Thursday, December 31, 2009

Bonne Nouvelle Année! Happy New Year! Feliz Año Nuevo!

Wishing you a new year that exceeds what you deserve and is better than you imagined.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

FeltLife giveaway

FetLife “Sit on Kinky Santa's Lap” giveaway

FetLife is a free social network for the BDSM & fetish community. Similar to Facebook and mySpace but run by kinksters.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Don't cry for me Argentina

Pretty low-key lately. Chicago was nice with amazingly warm weather and great family. The drive to Minneapolis was giggles and singing '80s songs loudly with my sister and her fiance (who did not sing but deejayed). Then, it's been a slow easing-into-society process. Job hunting a bit online, driving practice to the car wash, dinner with a girl friend.

Then, last night I went out with a guy who worked with me way back in the day when I was working for a local newspaper. We had drinks at some typical bar with wooden interior, a circular and centered bar, TVs blaring sports, and stools supporting all kinds of overweight, boring-looking people. I brought him a 2Euro coin and he brought me 5 scratch-off games, which I've never played before. We won $2. I had a dirty martini and it didn't taste as I was hoping it would. He had grapefruit juice. We've both cut down on the drinking quite a bit during these precarious days of unemployment, when we could be easily subjected to a bout of depression or anxiety. We went to a pool hall to shoot some and I learned that not all pool halls serve booze, and some can feel downright depressing. I won one, he won one. Then, we rounded off the night at a dive bar called Vegas, where some scowly college kids were drunk and singing karaoke. I had a Maker's Mark on the rocks for old time sake. He had a Sprite. Talking came easy. We had exchanged some emails over the past couple of months since finding ourselves via Facebook, so we knew that we could joke about naughty sex, share openly about our depressions, and dream of our evolution.

When he drove me home, he patted my back and let his hand linger. We wished I was wasn't staying at my sister's and that he wasn't crashing with his parents. Then, we kind of leaned into each other and he started kissing my neck. My heart palpitated and my body sighed. We kissed gently until I tightened my teeth around one of his lips. His right hand grabbed my hair and pulled my neck back. His left hand dove into my jacket. I tried to move it into my skirt, under my tights, but he kept pointing out that we were parked in the middle of the street under a street lamp. I didn't care. Who would care? I didn't live there. No one was awake. No one was looking. I am not fifteen. But I was totally prepared to jump into the back seat to get it on. He said he had no condom. We said we'd hang out Friday night. He waited for me to get inside the house and his SMS was "Nighty nigh cutie pie."

Friday, November 6, 2009

no, no, actually I'm not going out tonight

I have 3 huge suitcases staring at me from the corner of a dark shadow of my apartment. The toilet and shower and closet shelves are clean, although unnecessarily so. I've given more to this apartment than is necessary to clean it, but I'm a bit OCD and a bit fetishy about cleaning, so I take this time to inhale bleach and other toxic chemicals and scrub scrub scrub while think think thinking of what I'm cleaning away.

I am prepping my ipod for the 14-hour flight on Aer Lingus: sexy tunes for when Mr. Flight Attendant asks, in his almost incomprehensible Irish accent, if I'd like "coffee, tea, Michael Collins Single Malt, or Michael Collins cunnilingus?" And then, the tunes for when I pop a sleeping pill and attempt to twist-cramp myself to sleep. (I have lewd fantasies of "accidentally" slipping a hand into my pants to fondle myself while sitting next to a handsome potato-exporter.)

There were fireworks somewhere out in the city, and the Eiffel's light rotates overhead. I know I'm forgetting so many things, just like I knew I was forgetting something when I left Spaniard's apartment this morning. "Thanks for the nice umbrella :-)" he texted. But I know what I'm leaving here, and I know I can't take it, and I know I'll feel short of it for a while.

... Finally.... Finally, the tears are coming. I've been wishing they'd come. A few streams in Spaniard's bed was not enough. A few stiffled droplets during adieus to friends was not enough. Which is why I am not going out tonight. I need to say good-bye - my way, finally. It's been building oh so building. The street line when I turn the corner at my metro, my street line, my chimney stacks to the sky, my grey buildings against hazy, dusky, impressionist skies. The last frustration in BHV, searching for vacuum bags when no one knows where they are and refer you to another floor's department. The fact that my French is good enough for them to understand me, but still not know what I'm talking about. That I'm asked for directions and can turn and point with clarity and sureness. That I know the metro lines and the fastest way to get there. That I can still get lost by a block but then remember what neighborhood, where it leads, what it's next to. This familiarity. The tea had with new friends just yesterday under an awning under the pouring, drenching, loud rain. Our breath seen for flittering seconds beneath the heat stands. The so-not-environmental heat stands.

So, I've said my good-byes to those that need them. And those friends to whom I haven't know who they are and why it might be harder for me to say good-bye to them. For they are the first I knew here. I want to refuse to say good-bye to them. I want to pretend this journey goes on. That my voyage to the US is simply that. A moment of respite from here.

But I know this isn't the case. It never is.

I left Buenos Aires in 1991 after three and a half years of growing up there, and I have yet to return. I rarely return. Even my return trips to the Midwest mean something strange to me.

But Paris is, indeed, a moveable feast. She will be inside me forever and I in her. If just for a small second, a slight dent in time, an imprint in this historic apartment filled with ghosts previous to me and enjoyed by me and better for me.

This is my good-bye party. This is my moment of hugs and tears and so longs and until we meet agains.

so long, Spaniard

I hadn't had a drink in five days. He poured Glenfiddich. We talked for two hours, then we went to his bedroom. I held his hand as we stared up at the ceiling, in the dark, clothed, with The Pixies singing from his living room. Small tears slid down my cheeks. But it wasn't long before I rolled a leg over his hips and unbuckled his belt. And it wasn't long after caressing his cock that I was hungry for it. I pinned his arms and bit his nipples. Between his legs, I tickled my lips with the fuzz of his pubic hair and filled my nostrils with his scent - always so clean but still him. His knees retreated to the sky and I wet a finger at his ass. I imagined I could want a strap-on to fuck him - if we had days and days, but we did not, and his arousal was almost too far gone. I am fair play. I get mine, too. He leans up but I am clasped to his body. He lifts me and guides me to my hands and knees, pulls my jeans down but not off. He is my steady fuck and he is awarded my new virginity. His girth prodding steadily for entry, and when his cock is inside me, he speeds up. I move my hand behind me to his abdomen to push him back. "I want to feel you, all of you." The length, the slow, drawn out length of him filling me. I whimper. I hunger. I want him fast and slow and again and deep and barely the tip of his cock touching me and banging me and then slowly slowly like a whisper of nerves. I love my shudders, my spasms, my involuntarily volunteering. I love the sounds he makes when he comes. He pulls out, inch by inch, as I whine heartbroken at his departure. My face in his bed. Again, tears. Elation, relief, relaxation, sadness, I miss him already.

Friday, October 30, 2009

nerve.com

Back in the day, I used Nerve.com for dating and artistic fun:

"a week in DC with lola"

me my goods my habits
I am: a woman
Looking for: a man
Interested In: friendship, dating, play
Age: 27
Location: midwesternly
Area Code: 666
Occupation: political whore
Education: college
Ethnicity: Caucasian
Religion: what have you got?
Star Sign: are you one?
Relationship Status: Single
Height: 5'6"
Weight: 125 lbs
Hair color: not a hamptons blonde
Eye color: firey pools of observation
Cigarettes: sometimes
Booze: often
Drugs: never
Self-deprecation: never

you your goods your habits
Age: 18 - 88
Education: college, grad school, post grad

the tip of my iceberg

Last great book I read:
Let's Go Guide to Washington, DC... or how to make your own party in the nation's capital.

Most humbling moment:
a tie: talking to the inner demons of a homeless man in front of the white house - or - when my step-cousin leaned over and kissed me while drunkenly watching Apocolypse Now

Favorite on-screen sex scene:
a 1970's anti-feminist porn shown at the Women in the Arts museum

Celebrity I resemble most:
chandra levy.. only, alive.

Best (or worst) lie I've ever told:
to the congressman who offered to show me places i wouldn't normally have access to: 'i'll call you tomorrow!'

If I could be anywhere at the moment:
back in DC ass-fucking in the hilton, in richmond fucking, in the elevator of the rayburn with that hot lefty intern, in arlington finishing off where my cousin and i were interrupted, in the limo with the Honorable Reps.

Song or album that puts me in the mood:
WASH!ING!TON!DC - the magnetic fields

The five items I can't live without:
condoms, a guide book, metro map, camera, business cards

Fill in the blanks:
mingling is sexy; networking is sexier.

In my bedroom, you'll find:
i'm unpacked, maps of DC, undeveloped film, unpaid bills, unfulfilled desires, business cards, a shot of maker's mark, a pile of mail unread, clean sheets, the next campaign director for the next greatest thing

why you should get to know me
who else do you know who can fly into a new city and come away with 4 new lovers, 9 new potential employers, 3 new bruises, and a million new stories? i'm fun, fearless, friendly, you can dress me up for the kennedy center, you can undress me with your eyes and i won't take offense, and i don't wear khacki.

more about who I'm looking for
the next president of the states

editor's note: this is one of many stories created using a personal ad, for further information on the author, please see her other profile: lola990.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hence, why it's good to have a sense of humor

Celine's last day in Paris and she wanted to grab lunch at a super hotspot in the Marais (where she's seen models and the famous).

Then, she wanted to do a pedicure/manicure thing. I have never done a pedicure/manicure thing. First, for the ethical reasons that these shops are horrendous on the Asian employees (why are they almost all Asian?). Second, I'm just not girlie enough for it. Third, I'm very aware that my feet are not my best feature - and they're ticklish.

When the Asian lady lifted up my foot from the tub to do some scrapey scrapey thing on the bottom, the 4 teen girls behind her cracked giggles and popped their eyes. One even leaned over to get a better look.

No, my feet are not clubbed. But yes, it's why I always wear sexy thigh-highs or cute knee-socks on dates.

For dinner, I went over to an international affair of all these kids from my grad program. And, who did I run into but the classical guitar player.

