emma b. says

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Bon Voyage

Look, do you see?
There is that blond girl on the Cours Mirabeau, could it be, could it be?
Yes, it's Emma with her sunglasses artfully arranged at the crown of her head. Is that a glass of Bandol rose she is sipping?

And who, who is this? Frolicking in the Mediterranean with her ta ta's unhinged, is it? it must be... it's Emma... Hope she is wearing sunblock.

We shall return in two weeks, with tall tales.

Until then, je vous aime, tous.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Woebegone, Erupting

Would I were a volcano, a sampling of my molten lava:

listen to my tale of woe, it's terribly sad but true
Gigantic, big, big love
cigarettes and chocolate milk
your own personal jesus
mister state trooper, please don't take me
tonight's the night
when I was seventeen, it was a very good year
Alexander the great
cortez, cortez
I'm just a poor boy, from a poor family... fandango
we're just two lost souls swimmin' in a fish bowl,
year after year,
runnin' over the same old ground, what have we found, the same old fears.
how I wish you were here.
you do, something to me, something that simply mystifies me
oh, I'm on fire
and I ran, I ran so far away
lay across my big brass bed
I am sixteen going on seventeen
somewhere in my youth and childhood, I must have done something good
clang, clang, clang went the trolley
ne me quitte pas, ne me quitte pas,
ne me quitte pas
cuz roses really smell like poo-oop-poo-poo
might as well have fun cuz your happiness is done and your goose is cooked
but will you settle for love
pour some sugar on me
tais toi donc, grand Jacques, que connais tu de l'amour
I'm gonna wash that man right out of my hair
Springtime for Hitler and Germany
I think I seen about everything, when I seen an elephant fly
she's got eyes like the bluest skies
please have some pity, I'm all alone in this big city
summertime, and the livin' is easy, fish are jumpin' and the cotton is high
your daddy's rich and your mama's good lookin'
why can't I get just one fuck
fuck and run
strange fruit
someone who will watch over me
la valse a mille temps
ma vie en rose
red, red wine
we gonna rock down to electric avenue, and then will take it higher
do you realize, that you have the most beautiful face, do you realize
that everyone you know, someday will die.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Sit and Spin

I have one of those fancy pants ergonomic office chairs that spins. I am currently sitting in it, and when my fingers aren't doing the talking I spin in it. I spin to look out the window, to see that the fog has progressed from the Sunset and Richmond and is oozing Eastward, preparing to startle the tourists in Union square by a sudden temperature drop of fifteen degrees.

I spin in my chair.
Because it is fun.
Because I can.

I had naively thought, when I took the vows of office life that a spinning chair was the pinnacle of achievement. After years of 10 hour shifts of standing on those wretched kitchen mats (ugh, the slime, the stench) slinging drinks, finishing coated in liquor and sweat. I thought when I saw my lovely chair, in compact and unmatted cubicle, that I would be glad to sit a spell, and not have to ask anyone to cover me when I needed a loo. And so, during the first several weeks I abused my bathroom privileges, often going for no reason at all but to sit leisurely on the toilet and gloat.

Yes, well times change.

I am sitting Indian style in my chair as I spin, and I have removed my shoes. I am also wearing a skirt. I am, according to the Massive Corporation in violation. My feet ought to be properly shod, I ought not to be in danger of flashing my knickers to a fellow employee, and I really ought not to be spinning in my chair. But I am a corporate rebel and I really don't give a fuck what I ought not to be doing. I ought not to have ever been impressed with a spinning chair.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Friday the 13th

Though not generally a superstitious type of girl, I find this day particularly discomfiting. Perhaps because I have worked myself into a panic imagining all those jason-masked, hatchet wielding demonstrators at the RNC wreaking havoc and gifting the election to Bush as he thanks them and smirks...

It's a lazy Friday due to much drinking last night by the minions of Massive Corporation of Unrequited Bull Shit, I am told that there were bucket shots of tequila and much vomiting. You can tell by their uniform greyness in their uniform banker blue button downs and their uniform casual day khakis. I excused myself from the debauchery, I never enjoy hanging out with the binge drinking minions of the Massive Corporation. I have had plenty time to work myself into a bundle of frayed nerves concocting various End of Days scenarios...

