I had a friend, who when asked where we were going, would always reply, To Hell if we don't change our ways. This always made me laugh given that I do believe in hell, the hells we make for ourselves, and the ones that are visited upon us. Growing up in a the heart of the Bible belt, I heard a lot about that fire and brimstone business, but it didn't scare me. The shit that scared me was all around -- loneliness, lost youth, spent dreams, a tremendous inordinate excitement for the new Wal-Mart and McDonalds (until I was in high school, I'd look at McDonalds as a big-city luxury, one you'd drive an hour to get to), and those sticky school day minutes that never seemed to pass. Lots of people had gone bad to drink, to crystal meth, and to all those other demons that appear, innocuous looking as baby powder. Baby powder shaped into straight lines by razorblades and served on mirrors.
One of my favorite anecdotes from Tennessee Williams' Memoirs involves his sister Rose, the obvious inspiration for many of his mad, enduring heroines. In and out of mental hospitals, she had few friends save for a parakeet that Tennessee had given to her. She loved her parakeet and made Tennessee visit her pet each time he came to visit her. But one day, she did not want him to see her friend. "She's not feeling well." He learned from the nurses that the bird had been dead for five days, but Rose wouldn't let them take the body. In his typical wry understatement and inherent kindness, Tennessee wrote that Rose wasn't good at accepting death. But sometimes she'd say, The dead came down with the rain last night. She never really recovered her mind, never really was functional. I think about her often, trapped in her own little glass menagerie, surrounded by reflective surfaces, but unable to look at herself. Of course, nobody I ever saw snort meth or cocaine off a mirror ever could either, not with the those mirrors anyway.Michelle's Spell of the Day
"There is a time for departure even when there's no certain place to go." Tennessee Williams
Drinking cookbook suggestion: Domesticity: A Gastronomic Interpretation of Love Bob Shacochis
Benedictions and Maledictions