Monday, May 30, 2011

For Memorial Day, I'm Copping Out

I'm just going to post some pictures from this last week accompanied by my favorite twitter jags I want to remember. I'm too tired to do anything else. But I love being sunburned and I love that it's time to go in the water again, and I might be overdosing on vitamin D, is that possible? Can I die from too much sunlight? If so, I choose that.

"If I had a dog right now, no one would see I was drunk and making weird faces because the dog would be so cute. Logic."

"Rogers and Hammerstein hangover. Now huckleberry soda and deliberate tv watching with Meredith. I'm sort of "stuck" today.

"You all think I was being cryptic or cute about Rogers and Hammerstein. I was in fact being completely literal. That happened today."

"It was very very weird. There were a lot of old people. They are intimidating in groups."

We measured our tongues and decided we are all makeout/bandits genuises

How your head feels under somethin’ like that? Under your brand new leopard-skin pill-box magnetic face clamp? #BobDylanKillBot"

Love in the Time of Continental Drift
Love in the Time of Man Eating Ants
Love in the Time of Twisters.
Love in the Time of Sentient Alarm Clocks.
Love in the Time of Rapidly Receding Hairlines.

Love in the Time of Non Religious Affiliation.
Love in the Time of Gmail.
Love in the Time of 24 Hour Gyms
Love in the Time of No More Cats.
Love in the Time of Holy Fuck No Fucking Way
Love in the Time of Essential Moon Recalibration.

"True: Somewhere out there, the snakes are waiting to kidnap your unborn child and uses it for ransom/eat it.#biology

"True: Lions and Tigers and Bears (Oh My) are all better at playing Tetris #biology"

"True: Palmetto bugs can crawl into your ears and lay eggs in your brain that actually make you smarter.Until they hatch and you die.#biology"

"True: If you catch a chipmunk and stare directly into its eyes until it blinks, it will tell where it hid the treasure ie body. #biology"

"True: Hedgehogs are genetically likely to be bipolar, and have high credit card debt and low self esteem. #biology"

"True: Wallabies are born with a removable thin silver blade embedded in their spine, which they use to defeat their enemies. #biology"

"True: cats do not require air to live. They just pretend they do. #biology"

"True: Squirrels are born from storm clouds, and their eyes are made of hail. When it rains, they sing hymns. #biology"

"Bats mate for life, because finding someone to see in the dark with is really hard. True. #biology"

#PuppyWithEnnui lets the cat sleep on the bed, for he understands loneliness."

#PuppyWithEnnui knows his soul is in your camera, trapped on your hard drive."

"#PuppyWithEnnui wrote a song about it. But won't leave it on your voice mail. Because cell phones are lame."

"#PuppyWithEnnui Misses the old meaning of the word cloud."

"#PuppyWithEnnui believes Fitzgerald didn't know how to write women."

Friday, May 27, 2011

Spike Jonze Has Way Better Shoes Than You

I had to come into the office on Thursday, which always leaves me restless and stranded on the East Side of town. It feels stupid to be already dressed and already 40 minutes from home without capitalizing on it more, like it's just a waste of gas money to not do something else which technically would be on my way home, cause frankly everything is on my way home from the office. It's at the exact polar opposite end of my universe from my house, and all your places lie in between. There was this free talk, Spike Jonze and two other people I hadn't heard of but you know, film people. It seemed like a thing to do on a Thursday afternoon by yourself. So I found a free parking spot in the after work empty side streets of downtown, and went to the Downtown Library, my recent remembrances of you can read here. Don't you always feel so grown up and smart and aware when you walk into the big library? Among all the men in suits and old guys on bikes and girls in cute skirts leaving their offices. And then as I walked across Euclid, seeing the steady of stream of people you know are all headed to same place you can tell. I can't really pin down how you can tell. But it's a thing, when you go to a show or a lecture or a museum, you can tell the people who are going there too and the ones who aren't. Maybe it's a thing you recognize in their faces, the same way you can see which people are friends are bars, or who's related? There's a way in which we all match up our intentions. I first sat by myself in this bank of seats left alone by the rest of the crowded theater. A boy in a scarf saw this was a good idea and sat with me. He was really pretty, but also I felt like I recognized him and couldn't place where. The matching of intentions I guess. Only Amelia spotted me from down front, and did her little come hither smile, and so somehow I ended up in first row, at head level with and completely in love with Spike Jonze's white devil shoes, instead of hiding decorously in the back like I intended.

