Once a student of mine admitted that he fantasized about taking his most treasured possessions and throwing them off the Ambassador Bridge, assuring that he could never have them again. Don't, he said, you ever want to destroy something you love and never be able to get it back? Yes, I said. It's called dating. Lots of the other students laughed, many were still visibly disturbed by the idea of willingly getting rid of things they loved. I thought his impulse for a long time. I couldn't imagine what I might set on fire or throw into a river. I lose so much due to carelessness that it seems inconceivable to me that I would do such a thing on purpose. But I have fucked up so much, including myself, that it would be disingenuous to pretend that I couldn't drive to the bridge and throw a little more into the water. Don't we all long for something to ruin, at least a bit of the time?
My sister once had a plastic rat doll named Missy, and she cut off all of Missy's hair which had once been red dreadlocks into teeny-tiny hints of dreads. My mother shook Missy in her face and said, How would you like someone to do that to you? My sister insisted Missy needed a haircut. It wasn't pretty. Saying my mother could be formidable is like saying Mary Lou Retton was a great gymnast. Except my mother didn't smile like Mary Lou. It wasn't in her nature. That was one of the things she'd thrown in the river. It didn't happen all of a sudden, but it happened all the same, and when something is gone, sometimes you can't get it back, carried so far away by currents of our own making that like Missy's aborted dreads, you can wait for it to grow back but it won't and can't. You don't, I suppose, have to die to feel dead.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I can feel my lifetime piling up/ I can see it smashing into yours." Talking Heads
Drinking comedy special suggestion: Never Scared Chris Rock
Benedictions and Maledictions
51 Days until The Sopranos airs!