Friday, January 30, 2004

dog day afternoon

i remember putting spencer down. interesting term: putting them down. a farm term, i think. He was so old, and so ill, and i just hadn't been paying attention. i was too busy saving my own life: hep c. you try it. by december, the interferon (the treatment then was three self-administered shots a week) had kicked my ass. the thing is, spencer was out back in the cold, his own ass kicked by arthritis and old dog age. I didn't know. And when I finally held my head up and looked around for the first time since July, he was suffering. I suppose I could have bought myself more time with him, more time to stroke the black and white guernsey cow of a dog. But I wouldn't have been buying him anything at all. Just more time to be an old, sick dog. Sometimes the selfishness of pet ownership strikes me. Like Linda, my cousin who had a german shepherd named Heidi. She couldn't let the dog go. It was dragging its back legs across the carpet, incontinent, demented. In the natural environment, Heidi never would have made it. She named her daughter after the dog. Anyway, Spencer was the best dog.

Kurt had to put Click down today. I'm glad he waited for me to do it. I couldn't stand for him to be that sad alone. In memorium, I'd like to remember that the dog chased flies.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Olaf's Memorial Blog

Lassie lays at my feet, shit drying on the porch. My cat is bloated from eating dog food and I am leaving again. And again.

My son was over tonight for dinner. I called him because apparently the mayor of my small town was complaining that my Christmas lights are still up. It has long been my custom to take all the glitter down the day after, return things to normal. But this year I was gone and didn't get to enjoy the lights like usual. My son put them up, spliced them to fit just so around the small front windows. Sparkly, multi-colored mini-lights. Walking up the front steps was like walking in heaven, or Las Vegas. I've never been to either place. The mayor never showed up to register a formal complaint -- he's the ex-mayor anyway. Has no clout at all. It's my house anyway, and nobody can tell me to take the lights down. Guy drove by, my neighbor, a biker who manufactures miniature Harley Davidsons and other bike related gear. He has a line of primary covers that say clever things like: "fuck you", and "ride hard die fast." You know, fun stuff. I was walking across the street to check my mail and he drives by, yells: "Take 'em down!!" To my credit, and continued good neighborhood standing, I didn't flip him off. Jesus.

For the past seven years I've lived two doors down from the Olssen's, who make the Lampoon Christmas lights look elegant. Sedate. Mr. Olssen, we'll call him Olaf, started every July with red, white and blue lights, and from there, worked his way to Christmas. A little orange and yellow for Halloween, you get the picture. By the day after Thanksgiving, his doublewide, maize-gold trailer was layered with lights of every kind. Olaf had become the stuff of local legend, local news stations out front from the 20th of December on... Toward the end, Olaf had taken to plywood cutouts: a herd of cows situated to resemble reindeer, named accordingly... moodolph, etc. A huge mirror laying in the front yard to imitate a frozen pond with plywood iceskaters. He had a pretty good nativity scene out back, but what I liked the best was the Riveria. I've always like Riverias. Lowriders. This one was permanently parked behind the trailer, but Olaf was not a man to ignore the back of the place. The Rivvy was strung with blue lights, and the tires (flat) were laced with tiny white lights that made them appear to be turning. Olaf even dressed up as Santa, and for a small nominal fee, would allow photographs with the children. His daughter, a barker of sorts, stood out front collecting donations in a Santa boot, complaining about their 600.00 December electric bill as though the lights were up by neighborhood consensus -- a shared holiday burden. From about the tenth of the month forward, I couldn't pull out of my driveway at night for the slowly passing traffic. Truly a white-trash holiday dream come true.

Two Christmases ago, what's left of my family came over for Christmas Eve because everyone else was drunk and I could be relied on to serve hot food. I had happened on a pair of paper eye glasses that were something akin to looking through a kaleidoscope. Viewed through the plastic and paper specs, each light became like a tiny star of Bethlehem. A four point star. It was really something even to me, but when my stoner nephews, and my stoner son, took the glasses over to the Ollsen's, Oh boy. What a hit. Made me wish I still took acid. Except for that time I thought I ate my fingers but they were French fries. Anyway, the bare maple tree strung with all pink lights was outstanding. Truly. I still have them. www.3dglassesonline.com

