emma b. says

Saturday, August 25, 2007

All the songs I will not write, hurtling towards October

Sometimes you calculate where you will land, flat on your back between someone else's sheets. Since my run away date looms just over the horizon of the following month, I decided to recycle the hairdresser if he would have me. He would and did.

According to the mile stones I watch it's been four years and and several skins since I set foot in his loft. I am not sorry, not at all. Not sorry that he didn't love me afterall, not sorry that I left, nor am I sorry that I got that last taste of vigorous, acrobatic sex to realize once and for all, that I am fundamentally not the same girl I was four years ago, and he wallows in his self same wondering why it gets harder and harder to captivate at 45 -- I bit my tongue, and inwardly thought perhaps if you could slough that thick sheen of selfishness you might have a shot, but you fuck with your dick and not with your soul, I didn't see it then because I was beguiled. It's a blessing and a curse to have the stars struck from your eyes as a true romantic, what girl of clear nights doesn't want to be dazzled by the evening sky and be wrapped in and blissfully muzzled by it's stellar embrace, swirls of musk and night blooming jasmine billowing in the wake of that shuddering trip across the heavens and time and wordlessness.

Then he's done and you haven't come, the heady mists recede, and it's two people in a very comfortable bed making jokes about a relationship four years gone, one goes quiet and gets serious about consequences and what the other might be wanting (hint - not I) as the other would really like to return to her own bed, I can never sleep when I am not used to sharing a mattress and limbs crossing, I light up and flame like a roman candle, I try to exercise will over my heat, moving it from the spot where his arm lies over my lower back to the foot I have slid out from under the duvet into the stillness of the room, fifty feet above the muffled freeway and the red stream of tail lights. It never works. I have woken with hand prints and seams, and wrinkled pillow cases seared onto my skin, and the strange case in a bitterly cold january night in New York after far too much scotch where I became one with my pyjama bottoms and spent an unhappy morning chipping them from my thighs.

I digress.

I have digressed so far from my original thoughts that I should be off to the serenity of my sheets.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Things I did in Portland this weekend that are unlike me

I wore a dress without a bra.
I rode a bike and liked it.
I drank beer and liked it.
I made some good shots whilst playing pool.

I was naturally friendly, and I liked it.
I went to Home Depot.

I bought an Ipod and reluctantly joined the 21st century.
My brother loaded it with a boggling number of songs.

I looked at houses with a real estate agent - three I coveted, three were awful.
I met a nice girl on the plane.

I caught a glimpse of wide open possibility and was not afraid.

I was genuinely surprised at the ease with which I slid into a new skin, I was genuinely surprised at how I was enchanted with notion of a new place. I was even more surprised that I didn't cry in the bathroom at the airport, like I have on every flight back to San Francisco.

On the flight up I was watching the topography of California out the window, how well I know it. I got lost after Crater Lake, how I know it from the air like the lines of my palm, so surprisingly well, because who but the deviners of the future ever pays any attention to life lines and love lines. I kept an ear cocked for the underpinnings of grief, but they never came, still haven't come, now that I am back in my apartment, listening to my gadget as the tendrils of fog embalm my car and seep through my walls, feeling positively unluddite-like. I am befuddled by the relentless possitivity, I keep sending probing fingers to the sensitive spots and insecure organs to test for tenderness, yet the metaphysical flesh is resilient, radiating some foreign perfume of sublime hopefulness, it's so alien and feels so good, that though it's late and I have to go to work in the morning, I feel obliged to capture this oddidity and describe it, before the night ghasts and the burden of the quotidien come and strip it from me.

I think, that upon my return from my future city, and as the plane banked over the twin rivers, over the span of that sliver of a city, that I just might be brightly happy.

I think I owe it to my brother, who seems to really want me there, and to his lovely future wife for their enthusiastic welcome.

Alors merci, mon frere, quelque part il y a une belle chanson qui t'attends.

