A Random Image

Archive for September, 2008

|| September 30, 2008 || 3:48 pm || Comments (7) ||

wing-ed feet

Scout told me last week that she wants to go on a mission trip to Venezuela next summer. Somehow, when she first said the country’s name, my brain parsed it as ‘Nicaragua’ and the hysterical unreasonable part of me recoiled violently and sort of began hissing or something crazy like that.

Then, as she kept talking, ‘Venezuela’ magically morphed from ‘Nicaragua’ back to ‘Venezuela’ and I attempted to listen in earnest.

My kid is taking French, practices speaking it conversationally (just how many times can I ask her what time it is or if she knows that the pencil is yellow or hey, where is the library located, miss? before she’s on to me, before she knows that I let two solid years of French instruction slither out of my consciousness, supplanted by things like the due dates of bills and ever-shifting grocery lists?) with me, and she wants to go to South America, for Chrissakes. I told her ass to take Spanish! I tollllld her!

MY BLUE-EYED, FAIR-SKINNED, PATENTLY GRINGA DAUGHTER WANTS TO GO TO SOUTH AMERICA WITH A GROUP OF PEOPLE I KNOW NOTHING UNDER THE HEAVENS ABOUT. Well, except that they all go to church with her grandmother, my former mother-in-law, whose prissy and judgmental guts I loathe with a certain, key intensity. How unchristian of me, I know.

The world is a mess and everyone despises Americans and, stupidly, I will let her go. I will not have it on my conscience that I stifled her adventurous, expansive, curious and empathetic heart.

But I’m equipping her with muddy brown contacts and one fuck of a spray tan before she leaves. There will be no ifs, ands or buts on that one.

|| September 28, 2008 || 11:12 pm || Comments (6) ||

there are no accidents

For seven years I’ve had it; it was a birthday present to myself, a mark of pride and symbol of self-forgiveness (it’s always been harder, after all, for me to forgive myself than it is for me to forgive others). After the first couple of years, the ink that makes up the image on my left arm stopped raising up on occasion.

Even then, the raised ink was only slight, a mild lifting of just the letters, never including the image and never terribly noticeable.

I’ve gotten a lot of inquiries on this tat over the years, and countless comments as well. I am always surprised at the reaction it garners, but everyone falls in love with it, even the squares that are typically horrified by ink, the ones that say, “Why would such a pretty girl mark up her body permanently?”

(and here I want to say, I want my outsides to be a brief summary, a testament of what resides within, but I never really do because that would possibly lead to further questioning and I just don’t have the patience, inclination notwithstanding)

All of my friends with tats, without fail, have remarked their envy. I think this is because I put a lot of heart into it and that somehow showed up on my skin alongside the ink and the overall sentiment. I designed it: What looks like a primitive stone carving of an angel’s head, stoic expression, hinting at neutrality, ringed with pale yellow bullets of halo effect. The head rests atop two solid, jaggedly-constructed wings; seated between them is an oblong blob of heart, black as pitch, emitting three ruby drops of blood. It’s all surrounded by a beautiful grey haze of shading, the shading that turned out far better than even my imagination could cook up, fully conveying the otherworldliness I’d intended to subtly be there.

Beneath it, in a just-feminine-enough, just-powerful-enough font called ‘CAC Leslie‘ are the words Virescit Vulnere Virtus.

Courage grows strength from a wound.

Tonight, seemingly out of nowhere, the words blazed up fierce and strong, the black of them standing boldly up on my flesh, itching and screaming out for me to place a cool hand there. Absentmindedly I did so and was startled to find the letters raised up, surprised moreso at the tenacity with which they’d done so; it was in an extreme fashion that they’d never exhibited even back in the days when the words had been freshly-laid in my skin.

And the wings, the wings did the same…but only the wings; as the other bits of the stone angel rest calmly where they have since Two-thousand and one, those damned wings are straining and stretching as if to be noticed, as if to remind me that I will be borne up on wings, even when I am perplexed, even when I don’t understand, even when I’ve snarled my lip at Universal Promise and Faithful Optimism. Even when I’ve locked the two of them, belittled and lonely, behind the doors of the outer rooms of my heart, Stubbornness and Resolve being the names of those antechambers.

