Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Fade To Black
There are few things more humiliating than having a dog shit on you while you sleep. The dog who did this to me is long dead, Pepper, my grandmother’s black poodle, the low-energy dog that nobody liked, that ate and slept and had no trace of personality. Pepper was frequently contrasted to Peppi, my mother's dog that died from the exhausting pursuit of the neighbors' German Shepherd while the Shepherd was in heat. At least he lived up until the end, my mother would say, defending Peppi. At any rate, it was Pepper who climbed up on my skinny little back and defecated without waking me up. My daddy started screaming when he saw me the next morning, yelling, don't roll over while my mother laughed until she couldn't breathe. I always thought that t-shirt looked like shit, she said. After Mother snapped from stress a few years later, she formed a theory that a demon had forced Pepper to hover above my back and perform his surprise.
Waking up has never been my thing. My mother used to say that as a baby I'd cry upon waking and cry when I went to sleep. Not much has changed, I'm afraid. The world has never seemed like a kind and wondrous place upon first glance. I can't say having a small dog shit on you helps with this kind of neurotic anxiety. That said, I don't sleep on my stomach anymore. My mother, dead for the better part of the the last decade, would say this was wise. You never know what might drop on you from above. Of course, there's still whatever is underneath the bed, the thing all children fear, some so much that they won't stick one little toe over the edge.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"My life has been incredible. I don't believe a word of it." Katherine Anne Porter
Mel Gibson's Hail Mary
2 shots of gin
1 glass of tonic water
1/2 of a whole lemon/1/2 of a whole lime
After squeezing juice from the lemon and lime, drop into the class. Serve over crushed ice.
Benedictions and Maledictions
Dear Trouble Man,
I have to agree with AP on this one. Fade to black and make sure that you get all your important stuff out of the house (if you live together) before you make your move. (Once you're done with "the talk," you'll give away damn near anything to get out under good terms and get screwed out of your best stuff -- bye, bye Woody Allen print for me!) There is absolutely no good way to break up with someone. (although fax, e-mail, post-it notes, and having a friend tell your used to be beloved rate pretty low) The person being left will always be unhappy with you and the method, provided they want to stay with you. You're asking me if you should do a slow leave -- I call this method "the parachute." It's when you leave someone in such a subtle, slow way that the person doesn't even realize it fully.
I have no moral problem with the parachute, but it takes a long time and the person is still pretty upset. I think it's probably safe to say that having a long talk is easier than changing your address and patterns in a way that rivals the slowness of the U.S. pulling troops out of Vietnam.
I've never known any break-up to be entirely mutual. If you feel as if she's a holding pattern, then she deserves better as well. And you can do better -- better not being a more interesting, lively, more attractive person -- better being someone you are both in love with and love. I have known scores of people who have convinced themselves that the situations they are in are "better than nothing," but in my experience, nothing is just fine if you're not appreciative and thrilled with what you have. As for the friendship question, I have remained friends with almost all my exes. My break-up methods, by and large, have sucked. I wish I was the kind of person I described in the above paragraph, an above the board, cut and cauturize kind of girl. But alas, I'm nostalgic for the smallest things and break-ups wreak havoc on me. But I still adore (okay, mostly adore) my exes and would have much less writing material and richness of life without them. As for a drink, the El Paso Tumbleweed will work just fine. For courage, one needs a strong shot!