So there was Spike, who is so adorable, so hot, as to make his very existence completely unfair on a matter of principle. Geez but white shoes and the right manner go a long way with me. Oh, and you know, being horribly famous and successful and talented. I'm not one to be impressed by people with more fame than me, it's why bosses always like me too, cause I'll treat you like my equal no matter how much power you have. But I'll be a groupie for someone like him. Here's a thing I noticed about him, instead of answering a question, he really preferred to be the one listening to your answer, or to be asking the question. That's really what made me crush on him, that's sort of a sign of quality. He talked about the making of Where the Wild Things Are, and how when he pitched it as "melancholy" the studio execs heard "bittersweet", and the feeling of miscommunication when the buyer expects one thing and the artist creates their thing. He told a story about working on Harold and the Purple Crayon, which got killed after months of frustration, and when that happened how they took this big purple crayon someone had given them up to the rooftop and threw it off, and I imagined the unwieldy plastic thing falling through the air and how fun throwing things off roofs is. That guy does that well, evoking ethereal images even just as he's talking. God I wish I could do that.

The woman, Lisa Cholodenko, was the director of the Kids are Alright, which I haven't seen, and some other movies too I hadn't seen, but the interesting thing about her was that she was really aware of herself at this crossroads in her career, what with Kids taking off and studios suddenly knocking. That's something that makes storytellers fun to listen to when they talk about themselves, they are aware of their own story. They see their own lives in the same arc with which they see other people's lives. So when she was answering the standard questions that get lobbed at these things ("when did you know what you wanted to do?" "how hard is it to stick to your vision?") behind all her answers was this running shadow, you could tell she had recently been thinking a lot about what constituted selling out, what all this new fame meant, where she was going to end up. Like, if you were just drinking with her at a bar, she might run off at the mouth about it the way girls do when they like a new guy or need a new job. It was very personable and even though she wasn't trying to and in fact sort of seemed like she was trying not to, she felt intimate.

Then there was this Ted Hope guy sitting with these two fairly quiet reserved artists, and he does, I don't know, some sort of production thing? Working with producers? He had a lot to say. I mean, he was interesting too, I liked him, but you could tell he was a man who made his living by talking and writing and getting people to listen to him and give him attention. He kept coming back to one point, which was what he called "permission" or the "right to comment", as illustrated by the fact that his ten year old son already was taking his camera out to take pictures and make videos, something he wouldn't have felt entitled to do when he was younger because that was identifying yourself as an "artist" whereas now it's just a thing we all do. We all have cameras. Anyone can make a movie. And blogs fall squarely into that. It makes me think I should just not tolerate knowing anyone who doesn't make something outside their day job, art or projects or anything, cause it's true, we all have permission to now. So if you're not, then you're sort of not trying hard enough to live are you?

During the questions from the audience time, he also talked about how working for big evils was a thing you should do sometimes, to learn what you aren't willing to do. Where the lines are. He told a story about a grip crew that left him to work on some Chuck Norris movie, and on their way down to Texas, their car rolled and they all died and the people running the show, the Big Evil, decided to not tell the crew about the tragedy till the end of the production day. Or the couple who aborted a baby because they calculated it would be born during Cannes, which their film was going to. I liked him so much more right there, I just wanted him to talk about Big Evil for the rest of the night. Which is funny to me. Cause you might want to identify more with the graceful quiet artsy types, but in the end, you have to admit really you've got more in common with the loudmouth who knows the price of selling yourself. Dear Ted Hope, if you ever stumble across this little blog post, let's have drinks. I promise to be entertaining.

Afterwards Carrie and I had drinks at Greenhouse, which is where the afterparty was, and Spike walked by us and Carrie told him he was so handsome for being so talented, and then we totally both fan girled out over meeting Spike Jonze. The night ended at Tina's, with us pretty much taking over the karaoke, just us, these two hipster boys, and a mother/daughter/grandmother group of ladies. We sang Waterloo. I once again didn't get enough sleep, because let's face it, I just don't sleep anymore.

