Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Fringe On His Tiny Sleeves

I found a Count Chocula doll the other day, a teeny-tiny replica that I purchased with much glee in my heart. My Count comes apart without much effort -- his hands are always falling apart and the fringe on his tiny sleeves also are removable so I keep him in a Ziploc baggie lest he become amputated or lose his sleeve fring. Sometimes I take him out to hang out with me as I write or eat, but he always stays in the baggie. Protected and suffocated, the Count stays new and intact or at least able to be whole should I choose to reattach his parts. In the interest of full disclosure, I must say that I usually don't. It's fine for him not to have his hands insofar as I know where they are. I seldom know where to put my hands in real life -- in front of me or behind, at my sides, chewing my nails. I often find them clenched, as if braced for an invisible punch when I'm trying to relax.

Once at a party where I knew no one, I was with my then-boyfriend, many years my senior, and someone said, Aren't you quite the trophy! I didn't say anything, not one word. I didn't feel like a trophy; I was struggling to find a job, struggling with the relationship about which everyone and their asshole cousin said, He doesn't love you enough to marry you (I was loathe to admit how correct these pronouncements were), struggling with my writing career, rejection after rejection -- the "this was so close" kind of bullshit that drives writers to drink and madness. When I got home, I took off my party clothes, rinsed off the make up that I always wore, and thought about how I liked to be inside the house, in my writing corner, an aclove off the living room that served as my office. I loved it there and never wanted to go outside. In that particular Ziploc baggie, I didn't have to be judged or evaluated; I was not the subject of envy or scorn. Nobody found me wanting, underqualified or overqualified, and I knew where to put my hands -- on my keyboard, writing the stories that someday someone, God willing, would want to read.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"A man is only as good as what he loves." Saul Bellow

Cocktail Hour
Drinking music suggestion: At Last Etta James
Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Thursday!


Ravelstein said...

I hated it when my maid found my missing AIDS medicine and came running in to the pizza party I was throwing at my apartment and yelled,"Professor Ravelstein! I found your AIDS pills!"

Dave Dixon said...

Etta James: Incomparable.

the walking man said...

Comfortable is with who you want to be with and where you want to be and your home office and count chocula sounds pretty comfortable to me, even if you leave him dismembered. he's probably better off hat way so Grouchy doesn't get jealous and you have to intervene in their arguments.



Paul said...


Charles Gramlich said...

Great post. I really like this. The analogy of the Count in his bag and you in your writing area is beautifully constructed. Makes me think of my own writing space this summer when I had nothing to do but go in there and be myself and write what I wanted to write.