emma b. says

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

farewell to all that

So I had this dream, when there was a foreign element in my bed who snores a little but doesn't smoke. I was in the office and bunnies were pouring under the door, and I was frantically bunny wrangling. I caught them up in a lip of a lid of a box and went to deposit them outside... but instead of Marin it was some ramshackle seen-better-days colonial pink building in the Bahamas that smelled of disinfectant, and I've got an armful of bunnies. I was reluctant to free them in the garden (see plague of locusts and wallace & gromit - whee!) but along comes a herd of giraffe walking single file to the sea, and lo the bunnies follow. And I say to my colleague, well, it's perfectly logical that the bunnies should follow the giraffe. This is what happens when you let engineers spend the night, dreams get tweaky and it gets hard to breathe when you can't help but match your breath to his noisy slumber.

It takes awhile to sleep well when another body is taking up half the expanse of mattress and coveting half your sheets. A body gets proprietary, a body might jealously sprawl, even though I have it on good authority that this body is partial to the right side of the bed and on ordinary nights never strays past the middle. But that body, the one sharing, the one three quarters satiated and one quarter undone has gravitated to the middle of the mattress and is pinging the nearest mammal with her fierce sonar, and because bodies have their own mysterious code he's pinging me back, I can feel it prickle across my skin, intrude on my sleep, bringing me bunnies and giraffe and the pink of the bahamas, and all this time we are only sleeping.

Two days later when the blush is fading from the rose, and I can't quite recall the timbre of his voice and what was whispered, and I can't even really summon the details of his face and the litany begins, innocuous, insistent, perfidious, devastating. Can't remember, can't recall, but for the scantest trace of his voice in the earliest morning, the solid evidence of a credit card receipt and the dirty dishes in the sink, my ravaged face. Two days later and the barriers go back up, not for lack of emails, strictly for lack of imagination, or strictly caused by an avid imagination. Those flimsy cotton candy levees, breached by a well placed warm hand go down as easily as warmed maple syrup.

Two days later when it's just me and the bear in the bed, fresh out of the bath. Two days later when I sort of accidentally on purpose get drunk the night before and deliberately smoked an almost pack of cigarettes and wept in the bath tub because I needed to. Not because it's complicated, and not because it's fraught, not because I don't think he's fantastic, mostly because I am terrified in three parts. I am bravado, I am malleable, I am all insecurity, masked in political proclamations and a sophistacted vocabulary. I am very, very strong and I am very, very weak. I'd fancy myself a lesson in contradictions except that I am not.

It's just that two days later (hormones optional) after having a four star dinner with four Israelis and telling dirty jokes and arguing politics in the same breath, and all of that sleep and the dreams that I missed, and coming home to the super heater that is threading tentacles down the hallway to the tub, and my computer and dial up connection, and the stack of bills that remain to be paid, the glasses in the sink and my long, long neglected dry cleaning, how could a girl let herself fall with all of monotonies begging for attention, when I don't trust myself to be able to pick him out of a line up, yes, yes he's the one, he nabbed my heart when I was looking away, he's got my blood on his palms and I am guilty of complicity....

Sunday, January 22, 2006

I feel I should clarify something, specifically the last line of the last post. Where I was talking about catching the ring, mind you, I wasn't talking wedding rings, I was referring to the best ring of all... the brass ring on the carousel, the one you reach out and seize, the biggest and the heaviest ring of them all. Carpe Diem and all that jazz....

Just so we're all clear, on rings and things.

And then there is a little romance, like standing beside the carousel picking your favorite mythological beast to ride, perfumed in childhood, popcorn and cottoncandy, sugarsweet pink drinks astride a dragon. A finger down a spine, a sideways smile. A low slung January sun and early magnolia blossoms and it's just early enough that everyone and everything is just waking up, stretching abstractedly towards the small patch of sunlight, gravitating towards brightness.

Yesterday, at the edge of the continent, after a pair of adequate burritos, on a beach south of here and down a hill, he drew maps in the sand. And the air was cypress scrubbed and brilliant after the rain. At the far end on the beach the surf was breaking in sweet fury against an obstinate earth buttress, elsewhere the sea foam was after my sneakers and the sand conspired to sneak into my trousers, and I suspect that the engineer was in collusion.

It's late January and we are just two kids on a nearly empty beach shedding jackets and collecting sand, I am wind burned and sunburned and beard scorched and I couldn't have begged for a lovlier afternoon.