Fuck it, I am going to spend the rest of the afternoon getting caught up on salacious celebrity gossip, or troll my mind for word associations, like this one, that grabbed me as I was sauntering to the loo. World Wide Web = Wild Kingdom = Marlin Perkins = white hair = Mutual of Omaha = indian headress = Mutual of Omaha ad jingle lodged in brain for next 72 hours. Swell, thanks brain.

The Greek Frenchman and Ma belle Michelle and I had hot pot on Clement last night, $12.99 all the meat you could possibly eat. A delicious meal on a frigid August evening. We were discussing the upcoming RNC and I was voicing my fears that things could very quickly spiral out of control. I think a massive show of solidarity is great, in theory. There will be 36,000 police and perhaps 300,000 demonstrators. People on both sides agitated, defensive, itching for a fight. All it takes is one loose cannon with a rock in his hand -- the GF thinks I am being overwraught and he is quite possibly correct, perhaps part of me wants to know what would happen, perhaps part of me wants to spill into the streets with a rock in my hand and smash things, be provoked and enraged enough to sidestep the white lines of reason and good citizenry to claw out the eyes of my nation while humming the roof, the roof, the roof is on fire, we don't need no water let the motherfucker burn.

But being a good and reasonable little Democrat, I am inclined to think it is never a good idea to spit in the face of bureaucracy, bureaucracy is a great and globular monster it will swallow my end for it's own means. As Nixon did in '68.

But let us adjourn from the Department of Potential Catastrophe and pay a quick visit to the Department of Chance Encounters.

Last Friday as I was walking along Haight Street contemplating my navel and my dinner options a strange thing happened. A figure appeared from a mirage, a lanky silhouette in a watch cap that was so startlingly familiar that nearly had to stoop to retrieve my jaw from the sidewalk, and I believe that we saw one another at the exact same moment and experienced the very same disbelief. I felt as though we were hesitantly edging toward each other, feelers twitching, it is, no it isn't, it is, yes, yes it is - holy shit (is my hair OK?) I distinctly remember wondering if my hair was OK while simultaneously thinking that I was behaving like a sixteen year old dork, which is in context, as the fleshed out mirage now standing before me was first love BC - and his long time girlfriend.

Slightly incredulous greetings were exchanged along with numbers and it was agreed that we should meet for a drink.

He rang on Monday, while I was gallantly fending off the hangover monster from my wastrel weekend and it was decided that we would meet that evening.

I rushed home and fretted over my wardrobe and wondered at that and further wondered at the sudden flickers of the butterflies in my belly, so I sat myself down and had a chat with Self. Self, I said, you are being a silly, silly girl, put the butterflies to bed and get in a cab or you will be late. And yet, the butterflies were restive, they always were when he's around.

We met at Public (he deemed yuppy) (yuppy?) (more like fauxsters and lipstick lesbians) decided we were better suited for dive bars, and went to the Expansion.

And there he is, next to me, liquid in my memories, languid on the bar stool. We talk easily, politics the new currency of conversation, where I wish I was and am not, his work, his travels. It's the same voice that rocked my world when he called me up to ask me out in highschool, it's a man's voice but seventeen years have filled it out. His eyes are the same cerrulean. Gone is the long hair, now it's short and his blond is three shades louder than mine. Still that sexy punk rock boy who made me weak in the knees, waking up ghosts in graveyards with a carnal howl. It is decided that we shall go to Zeitgiest, which is never really a good idea, given that cocktails are served in pint glasses.

As we are walking a catch his scent on the breeze and it catches my breath. Deep in the cool green of the Yuba river, scratching for Fool's Gold, my heart, my heart, the boy smells of summer, smells of a garret room in Paris, where the lobby is pink and the floor is sloped.

Fueled on liquor and electricity we embarked on a conversation that we should have had twelve years ago, but maybe one that needed to wait until we were to able to say the right things the right way, and while we were talking the bar emptied and time swirled and it was past the magic hour and time to go before the real trouble started.

