Sunday, April 23, 2006
Tony Soprano, Original G
Anyone who knows me understands that Sunday night is sacrosanct because of HBO, particularly The Sopranos. Like everything I eventually love, I got into The Sopranos way after everybody else I know did. Some people blame this on my astrological sign -- being a Taurus, I'm slow by nature and stubborn and a lot of controversial people were born under this sign -- Freud, Hitler, Machiavelli, James Brown, the last two on my very birthdate. The story of how my conversion came about is a simple one involving my mother -- she loved the show and forced me to watch three episodes with her back-to-back. She was pretty sick at this point in her life, and so I did it without a fight. By the third one, I was hooked in that way crack addicts get hooked. Despite the brilliant acting by all the cast, the show belongs to James Gandolfini, aka Tony Soprano. He's the epitome of American masculinity -- troubled, doubtful, forceful, a man of divided loyalities and a divided heart. He feels from the first episode that he's come into something at a point of its decline, that he missed something more vibrant and crucial. Nothing breaks the heart like the beauty of the ruins and the way we exist among them, so fleeting in our loveliness until we become them.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"You can talk about each day's a gift and smelling roses, but regular life has a way of picking away at it. Your house, the things you
own . . . One bad idea after another." Tony at his therapist's office after getting shot by his uncle on trying to view each day as a "gift."
Tony Soprano, Original G
2 oz. pernod
4 oz. orange joice
1 slice of lime
Benedictions and Maledictions
First published in Rainbow Curve:
At Night, Everything Is Quiet
Shorter, cooler days were on the way, but first
Vacation Bible School, with the songs about building
your house on sand and rock, the accompanying hand
gestures about the results of such a project. I knew
a woman who built her house on a nest of copperheads.
In the evenings when the snakes were at their thickest,
she’d sit on her porch with her dog and a hoe. When
the dog found a snake, she’d pick up the hoe and chop
the snake’s head off, their decapitated bodies littering
the yard. By dark, everything was quiet and we could
pretend we were anywhere. How can you live here?
I asked one day, my mother far enough away not to yell
at me for being rude. It’s not bad all the time, she said.
It would take too much energy for me to move. Years
later, I would understand how it was to build before
you knew what lurked beneath the structure, no hope
of fight or flight, just the paralysis that comes
from keeping the danger at bay, waiting for a time
when it seemed you’d chosen well, that your house
was firm, days short enough to pretend that night
was all there was, all there would ever be.