The weather wasn't gorgeous, it rained, but it was a warm rain. I found it to be romantic.

p.s. earbuds hurt my ears.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Fair, The Fair

I don't know how many of you out there grew up in a small town, but if you did chances are, you know all about the county fair.

It was the fairy tale ending to my adolescent summers, I held out my virtue and my allowance for that extravagenza, mind you, this was in the days before the immediacy of the internets and cell phones, only a smattering of the well to do had answering machines.

In some ways it's heartbreaking to see it through grown up eyes, the midway so small, so small town and dusty, when at the cherry height of adolescence it was vast and full of noisy and bright promise.

(in an email to my girlfriends I said we should hit the midway as we did, as a pack of feral girls) in truth I lasted a half hour, shaken by the smallness, overwhelmed by the 'necks with beers in hand, the scent of brawl heavy in the air, and my name called out, emma here and emma there, all the people you really never want to have to say hello to, but the laws of small town means you have to stop there in the middle of the pigshit, next to the monster truck venue to make polite with a mother of five in your class... and the connections get evermore glasscene and politic.

which by way of a long story short was how I wound up at the 20th reunion of the class of '87. How I really didn't want to be there. Everybody is married quasi locally, everybody has the requisite 2.5 kids, even the dorks, jesus christ the interloper junior that is I.... so, where are you. san francisco. lovely. kids? no. hapless marriage, no kids.... oh.... have you seen little junior?? feign cooing over little junior, run off to smoke outlawed cigarette in quiet corner.... make note to whomever is going to undertake my 20th, please have an open bar and a better DJ.

I't s not that I can't empathize with their inability to categorize me, (or not) gay, urban, divorcee, sad sack, fundamentally unable to land a man -- where I had to remind myself, unto myself, you, long time shiny girl, I shot down your future husband, BECAUSE I WAS TOO URBANE...... and then last night since I wasn't anywhere drunk, but I was watching closely I had a minor epiphany that has everything to do with being from a small town, and staying in a small town. This man was hungry for a partner, and I was too young and too full of the promise of city, plus he had a kid, but what I think they saw in each other was not love but recognition, so they got married and had a kid. Maybe they are the richer for it.

And then speeding back to my city, after the fair, and after the reunion, unencumbered by fog, in the majesty of late afternoon sunlight, to the gays, to the gays. To home, sweet, steep hills, squeezed between bridges, with all of those friends in between.

Heaven help me but I still can't fall out of love, not with this city, not with this, not with him. heaven help me, because I am pretty close to surrendering up my flushed coattails and shout to the world from my flushed cheeks that I really am almost ready to be heartbroken again, really, really. but not yet.


and on the flip side.
no more rumination, cold hard reasoning.

I'll have to get out and throw my charm on.

But before the unsavory, savage edge of an unfamiliar, future reality there is the hopeless gold of prospect, my blue heaven just beyond my grasp somewhere between upsideown karaoke and pinball and the hope and the hope that my world will be turned on it's heel and out of the darkness and the blur of neon you might come and love me, and it would just be us in the middle of the river without life jackets on, but that is only really just a pleasant day dream. Aint no love coming for me, aint no man hanging on my periphery, whatever love I drill I'll have to capture in the dust motes, I, well armed for the etherial, I only ever hope to be noticed with all of this tactile and forgiving armour, I only ask to be noticed, I only ask to be heard, that and I miss you, and I do and always on the back roads of my father's maps, mostly I just miss your absence, who ever you are on the left side of the bed.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Better living through plastic surgery - part II

In a very literal sense I have been fog bound. In the metaphysical sense I am fog bound. I cry easily and yet I am mostly peaceable, me and my scars are moving forward on some great tide of my own making, I surf the crest with my newly gravity defying breasts, in search of a great, soft sandy dune to crash into.

I drove to my parents two mondays ago for phase II of my remodel, in which the girls get redone.... And then my mother called as I was crawling across the super heated floor of the Sacramento Valley - well, I called Dr. Boob and he says he can do your eyes too. Me, stupefied. She - well it makes sense since you are going to be in recovery, also, economically. Me, still stupefied. She - so see him on your way up, are you there? Me, jeebus, mother!!

