Saturday, June 30, 2007
Ill-Fated Lovers That Would Always End Up Together
One of the first stories I ever got published was about a heartbroken ballerina with an eating disorder of sorts who went on a mysterious date that didn't change her life. It was as good as it sounds, and I can see how my lack of knowledge of ballet (a childhood crush on Mikhail Barishinikov doesn't count for much) and my desire to thinly veil reality (I was heartbroken beyond belief) worked to create something that while stilted and artificial, still had some effectiveness. I had labored over that story, draft after draft, until I came up with some lines that shown through the pretentious set-up and inexperience. When I read it, I didn't cringe all the way through so I knew I had made some progress.
For a couple of years after my grandfather died, my mother's mother lived with my family. My mother and her mother did not get along so well, but my grandmother was partially deaf from being beaten by my grandfather and always medicated with a cocktail of booze and cigarettes, those terrific anecdotes to strong emotion, and she read Barbara Cartland romances by the grocery bag that my rich best friend schlepped over after she'd finished them. I can still see her, sitting in a haze of smoke and reading about those ill-fated lovers who would always end up together. She never read anything I wrote -- even at a young age, she found me a little depressing. But I daresay the ballerina story would have done something for her. After all, she made an appearance in it, near the end, where she's reading cards, regular playing ones, at the kitchen table, all those queens and kings telling her about the future. The cards were thin and worn, some of them almost see-through, and you could tell that she would never switch decks, that the magic was in those cards, the ones she'd been dealt and would deal to tell you what would happen next.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"How strange are the tricks of memory, which, often hazy as a dream about the most important events of a man's life, religiously preserve the merest trifles. " Richard Burton
Drinking novel suggestion: Free Food For Millionaires Min Jin Lee
Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Saturday! Rest in peace, Joel Siegel!