Sunday, June 11, 2006

There Is No Stop, Drop, and Roll in Hell

When I was in graduate school, home for fourth of July, my sister's diabetic ashmatic stalker returned as if from the dead. We're talking Texas, we're talking hot as all billy hell, oven-like, a virtual furnace. Juan (said stalker) had dressed himself up in a black sweatsuit and black tennis shoes. Keep in mind that Juan was no small man -- at about 5'10, he weighed a little over three hundred pounds. I looked out my window and saw Juan creeping about and periodically sucking on his inhaler. Shit, I thought, Juan's back and yelled for the others in the house to wake up. My sister's then-fiance was there, my soon-to-be ex, and my parents. The fiance, Johnson, and the ex grabbed the only weapons available -- a broomstick and a can of Aquanet hairspray. Perhaps they were hoping to both beat Juan and do his hair which was not looking its best in the heat.

I fell asleep before the police appeared. Juan had been here before and he'd be back if he didn't die of heat stroke. I needed my beauty rest. As for the rest of the house, they stayed up discussing what to do after Johnny Law left, the stalking laws proving as ineffectual as Juan himself for any relief. Poor Johnson had a bit of a meltdown. "I'm going back to Taiwan," Johnson said. "Too much excitement here." His chip trembled as he dipped it in salsa the next night at dinner. He compared Texas to hell, a comparision that holds up if you ask me. Years ago, I saw a sign on a church that tried to scare people into its doors by announcing, There Is No Stop, Drop, or Roll in Hell. Alone with my thoughts late at night whether Juan is around or not, I often think, don't I know it.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"Duck and cover." Our government's instructions on what to do during an atomic attack

Belle du Jour

glass of champagne

a splash of gin

a splash of lemon juice

Serve with a lemon garmish

This is a cocktail that is as beautiful as Catherine Denueve. The gin cuts the sweetness of the champagne and the lemon gives it zest!

Benedictions and Maledictions

In answer to Bonnie's question: What is the best part about being a Texan?

I have very complicated feelings about growing up in Texas. It's a great training ground for a writer, being such an odd and large place. What I like best about Texans is they tend to be a bold and independent people who accept a lot more weirdness than others. There's a famous quote about Texas being hell on horses and women. That's true, but if you survive your upbringing, you can handle anything. Look at Molly Ivins or Ann Richards! Those women make me glad to be a Texan.


Jason said...

Have you Texans elected Kinky Friedman yet?

Cheri said...

Michelle, I've seen the exact same line written on a church sign around here, about a year ago. I love this insight into the stalker Juan. I have to make a post about Drug Dealer John who has tried to push himself back into my life. =D

See you this week!

robin said...

Never been to Texas, but it definitely sounds like a hellish place -- one that makes you thankful for a little heat relief in Michigan. My question: What's the most important thing you learned from your young marriage?

Sheila said...

great post. I love the imagery you give to Texas. I picture it like the 7th circle of hell type of thing... but I still am going to visit one day! I am so bent on going to Texas!

paul said...

My Cajun Q.,

I have to duck and cover every day, yes ma'am. Cool entry, sweet drink. Rock away!

RnR Cass2!

cindy said...


So sweet! Love your stories. Means the world to me, and Robin and Cherie and Sheila are wise strong women, a strong circle. Let it strengthen even more. To the Sisterhood!


John not a writer of Detroit said...

Dear Michelle, belle d'epoch,

What a wonderful Sunday post. Your witty insights are lovely, as always.


Anonymous said...

Today's quote: For every hell there's a heaven, a place where words aren't needed because everyone always knows what everyone else is thinking, and the thoughts are always good, always.--Me, Anonymous

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Kinky in a band called the Texas Jewboys? What a name.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of hell, with your position on gay marriage, are you sure you're a Catholic? Who baptized you, M.L. Leibler?

Cheri said...

I'm not very fond of this anonymous person who likes to leave snotty comments on peoples blogs.

Michelle's Spell said...

Thank you, Cheri! As for Mr. Anonymous-Pants, I assure you that I was baptized by Deacon John and that any marriage before conversion is considered "lack of form" by the church and that many Catholics believe in gay marriage. I like to think of myself more as Vatican Three or maybe Vatican Thirty-Three as far as politics go. And yes, Kinky Friedman has a band called Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys (big hit song -- "I'm Just An Asshole for El Paso" as an answer to "Okie from Maskokie"). Kinky is also a talented writer and spent a long time on Willie Nelson's tour bus for research. Now that's a duty I wouldn't mind!

Anonymous said...

Ok, just as long as you're not Vatican 666.

robin said...

Thanks, Cindy, for the compliment. And cheers to the supportive women in our lives, Michelle being a fine example! And also to the supportive men, the ones who have loved us, and the ones who have let us down. Sometimes the ones who've let us down teach us the most--the difference between who we think we are and who, we find out, we really are! Cheers to the journey!