19 May 2011

0 it's jackie dead day



this likely matters to no one but me and caroline kennedy, but, i swear, people, it's important. and it seems somehow more important this year than ever before.

in the schematic of my life, this day is monumental. 19 may 1994. i've celebrated it for the last 17 years and, every year, lamented the lack of commemorative news coverage. (if you're a newcomer, read THIS and THIS and this'll make more sense.)

i was wearing a green t-shirt and white shorts and sitting in mrs. watson's 4th period science class. and i absolutely swear to you, this was huge. i would not be a writer were it not for this. i would not be in chicago. there would be no oline in the city. you would not be here. there would be no here here. jackie, she's a big fucking deal.

she is why i write.

on two separate occasions last friday, i was confronted with the question: so what's happening with jackie?

on my lunch break, my mother asked it over the phone, as i slipped my bare feet into the frigid waters of the small stream that runs through the little garden that's sprung up by the art institute.

i counted the change accumulated at the bottom and wondered how big a wish one gets for 16 cents.

and then there it was again, when k.lo leaned over the table at katie i's peruvian birthday dinner and asked the exact same thing. i was halfway through a virgin daiquiri, which- it was increasingly clear- was, in fact, not a virgin.

what is happening with jackie?

it's a question for which i have no answer, but i've got ideas. huge, incredibly expensive, wildly implausible, recklessly bold, impossible to execute ideas.

but if the jackie i love- the jackie of the 70s, the jackie whom history has erased and who went braless and saw sex movies and married a greek- has taught me anything, it is that life is an adventure. that we must always be present. that anything is possible. and anything can be.

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