Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Tomorrow Is The First Day of the Rest of Your Life


The summer after my senior year in high school, I babysat a ten-year old boy named Blake (not the emotional one in the former post, but a bad-ass with the name of a poet) in a trailer on the outskirts of town, near the local airport. One of my dad's friends had owned the trailer for a long time and it still had all the decorations from the 1970s including a yellowing thumb-tacked poster with a butterfly that said, Tomorrow Is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life. I babysat Blake every weekday night while his mother worked third shift at a nearby factory. Blake had one book in the entire house, a book about snakes and spiders titled These Things Bite and Sting! It wasn't exactly the Velveteen Bunny, but I read the book to him every night despite the horrible pictures that stayed in my mind for hours of snakes and scorpions and big spiders.

I hated being in the trailer where you could hear every rustling in the night but I needed the five dollars a night I earned to save for college. Blake never wanted to go to sleep and kept trying to touch me in what one might call an inappropriate manner. You have a nice butt, he'd say, like a ten-year old modelling agent sizing me up for some casting call in hell. He'd also try to get at his mother's cigarettes, but I could hide those and we'd stay up talking about things to make the hours pass. You're scared of all the noises, he'd say. No, I'm not, I'd tell him, lying in an obvious way after jumping for the umpteenth time. Uh huh, he'd say. Nuh uh, I'd say and so went our dialogue. After Blake fell asleep, I'd retire to the living room and look at all the old furniture, so familiar in that way of the recent past, the avocado-colored appliances and the recliners, the sinking couch. I've never smoked, but I would take out one of his mother's cigarettes and let it burn. After all, tomorrow was the first day of the rest of my life. I could quit then.


Michelle's Spell of the Day

"We're not living together. We're just trapped in the same cage." Tennesse Williams, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

The Day After The Night Before

40 ml scotch whisky
50 ml single cream
3 teaspoons of honey

Pour all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with cracked glass. Strain into a martini glass.

This is a lovely hangover cure.

Benedictions and Maledictions

I usually reserve this section for poems, but I'm taking a couple of days off and asking for questions instead. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them on the comment board, and I'll start addressing them on Saturdays, in a section titled Saturday Night Special.

9 comments:

john said...

Dear Michelle, sheer genius! The interior shots become you, truly among the Catholic mysteries. Bravo!

I'll leave the first query to someone else. I'm simply delighted to read your posts for now.

Cheri said...

Michelle, Oh the horrors of teenage babysitting! Good idea about the questions... only what to ask? =D
Mlle Cheri

bonnie said...

That's a darling image of you, Michelle. Very sweet and smart like a sexy librarian. Great story, too, honey. Question: What kind of foundation have you been using these days to make your skin stay so light?

Tom said...

Michelle;

That's a great idea. Questions and answers. And that ten year old kid. I bet he was full of them. As for me? I think I've asked you just about everything. I like it best when you don't answer, but just stare at me, with that far away look. It's the best! And it works for me. xxxoooTom

cindy said...

Michelle,

who is this Peeping Tom? Not quite right, but what's new? He is a man, after all. Hope your Pistons win and let's not forget the Shock!

xo
Cindy

Wichita-Lineman said...

Michelle,

If you could be in a band, what would the name of your band be, and what type of music would you play? Where would your band play and what type of stage props would you use? What song would your band cover for the big encore finale?

Sincerely,
Insomniac in Troy

Anonymous said...

Hi Michelle.
Who gets to take the great pix of you? They are so artistic and capture the essence of you. Anna

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