Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Burning Ring of Fire


Men don't like rejection was the only piece of romantic advice my daddy ever gave me. A man of few words, he did not elaborate. Storytelling was not his thing, nor was giving advice. The only book I can ever remember him reading for pleasure was Horseman, Pass By. That Hud, my dad said, was a real mean-ass. So I think it's safe to say that the infamous literary critic Michiko Kakutani was never in danger of losing her day job. My dad thought like a pilot -- you do certain things in a certain set of conditions and everything is predictable. You have checkpoints, you have safety lists. But he wasn't rigid -- my dad could give great comfort with his easygoing ways -- if A doesn't work, try B. And so on.
Love, of course, has no such trajectory. If you want to get in touch with your dark side, fall in crazy love, what the French call the amour fou, the burning ring of fire. My sister and I refer to this by shorthand -- the fou, rhyming with fool. Note the recent rocket lady case -- you can go from working for NASA to strapping on a pair of Depends and trying to kill a perceived rival. Or killing an actual rival like the woman who cut the parachute strings of her rival -- a man she'd been in love with had dumped her for another married woman in the same skydiving club. They all did a group jump, and the parachute-snipper got to watch her beloved's new squeeze fall to her death and hit the ground at 130 miles per hour. Note to self -- do not jump out of an operational plane holding hands with someone you are, umm, how to put this delicately, fucking on the side. That's pretty succinct advice. Perhaps I am my father's daughter after all.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I fell into a burning ring of fire/ As I went down, the flames went higher." June Carter Cash
Cocktail Hour
Drinking music suggestion: Sand in the Vaseline Talking Heads
Benedictions and Maledictions
I hope your schools are closed and you are all safe at home, fellow Detroiters! Be careful in the evil snow!
54 Days until The Sopranos airs!
Happy VD Day to all who celebrate this vile day!

26 comments:

Naga Sadhu said...

Very nice necklace in photo. Would like to have honorable nice lady poet read my fortune. After I break ice and bathe in Fox Creek. Happy Valentine's Day.

Charley Chan said...

I love Michiko Kakutani! Happy Valentine's Day, Michiko!

Charles Gramlich said...

I read yesterday of a guy whose chute didn't open completely and he had to cut it away and then try his reserve chute, which failed to work. He hit the ground in a pile of blackberry bushes and lived. Now I wonder. Who was he stumpfing and who packed his chutes?

Cardinal Spellman said...

I consider skydiving and adultery to be high risk activities.

Dr. Phil said...

Am I missing something, Michelle? "Men don't like rejection" sounds like a simple declarative statement to me. Where's the "romantic advice" in that statement? I just don't get it. There seems to be a monumental subtext at work here that you're just not filling us in on.

Monsignor Fisher Bass said...

I take exception to the phrase "Happy VD Day," Michelle. That makes it sound like Venereal Disease Day. Now, I ask you, is that very nice?

Jaroslav Pelikan said...

I see you have a Bible among your books in the photo, Michelle. Is the King James version your favorite?

Anonymous said...

good gawd . . . is that a copy of _The Fire Eaters_ on the shelf behind you?

please say it ain't so!!!!!

Charles Baxter said...

She's got "A Relative Stranger." Kudos.

Short bus and Special said...

You do the best show and tells of all pictures, Michelle! Happy Vallentimes Day! We don't have VD two, like the priest says!

Ray Milland said...

She has "The Lost Weekend." I'll drink to that.

Rodney Dangerfield said...

I wonder if she reads in her bubble bath. The ring of fire would be doused off if you know what I mean.

Homer Simpson said...

No STDs!!!!!!!

Marge Simpson said...

No candy for you on VD Day!

Bart Simpson said...

I'll use a rubber and get a pussy without STDs on VD Day!

Homer Simpson said...

Good idea. Remember, we can't stand rejection.

the walking man said...

Hope you ar enjoying your Valentines day present LOL, you have now officially had more winter then any person in Michigan.

Dan said...

There's no limit to what people will do for love. The great composer Berlioz was so obsessed with a woman that he himself dressed up like her maid to gain access to her house and stalk her!

Happy Valentines Day, Michelle! I'm glad I found your writings. (Incidentally, you look beautiful in that photo.)

Anonymous said...

Come on over tonight. I'll take care of you and make your problems go away!....

paul said...

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HappyVDay
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R2C2!

John Ricci said...

Dear Michelle, you look so lovely in today's marvelous post and view. Like the master Billy Joel sings, I adore you 'just the way you are' He is coming to the Palace on May 4 if you would like to see him with me. You would like the VIP extras and could write about it for your heavenly blog, the Super Bowl's winning team of them all. I will e-mail you with details. Champagne toasts caviar dreams and Happy Velentino Hearts Day my dear. Bravo!

Laura said...

I don't think I could ever parachute out of a plane. I'd be scared stiff that the chute wouldn't open and having my body splattered all over the earth is not the way I would chose to leave this world. Happy Valentine's Day!

Tim said...

Hey Michelle,
I know how you hate VD, but I hope you're having a great day anyway!

Ashley said...

You DO look gorgeous in that photo!

Baba Ganoush said...

Very insightful post. When I heard the astronaut story, I wondered what she could have possibly been thinking. I even poked fun at that lady on my blog.

Oh how we forget our own fou! While I never went anywhere near as far as she did, in college I did some things that certainly made people scratch their heads. Things that I will never acknowledge doing.

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