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Jett Superior laid this on you on || October 5, 2007 || 12:27 am

“Just like fine wine: Except it tastes nasty.”

So, I’ve not gotten to tell you about the BIG! ATLANTA! FUN!

I keep meaning to do that, to shout about what a fabulous, not-as-seedy-as-I’d-have-initially-thought good time it all was, and how awesome it was to finally get to hang with Clayton after all these years of corresponding in various mediums, to tell you about how really and truly lovely it was to make inside, experiential jokes with fellow navel-gazing dorks that have long been separated from me by a keyboard, the ether and an armful of miles. Clayton, for those not in the know, is some sort of zen guru of hugging, and as I am a Hug Machinetm myself, I fully appreciated him greeting me with arms wide open and laying to it with the “Helloooo, friend!” full-on body press that everyone is so skittish about and ginger with these days. Clayton will be my friend for ever and ever amen, now, because he is unselfish with a goodly hug.

And though I want to tell you about all the lap dances Skillzy and Clay bought me, about Ivy and Paige and Mariah and Desiree (Nubian-Amazon Goddess of Forbidden Bling) and the Canadian Gypsy Endocrinologist (“SCOTTISH!” Skillzy kept hollering, “YOU KEEP FORGETTING TO TELL PEOPLE THAT SHE IS A SCOTTISH CANADIAN GYPSY ENDOCRINOLOGIST! Gah!”), about Big Mama The Angel Of The Laydehs Room, about the waiter at the pre-festivities pub who hated me within like thirty seconds of talking to the three of us yet kept an appreciative eye on my tits here and there, and even how I oh-so-badly want to regale you with the tale of how Clayton came to be known as the Lebanese Brad Pitt over a pot of delicious and gritty coffee, I cannot. Some magicks are not for sharing.

Then, fanciful and ardent readers, there was the music festival this weekend, where my friend Ryan asked glibly for some kid to kick him in the face and the skinny little bastard didn’t realize what Rhetorical Device actually was and proceeded to put a solid boot –powered by an amazingly bony, underdeveloped laig– right into Ryan’s mouth. This was no mean feat, as that mouth hovers around six feet off the ground and the kick-delivering kid was maybe nipple-height to good ole Ry. This whole happenstance, of course, was accompanied by my Ryan’s look of utter discombobulation, my uninhibited hooting and barking of the laughters (lo unto bringing me to the ground) and by Tess saying, “GODDANG, RYAN, GODDANG you’re stupid! Who ASKS to be KICKED! IN! THEFACE??! You deserved that. GAH! Let’s go get another beer. Mine’s disappeared.” Then there were Magickal Happeningks in the VIP tent, and more of such outside a line of port-a-potties (yes! I even have adventures in the near vicinity of port-a-potties) where I uttered the phrase, “Um, listen up J. Crew, you need to school your friend there. Get him away from her, because she will straight up kick his ass.” to a college fellow who looked a) confused and b) sort of dumbfounded at the scene that played out before him. Yes, I was referring to Tess, because she was ten kinds of red at this dumb jock abercrombie-wearing bastard who picked just the appropriate moment to be just the wrong titch of arrogant with the exactly right girl.

I will go into detail about the festival laters on, because there were lots of wee defining moments that were just terrific from a storytelling standpoint, but I’m frustrated because at the mo I just can’t put myself back in that place in order to properly convey the scenes, the players, the happenings. I can’t do that because just as I was coming here to post it the other morning (I got out the opening paragraph, and it began, “The weekend started out gangbusters. The bartendress asked my name, but commenced calling me ‘Sparky’ near-immediately. I saw this as a Portent Of Goodness: I knew there would be Adventures, and I knew there would be Magic, and in the middle of it all, I just knew there would be a Delighted, Delighted Me. Giddy, even.” I even had the closer in mind, how at the end of all the festivities, after we’d all walked more miles from stage to stage to stage than we had beer cans to mark off –and that is an ungodly lot, let me just say–, a beautiful woman stopped me on the exodus outward to tell me, “You are the most fun person I think I’ve ever seen in my life.” which is probably up in the top five of all the best compliments I’ve ever received in all my life.) I got a call, and that call was from the magical Auntie Brosh that I’ve mentioned only in passing here a couple times before. She was going for tests. Big, scary tests of the emergency sort. Such an emergency, in fact, that they sent her to Birmingham.

Today’s call included a massive, imposing, somewhat hyperstatic descriptor: “They’re trying to tell me it’s Widespread Metastatic Cancer of the Spinal Column. It appears to be concentrated in the Thoracic and Lumbar regions, with a rather large mass seated on my sacro-iliac and my left iliac crest.

“My doctor says there are fifteen masses and he’s never seen anything quite like them. I don’t know, when I looked at the films I stopped counting at twelve. I thought the number just might keep climbing and climbing and I couldn’t remember all the numbers in order after twelve anyway.

“I’m not receiving all that, Beth. I refuse to. I have been too perfectly healthy. This is just out of the blue.”

‘Widespread Metastatic Cancer of the Spinal Column’ just sounds like so graceful a name for such a nauseating thing, doesn’t it? Cancer, Cancer, CAN. CER. The word ‘cancer’ sounds more fitting, hard and brutal and choppy, unforgiving and relentless. Let’s not romanticize The Boogey Man, okay??