When I woke up today, I thought a lot about how we get identified by other people. Several people from twitter and facebook apparently spotted me last night, and that's a fucking weird thing, to be "spotted" and read about it later, without having actually talked to or in some cases having never met these people. I mean, on one hand, hey, that's cool. Next time, come up and introduce yourself, right? I want to meet almost all of you. But I also thought about how my bad ex spent years telling me I wasn't nice enough, was too negative, crazy. In fact I was none of those things all the time. I can see that now that there's space between us, that in fact I'm pretty fucking positive most of the time, and lots of people tell me I'm too tolerant and forgiving of people, and really isn't that how I ended up staying with him so long as it was? Because I kept forgiving and being optimistic? But people don't define you as an individual, they only see you as a mirror of their own personality, and everything you do or say is filtered through their insecurities or desires or moods. So if there's one person you are involved in the most, you start to only see yourself through their eyes, which is horrible sometimes if they are really self-involved. Here's an idea: the more people who know you, the easier it is to actually focus your haziness and become a strong single identity, because instead of their attention lighting up just little facets of you one at a time, mass attention allows there to be light on all of it at once. I'm looking forward to some day being completely lit up and getting to see all of myself. I feel pretty close to it now, like I've run my fingers and eyes along enough of me now that I'm starting to get it, what I'm supposed to be. Anyway, it's just an idea. It isn't true. Earlier today, I had a vivid idea of being stalked and attacked by a mob of phones. These are just things that happen in my head.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Best Thing I've Seen, Since the Day I Saw My First Stalactite. Or You, I Guess

It was a rough weekend. I needed to get away. It was 82 degrees, and though it had rained earlier, the sun beat down hard and bright on the railroad tracks. We walked on the sparkling granite gravel, the track tar sticky on my sneakers, and my hair falling in sweaty lank locks on my forehead. There were 80s coming of age movie references made. Through the maze of warehouses we followed the tracks, until we came upon the cave.

It was a shallow cave, but dark. The dock had been unused for as long as it took the tracks to grow a coat of rust. As we wandered past, I spotted snow and stopped, piled up dirty all through the cave entrance, like it always is at the end of March, half melted. The way you see it in parking lots, where it used to be mountainous in January. Only it's mostly June now, and I was sweating through my tshirt. So what the fuck.

You couldn't believe it just looking at it. Just looking at it, it was so much real snow it was unbelievable that it could exist. It inspired a feeling of something being wrong with the world, as if one day you woke up and the sky was green all the way through. Or water was suddenly red. Or maybe more like if you looked in the mirror and there was a bright lilac purple blotch on your face. I was almost scared of it, I'll admit it. I stopped feet away, trying to figure out any other sort of explanation for what it what could be, all the other things maybe, all the reasons I shouldn't touch it, should stay away from it.

But then you put your fingers on it, actually feel it, and the world snapped back to reality, the axis suddenly centered again, and I was touching a rock. Fossilized snow. When I took my hands off it, it became snow again. When I touched it again, rock. Back and forth. Drifts of snow. Salt boulders. Blizzard remnants from another world, from another decade.

Jere thought maybe perhaps the snow had fallen through the dock, and then crystallized? All calcite and salt. How long had it been there then, how to even tell? A brand new fucking geology. Melissa carved her initials in it, and broke off a chip of it for me, which was harder than it looked because it was a rock. We kicked it and the impact on our feet was shocking, because you expected that crunch and give, not this unmovable unbreakable coral. I have it in my pocket now, that tiny little piece. I think maybe if I always keep this magic snow chip on me, it will act like a talisman against snow in my future? Like, you wear the shark tooth or the bear claw to protect against the predator, to channel the spirit of the hunter? Well I believe this, the magic snow, it will stop the snow from every coming back near me, protect me while I sleep, make every morning sunny and warm. Or at the very least, protect my car from sliding off the road or the ice from freezing my locks or me from falling on the unshoveled walk. All those things I have already successfully forgotten only a month later and want to never remember again.

You can choose to see your world how you want it to be, or you can put faith in the fact that the universe has a better imagination than you.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Oh Rapturous Day!