Olaf must have died, because there were no lights this year. And maybe that's what all the energy about my Christmas lights is all about. Maybe I presented a threat as a possible future Olaf. That I would, in his honor, leave my lights up year round. Maybe the neighborhood had had enough. I don't have the heart to tell them I probably won't even be here another year.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Subday

Not much happening, and I'll prove it right here. The highlight of the day so far was a sighting of Jared. Jared the Subway Geek. I've been going to the Subway in Phoenix, but heard Jared was making an appearance at the Ashland Subway. We decided to give try a new location in hopes of bigger brains and fewer jalapenos. There was a line around the block (for food, not to see the geek). As we tried to leave, a marketing guy from a local radio station intercepted us and offered us each a free low carb wrap if we'd stay. Being the cheap Subway sluts we are, we stuck it out, and I was able to make my point about the serving line to someone with access to real airwaves. I'm hoping for a late night spot on KZZE to get the truth out about Sub-service. I may be speaking too soon, but the employees at the Ashland Subway seemed just a little brighter, seemed to know what "everything but the jalapenos" meant. This time. I was surprised at the numbers of people interested in having their pictures taken with Jared. I think, really, that the only reason there was such a long line was that subs were two for the price of one. Who is Jared anyway? Who cares? This blog entry isn't even interesting because its about him. And you know... The phenomenon of uninteresting people, of ordinary lives, troubles me. I am an uninteresting person with an ordinary life. You wouldn't want to read a book about me (by me, but not about me -- let's be very very clear) you wouldn't want your picture taken with me. I lost eighty pounds and didn't race out to have my picture taken with Dr. Atkins. A very loosely woven comparison, I'll admit, but let's be honest -- in the blog if nowhere else -- had he become a handsome prince after losing 500 pounds or whatever it was, that would be one thing. But that just didn't happen. Jared is still the poster boy for Inadequate Personality Disorder. Oh, who cares. Really.

And this argument extends to literature and other art forms. I won't bring up reality TV. In regards to literature, I call it the "pathetic life" genre. You know the type. Early Oprah books about midgets and despondent women, homely by birth, who never make it to swan-hood. Give me beautiful, give me gifted, exciting, wonderful characters who leap off the page and refuse to leave your imagination, who make you willing to sacrifice the mediocrity of daily life to stay there. Wherever. Just not here. Not now. Not this.

John Kerry wins NH primary. Well, it's encouraging to me that Howard Dean is fading from the scene somewhat. He affects me much like a Jack Russell Terrier. I wonder what would happen if, instead of standing in front of all his campaign volunteers and claiming victory, what if he just said, "Shit. We lost." What if Joementum Leiberman admitted he came in a solid fifth, rather than spinning a three-way tie for third place. Who fights for third place? "No, it was me." "Was not." "Was too...." What a bunch of fucking liars. John Kerry seems nice enough. I don't know him. He can be president if he wants. Anybody but Little Georgie "and the shit catapult that got him there." see www.ashabot.com. Thanks, asha, for the visual.

I am sick of being in a long distance relationship. Have I bitched about this yet? I've been careful to spare my limited readership the annoyances of MY pathetic life. He called tonight, and couldn't find the garlic. I told him it was in the fruit bowl where I left it last weekend. He looked, and there it was. He thanked me for knowing where his garlic is from 300 miles away. It set me off, knowing that. Spun now. I can't do this much longer. I can't know where the fucking garlic is in his house when there is mold on my floor and dogshit on my porch. This is not my life. Be here now or be here later. Here will still be here.

Monday, January 26, 2004

going places

Once in awhile, i get a snapshot of the whole thing. I heard this paramedic say that his early life was spent in poverty, and that he was "surrounded by people who weren't going anywhere." that statement provided the great flash for me. Here it is: I DON'T EVER REMEMBER KNOWING THERE WAS ANYWHERE TO GO.

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Captain Kangaroo and the history of leather

I tried to get something down in writing on the day Captain Kangaroo died, yesterday, January 23, 2004. But waylaid as usual by well meaning friends and the need for a meeting, I missed my chance. I just want to go on record as admitting I liked Mr. Green Jeans better. I don't remember why, probably the bangs. Bangs on a man is just plain wrong. Loretta says so, and she knows everything about men. That and the uniform. Many women are intrigued by a man in uniform. I, personally, am not... Unless black leather can be considered a uniform, which, I maintain, it can't. The better part of my life has been spent avoiding men in uniform. Thus arriving at the brief history of my soon-to-be-former leather jacket.

