Thursday, August 10, 2006

Summer Would Be Ending Soon

According to Chinese lore, August is the month where dead spirits roam the earth in search of a body to possess. Do not, my mother's friend Sue used to say, ever ever astral project in August. She'd shake her head at the folly of those stupid enough to attempt such a thing during the dead roaming the earth month, those who could lose their bodies to some hungry ghost. Sue would then light up a cigarette and ask for some herbal tea to calm her nerves. I hated tea, but I'd force down a little so that she could read my leaves after I overturned my cup and spun it on a saucer where the leaves would make indecipherable patterns. I see a long future, Sue would say. I was only seven so this gave me some comfort. The rest is kind of unclear except that your love life will be very complicated.

Man, that sucked. I had drunk something other than Dr. Pepper only to hear that I had a long future and a complicated love life. Right then, I had a crush on the boy next door which seemed to be going nowhere. Couldn't she have thrown in something about a letter from a distant country at least? Or living in interesting times, something that everyone is almost bound to do? I wanted to hear about how I would live in New York City and wear beautiful coats and work in a huge office building well into the night. That was the most romantic thought I could imagine. Instead, I lived in a town where people's idea of fun was putting a cookie on a rattlesnake's head and trying to snatch it off without getting bit. I sat at the table for a long time, looking at my leaves, trying to discern the future from the murky bits. They seemed to be going in every direction. It was August, and summer would be ending soon, I thought, as I washed the plate clean.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"If you're going to make a mistake, make it a doozy." Billie Jean King

The Billie Jean King

2 ounces of Gatorade mixed with 2 ounces of vodka

Serve as a martini. The Gatorade helps with the hangover by providing electrolytes.

Benedictions and Maledictions

In answer to Jim's questions about who watches soap operas:

I don't watch traditional soap operas anymore, but I still have a fondness for "All My Children" and recognize the characters when I see it on television since they haven't changed since my birth for the most part. I think a lot of things are at work with a soap opera -- for me, any story that doesn't end (family saga especially) is interesting. I tend to attach to characters as if they were real and part of my family. (That might explain an ugly 90210 addiction for a few years.) It doesn't matter how good or bad the show is, the serial nature of it keeps me enthralled. As for other factors, some scholars suggest that soap operas are the only arena in which women's emotions are taken as seriously by men. Since nobody works on soap operas, they all have time for this kind of drama. I also think people are inherently starved for stories and drama and in a fragmented, disjointed age, the irony is that television provides grounding. I can turn on "All My Children" and see the same stories and in many cases, the same actors, that my great grandmother watched so many years ago.


Anonymous said...

Rent the movie "The Endless Summer" and quit worrying. Switch to a white bathing suit. Start considering that overachievment just might be a drag, if you haven't already. Billy Jean lost it for me when she beat Bobby Riggs.The electrolytes are going to be pissed out with the vodka. Dump that phony persona from GP. I was on to him way back in the "Au Canada, C'est Manifique" days. The small town girl has already made good in the big city. How many haiku contests do you need to win? Why not concentrate on being (from all reports) and even greater teacher? And I will close with today's "Funny Definition": Definition of the word, "haiku": what a high-flying dove does.

Sheila said...

Sometimes "other worldly" stuff like that freaks me out... a few days ago this old lady that works for my boyfriend (don't get me wrong she's a sweetheart) she has her own psychic place thingy and she told joe to be careful because she could sense that his fiance would be murdered.... we aren't engaged yet but that made me cringe... although she told him last year he would get engaged to a blonde and they would run away to florida. I told my brother this and he said just make sure you don't die your hair blonde and you won't get murdered. It made me feel a little better. great post. Like the bathing suit! I'm always so self conscious when I wear them.

Baby Dragon said...

Summer blues, the end of summer is always depressing. Try a wild red bathing suit next time! You look like a hottie in red!

Anonymous said...

Mighty Isis, August is a bad month. I don't much care for it. Hope we have long futures. That parts good. I hide from the Sun R2 C2 !

Wichita-Lineman said...

What love life isn't complicated? I got a bag of Chips Ahoy, anyone here got a rattlesnake. The outcome is sure to compare with love.



John Ricci said...

Dear Michelle,
Another lovely post, as always. I'm not so sure about Gatorade as a mixer, but it's an interesting idea. Coming from you, super!

Jason said...

I often find myself defending comic books in the same way. Superman, Batman, Spider-man... these are charcters (archetypes you could say) that have been around for decades.

No, no, no rent Indian Summer and marvel at Alan Arkin's amazing acting ability and just a really fun movie with actual adults in it. I take Indian Summer over Big Chill any day. First Anonymous?

Anonymous said...

Ok, but there was some really good Motown music in Big Chill.

Bonnie said...

Darling story! All My Children raised me.
kiss kiss

JR's Thumbprints said...

Dammit Michelle,
Why'd you bring up 90210? I confess: I watched it too. You're absolutely right about people's needs in regards to soaps. Believe it or not, the prison system is actually quite a boring place. I guess the inmates look for drama, something to follow, something to become a part of.

Anonymous said...

When I was a young, summers were filled w/laying on the floor, watching the soaps w/my best friend. We flipped the channels during commercials, and could tell you what was happening on them all. Not bad training for a young writer...conflict after conflict after conflict. Later on, we'd write scripts for shows like The Love Boat and Fantasy Island. You could get very creative writing for Fantasy Island! And I confess to watching 90210, too. My husband imitated the cheesy smiles of all the characters on the opening...his imitations of Ian Ziering and Luke Perry used to crack me up! --Robin