Saturday, September 23, 2006

Direct Others To Get Help

We always like to imagine we have decisions, usually when things have gone wrong and the only real choice is to walk away, no matter how much energy and time we have spent, no matter how badly we want it to be otherwise. Usually this recognition comes right after some grand gesture to show the flag, a present or party, a vacation to distant lands. As for the parties, I have attended these dead and dying affairs, have given them. As a child, I had served what my mother had spent hours making, perfect in every way, all the mistakes given to me and my sister to eat before whatever party she was throwing. We’d make ourselves sick on her mistakes, not because she made so many, but because there were so few things acceptable to her for public presentation. She had a recipe that I loved, sandwich meat cut so that it was transparent, spread with a layer of cream cheese and rolled layer by layer until it was a log. Then she’d cut up the tiny log into perfect circles called burning bushes. She’d perform the first step long before there was a party and freeze them. Before they thawed entirely, she’d cut them up so they’d stay intact. The timing was not as easy as it sounds but she paid attention to the details she could control.

I’d go around offering everyone a burning bush, people taking them out of hunger or kindness until each last one was gone, the empty tray only important for what it once held and what it might hold again after it had been scoured of the remnants anyone had been careless enough to leave behind. The reflective tray mirrored my face back to me. Distorted and smeared as that reflection was, I’d inevitably look, thinking, that’s me, before disappearing back into the kitchen for more treats to offer whoever was still there.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"I'm a minor player in my own life story." 24 Hour Party People

Cocktail Hour

Peppermint Patty

1 part rum
1 sprig of fresh peppermint
1 dash of simple syrup
2 crushed strawberries

Serve over crushed ice.

Benedictions and Maledictions

It's the first day of fall, my favorite season! Enjoy!

11 comments:

Michelle's obedient servant said...

The "Spotless Mind" movie turned out all right in the end. The mad scientist was the best part. So cuckoo but played it so straight. Brilliant.

The Cineast said...

See "The Party" with Peter Sellers and Claudine Longet. Excrutiatingly funny. Can't find the bathroom.

Mick Jagger said...

When the days get shorter and the nights get long...

Joan Crawford said...

I always felt guilty after my mother's parties.

The Incomparable Miss Bette Davis said...

My mother was such an asshole.

JR's Thumbprints said...

I've always been a big fan of The Happy Mondays. "Chills, Thrills, Pills, and Bellyaches" is an awesome album. They were represented in the movie "24 Hour Pary People." I think their heroin addiction got the better of them.

Martini said...

Trick or treat. Hey, mommy. I got smack in my bag!

John Ricci said...

Dear Michelle,
Lovely post as always. I'll have to substitute something else for the rum after an unfortunate experience in the islands, though. To you and your writing, bravo!

paul said...

O might Isis that food sounds good and served by you better. Tigers away today so bunked in today. R2 C2!

Sheila said...

We never had that many parties at my house... only the average birthday, graduation, christmas. We did go to a lot of parties when I was a kid. I remember going to the neighbors almost every weekend and my brothers and I would bet on what time the cops would show up this time to serve noise complaints and see how many drunk people there were. Don't go to many now... not that I don't want to but no one really seems to have them anymore... they used to have them just because. Nowadays seems people need a good reason to throw a party. Maybe it's the cleanup the morning after?

Anonymous said...

At least you got grand gestures; I just got ignored until I figured it out. lol