Ahhh, life.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

1,383

Total documents from 1987 until 2009. It's mostly 2005 onwards. I know I have notebooks and notebooks from 1986-2005. Only 1/10000 of them have been logged into a computer.

I'm overwhelmed with where to start. I don't think I want to be this kind of editor. It all seems interesting to me because it's my own history. Could it be another girl's life? Would someone relate to this? How boring is this? The latter, I've decided to follow the principle that if I feel like it's a dreary task to spell-check and capitalize, then I should move on to the next more interesting bit. Whether any of this is good is beyond me. Hell, I have no idea why I'm doing it, except there's just so damn much of it!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Reine des Reinette




They're not Gala or McIntosh apples.

Harvest: late September; Season: October - January
Description: Gourmet dessert apple. Flavor on the sweet side.

Wikipedia's French page translated:

The queen is a variety of apple relatively old, whose maturity occurs in late summer - early autumn.

The INRA d'Angers got around 1975 a mutant characterized by a more intense staining and early maturity. His name is Belrène.

Description of the fruit

The medium fruit has a thick enough skin, slightly rough, heavily dotted with gray, yellow streaked with dull red. Her pale yellow flesh, fine juicy, crisp and tart is very pleasant to chew. This is an especially suitable for pies, especially the tarte tatin.

* Shape: cylinder-conical, slightly depressed on one side at each end.
* Peduncle: medium length, strong, especially at the base, obliquely inserted in a narrow and deep basin.
* Eye: large, half-closed, very large cavity whose edges are generally united.
* Water: sufficient, sweet, tangy and deliciously scented.
* Maturity: December-March
* Quality: First.
* Wood: hard [1].
* Palm: generally small, slightly spreading, the largest and longest, very geniculate and very fluffy, green tinged with red red slate.
* Lenticels: elongated, very large, abundant.
* Pads: very emerged.
* Eyes: large, ovoid, obtuse, clad in bark and downy.
* Leaves: excessively large, oval, somewhat hairy and brownish green above, greenish-white below, shortly acuminate and deeply toothed.
* Petiole: Short, very heavy, tomentose, often fluted.
* Stipules: the longer and wider.
* Fertility: Ordinary. Bon pollinisateur. Good pollinator.

Culture

For full wind, graft flush with the ground, this apple is admirably suited and makes trees rod straight. Dwarf forms, it thrives quite well but needs to be budded on apple Paradise, about making it more productive by lessening the excess vegetation. The variety is particularly susceptible to aphids and has a strong tendency towards alternation.

Obtained in Holland, the tree is hardy and bears the very cold climates of Northern Europe.

The Queen of pippin is particularly recommended in all the orchards because they can pollinate many other varieties. It reached full flower 2 days after Golden Delicious and is pollinated by 'Granny Smith', 'Golden Delicious',' Starking Delicious.

History

Our Queen of Reinettes - whose original name seems to have been "Kroon Renet", belonging to the Batavian language and meaning "Pippin Crown" - was born about 1770. The Netherlands, where it has long cultivated several varieties of apples Kroon, is regarded by the pomologue Diel German as the source country of the latter, he described in 1802. He had received from the Hague under the label Kroon Renet.

In English, the variety called "Queen of the pippin" distinct variety of "King of the pippin", even if the two are often confused.




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I just ate one of these drizzled in the honey from my love affair last year with the Economist Beekeeper Sex God.

Meet Joe Black




For how terribly acted, for how long it runs, for the multiple and obvious goofs, for Brad Pitt's horrendous hair, for all these things - it's still a decent script.

There should be a remake soon. Less on the sap, more on the death, I bet. This plot is the same type of philosophical question we all have about the elements out of our control: nature (Anti-Christ), our obsessions (Little Children), mutants (X-Men), degrees of separation (Babel), beliefs (Angels and Demons), consciousness (The Matrix), and death (Meet Joe Black).

[I can't believe "dervish" came out of Anthony Hopkins' mouth. Like I can't believe "suborn" came out of Brad Pitt's.]



Bill: There's not an ounce of excitement, not a... whisper of a thrill. And this relationship has all the passion of a pair of titmice. I want you to get swept away out there. I want you to levitate. I want you to... sing with rapture and dance like a dervish. Be deliriously happy, or at least leave yourself open to be.

Love is passion, obsession, someone you can't live without. If you don't start with that, what are you going to end up with? Fall head over heels. I say find someone you can love like crazy and who'll love you the same way back. And how do you find him? Forget your head and listen to your heart. I'm not hearing any heart. Run the risk, if you get hurt, you'll come back. Because, the truth is there is no sense living your life without this. To make the journey and not fall deeply in love - well, you haven't lived a life at all. You have to try. Because if you haven't tried, you haven't lived.




Bill: You know, I got to thinking. With you here and seemingly occupied, how's your work going, I mean, elsewhere?

Joe: While you were shaving this morning, you weren't just shaving.

Bill: What do you mean?

Joe: You were hatching ideas, making plans, arriving at decisions, right?

Bill: Yeah, I guess so.

Joe: So you understand the concept. While part of you is busy doing one thing, another part of you is doing another, perhaps even attending to the problems of your work. Correct?

Bill: Of course.

Joe: So you understand the idea. Congratulations, Bill. Now multiply that by infinity, take that to the depths of forever, and you still will barely have a glimpse of what I'm talking about.




Joe: You're the poison, Drew. You've operated behind the scenes
to suborn the trust of a man... who has stamped you with his imprimatur of class, elegance and stature. I've had the opportunity to be witness to every kind and degree of deception. But Bill Parrish has been on the receiving end of machinations so Machiavellian... that it has rarely been my experience to encounter. And yet, he has combatted them stoically and selflessly, without revealing my identity. Had he violated the vow of secrecy he took, his task would have been far easier. He could have turned defeat into victory. But he is too honorable a man to have done that. Because of me, he has lost his work, his company, his reputation. So now, given these losses, I'm compelled to end the need for secrecy. The time has come to tell you who I am.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Lighthouse

Celine gave me good hash.

It's been nice to remember my relationship with drugs. It's been nice to roll a joint again. I have fond memories of this. I have skills. It's why I dropped out of college. I discovered that I had other talents - not just for debating Kant, analyzing the diverse voices in a work by Sherman Alexie, or writing incredibly descriptive essays for English class -- for an assistant professor who invited Gordon Gano, from the Violent Femmes, because his dad was their lawyer. I had other talents, too, though. Rolling joints, getting high, fucking, and rockin' out at punk rock shows. Not that those, in and of themselves, say something - but they do point to a certain release and re-evaluation of my abilities. All of these activities brought out something more deep in me. Revealed new parts of myself to my eyes.

I remember sometimes losing my grip on the roach holder. Or, nights where everyone took turns rolling a joint - and, would compare techniques. Filterless. Dan, with the redhaired afro, who listed to Pavement all day long, made pizzas all night, and was so riddled with shyness that he barely spoke a word. The Teller of Penn. He'd sometimes roll two papers together and make us all high for the night. There'd be boys and girls who'd come and go. Taylor, the jock-ish kid who embodied "tall, dark, and handsome." Not too wise, but smart enough. Not as many girls came through the mix. But when they did, those boys fell so hard in love.

We never talked much about that though. We'd talk about scoring, pooling our cash, meeting the kid down at the Jim Carroll show at The Whole (or insert your choice: Scooby Don't, The Strike, J Church, Dillinger Four, Avail, Man Afraid, Propagandhi, Tribe 8). Or, someone would collect, and then all of a sudden between morning classes and your afternoon lab, Dan or Eric or Shane would show up with a big bag of grass. We talked about how to do this, and we talked about doing it, with dry gutter weed, or sticky sweet dope, picking the seeds out, and gazing in awe at how hairy it was, glistening under the one lamp in the room, the individual scent of each bag, or the familiar smell of the same batch in town, how the body would buzz or zone or hunger or fuck. We, also, talked about musical notes, we turned up the music real loud and stuffed a towel under the door, and after a while, we started getting up. Inevitably, we would end up in a slow, shoulder-hunch slinky line to the doors of the dorm. There was always one kid who'd wandered around "the other day" and found this "fucking cool ass spot." Sometimes we jumped fences. Sometimes we hid in shadows. Sometimes we got caught - and were lucky they had a girl with them.

I could never roll a perfect joint. They always looked like a snake had eaten an elephant. Or a hat.

This summer, Mr FD reminded me about this. He liked joints. Ones with tobacco and weed mixed. I could remember this from doing it in Spain. It's a nice high, where instead of the brain turning to trails of lights and feeling unable to move, it feels capable and alert, yet overwhelmingly mellow. I learned how to roll, man, did I learn. Filter, long Rizlas that I wasn't familiar with, loosening the tobacco in a small dish, de-steming the grass, mixing the two into a once-in-a-while perfect cone. We'd listen to music, too. He had the tall speakers, and he'd move the ottoman to the center point of listening, I'd sit and sometimes just rock out - Aidonia from "Jamaica's Most Wanted Mixtape," Baden Powell, Antipop Consortium, Gnarls Barkley, Reverend Charlie Jackson, Ann Peebles, and then old familiars from the college days, Praxis and Parliament.

So, now, I'm rolling my own tonight. Re-learning my way around hash is fun. Celine's 24-year-old roommmate (who sports a 7 o'clock shadow, spiky hair, and used to work for Quicksilver) scored some. Apparently hash is what you smoke when there is no grass around town. It was funny to have drinks with Celine this past weekend and watch four guys his age get high and doll up for going out clubbing.

Interesting. She said a few things while we watched some UK humor flicks. Things like, I'd "never let her before." To my comment that we should have spent more time together hanging out during school. Things like, "Are you comfortable? You're leaning on your hand. You can sit back if you wanna." I found them just friendly gestures at the time. Hm.. I guess I did kiss her and fondle her tits the other night.

So, now, I'm sitting outside on the balcony terrace, it's night cold, and the Eiffel Tower light sends out its beacon like the lighthouse. The stars are out, hazily winking through the light clouds. I can barely differentiate the clouds from the sky but for a faint hint of grey contrasting to a darker dark blue. Yes, one could say, a midnight blue.