This is how well Jeremiah knows me. He knows that if the world doesn't end today, if things don't boil and bubble and break into small unrepairable pieces and there are no dragons waking up from the bowels of the earth or giant spaceships or glowing magical women with swords, I'm secretly going to be a little disappointed. How many of the rest of you know that about me? How many of you saw that? No really, who knew? I need to know who you are so I can kill you.

Jere would give you a run down on the historical significance of raptures. History, though I love it, isn't my thing. My thing is thinking about how the presence of this history in our daily lives affects the immediate moment. What it is now. How we feel about it now. I'm lazy and time is arbitrary.

Tara understands the importance of water. When I tell her all the cities on my short list to move to are there because of their large bodies of water, and that the rivers in Pittsburgh frankly don't cut it, she understands exactly why. Lake people, that's what we are. We like the caves and the hills and the deserts, but in our eyes, there's Lake water. In my eyes, it overflows. Unless there is a Lake around, I don't really feel safe. Like, when the end of the world comes, I want access to most fresh drinking water. And to not be anywhere near tsunamis from the asteroid crashing into the ocean floor.

Once again, I turn to the internet to be amazed at humanity, because it shows me that we are so bored as a species that a) we still come up with Raptures, and b) when some crazy preacher guy organizes some buses to drive through downtowns with flashy crazy cellphone photo worthy advertising, and tells us all the Rapture is coming, we seize upon the opportunity immediately to have a new kind of party. That's the history of humanity - Where the fuck is the new party? What is my excuse for getting drunk now? I love you humanity. I'm in it for the long haul with you. But also I long for your destruction just to see.

When you say Rapture seventeen times fast, you sound like you are hissing, or whistling, or talking about your jail time.

Why do we identify the most with velociraptors? Similarity of the words aside, since that's the trend this minute Rapture = Raptor, I think we wish we didn't come from dirty clumsy jack off monkeys, but from sleek unbeatable lizard birds. Velociraptors are our aspirational ancestry.

Oh the people come and go, like water in and out of your cavernous Lake eyes. They are there for a minute, they seem oh so important for a month, a year, a week, a day. But the thing that lasts is the Lake and the Train and the Green. Growing old means not caring anymore when someone's time is up, because frankly you're more into inanimate objects these days, things bigger than you, and beyond that, older you starts to see what would happen if you were completely alone. No, not just single, but completely alone. Like, never to speak with another human being again. You start to see what that would mean to you as an individual, no longer theory but an actual thing that might happen if you run away to the mountains or the Lake islands, which becomes a stronger possibility with every work day. It means recognizing how very separate your life is, how it keeps going no matter what, whether happily or unhappily.

Dear Rapture: If you really wanted to punish the wicked, you would take away everything in the world except us. You would leave an empty black void filled with nothing but people. No need to eat or drink, no bodily functions to relieve. Just us. And we would have to look at ourselves for eternity, with no sun or moon or water or wind or dogs or skyscrapers or bridges or spaceships or printed words to keep us sane. Just other people, the only things left out of all of creation. We would talk and fuck and fight at first, though probably we would just text. Eventually though, we would all fall silent and still, standing there shoulder to shoulder with other humans, quiet, forever. We would forget the way the world used to look like, and maybe lose our eyesight and hearing and taste because there would be nothing to use them on except the faces and shadows of necks and elbows we already spent a century memorizing. A factory of humans in hibernation mode, functioning but dead. Returned defective and left in storage.

There will be karaoke tonight, I think surviving the manufactured apocalypse pairs well with karaoke, and I'm drinking with some guy I don't know at all who's like 7 years younger than me, and I'm wearing the sequins, and I'm forcing my friend to do something she's highly uncomfortable with just because I like to do that to people. And I wake up every day wishing to be rescued, but I can't pin down what I want rescuing from. I just want to be lifted up and taken away into something new. I don't sleep anymore, I nervously twiddle my thumbs and toes, waiting for the next thing to happen. I rush towards any breath of fresh air. I use it all up and then wait in the asphyxiation for the next new thing. And new, anything everything new, is rapturous because of the hope it provides, that there may keep being new things forever if I keep trying.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Conversation I Could Totally Have Had with Anne Boleyn

Anne, I feel like maybe we have a lot in common, because I also aspire to be remembered forever.