My heart is roaring and unkempt, but I am gaining control. I think.

For every push I will push back twice as hard until I’ve garnered either a certain flavor of submission or release. I’m at the place now where it matters about the square root of fuck-all which. Once upon a time there was a discussion on the fact that, just as we have memories of the past, there must be such a thing as future memories; I’ll say for the record here that none of my future memories (not to be confused with my silly want-tos or hopes) read anything remotely like this, but I’m just vain enough to imagine that even inevitables are mine for the re-scripting.

“sarah said she wished she could be in my mind for a second and i told her [she] was already in my heart forever.”

// bobby burgess, 31 July 08

|| September 27, 2008 || 11:27 pm || Comments (0) ||

regret is a stuttering downbeat


Has tied me to an old dead tree

Get word to April

To rescue me

// Liz Durrett, ‘November

I’m lacking a chainsaw, a pressure washer, a nail gun and a compressor.

Were you able to eyeball me right now, you would see that I am very grinny indeed. This is because yesterday my spouse and I skipped church, went to Lowe’s for a couple of things and we came out with more than that.

There are things about me that are very Cliched Girl. My notorious shoe collection. My absolute compulsion to moisturize. But there are other things that are the complete antithesis of that.

Like last night, standing in front of a display of Black & Decker cordless tools. They were grouped nicely on an endcap, marked fifty to sixty percent off. They first caught Maxim’s eye, as that man possesses the uncanny ability to draw a bead on a clearance sticker at a hundred yards out. But as we stood there perusing, I began to glaze over and drool, because to me power tools are hardware porn; they make me hot, hot, hot and there is an unreasonable, sexed-up voice in my head hollering gotta HAVE me some of THAT and smacking its lips lecherously.

That Maxim, he touched a laser-guided, cordless circular saw, trying to make up his mind with his fingers. He touched it again. The hardwarepornperson in my head was quivering uncontrollably: His tension was unbearable.

I said to my man sweetly and generously, “Just buy it already! Look at that price! That price is teh nuts0rs!”

Let me explain something about the hippie: He takes his bloody time doing everything. Asking that boy to make a snap decision would be tantamount to asking him to take Mathias down to the nearest bluff in order to fling him off of there to certain death. Unless the decision involves sex. I can no more get the word “Sixty-” past my lips without him all “YUSSS PLEASSSE” and me thinking, “Wait, didn’t you just have pants on?” But I digress.

The hippie is methodical. Some view this as wisdom, and in my rare times of patience I agree with them. I am not the noble Greek philosopher in this relationship; I fully realize that I am the lesser of the two mortals here. I am the person in dire need of saving from self; I waaaaay get that. But I also way get that life is a place for adventure and risk and unexpected little surprises. Hey, I roll with the crazy bumps that life throws under my tires; I view it as my God-given right, then, to jerk the wheel every now and again to spice up the ride. To mash the accelerator a little harder, to pass the grannies even though the line is solid.

Sometimes you just gotta Do A Thing, even if the Thing is something so docile as buying a little bit of Black & Decker (plus battery) on a whim.

He touched the box again, my Maxim. Now, being a male, he probably didn’t know the ‘three touches and cosmically, it’s pretty much yours and you are obliged to buy it’ rule of shoppity bidness. Being a female, I absolutely have intimate knowledge of that very rule, so I shared it with him.

“You’ve already laid claim to it in the eyes of the Universe, Maxim. Just go on and buy it.”

Still he pondered. I think he might have made a little hmmm noise, but all the gurgling from Lecherous Power Tool Fellow in the depths of me was drowning out most everything else.

“This is ludicrous,” I said to Maxim, “I must be the only wife in all of Spousedom to have to talk her husband into purchasing power tools, the only female in all of the world to have to beg for a circular saw! Ohhhhh, the irony, the agony, the potential for blogging!” I said that, ‘the potential for blogging’, because I typically announce to Maxim when he will be a key player in the next entry. That gives him an out, see? He then gets to ‘forbid’ me to blog about something or –even better, because all my mental notes will pay off– ignore my reference to writing altogether.

