emma b. says

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Baby, It's Cold Outside

It's cold, and it doesn't get cold like this here, grey and liquid ghost-cold fog when the summer sun should be radiating we get, but not this, not this, skin parching insidious dry cold. None of us have the coats for it, and everyone looks up in collective marvel when the weathermen announce in various and moderated tones of bafflement that it is snowing in Marin, because snowing in Marin is someone else's highbrow fantasy, it certaintly doesn't factor into my commute. Nothing could startle us California drivers more than the onset of snow. Those of us who have nothing but a passing aquaintance with snow blindness and black ice.

When it gets cold like this I remember, I remember snow. And snow-powdery hijinks, and icy hijinks, and snowboots and shoveling the driveway, and most importantly turning into a swerve, long s curves down mountainsides, all the stupid jumps I took with the boys I never kissed, the satisfying crunch of fresh snow under my heel and the unpleasentness of scraping a windshield free of ice when you are already running late for school.

And I've said here before, but I'll say it again, but snow in the mountains tastes of pines needles, and the singular pleasure of recognition and the freeze of the present when you plunge an ungloved hand into a snow bank, so cold, feels so good, for the fractured second of disconnect, until you register pain, until the blood starts to dance again, until the altitude has leached all the moisture from any exposed flesh.

So I got hit tonight. I got sideswiped by a taxi, and I've got the stripe of desoto blue paint to prove it. I doubt that I have admitted it here, because I don't often offer this up at parties, but I am terrified of car accidents. I can hear the metal buckle and contort, I can hear the velocity of flesh and dashboard, and just how precisely it separates, and all of that unshatterable glass, sequins on pavement, to shred the soles of feet left bare in the aftermath, because somehow when the car rolled over you lost your shoes, it's a memory that I'd like to pretend was a nightmare, but it's real enough, somewhere in the south of France there is a girl who bears the traces of my recklessness across her face.

So when the cab nosed into my rear passenger side I stepped on the gas. And he raked my side, I pulled over and he drove away. My lovely little Elantra has been defiled. I was hit and run, now that I am home, I think I will get good and drunk if my endorphins will allow. Now that I am home, and running the super little gas heater that could, to lift the chill out of my bones, to dispell the chill from the air, because baby, it's cold outside. And it's just me and no engineer, and all of the cold bodies of memory pooling at my ankles, rising to the coffee table, spilling over the sofa, clotting in the bed skirts, threatening the sanctity of my sheets. So what can I do, battered and undone. I think I'll play a little polyphonic spree, because, hey, it's the sun, and it makes me shine, hey now, it's the sun and it makes me smile, all around, all around.... because I am on my way... buddadumpabump.

Monday, February 13, 2006

All of the things that I am, and all of the things that I am not, on tonight of all the of the last nights for rumination, when the moon is this close to being full and the night is that close to a perfect simulacra of spring, and the sky is just close enough, just close enough to grasp and pull close, and covet. And because the moon is waxing toward maddness, and because it is soft in February, we are pulled onto sidewalks and park benches to admire the magnolias and the first breath of night jasmine at dusk, pulled just as helpless as the tide, hapless and swaying like the fronds of sea anenomie, surf battered and wildly alive.

And all of the things that I am not and may have wished that I was. Because all of these years spent and all of the years half way accounted for and not yet lived, are going to slip down the drain like lovely incandescent soap bubbles and I will be lucky if I catch a few before they burst. Would I really be living if I were too busy archiving my own personal inanities, would I really be living if I were forgetting all of my own personal inanities. Where does it become momentus, or is momentus that slender moment where you tore blindly into a diatribe without a soapbox, or simply the moment when you rolled away when you should have been rolling toward, and how is anyone supposed to know in the absence of signposts, it's the information age afterall, give it to me then, give me fully cognizant and infinitely wise mile stones, all LA Story-like.

Because all of things that I thought I would be and am not. You could ask my thirteen year old self with the bad perm and marginally socially ostracized, all braces and banging the heels of her sneakers with the heart shoe laces on the stage of the auditorium. She had it all figured out, despite never have been kissed, she was on track, never again a hot lunch and never again neopolitain ice cream bars, because strawberry is gross and vanilla is pedestrian, no baby, it's the stars, the stars are ours. Twenty-four years later, I've cobbled some armor out the sloughed off skins of my armadillo heart, and whole heartedly fucked strangers and half heartedly fucked a few beloveds, and everything I thought was supposed to be blew up in my face, like confetti, like big fun, like liquor, like the onset of all tomorrow's hang over, monstrous and completely unbidden, because it was never supposed to end up here.