And then an interesting thought. There might be nothing that can be done about the past, but the future you can change.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

finished

I have just finished the saving the entire history of every CDOA. I now saved every motherfucking entry I have written.

Now, comes the task of re-reading and sorting them into something that makes sense. Short stories - with photos where available. Poetry - the good, the bad, and the worse. Essays - on politics, current affairs, past memories. Longer stories - of love, of lovers, of ghosts, of dead people.

I've gone as far back as 2001.

That's a lot of fucking words.

If by, you mean

Thursday, August 29, 2002


life is so beautiful some days

when you find the perfect quotes:

"Drink you under the table? I believe I'll drink myself under the hostess!" .. unknown

"If you mean whiskey, the devil's brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty, yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean that evil drink that topples Christian men and women from the pinnacles of righteous and gracious living into the bottomless pits of degradation, shame, despair, helplessness, and hopelessness, then, my friend, I am opposed to it with every fiber of my being.

"However, if by whiskey you mean the oil of conversation, the philosophic wine, the elixir of life, the ale that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes; if you mean Christmas cheer, the stimulating sip that puts a little spring in the step of an elderly gentleman on a frosty morning; if you mean that drink that enables man to magnify his joy, and to forget life's great tragedies and heartbreaks and sorrow; if you mean that drink the sale of which pours into Texas treasuries untold millions of dollars each year, that provides tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our pitifully aged and infirm, to build the finest highways, hospitals, universities, and community colleges in this nation, then my friend, I am absolutely, unequivocally in favor of it. This is my position, and as always, I refuse to be compromised on matters of principle." ... anon



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Today:

"Anon" has a name and immortality.

"In political discourse, if-by-whiskey is a relativist fallacy where the response to a question is contingent on the questioner's opinions and use of words with strong positive or negative connotations (e.g., terrorist as negative and freedom fighter as positive). An if-by-whiskey argument implemented through doublespeak appears to affirm both sides of an issue, and agrees with whichever side the listener supports, in effect, taking a position without taking a position." (wiki)

"Anon" is actually Noah S. "Soggy" Sweat, Jr., a young lawmaker from the U.S. state of Mississippi.

Columnist William Safire popularized the term in his column in The New York Times:

IF BY WHISKY

THE GREAT POLITICAL straddle exemplified by the if-by-whisky speech was attributed here to Gov. Fuller Warren of Florida in the 1950's [incorrect attribution]. An earlier and richer formulation was submitted by Norman L. Simpson of Syracuse, who found an undated and unattributed clipping in his family archives; he dates it to the 1920's, during discussions of the repeal of the Volstead Act prohibiting the sale of liquor:

"[insert the above quote by 'anon']"

The if-by-whisky technique is still in active use. Asked by Jonathan Alter of Newsweek if he was not too sensitive to criticism, Gov. Mario M. Cuomo of New York replied:

"If by thin-skinned you mean very, very quick to respond -- that's what I've done for a lifetime. I'd been a lawyer for more than 20 years. You can't let the comment from the witness pass.

"If [ by thin-skinned ] you're talking about being personally sensitive to criticism, that's a lot of [ expletive ] ."


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The other two Safire columns on that page are awesomeness. Jungle becomes Rain-forest.

Friday, October 16, 2009

October

2003
looking back is still the same:
"i'm tired, but it's also october.
i tried to look up my old blog's october archives but i couldn't get 'em.
october is the worst month.
yes, it's the most beautiful.
yes, i love tossing ideas around for halloween costumes and party plans. (although of late i'm always a catholic school girl.)

but it's also:
anniversary of date rape
anniversary of mike's suicide
anniversary of laura's car crash
anniversary of the commencement of my relations with "the old man"
anniversary of my first girl kiss
anniversary of nostalgic, homesick feelings in spain
anniversary of josh and his preggers ex-girlfriend
anniversary of getting back in dating saddle only to choose kink over the good boy
anniversary of lori's tragic death"

i hate october.

i turn in.
hiberation has a unique meaning for me.
introspection into the deep dark dank corners of my thoughts.


2005
my october is over.

pumpkins were carved again. the car battery died up on the hill again. the stars came out again. i said no again. he said yes. i rolled my eyes to the side and closed them again. we lived at dead end alley again. mike died again. laura suffered a car crash again. and, again, lori, the old man, spain, broken hearts. all over again. covered in ripples of james's sadness.

it is the most melancholy of seasons. the beautifully quiet and solemnly sad month of pumpkins, candles, witches, and ghosts.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

the footsteps down the hall

There were certain sounds, certain echoes, certain resonance to them.

When dad came to us every three years or so and explained that we'd be moving again.

The military life. People always ask if I liked moving all the time, liked living all over the world. Well, there was nothing to which to compare. I knew no different. And every few years, there he would come. I don't recall my mother telling us. I think she was left to the packing detail, while he often went ahead to establish something -- his work, our lives, a pattern?

It's the same, only different now.

I thought I'd love travelling, moving, carrying my life in a few suitcases and boxes. And, I do. I know very well - as much as my family knows I know, and joke with me that we'll grow annoyed with each other after a couple of months. I'm bred independent. I have no gut instinct for marriage, the house, the picket fence, the 2.5 children, the mortgage, the small city.

But this move. This change. Well, it comes with so much more to it, of course. I wouldn't be packing if my dad weren't sick. But what would I be doing? Who would I be now? We'll never answer this because of how things go now. Destiny? Karma? As it is. And this move, well, it's fucking hard. Hard with a capital H. Am I too old to live on my own without a family to sustain? Am I too tender to be so far?

Tonight, my father encouraged me in applying for certain jobs. All jobs. Anywhere. With travel as it is and internet, why not? But then, why didn't they visit me? Why did they never make it over here? Why did they not come for my graduation? They are building a last house, a house of self-sustaining proportion, of solar and water heat, of environmental friendliness. That could be the reason, although rumor has it that my mother wasn't interested in travelling.

She and I are too alike. We suffer anxiety. We suffer our go-go dancer tendancies. We adore newness but hate making it happen. I am more like my mother than I or she ever intended. I doubt she knows this, but I guess she has hints. After all, we fought like enemies for so long that I think she realized she had been cursed with herself re-born.

So now.

They are my footsteps. My decision to move. My destiny in making.

I don't think I've cried so much as an adult. I almost worry that I have early menopause. I see certain posturing of my parents on Skype and start to stop myself from crying. Yes, I know I'm delayed in development, in growing up, and it's only now, finally, that I realize the importance of family.

But ... well, there is such beauty in freedom, Paris, living.

Ugh. I'm too tired to finish this.

But it's why I find it hard to go outside my apartment. It's too damn beautiful. It's too damn free. And, now, well, now, it's time to be an adult. Grow up. Suck up. Suck it up. Get a pant suit and low heels, go to some big city, and make my payback. And I hate it. I miss my family but I hate the idea of US living. It will crush me. So far as I can see now.

Blah blah. I know this isn't true. I know I'm adaptable, flexible, and in so much love with humanity that I can do anything. But for now, for tonight, I'm crying over a lot of spilled milk that is called lait in French and is beautiful.

[no editing
oh, and a ton of new photos over on Tumblr.]

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I am trying to break your heart

a bunch of new, autumnal photos over on Tumblr.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

re: Paris is snobby pt.2

Paris is not insensitive or rude. Really, it’s true.

If you get on the metro, and sit down, at 7pm, and you’ve just uhm touched yourself to get off before going to visit your ex-lover, because well, you like him so much but you don’t feel like fucking him because you just fucked a great guy the night before and, while you showered, you want to remember the swell night you had, so you get off on your own, and then you get on the metro, and then, you’re listening - again - to great tunes on your headphones and you happen to smirk to yourself because you realize you still smell like sex, but then you realize that you should look at other things on the metro instead of realizing you smell yourself in all post-excited glory, and you look around, and up, and see… well, see a most beautiful man standing by the pole, and you love his striped sweater and think, “Damn, I love a man with a sexy half-shaved face and a prominent Adam’s Apple.” And then then he looks at you and you blush and smirk some more. And even giggle. And smile.

Well, I’ve heard that Parisians think that random smiling means you’re an idiot. Like, developmentally disabled. Like, retarded.

But you can’t help but smile. Because god he’s cute and shit, you’ve just cum, and life is good right now.

And then, at the next stop you watch him watching and smiling at you and then he moves to sit down over there, but re-directs and sits directly in front of you and says, “Bhalkdfowhfieowfhw” and you take off your headphones and say “Je ne parle pas français,” but you already knew what he was saying, which was like “Hey, what’re you smiling about? What’s so good to smile about? Anything in particular?” And you are too embarrassed to say, “You’re hot in that sweatshirt.” So you just smile and say “C’est la vie.” Which is a horribly over-used French phrase.

Then you find the words to say, I like your sweatshirt and he says something in French with a hand coming at you like a claw. But a sexy claw, like a claw that would tear your clothes off and make horribly fantastic love to you. And you get it - RIGHT! Freddy from Nightmare on Elm Street. And you say, “Freh-dee!” to convey your comprehension that you’re on the same level of what he’s trying to explain.

And he continues to talk to you, saying he only has 2 stops left. And, you’re blushing because you could have said, “I just came a minute ago. I’m on my way to my ex-lover. And you’re fucking hot. But I can’t make time to score your digits because I’m late already.”

So, he gets off the metro. The metro passes by and he’s nowhere in sight. You wonder if he knows what Craigslist Missed Connections is.

His fingers were solid gold.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

re: Paris is snobby

Just so you know, you’ve got it all wrong. The myth that Paris is cold, rude, insensitive is basically a lie. It’s a front. To keep all the tourists out. Sure, some still get in and have their honeymoon in Tevas and North Face, or worse, British old lady mums who gossip loudly on the metro about every little thing they see.

Regardless, it’s not true that Paris is insensitive or rude.