“Quick,” he challenged me, “name three projects you can and will use this particular saw on.”

And I did, and he put the saw in the buggy, and I was excited, and he got lots of exuberant public face-kisses peppered with excitement and fawning affection. Then we wheeled around and I also got two-bys and brackets and (glorious, glorious) spray paint and some Liquid Nails for good measure. And the world was right and good, oh Cyberia, at least until we had paid and gotten through the huge sliding doors.

Shit.” I said to the hippie, halting at the sidewalk, “I have to go back in, I forgot something.”


“Those black kneepads we passed in the hardware section. I’m SO GOING TO NEED THEM TONIGHT, you delicious man.”

|| September 23, 2008 || 10:20 pm || Comments (5) ||

moral quandary in the form of run-on sentencing

Hey, is it wrong when…wait. Let me back up.

When your extremely psychotic boyfriend from years past finds your myspace page, messages you and you clickee da eedle linky to find that in a little over a decade he has transformed into a hideous physical mess the likes of which you are completely revolted –yet morbidly and astoundingly amused– by, is it wrong to message him back and say, “Haha, now you look as ugly as you taste; The insides somehow always manage to work their way out, I guess.” ?

Even in light of the fact that he wrote to you, “Still pissed at me? Probably huh? I’m sorry. Anyway, you are as beautiful as ever. The one that got away in my book.” ? Is it wrong to want to append it with, “No, what you meant to say is that you are sorry that the ligature marks on my neck were not permanent, that I stood up to you and said, ‘You’re only a victim* if you choose to be’, that I saw to it you lost everything you attempted to strip from me. And I am intimate enough with your modus operandi, you silly dipshit, to be aware that ‘The one that got away in my book’ was meant to be read as ‘The one that outsmarted me and came out on top, much to my chagrin and utterly childlike fury due to the fact that my absolute need to smash and crush the spirits of others –to twist their affections for me into some vile and sick circumstance that is degrading and inhuman– was thwarted where you were concerned.’”

I worked out my demons long ago where this relationship was concerned; for the longest he’s been a gigantic joke, a ridiculous caricature to me. I’m angry with him for putting himself back in my line of sight, sure. More than that, though, I’m furious at ME for ever having allowed myself to have been subjugated in such a fashion. So far silence has been my tack, because I don’t want to waste any of my glory on someone so undeserving. But I’m not one to be pushed, and the line, “Next motherfucker gonna get my metal” keeps reverberating through my clenched molars. Apparently psychotic ex-boyfriend forgot his losses –which were many and great– on the last go-round. This time I’m not even skittish or afraid like I was then. Can you imagine how much more effective steady hands and clarity of thought might make me?

I’ve got my lunchbox and I’m armed real well. Pow-pow-pow.

*what he so charmingly referred to his exes as

“All such objects are known to be related to one another by a variety of dualities.”

Despite all the means of expression readily available at our fingertips, humanity lives in a huge, disconnected world that seems to revel both in a lack of profundity and the loss of genuine kinship, as well as the expression of same.

There are just so many of us, we humanpersons, and we tend to get lost in the wash of doing (the business of busyness, I like to call it) and more often than not we forget to be. I’d like to note here that were this handwritten in one of my journals, the last word of the previous sentence would have tiny lines surrounding it in a corona, magnifying and illuminating it for the reader.

BE: Such a tiny, tiny word for a grand notion, a concept that some would admit in small voices ““…is just so overwhelming.”

For years I’ve referred to myself as a compassionate misanthrope, but more and more I am coming to know that, perhaps, is not the exact case. Rather than disliking humankind, I think I may just be uncomfortable with the preponderance of shallow interactions. I want us to have meaning, to be meaningful to one another. Many times in a week I’m asked, “How are you doing?” and I’ll answer “I’m well, thank you,” without doing the asker the standard –or rather, expected– courtesy of returning the question. This is not because I don’t care how that someone is, but because I just don’t want to be lied to. I don’t want the pat, superficial, “I’m fine.” I don’t ask questions just to use up my share of oxygen and soundwaves in a day, I ask them because I want clarity.

