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.