Archive for December, 2004

Dropping the Ball

Friday, December 31st, 2004

Mood: SO over 2004
Drinking: Tea

It’s just another day, really. Turn the calendar, add another year. Yeah, yeah yeah.

I refuse to make any resolutions. Nope. Nada. Huh-uh. If I feel like eating french fries in 2005, I most definitely will. I will also continue to bite my nails and drop the F-bomb and dress the Ler in ridiculous costumes. I will continue to criticize perfect strangers and screen my phone calls and scowl at random children.

If I happen to get nicer, thinner or smarter along the way, well, then, yay for me. But I’m not going to waste my time writing up a ridiculous list to beat myself about the head with later.

I’m not gonna do any countdowns, either. No end-of-the-year top 10s of pop songs or celebrity mishaps or big news events. That’s what TV is for.

I will make one small concession to the New Year tradition, though. Here’s the last list you’ll get from me this year. I’ll call it “Favorite Moments with My Favorite People”. And I’ll even use their real names for once. Here you go, in no particular order:

*Motorcycling with BRUCE.
*Snuggling with the LER.
*Answering the phone and hearing JO say “What are you doing, bitch?”
*Flying down the 5 with CARLY on our way to surprise Jo.
*Sitting on the steps of our new house while BRUCE has his evening smoke.
*Lunch with SARAH, followed by a movie and shopping spree.
*Seeing Yosemite with the WITMER parents.
*Playing phone tag with CHRISSY, complete with diddle messages.
*Random web sites of the day from GRAEME.
*Slinking around Bar Sin with DAMNIT & STAR. Just like old times. Sort of.
*A trip to black sands beach with EO, MICHAEL, ROY, JAN, MISHA & BRUCE.
*A super-long email from KATHEE, just sitting there in my inbox.
*Sharing lunch with COLL & wee little JAKE, before they left me for Texas.
*Watching DENNIS greet LeeLoo with a kiss at Ft. Funston.
*Holding up score cards with MISHA at the Starry Plough Poetry Slam. (We were 2 of the randomly selected judges, and I was the mean judge.)
*Watching our straight-from-the-studio-secret-copy of House of Flying Daggers with the BROWNS.
*SukoThai with JAN.
*Hearing KATIE’s voice on my voicemail on my birthday.
*Watching LEELOO and NELSON do the tango on the hardwood floor.
*Doing Melrose with TRIN & JESSE.
*Wedding dress shopping with JO.
*Yarn shopping at Article Pract with MEREDITH.
*Seeing the MOMMA & the POPPA walking toward me through the airport on Christmas Day.
*Watching ANNA’s face when she saw the Golden Gate for the first time.
*Walking the Ler with SHEL.
*Meeting KATENESS online. Well, we met in real life a long time ago, but not really.
*Reading poetry to SARAH over the phone.
*Welcoming CARLY to San Francisco.
*Getting the Book Crossing addiction from MARGARET.
*Watching CHRIS mix a margarita.
*Sitting for PATTI’S photos.
*Hearing ROY run up and down the back stairs. And up and down again.
*Laying around a cozy cabin at Tahoe with the usual suspects.
*Gossiping with CARLY.
*Visiting Yoda with JO. (Yoda would be a canine, not a small green Jedi-thinger.)
*Bed shopping with BRUCE.
*Walking the beach with LER.

That’s just a few of the moments that made this a very good year. OK. Drop the ball. Toss the confetti. Toot the little paper horn. Countdown and kiss and clink your bubbly glasses and all that jazz.

Happy 2005, Internet. I’m going away now.

-Lo, who did make a list of resolutions once that contained the item “Be nicer to people.” And we all see how well that worked out.

Of Tsunamis and Tiny Tabascos

Thursday, December 30th, 2004

Mood: Extravagantly Exhausted
Drinking: Liquids

Coming off my episode of utter contentment on Christmas Eve, it’s been a wild and bumpy week. Not all of it has been the bad kind of bumpy, but when you consider that a giant tidal wave devoured thousands of lives and homes and left disease and despair in its wake, and it’s not even 2005 yet… Well, that will put a damper on anybody’s warm fuzzies.