If you decide to walk home from your lover’s apartment - a good long hike of 5 miles at 1am - because it’s not raining and why not? And then you suddenly break down into tears mid-way through because the music on your headphones is so damn good and your dad is sick with cancer and you have ten boxes waiting to be shipped to the States and your lover has the best cock that you won’t see ever again and Paris is quiet and lovely at night and you can’t hear yourself snort and sob ‘cause the music’s just so good and loud…. There will be a guy who stops, and asks if you’re ok, and you’ll say ça va, ça va, merci, and he’ll reach out and hand you a nice little tissue from his pack.

And, he might even follow you some of the way home. Or, at least to the Seine, because he’s afraid you might purposefully drop yourself in - or maybe some other fantasy he has but never realizes because you keep on walking. Through the Tuileries. Up by the Opera. And up the hill. And up the 101 stairs.

And, my god, wasn’t that so nice of Paris to guide you home, leave you alone, not scare you with strange men or strange cars or strangeness. In fact, how sweet of her to show some kindness.

[posted on tumblr]

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cheating Death - v.1

The Doors

Jim: I feel most alive confronting death, experiencing pain.

Pam: I think you're most alive recognizing beauty, seeing truth. Does death turn you on? You love death?

Jim: Life hurts a lot more. When you die, the pain's over.

I need somebody

to find me

Between the cartoons and the threesomes

Along the lost highway with The Doors

There are explosions in the Vatican

and cheating lies in the hookah bars.

He rests, thirty pounds lighter, driving across open fields

now degraded with autumn.

He said to me on the phone, I need somebody…

I nodded to the Venus following the Moon.

Is everybody in?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I married myself

April 9, 2003

So, it snowed last week Friday.
And iced.
And the streets were fucking ice skating rinks.
I did not drive anywhere.

"The paint's peeling off the streets again and I'll drive and close my eyes in Michigan. And I feel nothing, not brave. It's a hard day for breathing again... The heat is chasing off all of your friends and their scattered bodies part to the shore again. And I feel nothing, not sane. It's a hard day for dreaming again. I'm not going back to the assholes that made me, and the perfect display of random acts of hopelessness...."

I did not go back.
And once again, the weather came through for me. Roads and highways covered with perilous danger. Distraction.

This Friday I drank too much and still thought I could get dolled up for the bar. Go out regardless.
I told him to meet me there.
Got there.
Found a seat.
Had one drink and stumbled out.
Seein’ double, refusing to react to the taps on my shoulder.
"Listen, it's Lola. I’m calling from home. If you get this, don't go to the bar. Come to my place. I’m too drunk. Got too drunk to stay there."

He did get it.
And by then, I was passing out in my bed.
And I guess I talked like a doll.
Chatty Cathy.
"And I see ghosts... This one time in Virginia I saw so many. So many. I had to turn away. I had to go crazy."
"Oh, this album. Hang on, I have to sing." (Bright eyes turned up way too loud.)
And tears.
And then sleep.

He still gets up at 9am. That drives me nuts. Because once your guest is up, you should be, too. And if you aren't, then you can't, and then you can't go back to sleep because they are roaming through your kitchen and will eat you out of house and home because you forgot to shop for food.

When you do wake, they're by your side with a hard on. "I can't fuck, it's that time, it's the bad time of the month, the scary time, and I’m terrified." You know it's an excuse but you say it. Because you really don't want to wake up, you really want to sleep it off and fuck later – later that night, when the sun isn’t out, the lights are dim, and you're drunk again.

And he reads.
And then you wake up again.
And say, "no, let's fuck," because like a boy, your body rouses you from sleep and dreams of nakedness and the slow, wet entry of cock.
And he obliges because he's been hard for three hours now.

"You wanna get food?" he asks.
The last thing you want. What you want is to sleep again. Or to fuck again. But not food. And not the alone time with him in a public place, and not the time it takes to get dressed. It seems too hard on a typical Saturday for you, which is lazy typically and public radio and zoning out while recalling the night before.

"No."

You get restless because you're tired, but not tired enough to sleep with him. And you want to do something, alone. So, you start to clean. Pick up the leftover shit. Then, look at the dirty dishes in disgust without the energy to do them. So, you shower. While he still reads. Still sits there. Still lays there. And you don't have the heart to tell him to get the fuck out. And it's not really what you want to say because you like him being around, for company, for fucking, but not for intimacy or boyfriend shit. You are not going steady. You are not obligated to have lunch. Or hold hands.

Then, you crawl under the blankets, dressed, and wet hair. You read and he piles himself next to you. And you listen to public radio while you read Bukowski poems. And you just wish he'd leave because this, this is your solitary routine. But you don't say it. You don’t say it because you're a coward and afraid to hurt his feelings. After all, he cut himself in your kitchen and says he'll be fine with your non-monogamy.

So, you get up. You get up because you had read Bukowski saying he, when dining on one candy bar a day and getting drunk and beat up in the alley, wrote 5 short stories and 20 poems a week. You pause to figure that amount out in your head. 7 days. 5 stories, 20 poems. Ok, I work 5 days a week. I could come up with that number. Fuck. Fuck. I gotta start now. I don't have the guts to quit my job and move and live in slums and fuck up like that. Fuck. I got a long way to go. Fuck. I gotta start something now. So, if I start with old stuff and submit that for a while, then I can catch up.

So you get up and sit there, head in hands, and finally he says, "you're going to write" (because you've turned on your computer), "so I’ll leave." But it's that weak, hesitating kind of "I’ll leave if you say so, but ask me to stay, please.” You kiss him goodbye and thank him for sitting through your drunk bullshit the night before.

You don't write. You can't write for some reason.
So, you start to drink and check emails.

And then it's nighttime.
And you're tired at 6pm.
So, you take a nap until 10pm.
Get up for Saturday Night Live and try to sober up.
What world are you in? Where are you? Tired. Drunk. But can't sleep more.

So, you go out to the bar. But now you feel sober after the nap. After the few drinks that you had when you got up. You feel so sober. And you find a seat at the bar, start writing, and the annoying barman looks over your shoulder and tries to kiss you. You refrain. And keep writing. And it's good. It’s good because you can still read your writing and still make out the reasons you're writing. And you drink for a few hours (daylight savings, bars close early tonight). Then, you get kicked out. "Lola, you know you can stay until the last person leaves, but... We really want to close up." I know. I know. Thanks for letting me stay this late. I know you want to go home.

Walk down the street.

To the Orpheum, where I used to work. Where I only stop in when I haven't had enough for the night and want a last one (a free one) for the road. I knock on the glass door and the door guy says we're closed and I say, I used to work here, is Steve or Alex here? I know the names and he lets me in.

Little Steph is here. God, how I had wanted to talk to her in January. We shared the same pain of abortion but at different times. I had wanted to find a time to tell her, ask her, console, but it never came up. Steve gets me a drink and I go behind the tall velvet curtains (where we hide our after-hours drinking from the cops on the street). Steph comes over to sit with me and the handful of others.

"Oh my god," she says in her college speak with her big, round eyes popping out even more. "So, guess what?!"
What?
"The other Stephanie – remember, my roommate? – is getting married."
No way!
"Yeah. To Javier. He wants a green card and she's in love with him. I’m not sure about it, but whatever... But guess what?"
What?
"I’m gonna marry them!!!"
What do you mean, Steph?
"Well, Stephanie asked me to marry them!!"
And, like, what? You got a license off the web?
"Exactly! I’m an ordained minister!!" (She’s Jewish.)
Wow, cool!
"So, like, this Sunday I’m gonna marry my first couple!"

I’m drunk. I’m kinda drunk. And I’m thinking... well, nothing, but I say....

"Steph… Steph… Steph! Hey, what about... So, who have you married already?"
“No one,” she says.
"So, wanna marry someone tonight?"
“Who?” she asks.
"Me!"
“What?” she smiles, knowing I’m drunk, knowing she’s drunk.
"Will you… marry me to myself?"
“You're crazy.”
"C'mon, Steph. Marry me to myself!!"

I give her my hand.

She says, "Will you, Lola, take you, Lola, to be your lawful wedded self." She giggles drunkenly. "For better or worse. For richer or poorer... I forgot the rest."

"In sickness or in health..." I prompt her.

"In sickness or in health... through pizza or boys.." She adds.

"..or girls!!" I say.

".. or girls… Through shit and bad times, through fat and thin times! ‘Til death do you part? Yes? Or is it ‘I do?’ God, I can't remember." She giggles.

"Yes! I do!... Yes! I do, too!"

"Well, I pronounce you married to yourself!"

I kiss my hand.

I got fucking married to myself. I am married. I am married to the hottest, smartest, sexiest, most amazing woman in the world. And I married her. Good goddamn!

Cindy comes up from around the corner of the theatre. "Hey, you guys wanna go watch the Rocky Horror Show? They aren't getting good turn out tonight."

We go to the theatre with fresh drinks and watch Rocky Horror acted out by obese kids in lingerie.

After our last drinks I say, "I’m gonna go home and honeymoon with my woman!!"

Instead, I’m stalled by a bartender who wants to take me to a manager's party – three floors above my apartment. And I forget...that I just got married. That I should carry her over the threshold, or take her garter off, or fuck her silly. I’m just like a frat boy: a party? Yeah!!!

Good part of the party: I get to see what the penthouse of our apt building looks like. Bad side: the liquor finally hits me and I’m drunk. I have to leave. Stupidly tell a boy to follow me and give my apartment number.

I end up passing out on the bathmat again. Knock Knock. I don't get up. He'll go away.

I’m sorry, but me and my wife are puking. Passing out.

I forget all about it on Sunday.
I wake up. I read Bukowski. I listen to the radio. I do the dishes. I nap.

And then I remember.

I am married.
To myself.
Forever more.
Not a bad bond.
This kind I could like.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The secret conversations I have in my head

When Flickr is uploading and/or I've had sufficient wine.

My neighbor man knocks on my door:

Man: I'm sorry, I really need to sleep tonight. Could you keep the noise down?

