Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Nobody Noticed Anything
Years ago, I remember bitching to my friend Erin about my family's intrusive nature, mainly about food, but about other things as well. She told me a story about a friend who spent entire evenings watching television, doing leg lifts and vomiting into a Styrofoam cup. Nobody noticed anything, she said. You're lucky. Of course, one never feels lucky. One feels a bit suffocated at times. Make no mistake -- I was glad not to be carrying around a Styrofoam cup or anything, but I had already become way too aware of my own mind and the way it could serve as a trap even when no one was watching, a sort of mental claustrophobia. I already took a sick pleasure in feeling kind of empty and dead, telling myself in every painful situation, I will not feel anything. But I fell in love easily which ruined my strategy of coldness.
On the night before my wedding, the night that I spent in a one bedroom apartment sleeping on the floor of the living room with my bridesmaids, Erin offered to, um, sleep with me in that other sense of the word. She was my friend Hank's great love, albeit a mostly unrequited one, and that jarred me out of my stupor, and I said, I don't think so. Erin was no looker to put it kindly and if I was going to go that way, I'd had other offers that seemed much more attractive. Not to mention Hank would stab me to death. My other bridesmaid slept soundly on the other side of the room. I knew that I shouldn't get married and that this latest in a string of signs did not bode well. I thought about the girl doing the leg lifts that night, an old story by then, and wondered why she could not stop once she started, not even when really bad television shows came on, shows like Hart to Hart and other real corndog material. But once you begin, how can you know where you should stop? As a child, I was so terrified of missing my bus stop that I often rode to the end of the line because I couldn't figure out where the closest place to home was. My bus driver, Mrs. Bert, would say with great compassion, You still here, little one? Let's get you home. Don't worry, you'll figure it out where to get out soon. And eventually I did.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
“Home is not where you live, but where they understand you.” Christian Morgenson
Champagne with campari and a dash of bitters. Pour over a sugar cube.
Benedictions and Maledictions
This is for my old friend Mark Mortenson who died yesterday. I remember him well in the last office I worked in at the University of North Texas. His students adored him, as did everyone else. He was forever making people laugh with his crabby attitude and told me ten years ago this month, "Don't move to Detroit, Michelle. We can find you many middle-aged men here that would be equally inappropriate." His stories about living in Milwaukee made me want to go there immediately if not sooner -- dying industrial city, hell yeah! He had the attitude. Many condolences to his family and friends. And this from Catullus, the great poet of unrequited love and grief: "And forever, brother, hail and farewell!”