Later we will see the sun splash down from a jetty, and the surfers bob like apples. And later we will move from the couch to the floor to my bed, and it will be reasonably chaste and totally new to me, because you can't exactly fuck and run if you haven't exactly fucked. Especially if your curiosity is piqued and you are waiting, hemmed and nearly hawed, with twin mysterious bruises on your right shoulder, and all your fires righteously stoked to a slow burn. You can't run from that, not when he makes you giggle. You can't run when you want, you just stand there in the middle of the road making googly eyes at the semi bearing down on you, and pray for a soft landing or a near miss. And I am just feeling brave enough for a near miss, if I could just have one more kiss that stretches from dusk to the last gasp of darkness before morning, where a day from now half my face will peel off, and slough off my kissed lips, and I can give up the distraction of being wildly smitten and get back to the usual business of enlightened bitterness.

The truth being, of course, that I'd rather not, not get back to our regularly scheduled bitterness, I'd rather like to allow myself to fall madly in love, just not sure that my self is willing to comply. Not such great copy afterall, who cares that he's your height and that you watched the lawn bowlers and how the elderly Japanese man was wearing a belt with suspenders and how he said he could be a contender, and how his clothes felt so right against your clothes, under the sun and in front of the elderly lawn bowlers, and just how, with little prompting, you could have taken him down in front of the lawn bowlers and the sunday strollers with strollers for silver lining fuck of it, for the sheer unadulterated pleasure of it.

So I took me and my revved engine out to Marin to thwack balls with B, and that helped. Then I roasted a chicken for P&M and that helped, and I think I'll sit in the bath tub and stew, stick my face in a vat of moisturizer and hope for the best.

What else can I do.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

jinxesYes, so the engineer with the lethal smile. How do you write about being almost and quasi smitten without desparately jinxing yourself. All the inevitable sweetness of a good first date and an even better second, without reeling off the details that are of no consequence to any one but me, the girl in the car, the bonfire of christmas trees, the cold wind, the kites flying like the ghosts of bats, the pair of german children who gawked at us like marionettes pinned on the pacific, and how we whiled away two solid hours navigating the topography of mouths and the emergency brake, and how you giggle because the radio is singing the perfect sound track and as you finally quit the sea, cheeks scorched by the engineer's beard, the moon has risen contrite and ripe in the eastern sky.

There it shines in the sky, ripe for the plucking. Just like me. Dangling from that virgin branch, all chrysalis and all wet, unfurled wings with the promise of all tomorrow's parties and the starshine memories of all of yesterday's parties, and all I kinda really want is too collide with the engineer half way between here and dreamland to shift limbs towards quasi parity.

just like driving determinedly towards exactly nowhere, which is driving everywhere nowhere fast. And internets my engines are revving, yes they rev and are wont to purr. I am already to be heartbroken again, just like Lloyd Cole says, so I shall spread my arms and lay back. The heart is a lonely hunter. Mine is a quiet shoplifter. And I am holding it out on the sly, for the stealth gentleman with the killer smile and quick wit who might, who just might might catch me and the ring.

Friday, January 06, 2006

revolutions and resolutions

I came into the new year bright with fever and drenched in champagne, which is how it always should be. Instead of jello shots I was hording robotussin and feigning interest in my very expensive and by all accounts superb dinner. I couldn't have been bothered, I was chasing after pink coughing butterflies and clinging to my bearings. Nobody gave us any froufrou, all that foie gras and champagne and nary a tiara or a kazoo.

But all the ladies at the table all are all wearing shades and shapes of black, and all of our lipstick is peeled back in laughter, swirling about in clouds, raucousness and words getting tangled in the candlelight, I keep prickling and unprickling as the fever builds and just as suddenly recedes, and I keep hearing snatches of conversations that are seven years old and seeing the ghosts of old friends lingering in the shimmering heat next to the kitchen. I take another swig of robotussin and hold fast to the table.

We are six at table, five of the best people on earth, two have come from NY, N and P. Very Old Friends, N, the shortest spitfire you will ever meet, a good soul, and her spouse P, possibly a zen master. Some may will remember how I went to France and threatened to become a goat herder, I was at their wedding.

I broke my fever with several shots of tequila at our local Irish watering hole. That seemed to do the trick and then I was ready to roll (straight into bed)

So right, so then here we are, in the year 2006. Nothing's different but the date, but subtly so, in the spaces beneath, everything shifts a centimeter, everything has arched it's back a little and shaken out the cobwebs a little and so when you rise to the french toast and the mimosas the surface is the same but everything has changed. Just like that. Tick of a clock, tick of a year, tock of my youth. But in the chasm where bitterness might seep, comes the honey of promise, sticky with enthusiasm and buckled with hope. A new year! Another twelve months to get it right! And naked so naked, maybe you will fall in love! And get to have a lot of sex!! You never know! It's January and it's raining but it will stop and the headlands are already green and bombs are exploding elsewhere, but here there is the Engineer with the lethal smile who has asked for a date, so you never know, Emma, this, this could be your year.

If not my claw foot tub remains impertable. Another year of baths, I am without a doubt, very clean.