When you have relatives in town, you tend to pay much less attention to the TV…at least my family does. So my awareness of what’s going on in the rest of the world has been lagging a bit behind, but it’s there. And, much like on 9-11, I’m feeling incredibly helpless and inadequate in the face of such phenomenal devastation. Boy and I will do what we can to help, there’s no doubt, but it’s times like these when you feel like such a fortunate and fat American. And you realize, once again, that you are just really fucking lucky. And you feel grateful and dirty, all at the same time.

So I’m going to spend some time researching where to make my disaster relief contributions…where is it most needed, where will it do the most good, etcetera. And I’ll also be searching for tiny Tabascos and miniature A-1 sauces. The explanation is this:

My sister and her shiny new husband visited the foggy city for the holiday extravaganza this week, and it was the last time in a long time that I will see my brother-in-law. He’s heading to Iraq in a couple of weeks. And it’s one of those things that there are just not enough words for. Or not the right kind of words. So I’m focusing instead on the Tabasco sauce.

See, apparently the chow sucks for soldiers. Eating the same thing day in and day out, out there in the middle of god-knows-where, and they can’t just run over to In-n-Out and get a nice fat burger anytime they feel like it. So my sister told me that they (the soldiers) like those tiny bottles of Tabasco, A-1, whatever, because they can pocket them, season their dinner, and then toss out the bottles. It’s genius. And that’s why I’m on the lookout for tiny, tiny Tabascos. Got any?

Okay, I wasn’t kidding around when I said that I was extravagantly exhausted. A week of in-laws and long drives in the California snow (Yosemite-style) and traveling with a 50-pound Boxer on your lap because she thinks she’s a teacup poodle and hearing about home-wrecking Tsunamis has left me without any wits whatsoever. So I’m going now…

-Lo, who has already calculated the distance from beach to home in case of a California tsunami. (I think 36 blocks might be far enough away.)

Twas the night…

Friday, December 24th, 2004

Mood: All is calm
Drinking: ‘Nog

It’s the night before Christmas, and I have a secret to tell you.

It’s a secret about poetry, about my kind of poetry, so really it’s not all that scintillating or scandalous. It’s just this: Happiness is bad for business.

What I mean is this…I write better poetry when I am miserable. My kind of thing calls for some anger, some angst, some awful atrocities, whether real or imagined. It just brings out the juice, the muse, the inspiration. My favorite poets had awful lives. They were depressed and drunk and suicidal. They were alone and lonely and had only their genius to keep them company. And they were brilliant. Their words are amazing.

(Rabbit Trail: I remember when I was getting ready to get married, I kept feeling like I was choosing to give something up. Not the “freedom” or whatever of being single, but the possibility of being a Great Poet. Something inside me kept saying that if I chose Boy, if I chose to make my life with a man who loved me and was willing to put up with all the melodrama, all the bullshit, all the darkness that I dream up–and all the darkness that I don’t–if I was choosing that kind of life, I was going to sacrifice something when it came to writing. I was going to have something besides my pen to assuage my pain. I’m not saying that if I had kept on going alone that I would have been this phenomenal genius. It just felt like a very real choice at the time. And I’m not unhappy with my decision. I do have both…my muse didn’t leave me when the ring slid down my finger. And I may write less poems per month than I used to, but I still write. They still come on their little cat feet, and that is all that matters.)

About this whole happy poem thing, though, I will confess that I have written a few of the smiley kinds of poems, but I usually keep them hidden in the drawer. I think I have one or two that actually work, that I’ll let out of the house.

It’s just that, to me, a lot of happy poetry ends up sounding like Hallmark. All schmaltzy and saccharine. And Hallmark might work for a certain type o’ people, but it doesn’t work for me and mine. When I’m happy, I don’t need poetry the way I need it when I’m not. When I’m not, it’s only the mainlining of words, the delicious drowning in ink, that keeps me sane.

So on this tranquil and bright Christmas Eve, I am incapable of writing a decent poem. At this moment, sitting in the half-lit living room beneath a pile of blankets, I am deepy, completely content.

