Thursday, July 20, 2006

Lather, Rinse, Repeat As Necessary

So I hacked up my couch (see last post for complete description of hideous object) like Lizzie Borden, still wearing my yoga clothes from the morning class. My friend Cal had agreed to take me to Home Depot after class to purchase an ax and help me with the beastly sofa that had been sitting by my apartment Dumpster for nearly a month, garnering me a nasty note from the management that said I had to get it in the Dumpster or die (okay, it was a little nicer than that, but not by much). We both agreed it would be therapeutic to hack something to bits.

When we set to the task, we were shocked by how much passive resistance the couch put up at its moment of demise. Old people came by and mocked us. "If I was you, I'd set it on fire," one helpful sort on a scooter advised. We tried to channel our aggression at whatever wrongs had been hurled our way, but the couch sagged and ripped and our aggression died, leaving us with sheer will. After nearly an hour, we managed to get the couch into the Dumpster but it didn't feel like a victory. Relieved as I was to have the apartment management off my back, I knew I would miss looking at it from my window. But I did the only thing left to do -- pick up my ax and yoga bag and step back inside.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"I don't ask writers about their work habits. I really don't care. Joyce Carol Oates says somewhere that when writers ask each other what time they start working and when they finish and how much time they take for lunch, they're actually trying to find out, 'Is he as crazy as I am?' I don't need that question answered." Philip Roth

Writer's Lunch (with apologies to Raymond Carver)

one can of soup
one carton of tears
one bottle of vodka

Benedictions and Maledictions

The Last Days of Our Pompeii

There was hope that things could be, if not
altered, perhaps the course not quite so
relentless, slow death in the end not
being quite slow enough. Our last night
together we watched Willie Nelson sing
at Billy Bob’s, and a woman stopped
with a basket of roses, a final gesture
of sweetness. I took them home where
they died quickly, so red they looked
black, dried blood clots, unchanging
in their message -- you can keep me, but
I will harden, I will dry up, I will become
something else, their only obligation in being
what they are, what they have ceased to be.


tygresstwin said...

When I moved into my apartment, my bf set my hampster cage on my couch, and the darn animal chewed through the fabric. I know it's sadistic, but I'm glad the little bugger is gone now ... my hampster, not my bf.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Writing, to me, is leaving post-it-notes and scrap pieces of paper all over the house or in my shirt pockets. Sometimes my ideas, my written words, make it to my desk, sometimes they make it through the wash, sometimes they're reborn onto another sheet of paper. As far as habits, just one: where I torture myself repeatedly. --Jim

Anonymous said...

Cal Goosen? Yes, he could fit in quite nicely. Joyce Carrol Oates? Gag me with a spoon.

Anonymous said...

Today's triple-header "Quote of the Day":#1: We ourselves are responsible for our own happiness and misery. We create our own heavens. We create our own hells. We are the architects of our fate.--Narada Mahathera;#2: The message of romance is that success comes about through belief in oneself. Greece also knew romance--indeed, the idiom can be said to have started with the Odyssey....Our romantic individualism too often serves the same purpose that the archaic Greek concept of moira did: it allows us to believe that everyone deserves what they get.--David and Sharon Hoffman;#3: BURN,BABY,BURN!--Jerry Rubin.

Anonymous said...

It's been a great semester, Miss Brooks. I wish you well in all your future endeavors.

Sheila said...

Another great post michelle! The picture is so funny! I liked the poem as well. Very touching

JAM said...

I know this will sound stupid, but you deserve some kind of rough-and-tough nickname for axe/couch episode.

Growing up, my older brother loved the L.A. Rams, and they had a linebacker called 'hacksaw' Reynolds. On a drunken dare when in college, Mr. Reynolds earned his nickname by cutting an entire Jeep in half (across the middle, not lengthwise) by hand.

I would have loved to have been the proverbial 'fly on the wall' while you were at it!

R's Musings said...

Very interesting how the passive resistance in the couch correlates w/that of the rose--"you can keep me, but I will harden, I will dry up, I will become something else..." Excellent post & poem! Cheers, R

Paul said...

My Cajun Queen
here is to choppin' and Shake and Bake. Livin thru Pompeii and Looking So Foxy.
R_R Cass_Corridor!

John Ricci said...

Dear Michelle,

Interesting dress. And concept. Lovely post and poem, as always.
I too am happy you survived your Pompeii. Uncork some Moet. Bravo!

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