't be surprised if a jury of my peers found enough evidence to convict me of dumbassery in the first degree with malice aforethought.)
But if she wants to sue, I say go for it. Come and get me, Ann Bartow, Poopooface-at-Law!
But be warned, 30% of nothin' is still nothin'.
In the dream I was sympathetic, but not terribly. I mean, I'm not sure she was feeling suicidal so much as thirsty.
Last night I dreamed I was a minister and it was my first day in the pulpit. I did a really good job and my vestments were totally rockin'. Then we all went shopping in Amsterdam.
I wonder if that dream was some sort of sign. Sometimes I think about divinity school. I mean, I think about law school too, but it's really all in the "someday, when I win the lottery" stages of planning, the unrealistic-pipe-dream phase.
but I never had a dream about my first day in court.
Monday, October 16, 2006
I gotta say, for all my endless braying about free blah blah speech and individual blah blah agency and healthy sexual blah blah expression, I don't really march in the "fun feminist" army. Seriously, just look at my shoes! nary a high heel to be found in my closet. I'm dog ugly, sasquatch hairy, and statistically never bother with makeup.
some days I feel like neither fish nor fowl. too patriarchically-identified for the serious women, too slovenly for the fun gals.
But in all the years I called myself a feminist, I had plenty of fun.
Heckling the NOW speakers on the Mall in Washington in (oh, when was it?)1994? Fun.
Vandalizing the restrooms with red paint (and...things...) at the March for Life White Rose Banquet in 1995? Also fun. Pointless in retrospect, but fun.
Throwing condoms at the pope in 1996? Now that's fun. I defy you to come up with anything more fun than that.
oh, wait - big gay wedding in front of the Christian Coalition annual meeting, also in 1996. yep - more fun than pelting the popemobile with prophylactics, beyond a doubt.
those were the days...
then there was that day back in '95 that Lauren and I were so deeply involved in a conversation we were having that we totally crashed into this Women Against Pornography literature table, and the woman with the petition asked for our signatures, and we said "no, we weren't that into limiting the first amendment, even for disgusting human skidmarks like Larry Flynt," and the woman went berzerk at us, and Lauren went berzerk right back, and all I could do was stand there terrified that I was gonna have to bail my girl out of jail later that night.
Not so fun.
It's no fun standing strong for freedom of expression for assholes who don't deserve it. It's no fun supporting women's sexual choices (even those that seem less than noble to some of us) when it is dangerous for women to go around choosing things. It makes me look like a moron to some, a frivolous fun-bot, a heartless monster.
Well, so be it.
But one must remain true to herself, after all. I begrudge no one that.
Friday, October 13, 2006
I don't have a blogroll. I haven't figured out how to work it yet.
but if I did, I'd probably not link to porn. Despite the fact that I think material of a sexual nature is mostly a good thing, both in theory and in practice, I have to be sensitive to the fact that some of my readers may not dig it, and to the fact that at least one of my readers is a minor child, and, well, ultimately, why borrow trouble? I mean, I never know whose delinquency I might be contributing to or whose tender sensibilities I might be grinding into paste. So, in the interest of good taste and enlightened self-interest, I'd probably not link to porn.
of course, if I had a blogroll, I'd probably link to somebody. and I betcha that somebody would link to somebody, who might just possibly link to somebody who links to something that others may find objectionable - hell, that I may find objectionable.
we could all play Six Degrees of Nina Hartley.
Even though I don't have a blogroll, one could follow a Blogger link out of my comments to someone else's page, who links to who links to who links to etc...That's the thing about the World Wide Web - everything's all linked and stuff.
And no matter how vigorously one tries to avoid any association with The Pornified, eventually you, or someone you really respect and admire, will touch something that touched something that touched something that touched something dirty.
(I should admit to the fact that I've always had a sneaking suspicion that all the worst - or is it best? - porn is manufactured deep in an underground bunker in South Dakota, masterminded by an elite cadre of flannel-shirted bulldykes, in order to distract The Patriarchy and take over the world unchallenged...)