I’ve got my wicked little laptop all glowing at me on the couch and my sleepy dog with her adorable paws smelling of Fritos. I’ve got my beautiful Boy sleeping in the other room. I’ve got a tank full of fishes all lazily floatin’ around and a tree full of white lights and ribbons. I’ve got cool socks that say “Drop Dead Gorgeous”. I’ve got a camera full of irreplaceable photos from the day just spent. I’ve got a tiny bit of sunburn from the beaches at Pt. Reyes and some leftover sand in my shoes.

I’ve got a full moon in the sky. I’ve got the N-train rolling past, full of Christmas Eve-ers with presents. I’ve got a week full of promise ahead.

I’ve got my parents on a plane on their way here to see me. I’ve got my sister coming my way, too. I’ve got my darling little C coming back from Chicago and phone messages full of glee from Miss Diddley-doo to return. (She knows who she be.)

I’ve got an Ugly Doll from S and a feathery red purse from the B’s. They both know me well enough to get a gift that ain’t on the wish list and completely delight me. That’s a rare and wonderful thing.

I’ve got dangly, spangly earrings and the ticking of a grandfather clock. I’ve got shelves full of books and a freshly-painted house. I’ve got everything I need and then just a little bit extra, on the side.

This is happiness, pure and complete. This is contentment. This is the moment. And I will relish it and wallow in it and tuck it away in my pocket so I can pull it out and stare at it when things look a bit more grim and gray.

Christmastime. I used to dread it for so long. It always seemed to be so lonely and disappointing and terribly futile. And here I am all grown-up and giddy and full of good cheer. I definitely cannot write a poem tonight.

-Lo, who, in addition to peace and tranquility, seems to be really into alliteration this evening, as well.

Where Does the Time Go?

Sunday, December 19th, 2004

Mood: Oh, so sleepy
Drinking: Water

It’s time for the Sunday Night Blues. That’s what me and this one guy used to call it way back when I was stupid enough to talk to guys on the phone for hours and think that meant we had some sort of connection. (long story, not worth telling). You know what I mean though…it’s that time of night when you’re like, “Shit. I have to work in the morning. I should have slept in longer. I should have taken a nap all curled up in a pile of blankets in the sun with my dog. I should have eaten more candy.” Or whatever your should-haves might be.

Slight consolation: it’s a short work week and I have plans for a movie lunch with a co-worker to go see Lemony Snicket and get our gothic children’s tale fix. (Screw you, Harry Potter.)

For the past six months, since Boy and I got all adult overnight and bought our Very Own Home, I’ve done nothing but work my hinder end to the nub every. single. weekend. There is always some new Task that must be done. Especially since the parental units are coming for Christmas (which I am inordinately excited about, but which also triggers the need for excessive cleaning and random projects and the mowing of the lawn in mid-December).

This weekend’s task: re-upholstering dining room chairs. So very glamorous and sexy. Ok. Not really. But strangely satisfying, nonetheless. (There is really so little of life that actually is glamorous and sexy, have you noticed? So disappointing when you have tulle-skirted ballgowns and no reason to wear them. I was foolish enough, at one time, to think that I would be attending some sort of fancy parties and balls and whatnot when I was All Grown Up. Wishful thinking. And I buy the tulle ballgowns anyway. Addiction to tulle, that’s my diagnosis.)

My weekend wasn’t all about dining room chairs. Some Thai food was consumed. Friends were seen. Movies were watched. Books read. Lawn mowed. (but you knew that already.) Last-minute presents were wrapped. LeeLoo got her beach time.

I am oh-so-productive. And oh-so-very sleepy. Which is probably why I am rambling on and on with no point in sight. I’ll give up now.

Lo, who can’t wait to see what exciting adventures Monday might bring. (That’s my sarcastic font, there.)

Sugar, Give Me Sugar

Wednesday, December 15th, 2004

Mood: Slightly breezy
Drinking: Cran/Ras Snapple

Had a little virtual banter yesterday with some blog commenters, most of whom were perfect strangers, about how hetero girls often get crushes on other girls. I don’t think it’s a big deal and don’t really get what all the hullabaloo is about. I’m a straight little arrow, but come on, women are SO MUCH PRETTIER than men. I’d rather look at a naked woman than a naked man any day of any week of any year. So I got a little sugar in me, as my friend C would say. But I’m not a gay lady. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!)

