Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Man In A Jar
The day after my dad died, a massage therapist who made a pass at my sister, came over to the house with five jars of mayonnaise, five cans of nuts, and a jar of mustard. People forget condiments in times like these, he said. I'd written a story about our experiences with him, titled "Man In A Jar" about both the good and bad times in the Bella Day Spa (close to the name of the place he worked) and his strange ways. We'd gone there on a referral the year after my mother died. We got our first massages on Christmas Eve -- Mike (the name I gave him in the story), had been incredibly kind. He and my sister had a great rapport and spoke about angels, about God things -- Mike claimed the Lord had helped him put down the bottle, no AA necessary and my sister related how prayer had helped her cope with my mother's death -- they'd been exceptionally close and her heart broke as she saw my mother's health deteriorate. Despite his diminutive physical size (5'1 and relatively thin), he gave a powerful massage, far better than the only other one I'd ever had by a woman who claimed she needed to light more pink candles around me to get rid of my negative energy. Babe, I wanted to say, you're going to need a lot more pink candles to even tap into that dark morass of pain. All that pink made me even more nervous.
We continued to go to Mike, but one day he did something that would most assuredly violate the massage therapist/client code of ethics and my sister came out of the room, madder than a hornet. I had been grading papers in the waiting room and looking at candles for sale. My favorite one smelled like men's cologne. The label read "Man In A Jar." I bought it, and Mike came out of the back of the spa with two pinwheels. These are for you both, he said. You have such child-like spirits. Pinwheels, besides being children's toys, keep pests away from gardens. Certain animals don't like the vibrations. I never thought we'd see Mike again, particularly after my sister said she'd like to shove the pinwheel up his ass. Because my dad died in a plane crash, lots of people heard about it on the news and radio, including Mike. He had our address on file at the spa and brought over the massive amounts of condiments. I'm not much for mayonnaise, but I have to say that the nuts came in handy. I suppose they always do.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Wish in one hand, shit in the other, see which fills up first." Billy Bob Thornton, Bad Santa
Drinking movie suggestion: Bad Santa, one of the few Christmas movies that I find endlessly cheering. I'd also suggest that you start listening to Dolly Parton's "Hard Candy Christmas."
Benedictions and Maledictions
You're Always Here Even When You're Not
I thought about writing you a letter
like they tell you in AA -- Dear So and So,
I am sorry for getting drunk and ruining
your life. I forget what step that is -- all
I have seem to have done is the first one,
admitting that my life is unmangeable,
and yet I do, manage it. I am on speaking
terms with paradox and its little friend,
not in this fucking lifetime. Maybe e-mail
is better, one of those stupid group ones
that starts and ends in the same place --
You will not give a shit about this, but I
think it's funny and it beats nothing. Let's
pretend for the sake of argument that
I wanted to clear the decks, where
would I begin? Love is not enough?
Maybe I should consider the audience.
That's as good a place to begin as any.