Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Girl With The Long Black Hair

No rose without thorns, but many a thorn without rose. Schopenhauer said that, I think, something I picked up in my Psychology of Ethics class, a tough course taught by a man dying of AIDS. I loved the class; the professor, a brilliant man, hated it given that no student would talk except me. I could feel his frustration all during the semester which he gave voice to on the last day. "You have been the worst fucking class ever. Getting you to do anything is like milking a rat. Except for the girl with the long black hair." The other students looked at me with a mild hatred, the goody-two shoes once again, a role that I would grow to loathe. Once a friend of mine called me "homely." When I took offense, he said, "But you do like to stay home. You're not wild and crazy." Giving him the definition of homely would have merely proved his point. I did, at times, spend my days copying the dictionary. I'd like to use the fact that Malcolm X did this as well as some kind of cool credential, but alas, he was in prison at the time and well, I was in Mineral Wells, Texas and could have done other things like gotten tanked up on Quaaludes and gone to Possum Kingdom Lake.

But as with all things, there was a turning point. I became less enchanted with the scant rewards for being nice, studious, quiet. I suppose we all get sick of the traps we create for ourselves and long for something new. Started to feel like an actor who had outgrown a solid, but confining role. So I changed, got a few more thorns. Some of them hurt others; most hurt me. My old professor died a few years after our horrible class; he probably wouldn't recognize me now. But maybe he would. I remember much of what he said, all that ethics and morality and our dim persistence in face of the eventual bleak outcome. And our essence doesn't change all that much no matter what we do. And I still have long reddish black hair even after all these years even if I have to dye it.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"There's a bit of magic in everything, and some loss to even things out." Lou Reed

Cocktail Hour

Drinking music suggestion: Show Me Your Tears Frank Black and the Catholics

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Sunday!


Donna said...

The stuff that manifests for the world to see is only the surface. For me, changing the outside is sometimes enough to induce a more substantial change on a level that is often unavailable otherwise. Minor, even imperceptible changes to a foundation have a profound affect.
I have also gotten tired of roles played so long and so well. Even surface changes become difficult.

Ropinator said...

I like classes like ethics at school because on classes like that I just sit, relax or chat. I am not a saint but who is?

Charles Gramlich said...

I never got noticed myself until I grew a few thorns. Years later I considered having the thorns removed but by that time they'd worked their way in deep and become part of me.

flic said...

Did you really copy the dictionary?

the walking man said...

No rose without thorns but many a thorn without a rose. Yep it be that way sometimes.

ROPINATOR I am a saint.

Michelle for the rest of your life you can say you followed Malcom's example as a sign of solidarity with his imprisonment, besides Mineral Wells was a prison to you at the time.

And i will be honest with you, you are still an introspective, studious person even if you dye your hair to give others the wrong right impression.

But I bet you dye it because your students are making you go gray way before your time.


my name is kunta! said...

Looking good bebe, im sure Jesus would be more than delighted to see you.


randoosh said...

"Ere'ry rose has it's thorn..."

the leathery Brett Micheals of Poison would croon, while we solemnly held up our lighters in a bittersweet, tearful salute.

Alas, it twas so painfully poignant- yet, incredibly uplifting.

Tim said...

Hey girlie, happy Sunday to you!
I'm of the opinion that people never really change much from the person they are molded into the first few years of their life. Some, however, can adapt to the way of life they crave and make it seem like they've become a completely different person, growing more thorns. Those are the people I envy because I've never quite been able to make an appearance of a change and inside I'm still the person I was when I was young.
As usual, great writing and picture.Take care!

ugis aka kunta and o'ers said...

Homely is as homely does.

Anyone have a copy of "This Little Pinka Went Wee Wee Wee All The Way Home?" I'd like to use at an example of creative non-fiction.

u. p. said...

woa, drank too much again! I'mslurringon mykeyboard.

eric1313 said...

You're right about that last line.

But one would hope we grow more refined with age, become better people, on the inside, and hope that this extends to the outside.

We become more compassionate, and with that, our passions themselves deepen. Perhaps that's what it means to be human, to understand that life means an accumulation of scars.

Bitter wines can be the sweetest. The sharpest thorns likewise often belong to the most beautiful roses. A wilted rose can only envy such strong thorns of one as prime, can only wish to be seen as beautiful and sharp, when really it is a mockery, a joke when compared to that which it will not ever be.

Keep dying that hair, though you don't need to, friend.

Glad to see your words blossom in unmatched eloquence.

Brian in Mpls said...

I love your spell of the day. For some reason it hit me with a lot of weight this morning.

randy said...

hey i dont know who dis "ugis" foo' be, but he ain't me!

BTW Michelle, my name is Randy.
Your air supply is here, baby...

dharmabum said...

What a dull, dull, world this would be if we did not get pricked by, and collect some...thorns.

What an even more horrible thought is being in a roomful of humans whom had not ever been...thorned.


jen3 said...

Nothing wrong with extending your vocabulary, I used to read and copy words from the dictionary learnt quite a few that came in handy that i would'nt have known of otherwise.

P. Rocerin said...

I have been reading her blog for the past few weeks and I know she was having a hard time these past few weeks. I'm glad that she is no longer struggling or hurting and she is at peace. She will be missed by a lot of people. Nate, you were right when you said her poems were great. She had such a way with words and her writing that was no unique. Thank you for introducing her to us!