We went on to talk and laugh, her voice strong with both conviction and mirth, never once cracking under the strain, until –as is my way– I finally let fly with, “Look, we don’t bullshit one another and we never have; you must just be scared witless.”

“Oh, I am,” is what she said to me, “but I just keep thinking of everything I’ve got to get done in case the preliminary findings turn out to be accurate: I’ve got to make chicken and dressing and lasagna to freeze up –my girls don’t know how to do anything, God bless ‘em. I’ve got to get all my Christmas shopping done, just in case I’m not here then….

“I know that you and Maxim have a hotline to God. I know you do, so I’m just gonna ask that you use it. Kayce gets married next year, Cort graduates, Matteo is only starting college, who’ll feed the damn dogs if I’m not around? Who will take Sam and Scout and Mathias to the beach?”

“Oh, honey,” I told her, “let me assure you every breath has been a prayer. I can’t let you die! You’re the only one on that side of the family that I even LIKE! If you go away, I’m left to my own devices, and how horrible would that be?

“You can’t go anywhere. I’ma tie your shoelaces together, so that if you even so much as trrryyyyyyy to shuffle off the mortal coil, you will trip and fall on your face.”

She exploded into laughter then, oh sweet relief. Good, I thought to myself, if I can still make her laugh there is still life and hope.

There are a tiny handful women in my life –strong, graceful, powerful and loving– that I try to model myself after. Any semblance of anything good or appealing that people see in me is because of these women that I attempt to emulate in my dealings with others. My best friend was one of these women. My Auntie Brosh is another. Heather was thirty-three and a half when cancer took her, broken and rattling, down the chute at alarming speed three years ago. Auntie Brosh is in her early fifties, young and vibrant.

Here, part of how I eulogized my best friend three years ago:

One reason, to this day, that I have so few female friends is that Heather’s the yardstick by which I measure potential partners-in-mayhem and those to which I’d bare the absolute guts of who I really am.

Gwen, Gary….though I know it may be of small comfort to you since you no longer have your daughter here physically with you, I want you to know that she resides in me, as she helped to form a good chunk of the woman I have become. Heather had much to do with shaping aspects of me that others deem valuable.

I believe strongly that you take something away from every relationship, every interaction that you are a part of. However, there are only three other women I could definitively say the above-scribed about, and my aunt is one of them.

We are a family that believes strongly in dreams and prophecy. This past week, two nights in a row, Maxim had one dream. He was at a wake, and there was a woman being memorialized. Her lips and eyes had been sealed shut in preparation for her burial. He saw her move, heard her make noise, suddenly and instinctively knew that she had been declared dead too soon. “A voice from inside my gut just kept insisting, ‘This is A Mistake. It’s A Mistake.’” he told me the first morning post-dream. He does this: He brings things to me to lay out in front of him and sort; I then scry the bones of his dreamscape, feeding him what I believe to be the best interpretation I have. If I’ve no answers, I tell him so. This dream captivated me, but I had no clue when he asked me who I thought the woman might be. I showed him my palms, shrugged faintly in an empty gesture, “I don’t know, Maxim. I haven’t any idea.” The next morning he woke and said two things, “I had the dream again, the exact same one from last night.

“It was a mistake, Beth, A Mistake.” I believed him, and I believed his dream: Whomever it turned out to represent, it would be A Mistake, pure and simple.

This afternoon, when I told the children the news Brosh had relayed, Sam hung his head and cried. Scout immediately and decisively started ticking off names. “Those are the people we’re supposed to take with us and go pray over her. We have to go this weekend, mother.” They exhibited two of my favorite traits about them cleanly right there: These kids of mine are compassionate, and they are proactive. I –and maybe foolishly so– believe them (and others I’ve known like them) to be the hope-bringers, the miracle-makers of their generation.

What I’m doing here is asking, I guess, that you pray if you are at all the praying sort. Not only that you pray, but that you request others join you, because Brosh is one of the good ones, one of those remarkable and graceful and humor-filled Southerin Wimmen that books and plays are written about. What is going on here is not only A Mistake, but A Mighty Big Fucking Mistake. Please hold hands and believe with me.

…and I’d also like to tell you that, though not conclusively, I think I’ve decided to stop writing here for a little bit. The last three or four months of my life have been dipped in a lot of dark and I feel like a massive schmuck coming here with only doom and gloom to dole out. Every time I get up the gumption to share some funny or some sparkley with you, I’m taking one on the emotional jaw before I know it and it just seeps all over and through and out my fingertips to slide up onto your screens. You All Have Troubles Of Your Own, You Don’t Need None-a Mine. You have the e-mail, and you have the digits, and if you want the latter, I just might come across with them if we’ve had any semblance of contact.

In the past year, I’ve been toying with the idea of abandoning voyeurnalling altogether; in the past six months or so I’ve thought seriously about just coming out from under the cloak of pseudonym-anonymity. Some of my favorite people do it and have for some time. If those weenies can swing it, surely I can as well.

Peace, all you folk.

1 worked it out »

  1. MotherFury 10.6.2007

    Abandon it? No. I don’t think you should or could. If you did, you would ’splode with all the words that build up inside your head. Nobody wants to see that….

    Maybe what you need to do is take a breath, take a break.

    As for uncloaking… I don’t recommend it. You do that, you lose control of who or what steps into your life – your buffer zone. They say good fences make for good neighbors, I think a good pseudonym / persona makes a good digital fence.

    Of course I’d still like a key to your back gate…

     

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