Saturday, August 19, 2006

Why We Ask You Not To Touch


I once went to a museum devoted to shipwrecks. It was my first time to go Up North, something I didn't understand when I moved to Detroit as I thought Detroit was as far north as one could go. "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" by Gordon Lightfoot played over and over (rock out!) while one toured the remains of ships that had died on the rocks. A sign read "Why We Ask You Not To Touch" and implored the visitors not to fondle the wreckage as over time it would break down because of the natural acids and oils on people's hands.

I didn't touch anything, although I wanted to after I read the sign. My eyes had started to weary of so much damage, and I couldn't wait to get going and eat some of that great Up North food. Okay, maybe not so much with the food. In truth, I couldn't take much more of the Edmund Fitzgerald song. My mother used to play Mr. Lightfoot all the time, especially "Sundown." It beat those nightmare afternoons of Buffy St. Marie albums, but didn't hold a candle to Simon and Garfunkel. I couldn't touch my mother's records either, but I listened to them when they came on, like magic for twenty minutes at a time before someone had to turn the thing over, replace the needle, and wait for everything to start up again.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"This wound, which has reopened, is still bleeding." Saint Padre Pio

Shipwreck Picnic

1 bottle of champagne
pate and crackers
chocolate-covered strawberries

Benedictions and Maledictions

Gurnee Days in Waukegan

There are always fireworks, that's
a given and the horrible night surrounds
us. It's summer, after all, and what's
all that heat without an explosion? In
the bar, people leaf through the karoake
selection book while the dj plays "Girls,
Girls, Girls," not Motley Crue's best,
but it will do in a pinch. Not everything
can be "Shout at the Devil." A man, looking
like a beat-up Greg Allman, takes the floor,
and sings a song to his very short girlfriend
who can't stand without a cane. The song
is about water, holy water, and how it heals,
and one is supposed to take it as a metaphor
for the healing power of love. Not everything
is lost on me! The drinks aren't great, but
they're drinks. One takes what one can get
and one smiles, takes a big sip, relaxes into
the booth before the next explosion outside.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I guess a Shipwreck Picnic would be akin to a Hurricane Party. I've always wanted to go to one of those. Would blow me away. Pimms for all my friends! Cheers! Whooooosh!

JR's Thumbprints said...

My great uncle transferred to another freighter two months before the Edmund Fitzgerald sank.

He spent a majority of his life on a freighter. His kids weren't used to seeing him at home. Once, he brought a billy goat to their suburban home as a pet. When he went back to work (sometimes at 6 month intervals); they got rid of his hooved animal.

And I like Gordon Lightfoot's songs. It's not The Cowboy Junkies, but it's easy to listen to.

Anonymous said...

I was in the Woodward Ave. Dream Cruise today, driving my red hot Mustang and getting some rave reviews. I dooooo declare. You can touch it anytime, Michelle. You can even drive.

John Ricci said...

Dear Michelle,
I think I recognize that shipwreck diarama. That karoake night must have been terrible, poor baby. I can think of one or two better places for libations that do not include karoake ever. Lovely post, as always. Bravo!

Anonymous said...

Michelle, you went from being an installation piece on Aug. 17 to being a museum piece on Aug. 19. What a transformation! Incredible conception and execution by the Michelle's Spell photo staff. What a playbook! The Lions could use you as a strategist. The Spell photos are fantastic! Keep 'em coming and keep up the outstanding work.

Anonymous said...

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

Anonymous said...

I've thought it over and I cannot in good conscience be sending "good thoughts" to the adultery enabler in BH. Her actions go against the Judeo-Christian ethos and probably violate the Decalogue somewhere along the line. She should be ashamed of herself. She puts physical pleasure before morality. No wonder our society is so messed up. Its moral fabric is deteriorating.

Sheila said...

anytime someone tells me not to do something i ALWAYS want to do it!