Sam gave it to me. I don't remember his last name. He said he found it (found, in this instance, a relative term) in a crank lab somewhere on the west coast. He gave it to me because I had admired it, he had admired me, and knew I was hitchhiking down I-5 to rescue my son from his father, who at the time, was a preferable parent to me. At the time, I was big on rescue and escape. My husband was big on intimidation and violence. Being married to Mark was like having my own personal terrorist. It went both ways though, and was, when turned in my favor, a peculiar form of protection... I always felt special. Select. In danger. Prince said, "life without danger is death." I took that one to the bank (long before he said it, and it is a little bit pathetic that I am quoting prince in public...) anyway, I digress...

So, Sam gives me the jacket. I hitchhike around, do the things I do, for many years. The jacket wears and wears, keeps me safe in many storms. i.e. There I was, standing on a steep stretch of I-5 in the rain, strung out, again uncertain where my kid was. The only thing between me and semi-trucks throwing rooster tails of muck as they blasted past me in the cold wet dark (night of my soul...) was that ragged old jacket and a plastic garbage bag of dirty laundry. I prayed, "please god send me a ride." So this old man stopped, and pretty much said, "I'll take you to Grants Pass if you'll take me to paradise." Well, I wasn't up for that, so I got out at Azalea, which is nowhere. So I prayed again, something like, "Nice try God, would you please lay off, get serious. I swear I'll always/never (insert promise here)...." So, this van pulled up, filled to capacity with ferocious Christians begging me to join them. Live with them. Work for The Lord with them. Now, I know God. I can see right through this one. He's seeing right quick if I'm going to make good on my promise, which, of course, I am not. I don't see any reason to prolong the agony by getting in neck deep with fundamentalists AGAIN.... "Naw," I tell them. "Y'all have fun with God, I'm bailing out in Grants Pass." So I did. Jacket and all.

More time passed, as it will, and I found myself mired again in the muck of heroin, or more to the point, still mired. Nothing changes, nothing changes.. ... Whiskey, heroin, who cares. Many road trips later and one short but memorable nap a little too close to a woodstove and that jacket had nearly as much road rash as my soul.

One night I was tending bar in Jacksonville (the infamous Jubilee Club) and this sweet, young girl came in. She said something like, "if you ever want to sell that jacket, let me know." Well was she ever in luck... me with that old jacket and no heroin. So I sold it for a handful of magic beans. Honestly, I handed her the jacket, she handed me forty bucks, and I bought two bags. That was that...... Again, time passed... I cleaned up. Had about two years sober, and I ran into the girl again.... and she was all strung out herself. I didn't really remember her, (or much else) but she remembered me. "Hey, didn't you sell me that leather...." blah blah blah... and I said, "yeah. That was me." She said, "Wanna buy it back?"

So I did. 75 bucks. That's the story. And I still have the jacket. She had had it reconditioned for her boyfriend-- brown satin lining, patched the woodstove hole. I figure I had 35 bucks into it, so by my math, which always works in my favor, paying 875 for the Langlitz ain't so bad.

The world will not miss Captain Kangaroo. Its too busy now to know he was ever here. It reminds me of photographs at yard sales. Who are those people? Who were they....? Blips on the geologic screen, one and all....