I don't know what it is exactly, something chemical? For years throughout my twenties between relationships or not, we would collide in cars, he was my own personal meteor shower, all light and heat. And there on the sidewalk and in the back seat of the cab, making out like the ferocious teenagers we once were, knowing that an invisible line had to be toed and how absolutely wrong it would be to push it further... (but, oh how delicious! to think, to dream!)

But I'll be damned if kissing him in the back of that cab wasn't the sweetest thing...

Monday, August 09, 2004

Boozey not Floozey

You know how I had made that goal, you know the one. In which Emma declared that she would go to the party as a cheerleader and do the illicit drugs and make out with a straight boy.

I am slightly abashed and can hear the snickers in the peanut gallery of my imagination as I say that it DID NOT HAPPEN.

Which is not to say that it was not a fine party, because it was, which is not to say that there were drugs in short supply or a paucity of kissable boys, there were ample. I am thinking it was the wig, that is the hooker wig... offputting somehow. Perhaps I was too busy rocking out to def Leppard with my pom poms and P. to notice any vibes cast in my direction. Perhaps it was the tawdry blue eyeshadow and the yellow cheer (cheer?) shirt I was sporting, canary is not a flattering color and certainly did not suit my bountiful - ahem - wig. Perhaps it was the venue, because really, who could possibly hope for a hook up in a porno dungeon, truly. No truly it was in a porno dungeon, there was even a nice lady with a whip should one desire a light public flogging, to each his own, what, what.

The music was fun, costumes are always fun. Pom Poms whish when you shake them. And shake them I did.

And so dawned Sunday, and I arose refreshed with only a partial hangover which was nothing short of miraculous and boded well for the party for superstah M's birthday party. I knew that there would plenty of men in attendance, including several men that have good enough to make out with me on previous occasions. I felt certain that I would achieve at least the making out part of my goal. So I put on my party dress, the one I wore to Pinpinette's wedding in New York, it saw plenty of make out action, shit, even girls tried to make out with me in that dress. It's true!

Alas there was no making out to be had, there was however a lot of booze consumed. Which accounts for my headache and gollywobbles and general office fuckoffedness today. There was also dancing I taught Michelle how to swing dance.

There is also some evidence that I was liberal with my phone number as there are messages from strange men.

Perhaps I shall make out with one.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

So There

In our last missive we complained about our inability to articulate, today we got into a long winded emailgument with a friend F, it started like this:

(in response to a forwarded plea to Michael Moore to make a film about Israel)

I'm all for it, - this is a decades long foreign policy debacle in dire need of solving. Conveniently, (and probably much to Israel's delight) the enormous caca the current administration has taken in the middle east will divert our attention from this ongoing problem probably for decades to come. The United States has much to loose in the severing of this relationship, not just from Israel's ties to this country (civilian/military contracts) but because of its post - 9/11 strategic importance as part of intelligence community. I suspect in the interests (or at least the guise of) national security, future administrations will be hold this relationship inviolate.

I suppose a good place to start is an "even handed" organized front to stop supporting the wrong business interests globally - including Israel.
As much as F/911 will make Michael Moore an incredibly wealthy man (such that he will be able to fund his own projects), you can only imagine the phenomenal amount of domestic resistance, especially outrage by Hollywood if he embarked on such a mission. I think that domestic Jews will see to it (directly or indirectly- Do you think Eisner was really concerned about Disney interests in Florida?- you have to ask) that his good reputation as a muckrakering hero is completely destroyed.....or worse yet, just plain "taken out".....

I still haven't seen F911 and tend to think that Moore is a self-promulgating blowhard fame whore. That said, I think it is important that he made the film, if for only one reason... Movies are the mainstay of the 18-25 demographic who are the largest block of non-voters, I am hoping that the film will encourage them to get off their video-game playing duffs and vote.

