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Archive for April, 2003

|| April 23, 2003 || 10:48 pm || Comments (1) ||

“They’d love you in Italy,” he says.

“You’re tall, you’re blonde…you have those eyes.

“Want to go to Italy with me?”

This summons up corny images of me in a gauzy peasant skirt, picking my way with bare feet across cobblestones that have seen more stories than the world has words for. No make-up, tan and defying my age for two or three more minutes. Sparkling and muted. Soft.

::: :: ::: :: ::: :: :::

Well I smoked my throat out last night / Hoping you’d call or just stop by / Now I’m wheezing like the Oakland sky / Feeling like the rusted tracks and forgotten dream of the old train lines

It’s a perpetual stone in my shoe / One that I’ll always be trying to shake loose / An ache in my chest and a thorn in my side / More than a scratch beneath this skin / Somewhere between the beginning and the end

I don’t feel a lot lately / I don’t feel whole lately / I don’t feel much lately / But that’s how I hide / That’s how I hide

You wrote it down not to draw attention to yourself / You lit the pilot just to blow it out / Here the conversation’s always too loud / And we’re as pathetic as the jumper that listens to the crowd

To say I miss you wouldn’t be enough / I feel like Tom Waits singing Diamonds & Rust / And I’m as pathetic as a junkie who knows what he does

It’s a perpetual stone in my shoe / One that I’ll always be trying to shake loose / An ache in my chest and a thorn in my side / More than a scratch beneath this skin / Somewhere between the beginning and the end

I don’t feel a lot lately / I don’t feel whole lately / I don’t feel much lately / But that’s how I hide / That’s how I hide

// Matthew Ryan, “Railroaded”

|| April 22, 2003 || 1:07 pm || Comments (11) ||

The comments in this post over here (something seems to be amiss with the archives, scroll down to the 11 April entry) brought something to mind this morning:

Somehow, I am frequently the object of some lesbian affection from the segment of the sisterhood that bats for the other team. I don’t mind this, it doesn’t bother me (chicks are in many instances waaaay more discerning than guys, so it’s the highest kind of flattery to have one be appreciative of you) as it does some women out there, but I’m always baffled by it to some extent. What is it that marks me as approachable from the lesbian point of view?

I, in my grasping way, think it’s because I’m very comfortable in my sexuality. I wear it like a favorite beaten-in-but-still-flashy jacket. I heard a comment the other day, I can’t remember where or who said it, that was along the lines of, “Why do you think ‘fuck’ is such a baaaad word? Because sex is taboo, that’s why. We are both fascinated by and afraid of it.”

I use the word ‘fuck’ a lot, so this little tidbit was not lost on me. ‘Fuck’ is just another word. Sex and sexuality are just another part of what shapes and defines us as human beings. You don’t see me freaking out because I have blue eyes or a propensity for stringing words together on a page. These things just are.

The first time I was ever pursued by a lesbian, it was discomfitting because I thought that there was trouble brewing and I had no idea what started it. A carload of friends and I had spent a weekend afternoon visiting our respective boyfriends over on the base at Millington NAS. We were leaving to go home, doing a loop around the outer perimeter of the base because the lake was there and it was a pretty day. I noticed a female-laden car following us a bit too doggedly, so I made a series of erratic turns and dodges, only to see them staying on our bumper. This caused concern because there were five of them, military by the looks of it, and only me and three girlfriends: Two of whom were abject cowards and one of whom was a blanket pacifist. If there was to be a melee, I was pretty much on my own. We had discussed stopping at Mickey D’s on base to pick up some fries for the thirty-five minute ride home, and I decided to adhere to that plan, much to my friends’ dismay.

You don’t alter your plans because some fucktard is in your path (Jettism number two, Cal…).

I parked the car and stepped blithely out, two of my friends reluctantly accompanying me. The third opted for windows-up-doors-locked despite the heat of the day. The carload of WMs began rolling out of their vehicle when one of them called to me: “HEY. BLONDIE.” I steeled myself, turning around, eyes hard behind my Ray-Bans, “Yes?”


“Why don’t we meet halfway,” I called to her, “without the benefit of your posse?” I gestured to the other girls, then half-turned to nod my friends inside. She thumbed her girls toward the door, and we ambled toward one another, boots hitting pavement metronome-style in a parody of some cheap asphalt-laden showdown.

And then she hit on me. Blatantly, wantonly, out there in the open, before the luxury days of ‘don’taskdon’ttell’. Flummoxed by the moment, I don’t recall the specifics, but I do recall telling her that I was Strickly Dicklytm and had just left my boyfriend over in front of Barracks Whatsitsnumber, thanks anyway.

Perplexed. What the fuck??

