How many V-neck or scoop-necked black T-shirts does Anne need?
a. One; it's a staple
b. One of each?
c. MORE! I NEED MORE!
- From the cycle, "Conversations with myself while shopping to replace one lost thing and instead expanding my uniform"
Dear airports (and airlines), you dole out basic amenities like the Czechs used to dole out toilet paper. Small servings of a thing that I think you could easily include in your overhead costs and are making us pay for as a means of reminding us who is in control. A Czech acquaintance of mine wrote her thesis on gay lifestyle as recorded by one of the toilet guards, as public toilets were one of the places for gays to meet under Communism. Picture some middle-aged woman, tearing off individual squares and recording the various antics she saw in public bathrooms in the eighties; I expect she got more out of it than whatever is being collected while we sit in suspended animation buying four dollar water, ten dollar wine, trading our grandmother's maiden names for five minutes of connection to people we already like in an attempt to avoid conversation with people we won't.
Overheard, while waiting for the plane to Madrid:
Well, since Benedict Cumberbatch is marrying someone else and Emily Nussbaum doesn't want to leave New York (I STILL LOVE YOU EMILY but I concede that it must remain love from afar) I think it's only reasonable that I join every feminist over 25 and set my cap for Mallory Ortberg. Mallory Mallory Mallory. Every time I see her name in print I fall a little more in love. So sweet and so fucking smart. I know she's too young for me, but she's so clever and insightful that she seems older so it's not creepy. And I don't actually know if she's single but since all my imaginary love is entirely pure it doesn't matter.
What's the best thing about you?
My friends. They are diverse and funny and kind and awesome and I'm a better person for having them in my life.
What's something you know by heart?
Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. The lyrics to every 80s song.
What's the last song you sang along to?
Heroes, by David Bowie. I'm learning to play it, so I sang along with myself, but that counts, right?
I wake before the alarm, the new alarm in the phone with the ringtones I like that start quiet and get louder. I lie in the bed and wait for the alarm even though I could just get up, the reasons are murky like dreams and the soap bubble cheer of the alarm washes them away and I get up and my eyes are covered with soapy rainbow film, but I blink it away. The cat is sleeping on the box that the dehumidifier came in and is still in because every time I think about it she is sleeping there. I am perplexed by this new occupation as it is a place she can be that does not bother me; see for example: sweater drawer, kitchen counter, washing machine, laptop keyboard. I walk by and she looks up sleepily but does not move. Every morning I ask her if she will die today, and every morning she is closer, her fragile bones increasingly prominent under her poor itchy skin, but she is still happy about food, about butting her head under my hand to be petted, about curling in the crook of my son's legs when he sleeps, so she's not there yet. The coffee pot grumbles and sputters while I put away last night's dishes. We watch The Daily Show and our mouths laugh around bites of toast covered with peanut butter, camaraderie, the ease of not needing to peek to be sure the moment is shared. The front door closes and I put in a load of laundry, wash and stack the breakfast dishes, note the condensation on the windows but the cat is back on the box and I can't bear to disturb her; maybe tomorrow. I crush ginger and lemon into a pot for tea and start to work, a paper on the begging behavior of cuckoo chicks. Another sunless winter day spreads before me and ecstasy is impossible but simple pleasures are easy to grasp, if you reach out your hands.
when you've made a change to your appearance and every time you walk past a mirror you don't recognize yourself for a second, and then eventually it becomes normal, like looking the other way when you cross the street in London or Japan, and then you can't remember the way you looked before.
Whoa I'm sorry, boy I stepped into some kind of alternate dimension where time wasn't moving and when I stepped back out again time had moved. Here we are.
Working so much. I have cried from the sheer weight of it but on the plus side I'll have money for the hot sandy beach calling my personal name this winter.
Doing stuff with other people. Sometimes with other people's children, but then aren't we all other people's children? We are, we are.
Tomorrow I'm going to Prague to a garden party at the embassy. As one does.
A weekend in London. This time I think I'm going to touch the art.
Next week I'm going to see Laurie Anderson in Budapest. I almost can't articulate my love for her except I totally can because somebody asked me yesterday and it poured out.
The next week my sister's coming. I just can't even do my anticipation justice here. It's been five years.
After that, it's hermit time. I'm... I don't know. Dancing as fast as I can. No drugs and no dramatically bad hair, just trying to make my body outspin the dervish of my heart.