But some of the more uptight people in the world seem to think that if you start crushin’ on someone who shares your version of genitalia, well, then, you must be a little light in the loafers. Going the wrong way up the turnpike. Playing for the other team. Queerer than a $3 bill. A Bon-Bon Jovi. A real soprano. A jughandler. A friend of Dorothy. Must I go on?

All of which is just ridiculous. Actually, I think the whole homosexual “issue” in this country is ridiculous. I have many gay friends and there’s nothing “abnormal” about any of them. So there are boys who like boys and girls who make out with girls. SO. WHAT. Why does anybody want to make such a big deal out of it? Are we as Americans, as left over Puritans, *that* afraid of sex that we must banish homosexuals to dark basements and keep our precious marriage licenses out of their grubby hands? (Which could lead to a raging tirade about the “sanctity of marriage” in the age of Britney Spears. Puhleese. But I will refrain.) It’s just one more thing that makes me ashamed of my country.

But I digress. Because the real reason for this post is my list. See, I keep a Top Ten list of girls that I have crushes on. The top 5 rarely change, because they are goddesses.

And so, (trumpet toot), here’s my Top Ten “Sugar” List, the Famous version. I have a real-people version, too, but you’re not gettin’ your hands on that one…
(Click on the names for evidence…)

10. Scarlett Johansson:


Scarlett’s fairly new on the list, b/c my friend C’s gotten me hooked.

9. Gwen Stefani:

Gwen comes and goes, but with this new Harajuku/Alice in Wonderland thing she’s got goin’ on, she’s definitely on the list!

8.
Selma Blair:


She’s kinda super skinny, but I have this picture of her dressed as Emily the Strange. Uh-huh.

7.
Amy Lee:


Evanescence is my guilty pleasure. And I just have a thing for the poetic girls with the smooth pale skin, long black hair and big stompy boots. (Does that mean I’m in love with myself?)

6.
Asia Argento:


Gotta love the Scarlet Diva. The Italian accent doesn’t hurt a bit, either.

5.
Kate Winslet:


Kate jumped up to the top 5 after Eternal Sunshine. Love. Her.

4.
Liv Tyler:


Something about those lips, that hair, those super-long legs. I’ve had a crush since that first Aerosmith video where she was swinging around a pole. Alicia Silverstone was in that video, too, but I had eyes only for Liv.

3.
Monica Bellucci:


As our Gnashville friend M once said, “Monica Bellucci is sex.”

2.
Shirley Manson:


Such a naughty redheaded Scottish lass. She had me from the first with her smudgy black eyeliner. (And the big stompy boots, once again.)

1.
Angelina Jolie:


If I have to explain this to you, you’re not going to get this whole entry, anyway, so you might as well troll about the ‘net elsewhere. Angelina is the goddess of all goddesses and that’s all there is to it.

-Lo, who thinks that Britney is a skankier ho than Christina ever could be!

Mine Are Real!

Monday, December 13th, 2004

Mood: Candied-out
Drinking: Water

We attended a memorial service for Dennis on Friday. It was sweet and sad and bizarre, all at once. Never been to a memorial service in a dog park before. I think the worst part was seeing Dennis’ dog, Nika, who was very depressed and in a week’s time had already lost a lot of weight. She’ll never have another guy like Dennis.

Neither will we.

In the midst of all the mourning, there have been holiday things to do. My parents are coming to California for Christmas, so Boy and I are all a-flutter trying to get the place ready for parental inspection. Not that they’ll white-glove it or anything. But still. There is a list, and things must be checked off! (Slightly obsessed with the list-checking, that’s me.)

The Christmas tree itself has been crossed off the list rather triumphantly. It’s all green and woodsy-smelling and fabulous-looking. And it looks perfect as seen through the window from the street. (I am so loving the new house, have I said that yet?)

When I was growing up back in Illinois, we always had a fake tree. I’m not sure if it was about tree conservation or reluctance to spend money on the real thing or what, but every year, our Christmas tree came out of a dusty box that had been hibernating in the attic all year long.