Since then, the scene has replayed itself with endless variables to include settings, types of women, you name it. I’ve been okay with this for the most part (even immensely flattered, because I’ve had some outrageously fine-looking women break with the come-on), save for the extremely large black woman at the natural foods store whose want for sex was so evident as to be dripping from her every pore (I was stoned and already paranoid, the four guys that were with me drew a bead on the situation and quickly abandoned me to watch the scene play out from behind the comfort of the bulk herbs section) and the leather-pantsed brunette (great hair, that one) who tried to take advantage of a near-passed-out me in a club with a thumping, grinding dance floor. I was propped against a wall, head tilted back and eyes closed, barely holding in the drool, when that girl approached me, deftly sliding her palm around my midriff to the bare small of my back and bringing her mouth to mine, probing me with her tongue. I went apeshit, and it had nothing to do with her gender. Had a man invaded me the same way, I’d have commenced to beating the fuck out of him, as well. It was just plain predatory and ruuuuuude.

Maxim has been witness to the phenomenon several times in the years that we’ve known each other, dating, married, or just plain best friends. It amuses him to some degree, and sometimes he feels distinctly encroached upon (like the time one of my best female friends, Katherine, decided to drunkenly admit that she had been waiting for three years to press flesh with me. It tanked the friendship, not because of the admission, but because I had been vulnerable to her as a woman in so many ways…undressed both physically and emotionally…without ever being made privy to this information), but he finds the way I often handle this very interesting and informative. You see, the same situation happens to Maxim with a frequency; gay men simply love something about him.

I have no trouble admiring beauty in all its forms. If a painting moves me, I’ll wax gushy as all fuck over it. I will wrap myself in a single song that speaks to me for hours on end. I’ll tell you that, myyyy, that d00d has wonderful shoulders, rippling that way under his shirt or gee whiz, that girl has a mouth like beeswax, malleable and filled with honey. Gender is no issue. If the thing of beauty speaks to me, I’ll acknowledge that it has spoken.

Two months ago, when we went to see the Damnwells play at the Nick, we walked in and marked our table first thing. As we sat down, I took note of this girl by the bar. She was chocolate-skinned and rubenesque, immaculate afro crowning a gorgeous face. She, yellow-sunglassed, rode the barstool easy and secure. I leaned in to Maxim.

“Now that’s how a big girl should look, should carry herself.” He smiled and nodded. A few minutes later I went to buy the first round, and the only standing room at the bar was next to this creamy-dark beauty. As I stood there, waiting for the barkeep’s affection (HI PHIL! HIIII!!), she hailed me.

“Can I just say something?” I turned to her, one hand on the bar, one hand clenching my credit card.

“Sure,” I said, sideways grinsmirk escaping.

“I’d just like to tell you that you are one beautiful woman. I noticed you guys when you walked through the door.” My smile broke wide and I said thank you while encompassing her in a hug. We swapped names (hers was O’Brien, what a cool name is that?) and firm-gentle girlhandshakes (the oh-so-classic fingertip shake…she was highborn, I imagine; I was simply given the key via training) and pleasantries. I couldn’t draw a bead on her; Couldn’t quite tell if she was mining for interest or just a sexually mature appreciator of beauty…didn’t much care, to tell the truth. Her compliments were genuine and I dug that.

A short while later, she was joined by a girl who was white trash of the highest order; it wasn’t her platinum Bettie Page hairdo or the skintight latex thing she wore or the safety pin through her bottom lip that led me to this assessment. It was the way that she carried herself. Even Maxim, in all his maleness, noticed:

“Looks like somebody is putting on a show…she wants your attention….” I didn’t gift her with it, most especially because I would catch her cutting her eyes toward our table to see if I was observing her over-postured performance, all loud and over-the-top. Glee for glee’s sake is one thing. Glee for the purpose of garnering attention is quite another. Distaste.

Eventually (and my guess is out of frustration over my lack of interest in her shenaningans) Platinum Page strolled over to our table, bypassing Maxim’s side (which was nearest to her) and leaning over me, deep and low, stroked my brass-filligree cigarette case while purring, “Can I have one of theeese?”

“Sure,” I shrugged, and slid the case toward her, flicking out my lighter to fire it for her.

“Oh, what’s this?” she exclaimed in mock-surprise as she plucked my lipstick off of the tabletop. Too rehearsed, baby girl. If you’re gonna serve up a line, at least take pains to make sure that your presentation is above par.

“My lipstick,” I said coolly as she rotated the tube between her fingers, puffing out a fat plume of smoke.

“Oh, I thought it was one of those little pocket vibrators…” she replied coyly, smarmy smile hanging precariously below her nose. This, even with the egg-shaped ends and rounded sides reminiscent of a pocket rocket, was a long stretch. I grew even more bored quickly and looked her in the eye.

“No, honey,” my words snaked out at her, “One good lipstick is worth ten vibrators.”

At the risk of sounding smug, I wish everyone were as secure in and with their sexuality as I am. It’s frustrating that one person cannot render positive comment on the appearance of another without sexuality coming into play. For fucksakes, people, it’s part of the whole. You don’t ask if I’m a food critic or a chef just because I say a meal was fine.

|| April 21, 2003 || 11:22 pm || Comments (4) ||

On the phone with Melly and the topic turns to the vast sex appeal of clowns:

“I can’t help it. They have those bulbous red noses and those big-ass bow ties…”

“You can’t forget the big feet, girl. You know what they say, Mel, big feet, big smiiii-iiiile.”