Friday, January 23, 2004

Subway

I've been giving the low carb fast food industry a try. I am hitting subway for lunch and saving a lot of money. But the smell of the wrap lingers on my hands. Or maybe its the cheese. Anyway, it is truly fast food. However, going through the line at subway is an experience I feel the need to relate, and the experience is similar whether you use the drive thru or go inside. First, you select the sandwich, or in my case, the wrap. Once that is established (it ain't easy) you are sent to the six foot window. I don't know why they call it that. At first, I thought I had heard it wrong. But that's what she said. So we went to the six foot window (never measured it, I'm trusting this one...) and she asks, "What do you want on it?" I say, "Everything but jalapenos." which, I believe, is a clear statement. Definitive. Concrete. Then begins her recital of ingredients, one by one. "do you want lettuce?" Yep, I say. "Everything but jalapenos." her hands move, she looks up, says, "Do you want olives?" yes. I do. Everything but the motherfucking jalapenos, bitch. I think but don't say. shit, what does she care? My response is terse, but there is something about the six foot window that prevents her from feeling my pain... She is immune to my irritation, does not acknowlege my mood. "How 'bout some cucumbers?" she asks. Again. Well, now it has become a contest of wills, one I am destined to lose because I'm the only one knows I'm in it... I decide I'm gonna tell her what to do with her cucumbers. Then... "Sure," I say, beaten. "I'd love some cucumbers." what really caps it for me is when the final question comes. You know what it is. You can see it coming. I couldn't. "Did you want jalapenos?" she asked. She asked that. Out loud. Without apologizing. She could have said, "Jesus, I'm so fucking stupid I can't remember if you said you wanted jalapenos the other twelve times I've asked you the same goddamn question." but she didn't. And it's the same every day. A game now. And the employee turnover is such that there is never the same little blonde face twice in a row, so no learning occurs. None that benefits me. I gotta tell you, whatever they do in subway school works. Those chicks are entrenched in the method. But here is the best part: the negotiation. Every day the price is different. We've started placing small bets on the relative daily value of a subway low carb wrap. It's been as high as five bucks, low was two wraps for seven. Same deal. Different person. I can't explain the logic. Okay, I'll try. I'm no math whiz, but here goes: a wrap, straight off the menu is 4.50. however, if you want a sandwich converted to a wrap, it is an additional 50 cents. For instance, if I ordered a sandwich that sold for 3.39, to have them make it as a wrap should cost 3.89, right? Wrong. The rocket scientist behind the six foot window looks at it this way. Wraps are 4.50. if you have a sandwich converted to a wrap, add another 50 cents onto the cost of the wrap: 5.00. so, depending on a couple of factors: hunger, relative poverty, willingness to argue, how many times I've had to say the word "Jalapeno"..... I will contest the price. Usually, I am submissive and pay whatever they ask. Brutal.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

death sentence

he bit a kid on the front porch. i've done worse. an ordinarily happy dog prone to episodic protective rages. it may be the end for him. its us or them, it seems. pit bulls, rage dogs. no mercy, but for the boy. mercy and 500 dollars not to sue. cheap.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

mckee bridge

i was out there today -- mckee bridge -- place of so many memories... deep green water where i learned to swim when i was five, thrown in the water by my uncle alan. i didn't know until much later that he was nuts. schizophrenic, maybe. my mother said he got malaria in panama during some military occupation in the fifties or forties, but from what i hear, he probably had an early onset schizophrenic break at 19 or 20, and just happened to be in panama when it happened. he was a kind man. big and round. he grew red poppies in our front yard when we lived in portland after my father died. i remember him, standing in the yard, garden hose in hand, watering those poppies for hours on end... I remember the circus tents in the middles of those flowers, never knowing then that the juice secreted by those centers would become both sustinence and destruction for me. he wore overalls, and was known to the neighborhood kids as the fat man. i don't remember him seeming fat before i heard one of the neighbor kids call him names. later in life he kept cats, 74 feral cats at one count. he lived in the basement of an apartment building owned by his brother, a fanatical socialist back when it wasn't polically faschionable.... he entertained rats in the corner opposite the cats, so say the stories.... he watered the flowers on wallpaper, made his own dentures out of cement, rode his bicycle up and down the west coast, and believed he was asian. uncle alan died on christmas eve, alone on a boat in san francisco harbor. apparently there were young people who brought him bags of groceries from time to time. i wish i had known.

mckee bridge... my best friend lorretta just rented a house out there. we've known each other since our boys -- now men -- were babies and we lived on the banks of the applegate river and breathed the thin mountain air.

poems:

what it was like to be drunk in the country for years

it was like comin' home
beer bottles stacked on the porch
lolling around in the dust of a hot day
not a hundred yards from the river
sweating pure whiskey
too busy drinking to jump in the water
the cool sweet water
sleeping face down in brown grass
missing the fall
and the spring
and the summer
spending the winter
planning all those things
we're gonna do
when the sun comes out...

