Sunday, November 13, 2011

Born to be my baby ...

This must be what it feels like to be born. To go from human-fish being in liquid gooey incubation into the sudden chaos of umbilical cord amputation, bright lights, looming faces and unnecessary chatter. I think this walking into the grocery store at 2:30 p.m. on a Saturday, so newly-awake that I can still feel where my pajama pants have been replaced by more socially acceptable corduroy-ware. I haven't even looked in the mirror yet. There might be a pillow crease mangling my cheek, dried drool on cracked lips. The hair, who knows. For all I know, I'm Courtney Love.

There was no coffee this morning. We ground the last of the beans last night. So here I am, during bell-ringing season, human-fish being, thrown into chaos.


I need a winter coat. I want something green and puffy with a fur hood and a belt. My fashion dreams are too specific and possibly not in synch with what is being bled over in sweat shops this season. This is the kind of dangerous thinking that ends with me wearing Chuck's black hoodie all winter long.

Benetton boasts a maybe. It's on sale. Then I get sucked into a decisively non-outerwear store. A pretty store. I'm not even trying to walk there, my feet. It's like I'm on a moving sidewalk. I've never left this store without making an expensive decision. I leave with two pairs of jeans: One so comfortable it feels like I'm sitting in warm pudding. After that I decide a winter coat from Target will do, will have to do. My standards are elastic and have become: Puffy, purple, no fur -- hood though -- and belt.


A few weeks ago I decided that I was done with Grey's Anatomy. Watching it had become a tedious imposition on my weekend. Blah blah emo Meredith Grey, blah blah Christina's so smart and sassy. I decided to only watch the final 10 minutes of the show, where all the movement and intrigue happens. Alas, this week's episode did what it was supposed to do: Manipulated emotions and kicked me in the cry place. Fine. I'll watch your stupid show.


"Maybe we should make something fun for dinner," Chuck suggests and I groan with my eyes. I know what he means. He peels the veggies, I chop them. He stirs, I queue up the whatever we're listening to. Or vice versa. But there is no making "something fun for dinner." This only happens when there are recipes I want to try, that I'm excited about, but today there aren't. In the absence of inspiration, the only thing "fun for dinner" I can consider making is a run to the Brewhouse for a Beau Burger, Onion Rings and a Wildfire beer.

We dine in. There is, like, one light on in the whole place. If ever I had to pick a place to spend an entire night, an entire week, a month it would be the Brewhouse. A local folk-al is singing like Cat Stevens covering Bob Dylan except it's all original and it's nice. "I wrote this song about my birthday, which is on the Day of the Dead," he says. And I wonder what it feels like to be on a stage as it changes over from dining and half-assed listening to drinking and full-on listening. Who he is talking to when he talks about his songs. Or is that just habit.


All sorts of people are tottering out of the Fitger's Complex in various stages of hammered. A blonde woman is sloppy, she's sharing a man's waist with another woman, but she needs it for balance more. An older woman and an older-than-the-older-woman woman are waiting for their ride. The older woman tries to hop into the back seat of a black car, in line at the parking booth. He sees her go for the door handle and zips ahead.

"Wrong car," she cackles. "Wrong car!"
The right car honks, it's three positions back in line.
She cackles more and walks up to it.
"I tried to get into the wrong car!"
"This is extra funny because I've done that," I tell Chuck.


Back at home it's time to work on our novels. Every time I get blocked, I just invent a handful of new characters. It's a bad habit that is going to make for a confusing read. The mantra around here, which we say back and forth to each other, is "Just barf it out. Just barf it all out."

We sit at the kitchen table which is covered in unopened mail, unread books, sunglasses, notebooks and drinking vessels. Pens, a lighter, a lamp. We listen to music without words.This week has been the complete discography of Brian Eno on Spotify. Pro tip: Listen to "Thursday Afternoon" from 1985. The song is 60 minutes long, which means 60 minutes without hearing the Spotify commercial: "Hi! I'm Joe Jonas! Check out my new hit single!"

Spotify is a distraction. Last night, instead of writing, I made a playlist and started filling it with songs to slow dance to at a high school mixer in the early 1990s. And that's how I ended up listening to "Bed of Roses" by Bon Jovi upward of 10 times in the past two days.

"Do you remember that time we were getting a ride home from the bar and we decided 'Born to Be My Baby' was our song?" Chuck asks when I play "Bed of Roses" for him today.
"I don't," I say. "Were we hammered?"
"I think we were at about .4," he said.

I write about 1,000 words in my first hour, and fewer in the hours that follow. I have no idea what I'm doing. I do know that no good writing happens in that first hour. Tonight I have written almost 3,000 words and one sentence I liked:

Of all the stunts in sexual repertoire, she drew the line at making fried egg sandwiches the next morning.

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