10.19.2023There are so many mothers who have sons, and for many of them it the the having of a son that first makes them Mother. For some mothers, having a son is what makes them Mother. For some mothers, mothering a son is what makes them Mother. For some mothers, to mother is to hold out a son before a parted world and to say “behold!” and to say “behold!” and to say “behold!”
10.18.2023There is so much of everything. It is too much and it is everywhere. There is too much everything, and in order to be part of it you have to be something, and to be something is a risk.
Floating is a wonderful activity because you are held by water. To float is to lie back in somebody else's hand. Floating is reassurance that you can float.
Today the electrician came to put up the new light and I went out to pay him with my mom's credit card. I couldn't tell if the electrician's assistant was flirting with me or if he just had one of those faces. He was young, maybe 19 or 20. He had this massive tool belt with maybe 30 or 40 tools all looped in.
It felt nice to be flirted with by the electrician's assistant, even if it was only maybe flirting and probably was not flirting at all, even if he was just trying to be friendly because he saw a shy young woman in grotty sweatpants apologetically paying his boss with her mom's credit card.
It felt nice to be vague, and anonymous, and to wonder if I could be seen as an object. I was wearing the grottiest sweatpants. I wish I had been wearing a massive tool belt with 30 or 40 tools all looped in.
Someday, I hope to inspire a fantasy. They say that women are more likely to hang naked in a museum than to ever have a piece displayed in one. One day, I would like to hang naked on the wall of a museum. One day, I would like to hang naked on the wall of a villa in the background of someone's dream, rendered softly and flatteringly in oils, gently inviting. It is okay if I am forgotten in the morning. Actually – it is not okay if I am forgotten in the morning, but I have to be okay with being forgotten in the morning. Dreams are like that – you simply can't be picky about how you appear in other people's dreams.
10.18.2023 [PART II – ABOUT 2 HOURS LATER – AFTER SHIVA]I just got home from ________’s house. It was all filled with people and grief and otherness and a Nice Spread; I took half a bagel with cream cheese and lox and also a slice of rye with Russian dressing and pastrami and absolutely smashed them both in the car on the way home. I ate too fast. I feel ill.
Everything was familiar and unfamiliar. Pretty Pretty Princess was gone, as were the '90s kitchen decals. We all gathered in the living room for the minyan. I hugged the wall next to the doorway so as to be politely inconspicuous. The rabbi and cantor performed the service right next to me: I was made conspicuous. I have never experienced such cantorial intimacy.
We sang oseh shalom bimromav at the end, and the cantor projected absolutely into my ear canal, and I wondered how I felt, and I wondered how I should feel, and I wondered how I might feel, and I felt sweaty, and I wondered if I looked sweaty. As soon as the service ended I said goodbyes and grabbed some lox and pastrami to eat too fast on the way home.
There is too much of everything and entering it, even for a moment, is immensely dangerous.
Floating is wonderful because when you float you are held up by the water. Floating is a wonderful activity. When you float, you remember that it is possible to float. When you float, you realize that there is a possible future in which you float again. Buoyancy suggests the possibility of future buoyancy. Buoyancy gives hope for future buoyancy -- and that is everything.
10.16.20231: INT. STUDY — DAY
Two men, PLOCIE DETECTIVE HOLT and BARNABY SCRUGGS, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR stand in the study of the Sussex Manor House of SIR W— BR—. Before them is a scene of HORRIBLE SIGNIFICANCE: Sir W— Br— has been MURDERED[!!!]
Police detective Holt: Good god, what happened to the poor gentleman???
Barnaby Scruggs, Private Eye: From a quick glance, sir, I’d wager that the victim was drugged, stabbed, poisoned, shot, mocked, shot again, and finally his feet were removed and taxidermied. But of course we’ll have to wait for the coroner to confirm.
Police detective Holt: Good god, how can you tell??
Barnaby Scruggs, Private Eye: Well he was violently stabbed, but there’s no sign of resistance, no lacerations on the hands or forearms — meaning he was unconscious — drugged with sleeping pills, presumably — when the stabbing took place.
Police detective Holt: Good god, what happened next?
Barnaby Scruggs, Private Eye: Well, the broken glass and spilled water suggest that he came to, desperately reached for a drink — and was poisoned! Note the foam around his mouth. We’ll have the laboratory test for traces of poison — Sododium Petrochloride, I presume — on the salvageable glass.
Police detective Holt: Good god!
Barnaby Scruggs, Private Eye: Now for the bullet through his skull. Y’see how the head wound barely bled but the stab wounds bled profusely? He was already dead — about an hour, I’d wager — when he was shot. In the dark of night — there were no lights on, remember — a different perpetrator saw Sir Arnold seemingly sitting in his chair, aimed, and fired. They must have entered through the French Window — had they approached his body from the front, they would have seen he was already dead.
Police detective Holt: Good god!
Barnaby Scruggs, Private Eye: After being posthumously shot, the victim was verbally mocked. This much is evident from the taunted appearance of the corpse, especially the harassed look about its knees. Around this time, he was shot again in the left thumb — based on that wound shape I’d have your men looking for an 1840s Belgian revolver. Finally, his feet were sloppily removed — presumably with an engraved Spanish penknife — and quickly taxidermied on the scene by someone well versed in Victorian anthropomorphism.
Police detective Holt: My word! Have you seen many cases like this?
Barnaby Scruggs, Private Eye: Sadly, more than I can count.
Police detective Holt: Are you good at counting?
Barnaby Scruggs, Private Eye: No sir, I am not. I only know a few numbers, and not even the good ones.
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