For the record. This is how we started. We did NOT take it slow. She e-mailed “herselfness” into my mind.This is not a lie.
Kate Winslet looks. Classic. Like Botticelli’s niece. Whip smart pomo mind, talented writer - Patti Smith, Sylvia Plath - recipied with angry Goddess Kali. Dali Lama authentic yogini with fists clenched, teeth sharpened, seething silent scream saying “god’s a fraud!” Lethal weapons at the ready, riot squads restless, ambulances set to go, smells of sadness, smells of hunger, the smells of impending death…the dark congealing history of whom one is….potential shrapnel flayed into flesh.
I remember when. It’s summer, 2006. Planet in peril but Anna Nicole Smith still alive.Britney still has hair. We’re still winning the war in Iraq. We’re “staying the course.” Or, what happens in Baghdad stays in Baghdad. No “surge” yet. The Economist has cover story about “measuring happiness” and how to quantify it in capitalist terms. Housing market is plummeting, oil prices at record high, US debt just about incalculable, New Orleans is an afterthought, the New York Stock Market hits another record high, much of the country still doesn’t believe Darwin, Paris Hilton hasn’t been let out of jail for a rash, Chinese factories aren’t killing our pets, Donald and Rosie aren’t feuding, there isn’t a guy infected with untreatable TB malady taking plane flights to Europe or Scooter Libby pardoned yet and CNN and Larry King are not obsessed yet with who is Anna Nicole Smith’s baby’s dad!
George W proclaims the War on Terror is the biggest crisis of our time but it has so little impact on the daily lives of American citizens…it is going on over there and our news is more about Anna and Britney and Rosie and Donald and Paris. Remember Hoffman’s Wag the Dog or old Isaac Asimov science fiction tales where there was always some war going on somewhere….and those books were written about 40 years ago.
Maybe with the Burger Kings and the Baskin Robins on those giant American military bases in Iraq we need a couple thousand prostitutes and maybe then we have a shot on winning the war on terror. 130,000 eighteen to twenty three year olds and they're not having sex?
Can I get a witness…or even a waitress?
For crying out loud, what the fuck is going on? Total Confusion. Few things I know…evocative clutter, lint in my navel, disarray, vague regrets and if the past is always with you then the past is the present, and then, if this past is always present, it will be the future too. And for me to move forward, I’ve got to make a deal, an “entente cordiale” with my past. How do I get there without digesting where I’ve been. So, this is not what you think it is…but is some sort of warning shout to me and a toast to this interesting time of ours. You don’t know this yet, but Cordelia and Swoon are chatting it up via IM’g, e-mails and phone. Like a surfer catching a great wave, it seems to be going extremely well…in New Zealand, the correct response would be “sweet!”
But sidebar to self: that it’s starting to feel weird, so much exchanged content – e-mails, photos, poems, lots of words - but so little face time? How do you move, what do you smell like, how do you laugh? Do you play with fair playground rules? Ya know? I’m a complete sucker for a bold and agile mind but holy mackerel, you could be anyone! This medium, very strange. Very, very strange.
Show me, show me. Reveal those arms stretched towards me. Show me that painted masterpiece.
And, Dammit Man, I have been around long enough to learn, the hard way, that that sweet tingly sensation I get when someone massages my cerebral cortex with ginger-scented oil, when someone actually manages to surprise me more than once, or causes me to see the world from a slightly different angle, that ain't the whole story. Deep and kind and true matters, as well, and smelling right, animal level pure and simple. In past, I have forgotten these things, at my own peril, or have swung the other ways, all animal and no content, or all kindness, no heat. What can I say, I like people, but I just have to remind myself. It is sweet, so far, yes indeed. And it is just exactly what it is, so far...tantalizing.
But time to give you some extended guitar riffs so you get the gist…okay?
Swoon: "Slow like porcelain clay drying in the sun. Slow like molasses.
"Swoon: “Hey, what’s with this going slow thing anyway?”
“Stupid, just means she’s been around the block, is sensible, sane, maybe even mature and dare I say, “healthy?””
“Why do you say that?”
“Listen, densehead, just means she respects herself and knows ‘tis right course to follow. join the program.”
“Already signed on.”“Sweet!” Swoon: "Slow poke here – let me know if you want to go to Beth Orton concert at Fillmore July 29th…slow like a slug, Swoon."
Cordelia:-“Did you know blackstrap mollasses has tons of calcium and iron in it?”
“You spelled molasses wrong.”
“Right, right. But so anyway, do you want to go to that Beth Orton thing with him?”
“Absolutely.”“He thinks you’re mature.”
“I think he’s mature.”
“Maybe you could be mature together.”
“Hm. What does that mean? Is that like ‘alone together” or are you just acting all eighth-grade-y matchmakerish?”
“Must you analyze everything?”
“That’s my job. I am Analytical Mind.”
“You can really kill the zing, anybody ever tell you that?”
“Fuck you.”“I’m trying to.”
“This dialogue is devolving.”
“OK. Let’s just leave.”
“But wherever you go, there you are.”
“Did Jesus say that?”
“No. I think Brian Boitano did.”
But, Man meets woman / woman meets man. Tectonic plates shift.This is not a lie.
Fast forward 7 months, she sends me this e-mail: “I met you at Gaylord’s for our second date, and you asked me to tell you the biggest lie I ever told. Who IS this guy?” She thought.
‘I hopped on your scooter and you took me for a ride around the Piedmont Cemetery. We laughed, discussed what it would be like to be a mortician, you said the only thing that stops a politician from running for office is thalidomide…and I remember thinking, “uh-oh, I could really like this guy….”
