Monday, May 01, 2006

You Can't See It In This Picture


When I was seven, I got my Cotton Mather book taken away. It was a library book, one of many I checked out every week. I had been reading "The Wonders of the Invisible World," a sermon about devils and demons and all that is seen, but mostly that which is unseen. For weeks, I had been fascinated by the witchcraft books (all two of them at the Mineral Wells Boyce Ditto Library) and astrology (I am a Taurus, my sister a Virgo, my father was a Capricorn and my mother a Libra -- I had checked out the children's books about these signs and still remember what they looked like -- thin, grey, with orange lettering on the front). I'd take these book to the local airport where I'd sit for hours in the terminal waiting on my dad as he gave flight lessons and pretended to teach a class of four very special brilliant girls that loved and adored me, which wasn't the greatest preparation for real-life teaching, I've got to say. The girls never acted out, and they were always eager for knowledge, like the latest recipe on how to make Halloween cookies (a big project for us even in the summer) or what events started the Salem Witch Trials. Once in a while, I'd throw in an imaginary boy named Timmy who just could not keep up with the assignments and he'd have to go back to ordinary school because his quizzes were subpar and the girls didn't care all that much for him.

Eventually I got braver and braver with my book selections until I started having nightmares about the reading. My mother told me after some brief investigative work of my book selections (I had hidden two under my bed) that there was to be no more checking out of "scary" books. I welcomed this prohibition at first -- the dreams were terrible, and the old remedies (like imagining I was in a field of tulips) weren't working anymore. All I could see was an ax murderer coming through the tulips. But like all prohibitions, things loosened after a couple of weeks, and I was back to my old ways. Bad dreams weren't enough to stop obsession, it seemed. Of course, they never are.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"Children have no fear of their dolls coming to life, they may even desire it." Freud, "The Uncanny"

Wonders of the Invisible World

1 shot of vanilla vodka
1 shot of pink lemonade
Mix these two shots together and sip. The ingredients should be chilled.

Benedictions and Maledictions

First published in Illya's Honey:

You Can’t See It In This Picture

There’s a tiara on my head, but you can’t
see it since it’s been cut off. Not that it
matters. Linda Lovelace says if you watch
Deep Throat closely, you can see her
bruises. The pleasure is all mine, I say,
even when it isn’t. I can’t remember a
plot, but that’s beside the point. My
tiara is cheap, a child’s toy, and it breaks
without warning. I am not a child, but
I could be. Come closer. Or don’t.

7 comments:

cindy said...

Michelle,

brilliant again! how do you do it? Love that "Timmy" as an adult is being skewered with voodoo knives, or so it looks from your picture. You are the queen of them all, sweetie!

xo
Cindy

Nina said...

So fun! Must spread gospel of Michelle Brooks.

Mme Cheri said...

As a child I was also censored in my reading habits, having scared other children in my second grade class by telling them about the Bubonic Plague and the horrors of Stephen King in fifth grade. There was a time when my school books were taken because I'd read ahead and ruin the stories for other children.

Lord I'm gonna write paragraphs in here.. I'll talk to you tomorrow at school.

Mme Cheri

Keith Hood said...

Hey Michelle,

I am finding myself addicted to your blog.

Take care

Keith

John said...

Dear Michelle,

Great, a fellow Taurus! Happy Birthday tomorrow, then, Ms. Machiavelli/James Brown!

John "the Prince."

Anonymous said...

Prince of my ass -- who do these non-women think they are?

Anyway, happy birthday, Michelle!

xo and all power to you!
Cindy

Anonymous said...

Viva la madre que te pario, eres encantadora. un admirador Felipe Chao