Me: [You can't always get what you want - Rolling Stones - is playing in the background] You know those times when you tap tap tap your fucking razor on the wall of your bathroom and it tap tap taps my wall? Well, that's fucking annoying. And, the times when you plug in that fucking amplifying speaker cord into your goddamn computer or whatever and there's that horrible loud zap sound? Or, how about your fucking teenage daughter has parties late and loudly? Or, how about the loud ping ping ping of your goddamn online chat? Or when you come home and jingle jingle jingle your fucking keys? Or, when you always slam your fucking door? Or, how I hear your moan moan moan of fucking? ... Well, I never said a goddamn fucking thing because I remember back when we ran into each other in the bouglangerie and you pretended that you didn't hear my cough cough coughing. I base our relationship on a fooling of secrecy and silence. So, fuck you. You don't hear a goddamn thing tonight.

Like Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.
I could totally marry someone if we promised to live without open relationship drama and shared a housing situation wherein we each had our own apartments. I could stop by, rub his back while he painted. He could stop by, rub my back as I wrote. We wouldn't have to talk while we were in the same room though. It would be a shared appreciation of physical shared space. Just because I was there, he wouldn't have to talk - or engage me or ask my opinion or ask for my help or even acknowledge my existence. But we'd know we were there for each other.

Does anyone know an easy way to compress an MP3? Because I have a kick ass song I want to post online. Fuck Audacity - it's too complicated.

I really shouldn't have emailed that guy back last night. I was too manic to sound sane.

I dreamed I was pregnant. I know I'm not. I know this bloated belly is just PMS. But I dreamed the Spaniard knocked me up. I sent my sister an email. We started chatting on Skype and I asked her if she wanted it. We swore never to tell the child that I didn't want it. I would have to go into hiding for the 9 months. There would never be any photographs of the pregnancy. I would treat it like a niece or nephew. I would enjoy eating whatever I wanted to and lazying around the house. Childbirth would bring no feelings of regret. .... My cousin had a baby a couple of days ago. My younger cousin. The one I grew up with playing "store" in our grandparents' house. The one I told about cool music and gave mixed tapes to. The one whose brother I drunkenly sucked off in the entryway to my hotel room the night of her wedding (and who won't speak to me now - I fear I've damaged him). She's had a baby. My baby cousin. She doesn't look like she's grown up enough to do so. I can imagine her, when thinking about making the baby, giggling to her husband, shrugging her shoulders, and childishly goofing as she says, "So, whaddaya think about makin' a baby?! Hahahahha!" And then she'd do a little goofy kid dance where she'd kick up her feet a bit and square-dance her elbows out. She's a successful pharmaceutical marketer rep or something. He makes the internet buzz with interactive activity at football games and such. They live in a top floor apartment of a high-rise in Chicago. Their dog is named after a park nearby that sounds like Jackoff. They are not old enough to have a baby. Their baby does not wake my ovaries, but it makes me feel more lost. Am I really missing something? What's wrong with me that I'm not even the slightest interested in this for myself? I'm beginning to think I'm slightly developmentally slow. I mature slowly. I am only now realizing the value of my family. Will I realize the value of making my own too late?

It wasn't nice that Tall Tom didn't invite me to his party tonight.
The reason I brushed him off was for his random insistence that we hang out. I'm not "on-call" for him. He has no idea what's happening to me. He has no idea what good information I could impart to him for his second year. I feel like I'm 15 again and rejected. It's all very silly.

Yeah, that's all the conversations I've had for tonight. Or, at least those that I want to write out.

Shhh don't tell.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Entertainment for today

I am going over 8 years of Cheating Death Once Again and cataloging all my posts. The count on my dashboard says that since 2001 it's been 937 posts. The count I have between half of 2006 and today is 487 posts - including this one. I guess it makes sense.

I haven't stopped to read them, as that's the next phase. But in glancing and not remembering what I wrote three years ago, it looks damn interesting. I made some really quirky titles for my posts. And, as of now, I've yet to come across two of the same. That's encouraging.

I really like this McSweeney's 2006 entry that has nothing to do with cuteness:
SILLY THINGS MY 3-YEAR-OLD SAID THAT I'M CERTAIN THE REST OF THE WORLD WOULD FIND SWEET
AND CUTE.


And, then, because I need a silly break:

I AM: sitting cross-legged in a horrible chair.
I JUST NOW: poured the last of a bottle of Merlot.
I SAID: nothing to anyone today.
I WANT: to keep the big tits associated with PMS, but not the bloating belly balloon.
I WISH: sometimes when I see a star, sometimes on my birthday, and then whenever the hell I feel like it.
I HATE: nothing really, but sometimes I use the word for emphasis.
I MISS: daily newspapers (for the crossword), Wired magazine, Newsweek.
I FEAR: fear.
I HEAR: way too much on this street: scooters, motorcycles, horns, cars, buses, babies crying, people screaming, and random birds - usually pigeons.
I WONDER: all the time, and it's a great activity.
I REGRET: nothing - still - and that's a great thing.
I AM NOT: a man, but sometimes I feel like I have penis.
I SING: the song of freedom - but only in the shower, and only in my head.
I CRY: when I cut fucking leeks; and then, not enough.
I AM NOT ALWAYS: pretty.
I MADE: dookie this morning.
I WRITE: when inspired, since 1986.
I CONFUSE: memories.
I NEED: sunshine or Vitamin D daily.
I SHOULD: do and be so many things, but I'm not Catholic so I don't care too much.
I START: books and often never finish them.
I FINISH: when I have to.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The bathroom blow job

Found.
Written March 1, 2008.
I suppose I didn't post this because of shame. I should have used a condom.
But I'm posting it now because I feel shameless. Because I am Popeye.

&&&&&&&&&&&

I'm at least 25% lesbian. It's true. A soft pair of girl lips and a nice rack resting just below mine. I cave. I should stop trying to tell people I'm not gay. I'm gay and happy and straight and curvy and not well defined at all.

I'll finish the Craigslist story, I promise. (If there's more to what happened weeks ago I promise to tell. If there's not, I'll tell what happened back then [with the Royal Air Force].) But since then, times have been dry. Mojave Desert. India in between and then period-ville. Bad timing and bad backburner boys to choose from. I've been holding out, but I already know that holding out is automatic punishment. I shouldn't wait for people.. despite the prize possession I would offer them (renewed virginity - after a month of not fucking I can be so tight).

So to break the spell, I went out to the club on Wednesday to see Tapes 'N Tapes (from Minneapolis). Chatted it up with the bartender. Ended up with too much Jack and not enough Coke. Kisses, and found films on my digital camera with his face and whispers. He called the next day and I met up with him Friday afternoon. Class in the morning, buy some hand weights - gotta get back in shape!, run them home, eat lunch at 3pm, change clothes, meet bartender boy.

We meet in a café in a neighborhood I'd been in before. I had to get my study visa in this neighborhood. I had an x-ray of my lungs and was given an identity card. We settled into a booth in a nook.

"Boy" was man and he let us make small talk for only so long. He pulled out the bar napkin with drunken scrawl: "Lola-Chicago - I don't want <3 - I want fuck." I remembered this before he reminded me, but this was confirmation. Well, at least it's out on the table now.

He leaned in and rested his steady hand on the back of my head and kissed me. Almost trance-like, I was pulled into his lips and tongue and boldness. Directness is a drug for me.

He pulled away and smiled. He pointed out that he would not blush, but would I? Of course I would. It's not a question of modesty, it's a question of realizing my reality. If I stop and think about it, I see myself from outside and feel on stage. If I keep kissing though, I will have no rouge cheeks. His hand on my bare knee and up under my skirt at the thigh. Do I like what he's doing? Yes. His hand up under my skirt moving my cotton thong apart from my skin. I didn't shave. I want to tell him I'm a bit more hairy than usual because I didn't foresee this. I should start foreseeing more.

"I'm going downstairs. You should follow me."

I hem, haw, read my French-English dictionary, and follow. As I walk across the café, I make my face look like, "Hm, he went to the bathroom. That's actually a good idea. I think I will, too, real quick. La dee da. Nothing to see here."

I head calmly down the stairs and see him washing his hands at the basin. We kiss. He tries one bathroom door but it's locked. He tries the other one and we duck into it. We kiss again, and he pulls my tit up through the low neckline of my shirt. I ask if he has a condom. No. He fingers me inside my panties.

I could just kiss the whole time but I know that time is of the essence and something's going to happen with or without condoms. Bathroom. Short time span. What to do. I unzip him. He leans back against the wall and brings me with him. I kneel. He bends over and reaches into my shirt and bra and oohs at finding my nipple pierced. He's sensitive, he says. He wants to go slower. I could make him cum, he says. I suck his balls while he jacks himself. He gets


&&&&&&&&&&&

And that is the end of what I wrote. I remember he came.

The brain reconfigures memory, reorders events, resets them among other events to form narrative, causality: it creates sense. The mind tells itself stories about what happens to it. So me saying that I did X because of Y rests on thousands of assumptions about who or what I think I am, how I thought of myself then—transmuted into how I think about myself now.

...Any sort of attempt to sort meaning from the past is fraught in thousands on thousands of ways, exponentially splintering. The more you think about it the more it asymptotically approaches impossibility.

This is not to suggest we shouldn’t attempt it. The attempt is glorious, and attempting rewires the brain. It moves the circuitry around, attaching a new conclusion to an action, reconstructing self. In a way, thinking about the self hacks it. [Essay as Hack - Ander Monson]

I have a fleeting idea that I either puked or spit in the toilet. Or, perhaps I simply wiped my mouth with toilet paper and avoided the streak of semen on the floor as I walked out.

He had to leave for work shortly after that. He bought the espressos and called me several times after. I never saw him again.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My thanks

Dear Lola,
I just read your blog for the first time in a very long time, and I wanted to give my regards with respect to your father's health. I know this is a very belated, 'out of touch friend' type of email, but I hope everything went okay and that he is doing well, and that you are doing well too. No need to reply if you're busy, just wanted you to know I am here.


&&&&

I almost had a baby with this man. Well, not almost. Well, not even close. But we could have. And it wouldn't have been a bad decision. I mean, considering his wonderful personality. I'm so happy he has his own family now. He really deserves the best of life.