“We went to the Crucible Fire Show, and as I came out of the port-a-potty, you said, “No one looks like you.” Who is this guy, I thought.
“We had some drinks at Café Van Fleet, got tipsy listening to jazz, and you stuck your face in my hair, and I swooned. We argued about Manhattan, best sex we ever had, Nietzsche quote – “morality is the pig philosophy of the inferior to clip the claws of the talented”, rules of the circus – “if you’ve never been in the circus, then I can’t tell you”, and what shoes are sexy.” Who IS this guy, I thought.
“You hopped into my car, supposedly to warm up before your scooter ride home, and we shared the most incredible, delicious kiss - slow, lingering kisses, our lips sussed out who we might be…You said you had to wait to drive, to collect yourself, and get your senses back.” Who IS this guy?
The stuff you imagine…invisible prayers, no doubts, all is possible. I can do successful teleportation experiments…I know how to retard the spoilage of food. No tears…bliss. I am le roi d’aubergine, le prince d’epinard. I’m Homer Simpson at an all you can eat buffet. I got my swagger back. Simple, eh? I don’t think so. Blame it on mercury in retrograde or Pluto in Uranus. It’s the new millennium and it is San Francisco. Wi-fi everywhere…the new Gideon’s Bible. Is Google Gideon’s revival? Who’s gonna wear the next thorny crown? Crucifix uncrossed. You can even buy light bulbs on-line. Web 2.0, politicos trying to figure out youtube.
“FUCK!” It began on-line - in the bizarre peripheral reality of cyberspace. Hip on-line dating site from the people of Onion, Salon and Nerve. Me, this diabetic in a candy store; on-line date snacking; this serial monogamist with focused single mindedness hoping for that Super Lotto Jackpot. Per on-line protocols, it quickly morphed from cyberspace e-mailing….
Cordelia: Called you a few minutes ago to leave my e-mail, but just in case…Here it is… Would love to read/enjoy/offer comment upon any story you’d care to share.
Swoon: it is now almost 1:30 am and it is drizzling in the backyard and the moonlight through the clouds is illuminating trees and shrubs and daisies with all sorts of shades of blues, greys, blacks....and there are foggy wisps floating by (which made me think of book i read - House of Sand and Fog)....so, don't know if you can see this clearly or cloudily, but I look forward to having that cup of Joe. Then, we’re jamming - phone and more e-mail. And we like it.
Cordelia: I enjoyed talking to you. Brought back memories of Manhattan…I can smell the subway now (is it weird that I actually like that smell?)Swoon: Forgot to make one thing abundantly clear - your reference to narcissism in your profile was funny as I’ve had recent history / feeling I had billboard on my forehead that stated “all self-involved narcissists here’s your guy” – so, in this bizarre peripheral reality of cyberspace I am transparent and usually ask the following be so stipulated:
1. Are you now or have you ever been a narcissist?
2. Are you now 100% woman and were, no doubt about it, born 100% all woman (I had one cyberdate where it became clear that I was caffeinating with a transgendered male to female – no judgements here, just felt twas gross misrepresentation. So get that narcissist thing out of the way…and please do tell me that you are 100% all woman. Thanks again for offering to read my stuff and hope you’re still talking to me.Cordelia: Ah, I guess my secret is out. I was in fact born a male. Kidding. As far as I know, I have always been female. Two ovaries, a uterus, and the other stuff, too. But I guess you’d have to ask my mom to know for sure. If I wasn’t born a female, the surgeons sure did a great job. Not a narcissist, as far as I know. I have a fear of falling into lakes, and you know what happened to that dude Narcissus, so….I read your story late last night, and would like to re-read it and give thoughtful commentary. It’s a great story, I found myself wanting to know more. Have you ever thought about writing it as non-fiction? (duh…all I write is non-fiction…part of my problem, I couldn’t make this stuff up). That question about being a self-involved narcissist? (another dept of redundancy dept splayed out question.)
And left out this part; God, I am such an Asshole! Round about our 2nd or 3rd phone conversation, I asked her to lay odds on whether we’d ever sleep together! Prior to ever meeting…see…that utterance that she misses NYC subway smells was almost all it took for me. I imagined her hair, her mouth, her soul…and her history, past, present and future. That is that and this is this…and I imagined the delight of low replies, lying in bed with her, post making love. And we hadn’t even met.
But… we are complicated. Everything is complicated. Simple, I wish! May as well contemplate Foucault versus Derrida and the unraveling of humanity. Sex, Love, Death, oh, my….
My motto of late: to have lived, loved, lost and still be aggressively innocent. So easy to say. Meanwhile, surrounded by mountains of dirt that I can’t climb out of. Darting to the left and right…no way out.
Cowardly Lion: All right, I'll go in there for Dorothy. Wicked Witch or no Wicked Witch, guards or no guards, I'll tear them apart. I may not come out alive, but I'm going in there. There's only one thing I want you fellows to do.
Tin Woodsman, Scarecrow: What's that?
Cowardly Lion: Talk me out of it.
Coupling is so easy, when stuff jives, that mind/body/heart connection fertile, pheromones working, that eternal sunshine of the spotless mind. Fireflies in a jar. Slices of poetry. Lilacs cascading down the trellis. When the ocean touches the sky. When the mission bells ring and the walls come tumbling down. Nice….Sweet….
But I am a worried man with a worried mind. That on-going thread.
Cordelia says it’s all about my “fear of death.”
My Woody Allen response - “I’m not afraid of dying; just don’t want to be there when it happens.”