Thursday, October 27, 2005

Just Another Cold Day

I've been dreaming about love lately, late in the night. Yesterday, I saw my mother and she was in love with an ugly man, the kind of ugliness that always reveals kind-heartedness. She told me how special he was to her, how well he treated her. I tried to see him in the way she did, the vision of him attempting to morph into skin-deep beauty but the picture wouldn't budge. Finally, the scene fizzed away and I was left alone in the room with only a memory of the man.

The other night it was me who was in love, in love with a younger man, strong-bodied and hairless. He was on my bed and we were touching one another, comfortably. Each one of my family members came to me and asked about him. I told them his name, a moment of blankness because in truth, I didn't know his name. But he was beautiful. Even D was a little enamored of him. We all were. How lucky we were to have this beautiful stranger in our midst!

The other morning, in my waking life, I received an e-mail from a long-ago friend. Someone who I once loved with everything in me. He was kind and complimentary of my photo gallery which he came across when googling my name. Googling my name? You were thinking of me, I wanted to write specifically. You were always too "good" for me. Always a bit of a dream for me. It was a sweet moment that carried me through a morning of lectures. I remembered the anxiety, the loss, the highs. I missed that particular love.

Our days have been dull, routine being the name of the game. The homework battle with my middle son is exhausting, the struggle with my oldest son to eke out "C's" is emotionally draining, and my youngest's rudeness and head-strong attitude is maddening. I wonder if I escape in my dreams, escape to a place that is relieving, curious. A place where there is easier love than the love between growing children and their parents.


There have been so many things I've wanted to blog about, hourly I think of things I want to talk about, to tell about - I come here and find the entry page - I prepare to write. The ideas fade. I end up moving to CNN and reading about the Bush-Administration problems, which only serve to irritate me. Especially when I read about the dissatisfied "right". They put him in office, they've expressed an almost-god-like admiration of him and his ways, denouncing ANY critic as a "unpatriotic liberal," they've dominated our politics, they've tried to control (and often accomplished it) our media for six years, they've ravaged social justice and hope to ravage the constitution. They deny the lies. They won't admit "we" were right.

But they complain.

Please, I say, shut the hell up.


Halloween is coming, Halloween is coming! I don't have a costume. Perhaps I don't really need one. I'll just show up in my pajamas, tease my hair into a crazy disaster, pick up a television remote control with one hand, a margarita with the other. I'll call myself a "suburban mother".


Students cheated in my class the other day. I lectured the whole class about morality and maturity. The two students, after my lecture about cheating, sat for roll and then promptly left for half an hour, missing about half the class. They came back in, sat down, and then giggled over pictures on a cell phone. I stopped them at that point, having already marked them absent. After class, only one of them stayed seated when I made a beeline towards the two, the other bolting out the door and then peeking in to see if I'd released her friend. I told the remaining girl that she had to be in class, in lecture.

"Are your parents making you take this class?" I asked.

"No, I have a baby and I want to become a paralegal."

"Well, then, there's even more reason for you to be in class. You're in no position to be skipping lectures and chatting when you are here. If you want to succeed, you need to be here. Otherwise drop the class. Find a program better suited to you."


When I looked into the eyes of this girl, I worried I was looking at my children's future.


The afternoon is cold, but the house smells of flavorful, roasted chicken. My son J smiled happily and said he loves when the weather changes.

"Isn't it so cozy, mom?"

Oh it is, it really is.

Monday, October 17, 2005

A Poem of Firsts

How funny it is that I can’t think of a first sentence,
For once,
For this.

A story popped into my head, yesterday.
More of a poem maybe,
A poem made up of all those
First sentences that follow me around like lost puppies.

A woman with salt and pepper curly hair
Sat at her computer day in and day out
Playing Scrabble with cutesy names like
Pimpdaddy, Joker12 and Jonesingforwords.
She ate nothing but peanut butter sandwiches.

My grandmother told me a story, yesterday.

I have a memory, she said, of a girl
Standing by a footman’s horse
Wondering if he was ever going to return.
An enchanted lizard stared at her a few feet away,
She didn’t dare move. She didn’t want to be kissed.

The phone rang, but he didn’t answer because
Gilligan’s Island was on, the new one, and
He didn’t dare move because if he did,
Gilligan wouldn’t save Maryanne from loneliness.

There were five dogs in the family –
Bumby, Lady, Oscar, Dandy, and Abby.
Only two of them lasted, the first three
Run over by a car, swept away in wind,
Returned for being too wild to handle.

Love never found her when she wanted it to find her,
Leaving her in a constant state of intense

Order can be made out of chaos,
So long as you have
Imagination and desperation.