She would have been a red-haired fiery demon. She would have been six years old now, this month.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Making a mood

The last time I had sex was the 21st of July. It was with the Spaniard. I was drunk and took a cab to his place. I remember drinks, smoking, music, talking, him listening, talking, me trying my hardest to swallow his cock, us in his bed, he trying to go down on me, me pulling him up, begging for his cock.

I saw the Butcher last week. We drank whiskey and I smoked at least a half a pack of cigarettes -- after I'd quit so honorably and so well prior to the trip to the US. We drank wine and ate some and talked. At some point he was talking and my eyes started to lose themselves. His face was resonating louder than the rest of the scene. His face zoomed out at me like a 3-D movie. I went over to his couch and started kissing him. He was too drunk to fuck me and I was too drunk to want to suck him for a long time. He left me in his bed, thinking I'd sleep. I couldn't. I got up and he walked me to a cab.

I am in a strange place now. No sex for almost two months. Cloistered again up in the tower of my apartment. Growing weary of Paris. Growing more fearful and blaise about life. I'm in some between wasteland. Killing time. Seeing the sights I haven't seen yet in Paris. Trying not to spend much money. Feeling fat from sedentary living and my trip to the States. Too shy to make eyes with a cute guy in line at the grocery store - who clearly made moves on me.

And, the Spaniard invites me over tonight. Part of me wants some semblance of romance. Scratch that. Some semblance of respect. The TV Producer has sent an email inquiring about me, ending his note with xxx in bisous. There is no satisfaction there. I have not replied. But the Spaniard has always seemed gracious, friendly, respectful. Example: he tried to go down on me. That counts for something.

See, I have lost mojo again. It's September, the Monday of all months. The wistfulness of summer, the warning of cold, slow days. I feel October around the corner more than I did last year, I think. I'm floating. I'm lost. I'm between before and next. I want someone to hold me. I want the Spaniard to open me up, peel me like an expert culinary artist. I want his hands to feel my obscenely soft skin. I want him to guide my mouth to his hard cock and pet my fine hair in his fingers. I want to be on my hands and knees when he enters first. Or, do I want him pushing my legs open and apart, watching my face as he enters? I am a virgin again.

Tall Tom has called for the past couple of days. And I remember when he scolded me for not moving while he fucked me. A person is not a fish. And every tiny movement of my muscles - face, mouth, legs, cunt - they all move in adoration and relief and hallelujah. He just couldn't see them through his frenzy.

I do not want to be a sad sack tonight. I do not want to cry for mercy. I do not want my eyes to moisten over thinking of meaning that isn't there. I just want to be less of a fuck and more of a freedom.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I only cried once

When I walked out of the Customs and Immigration area, I spotted my sister coming toward me from behind a column. I could have sworn I saw my dad there, and that he'd leaned back behind the column so I wouldn't see the surprise. But, she and I hugged and walked toward the parking area, and he wasn't there. I almost cried from the made-up surprise and my need to hug him.

My sister and I had even planned a good ol' cry-fest, which sent her fiancé looking forward to an evening work event. We made some guacamole, turned on the TV to some modeling show where people get criticized and voted off at the end, and drank some white wine. I needed to cry so badly. We'd half-jokingly planned this night after she'd told me she didn't cry at dad's cancer diagnosis. Even when she'd Skyped me about it, neither one of us did. We processed the news with red eyes. We considered the next steps. We questioned and answered and shared information. We moved forward.. calmly.. toward the exit signs as flight attendants signaled the procedure of crossing our hands over our chests. We went feet first. We took command of the lifeboats - hers in the white and grey hospital, mine in the grey and yellow city. She only cried when she got back to her fiancé, holding it together over the long, sad, free distance of the highway. Now, it was my turn. It was my time to let it out. But the TV moved images and the wine sank feelings. It was nicer to go outside than inside.

After the surgery, on the last day with my parents in the small hometown, I had packed the car, we had lunch and I was waiting for a friend to call so I could swing by on my way to Minneapolis. We waited, with nothing new to say. Dad wondered why the reading chair was pulled so far away from the wall. Mom, curled up on the couch with her legs tucked under her, said it didn't need to be. There wasn't anything much to say. He'd showered. She'd already been to the pharmacy the day before. She and I both had been to the nearby farmers' market - the first test of leaving my father alone in the house. And, we all knew I was leaving. It was kind of a drawn out silence. I always hated those. And their house is always that kind of bored silence. Just waiting. Waiting for something to happen. Dad had gone upstairs for a nap. Finally, I got the message that my friend was free. It was getting late. I ran to the bathroom for a last pee. Ran upstairs and hugged my dad, we'd already talked about my promises to come home in a couple of months, and he was already dozing into a sick man's rest. I wanted to cry but it would have cost too much energy. I jogged down the stairs quietly. Put my arms around my mother's shoulders and smelled her sweet, soft skin. When did her skin start changing into an old lady's? I still couldn't cry. Pulled away from the house and waved out the window for the full block, even after I'd turned the corner. It's just tradition. Wave until you can't see them anymore.

The only time I cried was the day of the surgery.

Another role I'd taken on was the documentarian. The first photo: of my sister's face as she drove us away from the airport, along the US highway to her house in the 'burbs. The photos of my aunts, uncle, grandmother, and parents at dinner. The photos of my parents in the hotel room. As my sister had described it from her living room, "There's no modesty. Mom's changing into her nightgown in front of you. Dad's using the bathroom all night. That's why I asked for two separate rooms the night before surgery. It's just too much, really." I'd already brushed these things off. Maybe it was working in health care (albeit the politics of it, but I still learned how to answer imploring, semi-public questions about "What do I do if [insert 'I find a red rash' or 'my boyfriend forgot a condom' or 'I've got this kind of itch' or 'a friend of mine - ahem - thinks she might be pregnant']?"), but all of this stuff didn't really phase me when I imagined the hospital or the hotel room. It was like we were kids again, staying in some chalet at the base of the Alps. Dad and mom sleep in this bed, we sleep in the other one.

And it was just like that. Dad was already in his pjs when my sister and I arrived to the hotel. (After all, I had to wait out a tornado eating a veggie sandwich at the Subway in Hastings. My sister had to hide in the basement with her dogs and cats. And the traffic was miserable between the Cities and Rochester.) He shoo'ed us out for dinner, which he wasn't allowed to have the night prior to surgery. It was a miserable dark, drab, yellow restaurant on the first floor of the hotel (although I did just now almost type 'in the basement' because it was that miserable). The waitress must have been in her mid-twenties, and she shouted everything. I imagine she did this because most of the customers are elderly, although I could tell by the hush in the place that the customers were just fine of hearing. Maybe she imagined the opposite. Or, maybe she couldn't handle the silence of the sickly and their loved ones. Either way, the place was fucking freezing and I had to run upstairs to get a sweater. The wine was already on the table - a horrible white. My sister and mother sat opposite me and we toasted, a little like strangers, a little like family, a little like a family of strangers really. My mother a beedy-eyed, wrinkled, pink and burnt rust, twitchy mess. (I'm sure my ADD comes from her side. I'm still grateful she refused the doctor's orders to put me on meds when I was a tyke, but I often wonder if she couldn't use their assistance. At least I got my father's genes to balance out the mania.) My sister, god, looking at her, I can see the amazing genes of youth in our blood. We don't age. She more than anyone. No one would know she's close to forty. She's a bit more plump than years ago, well, she's leaning toward fat, but it's still a controlled, Aphrodite, roundness. But her skin! In that dark, yellow haze, she looked angelic, Cherubic, like Rubens' Venus.

We got up at 5am and met our parents at 5:35 at their room. Dad was in his track suit. There's a photo of my sister as we're leaving the hotel lobby. A blurred photo with her eyes wide and tongue kind of sticking out, like we're off on a skiing adventure. I suppose that's really the last time we were all a family together, as opposed to angry or hating each other, or adolescents, or for a funeral, or a quick lunch. The next photo is of my father, facing us, explaining something and moving his hand in a hard, chopping motion, as if trying to show he was still in charge, at 5:35am, without any food in his system, facing a full day of surgery, about to lose a major part of his manly innards. I can't remember what he was saying. I think we were debating crossing outside or using the underground tunnel. The hospital entrance was literally across the street.

They weighed and measured him. He'd lost half an inch from his standard height. He's starting to shrink. God. He was changed into a light blue gown. People always write that, don't they? No one really knows what the hospital light blue gown is unless they've seen it. My sister's right. There's this side of the game and the other side. When you're on the non-cancer side, the cancer side seems very, very far and foreign. But once you've landed into the cancer club, there's a secret understanding. It's not a cool place to be, not a club with discounts or two-for-one cocktails. But everyone in this club does, at least, get you. Yeah, the light blue gowns. Sure. I know what you're talking about.

I took photos as we sat there. My mom and sister looking at their iphone or blackberry. My dad talking to the pretty lady nurses, trying to charm them. (Of all the 20 or so nurses over the 9 days only 2 were men, although almost all the techs who irrigated and aspirated were men.) Then, we walked down the hall. He and the nurse turned the corner, and he almost kept on going, but I stopped him. "Hey, give us a hug." "Yeah, Dad," said my sister, "you gonna leave without a hug good-bye?" He hugged us both, kissed our foreheads, and kissed my mom on the lips.

I can't remember how that first day went for food. At some point, my sister or mom went and got coffee for us. Then, at some point, we left for lunch all together and came back and they'd crossed our names off and written "See Desk." He'd now been assigned a room on the 5th floor and we could go there to wait. He wasn't out of surgery and recovery until 8pm. His face was as puffy as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, tucked up over the hospital blankets. At about 9:30pm I offered to call and order in pizza for delivery. Not much would happen the first night. He was too drugged up and wasn't even moving.

They met me over at the hotel room. My sister's fiance had - in his wonderful wisdom - packed us like 3 bottles of wine. My mom - not one to be without her own - had brought 2 small boxes and a couple of bottles. Strangely, she still followed her routine and stashed the wine boxes under the sink. Alcoholics don't change much - anytime, anywhere, I guess. Even after I told her she didn't have to keep it under there. They still never moved until we packed up and left the hotel.

We toasted, a simple toast, "Yay!"