I do not think that Moore is the man to make a film about the Israel/Palestine morass... First of all the ADL would have his hide, thus far he has had the support of the Spielbergs of Hollywood. Secondly, his touch is indelicate. Witness the rise of anti-Semitism in France, and anti-Arab sentiment in this country, just this morning an Imam was arrested for allegedly plotting to buy missiles... Why did they arrest him, because he bought a plane ticket. Or that crazy woman on the plane who thought a group of Syrian musicians were a terrorist group. This is not just about an American protectorate, it is about the ephemeral whims of religions and cultures and the twin demons of ignorance and intolerance.

I think what should happen is that the world court should try both Sharon and Arafat together for crimes against humanity, but that is unlikely. Moore should stick to what he is doing - HMO's and the Florida ballots.

What I think is likely is that our relationship to Israel will remain unchanged and that the leaders of Israel will die off of old age, taking with them the last vestiges of the second WWII and Arafat will die too (of ill health likely) and the moderates will be able to finally come together and reason will prevail as it will be survival's imperative. That is what I pray for.

I don't think Moore is a self-promulgating blowhard fame whore at all. I completely share his rage. He is an American- nothing subtle about Americans. You have to wack'em between the eyes with a 12 pound sledge to get their attention. WE are a nation of fame whores. That's the macabre theater of the cult of celebrity this vain roman empire has become. MM just operates within that construct. He is a constructive geek. So what if he resorts to a little bafoonery? - he is entitled. Instead of being hunched over 3 pc's in his cubicle geraud-mapping some hot scantily clad chick in a fight sequence, his raison-d-etre is exposing smug corporate blood suckers hell bent on building an exclusionary kingdom that doesn't include 95% of this country. Imagine where we would be if he didn't rattle this country's psyche???......So please, send him positive vibes and mail him vitamins.

We are a super power with an ever-diminishing collective IQ. 85% of Americans couldnt locate Iraq on a world map. So we're out of the running on precipitating change. Ignorance and hatred breeds and begets the same. There are new generations of bible thumper-raised demon spawn and technology numbed disenfranchised youth being weened from caring for fellow humans. The value of a human life has taken a huge nose dive. "Acceptable Human Loss" once a term whispered in secrecy behind closed doors, is bandied about by the media like game scores. The intolerance between Christians and Moslems is a centuries old issue. The only way our attention might be brought to focus on this problem, is the near cleansing of the human race by catastrophic meteor strike, upon which all systems might be questioned or purged. A "Ctrl-alt-delete" so to speak.....

I dislike MM, I find him boorish. But, I have respect for what he does, I think rabble-rousers are generally dislikable, but they serve a just cause. I was pleased that he got distribution and pleased with his gumption.
I share in the anger, it makes me tired. Everything seems so very tenuous that I am leery of anything that might fan the flames of the zealots wanting to take up arms. Bigots of every stripe and color, from abortion opposers to a legion of militant queens all awaiting that bright moment to load their and kill for their cause.
I find it so disheartening, all of this mindlessness. There is no reason why people in this country should set adrift by a map. Isn't it terribly ironic not to be able to read the one thing that can show you where you are? Did you ever read Eco's Island of the Day Before?? Isn't it ironic that all of that treachery that went into charting the definitive map, the parallels and finite dividers of longitude and latitude are wasted on this fresh nation, this new world of TV eyes and unsated appetites.
I am no better, I would like to turn my back and play solitaire on the computer until my eyeballs turn to dust.
So what do we do? We New Yorker reading, lefty leaning, like-to-think-I-am-an-intellectual types to do? We send each other emails full of eloquent discontent, we forward those emails to our congress people, we listen to NPR even though the sound of GW's voice at 7AM gives us collective heart burn, we get angry, we sometimes sit on the toilet while tears of helplessness course our cheeks, we give what money we can, to the DNC, to the Kerry campaign, to Glide memorial, to Doctors Without Borders, and we don't go to the RNC, we leave that to others, the other type of rabidity, we let them wear their rap sheets like a badge of courage, but don't want to experience first hand the glory that is the welt inflicted by a rubber bullet. The point is, that real change will only happen when people like us take to the street, and then and then there is so very, very much to be done.