I can see where people got upset with Ampersand. But I wonder if they ran a thorough check on their own servers, and their own blogrolls, and their own commenters, before they jumped all over him.
something biblical...beams, motes, something something...
Anyway, it probably goes without saying that if I had a blogroll, Alas A Blog would be on it. But so would Women's Space The Margins.
Because I'm just contrary.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
What I find fascinating about these Blogworld Wars are their points of intersection, for example:
Lurking seditiously underneath the multilayered modest dress of a muslimah is sometimes...
wait for it...
LIPSTICK! Eye Liner! maybe a little blush, mascara, all of it coming under the umbrella term "cosmetics", those which some of us are all about renouncing and denouncing in the name of Patriarchy Blaming.
And for a woman who lives someplace where the Authoritahs keep track of such things, using that little tube of Color Me Scarlett or Fire Engine Fantasy* may be considered an act of rebellion tantamount to treason, a declaration of allegiance to an Evil Empire of decadence, an affront to morals and standards and a bright red FUCK YOU to the local patriarchs.
Apparently the penalties FOR wearing makeup in public**, in some locales, are rather dramatic and tangible, standing in sharp contrast to the penalties for NOT wearing makeup in the US, which (at least in my experience) are limited to an odd glance askance, maybe a less-than-brilliant first impression, possibly a minor decrease in social opportunities. At any rate, lack of lipstick has never gotten my disgustingly-privileged tail arrested, horsewhipped or ritually shamed in a public square.
So I'm not at all sure that a cohesive and thoughtful feminism ought to put cosmetics first up against the wall when the revolution comes. Greedy and soulless cosmetics companies? sure. Insulting and demeaning cosmetics advertisers? you bet. And an extra bullet to the head for anyone who thinks it's cool to use child labor in mica mines (for that evening shimmer) or mix deadly toxic poisons in with the relatively harmless wax, water and food coloring. But the lipstick itself? The act of opening a tube or jar or stick and using the contents to paint one's face?
Maybe to some of us that act stinks - just reeks - of patriarchal collaboration. If such act is presented as part and parcel of social acceptance, without which one will surely die in abject poverty and wretched loneliness, sure - a rejection of the act feels like a repudiation of all that oppresses.
But we're not the only women in the world. Ours is not the only experience of patriarchy that matters.
If you had a friend from Iran, for example, who covered according to family tradition, or as a declaration of faith, or in compliance with local laws, or any combination of those factors, and she expressed a fervent and deeply rebellious desire for some slippery red glop in a tube - would you tell her "no"? Or is it okay - in fact preferable - for her to wear as much as she wants, even though (or perhaps because) the very act of cosmetics-wearing is a punishable offense?
is YOUR patriarchy more important than HER patriarchy?
For what it's worth, my own personal patriarchy - my experience with men in my family and men in my social sphere - let me know that women who wore makeup were vain, easily distracted, empty-headed, far too concerned with personal appearance, and worst of all BOY CRAZY, and if I knew what was good for me I'd wipe that crap off my face RIGHT NOW YOUNG LADY...Is that attitude not worth rebelling against?
What does a thoughtful feminist do about the Lipstick Paradox?
*who names cosmetics? I want that job!
**unfortunately, my two sources (Reading Lolita in Teheran and Lipstick Jihad) are at home, and I'm at work, so I'm unable to cite specifics at this time. I will endeavor to do so in the near future.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
talk to me, New Yawkers of my heart! check in so I know you're okay.
A few things - more than five - Feminism (tm) gave me, you know, besides The Vote, and Birth Control, and the right to my own craptacular Credit Rating, and The Freedom To Don The Trousers of Revolution:
** a way to feel united in struggle, part of a community, part of something larger and more important than myself; a great feeling of sisterhood and unity and purpose.
