Monday, September 18, 2006

We Make Cakes For All Occasions


My wedding cake came from Kroger, the two tiers of white cake goodness, truly wretched, purchased out of desperation and budget concerns. At the reception, I heard more than one variation on how suckola the cake was, how it was a little dry. A little dry was kind, a cliched comparision to sawdust would have been more apt. Perhaps the more astute could have thrown in a metaphor about how it would represent the desert of self-doubt and misery I had entered. The entire food situation wasn't pretty -- a slew of tuna sandwiches cut up into fourths, a few grapes, some leftover Christmas cookies. I spent a fair amount of the reception hiding from champagne corks (had a deep irrational fear of losing my retina to one) and wondering what I had done.

The beauty of hell, of course, is that it is self-perpetuating. My wedding took place on the anniversary of Wounded Knee, the day that a group of Native Americans started to dance to bring back their dead ancestors to repopulate the earth. Their ghost dance seemed so powerful that the military shot many of them. If you drive to the spot, you can feel the dead. They make their presence known. There's a tiny marker that comemorates the event. It's not at all like Little Big Horn, the site of Custer's last stand. There's no big museum or burial grounds, no board games that you can buy. When I stood at Wounded Knee years after my fateful day when I had undone what was supposed to be forever, the place spoke of a deep desolation that made me know that I had come home.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"But my dear, so few things are fulfilled: what are most lives but a series of incomplete episodes." Truman Capote

Cocktail Hour

Drinking music suggestion: Let It Bleed, Rolling Stones

Benedictions and Maledictions

Consolation


Who can tell us what is wrong and why? God
comes to wound us anew and we cannot help
but love. I have lost many things, but none
have left me inconsolable until now. The last
night I saw you had not one star in the sky, as if
they’d all been extinguished. I clung to you for
a minute longer than necessary, even though I
couldn’t have known it would be the last time.
Still, you are my lovely, ever-changing consolation,
the book I will read even when the spine falls apart.

6 comments:

Arthur Dudley said...

Nobody writes "suckola" like you, Michelle. Nobody writes first person narratives like you, Michelle. But always remember, I'll take off your shoes.

Tommy Lee Jones said...

I can't understand why that little marmalade isn't in Hollywood making in the mid six figures. Creative genius, that woman. Talked it over with some of my producer friends and we've decided to have her down to the ranch and talk things over. A few mint juleps perhaps. Either she's not playing her cards right or her agent is a monumental asshole. Probably a little of both. I'm not promising anything and, hey, things don't always work out. Tried to get my college buddy Al a job in D.C. and what an abortion that turned out to be. But here's hopin'. Now where's my polo mallet?

Dudley Arthur said...

That "Consolation" poem is such a lovely piece, Michelle. You've got me coming and going, going and coming. Whatever, I love you.

JAM said...

Miss Michelle, I love to read your stuff, you really get to the heart of things. I hope to be able to do that someday myself. But this was by far the most hard hitting thing of yours I've read thus far. Maybe it's because it's Monday, and I'm under lots of pressure, but the bitter-sweetness of this post hit me right in the ol' solar plexus today.

And about yesterday's post. I'm with ya on the Stones. Most folks think me insane, but it's nice to know there are others out there. I like the Beatles, but I guess I can relate to the Stones more. (I saw them in the Superdome in N.O. in December of 1981. Awesome.)

Sheila said...

Wow. You have so many great and interesting stories michelle! I love hearing about them!

John Ricci said...

Dear Michelle,
Tis a very lovely post and view as always. The expression you show is worth a million. And I admire the Grouch there on your bed for his good fortune. It is a beautiful poem also. Bravo, darling poet!