From the Archives
(May 2005) Full moon rising and wow is it beautiful. Almost cold this morning and tonight too, and I’m a walking furnace who rarely gets cold. I was okay in my shorts and T-shirt out on the deck this evening but the nip definitely registered on my legs and my pal Raz had to eventually put on more clothes before climbing back under her blanket.
She invited me over to sit on her deck and solve the mysteries of the universe with her and we did explore quite few of them. Talked a lot, had two Makers Marks with ginger-ale and lime (a new drink for me) and two Dunhills each (which, alas, I also liked ... so won’t have another for a good long while). Still, I’m not kissing anyone tonight and this was a really nice, relaxing way to spend an evening.
Raz’s deck sits high in the trees above a nature trail and one particular oak beside it looks as if it’s decorated for the holidays right now because so many stars twinkle amongst its bare branches. The moon almost always sits amongst these branches when I visit too—the seven PM till midnight spot, I reckon—so I always position myself where I can stare at it.
It was so bright tonight that it illuminated all the clouds around it (which distracted me as I was driving home because all I wanted to do was stare at it instead of keeping my focus on the road).
Tonight’s moon reminds me of my poverty days when I threw newspapers from 3 till 6 AM and was good friends with Bella Luna and all her phases.
We rented I (heart symbol) Huckabees, which I need to watch again because I couldn’t decide if it was good or one of those annoying Hollywood movies that tries too hard to be profound (sorta like that dumb wine movie that basically beat its audience over the head in an effort to announce "Profundity Here!" when, in reality, the dweeby actor who plays a pathetic little worm was just make a flaccid reference to drinking.
This Huckabee flick is possibly better than that, but I need to see it again to know what I think.
Meanwhile, let’s put it this way: ithe flick had a good cast and uses some trendy existential terminology and interesting visual effects. And, frankly, you put Isabella Huppert anywhere in my vicinity and I’ll not only pay to see the flick but will pant. Loudly.
Huppert was brilliant in The Piano Teacher—a film that disturbing many of my friends. In fact, several of them walked out of the theater—a fact that still baffles me. I mean, yeah, it’s disturbing. And the rape scene is awful. No doubt. But Huppert got more mileage out of an eyebrow twitch than I’ve seen in a long, long while and the director did an excellent job presenting a complex character in a complex world in which I'm no longer surprised to come across pix of people cutting themselves —search the "lesbian" tag in Blogger, for example—and he portrayed this kind of response to such a world very realistically and without sugarcoating the pianist or her pain.
My friend Tuscaloosa and I saw this film together twice and she noted that our friends who stomped out were all nonSoutherners. We saw too much violence on a day-to-day basis growing up to be that appalled, she says. And, yeah, I guess it's true that violence is more a routine part of our culture—of any rural culture—so we may be less affected by visual representations of it.
Or maybe we’re just fascinated by it—I know I am—and want to parse its particulars, find the meaning.
One of my creative nonfiction pieces talks about the fact that my mother’s best friend’s father used to punish her by squeezing hot pepper juice into her eyes.
That’s southern to me. (As is telling this to someone who merely nods her head in recognition.) Or maybe we just know, as one of the characters in my novel says, “If your farm produces chickens, then sooner or later you’re going to see one running around with its head cut off.”
And, incidentally, since I seem to be rambling AGAIN—would you put down your cup andponder that for a moment, please? A real man squeezed HOT PEPPER JUICE into his young daughter’s eyes to punish her.
The Magnetic Fields sing a song called “Chicken With Its Head Cut Off”—Oh my heart’s running ’round like a chicken with its head cut off. All around the barnyard, falling in and out of love.... Musta been that kind of love.
Oh and I forgot to mention earlier that two obnoxious teenage boys in Blockbuster kept commenting on the fact that Raz and I are dykes (two gorgeous ones, in fact, losers). Then they screamed up beside us in their mama's minivan as we were leaving the grocery store and shouted “dykes” out the window.
We both just burst out laughing, which was probably not the response they expected, but, I mean, how fucking pathetic! Then Raz shouted “MINIVAN!” and they squealed away fast, which just made us laugh harder.
I haven't been verbally harassed in a while and always wonder what exactly the guy believes he is achieving. I mean, I’m certainly not ashamed of my attraction to women, so he's not shaming me. And, frankly, mostly what he's doing is making me feel really sorry for his girlfriend.
LISTENING TO: Lou Reed/John Cage’s "Trouble with Classicists": the trouble with a classicist is he looks at a tree. That's all he sees. He paints a tree. The trouble with a classicist is he looks at the sky. He doesn’t ask why, he just paints the sky...
READING: Still reading Carol Guess’s Switch.
BEST-OF SPAM: Don’t buy her flowers, send her milk