emma b. says

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Every Day Should be Like Sunday

I was sitting on the porch today, sipping fizzy lemonade as the backyard cat prowled the perimeter and the trees swayed vaguely, feeling absurdly bucolic, when it occurred to me that I was very simply happy.

Sat in my sister-in-law's sister-in-law's backyard sipping sangria for the umpteenth baby shower I've been to since I arrived in Portland. Ate canapes, hung with my sister-in-law's sister, and their mother, overcome with well-being I wept in the car.

I came home and sat on the porch some more, then loitered at New Seasons where I waffled over cheeses and salumi, stocked up on good, cheap wine, hoarded the local blueberries that have finally come into season.

Evening here is watering time. I am on a corner lot and my yard is open, watering time at evensong is visiting time. It makes watering a very long process. Other neighbors are watering, others still are walking their animals or their children or both. We chat over hoses and leashes and screeches. I am not the most forthright social person, but I truly love shooting the breeze with my neighbors, it gives a sense of belonging and rightness. I never would have thought it, in my previous incarnation as hardened urban dweller --- people are still lighting off firecrackers -- I kept my eyes forward and my invisible forcefield activated always. Portland is like a very large town. I was out of town last weekend and when I returned my elderly Chinese neighbors across the street sent their eldest son over to inquire after my well-being, they were concerned. I was taken aback, and then I was thrilled, aint no way anyone is breaking into this house, not when I have spies across the street, like Gladys on Bewitched, except ancient and non-English speaking.

Sleepy in Seattle

I took a job. And as always happens, the second I took this job, which I settled for, I got a call from the famous disappearing recruiters with The Dream Job. The job I took is one of those ultra corporate dealies where everybody travels like mad people and speak in acronyms. Something that with a modicum of organization a slightly retarded monkey could do in his sleep, but I was desperate, it's not permanent, not yet, which is why I would feel little compunction if The Dream Job gets offered. I successfully wooed the HR person, round two up next. Keep your fingers and toes and noses crossed, internets, this one is the one I really, really want.

So the corporate job sent me to Seattle on Friday, through a series of fucked up communication misfires instead of hopping on the commuter shuttle (at 5:00AM the motherfucking tramp stamp of dawn) I ended up driving to Seattle, a city I have never been to.


I missed the meeting I was supposed to attend, hooked up with a group for a scavenger hunt, which was cool because I got to trek all over downtown, but not cool because there was a tremendously bitchy underminer in the group. Then the dreaded corporate barbecue, good god, how fucking lame. The cool thing was the park by the Sound, I got to break away and stick my feet in the Sound and was startled at the clarity and warmth of it. I split early, at two -- mind you it was a goddamned parking lot from Seattle to Olympia. Summation: eight hours in the car, three on the ground, I think I might hate Seattle just a little bit.


K and R came to town Thursday last. We road tripped down the coast to Bandon where we crabbed, I got seasick on the dock, and rode horses and ate Dairy Queen. After driving a million hours and spending the first night sharing a room with two dueling, snoring saw horses, I checked into the Bandon Inn on Saturday. That was the first place I stayed in Oregon, it was a bit weird, and lovely to return there nine months later, just long enough to gestate a life, figuratively, of course.

We drove back up along the Umpqua river and side roads and back roads, which included my first ferry crossing. We called it the getting to know Oregon trip, and Oregon is really fucking strange.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Mt. Tabor, July 4th, 2008

I suspect you might have secretly loved it, all the young men without hats and the girls barely dressed, there shrouded in the last vestiges of evening, drinking beer in cans under a sliver of a sliver of a moon, back lit in sulfur from the blasts of illegal fireworks, standing and sitting on the hillside over the city, and the city is alight in every neighborhood, whistles and explosions, fast and fiery colors bleeding into great gout's of stinking smoke, settling into the trees, seeping into pores, listing along the pavement a vengeful, diaphanous fog. Such a city taken with pyrotechnics, it's strange for us, contraband fireworks are difficult to obtain in California and we are collectively afraid of some snowy spark setting our land and houses ablaze.

