emma b. says

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The thing about Serendipty and Zumba So the addage goes something like this, when a door slams shut in your face, a requisite black eye, ego wounded, another door is allegedly supposed to open to fill the void, some sort of special door for the pundits and the mystics that real people worth their salt sort half-heartedly cling to, or barge into without any hindsight. So I did. So I went underground, so I have been underground, I surface for few and only when prodded, I don't know how to describe this mechanism, I certainly can't defend it, I get chastising voicemails from the people that I love the most and chafe like a surly teenager, even when it's my 90 year old grandmother calling to see that I hadn't surrendered the gimlet gin gimlet before she had. Because then she'd really be pissed. So, doors. It happened, fortuiously, that I had a friend in need of some work, and it happened that there were several of us floundering on the open seas of unemployment, and so it coelesced and we are a wee company specializing in foreclosures, privately I refer to us as the ethical vultures, well someone must, someone will, why not a bunch of girls who rocked the shit out of "Simple Minds" radio based on a text from my brother. I figure, who am I the fuck to judge, when I have the last threads of solvency wrapped firmly around my index finger, and it's turning purple. Sometimes you just fall, but I have been falling into things............. That is not what I want to say, exactly, I have let serendipity guide me, in a thousand and one directions, which means that my resume is chalk full of disparate things, means that I have been steering by the stars, rather than charting my own course, means in real terms, in equitable terms I am a 39 year woman without a partner and without any prospects, how terrifyingly fucked up is that. It's kind of terrifyling fucked up. Which is where Zumba comes in. When I lost my job, and started with the girls, I joined a gym, hounded, really. Zumba four days a week, four women, music we mostly hate but know the lyrics to, two step, samba, salsa, I fucking love it. We fucking love it, with all the freaks and the spazzes, happily heating up the room past the point of barebility, dance it out, it will make it all better, dance it out, it will mitigate all of that ache, it will give you the strength to deal with the absentee homeowner, it will give you the strength to confront all those demons in the bathtub. And you will be alright, you will be alright.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Auntie Emma Welcome to the world little man, you me and your big brother are going to have a swell time of it. I saw you when you were almost ready, and your mama was bent double, and your papa was unshaven and nervous and I spent the night on the couch shooing off the dog and dreaming of giving birth. Your big brother was none too happy to see me in the morning, but an aunt's perogative is to bribe and cajole, and on the evening of the second day all were home and all was well. I held your tiny person in my arms, your tiny limbs still folded frog-like and your long mandarin nails on the hands you don't quite own yet, you stink prodigiously for something so wee. Your neck swings and swivels, you mewl, and yet, godlike, out you spring into the world, fully formed, a good pair of fresh lungs to express your monumental displeasure with the air, with the world, we rock, we bounce, we rock, you give in a little until you must have the breast. Sorry, dude. Your brother is talking up a storm, he's got a low rasp, he's not altogether sure that you are welcome, yet. I put on a movie when I was pretty sure his little heart was breaking because mama wasn't there, and he snuggled into my side, and I wished for a moment that I would have a child of my own. Bite that thought, bury it under the daffodils, throw it up to the thunderclouds breaking in the sun. I thought, my house is so empty, my brother's house is so full, wife, two boys and a dog, and total chaos and sleeplessness, but maybe there is life and beauty in that. I think perhaps I should start with a dog. Maybe the rest will follow, good luck, good love, a long, torpid drive on the trip to bountiful, all my loves swaying on dandelion heads, scattering on a fortuitous breeze, my young nephews and I ready to turn sommersaults with all of their grandparents, and their parents, and their greatgrandmother, and the ones that have already gone, shimmering like mirages to tumble through. I think that Dolly and Bill and Morrie would like that. Hopefully decorum is meaningless in the afterlife. So tiny Louis, welcome to the world, we love you so much already, your whole big family, your back is watched. I love you, I love you, I can't wait to know you.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

This woman's work, again.

I am sorry you left, I am sorry he left, whichever side decides to champion the loser's role, I am sorry and neither of you are villains. It just hurts, I remember.

I am sorry that he wasn't everything that you wanted, I am sorry that you chose to go, but go you did and that decision you seem to not want to shoulder. I get it more than you know, you retort that I haven't been here long enough and that I haven't seen. But I did, and I do.

Men and women, separate, secretive, open wide, private martyrs, bold, terrified, capable of the sublime, unintentional destructors. Reckless defilers, all in the name of someone else's love. Oh yes, I remember.

