Monday, January 07, 2008

The Stars Control So Much


A few years ago on this day, my father's birthday and the day before Elvis' birthday, I was at a dinner party where one of the guests went into labor. She looked like she could go into labor at any moment and after a few jokes to this end, she did. Such an event livens up any dull gathering -- the whole rustle of coats and quick exit into the snowy night. I remember the food well -- a Michigan speciality called city chicken which seems to be chicken fried in cubes placed on large toothpicks (Detroit is wonderful -- do not come here for the cuisine, however) and drinking Faygo. After the couple left, nobody had much to say, as if all the air had been sucked out of the room and boredom settled again onto the affair as if it had never left. The woman about to give birth had been invited as a duty as she was related to the giver of the party by marriage and nobody liked her very much given that she had said a few nasty words about the giver of said dinner party one night at a Coney Island, one of those passive-aggressive moves where he was complaining about a dirty fork without garnering much sympathy (It ain't the Ritz, someone remarked. What the fuck do you expect?) and suddenly she pounced, talking about how she could never treat her family the way he did and what did he have to say for himself. He said nothing and asked for a new fork.

I'm so glad that fat bitch is gone, he said. Amen to that, someone seconded. The spirit of generosity was upon us all! I watched the snow pile up outside through a distant window, so beautiful even if it was going to be all dirty and awful once people drove through it which people were always reminding me, the Detroit version of A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips, a cautionary line to keep anyone from enjoying something too much. I thought about the new life coming into such a harsh world, a sad world, and then thought about my dad, how easygoing he was, how he never had a bad word to say about anyone, how much he loved simple things. Maybe this baby boy would be like him, I thought, looking around the room. The stars control so much in their own way, the way they align for us or don't when we enter this life. God help him if he was anything like us.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"We first make our habits, and then our habits make us." John Dryden

Cocktail Hour
Drinking HBO show suggestion: The Wire

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Monday!

8 comments:

Brian in Mpls said...

I had to google city chicken and now I must try to make this tonight. Why is it called chicken if most of the reciepes call for veal or pork?

Rodney Dangerfield said...

That sperm is headed right for the you know what, if you know what I mean.

Cheri said...

City chicken is actually pork, cooked in a pressure cooker. I hate the smell and was not fooled into eating it as a child, knowing that it wasn't the true "white meat."

But put some vodka in that Faygo and I might be enticed later.

Roger Clemens said...

I was in control of that shot in my ass, too. So why does everybody have to make a steroid moment out of it? I take the ball! I win!! Assholes!!!

Lana Gramlich said...

The things you describe are only part of why I decided not to have kids (& also why I fear for my nephews.) I'm assuming this post is not a story you're working on..?

Cheri said...

Irony- my mother made City Chicken for dinner tonight. THE SMELL = GAG

eric1313 said...

You handle irony well. If only we could all be that way--myself included.

Best wishes to you on the sad anniversary of your loss.

needU2nite said...

oooh baby, sooo pale...