God help the world if she and I ever get drunk together in person.

::: :: ::: :: :::

Here, sweet Melliloulou, is something I’d like to share with you. It’s one of my very favorites, and I originally posted it here. The crowd loves the clown best when there’s no joke (the crowd that matters, anyway). Really.

First Lesson

Lie back, daughter, let your head
be tipped back in the cup of my hand.
Gently, and I will hold you. Spread
your arms wide, lie out on the stream
and look high at the gulls. A dead-
man’s-float is face down. You will dive
and swim soon enough where this tidewater
ebbs to the sea. Daughter, believe
me, when you tire on the long thrash
to your island, lie up , and survive.
As you float now, where I held you
and let go, remember when fear
cramps your heart what I told you:
lie gently and wide to the light-year
stars, lie back, and the sea will hold you.
–Phillip Booth

|| April 21, 2003 || 5:20 pm || Comments (1) ||

Words are slippery things, like squalling newborn babes; if you don’t get the goo off pretty quick, they just slide right on through your knuckles.

A doctor once palmed my minutes-old son and, upon noticing my silent but gape-eyed alarm, said glibly,

“Don’t worry. You could drop a brand-new baby two stories and he’d just bounce.”

“All the same, Major, I’d like you to fix both mitts on my kid. I had these crazy plans like his first steps and tossing a ball with him and driving him to his first dance and watching him graduate and maybe, just maybe, cackling at his wedding out of glee and a good bottle-tipping or two.”

Oh yeah, the words. Sometimes they bounce high enough to grab them again, but you know how random the trajectory of a bounce can be.

|| April 20, 2003 || 12:30 am || Comments (6) ||

I have this ugly afghan that I hate –it’s emblazoned with teddy bears pulling a sled– but I keep it because you don’t dispose of a grandmother’s gift. I’m wearing that very afghan across my shoulders now to stave off a one ay em chill.

Funny how something that you derive no pleasure from can give you comfort.

I got the referral I’ve pondered the most out of all the goofy, far-out, wicked search referrals I’ve ever received: ‘Love and regret’.

‘Love and regret’….hmpp. That’s a mighty big one. I wonder what sort of person is sitting in front of a monitor, googling the words ‘love and regret’, searching for what? Song lyrics? A simple turn of phrase? A key to enlightenment? Another person out there who’s felt the pang of both words, ‘love’ and ‘regret’, or maybe the marriage of the two at one time or another in their life?

Hello, kindred soul. Were you next to me in the bar, I would buy you a drink and listen for myself in your words.

|| April 19, 2003 || 9:14 am || Comments (9) ||

I have declared today Junk Food Saturday. I sprang out of bed this morning, knowing I was late for something and feeling all discombobulated. Thankfully Maxim had already fed the kids and I began the cattle-prod shuffle towards the car.

“Cleats! Mitts! Scoutyougotyourchestprotector? MATHIAS! You can’t wear boxer shorts to practiiiice! Ballfield! Must…get…to….ballfield…”

Instead of taking my vitamins and grabbing a shake or a protein bar as I am wont to do in such situations, I opted for the sultry iced donut that sat plumply and fetchingly in the box, giving me the come-on in a big way. A powerful way. The way that only starchy, carbohydratey things can. You know those things; they coo and purr and promise great and wonderful boosts in serotonin, not to mention the ability to go buy new clothes after you get those marvelous doughy pockets on your thiiiiighs.

Now I sit here in front of The Box Of Godforsaken Technological Time Suckage swigging a Pepsi and gnoshing on those cute little twirledy Cheetos (as with most ‘cute’ things, they are heinous…absolutely, unapologetically heinous). I’ve not done this in heaven knows how long. Were I to follow my past patterns to their full extent, after I finished my Little Bowl Of Cheeto-y Fineness I’d chop up a big ole hocker of a line and powder my nose from the inside out. We’ll just leave that little practice in the box, okay?

Let me tell ya, I’ve got my mind’s eye trained on some o’ them Pickle-Os (& all hail the Divine Cherry Limeade, nectar of my yoot) from Sonic. I will cave, brothers and sisters, and go get those suckers. I just know it. I’m gonna feel all sluggish and grody tomorrow, but I! Don’t! CAAAAARE! Junk food hedonism must ensue today, it simply must.

What is your favorite compound word to separate and put the verbal screws to?

Mine is ‘jackass’. Jack! ASS! (…’Fuckhead’ runs a tight second…)

I find it very liberating.

|| April 18, 2003 || 11:09 pm || Comments (7) ||

Fry that fucker. He couldn’t just ask for a divorce??

I reckon the wrath of God can service him better than the prison system can. Knee-jerk liberals will kindly kiss my ass (left cheek-wise) on this one.

Of course he hoped ‘…that the bodies are not that of Laci and the baby…’, because the callous motherfucker knew that if they in fact were, then he’d be fucking caught. So fitting that he was arrested at a mothereffing golf resort.