yale creek

i strung pressed leaves and snake grass
on sewing thread
and hung them in the windows
to rattle in the wind
transparent in the light
filtering through the pines
i decorated around the old blood
running down the hand-peeled log wall
just to the right, inside the front door.
i never thought to wash it off -- that little bit of history--
proof that things had happened
without my consent
beyond my control
in that beautiful cabin
of wood
and blood
and handmade lace.

the poems are all i have left.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

white guy's day

How it went... We dropped the truck off at discount automotive. i guess i would have felt a little better if it wasn't called discount automotive. With my shopping fetish, it would have suited me more to have been called "high priced automotive", or better, "ambiance automotive". i pay a lot for ambiance and don't really even know what it is. Seems its an idea, once grasped, that changes in order to maintain it's ethereal value. So it isn't anything, really. For instance, i won't/don't/haven't shopped at Winco. i struggle with businesses frequented by Mexicans. i'm a southern Oregon white chick, racism embedded against my will. i live in an affluent all-white community just dying to be tolerant, if we could just get the right kind of black folks to move in around here.... i enjoy white privilege and endure white guilt. blah blah blah

anyway, we drop the car off at discount automotive and there behind a cluttered metal desk sit Omar and Mohammed, proprietors.... or so it seems to me. Omar takes my keys, and i notice a Tupperware container sitting on the desk. It is filled with rocks that share an alarming resemblance to crack cocaine. Now, from my experience (and i have some), that shit needs to be kept in an airtight container, so i consider first the wisdom of their open air storage methods; then, the probability that i am funding their habit with the eminent sale of my truck; and running a distant third, why would they leave it out in plain view. i stare and say nothing, swallow my suspicions, chase them with cold coffee. My companion is not so subtle: so whatcha got there? he asks... Then comes the answer: "incense." ah yes... That smell. Really good incense. So, i felt a little better leaving my truck in the hands of devoutly religious men. men of honor, no doubt. Iraqis. Sure. Why not. Then, i consider the bumper sticker in my rear window, recently acquired at a Molly Ivens shindig, it reads: "regime change begins at home" now... that could be good or bad, but it's martin Luther king day, and there nowhere else to get the truck fixed but Omar and Sharif.

my son had called that morning and asked, "when's white-guy day, mom?" again, southern oregon's finest. i tell him "every day is white guy day, honey. quit complaining." but it's there, the intrinsic racism from coming up in an all-white community. We just have it. Not much to do but be aware of it, and try not to let it drive the bus. Anyway... They did a great job on the truck, but in the end it turns out that they -- Omar and bro. -- are not the proprietors... When we picked up the truck, some white guy, some old worn out mechanic named Phil -- is making out the invoice and taking my credit card. So much for equality. But the truck runs better than it has in ages.

addendum... Called the ford dealership when i got home... They are giving me my money back for the work (not) done last week. i am woman, hear me beg.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

langlitz and the bleeding clutch

well, this has be an extaordinarily expensive weekend. i have little faith that anyone follows any of this, but memory being what it is -- mine, anyway -- it serves as evidence that i've been here, have had experiences that deserve mention, and if not permanent, are at least transiently a matter of semi-public record. my clutch went out, fuck you very much brian at the ford service department in medford, oregon. which begs the question: would i rather be right or happy? currently, it's more like: would i rather be right or have money? well, regardless of my rathers.... the clutch is out, i am 300 miles from home, and thank god for men. real men. he may not know how to decorate, but he knows what to do in a mechanical pinch. so i figure, screw it, i'm getting my langlitz anyway. so i went down there and got measured. Jenny, an actual langlitz, granddaugher of ross, (i'm sounding like they are an elfin clan or something. they are not.) to the uninitiated, the langlitz's are a family of leather jacket makers. the very best handmade leather jackets maybe in the world. benecio del toro was in while they were filming that crappy move "the hunted" and jenny said he was very humble and smelled good. what i like is they don't ask you what color you want. it's goatskin or cowhide. i picked goat. i have nothing against them, but they are softer, and a little lighter, and that's what i'm after. so i ordered a custom fit columbia, with fringe. so, i'm stuck here, where i love to be. this keeps happening to me. here. stuck in the middle with him. So, i figure the clutch will be a cool grand, the jacket 875 or so. probably 900 with fringe. oh well. if i do my last years taxes, that'll cover it, and i can get kurt some new gauntlet gloves. he'd like that.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