For some reason, it became the Witmer family tradition for my Dad and I to put the thing together. In the early years, that wasn’t so hard. All the branches were color-coded and I could just hand them to Dad–first the blue, then the green, then the yellow and finally red. But then the paint got all scraped off and from then on it was a guessing game. We could have made a hilarious-looking inverted tree if we wanted to.

The housecats (who had better manners than the barncats) would always make little nests for themselves among the lower branches. And some of them–the dumber ones–would eat long silver strings of tinsel off the tree. A day or so later, they’d be running around the house with Tinsel Butt. (Which is really funny and very disgusting all at the same time.)

Other Witmer family traditions: Dad did the lights, then the girls (me and Jo) would decorate with various handmade and sometimes hideous ornaments, as far up as we could reach. Mom would always top the tree with the angel at the very end. Oh, and there were real candy canes that were hung on the tree, but they never lasted long, since my Dad and I are peppermint fiends. There was the Christmas Card Door, also. Every single card and picture we received was carefully scotch taped on the living room door (which led out to the front porch and piles of snowdrifts, so it was always closed off with plastic and duct tape during the winter.)

During the years when there was snow, Mom would make snow ice cream from the tallest, freshest snowdrift. Once I learned in science class that snow particles formed around dirt, the concept of snow ice cream became instantly less delicious, but still. It’s hard to resist fluffy, cold piles of sugar.

Boy and I have made an effort to establish our own Christmas traditions since we’ve moved out to the coast. For the past 4 years, we’ve spent Christmas Day alone, just the two of us, (and last year, LeeLoo, too). We open presents in the morning and then drive down the coast until we find the perfect abandoned beach. We do some beachcombing and ocean-gazing and just generally meander about. It’s the most peaceful kind of Christmas I’ve known.

There were a whole lotta years in there where I hated/dreaded/tried to ignore the whole depressing holiday rigamarole. But now that we’ve found ways to make it our own, it’s not so bad. Especially when you can watch your pup tear the wrapping paper off a stuffed penguin while it sings an obnoxious, tinny, christmas carol. When the Ler is around, it doesn’t take much to entertain me.

-Lo, who never once played the virgin Mary in any of those Sunday School pageants.

Fare Thee Well

Sunday, December 5th, 2004

Mood: Waking up
Drinking: Toothpaste aftertaste

Yesterday my friend S and I took our dogs for a walk at Fort Funston. The Fort is not really a fort, not anymore. It may have been all soldiery and official at some point during World War I, but now it is just rolling dunes with rubbery ice plants, lots of twisted cypress and secret, sandy trails, and cliffs that fall off a hundred feet down to the beach below.

It’s the best place in the city to go dog-walking, because you can let your little pooch run free and wild with hundreds of other dogs. There are crows to chase and lots of butts to sniff and a watering hole with three or four perpetually filled bowls of water. There are caves and buttresses and a long run down a huge dune that leads to “Dog Beach” below. At dog beach you can cavort in the waves and fetch sticks and pee on driftwood–if you are a canine and you’re into that sort of thing.

LeeLoo loves it, and so does her boyfriend Nelson (S’s dog), and we were all having a grand old time–the dogs chasing each other in maniacal circles and S and I laughing at them until our stomachs hurt. I was especially looking forward to the highlight of every trip to Ft. Fun–stopping by the twin benches on the cliff path to see Dennis and his dogs Nika and Rocky.

Dennis is a dog trainer, and he worked miracles with us and LeeLoo when we first adopted her nearly 2 years ago. She was scared and aggressive toward other dogs and was known to try to rip balls off random men for no apparent reason other than that she didn’t like the shoes they were wearing. Dennis helped us turn LeeLoo into the lovable, happy, carefree little lump of a Boxer she is today.

He’s a grizzly looking guy–tall with a beer gut, a windswept white pony tail and a way of yelling that makes you toe the line like you’re in boot camp. He served in Vietnam with the K-9 troops and then ran a school of dog training in New York City for years. He also has a shady story about being on the lam and changing his name for awhile, but when we met him he had been living and training dogs in San Francisco for 20 years or more.