Both of which I have, had, yesterday.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Fiction: Betraying Art

I wrote this piece some time ago and actually got it published in an online journal. I was so proud of myself. Like so many other journals, it went under and now my little moment of pride is gone. I'm posting it for Edge who said he was missing my fiction, who always has something interesting to say on his blog, who seemingly enjoys photography as much as I do.

Speaking of photography, I've added a link at the side to my photo galleries - there you'll see the kids, the husband, my sister, my brother, my grandparents, nieces and nephew, me, our world. I'll get back to my regular blogging soon.


Betraying Art

“How much for the naked girl?”

The lascivious tone in the stranger’s voice caused me to open my eyes, an undesired response since I was catnapping. Like the last painting I offered for sale, I rested on dead, summer grass and was propped up against a chain link fence. The art festival was almost over and I had yet to unload “Lady in the Sun.”

“How much are you offering?”

“No more than a c-note.”

He cleared his throat and sniffed arrogantly, eyeing me before returning to the golden-breasted woman in front of him. The wool coat he wore was too heavy for the spring weather and a bead of sweat slid from his temple, disappearing into the thick folds of his neck. If it wasn’t for the cologne he wore, he’d be rank.

“How badly you want her?”

“I can give another fifty.”

I grappled as to whether I should hold out, glancing across the field filled with hundreds of other artists. I didn’t like the way the stranger shifted his weight. He had no legitimate interest in art – he was going to use Lady, abuse her. Above all, he’d commit the highest of creative crime: he’d misunderstand her.

“I don’t know,” I said. “Lemme think about it.”

I suddenly felt dishonest, disloyal. No doubt, I reacted to Lady’s features. She’d been brushed with colors of untruth.

The model had been a neighbor who needed cash so I suggested she pose. While I painted her, while she sat nude for me, she told a story of an adored necklace she’d lost. Her father had given it to her for her eighteenth birthday. But she’d been careless, wore it despite a faulty clasp, and one day the necklace vanished. Diamonds, sapphires, gold…gone. She’d looked at me with such helplessness, with such profound guilt, I found myself unwilling to reflect her pain on the canvas. I betrayed my own vision. Lady ended up confident and daring in her nakedness. Unlike my model, a similar loss for Lady would have been intentional. She would have thrown the precious item into the trash, mocking the giver.

“Where will you put her?”

The man wiped perspiration from his forehead with a red silk handkerchief. “What’s it to you?”

“She’s like a sister to me.”

“Artists…you’re all alike. It’s a picture – no more, no less.”

“Maybe I like the picture. Maybe I’m gonna be famous. I can’t just let her go for a measly one-fifty.”

Silence flowed between us, common viewpoint lost in the current. Lady lied to all her observers. Her history was invented, created, imaginary. I smoothed my exposed legs, the skin dry and uncared for. Paints, brushes, canvases, jars and rags waited for me at my apartment. Bills piled high waited, too. I couldn’t decide which held the bulk of my loyalties: Lady, a symbol of compromised artistry, or my stomach, a manifestation of raw need.

Before I could decide, two hundred-dollar bills fluttered to my feet. The stranger had flung them at me, an act of contempt. I grabbed the money and stuffed it into my pocket.

“Take her,” I said. “She’s all yours.”


Ahhh...tagging back from Carolyn's post, here's what I found in my 23rd post, fifth sentence in:

I chuckled a little because from my place at the desk, I couldn't see any flowers.

Not very exciting a sentence, I'd hoped for more, I'd hoped for depth. Instead it's a fragment. Maybe that says something.

Here are the rules for the tag:

1. Go into your archive.
2. Find your 23rd post.
3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
5. Tag five other people to do the same.

I'll suggest Lori, MatzahNacho, Barbara, Nappy40, and the Butcher.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Just jumping in for a my usual topics...

I will come back and respond to the sweet notes in my last blog when I have more of a moment to myself.

In the meantime, help me! I'm drowning in a sea of conservative blogs regarding the latest Supreme Court nominee - I am frustrated by the abortion question, by the seeming disconnect between the lawmakers and the women who will truly be hurt by a loss of abortion rights. Certainly, no doubt, Californians are safe, New York, too, but what about the Southern states, all those "red states" just chomping at the bit to reduce liberty in our country? Who will be hurt there? The poorest women who cannot afford to travel to "blue states" nor hire their private doctors to do their abortions (as the wealthy will continue to do just the way they did back when abortion was illegal). If Roe v. Wade, its root cases and progeny are overturned, the ones who are clamoring for the change will not be affected, will not be hurt in any way. They don't get abortions today, they won't get abortions tomorrow. These people are so far off the ones walking into the clinics, I don't know what to do or say.

I know their response, but the response continues to be disconnected with reality.

I can only hope for "conservatism" - I can only hope the U.S. Supreme Court will continue to recognize the importance of legal medical intervention in a procedure that women will continue to want and get.

Until tomorrow...buenos noches.