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!

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

No, no, no, Michelle. It twasn't me who replied to trouble man. I did have many other fine and witty posts on the "Morocco" spell though. And some humble ones too.--AP. Stay tuned for today's great "Quote of the Day."

Anonymous said...

Today's triple-header "Quote of the Day":#1: One of the ways to give the impression of an artistic performance to those lacking the organ of taste is indeed to put into a work of art the political, religious, or other extraneous satisfactions popular with one or another audience. Particularly, of course, if strongly held. As Paul Valery wrote,"Enthusiasm is not an artist's state of mind."--Robert Conquest;#2: In 1945, the poet Gary Snyder climbed Mount St. Helens and on coming down learned that the United States had dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The awful contrast--the tranquil splendor of the mountain, the hideous deaths of innocent civilians--brutally affected him: "Horrified, blaming scientists and politicians and the governments of the world, I swore a vow to myself, something like,'By the purity and beauty and permanence of Mt. St. Helens, I will fight against this cruel destructive power and those who seek to use it for the rest of my life.'"--William Logan;#3: Pop! Goes the weasel.--children's song.











he awful contrast--the tranquil splendor of the mountain, the hideous deaths of innocent civilians--brutally affected him: "Horrified, blaming scientists and politicians and the governments of the world, I swore a vow to myself, something like,'by the purity and beauty and permanence of Mt. St. Helens, I will fight against this cruel destructive power and those who would seek to use it, for all my life.'"--William Logan;#3: Pop! Goes the weasel.--children's song.

Anonymous said...

Today's 2nd "Quote of the Day": If Mel Gibson and Tom Monahan ever join forces, watch out."--Anon.

Anonymous said...

"I also have a crush on somebody I don't really know yet." Happens all the time.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the bad posting.--AP.

paul said...

My Cajun Queen, rock out Foxy Lady! Take me to the River Mama save us from the Red Dwarf a coming to town, he gives me the willies ya' know

R2 C2!

John Ricci said...

Dear Michelle,

Such a fierce and lovely look, that glance back by the River. Bravo! I've never seen the Detroit River look so much like black magic. Here's to everything you want or could possibly dream of.

trouble man said...

Thanks Michellespells and everyone who contributed to helping me solve my dilemma. I'm going to ask my crush out and see how it goes. If she says yes, I'll drop my current one. What kind of tequila should I buy?

Bonnie said...

Honey,
Love your look in that shot. So sexy and strong, as you are. Sorry about the Pepper incident, but everything else is good.
kiss kiss
Bon

JR's Thumbprints said...

Michelle,
My sentiments exactly: "The world has never seemed like a kind and wonderous place upon first glance." In prison this is magnified and it takes several glances, if any at all, to find joy in the world.

Wichita-Lineman said...

A dog taking a dump on you while you were sleeping. Reminds me of one of my favorite T.C. Boyle stories "Carnal Knowledge" where the main character wakes to find a dog has pissed on his chest. A great love story.

Anonymous said...

To Trouble Man: Don't try to solve your problems with booze. The people in Michelle's poems do that. And you know the results--harsh and repellent. I believe in music therapy. Instead of drinking tequila, get The Ventures' "Tequila." Listen to it one hundred times in a row and your problems will be over. Trust me.