Dennis quickly became more to Bruce and I than just a dog trainer. He was like the gruff and burly uncle you hope comes to family functions. We invited him to dinner at our house so he could meet my mom and dad when they came to visit. He took us to his favorite taco place in the Mission. We’d talk about motorcycles (he used to ride) and sometimes we stopped by his house just to say hi. Despite how tough and hard he seemed on the outside, he was a big old marshmallow underneath. LeeLoo was his favorite pupil, and he’d would cry out in delight whenever we’d stop by the bench after a long walk at Ft. Fun.

“LeeLoo, baby!” he’d yell “Come over here and give me a kiss.” And she would, butt wiggling in glee, and he’d kiss her back. “Look at this face,” he’d tell friends, new students, random passersby. “Now that’s a face only a mother or a dog trainer could love!”

About a year ago, Dennis asked Bruce and I to help him write a dog training manual. He had all the information from years of experience, so he’d get it on paper and I’d pretty it up and Bruce would lay it out and the book was almost finished and ready to go. We saw Dennis last week and he was all excited about it. We made plans to get together for dinner and finish it up.

But when S and I stopped by the bench yesterday, Dennis wasn’t there. Instead, there was a huge pile of flowers and candles and some posters with pictures of dogs. I thought it was weird that somebody left a bunch of crap on a bench, and I kept walking. But S stopped and said “Oh, these memorials always make me so sad. I wonder who’s dog died?” So I turned around to look, too. But then I saw that the pictures stapled to the bench were not just pictures of dogs. They were pictures of Dennis. My Dennis. And they said he was dead.

I’ve seen people cause scenes in public before, shaking and wailing. And I’ve always walked by them thinking, “Calm down, freak!” But suddenly, I knew why they didn’t calm down. They couldn’t. Because I was shaking and wailing. “Dennis! Not Dennis!”

Our friend, our grizzly uncle, died of diabetes complications on Thursday. He was just here, and now he’ll never be here again. He was just here and he was fine. He gave me the customary hug and scratchy kiss on the cheek, “Hi, sweetheart. So good to see you.”

Dennis, wherever you are, we miss you. We mourn for you. And we desperately hope that you have some dogs to keep you company until we see you again.

-Lo, who doesn’t care how maudlin this entry is. It’s something she needed to do.

Sterling Girl

Thursday, December 2nd, 2004

Mood: Emotional Hangover
Drinking: Ruby’s Tasty Chai

This one is for Anna.

********************

She calls four times.
The cell phone.
The home phone.
And finally, she leaves a message.

“It’s me,” she says.
(caller ID beat her to it.)
She clears her throat.
She exhales smoke.
“Call me back when you get this,” she says.
“I don’t care what time. Just
can you please call me tonight?”
Her voice sounds funny.
Scratchy. Overworked.
Is she crying or just
smoking too much?

I wait for dinner and the Daily Show
before I call her back. (I didn’t
really think it was an emergency.)
She answers on the second ring and
I know then she was crying.

“My worst nightmare,” she says.
“He left me,” she says.
“He left me for some other girl.”
Her voice sounds dull.
Defeated. Dumped.

She tells me the seven-day
breakdown of the breakup
that started and ended on a Tuesday.
He started doing this
and then he acted like that
and “she” showed up and
it just kept getting worse.

I’ve retreated to my bedroom by now.
Shut out the comfortable noise of
my own security. Husband. Dog. TV.
I tell her I’m so sorry this happened.
I call him all kinds of names.

I say I’ll kick his ass and
scratch his eyes out.
I swear I’ll cut his balls off
and feed them to my dog.

It’s what you say, when you’re a friend.
It’s what you say when he turns out
to be the asshole you were afraid he might be
all along. It’s what you say, and you know
you don’t have to actually do it. But you
sure as hell better mean it.
And I do.

(He may not have been
my kind of guy
but he was hers.
He was hers, and that’s what matters.)

She was just here, last month.
We sat in this very room.
She was just here and
she was so happy. Her
voice was lilting.
Laughing. Giddy.