We ate the unimpressive pizza.

We turned on the TV.

I went to the bathroom and was just completely overcome. He hadn't died in surgery. (I had asked him nicely not to slip off into anesthesia land ne'er to return.) The doctors had said he did well. They'd gotten most of the tumorous cells. He was going to be fine. My sister and I hadn't killed each other. In fact, I loved her more now. My mother hadn't driven me crazy. In fact, I was finding myself pitying her less and accepting her more. Things were going to be fine. But I just couldn't help it. Out of nowhere I was sobbing and I unlocked the bathroom door, walked slowly over to her bed, and curled up next to my mother in a ball. Like a little girl.

She patted me and asked what was wrong.

"I'm sad," I said. I didn't know how else to explain it. I wasn't really sad. I wasn't all that exhausted. I wasn't too terribly overwhelmed. I was actually relieved. But that's not how I could explain it.

"Oh, don't be sad, sweetie." She said he was fine. He'll be fine. Why am I crying. There's no need to cry.

My sister, from the opposite bed, said, "It's okay. She's just got to do it. She's finally letting it out. It's not that she's sad really. She's just got to cry.... You know, mom, the day I left the hospital last time, it took all my energy not to break down in the car on the way home. It took Alex hugging me to let it all come out."

She was still patting me. But it was as if she was stroking a dog. There was no movie-style embrace, where the mother rolls over and engulfs her child, shielding them from the world. She kind of kept on watching TV. I know, it's not all her fault. After all, there were many times before and even at least once during this trip that I told her to stop staring at me. But, maybe, she could have been a bit more gentle or caring.

I asked her if she'd cried yet. Or, had she gotten comfort yet. "Well, Jackey and I talk. And Pamela and I meet for coffee and talk. But..." I can't remember what she said between my sniffling and deciding to stop crying. That was enough. That was good enough. In her explanation though, I'd sensed she didn't really either want to talk about this with us or didn't know how. I sat up. Finished for now. Looked over at my sister. "Thanks for interpreting."

&&&&&&&&&&&&

Thinking back on it. If it hadn't been that my mother was in the room. If it hadn't been for some kind of pride. If it hadn't been for her forever thinking that she was more of my mother than my own mother was (although she might be right), I would have gone to my sister's bed to cry. And, I know she would have rolled over, engulfed me, stroked my hair, hugged me hard, and told me it was ok. Or, not said anything. She would have just been there.




&&&&&&&&&&&&

inspiration from The Easter Parade by Richard Yates

"I don't know. He said once -- this was when I was engaged to Donald Clellon -- he said that a man ought to be happy in his work before he got married, and maybe it was partly that. He was never happy in his work, you see. I mean, he'd wanted to be a great reporter, somebody like Richard Harding Davis, or Heywood Broun. I don't think he ever understood why he was only -- you know -- only a copy-desk man."

And that did it. They had been holding back tears all evening, all night, but that phrase was too much. Sarah started crying first and Emily got up from the floor to take her in her arms and comfort her, until it was clear that she couldn't comfort anyone because she was crying too. With their mother lying in a coma twenty miles away, they clung together drunkenly and wept for the loss of their father.

La vie en rose

Yes, well.

I'll need to detail it soon or I'll forget everything, but I've also told the story enough times now that I've temporarily grown bored with it.

A few things I haven't told:
I've never loved or appreciated my family as much as I did for those 3 weeks.

I've finally seen their quirks and annoyances as delightful details of personality.

It was hard to see my father in pain for a full night, as my sister and I alternated between sleep and awake in his hospital room.

I think my mother may have taken it to heart when, as she poured her fourth glass of wine in the hotel room, I said "Mama? Please don't drink as much as you did last night 'cuz you fell into the TV and it scared me."

Yes, we all magnify a specific part of our personality under extreme stress. My sister became the project manager (researching whatever procedures or words the doctors said, memorizing the time line, digging more deeply with questions to gain understanding). My mother became the friendly neighbor (to everyone - little kids, old ladies, hotel managers, cashiers at Jimmy John's). And, oddly enough, I was the tough cheerleader... or the parent... or the companion... Dad had to walk every day to encourage circulation to heal. He'd beg out of it sometimes, but I'd bargain or trick or tease or mandate he get up. "C'mon, old man, up we go. Remember, it's not the distance but the frequency. After the walk, we'll see how you feel for a shower!"

Almost every day, minus the day he was high on dilaudid, we'd do some portion of the newspaper crossword puzzle together.

On the 7th day at the hospital, my temperament started to shift. I was growing bored and annoyed. But it was also a celebration that I was feeling irritable, since I'd skipped August's period entirely (due to stress) this was a good sign.

I didn't have sex the entire time while in the States, although I tried.

I had the most vivid and strange dreams, despite still taking the 1/2 Tylenol PM a night and drinking at least one glass of wine.

Dogs and cats are pretty awesome. I hadn't realized I longed for touch so badly.


&&&&&&&&&&&&

And so. For now, I'm back in Paris. When I left my parents, my father was successfully showering on his own and had peeled back the bandage on his abdomen, proving that I was right: "Dad, you're freaking out. You do not have a gaping hole from where they took the tube out. The body doesn't work that way. Skin heals. I bet there's a bit of gooey scabbing over, but you are not leaking or oozing or going to squirt all over the floor when you remove your bandage." My mother was dropping everything for my father, which he was recognizing and thanking her in abundance. My sister was losing trust in her fiance after he neglected the dogs for a day and one of them peed on the bed. But, she also found out from a visit to the eye doctor that her retina was detaching. This put her in 3 days of respite (face parallel to the floor with a bubble in the back of her eye), and dependent on the finance. I think they probably had some truthful words shared over that long time.

Everyone's doing just fine, in other words.

Still, I didn't much like going through tragedy so far from my family. And, I've been considering the meaning of 'community' much more. Mine seems to be attached to people, not to places. My people are scattered all over the world. There are some of them congregated into a region though and I might just like to stay there for a while: Midwest, USA. The thought of that idea in the long-term terrifies me, although I'm pretty sure that it's not possible. I'll start to drive my family nuts and they, me. So, I'll consider it a temporary community residence until I find a job.

Thus, for now, I'm searching for a cheap one-way flight back, finding out the costs of shipping books by boat, and checking out the Parisian sights I haven't yet seen.

Oh, and I've been mini-posting over on Tumblr.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Missed the tornado by 6 miles

Dad heads in for surgery tomorrow. He checks in at 5:45am. Who on earth gets up that early?

noman, I've got both the books you sent me for distraction. Thank you so much again! the Richard Yates comes with its own bookmark ribbon. Swoon!

More comments on the days of late on tumblr.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Hello there...



Dear USA,

I am coming to visit tomorrow for three weeks. Mostly, I’ll be in the Upper Midwest bouncing across the Mississippi (4 esses 2 pees). Please do not scare me with your Metrodome bigness, Mall of America gobbling consumption, and passive agressive politeness. But mostly, as I’ve forgotten the schedule, please do not let it be deer hunting season.

Yours in trepidation, hesitation, and slight repulsion,
Lola (who is now mostly European by accident)


[posted on Tumblr]

What to say?

I met the subletter who will take the apartment for the next 3 weeks. She stayed here before, when I was traveling with my sister around Europe, but we didn't meet before.

"You look different than your photos," she said.

"Oh. Well. I dyed my hair brown and got it cut."
or
"Well, those were before I started sulking in Paris with no clear direction for my life. Before I found out my dad's got cancer. Before I decided to drink a ton. Before I decided to stop drinking. Before I decided to stop smoking. Before I had an erratic bed-time/wake-time schedule. Before I started sitting around my apartment for days. Before I got fat."

Instead
"Yeah, well, you know, photos never really reveal the whole person." [Bitch.]

Friday, August 7, 2009

The countdown and upswing

I've been hungry for sex but there doesn't seem to be a fast-n-dirty way to get it on without some complicated feelings involved. Or my own cattiness. So, I've self-isolated on the island - at least there's a functioning vibrator and plenty of porn.

Dad had a good appointment for the lymph node biopsy. Apparently the lymph nodes in the abdomen aren't as easy to get at, but the withdrawal of tissue was a success and dad was on his way home after. Results this coming Monday.

I spent Wednesday recovering from a bit too much wine the night before with Wilfried and Ms. A, one of my new pals in Paris.

My countdown week of good behavior hasn't been on schedule as I would have liked it. Monday night I had dinner with a school chum and she proceeded to get me drunk on wine and weed from Alsace. I had to stay at her place for the night since my attempt to walk home (from the Bibliothèque Mitterand area, 7.2km) at 3am was thwarted by a glitch in her apartment building door. It just wouldn't unlock. And, no, I wasn't that high.

Although, the next day we discovered that I was stoned enough to have misplaced my 2 favorite rings. After searching high and low, in the fridge, in the bathroom, behind the mattresses (maybe I took them off as an offering in a dream?), and in the garbage, I found them tucked deeply to the side of my jeans pocket. Damn it. Must have been a ghost.

I walked home and stopped for about an hour to photograph around Les Frigos, an artist residence converted from an old factory that produced ice and housed trains that would carry food products. Kind of like Tacheles in Berlin, although this one is closed to public entry. Still, tons of super cool graffiti and street art around the building for photos.

Got home, turned around and headed to the Air France agency near Opera. I really really do love Paris. The waiting area at AF wholly embodies the city:

Two women of African descent sitting together. One is a brickhouse of a woman, tall, present, huge pillowy breasts barely contained in a slacked African print dress, and matching head wrap, with a tiny, unhappy, hungry but not hungry, crying baby that seems like a floppy Velveteen bunny in this woman's giant arms. The woman's sister is dressed in regular ol' jeans and tee-shirt.

Next to them is a Japanese boy tourist, sporting nerdcore glasses, silver pants with a red shirt, and an Addidas man bag.

Next to him is a mother and two daughters. The mother is also of African descent, with the same kind of dress-matching-head-wrap combination. Her eldest daughter, maybe 18, is dressed in Muslim girl fashion: simple hijab in beige, long-sleeve ivory shirt under a dark blue dress with overalls that covered loose, soft, grey pants. The younger daughter, about six years old, plays rambunctiously between her mother's legs.

