26 April 2017

0 FJ: the pathos of jackie kennedy dolls on etsy, 2.0

i’ve written about this before. AT LENGTH. so i’mma keep it short here. try to anyway.
but i was doing my annual pre-birthday perusal of kennedy things on etsy…
nothing new to see, ya’ll. the gang’s all here.

25 April 2017

0 debo

found an article on the six steps to simplifying one's life TODAY. and the second step was getting rid of one's second set of dishes.

and she says to me, i mean, that's all well and good but what about the other six sets?

because this is a woman who owns maybe ten.

seriously. we could easily feed 90.

furthermore, after joe's death, she went to very great lengths to re-buy off of ebay a full set of the everyday dishes we'd had when i was a child and lived in spey cove. just so she could eat her cereal in the bowls- the perfect circumference!- in which she enjoyed cereal so long ago, when i was young. when we were all young.

death makes people do strange things.

she tells me, i cannot believe you took that brutus bust back with you to london. because i've mentioned that he's down there, at the foot of the bed, leering.

and i say, mummybee, we all did crazy shit when joe died. let us not pretend. 

and she tells me the sixth step of the six steps to simplifying one's life TODAY is telling people they have to take back the stuff they're storing in your house.

and though i'm not even wearing boots, i'm quaking within them. though i do feel sort of saved by the fact that we've just had an extensive conversation on the extremity of my present poverty and the shipping costs to rid them of the fainting couch are far more than they would ever dare pay.

but still. i once had to pay £25 to get my own dirty clothes out of hock. imagine the customs on fine furniture! heaven forbid.

0 fyi, in london it snowed today

24 April 2017

0 "it is today, isn't it, today?"

since march 2014, i've been walking to church with a woman named jenny.

she is in her mid-80s.

she has some form of dementia.

she used to work at the LSE.

she uses the word "boat" when she means "car."

there is a ruby ring on her left ring finger which means she was either married or that she is unmarried and has no scruples about wearing a ring on her left ring finger.

sometimes she forgets to put her teeth in.

that is what i know.

when i first see her, she always looks grumpy. when she sees me, her face lights up.

she pats me on the forearm and calls me "dear, dear girl." (in the early days, when we first started doing this, when i was still new-ish to london and wasn't seeing anyone and didn't have any close friends, that weekly touch on the forearm was the primary moment of physical contact in my life.)

and so most sunday mornings i enter a two hour period where reality doesn't really matter, small talk doesn't have to make any sense, and i am very greatly loved by someone who recognizes me without knowing who i really am.

somehow i've not ever written about this before, though it seems ripe for the writing.

the day when she kept pointing to the sky, and people passing us on the street thought some sort of incident was unfolding and kept turning to look up, to see what she saw, when really she was just acknowledging to me that the sky is very blue.

the day she briefly cried in church and told me she just wanted to die. (perhaps i wrote about that? did i write about that?)

the fact that, every time we part, she asks where i've parked my boat, a question that always prompts me to wonder, if i had a boat, how would i get it home from notting hill.

yesterday, she was in fine fettle, as the nursing home around her- undergoing renovations- seemed to be falling apart. slowly, somewhat arduously, through a series of lifts that went up instead of down, buttons that did not properly function, and finally the assistance of a comically large portion of the downstairs construction crew so that we might open the front door, i busted her out of the home into the sunlight.

she blinked, and then asked if my husband was staying with me. and i said, no, no, i don't have a husband, and she looked first shocked then pleased as she said, it's better that way, your boat being so small.

then, looking up at the blue blue sky, she asked, "it is today, isn't it, today?"

and when i said, yes, absolutely, it is, she smiled broadly, and sighed: and it's a beautiful one isn't it, today?

15 April 2017

0 what is up?


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08 April 2017

0 so friday was a lot

there was a cat at keats' house. 

i found out my bookshop discount is FOR LIFE. 

and then this...

01 April 2017

0 the accordionist

i'm working in a bookshop. there is this accordionist.

when i showed up one thursday night some weeks ago, he was over by the tube station and, shortly thereafter, packed up his bags. and i smiled and thought, oh how lovely, it is like we are in paris, it is just like amélie. 

tuesday morning was another matter. because on tuesday morning he was outside the bookshop at 9 a.m. and he stayed until way past lunch.

oh how lovely, it is like we are in paris, it is just like amélie, multiple people said upon coming into the shop. it must be such a joy to work under these conditions.

but what you don't know, my colleague told one such person, is that he has a very limited repertoire. a repertoire of two. 

it's like that scene in the "arrivederci, fiero" episode of how i met your mother. when they're on the roadtrip in marshall's car, which has "i would walk 500 miles" stuck in the tape deck, and it goes in cycles, where they're into it then they're over it and then they're back into it again. this accordion player's repertoire of two was like that.

you'd be all oh how lovely, it is just like amélie, and then- like a storm front moving in on a sunny day- you'd be thinking, holy shit, when will this stop?!?!!?! and feel your blood pressure begin to rise and then you'd be back to oh how lovely, like paris.

around noon, the accordionist turned, to face directly into our shop. thus, dramatically increasing the volume in which his limited repertoire was expressed, giving us one final blast of hypertension and then, suddenly, he was gone. by which point his repertoire was so embedded into our internal existences that we didn't notice for at least twenty minutes.

oh, he's gone. my colleague observed, looking wistfully out at the spot where he'd been standing, which was now empty save for discarded plastic bags whirling like urban tumble weeds on the wind.

with the street returned to the normal sounds of screaming children, wailing sirens, and bus whirrs, i replied, i've a newfound sympathy for people who work near carousels.