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
Drinking HBO show suggestion: The Wire
Benedictions and Maledictions