My brother's eye's madly gleaming at the prospect of sorta blowing shit up, he gets that from our father, keeper of the cannon. But there is a little of your madness in both of us, that is your legacy.

You always liked spectacle, it's fitting that a Fourth of July baby would. I stood on the hillside and beheld, just beheld. There amongst people I love and am beginning to love, it was beautiful. I wish you could have lived well enough and long enough to see it and love it too.

* for Maurice Sheerer

Robots in Love

So I fell hard for a box of bolts, who chirps and beeps, in a world of great ziggurats of our ancient discards, who is binocular eyed and is a lover of Hello Dolly and cockroaches. I am pretty sure that Hello Dolly is the first musical that I saw as a child, did I love it, yes I did. Still do. If you tell anyone, internets, we are done. Is there any wonder I have such a fondness for the gays.

Wall-E. Best rom-com with a message ever. A wonder to behold. I will own it, and I will watch it when I am feeling bereft. I was thinking as I walked through the darkened mall, when I wasn't strictly, completely weirded out walking through a darkened mall, that I should have left Sex and the City feeling the same, that sort of hapless sweetness that comes with a movie that reaffirms one's commitment to the notion of romance and possibility, because, honestly, if it can happen to a lonely trash compactor, it can happen to anyone at anytime. God bless those geeks at Pixar.

I had an interview today -- the first in over a month. In a sense it was the best interview I have ever had, it was with a veteran interviewer for an in house with one of the recruiting agencies I have been working with.... This guy fucking grilled me on one side, flipped me and grilled me on the other. I haven't met anyone so keenly perceptive in a really long time. It was a fascinating experience, and I felt a sort of kinship with him, he as much as told me that he would love to hire me, but didn't think I would stick, and he was right. But I would stick for awhile. I'd gladly stick anywhere for a year or so. He asked the question, given the choice would you ask for permission or for forgiveness. I puzzled over that this afternoon and this is what I put in my thank you - "I've mulled over that question over the course of the afternoon and it struck me as I was watering my garden, I consider that etiquette dictates that one should always ask permission, but asking forgiveness requires a certain fortitude that I wholeheartedly embrace. As to risk aversion, I believe that it is a catholic obligation."

In other news, I am an idiot. I finally filed for unemployment, why did I not do this months ago? I will tell you why, I thought it meant surrender, and it sort of does. I sort of felt like I might be taking from others who are more needy than I am, then the devil on my other shoulder bleated, bish plz, you have been paying into the system, the angel concurred and together we decided barring a decent offer we might take the summer off. I am late for my annual exam, and I really need to see the dentist, but it's not like I am fucking anyone (shortly after the Skate Rat puked in my bathroom on my birthday, he stopped returning my calls) and my teeth aren't rattling around in my skull. Yet.

There is nothing any doctor or any liquor can do about the constriction in my heart.

Last night I watched the lightening from the porch and thought it better than any fireworks. Though, back in California, the lightening nearly set alight my slice of paradise on the river.

I keep going back to that mantra, nobody ever said it was going to be easy, I just didn't expect it to be so hard. This myriad of expectation and disappointment, hopefulness and hopelessness, in circumstance but mostly, largely in myself. I listen from the porch at the feeble whee of firecrackers set off from neighboring backyards, and the whoop and holler of promise of sorta blowing shit up, it's an intermittent sort of symphony of half assed cauldron drums and the ineffectual nature of legal fireworks. It used to be the sparklers really sparkled. I want the roiling unpredictability of an electrical storm, I want the hair on my arms to stand at end, I want the percussive drama of the thunder and I want the deadly light show, it's just no fun if the understory doesn't burn and someone doesn't get to say that they survived a direct assault from a supremely irked and contrary Mother Nature.

Oh yeah, and I'd like the letters and sodas part, too.

I don't sleep so well anymore.