northern lights

hello to all of you who follow this worthless diatribe. i am away, again, looking forward to the usual welcoming committee when i get home. if it rains enough, and in oregon i think i can almost count on it most years, the dogshit will be erased from the porch with no effort on my part save stepping around it on my way to the laundry room. saw monster last night. a little dark, even for me. i was speechless, stunned. surprised by the twitters and laughter early in the movie from those who witnessed the transformation of the beauty into beast. it was complete. jesus. harsh. out to sauvie's island to check on the fishermen, the diehards, men who would fit the categories in earlier entries. reel men. okay, enough for now. nicole is reading over my shoulder.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

early

as the title suggests, it's before eight a.m., i am at work, not working, planning for another tour of interstate 5. my truck is back home, my cat trusts me, my dog has stopped crapping in places i walk, my son is speaking to me... time to go again, restore the balance. there was nothing wrong (discernably) with the truck. operator error. why is it that when they can't figure it out, its my fault? i will bemoan, again, the change in men overall, in mechanics, just like the change in snow plow operators. where are the men? skip retired. where are the men named skip? last of the great and thinking mechanics. he was handsome, drunk, funny, stared at my tits and listened to NPR while he worked. he knew who to vote for AND could figure out anything and without the ford motor company digitized laptop scanners. he could think. what has happened to thinking? with so much automated diagnostic information, they don't think. can't. are you sure the motor was revving? they asked. yup. i'm pretty darn sure it did as i powerbraked it to keep from flying out in traffic. yup. i should not be blonde because i am not stupid. not about cars. i used to have a 53 chevy pickup that i had to manually shift the linkage whenever i stopped. it was inconvenient as hell but gave me a working knowlege of a standard transmission. i had a 65 dodge polara that i had to smack the starter with a shovel (it didn't have to be a shovel, a 2x4 would have worked) to get it to start every time. necessity may be the mother of invention, but poverty is the grandmother. you learn what you have to learn, or I have, and it brings me back to the point: the mechanics don't think. I know (and now YOU know) that there IS a problem with the cold start system of my truck. it doesn't prevent me from driving (very little will--i have driven without brakes, without headlights, without wipers in oregon in winter) but they don't believe me. and that may be the crux of the problem. i was not compelled, as i sometimes am, to regale them with the convoluted stories of why my life has taken the course it has, and how bad cars with bald tires, no brake lights and plywood back seats played a part in getting me where i am today: an unconvincing blonde girl with money in a ford service department with a brand new shiny red F-150 -- but if i fucking tell you my choke is stuck.... my choke is stuck. am i making any kind of a point???? just because the problem didn't show up on their laptop does not mean it didn't happen. I've been choked, i know whereof i speak! ah well. i laugh to myself when i leave the pretty, coiffed, well-dressed boys with a legitimate check for 97.60, cashable right now, money in the bank. why didn't they just sit around a fire in a barrel, drink a little whiskey, shoot some crank and figure it out? jesus. is it too much to ask?

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

marooned

i am stuck without my truck. fucked. outta luck. i asked the guys at the ford service department to be fair. they all laughed and i handed them the keys. but i am home, and finally, a week and a half later, it feels good to be home. the limited options of no transportation leave me in familiar territory. i remember life without wheels. thumb-life. getting around at the whim of good natured motorists, or rapists, as the case may be. fortunately, i had the gift of gab, and talked my way out of more than a couple difficult rides. i remember this one guy, who, when he picked me up, made a physical request. it was back in my jesus-freak days, and i said, oh no, i'm a christian. i couldn't possibly. and he said, i thought christians were supposed to love everybody. i talked him into going to church with me. he found out where i lived and stalked me for awhile, but his inch-thick, coke-bottle glasses gave him away, slumped behind the wheel of his maroon barracuda. it was 1971, i remember, because that was the year i dedicated to christ. its all he's got from me so far. a year, or nearly so. and he's welcomed to it. welcome. whatever. it was a tough year. white knuckle christianity. but it still saves me.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

