Deep obliteration has a loveliness that nobody can take away from you, I thought, as I washed the vomit from my hair after a long afternoon of drinking vodka martinis with two friends and the Count (mentioned in an earlier post, the one who dresses like a cross between a snappy Nazi and High Plains Drifter). The Count was hammering me about why I write, what I get out of it, and posed the question over and over again, like an FBI investigator. I told him that I write to feel like myself and it's the only time I'm alive in a full way, part joy, part crucifixion, all my emotions and narrative control. Then I slurped down the last of my second vodka martini on an empty stomach (the olive was counting for lunch) and admitted that when I prayed, I felt my sins were so egregious that Christ would have to recrucify himself to make it right. Drinking also gives me the ability to access my emotions, at least until I excused myself to the restroom where I noticed the dying afternoon light streaming through the gin bottles lined up on a windowsill and thought, how beautiful, right before vomiting all over the floor, unable to locate the toilet as those bastards are always moving when you have had two drinks served in glasses the size of small soup bowls.
As I recovered the next day, I felt heavy of heart because all of what I had said was true. The truth is not the liberator it is purported to be. Being a writer means seeing a lot of what you don't want to see. There was no pride in staying the course (I had done that as a gymnast and it had garnered me a second place state ribbon on a zippy floor routine performed to the tune of "Dallas" -- big whoop as we said in those days) or what might come of it. Meant feeling bad when I wasn't doing it, okay when I was, all that time spent looking back at burning cities, like Lot's wife, and risking it all for one last glimpse of what you've left behind.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I do not know myself and the fact that I think I am following you does not mean I am actually doing so. But I believe that my desire to please you does please you." Thomas Merton
All Tomorrow's Parties
1 splash of 7 up
1 splash of grenadine
1 part vodka
1 part cranberry juice
Benedictions and Maledictions
First published in Gargoyle:
Anyone Could Do It
The phone rang, and she picked up her iron,
pressed it close to her face, the mistake
searing into her skin. Burns don’t heal
fast, the doctor told her. It didn’t. Worse,
having to explain all the time. Anyone
could do it and she had. Sometimes people
urged remedies to prevent scarring, for making
the skin smooth again, as if she’d picked
up a phone and asked them for their advice.