Really, am I?

Oh yeah, totally.

Well that's nice. Am I remembered for being the love of the King's life? Because I was. He never loved anyone as much as he loved me.

Um, well, I mean, sure. Kind of. In a certain light. But like, you know how guys are. They are usually scared of the ones they really admire, and end up with simpler girls who don't expect things of them.

Ha! I hope you don't speak that way in front of your husband.

My what? No, I'm not married.

But you're so old! Are you a widow?

No, I don't really believe in marriage. Its too religious of an institution for me. I think two people who love each other can commit to each other without god involved. I mean, bank accounts are complicated enough.

A man and woman living together unmarried? Without the approval of our Lord? Their children would be bastards! They would be dishonored for generations. Well it's too late for you now. And by the way you're dressed, I suspect you are a bit witless as well, and come with no dowry or title to speak of. They should have married you off to an old clergyman when you still had a chance of salvation. Not even a Moor would take you now.

First of all, we don't say Moor anymore. That's not okay.
Also, I mean, that's not really true. Single people have kids all the time. And no, I don't believe in god. I wanted to be a nun for a minute when I was little, but then I discovered I liked sex a lot.

You are a witch, aren't you? Your evil spirit reveals itself by your thick tongue!

Dude, you were the witch, not me.

What? Blasphemer! I would never consort with the Devil! Those were all lies spread by corrupt castrated old men! God himself guided me to make a reformation of his Holy Lands possible!

Well whatever, I don't really think you believe that. You know, you don't have to say that stuff anymore. You have to be more practical than that. Anyway, calm down. We don't have to talk about god. Let's talk about how awesome it must have been to be queen.

It was a grave responsibility, and I lived in fear of my life every day I walked the halls of that royal home. Eventually even I could not escape the madness of power, and I lost my life by deigning to try and work those powers to my advantage. I strived to work God's will above my station, and the reaching towards heaven took my head. It was...hard.

Right, cause isn't that the weird dance that all women in power have to do. Like, you have to be so pure and perfect and nice, but then to keep a man interested in you, you have to also be smart and dirty and quick, but not smarter than them because then you have to find some other area of their superiority to play up. And there's only so many times you can talk about their dick.

Your shocking words not withstanding, for I know the strength of my faith will keep me from Satan's influence that he so obviously exerts upon you, there is truth to that. It is a complicated tangle to weave. Especially with all the miscarriages. It is difficult to make yourself available to your husband's rights, when your body is damaged and healing. You must train your mind to focus on the future, of your future and your child's and the country's, and remember this is only flesh.

Yeah see, I can't even fuck if I'm too tired.

Well, that's probably one reason you don't have a husband in your old age. That and your contract with demons. Also, your ill fitting clothes.

This is not really the way I expected this to turn out.

Do you think you could turn my head towards the window? I want to see what's making all that noise.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Quickie. Or as they say in Polish, przeleć mnie szybko, zanim wróci do domu.

One thing poetry mondays has taught me about myself is that I suck at writing poetry. Like, really bad at it. But it's something to do right? You know what sucks more? Having an actual poet, who's good at it, make you read your crappy nursery rhyme poem to him over the phone. Talk about humiliating. Another thing I learned this week is that I need to let go of my attachment to physical media. Because I lost all of my music on my computer. All of my photos and writing too, but most of that is backed up online somewhere. The music was not. It's not like I just can't go back online and start from scratch. But will there really be as much Dr. Dre in there? Probably not. That makes me sad. That makes me want to make the whole library nothing but Dre. What if I just decided that from now on, I will only ever listen to Dre? What kind of person would I become?

I am the dear waitress only at 5am,
tweaked out on coffee,
downloading every B&S album AGAIN

Best thing someone did for me this week so far: unasked for back rub.
Best thing someone said to me this week so far: Well, goodnight, it was a birthday candle to talk to you.

C'mon, it's Tuesday. I know you can beat that.

The thing about drone warfare is this - it changes the equation from: "This is something important enough to sacrifice citizens for." To "You've inconvenienced us badly enough that we have to spend extra money to murder you."' - Jere

Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday's Poem is Full of Links Having Nothing to Do With Poetry

First off, my guest post about remembering the Cleveland Downtown library is up today at Little Big's blog. You know what's weird? Writing about a library for a librarian. Also it's weird that I know so many librarians. And we almost never talk about books.

