30 April 2013

0 april: a revue

'i applaud your balls.'

'does london have jesus?'

'i momentarily thought i was probably having a heart attack yesterday due to a ridiculous overconsumption of food at easter, but the realized, ummm, no, i probably can't make a heart attack go away just by standing differently.'

'the silver eye shadow and rampant need for approval really screams secure.'

'way to ask questions! and challenge his thought! and be american! and read mark twain!'

'but her dresses are expensive and the construction should rival that of the eiffel tower! not the leaning tower of pisa!'

'yes, i feel like “apartment & cat near bastille” should be a lifelong ambition for you.'

'it has not been a great few months for things making sense.'

'i'll vouch for burvil. burvil is cool.'

'hey, my beiber fever broke early.'

'California Justice, also known as “Fun Times Party #YOLO”'

'i feel like if someone were to examine my fiction collection, they would conclude that i like to read by the pool.'

'why don't you just make a tasty drink? i don't need to be educated.'

'if nothing else, by the end of this i'll have produced great abs and a book.'

'and then i went up there and his breath smelled like gold.'

'day is going well though. despite my impending death by green snot.'

'granted, they're words i would highlight in a book, but a white trash girl can't go up to a black cock and say that.'

'you are in and out, boom, ready to move on with your life and eat tacos.'

'i’m in an outfit that is actually flattering (as least as much as is possible for someone who is pregnant and not kate middleton).'

'i miss drugs.'

'what if your parisian kisser is reading your blog?????'

't-minus two days until the sex party.'

'i just have to say that it is so brave, what you do. writing your BRAIN THOUGHTS down, and submitting them to professionals to read and grade'

'if i had energy last night, i would have made him cupcakes.'

'that makes total sense. at least, it makes as much sense as it can for someone who knows nothing about london geography and neighborhoods.'

'they're really into mongers over here.'

'i went and got books and then talked to every single one of my relatives.'

'what if the girl is like me? what if the girl isn’t like me?'

'so i'll marry an old or foreign man, and if he's black well then heaven help the cake topper.'

'this guy seems to consistently knock the snot out of pressure.'

'they will be the abs that london built.'

0 alright

THIS has hilarified me for days. you should maybe look at it.

29 April 2013

4 an assessment of my life via gary eaton

'but you ARE an adventurer...
you walk through cemeteries
when you don't even have to.'

0 HA.

1 it's easier to call her burvil

it's hard to call her gran because it's hard not to say 'gran and pawpaw.' they were- after all- a pair.

i'm secretly relieved when she calls him joe. she has slipped only once when, exasperated by how many photographs she keeps finding- photographs tucked into every corner of the house, the attic, his workshop, the garage- she said 'your pawpaw had more photographs than you could imagine.' it was the exact same tone she used when she was short with him.

you can, apparently, still be short with someone, even when they are no longer there.

but it's more than them being a pair. it's actually very little to do with him, and mostly to do with her. her in that context- as gran. as my gran.

we're talking once a week now at least and in these conversations we keep coming back to, she and i, the summer of 1986. when she quit her job at the law firm, bought a buick with power door locks (cutting edge then, now certified by the state of mississippi as an antique), and busted me free from the hell-hole that was harding summer camp.

libby and i had been enrolled in this exciting summer camp at this fancy-pants private school. granted, it might've been fun had we been older, but we were fresh out of kindergarten and entirely unprepared for the rigors of unsupervised play.

the highlight of each day was a morning trip to the local Y for swimming and yet, for us, this was a nightmare. my memory of harding summer camp is this: in a shower stall at the kirby Y, libby and i, tears of frustration rolling down our cheeks, stretching a cross-back bathing suit between us trying to figure out where we were to put our feet in order to enter this matrix of straps.

libby lasted a week and a half, i lasted one week more.

i don't remember complaining but, somehow, burvil knew. (burvil always knows.) she started picking me up early from camp. and every day, she came a little earlier until she suggested to debo that i should spend the summer with her.

and so we spent long days curled up on her couch under a blanket, giggling and watching judy garland and anne shirley over and over again.

entire years unfolded like this, as she would go on to pick me up every day after school, and i spent summers with her until we moved from memphis.

when i think of her as gran, in calling her that, i am that kid again, stuck between kindergarten and first grade, and she is a figure waiting beside a white buick, come to save me again.

she says, 'we sure had fun. they'll never know how much fun we had.'

and i tell her, 'yes, we did. i think that's when i fell in love with you.'