And is here really so bad. Maybe it's not. With my elcectic furniture and my rent controlled one bedroom, and I don't really own anything of value save my car. I've got a divorce under my belt and a passle of unsavory regrets, I've got no children and I am just getting to the age where I might never, I've got no husband, but that didn't work out so well the first time so I refuse to sweat the absence of my illusory mate, what did that thirteen year old girl know anyway.

She certainly didn't know anything about the glee and the reticence of falling half way in love, and she didn't know anything about brakes and brake pads, and slamming on the brakes, and she peeks out from time and again, bless her perpetual and unbreakable adolescent heart, because she is the one who is making ardent and surprising love to the engineer, you might be inclined to think anything, and then again you might not think anything at all. You might be outwardly a little cavalier, but in the quiet space between the the moon, the bath and those cool perfumed sheets, you're slamming unexpectdedly hot-as-a-bottle-rocket, you don't stop, you can't stop, then again you have lost your train of thought, because flesh is flesh and a moveable feast can be had anywhere, and that's like missing what you had good before you knew it might be lost.

So happy Valentine's day to us, all of us muddling patron saints to future shipwrecks, here's to the deep and guarded love I've got to dole between commercials, here's to the sweet spot where I surrender in spite of myself, where all of those old songs from my reckless youth come to fruition in a crown of love, dripping here and there falling almost asleep in the coil of this new body clad in my pink pyjama bottoms, reaching out with a furtive toe, recon mission, falling and falling when the well is still fresh and shallow.

Friday, February 10, 2006

It's these curious bits that keep us human, these elemental acts that keep us tethered to the planet with one arm flailing wildly and the other extending some left over steak to the street kid, a hunk of heart to a new lover, pasting the globe with empathy and anger, like strips of sweet gluey papier mache. And it's always the timid spaces between the great gasps of gallantry, it's always the space between where you looked ahead and nearly looked back, the minutae of the she of then and the her of now, it's always the in between that matters most.

The in between of you and me, that hard space between limbs and the galaxy, that space in utopia where nobodies arm collided with a rib or crushed a breast, and everything was always lovely and nobody is ever hungry, and violence is a pinata in sundrenched southern california subdivision, in that space where hunger is an abstraction, and thirst some antiquated torture, save the thirst you spark in me, the thirst you can't slake, save that hunger, when I am not hungry, when I am not thirsty. How can you not drink from the fountain, to wrap yourself good and tight in the candlelight, and the lamplight, heated in my own skin, heating yours, friction and fire, getting lost in the space between us when we are navel to navel. In that space farewell to all you rapacious republicans and feckless democrats, good riddance to all the freaks beating children and using puppies as drug mules, and the entire middle east and by extension iraq, iran and afghanistan, you all have gone collectively cuckoo von fucking nutsville, because in that space, deep under the covers and sublimely oblivious the only thing that matters is the alarm that will jar you into the reality of the work day.

My resources have dried right along with my tear ducts, all of these people and their disparate and criminal agendas have sapped my sympathy and made me covet the silence and direct complicity between your navel and mine, your mouth and mine. And that is the space that I choose, no guns, no politics, no famine, no thirst, only the sweet satisfaction of finishing the night and starting the day, defiant and freshly fucked, and that my hurricane eye was somewhere approximate to your navel, and I will be late, but I won't care. And in the space after the space between us I will be glad of my empty bed and the solitude of familiarity, and I am glad of my weathered furniture that presses on me, and the cool of my sheets when they envelope me. I will press my cheek into the cool spot and no doubt start to dream of geometry.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

cautiously smittener

In between the last and this evening, there have been sleepless nights. It seems that this body and that body can't reach an accord that nights are for sleeping. So that body doesn't sleep but snores (who knew) and this body has been exploring the pecularities of REM dreaming, and catches herself on her back in snores... rolls over and her back hurts and the muscles in her groin are screaming, you undulate towards ectasy, you are you own private ocean and he is tempest tossed, all Shakesparean all at once, every heroine and every villain, every lost soul and all of the Hamlets mid-soliquy rolling over currents, rollling under currents, getting caught in currents, getting lost in currents, drowning in currents, choking on the white water and gasping for a lungful of fresh air. The very fresh air that is cooling on my breast bone, where the after glow is evaporating in my navel and the small of my back.

And he can't sleep and I can't sleep and we come together and divide and turn backs and turn forward and test limbs and torsos and I will eventually drop off to dream of dolphins in drag and he will sneak out of his own bed to escape my relentless sonar, and I will only wake when his upstairs neighbor lady gets busy to a thump, thump base and I realize that I am hot and, and the tank top is binding and the boy has vanished out of his own bed.

He's got a glass full of sand dollars he's bleaching for you, unbidden and just like that. A bit of small currency for the heart to trade on.