Second, Erin O'Brien woke me up this morning with a message on twitter that she had left me a "shoutout" on her blog. Really what she did was write something about fairy tale folk which is way better than mine. So if you are one of the fifty people who told me how much they liked my Glossary of Fairy Tale Terminology, you should definitely go read her's.

This weeks Poetry Jam prompt is thunder and lightning. It's been raining for the last week here in Cleveland, so maybe this will help wring out my waterlogged skin.

The shattering silence of storms
The blanketing balm of the rain
Towards the gutters we ran
And we shivered and shook
While the water made off with the earth.

Your skin was cold and resistant
Your touch was a cigarette burn
The jacket you gave me
Was too big to be warm
And your arm was too thick to be real.

The rain hit the reservoir lightly
The rocks and grass mingled with mud
There was some other girl
That you brought here once too
I smelt her in the thunder electric.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Things the Fog Will Do To You

Once upon a time I drove around for two hours in the dark, singing Rosanne Cash's 7 Year Itch over and over again. The water crystals in the fog amplified my voice, and smoothed out the rough edges, so that the sound spreading in puddle waves through the dark houses and postage stamp backyards was clear and perfected. Naturally auto tuned through meteorological phenomenon. Somewhere in that cocoon of brick walls and day lilies, there was a guy sitting on his front porch with friends and beers, and he heard me, just a little, and remembers it. And someday, if we meet, he won't know it, but when I whisper in his ear, the tones will be familiar. Whatever I say, it'll be burned into his synapses like a brand mark, and anytime he hears me, it will glow hot inside his brain like an itch. This is how some day I'm going to steal your husband. If I feel like it.

Once upon a time there was a flock of fireflies and their leader was drunk and got them lost in the fog. They flew around for hours, looking for safety, unable to guide themselves, the radio signals from faraway stars blocked by the thickness. Eventually, a group of younger males decided they had had enough of this shit, and they ambushed the leader and pushed him into the wet grass, where he lay grounded by the moisture on his wings, impotent and whining furiously. The ants took his body away in the darkness. Without one leader, the group soon splintered completely and all their months of building up important firefly culture, literature, progressive social norms, it was all for nothing because really it just takes a few angry kids to throw it all to chaos, if they really don't think it through. And nothing brings out the violence in a group like not being able to see more than two feet in front of you. All the fireflies died, because they all die anyway after like a day and a half, but the point is, they left nothing worthwhile behind because they got scared.

Once upon a time there was a band that went on tour through the shittiest rust belt cities. They played in even shittier bars, hidden in the alleys and valleys of unemployed industry, and after their first three shows they were so tired they couldn't even talk to girls, their eyes were glassy and their heads bowed as if their necks were no longer capable of supporting the heavy load of their determination. They were pretty good. There were five boys in the band - the goofy hot one in the v-neck tee, the serious older one in cowboy boots, the dorky keyboardist with glasses, the drummer of who nothing could be said except he knew what he was doing, and the willow'o'wisp singer with floppy hair and the cheekbones of a 16 yr old girl. They drove to Cleveland and the Fog descended while they were drinking 2 dollar beers and rolling cigarettes, discussing the finer points of Brooklyn versus the rest of the world with the few people who came to see them this rainy night. The Fog watched them, and wanted to go with them. It waited while they packed up their equipment, patient but anxious. When they finally started off towards Milwaukee, it hid in the exhaust, and crept slowly in through the vents. They were so tired, none of them noticed the windows getting opaque until it was too late. They were never seen again.

Once upon a time there was girl who got lost, maybe fell asleep, maybe ended up in a van to Milwaukee. She woke up and found herself in the Wood Between the Worlds, the place we all know exists because references to it are there pointing the way through all of history. It's the place between here and then, now and there. She saw the lights, and couldn't tell if she was supposed to walk towards them or stay away, there was no indication of safety any way she turned. That's how it is in this place, you can't make decisions, you can only just keep walking until you end somewhere else. The power lines, the railroad tracks, the river, the sun, all the symbols we would normally use to guide us back to civilization, they are endless here. They go nowhere and are attached to nothing. There is no reason or back history for any object, it just exists and you, you just exist too. Nothing that boy does is going to bring you back.