(I have had deep bags under my eyes since I was twelve, I get that congenital puffiness and permanent purpling about my eyes - so yes, it's true I was strong-armed to having a lower eye lift by mother, and no, I won't be sorry)

Same drill, wake up the following morning just before the break of dawn, wind up late anyway, look forward to the narcotic, skeeved out by the chill of the IV, getting marked up, the nurse fiddling with the music, mmmm more narco......

..... it's seven hours later, when they jolt my system out of it's ether, I get tugged at wrassled with, no idea which end is up, and they shoot me full of demerol, I will wake up 36 hours later.
I will think I need to pee, I will think I should be hungry, but I am nothing but inert and will remain so for awhile. And for awhile I freaked out silently, but good and hard, because I was fairly certain that a vital part of me hadn't returned and was forever lost to anesthesia.

This was hard, I am not in unbearable pain, but my pain gauge is such that I trudge though it, the only thing that truly wracks me is a migraine. But three surgeries and the evil anesthesia and the equally evil and constipating vicodin, really knocked my way off my axis, and thoroughly ravaged all of my short term recall. I can hardly remember what I had for dinner.

Let us not speak of my physical state, when I was finally able to focus my gaze on my reflection. Monstrous, truly, horribly monstrous, had I been capable of expressing anything but half a grunt and half a moan, I would have surely wailed and shattered every mirror in the house.... Two blackened, swollen shiners, two drains, filling with brackish, bloody pinned to my bandages, and the horror of knowing that beneath the gauze, I'd been cut and sewn, and I'd done it gladly and paid many, many dollars for the priviledge of being mutilated, and I was pissed, and sullen and freely blamed my mother. Oh yes I did. I blamed her for my black eyes and my loss of sense of self, I blamed her for being a poor nurse to my sullen patient, I blamed her for my inability to read or concentrate on the television, I blamed her for the damn bird that died at my feet. And I spent a good amount of time sitting by the pool, under the umbrella, no sunshine for me, what with all the antibiotic coursing through my veins, fending off infection, I blamed her for not being able to tan, too, but I sat under the umbrella and had pleasant hallucinations watching the wind in the trees and slowly I came back to myself. I ate a lot of tomatoes. And drank a lot of water, and slept dreamlessly, at great lengths.

To her credit, she washed my hair in the sink, and shouldered my ill will with as much grace as she could muster. Neither I or my mother are nursey types, we don't puke at fluids or effluvia, but we aren't huggy and we don't croon, we tend to be businesslike about the business of healing, which means I was left to my solitude for the most part, which generally suits me just fine, I withdrew, and have remained withdrawn to the fronts where I am healing, concentrating on cells and tissue, and I am plum fucking worn out. Fighting on three fronts, I get back from work and nap.

I got back on Tuesday and by Thursday I took my and my new girls and my black eyes out to dinner at Ame, I figured I could hide or I could own it, if anyone looked askance I would tell them the dude lost.

As of tomorrow it will have been two weeks, I still have a long way to go to be right and I am trying to be patient.

The bruising is mostly gone from my eyes and I think they are going to be great, as for the girls, well.... honestly, I couldn't be more pleased, they are going to be pretty fucking righteous and perky. I can see that my tennis serve will be served well, I will be able to go out into the night with the scantest of panties and no bra...... the scarring is mostly hidden, I should have done this years ago..... And good lord, I close my eyes and start dreaming of sex and all is well is good until my new breasts fall off and I awake with a jolt - what the fuck is that about?

Oh yeah - I lost count at two hundred when the sutures came out -- pretty crazy, I drove home across the still super heated valley floor into the freezing fog feeling pretty glib and calling myself frankenboob, it's been murky, foggy ever since, I miss the sun, even if I can't be in it, it's fucking August, end of summer after all.