Does this make me selfish? Does it make me honest? Does this make me idealistic? Probably a mix of each. I just know that I want people to be genuine, and that being genuine in nature doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spill your guts or wear your heart on your sleeve; it just means that you have to adapt yourself to a level of transparency that the world we live in is hostile toward, albeit in a rather surreptitious and/or passive fashion.

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

“There are known configurations which describe all the observed fundamental forces and matter but with a zero cosmological constant and some new fields.”

I’ve spent some of the day gobbling in great chunks of information on quantum (I always want to end that with an ‘n’ like in ‘autumn’; I think it lends further grace to the already-loaded word) physics; I tend to get goofy with weepy romanticism when I do this, which probably scientifically proves beyond a shadow of a doubt I’m a girl –the girliest of all the sorts of girls that were ever invented– in the most quiet and perhaps best parts of me. There is all this and it’s all improbable and impossibly reasoned and chaotic and amazingly grand…all these things at once and more, more, more, so much more that the scope of my eensy brain is no match for it all. And, I should tell you, of all the Beauties I’ve experienced or learned of, I’m most fond of the ones built on thundering dichotomies.

Quantum(n) physics, as best I can fathom, is The Mother of All Dichotomies, cinched up and spiralling loose at the same time. The looseness and connectedness of all things everywhere all the damn time. I’m most interested in the aspect of this that deals with human beings, with the specifics of how we are all, at the very least, loosely connected on some level, even to people we’ve never laid eyeballs on. As of late I am especially enthralled with Quantum Mind Theory and Noetic Consciousness. Even if you find them to be a load of gobbledygook or hooey or whatever Philistine word you choose to assign to things you wish to discredit, it makes for some entertaining reading.

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

Alex Woodward is flying a middle finger at remaining disconnected, and he is doing it quietly, artistically and gently. He is humbly doing it with his guitar and with his voice, a willing conduit from one individual at a time to The World At Large. It’s such a mind-blowingly beautiful idea, graceful in its simplicity: People privately send him their stories, he works them out in song and sends them out into the world to knock on the hearts of others by way of their eardrums.

Some people are so fucking brilliant that it completely stupefies me. I am then left flailing on the edge of my finite vocabulary, unable to translate the breathlessness of my insides into a recognizable language. The only thing I know to do is point my face to the night sky and breathe blessing toward them and thanks for them.

|| September 16, 2008 || 9:37 am || Comments (18) ||

Let’s get a little levity up in here, bitches.

Sometimes I get kind of pretty dang morbid in my head, but two-handsful of hours, one LUSH bath, several glasses of wine, a self-administered pedicure and one borrowed (I’m pretty sure I’m not going to give it back, however) sleeping pill later, my head is in a better place and I’ve got my cast-iron boy panties* on again. Sometimes a breaker flips on my insides, and thankfully that’s not very often.

In short, we here at Superior Industries appreciate your patience while we reworked the circuitry over the last couple of weeks.

This morning I’ve seen two sorta older adult parents who are charged with taking care of their grown children –and by extension, their grandchildren– because of accident-related catastrophic illness. I’m not here to tell their stories, because ay) you people can only stand so much heartbreak in one entry and b) I like to keep you fuckers on your toes.

So the last one that comes in, he is one of my favorite patients of all and, were I some twenty years older and widowed, I would take him on in a red hot minute as one of My Older Man Friends. I say ‘one of’ because I’ve decided that when I’m a spirited old lady, I will well and truly ’spread the love around’ and sample off as much of the (rickety, available, motile) goods as possible. After all, your melatonin drops and you get less sleep (AND HOW ON EARTH, I ask you, CAN YOU MAKE AN INSOMNIAC SLEEP LESS?? Oh, Mother Nature, you are so cruel). I’ll have all those fucking hours to fill and I doubt seriously that I will find just one single old man that can keep up with me and/or not bore me senseless. Er.