25 April 2013

1 dressing up

remember middle school gym class? before which, in the locker room, if you were a girl, you’d do that thing girls do where they change their clothes without ever actually standing around in their underwear?

i can't remember precisely how this was done, though i’m pretty sure it’s like riding a bike and would resurface should the need arise.

something about pulling your arms out of the shirt you were wearing, putting on the shirt you wanted to wear, and then pulling the shirt you had been wearing out through the neck of the one you were going to wear. so, at one point, you were wearing two shirts.

as for pants, holy smokes! if you were lucky, the final shirt was long enough that it didn't matter if, briefly, you were pantless, but towards the end there, as we grew and our gym clothes didn’t (one shirt/shorts set was supposed to last the entirety of ‘the growth spurt years’ that are 6th, 7th, and 8th grade), there was a lot of extra ab work as we hunched down so our shirts (which now barely covered our bellies) would cover our asses whilst we put on our pants.

so, dudes, if your middle school selves ever wondered what went down in a girls locker room, there you have it. sexy times.

in high school, gym was less of an ordeal. you only had to survive one year and there were shower stalls. in our class, only one kid ever took a shower, but the rest of us undressed in the stalls so there was no more knotting of shirts or pretzeling of arms.

all of that was a lead-in to this: the other day, i changed my clothes in the ladies locker room at the gym. stripped off my dress and put my workout clothes on at my leisure. in full view. UNASHAMED.

only then did i look around and note that all the women around me were fully clothed. only then did i remember that i am in britain (a lovely land that is nonetheless foreign, quirky in its handling of eggs and internet repair and money), and wonder if i’d broken a social code.

as i fretted, a woman came and put her stuff in the locker next to me. i’ve never been so relieved to see a woman pull down her pants.

0 lately

24 April 2013

2 greetings from memphis

0 FJ: i am realizing, somewhat belatedly, that 8 years of latin aren’t all that useful and life stories shouldn’t be mediated by google translate

Screen shot 2013-04-23 at 10.43.29 PM

0 imaginative powers

there are moments that are so almost unedureably close, so much so that i wonder, if i had just the tiniest bit more imaginative power, i could reenter them. (god knows it would make writing far easier.) 

i'm supposed to be fathoming out what jackie means to me. what drew me to her in the first place. why i think her story should be of value to us now. 

you'd think that after nearly 19 years, my answer to this question would be finely tuned, alas no. and so i'm trying to remember what it was like back then, in the beginning

because everything these days comes back to joe and burvil, what i remember most, at present, is june 1994. the summer i bought every single jackie kennedy magazine on the newsstand, for reasons i did not then know. this summer also served as an introduction to all of the magazines on the newstand. magazines i'd never heard of, never seen, i'd buy because jackie was on their covers. 

i was in memphis for the first two weeks of the obligatory two sets of two weeks when, somehow, i coerced burvil into buy me a copy of the july issue of vanity fair. it was to be the second to last of the jackie mags that summer. it was also the first time i saw the f-word in print. 

this is key, EPIC, this issue. it is memorialized in wayne koestenbaum's similarly epic jackie under my skin (the book that made me want to write and which you should all read) as the only issue that summer that memorialized jackie as jackie O rather than kennedy.

what i remember is that i wished the cover photograph was in color. i loathed that it was black and white. 

and i remember devouring that magazine in my bedroom in my grandparent's house on inverness parkway. the slick gloss of the pages. the flowered bedspread. the kneeling. 

the other day, taking a cue from the brady bunch (which i will admit to watching endlessly in my present immersion in the culture of 1969), i attempted a recreation. i sat amongst the floral field of my bedspread, kneeling, and felt the slick gloss of the pages against my fingertips. 

but imagination can only take you so far. i was young then and could kneel for hours. now i kneel for, like, four minutes and then grunt when getting up.