Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Red Wine

Cars with yellow headlights whoosh by this hundred-year-old house, briefly brightening the living room where I lay with an empty glass and purple teeth. The dog is lapping toilet water again, but I don't mind.

Red wine could cure the world, I write, my cursive slurring slightly. Who would start a war while feeling this way? I just want to lounge amongst pillows and drawstring pants, philosophizing peace. Red wine peace. You sure you want to rape and pillage that village? Wouldn't you rather relax in your living room while delicious red wine warms your torso, spreads through your green veins and tingles the tips of your toes? Sure you want to provoke a street side fist fight with that tailgating twit? Wouldn't you rather picnic in the park with plastic cups of warm wine, sharp cheddar cheese, guacamole and a freshly baked baguette? And are you sure you want to drop an atomic bomb on that city of civilian elders? Wouldn't you rather slow dance in your kitchen while towel drying your dinner party's dishes?

Of course, realistically, red wine could not cure the world. For if every malicious leader, mob boss, rapist, angry toll booth attendant, irrational sandwich shop employee and murderer were drunk on red wine, every problem would just be amplified the next morning when all were hungover with dried red-stained tongues, pounding heads and unstoppable diarrhea.

Tonight, I lay drinking alone in the living room of this hundred-year-old house, listening to the whoosh and the wheeze of the wind.
Drinking alone? You ask with an awkward concern. Yes, but just one glass, one glass to save this night.


A set of dark old dressers (one low and long, one tall and narrow) stand naked on the grass, grasping FREE signs between the teeth of their emptied drawers like shy hookers posing for passing traffic. I was a young girl when my great-grandmother, Sunny, died and my parents inherited these bedroom bureaus, but I still remember how my mother wept beside me at the funeral: her shoulders shuddering; soft wails escaping; her cheeks wet and smeared.

Now a young woman, I am like an impatient rapist, stripping my great-grandmother's furniture of jewelry boxes, piles of old birthday cards and those photo booth pictures we took at that arcade in New York. Ravagingly, I rip, pull and pile their colorful cotton insides -my crumpled wardrobe- from their dinged and dented drawers, flinging everything into mounds to be dumped, donated or folded into suitcases.

Violently, it feels, I lighten the load of our vagabond lives, abandoning things and their heavy emotional attachments. Things are just things, I doubtfully repeat. I have not pimped my deceased great-grandmother out for FREE.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


At the tender age of twenty-six, I feel an estrogen-powered clock nuzzling itself between my fallopian tubes and uterus, rattling repetitive alarums whenever I encounter the curious colossal eyes, the wee clenching fingers and the shiny pink gums of a baby. However despite these bodily reactions, I am not yet completely desperate for dimpled bottoms to diaper and doughy knees and cheeks to cradle. For baby powder clouds to float and fog around me as I snap footy pajamas and comb wet snarled hair. To spend my afternoons sitting in shallow sandboxes performing spontaneous puppet shows with super hero action figures, plastic red fire trucks and prettily painted porcelain dolls.

Today, I am sipping frothy four-dollar cappuccinos inside classy cafes where jazz music rumbles through ceilinged speakers and pretentiously hip baristas rattle on and on together about obscure bands, favorite tattoo parlors and recently found vintage cowboy boots. Over bar tops and through glass cases of chocolate chip vegan muffins, I observe these self-involved folk who fearlessly stitch unique personas onto their overpriced tee-shirt sleeves for all to see. They never fail to put themselves first. I do. I tend to misplace my existence like a set of car keys or pair of sunglasses, drifting lackadaisically in and out of obscurity while I quietly question my worth. But I don't want to be a young woman who shies from mirrors and manicures and all things pretty and selfish. For these pitiful tendencies will inevitably turn me into a plain, fat forty-something mother who wears stained sweatpants, wolf-patterned sweaters, thirteen-year-old maternity dresses and worn leather pocketbooks stuffed with regret.



May I have a small ego, a blueberry scone and a medium Me Time.

Here or to go.

To go.

I say, slapping my internal snooze button on the counter top.

I need to make a sturdier impression of myself on myself before I try raising another self.

I say, confidently.

The girl behind the counter stares back at me before wiping her long dark bangs from her eyes and saying,

That'll be $Invaluable.

I will, one day, pack lunch boxes with milk money, green apples and peanut butter/banana sandwiches wrapped inside LOVE YOU napkin notes. I will share Sesame Street jokes with teddy bears and velveteen rabbits over delicate cups of imaginary tea and rubber crumpets. I will tightly tuck bed covers; read bedtime stories and sing improvised lullabies. I will dab spit-up, catchup, poop, tears and muddied fingerprints from my new blue cardigan.

I will never wear wolf-patterned sweaters.