Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Boynton's Morocco



There are an endless set of bizarre existential questions that people ask each other, ranging from the rather pedestrian personality ones (If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be? My answer, a weeping willow as they are beautiful and hideously destructive, clogging up every available septic tank system around) to the more complex ones (If you had to choose between blindness and deafness, which would you choose? Deafness, given that I love to talk too much and being deaf would kill my social life in that way, but there are many things I'd probably prefer not to see). My favorite question, though, is one that I didn't hear until I was in my twenties. If you came to a wall and you couldn't get over it or under it and you had to stay where you were, what would you do? Of course, the wall is death and your response to it is your way of dealing with mortality. My first answer was that I'd set up shop, make myself comfortable, build all sorts of things around the wall, decorate it, and use it to help me sleep. My friends, two beautiful twins who had asked the question, laughed and said I was the first person to answer it that way. Most people charged the wall or ran away from it, pretended it wasn't there, but that the wall in the question inspired a lot of fear and misery.

I understand the pretend part. One of my crackpot romantic theories is that at the end of every long-term relationship, a couple takes a trip together to get away (the obstensible reason is to have those endless state of the union talks, you're doing this and I'm not getting that and you know, all the predictable horrors, the ways we mangle each other) from the reality of ending. I will never say that a break-up is like a death -- I've experienced both and can say that while breaking up with someone is horribly painful, it pales in comparison to never having a chance to change things. But it is a death of sorts, the death of hope, of a planned life, and maybe most painfully, the death of a shared past, the language of marriage. I have done this type of trip, as have many of my friends. The places are different and usually quite indicative of the nature of the relationship -- mine have tended toward road trips, one to the Lawrence Welk Museum (our relationship sucks, let's polka!), while my friends have gone to many an exotic place -- San Francisco, London, New York. But my favorite is my friend David Boynton. When his marriage was ending, his wealthy in-laws sent he and his wife to Morocco to work things out. I've always liked the sound of Morocco, but he came back more miserable than before. In a far-away city where things were both glittering and rotting, he came to the realization that his wife, despite all his best efforts, was going to leave him. Morocco means land of God in some languages, in some languages it's only a name. I suppose it depends who is interpreting.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"Sometimes we have the absolute certainty that there's something inside us that's so hideous and monstrous that if we ever search it out we won't be able to stand looking at it. But it's when we're willing to come face to face with that demon that we face the angel." - Hubert Selby, Jr.

Boynton's Morocco

2 shots of expensive rum over ice
2 parts regret

Benedictions and Maledictions

In answer to whatever happened to my friend Robin, mentioned in earlier blogs:

The sad truth is that I don't know. We lost touch after college in that way of friendships based on chance meetings and similar surroundings. I adored Robin for her honest way -- the scary ability she had to see into the world long before I did. Her habits were such that they probably have changed, or she is dead. Or maybe in rehab with that politically-correct, love everyone Mel Gibson! I hate that guy and Braveheart totally sucked. I could not and would not ever force myself to see The Passion of Christ, even while deeply drunk and/or stoned, the way I saw The Last Temptation of Christ, also a crappy movie.

21 comments:

R's Musings said...

Wonderful post and I love the quote! Cheers to you, Miss M! Love ya, R

Paul said...

My Cajun Queen, O Mighty Isis,
Your stepping out there, Foxy Lady. Lovin those shades and that bubles dress. R2 C2!

Cheri said...

Beautiful photo! Visiting a certain someone who's book is on my shelf? Hubert is very very right with that quote.

Anonymous said...

Today's triple-header "Quote of the Day":#1: Schiller, one of the greatest classical artists of all time, makes a bold bid to solve simultaneously the problem of artistic creativity and that of aesthetic gratification....Schiller places the individual between the two worlds of the senses(reality)and the will(moral), to which he ascribes, on the one hand, the material-instinct, and, on the other, the form-instinct. The play-instinct gives expression and life to both in harmonius union, and the result is beauty.--Otto Rank;#2: The memory is a living thing--it too is in transit. But during its moment, all that is remembered joins, and lives, the old and the young, the past and the present, the living and the dead.--E. Welty;#3: There exists a subterranean world where pathological fantasies disguised as idas are churned out by crooks and half-educated fanatics for the benefit of the ignorant and superstitious.--Norman Cohn.

Anonymous said...

Can you get me some weed and/or Shawn Connery's autograph? Much obliged in advance.

Anonymous said...

Pope John Paul II loved Mel and his movie and that's good enough for me! Dang it all to hell.

Anonymous said...

"Apocalypto" sounds not bad. I wonder if there'll be any human sacrifices in there with the Mayans. It's coming out in December(NYT).

Bonnie said...

Honey,
You are right, I can think of three distinct egs. of couples going on trips for the final breakup, with or without knowing it in advance. kiss kiss, Bon

John Ricci said...

Dear Michelle,

Yes, shame on Mel. He should know better. If I were a tree, I'd be an oak; I would also rather be deaf than blind. The world is far too noisy anyway. And more importantly, I could still see you in all your loveliness, and still read your wonderful writing (unless you come out with a Braille version). Bravo!

Jason said...

When I was reading the wall question, I was thinking, "I'd just sit down and hang out." Does that mean I am okay with death or am I a settler?

The picture is titled "Michelle Brooks with dump".

BWAA-HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Wichita-Lineman said...

Crazy Mel has got it all wrong, it's President Bush that has most the Wars going today. I love love love those questions people ask. Great for lame parties.

trouble man said...

Dear Michelle's Spells,
I have been dating a young woman for three years. I love her but I'm no longer in love with her. I've realized there is more to life than what we have. I'm almost forty. What should I do, and if I do choose to break it off with her, should I do a slow kindly exit and remain "friends" or fade to black? I'm worried that I can't do any better, but I also have a crush on somebody I don't really know yet, and want to give it a try. Do you have a spell for such an occasion? Or at least a suitable drink?

Anonymous said...

Fade to black, my friend...! Do not tie yourself to things that do not make you happy. Do not allow yourself to fall into the trap of "Maybe I'll never do any better" because, my God, do you EVER want to be thought of that way yourself??? As somebody to be put up with and endured for lack of anything better, to be put away if something DOES finally come around that is better? Or worse - as somebody to be resented and viewed as somebody to "get around" if something better comes around? Think hard, then part ways. Your life is yours, and it is yours to be free with and do better with. Have a shot of tequila and a sniff of lime, that should do the trick.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Yeah Michelle,
The "setting" doesn't change who we are deep inside, and it certainly doesn't solve our problems. I know plenty of inmates that will continue doing the same things that got them to prison, regardless of how much they hate being locked up. Also, I know some inmates that are freer than some of the employees I work with. I enjoyed reading this post. --Jim

Anonymous said...

We rarely get to see Michelle in profile, except when she's in her voodoo gig.

Anonymous said...

We want the spell. We want the spell. We want the spell. We want the spell, etc., etc.

Anonymous said...

Can we have a chivalry message?

Anonymous said...

That polka dot number looks like real easy access. I hope Hank or Michelle's sister do a lot of boudoir shots soon. They're my faves. I wonder what kind of shots the select, e-mail group is getting?

Anonymous said...

Morocco hasn't been the same since Dr. Leary and Eldridge Cleaver left. Those were the days. What a trip.

Anonymous said...

See Bob Hope and Bing Crosby in "The Road to Morocco." A laugh a minute. Guaranteed. Especially on blond Lebanese hash.

Anonymous said...

Twenty, Robin. Hurry back, babe.