Great, I’ve just committed to actual words the fact that I envision myself as a geriatric whore.

So this man comes in, and I’m pretty dang jazzed about it because I haven’t seen him in about a minute. Also, near-about every other time he comes around, he’ll say, “Sing with me, Lark.” Or ‘Nightingale’. Or any one of a half-dozen birds associated with pleasant sounds. He’s part of a pretty renowned, touring gospel quartet and I just love his voice, a strong and clear and just immensely beautiful tenor lacking the nasally twang that lots in these parts are drenched in.

I go all afluttery when he asks me this, because I really, really love to sing and –even more than that– I love to sing with someone who knows what they are doing, who can step between notes with a savantlike ease and for whom intricate, smart harmonies are as instinctive as blinking or walking. This man has all this in spades, and he gets excited about singing every bit as much as I do. Bonus is that he is both affable and humble about his gift. And he has a terribly wicked-but-not-in-a-mean-way sparkle in those blue eyes of his.

PLUS, oh plus, he sings old-school gospel, and if any one of you knows even one little thing about me, it should be that I love-Love-ADORE some hymning it up. It is one of the only vestiges of my childhood Baptist faith (besides my acceptance of/wholesale adoration for Christ) to hang about into my heretical adult days.

Last time he was here, Tess was here too, and that’s a great thing, because that meant three-part harmony. Plus, Tessa and I do this crazy thing where we’ll drop in at the same time, but instinctively seek out opposing ends of the scale. See, she’s got a pretty broad range, I have a pretty broad range and we can each travel a grand staff pretty easily. It’s crazy: We can not have discussed it at all, but then I’ll start out high and she’ll start out low or vice-versa. Not once have we begun on the same exact pitch, and that is some kind of magic, let me tell you.

Especially in light of how many drunks we have thrown and how much bad metal and country has poured through our vocal chords.

So then, last time the songbird was here ready to pour forth melody, Tessa was as well and we got down with some Softly And Tenderly Jesus Is Calling and we made the little old ladies in the lobby weep –weeeeeep, I tell you!– with the way we three hung that last bit of phrasing: “Paar-don for youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu (beat)(beat, beat) and forrrrr me.” And we all smiled warmly at one another, taken with the moment. Even the Evil Old Broad That Sullies Up The Great Office Vibe sat there at her desk beaming. Who knew??

Welp, this time there was just me and him and a lobby devoid of patients and we hit a lick on The Old Rugged Cross, HotDoc coming to the top of the stairs to stand quietly and listen and grin wide, just like he always does.

When we finished up, we gave one another a neck-hug and I was just all warm and gooey in my sweet chocolate center. Thrilled enough, I couldn’t have asked for anything more, but that’s when he said to me, “You know, you put me in mind of Rosanne Cash when I hear you sing.”

I blushed, all you folk, I blushed. Blushing is not in my typical repertoire.

Crazy thing is, I heard that very thing once a couple of years ago. A bunch of us were all sitting around, throwing stuff out there. It was a little relaxed jam and Maxim followed me into the kitchen to retrieve beers for our guests.

“I figured out today who you remind me of when you sing,” he said to me, “I was listening to some Rosanne Cash on NPR and was surprised to realize I’d never heard the similarity before.” Of course I considered it high praise, because she is part of American Royalty, as it were, and because I’ve been a huge fan of all the Cash folk as far back as I can remember.

My singing partner today got the wheels in my head turning, and I started to compile of list of all the people or characters who I’ve been told “Hey, you remind me of _______!” or “She/he reminds me of you.” about. There have been lots, but I got busy after the first five, so I reserve the right to add to this list as I see fit:

Mandy from The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy

Lois from Malcolm In The Middle

Rachel from Friends

Jane from Daria

Belinda Carlisle of the GoGos

So this also gets me to wondering, who have all of you been told you put someone in mind of? Conversely, who do you frame me up as in your precious little Muffinass noggin?

* they have sweet little blue and green stripes, you should see them