suicidal sunday night

i like saturday mornings best... no near memory or imminent threat of work, time all to myself, coffee made by me, not the girls at the human bean. their coffee is better, but its cold out and i like to drink the first cup in my pyjamas. by sunday, the spell is worn, the mystery of the weekend demystified, me disenchanted, unfulfilled. it is never enough. what i didn't do: rake the rest of the wet leaves blown up against the side of the house by the wind wind wind that has swept the driveway clean year after year but will not bag the goddamn leaves; i didn't sweep the dog crap off the porch or clean the mold off the floor where the plant was. what i accomplished: got food, a cubicle organizer for my many sweaters. many black turtleneck sweaters. what is it about organizers? they, like weekends and new lipstick, promise so much and deliver so little. at least this one wasn't plastic. they don't fix a life, they don't provide meaning. the take up more space, which was the issue in the first place. if not plastic, they are molded from pressed wood. paper, really, that warps and mutates at the first hint of moisture. moisture, which, if you've been reading along, i do not manage any better than any other aspect of my life. so they (organizers) are another example of planned obsolesence, like my truck, at 40,000 miles, is falling apart. the warantee off at 36,000. ah well. thus, the job, the subsequent dissatisfaction, and weekends....

Saturday, January 10, 2004

come saturday morning

i remember learning that perjury was wrong. it came late in life, later than for most, but i love to break the law. always have. "we don't do that," said an old man from east LA, an old man who had learned over many years and with a brain as wet as Bandon, not to.

i have mentioned before in this oddly living diary, this public journal no one is interested in, that i have abandoned my life. it's true. yesterday i moved a plant for the first time in (apparently) a very long time, to find the base of the basket had become one with the hardwood floor, the cotton rug beneath it serving as little more than laminate at this point. I live alone. i hire housekeepers because i don't like to clean house. it is clear to me that they have not been doing their job either. who is to blame? i am only happy once blame is assigned and somebody feels bad, but the housekeepers are long gone (as is my stash of vicodin for the hard times) and it is, after all, my house.

the floor under the plant is warped, black with mold. unredeemably, i think, bent. i don't know what to do. i look at it, and it represents what has become of my life, of my ability to hold this thing together over so many years. I am a homeowner with the brain of a renter. I want to move, i dont' want to take care of it all anymore. i want to hit the road with a backpack, be twenty, and live the life that was never that good, but in my memory. i walk down the road and see homeless people, basket people, shopping cart people, and consider: they sure don't have much overhead. The clutch is going out in my new truck, i hotrod like a teenager, i will never grow up. i don't want to be twenty again. god no. but i view responsibility as a burden better borne by those with experience. with training. surely a woman with more training would never have allowed her floor, her beautiful oak floor, to rot before her eyes. surely she would have smelled decay in process.

Friday, January 09, 2004

the valentine invitation

i'm looking for cards, now. looking at red satin boxers that teenage girls get for their boyfriends. looking forward to walking up the steps and in the door and bouncing off the dog and hugging the girl and kissing her father until i'm out of spit. until i'm sure i'm there again. back where i know i don't belong but can't quit going. back where i never thought i could be. would be. the vortex of his bed, the resurrection of our bodies, the certainty of one man, one moment stretched over so many years. and we will watch bad movies, and listen to the beatles, and drive in a strange town until they think i live there, surprised i don't know how to get to hawthorne. it will be valentine's day, not in a motel this time, a motel without hot water, with chocolate, and a single red rose from walmart, second thoughts, and such distance between us it has taken a year to cross it. there is no arrival for us, no destination i understand, but we have crossed the distance, and are togethter in the middle of something that cannot last, but has. i am invisible, a ship without a wake, moving through his life without effect. and i see the end coming for me like a shark in the shallows. i can't help but see it. it has been there all along, allowing all of this. more to feed on in the end, i suppose.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

extreme makeover

the housekeeper where i work told me like this: "jou need a makofer." i'll listen to anyone with orange hair.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

snow emergency

the threat of snow, of weather above or below 70 degrees has become, in this age of obsessive newsgathering, an event. winter storm warning. extreme weather predicted in the northwest. storm art on the six o'clock news.... it is winter, for chrissake. winter in oregon. complete with snow. when i was up in portland over the holidays, images of snow plows burning up the pavement --yes, pavement, sparks flying -- gave me pause. there was less than an inch of snow in the metro area and the brigades were out, loaded for bear, double time and a half, making the news. all i could think was: somebody kill somebody so we don't embarrass ourselves, we oregonians: the few, the proud, the pussies. where are the lumberjacks, the pioneers, the cowboys? gone to bureaucrats, everyone? soft, chilled to the spineless bone? white collar has-beens with no tolerance for the whim of the seasons. all dressed in carhartts, sitting in their seat-heated suv's, afraid to chance a dash into the house after a long day shopping for camping gear they will use on the three days of the year that suit their frail constitutions. by the year 2020 they'll be dropping like flies in august from consumption, men on work crews with the vapors. oh, god. give me real men. men who feel no pain, who express no emotion but lust. it's cold down here in the south of the state, southern girl at her laptop, critiqueing the world from her own temperate zone.