There is much to do I agree, but we lefty leaning, like to think I am an intellectual types CAN do something. The revolution does not have to take place on the streets
where disputes are settled with quick tempers and rubber bullets....But we cant sit around and ease our consciences with cafe talk.
What if one person stopped buying magazines that are overly advertised, or that run ads selling humvees? Or even wrote the publishers blasting them for their lack of social conscience for running ads that sell cars that get 5 miles to the gallon? What if we stopped celebrating (even for giggles) vulgar celebrity? Showing admiration for quick millionaires who buy and drive Bling Escalades with plasma tv's? What if every one who truly did not need a car sold their car? How many of YOUR friends drive a big car/SUV (never mind the bullshit "Ive got kids" argument - what's the point of protecting them if you're destroying the planet simultaneously???) How many have you questioned for doing this? What if we each show a little more restraint in consuming? What if we asked car dealers why they doesn't sell alternative energy cars? Stopped buying things we really could survive with out? What if we stopped paying for cable that carried garbage content? What if we start supporting better sources for news? Do you ask others what they watch? What if we shame any person we encounter who hasn't voted into voting? What if five minutes a week discussing Sex in the City were spent on who is voting for who next? Questioning the status quo and avoiding being part of the problem. This CAN be done without a hell of a lot of effort or sacrifice. This is a war that intellectiuals could win one person at a time. Its using your style and intellectual influence in a positive way. Each and every one of us has a responsibility to find one person outside our world to challenge. To ask them to ask. Politics is not an elective - we should live it and breath it. Its more than opinion - its personal action. Its challenging on a one on one basis.....That's what will turn the tide.

at this point he rang up and we declared a moratorium on the debate... and a deep seated desire for a drink. I was going to niggle on the SATC comment, seeing as how the show has ended, and everyone needs a little levity, but I get the point.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

half drunk virtuosity, thank you Johnny Cash

I am the man in black, save the fact that I am not am a man, and am only half clad in black, and fully intend upon not making any point whatsoever. This is an exercise in physicality, fingers moving effortlessly, combining words into sentences, letters into words, except that my fingers are less nimble for the alcohol and my brain less agile for the drinking.

I admit to thieving this last Cash CD from my folks (surely a felony) I played it when I was driving back to the City, and I nearly drowned in my tears. It feels like a long goodbye, a long and lovely and angry and three parts bitter goodbye, but mostly an extended homage to a tumultuous love story, and I think that made me weep the saltiest tears of envy.

Tonight sandwiched between four couples whom I love, I got a bracing sense of myself, myself alone. Which, mind you, is not a quiet death, it is infact quite a life... Now Johnny is singing "The first time ever I saw your face..."

These past summer months, have been busy and good, but I have felt that I have been hovering on the precipice of some great throbbing thing, as if, as I do feel the drum beat under my feet, and so I have lingered in some half limbo waiting for the the dull throb to shoot up through my calves, rock my thighs, sway my hips, rent my heart asunder, throw back my shoulders, exalt my neck, sweep my face of care... And then there is the weather, a perpetual, and unyielding fog, damp creeping in between my sheets, winter sweaters in August, the ever unrealized dream of a long, long sleep.

And you could accuse me of utter self absorption, and I would, in the face of the world. Except if you were - oh shit are you striving for justification.... And this is where I start to get lost... I would like to comment on the state of the world and throw my two useless farthings to the blythe winds of the innernet, but though my opinions are strong if inarticulate, I would rather keep drinking and stick to the subject that I know best, Emma, booze and my semi-retired sex life.

The thing about writing, writing is the thing. You let is languish for awhile and all the lovely angels of subtlety off and fly away. The sadness of writing is when all you are sitting on the bus and there is a couple in desparate need of a filling out, a few adjectives and adverbs and a mixed metaphore and they exist, they exist in my memory. But if one can't connect them to words do they cease to exist to le lecteur (of course dummy, they never existed before you codified their bodies in words) and I am sqarely blaming P for having reinundated my already signifier saturated brain with all those happy Satuday songs from School House Rocks.

So I will stop here, with a wish. I am going to a party for Rock and Roll High School, I would like to do some illicit drugs and make out with a straight boy, I'll be dressed as a cheerleader, so my quest shouldn't be so difficult to achieve....