** a profound sense of pride in the legacy of women's accomplishments through history, and a sense of intoxicating exhiliration at their rediscovery. I remember discovering Victoria Woodhull in some dusty old textbook way in the back of the Enoch Pratt library one hot summer day - I felt the ground shake, the whole world tremble on its foundations as I read about her life and her campaign for president in the late 19th century - I would never be the same.
** a nearly-psychedelic sense of infinite possibility for the world. If it doesn't have to be this way, wow - imagine all the different ways it could be! Everything - EVERYTHING could be re-defined and re-imagined, all institutions - art, music, literature, politics, health, everything - could be inverted and vigorously shaken until all that was good about them fell out of the pockets, allowing us to keep what was good and freeing us to discard the rest. An endlessly captivating speculation.
** Dorothy Allison, Pat Califia, Andrea Dworkin, Valerie Solanas, and the essay "Why I Want A Wife".
** a desire to do something huge and meaningful and Important and Revolutionary, like those authors I just listed.
** writer's cramp, sign-painter's knee, ditto-cranker's elbow, lentil-stirrer's shoulder, various other repetitive-motion injuries
** a queasy feeling as I came to realize that sisterhood was mythical, and overrated at that, and there was no one great banner for us all to march behind, but really a whole bunch of little banners, all desperately trying to be the one catching the glorious revolutionary breeze at the front.
** a twitching vein in my forehead, as I desperately tried to balance my own checkbook of Feminism, and rationalize its many contradictions, and force and stretch and squash my personal to match everyone else's political.
** a deep and pervasive sense of shame and failure when I was unable to do that.
So here we are now, all trying to come up with the best and cleverest and most eloquent and most quotable list of what feminism gave us.
Though I fear my contribution to this list meme - like everything else I've tried to do in a feminist context - will be weighed, measured and found wanting, and though I will never come close to generating anything as fucking brilliant as Jean's latest entry on the subject, I would nonetheless like to enter my best shot at a clever, catchy bon mot:
for good or ill, feminism gave us a vocabulary of personhood, a sense of inviolable meaning and relevance in our own experience, our own individual truth.
It gave us a lexicon of desire with which to communicate our needs and wants. It gave us a context in which to disagree and the courage to express that disagreement.
Ultimately, feminism gave us US.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
(tumbleweed tumbleweed tumbleweed)
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Fred Phelps to Protest Amish Girls' Funeral.
what can I say?
what can anyone say?
Via Yahoo News: "Georgia Mother Seeks Harry Potter Ban"
from the article:
Laura Mallory, a mother of four, told a hearing officer for the Gwinnett County Board of Education on Tuesday that the popular fiction series is an "evil" attempt to indoctrinate children in the Wicca religion.
Where do you even begin?
I mean, it could be a hoax, I suppose. But apparently Gwinnett County has a history of bonehead moves like this - to include trying to cut the library budget's $3,000 allotment for spanish-language library books.
Ladies & gents, I'd like to take a moment out of your busy blog-o-life to introduce to you our 15-year-old cousin Wil, and his brand new blog!
I encourage all-a-y'all to stop by and say hello, extend a warm welcome - because I am so proud of him! I think blogging is a great way for people of all ages to express themselves, get exposure to new ideas, and improve their spelling... ;)
Welcome to the blogosphere, kid! Good for you for being brave enough to jump in!
Monday, October 02, 2006
I've tried to be all coolly poetic, or casually insightful, or blithely and nonchalantly clever, but all I seem to be able to come up with is:
OHMYGOD! WASN'T IT GREAT! WASN'T IT THE AWESOME-EST! WASN'T IT THE MOST FUN! THE MOST EXCITING! THE MOST FABULOUS! THE MOST WONDERFUL! THE MOST DELICIOUS!
And I'm like - jeez, it was just a few hours in the city with some people. Stop it already. And quit yelling - you're not in New York City anymore.
But I can't stop. I'm jumping up and down in my heart, still. I'm like a puppy, just licking the face of that day, overcome with giddy joy, unable to contain myself, unable to let it just pass into memory, like normal people.