Once upon a time there was a woman who had been a bartender at this hole in the wall bar on Madison for like 15 years. One day, she stumbled, and put her hand out to catch herself, and sliced her finger open on these aluminum blinds that had been there as long as her. It cut her finger open all the way to knuckle. She wrapped it in a wad of paper towels and tried to forget about. In the morning she went to the hospital, and they told her that if she had come in the night before they could have saved it, but instead now they had to cut it completely off. So she lost her finger. The important part of this story is that this happened, but those fucking blinds are still up in that bar. They never took them down. Even though they took a woman's finger.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Baseball Game

But so, you know, there's this whole culture of people who "go to the game" and do it weekly and I would drive through downtown as a game was letting out and stare at the mobs of people walking back in giant centipede formation through the streets, and be sort of awed and confused and weirded out.

The ticket was 8 dollars. The pint of Hennessy was stuffed in my bra. We walked through the Saved By the Bell style walkway from Tower City to the Stadium, and it felt like I was in a hospital basement on my way to get xrays. We passed a family leaving, chastened boy scout son in tow. We went up escalators and down stairs and through lines, the maze built for people trying to get from one side of the city to the other and into then the giant steel gates. We walked all the way to the top top section where they were waiting for us, and I wondered how I would get down those steep concrete steps again after drinking so much. The stadium itself looks like an alien "integration" facility from the front, and inside it's a nicer version of the racetrack, all looming and utilitarian, which I like. The whole "mass amount of people in a giant concrete box" vibe? I get that, that's pretty great. Also the people dancing on the big screen were cute and wonderful. There were girl scouts and boy scouts everywhere, making the Boy Who Had to Leave even sadder in retrospect. At one point they played the Fugees? That was odd. Everyone was eating peanuts and passing flasks.

There was a pretty exhilarating win, an unexpected down to the wire win, and the crowd jumped up and screamed, and the rush of sound was amazing. I felt it right in my chest. We watched the fireworks, which I would pay 8 bucks just to watch fireworks really. Afterwards, in the line of people leaving, a girl and I sang along to Journey together, and I realized I would never fall down those deadly stairs because there were too many people in front of me, a cushion of humanity.

We walked through the city to the bar, now part of the Centipede, weaving drunk through the also drunk. At the bar, the condensation from my bourbon on the rocks kept making it look like I had spilled my drink on myself, but I hadn't. There was a bartender with floppy hair who I spotted as a theater geek a mile away. Then back to our friends apartment on W.6th, which meant through the Friday night apocalypse of cheap miniskirted girls and loud slicked back men, stopping at the gyro shop where I spent 8 bucks on a pack of Camel Lights, which were disgusting.

After more drinking at her place, we started our long walk back to Tower City, contemplating cabs and how I would get to work the next morning, unsure the parking would even be open maybe the car would be trapped in there, and the city smelled like rain and light and drunk people.

He tried every door to the post office, but they were locked up tight.
At Tower City, all the lights off, we felt sure we were out of luck, but then luck was the first door we tried, which opened a little too easily.

And all of the place was empty and dark. No one to be heard, no one seen. It felt illegal, like the door had been left open by mistake, and we were someplace we shouldn't be. Appropriate things were done, as one would expect two drunk people to do when suddenly they find themselves in an abandoned empty mall, only the fountain making the slightest noise. We should have stayed longer, but the zombies or monsters or security guards felt just around the corner, pricking on the back of our shoulders. We should have stayed in there all night. The whole place was ours. We were young and thrilled. The smile was deep down in my chest, the energy of a crowd screaming all stored up in there like a battery, leaking out through our hushed and tense laughter in the silence.

