Saturday, March 17, 2007

Flesh Wounds

One of my most beautiful friends was told by her then-boyfriend that her triceps were flabby. She'd been a model in Playboy, had worked as an actress, and by any standard, was gorgeous. Add this to the fact that she had huge breasts and a tiny frame and a face like Barbie and wherever we went, we could instantly get seated, free food, free whatever, and it wasn't because of my shy, mousy presence beside her. She'd been through one hellish ride in her life which also gave her character and made it tolerable to bask in the glow of such overwhelming loveliness without dying of jealousy. The boyfriend was a photographer and gave her some exercises to do to increase tone. Everyone thinks you're so hot, he told her, but I see some areas that could use improvement. She cried when she related this incident until I plied her with enough champagne to forget about those fucking tricep exercises and made her laugh about all the men we'd dealt with over the years, my favorite being one of her one-night regrets (my term for a one-night stand that you shouldn't have had -- perhaps most of them eventually go under that umbrella) that kept calling and coming to her house and begging her to see him again. We did it once, he kept saying, why can't we do it again? This argument, not up to the caliber of Clarence Darrow or Johnny Cochrane, sent us into fits of giggles.

To my sadness, she stayed with the photographer a little longer than was good for her, taking into account all of his poisonous comments for self-improvement, ranging from exercise to plastic surgery. He doesn't think I'm special, she told me. He sees the real me. I suppose this is what everyone is looking for, someone who sees beyond the polite masks we wear, our press, if you will. But it's amazing how easy it is to mistake cruelty for truth. She'd had such a hard life already that had formed her into a jewel, and all the exercises and make-up in the world couldn't change her heart, that damaged bloody fist that pumps despite anyone's attempts to make it stop.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"A single moment of being seen can make up for a lifetime of invisibility." Hope Donahue

Cocktail Hour

Drinking movie suggestion: Raising Arizona

Benedictions and Maledictions

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

25 days until The Sopranos airs!


Tony Soprano said...

Meadow kept crawling into bed with me when I was on the ventilator. That's what kept me alive, not the ventilator.

paul said...


JR's Thumbprints said...

I don't know how you do it, but that last line, "that damaged bloody fist that pumps despite anyone's attempts to make it stop" seems to fit my current situation well. I'm tired of getting beat down.

Irving Thalberg said...

Hey Margaret, my friend The Elephant Man told me about you and I can see by your picture that you might be going places. If you change the color on that outfit to saphire blue I'm sure I can get you into the Imperial Palace in Las Vegas. Naturally, I can't promise anything, but have your agent give me a call and I'm sure we can get something inked.

Rodney Dangerfield said...

"Cocktails!" if you know what I mean, and that ain't no cock and bull story, if you know what I mean.

The Voice of Justice said...

I wonder if the chlorine gas being used against us in Iraq by the Iranians is "cruelty or truth." Unfortunately,in the the real world, it's both. The truth not only hurts, it kills.

Brown nose said...

The "shy, mousy presence" comes through in the photo.

Napoleon Solo said...

Johnny Cochrane was "up" in caliber only when he faced the Marsha Clarks of the legal world.

Ralph Ellison said...

Hope Donahue makes Polyanna sound like Cassandra.

the walking man said...

"He sees the real me" Most everyone has a real me that is not the picture they show to the world. It is the "me" that was constantly beat, or incestuously raped, or date raped, or neglected as a child, or any one of a dozens of things that people do to thier kids that give them that oft quoted low self esteem. and when someone finds it the cruelty can come out like a hord of fire ants.

No one needs to be taught how to be easily hurt as an adult we do such god jobs with it when are children are young that when the people find the code or right combination of buttons they are more than willing to push them. Because we also teach our young to hone in on the killer instinct, to hurt others as often as possible because as kids that gives them high self esteem, they are winners when they can make another kid cry or do harm to themselves.

If your friend got away in enough time then the heart scars over and a scarred heart is s strong heart. Unfortunately it sounds like this man kept picking at the scabs because it was his way of control.

Charles Gramlich said...

Cruelty masquerades as truth in many people. The world is full of bullies.

T.R. said...


Susan Miller said...

"He sees the real me," also stood blaringly out for me. So many people attempt to change and be something they are not for a relationship. I did it and plead guilty as charged.

For me most recently the key has been to be the real me, listen to what people have to say and then remember that my Dad always said opinions are like assholes...everyone has one.

Robin said...

But it's amazing how easy it is to mistake cruelty for truth. the line that stood out for me. I think most people believe this, that anything good cannot be real, which is very, very sad.