But too much of the experience is still bouncing around my head, exclamation points careening around looking for words to attach themselves to.
Getting dressed, getting undressed, getting dressed, choosing, discarding, reconsidering...casual-yet-fun, fun-but-not-costumey, relaxed-yet-stylish, oh-fuck-it-it's-clean-just-do-the-best-you-can...the anticipation, the delicious pins-and-needles waiting. Kristin arrives, breathless, dressed the same as me. funny.
The race to the train. Everything accelerated.
The blundering through Grand Central, looking for the damn clock. there are a hundred clocks in Grand Central Station, each one with people under it, waiting for someone, searching the crowd, fumbling with cell phones. Us and our bright ideas...
Oh wait - that's Belle there. The hair. If we were playing a video game, they'd have changed color and started blinking. Over here!
And here we go - The people! The things! The sparkly lampposts, all artistic and colorful! The taxis! The trains! The food! The books!
The subway drummer who made my hips twitch -
"do only tourists dance to subway music?" I ask, embarrassed but unable to restrain myself.
"Yes," Belledame said.
So I did my job, and BD helped me out, and we rocked it 'til the train came.
The workers who were paving the road we had to cross. We weren't sure we should step in their fresh pavement - would we track little clean footprints over the fresh tar?
The teeny little toy store with all the fun toys and trinkets and odds and ends - the little tin pins of flying insects, the oldfashioned glass marbles gleaming and winking, the big blue ones with the maps of the world on.
The Ukrainian home cookin' at Veselka, the Ukrainian diner. The sharing of lunch with people who I'm sure have been my friends always - I just was a little late meeting them.
The conversation that wraps around us and through us and carries us around like a great net.
The miles and miles of books at The Strand - my Mecca, my Emerald City, my Lourdes - browsing the sidewalk sale in the moody drizzle. By the time I got to the third floor I was dizzy and confused and disoriented, so overwhelmed by it all. But it was okay 'cause my friends were there.
That lady whose hair was a work of art, a bleached-blonde abstract sculpture anchored to her head by hairspray and hope.
The Cafe of Five Desserts for Four People - we fought the good fight, through Vesuvius Cake and Carrot Cake, through Chocolate Mousse Cake and Opera Cake and Tarte de Bois, but ultimately we surrendered and retreated, forks down in defeat, vanquished but satisfied.
The Sex Museum. Not what you'd think. Exactly what you'd think. more later.
The first goodbye - the return to the subway and affectionate farewell to Robin, whose animals were hungry. mWAH!
The N train (?) to Grand Central and the little girl who was afraid of the subway. I felt her pain. Dude - underground trains belching noise and exhaust and teeming with strangers with slack eyes and strange smells - yeah, scary. Do we all still have private, inner tantrums as adults? Do we really grow out of that or do we just conceal it?
The next goodbye - Belle's great strong arms pulling me close - see you soon! very soon! love ya! Breezy, casual-sounding -- does she know what I mean? that I mean it?
Navigating the warren of Grand Central Station, feeling cool outside fresh air coming from somewhere, desperate for The Great Egress, surfacing at a kebab cart and surrendering to the tantalizing smells of...of...well, lets just get some...I'm sure they're delicious...
Says Kristin - "ew. pork."
Says me "oh, I'm sorry. are you sure? I think it's chicken..." but I'm dubious, frankly. it could be anything.
"ew. Pork. or something," she's certain.
Whatever it is, she is NOT down with the adventure meat. I'm okay with it.
The long ride home, the final goodbye. Thanks - catch ya! like I'm all casual, all cool, like I do this all the time, go to fabulous cities with my fabulous friends, like I haven't been starved for female friends for nearly a decade, like I know what to do with myself, where to put my hands, like it's a total usual thing to feel at home and comfortable and safe in this situation.
I'm not done, of course. there's more. but I have some more thinking to do.