It was her first trip
to the Pacific but
when she saw the water
all blue to the very horizon
she said she wished he could see it, too.
So she wrote his name in the sand
and took a picture to prove he was there.

We walked all over Chinatown
to find him the perfect jade dragon.
Bright green and growling.
It’s gone now, she says.
“I made him take it.”

She’s pacing around her house now.
I can picture the tiny rooms
so perfectly in my head. She’s
standing in the living room,
counting DVDs. “He left one of his movies here,”
she tells me. “The Score.
It’s a guy movie. I don’t want it.”

I’m not saying much now.
I’m picking at the fuzz on my bedspread
and wishing I knew how to comfort her better.
Wish I could wave a wand to make it all go away.
(I wished the same thing in sixth grade
in the funeral home. But
I couldn’t work magic for her then, either.)

So I sit here with her, two thousand miles away.
I let her go on with her lists. I let her get it all out.
She goes through the games to see what’s gone missing.
“I can’t believe it,” she says.
“He took Tetris. He took Tetris!”
(But I know it’s not Tetris she really
wants back.)

She tells me her son cried when
he said he was leaving. He cried “No, No, No!”
(I mutter curses in the x’s general direction
and think about hunting him down.)
And her daughter, she just said
nothing at all. But she cooked her mom dinner.
“I couldn’t eat it. I can’t eat anything.
But I think I’ve smoked
a whole pack since he left,” she says.

He just left a few hours ago.
He took his clothes, his shoes.
He took his toolbox, but
her screwdriver was in it.
He kept saying he was sorry,
he was sorry. So sorry.

He went down to the basement
and took his bike away.
He took his movies and games.
His collection of beer bottles, too,
even the one she and I bought
just down the street from here.
The San Francisco beer.

“He took his pillow, too.”
She’s in the bedroom now,
but she can hardly look at the bed.
“What he doesn’t know is that I’ve
been crying into that pillow for the last
five days,” she laughs but her voice
sounds bitter. Broken. Numb.

“He’ll sleep on my tears,” she says softly.
“I wonder if I should tell him that.”

********************

-Lo, who wears boots big enough to kick that guy’s ass in real life, if given the opportunity!

No Turkey for You!

Wednesday, December 1st, 2004

Mood: Is it Thursday yet?
Drinking: The usual poison

My Thanksgiving this year was impressively un-American. It involved a complete lack of turkey and some trash-talking about the Puritan Pilgrims. *gasp* There may have been a big jug o’ red-hot-flavored alcohol, courtesy of C, as well.

You see, our original, traditional, decidely acceptable Thanksgiving plans fell through at the last minute and we all said, “F*%# the turkey! We’re having pizza!”

The only problem: All pizza places are closed on Thanksgiving because they are good turkey-gnawing American people. So then my other friend C, as in the website guru Christopher Brown, he says, “Hey, why not a Mexican Thanksgiving!? I can make chile rellenos!” and then M dubbed it the “Gracias-giving” and away we went.

Much home-made Mexican food was consumed and although none of it was nearly as good as the tamales that my first boyfriend’s mother used to make, it was pretty damn good. (My contribution? Good old white trash Dirt Cake, complete with plastic flower. I am a good friend.)

Boy and I pretty much spent the whole weekend huffing paint fumes while we completed agonizing house project #43: painting the living room. It is finished now, and I am coming out of my paint-fume-withdrawal with only a mild headache.

I’ve been working on a poem and we’re coming up on a video shoot for our newest project (as soon as the weather warms up and the fog rolls in), so i haven’t been a complete slacker, in spite of my conspicous lack of posting here. I have been very busy and productive elsewhere, and you can thank the lack of turkey for that. (Because every good American knows that after you consume the carcass of a dead bird for Thanksgiving, you must lounge about on the couch watching various forms of boob toob entertainment for at least 24 hours and then go to the Wal-mart and fight with a toothless fat lady for a RoboSapien. It’s what the founding fathers would have wanted, after all. Life! Liberty! Pursuit of Wal-mart Crappiness!)

-Lo, who really needs to get over this I-didn’t-have-turkey-nah-nah obsession, already!