Monday, January 14, 2013
It's exactly 75 degrees today, sunny and breezy and freshly cleaned from rain. It is Spring outside, basically. I banish you from my lexicon, Winter. Never again. Well, until I freak out about wanting to live under the Northern Lights because I think space dust is going to soak into my trepanned skull and make me smarter than the average ape, because if I do get dementia as an elderly woman, that is totally the direction it's gonna take, right? And I guess then I'll be too old and not have enough blood in my body to feel cold. Isn't that what should happen to our bodies - we dry out and cease feeling hot or cold, just wet or dry and light or heavy? Isn't that biology?
Anyway, it makes me listen to dance music. Because even though it's January, the warmth is waking up every other sense of mine, and I just want to smell and hear and touch everything. I'm queasy and uneasy with anticipation, I'm living in the moment of a musical buildup, before the bass drops. Waiting for it. Not in an anxious way, more like a little kid dancing around because she thinks she might get a puppy way. Oh my god, what's going to happen next? And after that? And what's going on then? Holy shit, it's so fucking warm. I just want to be happy all the time. I want exactly what I want and nothing else but also everything else I don't know I want too.
Warm weather makes your biological systems electric. People make mistakes.
Beauty is a big deal in this town. Every one is expected to be glowing with health, because of, you know, the beach and the film stuff, also the military and all the college kids. I read an article in some psychology magazine about the "Mormon Glow" which is what Mormons call it when they can identify someone else as a fellow soldier of God just by looking at them. These Canadian researchers ran a study where they made undergraduates look at headshots, and 60% of the time they were able to identify the Mormons just by looking at them, which is almost 50/50 and therefore not a real thing at all, but they theorized that the Glow was in fact just because the Mormons didn't drink coffee or alcohol, or smoke, or stay up way too late eating failed pot brownies and getting three hours of sleep on a broken couch somewhere then running to work too early in the morning without getting a chance to shower meaning that your clothes smell like campfire and your hair resembles a slightly greasy porcupine who has been lightly sauteed in canola like limp broccoli crowns. Apparently that doesn't happen to Mormons. More's the shame.
Think how much of our understanding of behavioral science has comes from what undergraduates will do for weed money.
One reason everyone in this town is "glowing" is a lot of them have too much money for their own good. This town is secretly super rich. It's not so secretly divided into harsh and exacting class lines. Wandering in between and among those lines without knowing exactly where they are yet is like walking blindfolded in a very low English garden maze, like I can feel the hedges brushes my thighs barely, but I haven't quite figured out the shape or direction of any of it yet. I'm just sorta walking into stuff. Deeply running racist and classist stuff. It's more textural than visual here.
I think I'm beautiful, even though I'm not rich. I mean, I hate myself, but overall I like looking at myself, and I think most of the time other people do to. All I'm expecting really is pleasant, I can supplement the rest. I don't understand how women can be so judgmental of other womens' shapes when a good majority of us spend our time looking at and forgiving the various silly and sundry shapes of men. So maybe so many years of tolerating strange skinny parts and flabby hirsute parts in favor of personality and attention and affectation, maybe I just can't judge women any more harshly. I find all my friends to be the most attractive people I could possibly know. But then the flipside of such supposedly non-shallow thinking is that I find bad or obnoxious people to be ridiculously ugly, and then when my beautiful friends sleep with them, I can't even hide my disgust or pretend empathy. I can't forgive them for being shallow when on a purely physical level I find that man wretched and hideous, because he told me how much he likes Coldplay.
I think my point is beauty is based on class. Not grace, but social level of functioning. As in, I will never be as sexy as the yoga ladies with their ten dollar a day smoothie habits, but they will never be as a beautiful as my friends because they think Coldplay is art. No wait, that's not my point. My point is koi fish are greedy grasping things, but they've been bred to be the perfect colors and shapes, and therefore they remain popular although they fulfill no useful niche in any ecosystem. Nope, that's not it either. Maybe....yoga ladies and koi fish are the same thing and I'm probably more like a smelt or sheepshead, an ugly fresh water pest fish that gets eaten in localvore restaurants but gets tossed by less menu minded fishermen. Maybe I'm actually a magic flounder and when you catch me I grant wishes, but subvert them to assist the rise of the matriarchy. A classy flounder.
Posted by Bridget Callahan at 4:33 PM