Then this morning, stumbling out of bed at 6:30am to get to work against my will, my eyes crusted with mascara and socks in my pocket, the air outside was cool with rain still and the trees were green and blooming and wet. I played Cat Stevens as loud as I could driving home, which is a sign of my happiness. It was the very best a baseball game could have ever been.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Pig Roasts and Summer's Here and Dogs

Everything since I woke up Sunday has been wonderful. Sunday was full of exploring and that amazing cave movie I won't stop talking about. Then Monday was beautiful and Carrie and Alan and I went to the cave movie again, then spent hours talking manically on a patio with sparkly drinks. Well, Carrie and I talked manically and Alan smiled patiently, dropping little things in at appropriate times. A great idea was born there. It was written down in a notebook. We met up with her girlfriend outside the food trucks at Momocho, and then there were margaritas and so many dogs. Ohio City people love their dogs, man. I want a doberman so badly now it hurts. They are so big! And noble! Ended up at the Parkview with Jason and Nancy who works at my old grade school and told me stories about teachers who will never retire, eating sliders. Drove home listening to a mix CD with the Faint on it, remember them? Remember how we used to dance to them at 1:30am in Akron bars? I talked for like eight hours straight that day. I got home and my mouth was tired, worn out.

I have three stories about pig roasts. The first one was when I was living in Phoenix, and Allison and I went to the annual pig roast that the Harley mechanic alums threw for her graduating class. It was in the middle of the desert, at night, and the sand and scrub brush was lit up by the moon for miles around. There was a fire surrounded by men in leather jackets, and at some point a potato gun was brought out. I was handed the potato gun and pointed in the right direction, but the end cap wasn't screwed on properly, and it exploded into my shoulder when I shot it off. Honest, I didn't feel anything much that night. I wandered off alone in the high contrast rocks and cactus, and stared at the moonlight. I smiled at beards and sang along to eighties rock. But the next morning, my right breast was bruised deep black. It was worth it.

The second pig roast I went to was at the house of an ex-coworker. His house was in Painesville, and I got so lost trying to get there, I ended up driving around this industrial truck waste spot for hours which was fine. But then suddenly I was in Mentor, which was not fine. When I got to his house finally, thanks to a friend of his who picked up the phone, the front yard was full of kids, and the fire pit was full of drinkers, and the pig was out behind the kitchen, in a giant homemade smoker. Did you know I will always be one of the last up at a party? That's true. I can outlast all of you, and still sing along to Rock Star, and be the one having inappropriate conversations with construction workers by the fire.

The third pig roast was last night, when Scott from Washington Place held a little "opening the patio" shindig, with the best parting gift ever, a ticket to the Veggie U Food and Wine party, the sort of ticket I'd never be able to afford so soon after my birthday. I'm really excited to go to this event, sincerely. First of all, it's in Milan OH, which is in my favorite part of Ohio. True story, Monday night I talked about the Firelands for at least 15 minutes straight without breathing. Second, it IS a good organization. Kids should learn to grow things! There will be an apocalypse some day! Tomatoes will be worth more than gold! Mom tried to teach me when we were little, with her impressive city vegetable garden, but I'm the worst at growing things. I haven't forgotten the feeling of picking cucumbers though, and the roughness of thick vines. I've wanted to go to this event the past years, but I'm always so broke right after the big birthday blowout. This year I can do both! Camilla, Sarah, and I are going to make Derby style hats for it, hopefully with vegetables Carmen Miranda style. You should join us, or at least go click that link and see what they're about, to make them giving me the ticket worth it. Aaron Sanchez is going to be there! Also at least four chefs who have been judges on Top Chef, which to some of us is a big deal. I will not mention certain recap posts to them.

Scott and the food at Washington always wins me over, but the "seal the deal" moment was the super large super crispy piece of pig skin he laid across my plate. That I gnawed on with my hands. Because I learned to eat pig in the desert. That's just how it is.

Sitting on their pretty patio, in the hot sun mixed with gray clouds that is the way Ohio starts summer, Sarah told me that the bell tower of St. Andrew's was actually a facade to hide a crematorium smokestack. Not actual bells. Nope, dead people smoke. I don't know if that's true, because I can't find any corroboration online, but after I gleefully repeated that story to everyone I've talked to since? It is now. Also Sarah never lies, because she is a lady.

Then tonight, Amanda cooked us 8 pounds of asparagus. Later I hung out in my dark backyard, and listened to the neighborhood dogs snuffling around in yards, and took a walk to smell all the night blooming flowers and I was really grateful that I'm not allergic to beauty.