Friday, June 23, 2006

Second Day Reported

Whenever I return to Texas, I know I'm almost home when I pass the 24 Hour XXX-Rated Adult Video Store on the side of the highway. It's been there for as long as I can remember, and there is no fence around the parking lot so the cars and pick-up trucks can be counted. Sometimes I recognize a truck or two, but perhaps the most shocking moment of recognition was when I spotted a familiar mini-van with a handicapped sticker driven by my sister's friend Natalie. Natalie, a sweet girl afflicted with cystic fibrosis and an evangelical Christian, admitted that she frequented the place so often that she'd formed a friendship with the manager. The only thing that kept her from renting videos was when her feet had sores on them from the braces she had to wear when she wasn't in her wheelchair. She told my sister that pornography had made her a shell of herself and as often as she told herself she wouldn't go, she'd find herself in her mini-van with her helper dog Rex, moving toward the store after they'd eaten dinner at Taco Bell or somewhere else that she could pull in and get a meal for both herself and Rex, whom she loved.

When I was a little girl, I thought the Adult in anything meant it was for grown-ups, and I wanted to read and see those videos because kids' stuff was just so dull! When I figured out that adult meant something else, I wondered who might be drawn to such a world and what it would mean to them. Natalie had had boyfriends -- the one she really loved would come over late at night, and she'd douse herself with perfume to hide the odor of urine coming from her catheter bag and hope he wouldn't notice and be disgusted. She'd put on his favorite music, George Strait, and get out of her wheelchair and arrange herself in bed to look as if she could be anyone, someone who didn't deal with wheelchairs and catheter bags and constant pain. For a few minutes, she'd be a beautiful woman waiting for a man she loved until something would happen that brought back reality. She said the man was an addiction, so much so that when she caught him with another woman in a restaurant (she and Rex would follow him around), she threw a knife at him. In that moment, she had fulfilled her fantasy of being like every other woman -- capable of moments of beautiful preparations as well as unplanned violence, the kind we visit on others, the kind we save for ourselves.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

" At some point in your story grief presents itself." D.J. Waldie

Movies that will make you want to drink:

Last Exit To Brooklyn, Leaving Las Vegas, Breaking the Waves, Requiem for A Dream, Deconstructing Harry

Benedictions and Maledictions

Second Day Reported

I have never told anyone this,
and I am not going to start now.
You won’t recognize me because
I’ve dyed my hair, and I don’t
answer to the same name. But
here’s something. This is the worst
story I have ever heard. Once a woman
was gang-raped in an apartment
where men kept streaming in and out
for hours, so many that she couldn’t
identify them all. She changed
everything she could so that they
wouldn’t recognize her, but in the end,
she became Apartment 206, and she
could never leave. Some women tell
themselves this place doesn’t exist,
that she doesn’t even exist. The men, well,
they know better, or so the saying goes.

* second day reported is a police term for rapes that aren't reported on the day the rape takes place


cindy said...

Another moving entry. Men may be horrible in large qaunatities, but life is just sad. I can understand why people drink. You look really cute in the picture, though!


Anonymous said...

You can get anything you want--at Alice's restaurant, excepting Alice.--AG

Anonymous said...

Remember when Deniro and Sybil went to the porno flick in Taxi Driver? That was such an awkward moment. Wasn't Sybil in one of your favorite movies, Michelle? I remember reading the book the year it came out. A very big Portnoy's Complaint experience. Sam the Lion, quite a character. They don't make 'em like they used to.

Anonymous said...

Dear Michelle's Spell,

I've been thinking about your question about my relationship with THE married guy, which is how all my friends refer to him. His circle doesn't know about me (obviously), but everyone I know knows the deal. We see each other twice a week, max. Sometimes we just have sex, but sometimes dinner. He only takes me to places when his wife travels (she's the one that makes all the money which is the big reason he won't leave, fancy dancy lawyer type and bitch supreme)so mostly I have to cook which sucks because I want to get out for a nice night sometimes since I work hard, just not at a great job like she does. I pretty much pay for all our dates and stuff but I find myself thinking about how alone I would be without him since no good men seem to be around. (I work with all women) What should I do to get him to leave his wife? I think we could be happy with less money if given a chance since I am much nicer and we have a real bond. Hopeless in Bloomfield Hills

Dawn Rachel said...

I'm addicted to your writing all your stories are so interesting. heh i now have a new stop to make on my daily visit =)


robin said...

So many symbols of repression, and look at what it brings. Thanks, Michelle, for stirring our hearts with such an excellent post!

John said...

Dear Michelle,

What a depressing poem, searing. A lovely photograph, aside from the text that makes me want to hide or something. Dear Lord and Mary, have mercy on us. So much evil in this world.

robin said...

Dear Hopeless,
Why would he leave his wife when he has the best of both worlds? A beautiful home, nice clothes, nice car to drive, sex at least twice a week, if not more, and you paying for everything when he's with you, too. Where's the incentive? Just something to think about. -Robin

Anonymous said...

You are a beautiful person to write about such morbid things. Still, the pictures make it worth it. Good luck, MMR

Anonymous said...

What cha got cookin'? Or are ya just takin' the edge off? Have a nice weekend, good lookin'.

Anonymous said...

Hey M,
Got a blog and a first post. Let's see if I can do this thing. :) -R

bonnie said...

Hey honey,

You look so gorgeous there with your outdoor cooking regime. How cute! I hear you on the poem, too -- a grim reminder of reality.
That foundation works wonders for me, by the by.

kiss kiss

Anonymous said...

Meshelle, I die for your work out regimen. Look terrific, how you do it? Envious but with smiles
love, N.

Cheri said...

It's hard to be witty at 530 in the morning, but wonderful post, I'm looking forward to the new book of poems.

Sheila said...

another great post today michelle! i look forward to reading more