i played games with three friends last night, german games, smart games, games much smarter than me. it seems the germans, europeans in general but germans most of all, have oscar awards for gaming. we played the game that started it all, settlers of catan (translation weak). i can still learn, i am happy to report.

i will have dinner with my son tonight, my puking drunk son, my son for whom i will hold up the tentpoles of AA and hope he floats in before the next dark night. i found the pefect birthday card. it says: you will always be my baby.

no snow yet down here in the southlands, but the plows stand ready.

Sunday, January 04, 2004

Cold day

valley of the dolls. spent the last hour on the phone with dave. he isn't happy. i've abandoned my life. my son won't speak to me, won't see me on his birthday, won't have dinner with me. my dog is shitting on the porch, (dogs are so subtle) my cat left and i am still packed from a ten day vacation away from home. running away. trading security for passion. fair trade. i maintain that i am living life instead of writing about it. some say bullshit, but for me, after many years in isolation, self-imposed, i think i know what i'm talking about. at what cost? time will tell. it always does. time, unlike me, tells the truth. at least i am writing again.

Saturday, January 03, 2004

devil's churn

there i was, late december, my long deceased father's birthday, vacationing, skipping rock to rock, jagged and jutting, spray flying thirty feet in the air from the crevasse. i've always been surefooted, a mountain goat on most surfaces. but i am not atheletic. i am not. i am not. i am not. i considered the step before i took it -- knew it was too far a stretch for me. the pointed lava rock i was to land on was too narrow for my boot, my boot to old to grab like it used to. the sign said don't go past this point, and we had been discussing the old fool at the water's edge, at the devil's edge, at the edge of the churn. an old fisherman, hoping to grasp fried fish from the mouth of hell, standing soundly in place as waves blew through the channel like a whale's blowhole. I peeked bravely over the edge and commented to my beloved how convenient a place this would be in the event i wanted to get rid of somebody. (not someone. i am someone.) and then, walking back up, i jumped to the spiney rock, and just like that my foot went out from under me. initially, i hung onto my coffee cup the way you do at the most inconvenient of times. a two dollar paper cup of cold coffee, clinging to it instead of life itself. willing, in that moment, to trade life for caffiene. and i thought these thoughts: first... this isn't really happening, is it? i won't actually fall, will I? then, nanoseconds later, surely I won't roll over. then, surely, i won't roll over again... and so it went, the thoughts, the life-flashing-before-my-eyes kind of thoughts, until the coffee was a laughable memory, my knees broken and my bare hands clinging to lava flow as to a last breath. I yelled out his name and the life and death of it is all wrapped up in that moment-- that his name may have been the last word i uttered. and that would have been okay with me.

it'll come to me

been a long day. too many new things. two. two new things is one too many: 1.) the importance of tradition, and 2.) how to make a blog. i am absorbing information at the rate of an alzheimer's patient. mind like a seive. word salad. the continuum has been like this: (asha says i have to tell the truth. like she does. if i knew how to insert a url, i'd do it here. see the links at my right, your right, OUR right, for her site.) the continuum, from pencil and yellow paper to the blog, has gone like this: well, like i said, first, like hunting and gathering, was pencil and yellow paper. following many years later was computer and dot matrix printer, printing every word on hard copy because it was magic, and i didn't think it would be there when i got back. then, saving to disc, believing it would still be there, but printing on laser anyway. stacks of fucking paper. millions of dead trees in my faithless wake. then, a laptop because i couldnt' leave the soul-sucking vortex of my couch. then, a giant step to email and the limitation of a selected audience. now this, a living thing: a blog of my own. blogbirth. i'm a liar, not a writer. restrain your expectations.