You want to parse heartache to heartache, I will go toe to toe, because you think you are the only one to have the one you once loved and then not so much show up at at a wedding with his current girlfriend, you honestly think you are the only one, at least some of us put on our war paint and our best foot forward and showed up, and made a concientious effort not to say anything too embarrassing, or drink too much.

You are in for one hellava heartache, he will marry the young thing, and then they will have a baby, and you will cry in the bathtub for a while and have to, I mean, you will have to let it go.

And so you do, without breeze or tide, even without that twinge of regret (and the boomerang, and the boomerang, and the boomerang)

... and the boomerang....

and all of them they lay their heads, and all of us hide our heads in the sand, noncommital, awaiting the next disaster. And then it happens, you can hide, but you can't really run, you can't really run, you can't really run. You can't really run., not from the property wizard not from his consory Square Footage, but we can at least pretend.....................

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Diamond Dust and Sulfur

Last Friday my brother and I headed for the hills. Mount Hood is now my beacon, where the ocean was in San Francisco, I am now oriented to the East. In my nerd heart it's my Lonely Mountain, where a dragon lies smoking in his dreams, it's true enough, too. You get as close to the summit as you can and the reek of sulfur comes undulating out of crevaces and up to your nose as you try to shield exposed bits from the elements, and hand tightly to the chairlift.

W was playing hooky and I wasn't, what with nothing to do and nowhere to go, a bit of mountain tonic was just what was required. We are NoCal foothill kids, he and I, between the flat heat of the valley and scrub pines on the leeward slopes, and for me snow has always been a childish joy, snow is indelible to my youth and childhood, and I think nothing is as beautiful as snow falling, nothing as profound as it's silence as it comes hurling from the heavens (I don't live where snow falls a lot, so it's a treat, don't flip me the bird Michiganders).

Both of us have to undo the top buttons of our ski pants, an unwelcome testament to seasons passing, we hobble into our boots, I take three steps and nearly clatter to the ground. And yet, I find myself truly happy to be clop-clopping with my brother, lift tickets on, those old metal triangles long gone, goggles on, stomp into your bindings and head towards the nearest lift, the snow is so fucking fresh that is scronches - the ticket checker zaps you and you are up and away. I have to sit at the end these days, at some point I developed a major fear of falling off the lift.

W and I giggle about The Way Things Were, the spandex, the Vuarnet's, the really long skis as I cannot unclench the side bar, it's cold, it's really, really cold, but the sun is out, I worry about dropping a pole or worse, my iPhone off the lift, and then tips up, shallow slope, a glide and and a wide turn and then there you are.

The lip of the presipice, the first run, have I forgotten, are my skis good, should I have waxed, do I need to go flying down quite yet, will I break my neck, fiddle with gloves, fiddle with poles, take a look at each and other and let's go!

Let's go!

I think, jesus god, could anything feel so liberating, I think jesus god, my face is cold, I think jesus god, speed, I think jesus god, find your form, I think jesus god why is my brother so much faster than I, then I think jesus god, the air is sparkling, jesus god it's so beautiful and then I stop thinking and I am only a disciple of velocity, I've left my cortex dangling from a tree branch further up the mountain and I am simply intent on descent, and I am not afraid, it's like skiing on confectioners sugar over a layer of butter cream, it's forgiving, it sparkles, I am full of god's light, I am so having a cheeseburger for lunch.

Seven Years

I missed another anniversary, I am forever missing important dates. As of the 26th of February I have been writing out here for seven years. It seems like it should be a long time, but it feels like a blink. I have changed cities and states, I have changed jobs 4 times, I am on my second bout of unemployment, I have had boyfriends and then I have not, and haven't for a long time now. I was 32 when I started here and now I am taking my victory lap toward 40. I have traded in my discman for 2 iterations of an iPod and as I write now I am listening to Arcade Fire on my iPhone, I am not sure that I have been ever explicit that I write and have always written to music.

This world we live in changes so quickly, I am not even sure that I can begin to fathom everything that has happened since that day I saw the sunrise from beneath the tower in January of 2000, standing next to my then husband with the City before us and the Pacific to our left, I thought I saw promise on the horizon. I am a different woman now, I know a little more, and suffer from pervasive cynicism tempered with flurries of grace, but I still catch the occaisional glimpse of promise on the horizon.

* I would like to thank the people who have commented recently, I am grateful that somewhere in the world you are out there, I wish you a happy day of skiing, or may there just be sparkles when you least expect them.