I gave up my seat to an older lady with agespots on her skinny legs. Sitting next to her was an older Muslim woman from either Northern Africa or Turkey, with an outfit in a much more modest and plain version of the younger Muslim woman's. She was waiting for her husband to purchase tickets, but some glitch had happened to the travel agent's computer so he paced the waiting area with prayer beads in hand. In the meantime, she gave up her seat for an old French man who was trying to buy a ticket with his son - both in suits and ties.

Standing next to me was a pale, French boy with tight jeans and a fluorescent green tee-shirt. And, next to him, two Spanish love birds on a tourist trip to Paris heading off to their next destination.

My ipod on, I waited about a half-hour before finally getting to a travel agent. Typical, only three of the six front desks were staffed. Who knows how many were open upstairs. The concierge lady, who greets you, asks you what your need is, and assigns you a number (the A range is to purchase a ticket, the E range... well... I didn't quite figure it out), also tries to assist queries, which then creates a long line of people who just want to get a ticket number. (I saw this the last time I was in the office, too. Seems rather inefficient, but maybe there's a trick to it.)

Finally decided on a Tuesday, 11 August departure with a 3-week stay. Non-refundable. Non-negotiable. Non-modifiable. It's the cheaper of the tickets and Air France offers no bereavement reduction for sick or dead family members. At least not for this trip, which is contracted to KLM or Northwest jets. I picked these dates (with the help of my family) figuring that maybe dad will only need surgery, get it scheduled early, get out, and be on the way to recovery within the month. Or, I imagined, he'll need chemo, which will start in August, be scheduled for surgery in September, and on the way to recovery later. This gives me the opportunity to be around during some rough stuff, cheer him up a bit, return to Paris and then pack up to move back to the US. Or, I get August time to spend with him during whatever, come back to Paris and take up the previous work on the film with all kinds of meetings scheduled, money flowing in, and then either a) I fly back and forth on all this new money or b) dad dies and at least I got to hang with him while he was around.

There were many other grim ideas and cheery fantasies, but I had to pick a date right now - not knowing anything about the schedule, the severity, the possibilities. I would have preferred a return ticket that could be modified, but that was not what we all decided on the dad-sister-me conference call, and not reasonably priced either.

My sister doesn't want this trip to interrupt any of my career prospects. I reminded her that there are none right now. Everyone in Europe is on holiday - literally. I mean it. I have dead silence in email and 8 views of the film via site metering. I have photos of five shops in my neighborhood that are closed for the month. Five critical shops: a boulangerie, two cafes that provide booze and coffee and smokes, one chocolatier, and a music shop (which represents pretty much all the music stores right now - and the Pigalle quartier is a major center for musical instruments). There's nothing that I'd miss in Paris in August.

My dad thinks he'll be fine and that I'll return to work in Europe.

Me? Well, I've started on an upswing. Something clicked yesterday during the Kandinsky exhibit. It was planted eleven days earlier, during the reading from students of the Paris American Academy at Shakespeare & Co. A woman, who was introduced with a bio explaining that she'd left success in NYC to move back to her family in Iran, read from a chapter in her book wherein a grandfather is sympathizing with a troubled and seeking grand-daughter who is struggling to follow her inner artist. She articulates exactly what I've often said or thought. These dark, tormenting, twisted spaces of nothingness in my life, when I am between an ending and a new discovery, are like rough regenesis, a complicated metamorphosis. Not following my destiny, my ambition, what I am alive to do and what I do well will only lead to more anguish. Denying truth can only lead to karma I'll have to address later.

In order to pull out of this suffering, to embrace and let loose the art inside, the grandfather said, one must absorb all art around, study up close the brush strokes, surround the self with art, learn from others, read, question, and the voice inside will find its place. Sounds like the quest for God, said the grand-daughter.

While we were standing there, looking at Kandinsky's bio she said he only started painting in this style at thirty years old.

"Well, I'm not too late," I commented back.

"And, I've got some time to go!" She giggled.

"Wait. How old are you again?" I asked.

"Twenty-seven."

Twenty-seven. It kept echoing in my head for the rest of the wandering through Kandinsky's progression, into the deep heat of the tubed escaltors of the Pompidou, through the plaza, during our whiskeys on the rocks, during my moaning about having to return to the US, as I resolutely decided I could go back there and find work but only to live in NYC, as we walked to the restaurant at Saint Paul, as we shelled our moules, and then it stopped echoing and fell like the anvil aimed for the Road Runner.

No wonder. No wonder she laughs hysterically at my dumb jokes (that are starting to remind me of my father's "dad's bad jokes"). No wonder she asks me what I think about things. No wonder she reminds me I know what I need to do with the greedy program director who thinks he gets to have our work.

Just as I sat down on the metro headed home, "How It Ends" by Devotchka came on. Haunting, like a shortwave radio voice from down a long, long hallway of the darkest recesses of my future and past minds.

"And in your heart you know it to be true
You know what you gotta do
They all depend on you

And you already know
Yeah, you already know how this will end"

I do already know what I've got to do. And, somehow over the past couple of months I, again, lost my mojo. I know what I've got to do and I know that I can do it. I wonder where and why my confidence whithered, but that's less important to understand right now than moving forward.

So, one step, two step, three step...

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Here's to the practice week

From dad on Saturday: Short msg fm phone over lunch. We insist on skype tom but don't need to do so to say COME!!! See you tom. Love dad.


This is the practice week. I'll go to bed by midnight tonight and get up at 10am tomorrow (instead of the lazy 11am-2am I've been keeping). Then, on Tuesday, I'll get up at 9am. Then, maybe I'll practice an 8am. I'm also practicing quitting smoking until I'm done. And, practicing drinking less wine. It will be good to be forced into a "normal" lifestyle in the US.

I'll leave the end of this week and will plan to return end of August, as all the Europeans do. I'm hoping that I can be of some use to my family while I'm back. Mum apparently needs help fixing up their house so they can put it on the market in February. Their new house should be done by November. Dad's in the process of telling his siblings and my grandmother. I warned him not to freak her into shock as I'm desperate to see her at her 93 years old, instead of in a coma from the worry.

I've also drafted my three emails to all the friends in Minneapolis, Madison, and my parents town (where I graduated high school). Haven't sent them as I won't know what my travel schedule is like until after dad's appointment next Monday with the surgeons.

I'm nervous to see him. He looked fine on skype, but the camera only shows head and shoulders. I got no glimpse of pee bag or tubes. I'm nervous about being back in the town I went to high school in - the place crushes my spirit just looking at it. Cookie cutter suburbs all decorated with American flags and deer heads, big trucks and over consumption.

My sister tried to warn me in advance about Rochester (where Mayo Clinic is). It's designed for the sick and their families. Women walking down the sidewalk with tubes in their necks, pee bags all around, and none the striking as it's just how it's done. She said she felt a bit odd when the suits rolled in for a conference, as if they were infiltrating a special community and surely didn't belong.

I figure that it might be kind of cool - in that morbid "my dad has cancer" kind of way. Somewhat like a "my dad has cancer on Mars" kind of surreal reality. Plus, all the culture shock I'll have just being in this strange country. I remember when I moved back after only 9 months of study abroad in Toledo, Spain. I was depressed from the moment I stepped into the Minneapolis airport. So much space between everyone and everything. So many cars. The Midwest is huge and separated. And, I've never been one to often revisit places I've lived, but it seems like this whole triangle keeps coming back to me. It'll be nice to have friendly faces in the mix.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Admiration

Always had an unhealthy relationship with my dad.

My mum has told me of a time when I was 2 years old, and I looked up at my dad, with eyelashes batting, and asked him if he'd take me for a walk.

It's not unhealthy like incest or like pushing my mom out of the way so he's all mine or holding lovers up to impossible standards that they'd never be like my dad. It's more like, I have forever known that my dad could kick your dad's ass. Even when I hated him so much that I carved his initials on my ankle so as to forever remember my hatred for him. Despite the fact that I know my dad is not strong physically and would probably not do well in a fist fight. It's more that I know he's always got my back. He might not have "gotten" me all the time, but he's always come around and fought for me.

My sister was never eager to acknowledge this. I once told my family flat out that I knew that dad and I got alone better and mum and my sister got along better. My parents denied any favoritism, but I wasn't looking for that kind of confirmation. Instead, I was stating the reality. Dad and I debate politics. We see humanity and get it. We try to pry deeper into the way things work and try to describe them with psychological thinking. We use our sciences of the mind to get below the nuances.

Whereas, my sister still carries the burdens of being an older, more protective sibling. She still harbors conflict with her upbringing. She might even be (still) jealous of the fact that I was always younger, less understanding of the complex and not-so-good environs in which we grew up. She protected me. I am naive. But as an adult she still carries this. She doesn't want to let go of the martyrdom she has given herself. She lives on it. As I live on my accepted "black sheep" lifestyle. I am the crazy one. The unreliable one. The one who, when power of attorney and wills are drawn up, sits back and laughs, "Well, I'm not the one who'll be around to take care of you!" ha ha. But I know the power of forgiveness, evolution, growth, and change. I have forgiven my parents for their wrong-doings in upbringing (no one is given the manual of "Perfect Parenthood"). I know that people develop over time into better or worse and accept that. I know people can grow and change. I know I can be less selfish and more giving, more responsible. My sister. Well, in all her beauty, she claims some kind of unrepentant and unrelenting cross to bear. I would - in all my naivete - like to relieve her of some of that, but it's not for me to do. It is only for me to offer the space for her to drop some controlled responsibility if she chooses to do so.

And, so, with that, I will go to my family. See what mischief I can stir up (inappropriate giggling comments during a serious moment, a hospital fuck in a closet with a male nurse - pipe dream, a trip over an important tube into an important organ). See what help I can offer (being a sub isn't all for nothing). See what can develop in this next story. And, certainly, while I'm aware of my sister's precious hold on the drama, I, too, need my own piece of it. I need a drama in my life. I need my father to struggle and survive, I need to see my Superhero Dad fight the battle and win.